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VA suicide hotline workers ripped for failing vets

Suicide hotline failing vetsMore than a third of troubled veterans are not getting through to the best trained suicide-hotline staffers because of poor work habits at the Department of Veteran's Affair's call center, according to VA emails obtained by USA TODAY.

Some workers handle only one to five calls each day and leave before their shifts end even though phone lines have gotten busier, the emails say. As a result, 35% to 50% of the calls roll over to back-up centers where workers have less training to deal with the emotional problems of former servicemembers.

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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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CIA weapons for Syrian rebels funneled onto black markets: report

CIA weapons end up on black marketWeapons shipped to the Middle East by the CIA to arm Syrian rebels have systematically landed on the black market in Jordan, a new report finds.

An investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera found that millions of dollars worth of arms sent to Jordan intended for U.S.-backed Syrian groups were routinely stolen in a scheme by Jordanian operatives.

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Pentagon To Repeal Ban On Transgender Troops

Transgender ban lifted in militaryThe Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on openly serving transgender service members next month, U.S. defense officials said.

The repeal would come five years after a 2011 decision to end the U.S. military’s ban on gays and lesbians serving openly, despite fears - which proved unfounded - that such a move would be too great a burden in wartime and would undermine readiness.

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2 U.S. Marines under investigation for Facebook threat to gay bars

2 US Marines under investigation for threat to gay bars- Two U.S. Marines in California are under investigation for allegedly making threats on social media against gay bars.

The Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said Thursday that it is looking into a photo posted to a Facebook group called Camp MENdleton Resale, which advertises itself as a private forum for 25,000 male troops and veterans.

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Air Force has lost 100,000 inspector general records

Air Force has lost 100,000 recordsThe Air Force announced on Friday that it has lost thousands of records belonging to the service's inspector general due to a database crash.

"We estimate we've lost information for 100,000 cases dating back to 2004," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told The Hill in an email.

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U.S. Navy admiral pleads guilty in bribery case

Robert GilbeauA U.S. Navy rear admiral pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of lying to federal investigators, making him the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in the expanding "Fat Leonard" bribery case.

Robert Gilbeau, 55, a special assistant to the chief of the Navy Supply Corps, appeared in U.S. District Court in San Diego late Thursday afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer and a fluffy white dog he said helped him monitor his health.

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