Saturday, Jul 04th

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The $25 Million Building in Afghanistan Nobody Needed

Afgnaistan boondoggleThis is a story about how the U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted and wasn’t ever used—at a cost to American taxpayers of at least $25 million.

From start to finish, this 64,000-square-foot mistake could easily have been avoided. Not one, not two, but three generals tried to kill it. And they were overruled, not because they were wrong, but seemingly because no one wanted to cancel a project Congress had already given them money to build.


Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle to space

X37B aircraftA mysterious space plane is on its way to orbit.

The Air Force launched its unmanned mini-shuttle from Cape Canaveral, Florida, late Wednesday morning. An Atlas V (five) rocket carried it up.

This is the fourth flight for the military research program, which is shrouded in secrecy.


Insults to injury: Military sexual-assault victims endure retaliation

Military assaultsTroops who have reported sexual assaults are 12 times more likely to be retaliated against than to see their attacker convicted of sex crimes, according to a report on the fallout of filing a military sexual assault report by Human Rights Watch.

The report, to be released Monday, found that troops reporting sexual assaults have endured retaliation ranging from vile insults to social isolation and death threats. It is based on interviews with more than 150 victims of sexual assault and a review of military documents.


U.S. Marine killed, 21 injured when Osprey aircraft crashes in Hawaii

Osprey crash i HawaiiA U.S. Marine was killed and 21 others were hospitalized when a military aircraft went down at Bellows Air Force Base in Hawaii on Sunday.

Marine Corps officials said the MV-22 Osprey aircraft experienced a "hard-landing mishap" during a routine training exercise.

The Marines on board the aircraft were members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which left San Diego last week on a seven-month deployment to the Pacific Command and Central Command.


White House: U.S. special forces kill key Islamic State leader

ISIS leader killedU.S. Special Forces killed a suspected senior leader of the Islamic State militant group and detained his wife during an operation in Syria, the White House said Saturday. A young Yezidi woman believed to be held as a slave by the couple was also taken into custody.

It is a rare publicly known case of U.S. ground operations in Syria, where the militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has grabbed significant territory. Although a U.S.-led coalition has dealt the Islamic State significant setbacks, especially in Iraq, the group is far from defeated. Just this week, it captured the government headquarters in Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province.


Three bodies found near wrecked US helicopter in Nepal

Helicopter crashed in NepalNepalese rescuers on Friday found three bodies near the wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter that disappeared earlier this week while on a relief mission in the earthquake-hit Himalayan nation, and officials said it was unlikely there were any survivors from the crash.

A U.S. search team identified the wreckage as that of the missing Marines UH-1Y Huey helicopter deployed after Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake last month that killed more than 8,200 people.


US Marine helicopter declared missing in Nepal

US marine helicopterA US Marine helicopter involved in disaster relief efforts in Nepal has been declared missing by the Army.

The team had been working in the vicinity of Charikot, a village that has been hard hit by earthquakes, a spokesman for the US Pacific Command said.

Six US Marines and two Nepali soldiers were aboard the helicopter.

An earthquake stuck Nepal on Tuesday, less than two weeks after an earlier quake killed more than 8,000 people.


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