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Monday, Nov 12th

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Pentagon: Ops Killed 499 Civilians in Trump’s First Year

OPS killed 499 civillians last yearThe Pentagon has told Congress it estimates that nearly 500 civilians were killed as a result of US military actions in the first year of the Trump administration.

"(The Department of Defense) assesses that there are credible reports of approximately 499 civilians killed and approximately 169 civilians injured during 2017" as a result of military operations in Iraq and Syria targeting ISIS, operations in Afghanistan targeting the Taliban and ISIS, and operations in Yemen against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, the report said.
The report which provides an estimate of the number of civilian casualties in counterterrorism operations in 2017 also said the Defense Department has "no credible reports" of civilian casualties as a result of US military operations in Somalia or Libya last year.

Marines suspend general who called allegations of sexual harassment 'fake news'

Brig. Gen Kurt Stein suspendedThe Marine Corps on Tuesday suspended a general who publicly ridiculed as “fake news” allegations of sexual harassment at his command and also joked about a chaplain recently fired for having sex in public, USA TODAY has learned.

Brig. Gen. Kurt Stein, director of Marine and Family Programs, made the remarks April 6 before an audience estimated at hundreds of civilian employees and Marines at their base in Quantico, Va., according to three people who attended the all-hands meeting last week. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they said they feared retaliation.

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VA cuts program for homeless vets after touting Trump's commitment

David Shulkin: VA cuts program for homeless vets

Four days after Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin held a big Washington event to tout the Trump administration’s promise to house all homeless vets, the agency did an about-face, telling advocates it was pulling resources from a major housing program.

The VA said it was essentially ending a special $460 million program that has dramatically reduced homelessness among chronically sick and vulnerable veterans. Instead, the money would go to local VA hospitals that can use it as they like, as long as they show evidence of dealing with homelessness.

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U.S. Coast Guard operating secret floating prisons in Pacific Ocean

War on Drugs: US Coast Guard floats secret prisons

If you've followed the War on Terror at all, you're almost certainly familiar with the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — a U.S. prison that exists outside the realm of the U.S. justice system.

Now, it turns out, there's a secret U.S. detention system in the War on Drugs, too — and this one is aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters sailing in the Pacific Ocean.

In an effort to staunch the flow of cocaine and other hard drugs from South America to Central America and points north, Coast Guard cutters have been deployed farther and farther from the shore in the Pacific Ocean. When these cutters capture a boat carrying drugs, the smugglers are brought onto the ships and kept shackled to the deck, sometimes outside in the elements, until the Coast Guard makes arrangements for them to be transported back to the U.S. for trial.

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Second Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Ban On Trans Service Members

Judge blocks ban on military transgender troops

A federal judge in Maryland has temporarily blocked all of President Trump's would-be ban on transgender Americans serving in the U.S. armed forces or receiving transition-related health care through the military.

The decision comes just weeks after another federal judge, based in Washington, D.C., blocked most of the policy change.

Last year, after extended study of the issue, the military announced that trans service members could sign up for the military, serve openly and receive medical care related to their transition. This summer, Trump announced on Twitter that the policy would be reversed, which was followed by an official memo.

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3 missing after U.S. Navy plane crashes into Pacific

3 missing after navy plane crash

Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said.

The C-2 "Greyhound" transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement.

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Who are the world's biggest arms companies?

Biggest arms seller countries

The United States has approved a $15bn deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the THAAD missile defence system, one of the most capable systems of its kind in the world.

If Congress does not raise an objection within 30 days, the deal will result in a massive windfall for Lockheed Martin, the world's biggest arms producer.

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