Last WWI Veteran Dies


Last WWI combat veteran dies in Australia

Claude Choules, born in Britian-born sailor, served in the Royal Navy in WWI at 14 years old.  After fighting in WWI he moved to Perth, Australia where he joined the Australian Royal Navy as a demolitions officer.  He fought in this capacity in WWII for the Allies.  There is believed to be only one other surviving WWI vet, Britain’s Florence Green, but he served in a non-combat capacity; he is 110.  Choules did publish a book titled The Last of the Last shortly before he passed away in his sleep.

Source: ABC News

Narrative of Choules Life

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US Pressures Isreal to Release Money

Tony Blair meets with Palestini Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

Secratary of State Hillary Clinton and British envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair are pressuring Isreal to release tax money they are withholding from Palestine.  Apparently the Isreali Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, decided to withhold the money that Isreal collects on behalf of Palestine on his own accord.  Isreal has agreements with Palestine over the money and would be breaking international law by not releasing it.  Steinitz reportedly has backing from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, but both the Defense Minister and Foreign Ministry are reportedly outraged that Steinitz did not consult them on the diplomatic and security aspects.

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American Aljazeera Journalist Imprisoned in Syria

May 4, 2011 1 comment

Dorothy Parvaz, an Aljazeer journalist has gone missing in Syria

Dorothy Parvaz, an Aljazeera journalist has not been heard from since she landed in Damascas, Syria on Friday.  She departed from Quatar to Syria to cover the rising protests in the country.  Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, demanding the Syrian government look into Parvaz’s disapperance.

Parvaz has citizenships in America, Canada, and Iran.  She graduated from the University of British Columbia and went on to get higher education in America.  She worked previously at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and joined Aljezeera in 2010.  Presidents from here colleges have called on Syrian to release her immediately, such as Richard Evans, the president of Wolfson College.

“It is with great concern that we learn that Dorothy Parvaz, […] a former Press Fellow of Wolfson College, has gone missing in Syria and is currently unaccounted for. […] we are anxious about her safety and well-being. We call on the Syrian authorities to respect press freedom, to guarantee Dorothy’s safety and to enable her to discharge the duties for which she has trained so assiduously.”

Source: Aljazeera English

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War Crimes Pending Against Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi is facing war crimes from the International Criminal Court.  The ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the UN that he will be pursuing charges against the three most responsible individuals in the Libyan government for firing on innocent civilians.  The prosecutor said that he had proof of systematic rape, arrest, torture and killing of other civilians by Gaddaffi’s forces.  “War crimes are apparently committed as a matter of policy,” said the prosecutor during his investigation.

The prosecutor says he has eye-witnesses and documents supporting his claim in multiple cases.  Moreno-Ocampo is presenting his case in The Hague next month and is expected to announce the individuals being charges.  There are currently no specified defendants, but it is believed that Gaddaffi will be the number one and his brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi the intelligence chief is a likely number two.

Source: The Telegraph

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US Mistrusts Pakistan’s Intelligece Service

The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence has come out reporting that they were conducting operations in Abbottabad as early as 2004.  The ISI is accusing the US of disregarding information they had come across.  The intelligence agency claims that they were following Al Qaeda couriers which lead to the location of 3 safe houses in Abbottabad in 2003 or 04.  They are claiming that one of those safehouses could’ve been the one US forces raided on May 1.

US Department of Defense have shown satellite photos that clearly indicate the plot of land where Bin Laden lived was a field in 2004.  This comes after Islamabad has attempted to save face from the mounting pressure they are recieving on the internal and international levels.  They are being pushed to come up with evidence that they are making strides towards fighting terrorism.  US officials are saying they have heard nothing of the earlier operations.

US officials have reason to doubt ISI claims.  When the Taliban came to power in the 90’s in Afghanistan, they were backed by the ISI and have given them free rein moving across the border since.  India has accused the spy agency multiple times of orchestrating attacks against their country.  High ranking US officials such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen have previously accused the ISI of supporting the Taliban and of knowing Bin Laden’s location.

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F-15 Crew Shot Down Over Libya

Maj. Kenneth Harney returns home at RAF Lakenheath

And F-15 crew based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, England were recently deployed to Aviano Air Base in Italy in support of the No Fly Zone over Libya.  The two men, U.S. Air Force Maj. Kenneth Harney of Lexington, Kentucky, and Capt. Tyler Stark of Littleton, Colorado, encountered what the Air Force thinks was engine trouble over Libya.  Both safely ejected and landed on the ground.

On hitting the ground, Stark was found by Libyan civilians loyal to the rebels and took him into safety.  He was eventually brought back to Europe, the Air Force is not disclosing how.  When Harney hit the ground he was able to stay in contact with an F-16 overhead who called in a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel(TARP) team of Marines who immediately responded with a MV-22 Osprey.

“As that back door opened, I see a group of young Marine recon units jump out, and that was probably the best feeling I’ve ever felt in my entire life,” said the pilot.  Both pilots were returned to the US with “God Bless America” greeting them.

Source: CNN

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AFRICOM’s First Commander Steps Down

The recently established US Africa Command out of Stuttgart, Germany will is losing it’s first commander.  The creation of the new command significantly increases the United States’ reach into a continent often forgoten.  The command oversees all forces from all branches that operate in the continent.

Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward is ending his military career as the commander of the post.  He was commissioned and infantry officer as a 22 year old following his father’s career in WWII.  Ward will be replaced by Gen Carter Ham.

AFRICOM oversees a joint exercise by troops from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Sudan

Source: US Department of Defense

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