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Sunday, Dec 04th

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Chelsea Manning readies for disciplinary hearing over suicide attempt

Chelsea Manning faces indefinite isolationChelsea Manning goes before a three-member disciplinary board of the US army on Thursday charged with interfering with the “good order” of the military prison in which she is held by attempting suicide, an offence that could lead to indefinite solitary confinement.

Manning, who is serving 35 years at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas for leaking a vast trove of secret documents on the US war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, required hospital treatment after she attempted to kill herself in July. The military authorities generated outrage by responding to the army private’s act of despair by charging her with a number of serious disciplinary counts.

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U.S. tests for mustard agent after rocket attack near Iraq base

Mustard gas investigated at US baseThe U.S. military is testing to see if a chemical agent may have been used in a rocket attack in Iraq by Islamic State that came within hundreds of yards (meters) of U.S. forces but injured no one, a U.S. military official said on Wednesday.

The rocket fell on Tuesday in an unpopulated area near the Qayyara West base, where hundreds of U.S. forces are working to prepare an airfield ahead of Iraq's offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the radical group Islamic State, said the official, who spoke with Pentagon reporters on condition of anonymity.

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Japan court clears way for US Okinawa base relocation

Okinawa military baseA Japanese court has approved plans to relocate a US military base on the island of Okinawa, in a decision likely to anger locals who want to see American military presence removed altogether.

Tokyo wants to move the unpopular Futenma marine airbase from a crowded residential district to a sparsely populated area in the northern part of the island, but the plan has been opposed by many locals, including Okinawan governor Takeshi Onaga.

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Navy commander arrested on attempted rape charges

John Michel Neuhart IIA Navy commander has been arrested on attempted rape charges in San Diego involving a woman also in the maritime branch, officials said Tuesday.

Cmdr. John Michael Neuhart II was arrested Monday after police received a call about 3 a.m. from the victim's neighbor who heard screams coming from the house. According to police, Neuhart ran from the home and was arrested in a nearby canyon.

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Chelsea Manning Begins Hunger Strike

Chelsea Manning hunger strikeChelsea Manning, the U.S. army private convicted in 2013 for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, has announced she has started a hunger strike to protest what she calls “constant and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials.”

“I need help. I am not getting any,” Manning said in a statement released to TIME through a member of the Chelsea Manning Support Network and confirmed as authentic by her lawyer, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Stragio. “I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.”

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US veterans on Chilcot: we need our own Iraq war inquiry to avoid repeating mistakes

Bush and BlairFollowing the devastating British inquiry into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American veterans and their families have warned that the US is liable to repeat the mistakes without a similarly comprehensive investigation.

The UK’s Chilcot inquiry was released on Wednesday, and while it is no secret in the US that the invasion was a failure, nothing so damning as the 2.6m-word British inquiry has been released by an independent US government body.

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Pentagon lifts ban on transgender troops

Transgender ban lifted in militaryDefense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday that the military will no longer discriminate against transgender troops, knocking down one of the last barriers to service based on sex.

The move, nearly a year in the making, came despite last-minute concerns were raised by top brass about how to deal with the medical, housing and uniform issues for troops who are transitioning to the other sex.

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