[Daily Mail] A US Army Lieutenant who deserted to join the French Foreign Legion has been jailed for four years following a court martial. Second Lieutenant Lawrence Franks, 28, graduated in second place from West Point military academy in 2008 before deserting the following year.
Lt Franks vanished from Fort Drum in New York state in 2009 and despite a massive search of nearby woods, there was no sign of any body. He's no longer suicidal, currently 3-3 in French, and a master chef with book deal pending. Not bad for a second place USAMA cadet.
Had he gone off to Canada and smoked pot for a few years, we could be seeing a presidential request for pardon from Plains, GA. Ripping up your draft card and carting off to Canada is much preferred.
You are wrong. Shipman. Once you are in no questions are asked but before that you have to tell the Legion everything about you and hiding something is definitely a bad idea. Don't know how it was in former decades but nowdays Foreign Legion does not accept murderers and does not accept rapers. I hold it from a Major from the Foreign Legion.
I'm a grad who was thirty years senior to this guy.
The US Government spent a lot of money on this guy's education. A LOT. He owed the country repayment of his education.
From the sounds of things, he was pretty unbalanced, mentally. It may have been for the better that he never led US troops in combat.
In any case, he will now do four years hard time as a private at Leavenworth. That is still not giving the US value in return for its considerable investment in his education.
Once he has served his time, he should be left to carve his own path - as a convicted felon.
Three of his classmates - all First Lieutenants - have been killed in action during the global war on terror (see http://www.westpointaog.org/inmemoriam?chid=239 - the USMA Class of 2004 took the biggest hit, with 12 KIA thus far).
The real test of this guy's character will unfold ten and more years down the road. What can he make of himself? In his USMA photo, the gold stars on his collar meant that he graduated in the top 5% of his class academically - which translates to very exceptional academic skills.
The only credit I will give him is that he turned himself in, to face the music.
[LaeVelder] Sweden asked the United Nations on Monday to reopen an inquiry into the mysterious death more than 50 years ago of secretary general Dag Hammarskjold, citing new evidence and a need to close “an open wound.” "New evidence" from where? ..... Ah yes. Any bets on where this is headed ?
In other news, it has recently been discovered that Olifant tanks of a rogue apartheid regime were armed with anti-aircraft missiles from rogue Jewish State of Israel, all secretly funded by the racist American intelligence services.
The Ugandan army said Tuesday that nearly 1,000 former M23 rebels had escaped from a camp just before their scheduled repatriation to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The army's chief spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Ankunda, said the fighters cited security fears as their reason for not returning to the DRC.
Ankunda, communicating via Twitter, said the Ugandan government was looking for the escaped fighters.
Earlier in the day, Bertrand Bisimwa, civilian head of M23, said the fighters had fled as trucks arrived at the Bihanga military camp to take them to an airbase, where they would be airlifted to the DRC. He said some of the fighters had been shot and wounded during their escape.
A number of M23 fighters ended up in Uganda last year after the Congolese army drove the rebels from their strongholds in Congo's North Kivu province.
[DAWN] The United States on Wednesday announced a "historic" thaw in relations with Cuba, saying it would work to re-establish diplomatic ties with Havana and ease long-standing trade and travel sanctions.
Washington will re-establish an embassy in Havana "in the coming months," a senior administration official said after a prisoner exchange between the two countries.
US President Barack Obama I inhaled. That was the point... was due to make a policy announcement at the White House shortly after noon (1700 GMT). Cuban President Compañero Raul Castro ...Fidel's little brother... was set to make a speech at the same time.
The pair spoke on Tuesday to discuss the plans for the release of US national Alan Gross and three Cubans held in the United States in exchange for a "US intelligence asset," the official said.
"The president also made clear his intent to pursue these policy changes but also to continue our advocacy for human rights ...which often include carefully measured allowances of freedom at the convenience of the state... in Cuba," the officials said.
The United States imposed a trade embargo against Cuba ‐ the Cold War foe closest to its shores ‐ in 1960 and the two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1961.
While I have no sympathy for the Castro brothers, or their old friend Che, I think it is the height of hypocrisy that we give communist China preferential treatment at the same time we treat Cuba like a pariah.
This may not be a popular Rantburg sentiment, but overall I think this is a good move. It certainly backs Putin and Venezuela into a corner. Commerce is always good. More importantly, this should improve pitching in MLB.
Starting to remind me of the Jummy Carter abandenment of the Panama Canal treaty to China control.
Step one trading Taliban terrorists for a deserter, step two sending 5 more akbars to Uruguay, step three wringing hands over the DiF screed on torture to justify more 'humanitarian' releases, step four 'normalize' relations with Cuba, and step 5 would be closing Gitmo followed by a good will gesture giving it back to Cuba and repenting Americas past Imperialism winning the Spanish/American War.
Which Bacardi becomes the real rum? The current family's product or the cuban state industrial product?
Also, resorts int owned the large (c-word) houses of gaming in Havana. At that time it was 1/3 Meyer Lansky (Murder Inc.), 1/3 Howard Hughes, 1/3 CIA. The CIA is still here so would they be owners of record?
I have no problem with this. For a very long time I've believed green backs would crumble the Castors control. Cubans will run with the ball once they have one. The embargo has been stubborn hubris for the last 50 years.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam ||
I still remember Oct 1963 I was 8 years old, living on KI Sawyer a SAC base in Michigan. To us duck and cover meant something, also we had a fully stocked bomb shelter under the Gym. Russian ICBMs were so inaccurate that we might have survived.
On second glance this is much less than appears. Uncontrolled tourism still not allowed, must be in one of the 12 approved groups. $400 bring back but limit is still $100 on rum and smokes. The embassy is the main change, gonna take awhile to find one, think the old one was turned into an anti-imperialist museum?
For a map, click here. You can enlarge the map, if you open it separately.
By Chris Covert
Even though both sides of the civil war in Ukraine have boasted several days of silence, fighting started anew in areas north and northwest of Lugansk, according to Russian and English language news reports.
Russian military blogger Colonel Cassad reported that both the Ukrainian Army and the Donbas rebels have been fighting near Stanitsa Luganskaya over the past day or so. The engagements have been the result of both sides attempting to send out armed recon patrols into the other's area of operation.
Stanitsa Luganskaya was the site of fighting between the combatants since early December, as rebel forces have attempted to establish a bridgehead over the Northern Donetsk River. Other areas straddling or near the river have also seen fighting, including the Ukrainian bridgehead at Schastye. Today's fighting has been the heaviest in almost a week.
According to the report, artillery fire was also exchanged near Stanitsa Luganskaya, but most of the damage took place because both sides built up forces in contact. Losses were not reported.
Losses in materiel for the Ukrainians included two 120mm self propelled mortars, three 122mm towed artillery and two prime movers. Damaged equipment included three 2S3 self propelled artillery vehicles and two tanks.
Losses for the rebels in materiel include three 82mm mortars, one prime mover and one armored personnel carrier.
The day before in Olkhovoye, west of Stanitsa Luganskaya, both sides also fought.
Losses for the Ukrainian Army include five killed, 12 wounded, one infantry fighting vehicle and three prime movers.
For the rebels losses included three dead, 15 wounded, one 23mm AAA artillery truck and one mortar. According to a report from the pro rebel Voice of Sevastopol, "...four houses on the outskirts of Olkhovoye were damaged, there were no victims among the civilian population..."
Both sides over the last day or so have reported shelling of the town of Slavyanoserbsky by rebel artillery. Only two weeks ago rebel forces occupied the town, which is just south of the Northern Donetsk River. Slavyanoserbsky is just seven kilometers west of the Ukrainian bridgehead at Schastye, and was the site of a rebel operation to encircle Schastye.
Schastye itself has been the site of numerous attempts by rebel forces to eject Ukrainian forces, all to no avail.
Ukrainian military media has reported very little on the fighting along the river, except to say that rebel attempts to push across the river have been driven back.
Also, according to a report by Ukrainian military journalist Dmitri Tymchuk, rebel forces have been moving "up to" 30 T-64 and T-72 tanks and self propelled artillery pieces into the area of T1303, which had been previously occupied by Ukrainian police units.
Chris Covert writes about foreign military issues for Rantburg.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read past articles about the 2014 war in southeastern Ukraina by clicking here.
“And I’m you’re mother,” Joy continued as both brothers flinched. “And I disagree that all families are like ours. I don’t know many families that are fighting at Thanksgiving. I was very glad that this Thanksgiving was a year that you two were supposed to go to your in-laws. And I’m hoping you’ll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas. I would really like a peaceful Christmas.”
[DAWN] A Pakistain Moslem League (PML-Q) politician was bumped off over what the police said a land dispute on Tuesday.
Chaudhry Sarwar contested elections from PP-14 Rawalpindi in 2013 and had a property office at Ghauri Town.
The Kural police said Mr Sarwar was attacked by gunnies riding in a car when he reached the gate of Ghauri Town. He received seven bullets and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim!
The police said the dear departed lived at Soan Garden and was working on some projects, including the construction of a plaza at Khanna.
The police said Mr Sarwar had a dispute over a piece of land and received frequent life threats.
"We have some clues about the killers and are working to arrest them," the police said. The police described the suspect as an influential personality of the city but did not disclose his name.
A police official on the condition of anonymity told Dawn that Mr Sarwar had requested the police to provide him security. However, a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth... the request was not taken seriously, he added.
[DAWN] The Church of England on Wednesday named the first female bishop in its 500-year history, promoting saxophone-playing, soccer-loving vicar Libby Lane to bishop of Stockport.
The announcement came five months after the church ended a long and divisive ...politicians call things divisive when when the other side sez something they don't like. Their own statements are never divisive, they're principled... dispute by voting to allow women to serve as bishops.
Lane, who called her promotion "an unexpected joy," made her first act as bishop leading a prayer for the victims of the Taliban school massacre in Pakistain.
"I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment," she said.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who succeeded where his predecessors failed in elevating women to church leadership, said he was "absolutely delighted" by the appointment.
Prime Minister David Cameron ... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ... called it "an historic appointment and an important step forward for the Church towards greater equality in its senior positions."
Lane was ordained in 1994, one of the first women to become a Church of England priest; her husband is also an Anglican priest. Her biography on the website of the Church of St. Peter's Hale, where she currently serves, says her interests include "learning to play the saxophone, supporting Manchester United, reading and doing cryptic crosswords."
The 80 million-strong global Anglican Communion, whose members range from conservative evangelicals to supporters of gay marriage, has long been divided on the role of women in church leadership.
The Episcopal Church in the United States was the first member to have a woman serve as bishop and is now led by a woman.
The Church of England's national assembly, the General Synod, voted for the measure in July after a previous attempt two years earlier had failed. Lane is to be ordained next month as a junior, or suffragan, bishop.
[Ynet] NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, has detected spikes of methane in the planet's atmosphere. That suggests something is producing or venting the scientifically tantalizing gas, but no one knows what.
Most of Earth's atmospheric methane comes from animal and plant life, and the environment itself. So the Martian methane raises the question of past or present microbial life. Or the gas elevations could come from geological sources, comet impacts or something else entirely.
The latest study, released Tuesday by the journal Science, indicates there's less than half the expected amount of methane in the atmosphere around Curiosity's location in Gale Crater. But over a full Martian year, the rover measured fairly frequent occurrences of elevated methane levels - tenfold increases.
With all your scatological insight, what exactly is a fart? Is it, as some surmise, a burp gone wrong? Is it a relative of the hiccup? The sneeze? And is it not healthier to vent oneself than to squelch? --Phillip S., Chicago
Your question comes at an opportune moment--I've just been reading up on the subject in the Harvard Medical School Health Letter. Harvard is a veritable gold mine when it comes to flatulence.
Intestinal gas, we learn, is made up mostly of five gases: nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane. The first two you get from swallowing air during eating, while the last three are generated in the large intestine. From this we may deduce that burps and belches, which emanate from the stomach, consist mostly of air. Hiccups and sneezes, of course, are wholly unrelated.
Hydrogen and carbon dioxide are produced by bacteria nibbling on undigested food in the colon. The noble bean, for instance, contains complex sugars that cannot be broken down by the body's digestive juices. Upon arriving in the colon, these sugars are set upon vigorously by the resident microbes, and the resultant fermentation produces the cheerful calliope effect celebrated in such cinematic masterworks as Blazing Saddles.
Methane, another digestive byproduct, is responsible for the unique blue flame that has absorbed the attentions of college freshmen for generations. It is recommended, incidentally, that persons contemplating experiments in this line wear fireproof undies when doing so. Unca Cecil speaks from experience.
I might further mention that a friend of mine, who has reason to worry, has inquired whether there are any cases on record of persons who have exploded as a result of smoking in bed after a hearty bean barbecue. To date I have not been able to find any. However, internal detonations supposedly have resulted from the incautious use of an electrocautery device inside the bowel. The eating of beans before surgery, therefore, is definitely contraindicated.
Interestingly, the characteristic fragrance of the fart is produced not by any of the aforementioned gases but by "minute amounts of volatile chemicals formed by bacterial metabolism of residual protein and fat," we read here. Persons whose flatulence is especially memorable in this regard may be suffering from dietary maladjustment. For example, people with lactase deficiency who drink a lot of milk are said to be able to produce a gas of near-lethal impact.
Other foods that may produce farts of unusual pungency include broccoli, onions, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, and raw apples. Don't those seem like the ideal salad ingredients for an eventful sorority lunch?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.