Trump Threatens America is Coming, Demands Still More Military Spending

The embattled and deeply unpopular US president on Saturday commissioned the USS Gerald R Ford, a twilight symbol of American military might in an age of Pentagon downsizing through the increased use of drones and artificial intelligence.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (August 31, 2016) An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738) off the coast of Florida. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs demonstration and shakedown operation certification process

In comments to assembled sailors and officials onboard the $13 billion warship, Trump took the opportunity to demand that Congress dramatically increase military spending, according to the Washington Times.

„We’re getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration,” the US president proclaimed, adding, „America is coming strong.”

The largest nuclear-powered military ship on the planet, the USS Ford is named for the 38th president, who is primarily remembered for succeeding US President Richard Nixon, after the latter resigned in a political scandal with marked similarities to the many ongoing federal investigations currently hampering Trump, his family and his advisors.

Calling on the US Congress to boost US military spending by ten percent, or about $45 billion, Trump suggested that the last ten years had affected American defense prowess — the most powerful and expensive military force on Earth by a wide margin — to the point of helplessness.

„Deferred maintenance, a lack of investment in new equipment and technology and a shortfall in military readiness,” has hamstrung a global force involved in multiple ongoing conflicts worldwide, the president suggested.

„It’s been a very, very bad period of time for our military,” Trump declared, cited by the Washington Times.

The US spends more money on its military then the next eight countries combined, while suffering from some of the lowest rates of healthcare effectiveness, highest rates of infant mortality and deepest resource inequality in the developed world.

Leading Veterans Organizations Call on Members of Congress to Defeat Unacceptable Choice Funding Legislation

Urge House to Work with Senate to Reach a Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement   

Joint Statement from AMVETS, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association (IAVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)   

As organizations who represent and support the interests of America’s 21 million veterans, and in fulfillment of our mandate to ensure that the men and women who served are able to receive the health care and benefits they need and deserve, we are calling on Members of Congress to defeat the House vote on unacceptable choice funding legislation (S. 114, with amendments) scheduled for Monday, July 24, and instead work with the Senate to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement.  

As we have repeatedly told House leaders in person this week, and in a jointly-signed letter on June 28, we oppose legislation that includes funding only for the “choice” program which provides additional community care options, but makes no investment in VA and uses “savings” from other veterans benefits or services to “pay” for the “choice” program. 

Veterans health care benefits have already been “paid for” through the service and sacrifice of the men and women who wore our nation’s uniform, millions of whom suffered injuries, illnesses and lifelong disabilities.  

In order to ensure that veterans can receive necessary care without interruption, we call on House leaders to take the time necessary to work together with Senate leaders to develop acceptable “choice” funding legislation that not only fills the current funding gap, but also addresses urgent VA infrastructure and resource needs that led to creation of the “choice” program in the first place.  

All of our organizations are committed to building a future veterans health care system that modernizes VA and integrates community care whenever needed so that enrolled veterans have seamless access to timely, quality care.  However, if new funding is directed only or primarily to private sector “choice” care without any adequate investment to modernize VA, the viability of the entire system will soon be in danger.  

We call on leaders in both the House and Senate to work together in good faith, and we remain committed to supporting such efforts, in order to quickly reach an agreement that ensures veterans health care is not interrupted in the short term, nor threatened in the long term.

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ICRC President Arrives in Yemen Amid 'Unprecedented' Cholera Outbreak

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Peter Maurer, the president of ICRC arrived in Yemen on Sunday as part of international efforts to prevent the spread of the „unprecedented” cholera outbreak in this war-torn country, the ICRC press service said.

„The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Yemen today as the country’s unprecedented cholera outbreak ravages an alarming – and growing — percentage of the population. ICRC experts expect the current number of suspected cholera cases to at least double by the end of 2017 to over 600,000 — or one in every 45 Yemenis,” the press release said.

According to the ICRC, the rapid spread of cholera has been caused by the countrywide destruction of sewage networks and water treatment stations with the health system unable to help those in need as less than 45 percent of Yemen’s medical facilities are operational. The current humanitarian situation may lead to the spread of other diseases, including malaria or dengue.

„The great tragedy is that this cholera outbreak is a preventable, man-made humanitarian catastrophe. It is a direct consequence of a conflict that has devastated civilian infrastructure and brought the whole health system to its knees. I find this needless suffering absolutely infuriating. The world is sleep-walking into yet more tragedy… Further deaths can be prevented, but warring parties must ease restrictions and allow the import of medicines, food and essential supplies,” Maurer said.

Women sit with relatives infected with cholera at a hospital in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen May 14, 2017
© REUTERS/ Abduljabbar Zeyad

During the five-day trip, Maurer will visit Aden, Taiz and capital Sanaa, where he will discuss the humanitarian situation with communities and officials on all sides of the conflict and urge all warring parties to provide unconditional and immediate access to people in need.

The health situation in the country is aggravated by the ongoing civil war, which erupted in 2015 between the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Shortly after the outbreak of the conflict, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries launched airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request.

The cholera outbreak in Yemen was announced by the country’s health authorities on October 6, 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 7.6 million Yemenis live in areas with a high risk of cholera transmission.

KCAA Radio Moves Main Studio from San Bernardino to Redlands, California

KCAA Radio has moved its main studios from the abandoned Carousel Mall in San Bernardino to new, state of the art facilities located at the Tri-City Center in Redlands, California.

KCAA Radio Moves Main Studio from San Bernardino to Redlands, California

Redlands, CA, July 22, 2017 –(PR.com)– According to Fred Lundgren, KCAA’s founder and CEO, „Our radio station is really ‚moving on up.'” Lundgren said, „We are excited to announce that KCAA is now broadcasting from the ‚Tri City Center’ in Redlands, California.”

Lundgren added, „The Tri City Center is known as ‚The Mall With A Heart’ due to its location, its high standards and its ethical business model.”

KCAA’s new 3,000 square foot media center was formerly the military recruiting headquarters for the Inland Empire, and as such, the studio is fully equipped with state of the art infrastructure including fiber optic internet connectivity at 500 by 500 megs per second.

For the first time, KCAA will have two talk studios and two production suites, so broadcasters will have plenty of time and space to prepare for their shows.

Also, for the first time, KCAA will have the ability to produce multiple shows at one time. This will accommodate „internet only” shows.

KCAA broadcasts on 1050 AM, 102.3 FM and 106.5 FM from three transmitter sites which are strategically located for maximum coverage.

KCAA is also providing studio space to non commercial station KQLH 92.5 LPFM, licensed to Yucaipa, California.

Therefore, a total of four signals are originating from KCAA’s new media center.

Lundgren concluded, „We are now in a position to provide a wide variety of audio and video broadcast services to our advertisers and programmers on a la carte basis.”

The new studio is located at 1378 Industrial Park Ave. in Redlands, California.

See New Studio

President Trump Commissions USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

NORFOLK (NNS) — President Donald J. Trump commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at a commissioning ceremony July 22.

A commissioning is a day of celebration, and honors the dedication, team work, and collaboration of Sailors, legislators, shipbuilders, program managers, and the ship’s sponsor in delivering the ship to the fleet.

Trump landed on the flight deck in Marine One and was greeted by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and USS Gerald R. Ford Commanding Officer Capt. Rick McCormack.

Over 10,000 friends and family members attended the event, watching the festivities from the hangar bay, the pier and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

Distinguished members of the party offered remarks to honor the occasion.

Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming and America is coming strong,” said Trump. „Our true strength is our people. Our greatest weapon is all of you. Our nation endures because we have citizens who love America and who are willing to fight for America.”

He continued, „We are so very blessed with warriors who are willing to serve America in the greatest fighting force in history, the United States military. Today this ship officially begins its role in the noble military history of our great nation.”

Stackley also addressed the crowd.

„So skipper, as we marvel at the technology and the daunting numbers that measure this ship, never lose sight that in times of crisis, you will be the first to respond, and when called upon, you will deliver the final word in the bidding of our nation,” said Stackley. „Whenever you sail, wherever you sail, you will be a symbol of Unites States resolve and you will be a symbol of the man whose name you bear.”

After the ship’s sponsor and President Ford’s daughter Susan Ford Bales gave the traditional command to „Man our ship and bring her to life,” Ford Sailors ran up the brows and manned the rails as the band played „Anchor’s Aweigh.”

McCormack expressed his pride in the work his crew has done to get the ship ready to serve in the fleet.

„The Sailors aboard today are among our nation’s finest,” said McCormack. „They are talented, driven, innovative, dedicated, and passionate about what they do and I am very proud to be their commanding officer. Team Wolverine, I have the utmost faith and confidence in your abilities to handle any challenge ahead, and I can think of no better team to take this ship to sea.”

After the ceremony, the ship was opened to the general public for tours, which included the flight deck, the commanding officer’s in-port cabin, pilot house, mess decks, fo’c’sle, and the newly opened tribute room.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the lead ship in the Ford-class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years, and will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers.

CVN-78 honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the U.S. government and to the nation. During World War II Ford attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy, serving on the light carrier USS Monterey (CVL 26). Ford became president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and served in the country’s highest office from 1974-1977.

Defeat Unacceptable Choice Funding Legislation

Joint Statement from AMVETS, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association (IAVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)

NEW ORLEANS (July 22, 2017) – As organizations who represent and support the interests of America’s 21 million veterans, and in fulfillment of our mandate to ensure that the men and women who served are able to receive the health care and benefits they need and deserve, we are calling on members of Congress to defeat the House vote on unacceptable choice funding legislation (S. 114, with amendments) scheduled for Monday, July 24, and instead work with the Senate to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement.

As we have repeatedly told House leaders in person this week, and in a jointly-signed letter on June 28, we oppose legislation that includes funding only for the “choice” program which provides additional community care options, but makes no investment in VA and uses “savings” from other veterans benefits or services to “pay” for the “choice” program.

Veterans health care benefits have already been “paid for” through the service and sacrifice of the men and women who wore our nation’s uniform, millions of whom suffered injuries, illnesses and lifelong disabilities.

In order to ensure that veterans can receive necessary care without interruption, we call on House leaders to take the time necessary to work together with Senate leaders to develop acceptable “choice” funding legislation that not only fills the current funding gap, but also addresses urgent VA infrastructure and resource needs that led to creation of the “choice” program in the first place.

All of our organizations are committed to building a future veterans health care system that modernizes VA and integrates community care whenever needed so that enrolled veterans have seamless access to timely, quality care.  However, if new funding is directed only or primarily to private sector “choice” care without any adequate investment to modernize VA, the viability of the entire system will soon be in danger.

We call on leaders in both the House and Senate to work together in good faith, and we remain committed to supporting such efforts, in order to quickly reach an agreement that ensures veterans health care is not interrupted in the short term, nor threatened in the long term.

Russia's State Duma Delegation to Make Humanitarian Trip to Syria in August

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A delegation composed of the Russian State Duma lawmakers, public figures and businesspeople will visit Syria with a humanitarian mission in August, a member of the United Russia party’s faction in the parliament’s lower chamber, Air Force Col. Gen Nikolay Antoshkin, told Sputnik on Saturday.

„The delegation of lawmakers, public figures and representatives of the Russian business community will visit Syria with a humanitarian mission in August,” Antoshkin said, adding that the trip would be organized within the program of improving living conditions of the Russian military deployed in Syria.

A rebel fighter walks past damaged buildings in a rebel-held part of the southern city of Deraa, Syria June 22, 2017
© REUTERS/ Alaa Al-Faqir

According to the lawmaker, the humanitarian cargo will include sports facilities, equipment for psychological rehabilitation center, board games, books, as well as aid for Syrian children, such as food and clothing.

Since September 2015, Russia has been conducting an anti-terror campaign in Syria, a nation that has been engulfed in a civil war for over six years. The mission is being carried out at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Hawaii Soldier Indicted for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

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An indictment was returned July 21 charging Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, an Army sergeant first class stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Kang was previously arrested on July 8, and ordered detained pending further proceedings.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Elliot Enoki of the District of Hawaii and Special Agent in Charge Paul Delacorte of the FBI’s Honolulu Field Office made the announcement. 

The grand jury indictment, which was filed on July 19, charged Kang with four counts of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, based on events that occurred in Hawaii between June 21 and July 8. The indictment and an earlier criminal complaint allege that Kang met with undercover agents of the FBI whom he believed to be affiliated with ISIS and provided military information, some of which was classified at the SECRET level. Kang is also charged with providing property (a drone,s military clothing and equipment) and training (instruction on combat techniques and weapons training which was videotaped for future use by ISIS) to undercover agents whom he believed to be affiliated with ISIS.

Kang will appear in court on July 24, for an arraignment and plea on the charges, at which time a trial date will be scheduled.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted of the charges, Kang faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each count. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Taryn Meeks of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ken Sorenson and Marc Wallenstein.

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Syrian Army Declares Ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta From Saturday's Noon – Reports

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