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Oct 30, 2014

U.S. military says advisers needed in embattled Iraq province

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States needs to expand a limited advise-and-assist mission in Iraq into embattled Anbar province, where some Iraqi forces are isolated and in defensive positions against Islamic State, the top U.S. military officer said on Thursday.

But General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Iraq’s government must be ready to arm Sunni tribes as a precondition for getting outside advisers into the western Iraqi province.

Oct 29, 2014

Quarantine-like monitoring set for U.S. troops on Ebola mission

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
on Wednesday approved 21 days of strict, quarantine-like
monitoring for U.S. military personnel returning from Ebola
relief efforts in West Africa, but the Pentagon was still
finalizing details on who exactly would be affected.

Hagel, acting at the recommendation of top military
commanders, agreed to tougher monitoring for military personnel
than recommended by U.S. government health authorities, saying
the issue had been discussed with military families and
communities who “very much wanted a safety valve on this.”

Oct 29, 2014

U.S. nurse who tested negative for Ebola fights Maine quarantine

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The state of Maine on
Wednesday moved to enforce a quarantine on a nurse who has
tested negative for Ebola and says she is healthy in a fight
that illustrates how U.S. states are struggling to guard against
the virus without resorting to overzealous precautions.

Governor Paul LePage said he would seek legal authority to
enforce a 21-day quarantine after nurse Kaci Hickox said she
would challenge state restrictions and not follow guidelines to
quarantine herself at home until Nov. 10 as demanded.

Oct 29, 2014

Maine, nurse who tested negative for Ebola clash over quaratine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Maine’s governor said on Wednesday that he would seek legal authority to enforce a 21-day quarantine on a Maine nurse who has tested negative for Ebola after treating patients in West Africa and initially was isolated in a tent in New Jersey.

Governor Paul LePage issued a statement after nurse Kaci Hickox said she would challenge the New England state’s restrictions and would not follow guidelines to quarantine herself until Nov. 10 as demanded.

Oct 29, 2014

Quarantine-like monitoring approved for U.S. troops on Ebola mission

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
on Wednesday approved a strict, 21-day quarantine-like
monitoring period for all U.S. troops returning from the Ebola
relief mission in West Africa, the Pentagon said.

Hagel, acting at the recommendation of top military
commanders, signed a memo asking for an implementation plan for
the monitoring regimen, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon
press secretary, said in a statement.

Oct 29, 2014

Costly US nuclear arms revamp, tight cash call for tough choices

, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel grabbed a ladder extending through the sleek black hull of
the USS Tennessee at a Navy submarine base here and disappeared
down the hatch for a close look at one of the Pentagon’s most
daunting budget issues.

Inside the vessel, 24 tubes for launching nuclear ballistic
missiles sliced through the submarine’s decks, with the crew’s
bunks and Spartan living quarters packed in around them.

Oct 28, 2014

Obama sees different Ebola rules for U.S. military than for civilians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday appeared to back more rigorous procedures for dealing with soldiers returning from missions to Ebola-hit West African countries, even as he criticized moves by some U.S. states to quarantine returning civilian health workers.

Obama said that American military personnel were in a “different situation” compared with healthcare workers. While civilians may be discouraged from volunteering to help fight the Ebola if they are facing quarantine on their return, troops were sent as part of their mission and could expect such inconveniences.

Oct 24, 2014

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The commander of U.S. forces
in South Korea said on Friday he believes Pyongyang has the
capability to build a nuclear warhead that can be mounted on a
ballistic missile, but added there were no tests or other
evidence it has taken that step.

Army General Curtis Scaparrotti said he thought North
Korea’s connection with Iran and Pakistan meant it probably had
access to the expertise needed to miniaturize and mount an
atomic weapon on a missile.

Oct 23, 2014

U.S., South Korea delay shift of war-time command role to Seoul

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. and South Korean
defense chiefs agreed on Thursday that for the foreseeable
future the United States will take overall command of their
combined forces in case of a war, reversing an earlier plan to
shift the responsibility to Seoul next year.

The new arrangement, requested by South Korea, delayed
transition to South Korean command leadership until Seoul has
better military capabilities to counter the kinds of nuclear
weapons and missile threats posed by North Korea.

Oct 23, 2014

Iraqi defense chief tells Hagel offensive vs militants a priority: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq’s new defense minister affirmed his commitment to military reform and said going on the offensive against Islamic State fighters is a priority, the Pentagon said on Thursday after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to his counterpart by phone.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said Hagel and Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi spoke for about 20 minutes on Thursday morning in their first phone call since al-Obeidi was approved as the Iraq’s defense chief.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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