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Friday, Dec 15th

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Bowe Bergdahl avoids prison time, will receive dishonorable discharge, judge rules

Bowe Bergdahl gets no prison time; gets dishonorable dischargeSgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who deserted his Afghanistan outpost and was then held captive in brutal conditions for five years, received no prison time but was reduced in rank to private and will be dishonorably discharged from the army, a military judge ruled Friday.

In announcing the punishment the military judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, rejected a prosecutor’s recommendation to sentence Bergdahl to 14 years confinement. Nance did not elaborate on his decision before dismissing the court. Defense attorneys had argued against prison time, saying the soldier already suffered enough while in Taliban hands.

Bergdahl did not react as the sentence was read. He stood flanked by defense lawyers as the judge read sentence and left the courtroom with his attorneys.

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Gitmo judge sends Marine general lawyer to 21 days confinement for disobeying orders

General Baker - Gitmo attorney jailed

The USS Cole case judge Wednesday found the Marine general in charge of war court defense teams guilty of contempt for refusing to follow the judge’s orders and sentenced him to 21 days confinement and to pay a $1,000 fine.

Air Force Col. Vance Spath also declared “null and void” a decision by Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, 50, to release three civilian defense attorneys from the capital terror case. The lawyers resigned last month over a covert breach of attorney-client privilege involving something so secretive at the terror prison that the public cannot know.

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Navy recommends sweeping changes after ship collisions

US Navy to make changes after ship collisionsU.S. Navy leaders are recommending a sweeping list of changes in sailor training, crew requirements and safety procedures to address systemic problems across the Pacific fleet that led to two deadly ship collisions earlier this year that killed 17 sailors, according to a copy of the report obtained by The Associated Press.

A critical report scheduled to be released Thursday calls for about 60 recommended improvements that range from improved training on seamanship, navigation and the use of ship equipment to more basic changes to increase sleep and stress management for sailors.

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Bergdahl recounts 'horrible mistake,' apologizes at sentencing

Bowe Bergdahl recounts "horrible mistake" and apologizes at sentencingArmy Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl took the stand at his sentencing hearing, becoming emotional while recalling his 5 years as a prisoner of the Taliban.

Bergdahl gave sworn testimony for 2 hours at his hearing Monday in Fort. Bragg, N.C. -- testimony that can only be offered by the accused or victims in the military justice system.

Bergdahl walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009, prompting many service members to become wounded to search for him. The sergeant was caught and held captive by the Taliban for nearly 5 years. Later, the former captive pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, possibly facing a lifetime in prison.

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Court blocks Trump's ban on transgender troops

Judge blocks Trump order on transgender troopsA federal court on Monday blocked parts of President Trump’s ban on transgender service members, preventing the Pentagon from overturning policies initiated by the Obama administration to allow transgender troops from serving openly.

The order in Washington by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly temporarily prevents to the Pentagon from enacting the ban that Trump announced by tweet in July.

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Judge in Bowe Bergdahl's sentencing says Trump's comments don't affect court

Bergdahl: Trump comments do not affect sentencing

A military judge has rejected arguments by attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that criticism by President Donald Trump is preventing him from having a fair sentencing hearing.

The judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, said Monday the court has not been directly affected by Trump's criticism of Bergdahl. He also ruled that a reasonable member of the public would not have doubts about the fairness of military justice because of Trump's comments. He rejected a defense request to rule that it would be unfair to give Bergdahl any prison time.

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Military Investigating Whether Navy SEALs Strangled Green Beret in Mali

Navy Seal Team 6 members under investigation for murder of teammateNavy criminal authorities are investigating whether two members of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 strangled to death an Army Green Beret on assignment in Mali in June, military officials say.

Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar, a 34-year-old veteran of two deployments to Afghanistan, was found dead on June 4 in the embassy housing he shared in the Malian capital, Bamako, with several other Special Operations forces assigned to the West African nation to help with training and counterterrorism missions.

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