Saturday, June 18, 2016

July 4 to be subdued at US bases on Okinawa By Dave Omauer


Lt. Gen. John Nicholson

Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, commanding general III Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks with Stars and Stripes June 18, 2016 in his office at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan. Nicholson addressed the "Period of Unity and Mourning," training and his desire to earn the Okinawan people's trust.

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Expect a quiet July 4th weekend at U.S. bases on Okinawa as lingering fallout from the month-long period of unity and mourning for American troops, the island’s senior military leader said Saturday.

“It’s going to be subdued; no concerts, no fireworks,” said Marine Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commanding officer of III Marine Expeditionary Force and Okinawa area coordinator.

The mourning period, in response to the slaying of a 20-year-old Okinawa that police have linked to a U.S. civilian working at Kadena Air Base, ends next Saturday.

An extended curfew and a ban on buying and consuming alcohol off base also were imposed.

In consultation with military and consular leadership on island, “The decision was made that it’s (celebratory July 4th weekend) probably still too soon,” Nicholson said. “Once 4th of July is past, then we’ll ease back into” normal routines.

AmericaFest, which had been scheduled July 2 at Kadena and was to feature R&B singer Usher, was canceled days after the mourning period was announced, and the Futenma Flightline Fair has been postponed.

Will be updated

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Protesters on Okinawa scuffle with police at US base

NAGO, Japan: Angry Japanese protesters scuffled with police outside a US Marine base on Okinawa Friday ahead of a major weekend rally against the heavy American military presence on the southern island.

Under a scorching sun, about 30 demonstrators occupied part of a road outside Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa, obstructing trucks and cars leaving the facility for around 15 minutes before being forced to disperse.

Japanese policemen in navy blue pushed away the protesters — some of whom were lying on the floor — to let more than a dozen vehicles, some driven by US personnel in green uniforms, pass through.

Friday’s action came amid high tensions on the island two days before a major demonstration in the capital Naha against the US military. Tens of thousands are expected.

The demonstrators, a mostly elderly mix of Okinawans and supporters from other parts of Japan, chanted songs and held up placards reading “Don’t rape Okinawa,” “Close all bases” and “Marines out” as they condemned recent crimes linked to the US military and other base personnel.

They also called for the scrapping of plans by security allies the United States and Japanto build a new air facility off the coast from Camp Schwab so a Marine base in a heavily populated part of the island can be closed.

That controversial project is currently being held up by legal maneuvering, though Washington and Tokyo are vowing to press ahead.

“We have suffered for more than 70 years,” said Tomoyuki Kobashigawa, a 73-year-old retired Okinawan school teacher who joined the protest.

“We feel not only anger but also sadness,” Kobashigawa told Agence France-Presse, adding that the protesters are determined to see the removal of US bases from the island.

Okinawa was the site of a brutal World War II battle between Japan and the US but is now considered a strategic linchpin supporting their alliance.

The US occupied Okinawa for 27 years after the war ended, before it returned toJapanese control in 1972. Pacifist sentiment on the island, crowded with US bases, runs high.

More than half of the 47,000 American military personnel in Japan are stationed on Okinawa and rapes and other crimes by US service personnel have sparked major protests, drawing up to 100,000 people.

Earlier this month a former US Marine employed at the US Air Force’s sprawling Kadena Air Base was arrested for the alleged rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman.

“It’s not that we cannot live with American people, but we can never live with Americans staying here as military, which you see in Okinawa’s long history,” said Suzuyo Takazato, a female rights activist who participated in the demonstration. AFP

Panel urges ‘sincere discussions’ over Okinawa base relocation spat

A government panel tasked with helping resolve the dispute between the Okinawa and central governments over the relocation of a U.S. air base has refrained from taking sides and instead called on the parties to hold “sincere discussions.”

In a decision announced Friday, the panel did not rule on the legality of the government’s order to “correct” Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s revocation of approval for landfill works to build the new base.

The approval was granted by Onaga’s predecessor and revoked by Onaga in October.

Panel chief Mitsuo Kobayakawa said, “We thought issuing either a positive or negative judgment on the correction order will not be beneficial in helping the state and local governments create desirable relations.”

“The best way to resolve the (Futenma) issue is that the state and Okinawa Prefecture hold sincere discussions toward their common goal of a return (of the land used for the base)” to Japanese control, Kobayakawa also said.

Under a plan supported by the central government, U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is to be relocated from a crowded residential district in Ginowan to the less populated Henoko coastal area of Nago.

However, after Onaga was elected in November 2014 on a platform of opposing the Futenma relocation plan, the feud between the Okinawa and central governments intensified and spilled over into court last year.

The panel’s conclusion had been awaited as part of a mediated agreement made by the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court on March 4.

Based on the agreement, land minister Keiichi Ishii urged Onaga to “correct” his revocation on March 16. But Onaga refused and instead filed a complaint with the government panel on March 23.

The central government has maintained that the relocation plan is “the only solution” for removing the dangers posed by the base without undermining the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

Following the court-mediated settlement, the central government has suspended construction work related to the relocation.


World War One: Wales footballers who never came home


John Williams, Fred Griffiths, Lee Rouse, Bobby Atherton

About 20km (12.5 miles) south of Lens, where Wales play England in Euro 2016 is another foreign field, Arras.

In the western part of the town in the Faubourg-d'Amiens cemetery is a memorial to the missing: 35,000 soldiers who were killed in the last two years of World War One. Their bodies were never found but their names are inscribed, row by row.

Among them is that of the Welsh footballer James "Ginger" Williams. A hundred years ago this month, he was blown up by an exploding mine, aged 30.

Williams was at his peak as a footballer when war intervened in 1914. But he soon found himself occupying a very different front line to the one he was familiar with on the football field.

The game has changed a lot since the early 1900s but Wales fans might be familiar with the narrative: Energetic, journeymen footballers from lower rung clubs giving their all for the red shirt alongside a sprinkling of more gifted stars.

Williams was one such unremarkable footballer. A stocky forward, he played alongside fellow north Walian, Billy Meredith - one of the superstars of the early 20th Century - to win his two caps.

While he was not of Manchester United star Meredith's quality, Williams, from Buckley, had proved more than useful. He scored 58 goals for Crystal Palace in the Southern League, mostly as an inside forward.

His attitude to the game was reflected in his nickname - "the Palace terrier".

Busy and tenacious, when switched to centre forward, he scored five goals in a game against Southend at Sydenham in 1909 causing "as much surprise as delight" for the 7,000 crowd. As one local newspaper described it "Williams had fine support and was in his element".

Williams transferred across south London to Millwall but had only a few months at his new club when war was declared.

He was in the right place to become one of the first to join what became known as the Footballers' Battalion - the 17th, Middlesex Regiment.

This particular "pals" battalion was set against a background of growing criticism that matches were still being played, while young men were going off to war.

A cartoon encouraging footballers to join up, and queues at a London recruiting office in December 1914, when John Williams joined upImage copyrightIWM/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionA cartoon encouraging footballers to join up, and queues at a London recruiting office in December 1914, when John Williams joined up

Within four days of the launch at Fulham town hall in December 1914, Williams had added his name.

Recruitment posters were soon being displayed outside stadiums encouraging supporters to follow the players in joining up.

More than 120 players alone would sign up with the battalion by the following spring, and while training for war at home were given Saturdays off to play for their clubs.

Other Welshmen to enlist included Cardiff City's Fred Keenor, just 20, who would suffer a gunshot wound to his thigh at the Somme in July 1916.

He was one of the lucky ones. Keenor got to go home and resume a career that would see him lift the FA Cup in 1927 - Welsh club football's greatest triumph - and win 32 Wales caps.

Cardiff team-mate Lyndon Sandoe, a full back in his early 20s, became company sergeant major.

His honours on the front line would eclipse anything he ever managed on a football pitch.

Sandoe was decorated three times for gallantry, including a distinguished conduct medal for "splendid coolness and fearlessness at all times under intense fire of every description".

The destruction in Arras in 1916Image copyrightHULTON ARCHIVE
Image captionThe destruction in Arras in 1916
ArrasImage copyrightHULTON ARCHIVE
Image captionThe ruins in Arras in June 1916, the month John Williams died

James Williams's service record notes that stocky frame: 5ft 5ins tall and with a 37in waist. Eleven months after enlisting, he shipped across the France, leaving a three month old son Kenneth with his wife Sarah in New Cross.

The Arras memorial with John Williams (inset)Image copyrightPETER MACDIARMID/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe Arras memorial with John Williams (inset)

It appears Williams was seconded to the Royal Engineers in the spring of 1916 and died on 5 June. His body was never recovered but his name is there at Arras.

Palace and Millwall staged a benefit match for his widow and son.

His name is also on a plaque remembering Millwall players who died in the war; his family had a large photograph of "John Will," as they called him, wearing one of his Welsh caps on the wall.



Bobby Atherton, captain of cup-winning Hibernian in 1902, in the front row centre with the ballImage copyrightHIBERNIAN HISTORICAL TRUST
Image captionBobby Atherton, captain of cup-winning Hibernian in 1902, in the front row centre with the ball. The feat was not repeated by the club until this year

Robert "Bobby" Atherton. Born Bethesda, Gwynedd; nine caps for Wales, died 19 October 1917, aged 41.

An inside right, his clubs included Hibernian - he was captain and memorably lifted the Scottish Cup in 1902 and also led them to the league title. Retired from playing, Atherton moved back to Edinburgh, where he joined the Merchant Navy as a steward. The SS Britannia carrying iron bound for France was sunk by U-Boat in the English Channel with the loss of 22 crew.

Goalkeeper Fred Griffiths was killed in Flanders in 1917Image copyrightSTEWART WOODLAND
Image captionGoalkeeper Fred Griffiths was killed in Flanders in 1917

Frederick "Fred" John Griffiths. Born Presteigne, Powys; two caps for Wales. Killed 30 October 1917, aged 44.

A goalkeeper, he won both his Wales caps - against Scotland and England in 1900 - while playing for Blackpool. He went on to play for clubs including Preston and West Ham.

His great-grandson Stewart Woodland, who lives in Australia, has spent eight years researching Fred's story.

Fred was born in Harper Street in Presteigne, the son of a coal merchant and played for his local club and occasionally for Knighton.

Hs burly 6ft 2in, 15st physique saw him work part-time in the metal-working and blacksmithing industries before he launched himself into the world of professional football at the age of 21.

Stewart says Fred found himself playing for Tottenham Hotspur in an epic series of FA Cup ties against Southampton in 1901 but despite losing a second replay in a heavy snowstorm it was reported Fred's display was such he was carried "shoulder high" by supporters from the station afterwards.

Injury cut short his professional career at the age of 33 and he moved to Shirebrook in Derbyshire, where he helped train the local side. He also worked as a bar manager at the village's Station Hotel and by the outbreak of the war also had his own pork butchery business.

Fred Griffiths in uniform, his grave in Belgium and a memorial scrollImage copyrightSTEWART WOODLAND
Image captionFred Griffiths in uniform, his grave in Belgium and (inset) a memorial scroll

After joining up he rose to the rank of sergeant in the 15th Battalion Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment and was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele during the "big push".

Fred is buried in Dozinghem military cemetery, south of the village of Westvleteren in west Flanders, near the French frontier.

He left a widow Elizabeth and six children.

"The news of Fred's death caused general sorrow in Shirebrook, where 'Griff', as he was more intimately known, had a wide circle of friends," said Stewart.

Fred's granddaughter June Woodland has been to pay her respects.

"I feel so proud of him in all he achieved in his life and the ultimate sacrifice he gave," she said.

"It was such an emotional time when I went to visit his grave. I wish I had known him".


George Griffiths. Born Chirk, near Wrexham 1865; one cap for Wales; died 7 July 1918, aged 53.

Played for his local club Chirk - who were a strong amateur side, winning the Welsh Cup and producing 20 Welsh internationals around the turn of the 20th Century. Inside left Griffiths played for Wales once against Ireland in 1887, a 4-1 defeat.

A veteran of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, he was discharged from the Royal Army Service Corps in 1917 after an accident involving his knee - he already had signs of arthritis - and died at home in Lancashire a year later. He may also have suffered from the effects of gas but there is nothing on his Army medical record. Griffiths worked as a miner before the war and had eight children.


William James Jones. Born Penrhiwceiber, near Aberdare; four caps; died 6 May 1918, aged 41.

Became the first player from the South Wales League to represent Wales in 1901, while a player with Aberdare Athletic. He also played briefly for West Ham, then a Southern League club. He joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Tonypandy and was killed in Macedonia - now northern Greece. His body was not recovered but he is remembered on a memorial there.

Image captionRoose in goal for Woolwich Arsenal five years before his death

Leigh Richard Roose. Born Holt, near Wrexham; 24 caps; died 7 October 1916.

One of the most flamboyant personalities of his era - Roose made headlines on and off the pitch as a goalkeeper for clubs from Wrexham, Stoke City to Aston Villa. This son of a pacifist minister always wore the shirt of his old university Aberystwyth under his jersey. Ambitions to become a doctor were diverted by football and a love of the London life. Girlfriends included music hall star Marie Lloyd and he wore Savile Row suits. Roose once hired a train at huge expense to he could get to an away match in Birmingham on time.

He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and latterly the Royal Fusiliers, for whom he earned the Military Medal during his first engagement with them.

Roose's abilities as a goalkeeper to throw a ball it appears extended to grenades.

"Though nearly choked with fumes with his clothes burnt [he] refused to go to the dressing station," says the citation. "He continued to throw bombs until his arm gave out, and then, joining the covering party, used his rifle with great effect."

But just weeks later L/Cpl Roose was killed in the final stages of the first battle of the Somme at Gueudecourt, one of 190 dead or missing that day.

The Cardiff City committeeImage copyrightCARDIFF CITY FC
Image captionLord Ninian Crichton Stuart (in the bowler hat with the cigarette)

About 10 miles north of Lens, is another Welsh football connection with the war.

Although not a footballer, Lord Ninian Crichton Stuart at least had a claim to fame in that he was the first to kick a ball at Cardiff City's stadium in 1910.

The second son of the third Marquess of Bute had stood as a guarantor for £90 so Cardiff City could rent their new ground from the local authority.

He was an important figure in helping the then Riverside club move to grander surroundings and turn semi-professional.

Club historian Richard Shepherd said: "The club had agreed a lease with the corporation but had to find a number of benefactors - and these had to be in place for the start of the 1910/11 season," he said.

"One of the benefactors withdrew at the last minute and Lord Ninian offered to fill the gap. He was particularly well known in Cardiff and added a lot of credibility to the club."

Ninian Park was subsequently named after him and he was invited to ceremoniously kick off Cardiff's opening match with Aston Villa.

Once-Homeless World War II Veteran Gets Hero’s Send-Off Thanks To 200 Strangers

Live Piracy Map - See Incident Map

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Security advisory-Update on piracy reporting changes in the Gulf of Guinea and closure of MTISC GoG



Further to the security advisory issued on 7 June 2016 on the possibility of the Maritime Trade and Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG) Pilot closure and its transfer to a UK/French operation please see the update below .

BIMCO remains confident that this will be a further improvement to GOG reporting based upon the lessons learnt to date. Members should read the following announcement and act accordingly.

BIMCO will update and make available online a revised version of the Round Table guidance entitled “ Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Masters for protection against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region” in order to reflect the below.
“An update on the Gulf of Guinea

1. Following on from an announcement by OCIMF on the 5th June, which stated that:

“MTISC-GoG will close following the successful conclusion of the Pilot Project before the end of June 2016”.

Over the past months, together with key stakeholders, OCIMF has been carefully reviewing the outcomes of the MTISC-GoG pilot project with the aim of establishing a sustainable reporting programme.

French and UK authorities, taking into account their own experience and the role of MTISC-GoG in the region, have decided to offer a new contribution to the maritime information network in the Gulf of Guinea. This will support the Yaoundé process and be in place by the end of June.

The MTISC-GOG will close and its Centre in Accra will cease operations but its mission and its network will survive by supporting FR-UK cooperation and reinforcing its insertion into the Yaoundé process.”

2. The Royal Navy thanks OCIMF and the staff of MTISC-GoG for this pilot project which has worked towards improving the flow of information in the Gulf of Guinea.

3. Following a long tradition of supporting commercial trade and the safety of the mariner, the Royal Navy is pleased to announce that on the 15th June, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, Royal Navy and Admiral Bernard Rogel, French Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work together more closely in the Gulf of Guinea with the aim of improving the flow of information in support of the Yaoundé code of conduct. This agreement also included the provision for the Royal Navy and French Navy to work together on a new initiative called the Maritime Domain Awareness Trade-GoG (MDAT-GoG).

4. The MDAT-GoG is a virtual reporting mechanism supporting the interregional architecture defined by the Yaoundé code of conduct. All merchant vessels within the VRA are encouraged to report to it using the formats supplied. The key output from the MDAT-GoG is to contribute to maintain a coherent maritime situational awareness picture in the central and Western African maritime space, with the ability to inform and support industry, contributing to the safety of the mariner.

5. All information received is treated with strict confidentiality and is used to improve the safety of the seafarer and to ensure maritime trade.

6. The role of the MDAT-GoG is similar to the model employed in the Indian Ocean: MTO-Dubai.

7. Reporting to the MDAT-GoG is encouraged by all vessels regardless of flag registry or crew nationality from the 20th June 2016. Until this date vessels should continue to report to MTISC-GoG.

8. A revised Maritime Security chart published by UKHO and SHOM will be available in English and French in late June.

9. Further information is available from the UKHO website and from maritime trade bodies as well as via NAVTEX and UKHO Notice to Mariners.

10. No decision has yet been taken on operating a GoG MarSy website.

Elon Musk Tweets Video of SpaceX Rocket's Crash Landing - ABC News

Atlas 5 rocket gains approval to launch again after issue on last flight diagnosed By Justin Ray

The Atlas 5 rocket streaks to space on March 22. Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now

The Atlas 5 rocket streaks to space on March 22. Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now

CAPE CANAVERAL — United Launch Alliance has granted “flight clearance” for its workhorse Atlas 5 rocket to resume satellite deployments after linking an errant valve with the fuel usage crunch on its most recent mission and tweaking subsequent vehicles.

The next launch is targeted for Friday, June 24, to haul into space the Navy’s fifth and final planned mobile communications satellite for its new rugged smartphone communications network.

The craft was mated to the Atlas-Centaur vehicle on Monday.

The last launch of the Atlas 5 on March 22 carrying a commercial Cygnus resupply freighter for the International Space Station experienced an oxidizer-rich blend of fuel flowing to the main engine. That led to the stage running out of liquid oxygen and shutting down the first stage about six seconds prematurely.

The Centaur upper stage compensated for the shortfall, improvising by using its propellant reserves and burning more than a minute longer than envisioned to put the 16,500-pound Cygnus spacecraft into a 143-mile-high orbit as planned.

Launch success was achieved and the payload reached the International Space Station to drop off its 7,000 pounds of cargo for the astronauts. Cygnus departed the station just yesterday.

But it was a close call and prompted ULA to pause its Atlas 5 manifest to determine what transpired.

“Thanks to the robust vehicle system design of Atlas 5, the OA-6 mission was delivered successfully to its intended orbit and Cygnus completed its mission to the ISS,” Gary Wentz, ULA’s vice president of Human and Commercial Systems, said in a statement yesterday.

“ULA applied a rigorous anomaly review process to identify and implement all necessary corrective actions to ensure we continue to reliably deliver critical capabilities for our customers with 100 percent mission success.”

An artist's depiction of the first stage separating from Centaur during the Cygnus launch. Credit: ULA
An artist’s depiction of the first stage separating from Centaur during the Cygnus launch. Credit: ULA

The RD-180 engine propelling the rocket off the launch pad was supposed to burn for four minutes and 16 seconds. The problem, however, led to liquid oxygen depletion and early engine cutoff.

Telemetry beamed back from the rocket during the launch revealed that at T+plus 3 minutes and 42 seconds, an unexpected shift in fuel pressure differential across the RD-180 Mixture Ratio Control Valve.

The misbehaving valve governing the ratio of RP-1 kerosene fuel and liquid oxygen feeding the engine caused a reduction in fuel flow to the combustion chamber and resulted in an oxidizer-rich mixture of propellants.

“The imbalanced propellant consumption rate resulted in depletion of the first stage oxidizer with significant fuel remaining at booster engine shutdown,” officials said yesterday.

The first stage was loaded with 48,800 gallons of supercold liquid oxygen during the countdown and 25,000 gallons of a highly-refined kerosene fuel the day before flight.

In the wake of the Cygnus launch, a “minor” change to the MRCV assembly has been implemented to ensure the anomaly does not occur on future flights. Details about the change are proprietary.

Engine hot-fire testing, extensive component and assembly level testing and analyses have been performed to confirm the findings, ULA said.

“Detailed inspections and minor hardware replacement on all engines will support the current launch manifest,” the company said.

The next flight will use the most-powerful Atlas 5 configuration with five side-mounted solid motors to lift the 15,000-pound Mobile User Objective System satellite No. 5 into a highly elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit stretching 22,300 miles high.

The rocket recently completed its initial build up at Cape Canaveral’s Vertical Integration Facility and was fitted with the MUOS satellite on Monday.

Already enclosed in the 18-foot-diameter nose cone, the satellite was delivered to the VIF at Complex 41 early in the morning from its processing facility in Titusville.

An overhead crane hoisted the spacecraft atop the two-stage launcher and workers secured it for the ride into orbit next week.

The finished product is a rocket standing 206 feet tall and will deliver two-and-a-half million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

With the inspections and hardware re-work now complete on that rocket, the final reviews into the anomaly were performed and flight clearance was granted to launch MUOS 5 on June 24.

“We would like to thank our customers and supplier partners for their outstanding collaboration in the detailed review of this anomaly,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA’s vice president of Custom Services.

“We are honored to be entrusted with delivering America’s most critical space assets to orbit and appreciate the outstanding team effort in delivering 100 percent mission success – one launch at a time.”

An artist's concept of MUOS 5 in orbit. Credit: Navy
An artist’s concept of MUOS 5 in orbit. Credit: Navy

The launch window on June 24 extends from 10:30 to 11:14 a.m. EDT (1430-1514 GMT) to place MUOS 5 into orbit to realize the Navy’s five-satellite, global network for voice, data and video communications to military users on the move.

After MUOS, the Atlas lineup for the rest of 2016 includes:

July 28 — Atlas 5-421 (AV-065) / NROL-61
(Period: 8 a.m.-12 noon EDT)
Cape Canaveral, Florida

Sept. 8 — Atlas 5-411 (AV-067) / OSIRIS-REx
(Window: 7:05-9:05 p.m. EDT)
Cape Canaveral, Florida

Sept. 15 — Atlas 5-401 (AV-062) / WorldView 4
(Window: 11:30-11:44 a.m. PDT)
Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Oct. 3 — Atlas 5-401 (AV-066) / SBIRS GEO Flight 3
Cape Canaveral, Florida

Nov. 4 — Atlas 5-541 (AV-069) / GOES-R
(Time: 5:40 p.m. EDT)
Cape Canaveral, Florida

Dec. 1 — Atlas 5-401 (AV-068) / NROL-79
Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Dec. 8 — Atlas 5-431 (AV-071) / EchoStar 19
Cape Canaveral, Florida

“We remain on plan to launch all of our manifested 2016 missions within the year,” Maginnis said.

See earlier Cygnus OA-6 coverage.

See earlier MUOS 5 coverage.

Our Atlas archive.


Cockpit Voice Recorder from Crashed Egypt Air Plane Retrieved By Reuters

The French Navy's survey vessel Laplace (A 793) picked up pings from EgyptAIr File photo: French Navy

By Lin Noueihed and Ahmed Aboulenein CAIRO, June 16 (Reuters) – The cockpit voice recorder from EgyptAir flight MS804 has been retrieved by search teams in a breakthrough for investigators seeking to explain what caused the plane to crash into the sea killing all 66 people on board. The Airbus A320 plunged into the Mediterranean […]

The post Cockpit Voice Recorder from Crashed EgyptAir Plane Retrieved appeared first on gCaptain.

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Subsea Explorers Mapping Legendary Andrea Doria Shipwreck By Mike Schuler

The Andrea Doria before capsizing and sinking in the Atlantic Ocean, July 26, 1956. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

For the first time ever, a team of underwater explorers have captured detailed close-up sonar images of the legendary Andrea Doria nearly 60 years after its sinking off the coast of Nantucket. The sonar images are being collected by a team from OceanGate, an ocean exploration company, which has launched the first manned submersible dives […]

The post Subsea Explorers Mapping Legendary Andrea Doria Shipwreck appeared first on gCaptain.

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10 JUNE 2016 Pragmatism, principle, and the North Korean dilemma Shen D

Shen Dingli

In the aftermath of India's 1998 nuclear weapons test, the Clinton administration realized that India would be unwilling to abandon its nuclear weapons program any time soon. So it crafted a "cap, roll back, eliminate" strategy theoretically aimed at eventual elimination of all Indian nuclear weapons. It is time to adopt a realist perspective toward North Korea and apply the same formula there.

As my roundtable colleagues concur, North Korea can't be denuclearized through sanctions. It can't be denuclearized through military action. No one can "buy" the North's arsenal by extending economic benefits to Pyongyang. So the only realistic approach is to talk to Pyongyang—if not to eliminate North Korea's nuclear arsenal at the moment, at least to limit it at current levels. With luck, the North might be willing to reduce its arsenal over time. Eventually it might even give up its nuclear weapons entirely.

In the North Korean context, "capping" would actually amount to nuclear arms control. "Rolling back" would mean nuclear disarmament—no matter whether the disarmament turned out to be total or incomplete. To be sure, nations negotiating with Pyongyang would insist on a phased program whereby, later on, arms control would turn into disarmament. Without that, they would appear unprincipled. But at this stage, North Korea might be pleased to see the outside world replace nuclear disarmament with nuclear arms control as its immediate policy objective. Pyongyang might view reduced disarmament pressure as a preliminary policy success. And it might even see some appeal in joining a regime for nuclear arms control—as long as it could trade its participation for bread. Indeed, when Pyongyang committed to a limited nuclear no-first-use policy at its Congress of the Workers' Party in May, it provided some evidence that it wishes to be perceived as a responsible nuclear stakeholder.

Conservatives in the United States and elsewhere, of course, would resist any phased program that included concessions. The Indian example only hardens their insistence that nuclear disarmament must precede any deal with the North. India, to many observers, has gotten everything it wanted from the United States without really capping and rolling back its nuclear arsenal. Just this week, Prime Minister Modi visited Washington—marking the fourth time he has traveled to the United States since he took office in 2014. India received a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2008; now, with US support, New Delhi is reportedly joining the Missile Technology Control Regime and is moving closer to membership in the NSG. New Delhi and Washington recently negotiated a preliminary agreement on logistics exchanges that, if concluded, will allow each country access to supplies, parts, and services from the other's military facilities. So yes, Washington's behavior toward India has been unprincipled, and this has confirmed Pyongyang's conviction that it should play the nuclear card to the fullest extent possible rather than ever relinquish that card. But when conservatives demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons as a precondition for negotiations and aid, they only stand in the way of a grand bargain—whereby North Korea's nuclear arsenal would be capped or rolled back and Pyongyang's relations with the rest of the world would improve.

Obviously, engaging North Korea in order to mitigate the nuclear threat is destined to be most challenging. But that's no reason not to give engagement a try. Especially when alternatives don't exist.

Launch Viewing for ULA MUOS-5 Watch the launch June 24 | 10:30 am

Rocket Launch

Launch Viewing for ULA MUOS-5
Watch the launch June 24 | 10:30 am

Watch the ULA Atlas V rocket launch on June 24, 2016, at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex! The Atlas V will carry the MUOS-5 satellite for the U.S. Navy.

Rocket Launch Location

Launch viewing opportunities for MUOS-5 are available at the LC-39 Observation Gantry, Apollo/Saturn V Center and the main visitor complex with bleacher seating and launch commentary.

Launch Viewing/Transportation Tickets to LC-39 Observation Gantry are available for $49, in addition to daily admission.
Tickets for LC-39 are available online and by calling 855-475-8415.
Buy LC-39 Observation Gantry Tickets

Launch Viewing/Transportation Tickets to the Banana Creek Viewing Area at Apollo/Saturn V Center are available for $20 in addition to daily admission.
Tickets for Apollo/Saturn V Center are available online and by calling 855-475-8415.
Buy Apollo/Saturn V Center Tickets

Main visitor complex viewing is located next to Space Shuttle Atlantis®and included with daily admission.

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