Tuesday, Oct 06th

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Pentagon: Services must justify excluding women from combat by Oct. 1

women in combatDefense Secretary Ash Carter is giving the chiefs of the military services until Oct. 1 to tell him which combat posts should remain closed to female service-members and is requiring them to provide documentation to justify the exclusion.

Carter said Thursday that the historic achievement of two women, 1st Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest, to earn Army Ranger tabs indicates that female fighters are able and willing to take on greater roles in the nation’s all-volunteer armed forces.


Chelsea Manning loses prison privileges for violating rules

Chelsea Manningonvicted national security leaker Chelsea Manning was found guilty Tuesday of violating prison rules and will receive three weeks of recreational restrictions at the Kansas military prison where she's serving her 35-year sentence, her attorney said.

The transgender Army private was accused of having a copy of Vanity Fair with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover and an expired tube of toothpaste, among other things. Her attorney, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a news release that Manning was convicted of all charges after a closed four-hour disciplinary board hearing in which she had no counsel.


Navy SEALs set to open to women, top admiral says

Navy Seals open up to women The Navy is planning to open its elite SEAL teams to women who can pass the grueling training regimen, the service's top officer said Tuesday in an exclusive interview.

Adm. Jon Greenert said he and the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, believe that if women can pass the legendary six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, they should be allowed to serve.


Chelsea Manning allies tell army to drop charges with 100,000-strong petition

Chelsea Manning petitionSupporters of Chelsea Manning delivered an estimated 100,000 signatures to the US army liaison office in Congress on Tuesday, urging the military to drop charges against the whistleblower for possession of unapproved magazines and other material and to “stop harassing” her.

Manning, the US army soldier serving a 35-year military prison sentence for leaking official secrets, was charged with prison infractions for possession of unapproved material earlier this month. Later on Tuesday, she faces a hearing on the charges, which could reportedly result in solitary confinement.


Two women pass Army Ranger School, become first female graduates

First women rangers graduateTwo women have passed the Army’s Ranger School, becoming the first females to complete the grueling combat training program and earn the right to wear Ranger tabs on their uniforms.

The Army’s Ranger headquarters in Fort Benning, Georgia, says the women and 94 men passed the tough 62-day course that tests their ability to overcome fatigue, hunger and stress during combat operations.


Pentagon: U.S. to increase drone use

drone use to expand by US- The number of U.S. military and intelligence daily drone flights will be increased by 50 percent in coming years, a senior Pentagon official said.

It is the first significant increase in drone use since 2011 and reflects the value of drones, for information-gathering as well as for lethal airstrikes, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Strikes by the unmanned aircraft have killed at least 3,000 people, non-governmental organizations have estimated.


Chelsea Manning denied access to legal library prior to prison hearing, she says

Chelsea ManningChelsea Manning, the soldier and Guardian columnist, has been denied access to a prison legal library days before a crucial hearing at which she will represent herself against charges including possession of unapproved reading material, according to a message posted to her official Twitter account at the weekend.

The hearing is part of a legal process that could result in indefinite solitary confinement for Manning, for reported violations that also include storing a tube of expired toothpaste in her military prison cell.


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