Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts

January 21, 2018

If You Are Already in Jamaica Stay in Your Room, British Gov Warns

This blog has warn torurist but particularly Gay Men, Lesbians and Trans many times to stay away from Jamaica. Now the warning comes to all British Tourists from their government and that should go for Americans also.


British tourists are being warned they should stay inside their resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica. 
The Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency in the St James parish, after a number of "shooting incidents". 
The Foreign Office has told British tourists to stay in the confines of their hotels as a "major military operation" takes place. 
About 200,000 British tourists visit Jamaica every year. 
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "[Tourists] should follow local advice including restrictions in selected areas, and exercise particular care if travelling at night. 
"[They] should stay in their resorts and limit travel beyond their respective security perimeters."
Jamaican prime minister, Andrew Holness
Image captionJamaica PM Andrew Holness says the government had been planning the operation "for some time"
On Thursday the country's prime minister, Andrew Holness, said the state of emergency was "necessary" in order to "restore public safety" in the St James area. 
Chief of defence, Major General Rocky Meade, said forces were targeting gangs, with "particular focus on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion".
He added: "We ask that you co-operate with the troops." 
State of Emergency declared in St James Parish which includes Montego Bay, in response to recent violence including shooting incidents. Follow local advice including restrictions in selected areas, exercise particular care if travelling at night. 
Simon Calder, the Independent newspaper's travel editor, said gang crime in the area had been "intensifying".
He told Radio 5 live: "Last year there were an average of six killings a week - and since the start of the year it has got even worse."
It also estimated there had been 38 killings across the country in the first six days of 2018, compared with 23 over the same period last year.
Montego BayImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionTourists are drawn to Montego Bay's white sandy beaches
As the UK Foreign Office has not warned against travel to Jamaica, Mr Calder said holiday firms have no obligation to offer customers alternative destinations. 
He added: "I've never seen Foreign Office advice quite like this before. Normally the UK government says either 'it's OK' or 'don't go'."
A military checkpoint in Montego BayImage copyrightBECKS PALOU
Image captionBecks Palou says the military told her group it was fine to travel around the country

 Bristol-based Becks Palou is part of a group of friends on holiday in Montego Bay.

They left their hotel early this morning to drive to Kingston, the capital, after staff said it was safe to travel. 
Ms Palou, who is originally from Spain, said they were delayed by stops at military checkpoints but were able to reach their destination.
She said: "When we went out on the road, we arrived at the checks and we were let through. Soldiers felt it was fine to travel. 
"It feels safe, more than usual because the roads are quieter."
Sean Tipton, from the Association of British Travel Agents, said that hotels in Montego Bay have "very strict security" which means tourists can feel safe.
He told the BBC: "If you look at the incidents that have occurred, they have been directed at local people. 
"It's obviously terrible for them, but in terms of instances affecting tourists, I haven't actually come across one in Jamaica for quite some time."
He also stressed the importance of following the advice from tour operators and the Foreign Office and not leaving resorts unless on an organised excursion.

Are you in Montego Bay? Have you been affected by recent events? If it is safe to do so, you can share your experience by emailing

August 24, 2017

White House Issues Guidelines in Getting Rid of Transgenders in Military

The White House will send guidance to the Pentagon on President Donald Trump's transgender military ban -- including instructions to reject transgender applicants -- "in coming days," The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night, citing unnamed US officials familiar with the matter. 
Among the memo's directions: The military is to stop admitting transgender people; and for current transgender troops, the Pentagon should consider a service member's ability to deploy when determining whether to expel them, the newspaper reported, citing the officials.
The memo also instructs the Pentagon to stop paying for transgender troops' medical treatment regimens, the officials told the paper.
    It is not clear if the memo is finalized. The Pentagon said in a statement Wednesday night that it "has not received formal guidance from the White House as a follow-up to the Commander-in-Chief's announcement on military service by transgender personnel."
    "The (Defense) Department continues to focus on our mission of defending our nation and ongoing operations against our foes while ensuring all service members are treated with respect," the statement read.
    The Pentagon said it would provide an update when the formal guidance is announced. 
    CNN reached out to the White House for comment Wednesday.
    Trump said he would reinstate a ban on transgender troops in a string of tweets July 26, announcing that transgender individuals would not be eligible to "serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military." 
    That reversed a policy, initially approved by the Defense Department under President Barack Obama and still under final review, that would have allowed transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump wrote. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
    That took the Pentagon by surprise. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were not aware of Trump's intention to tweet the ban on transgender service members, three US defense officials told CNN in June
    Following Trump's announcement, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told service members there would be "no modifications to the current policy until the President's direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines."
    However, The Wall Street Journal now reports that the officials said the guidance would give Defense Secretary James Mattis six months to put the new policy into action.

    Pelosi: 'This is NOT how you keep America safe'

    Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon last week that he was studying the issue. 
    "The policy is going to address whether or not transgenders can serve under what conditions, what medical support they require, how much time would they be perhaps non-deployable, leaving others to pick up their share of everything," he said.
    "There's a host of issues and I'm learning more about this than I ever thought I would, and it's obviously very complex to include the privacy issues, which we respect," Mattis said. "I am waiting right now to get the President's guidance in, and that, I expect, (will) be very soon."
    The American Military Partner Association -- a group for families of LGBT service members and veterans -- said they condemned the details of the reported guidance.
    "(Trump's) the foolhardy assertion that transgender service members are not able to deploy is simply not rooted in fact," the group's president, Ashley Broadway-Mack, said in a statement. "Transgender service members are just as deplorable as any other service member. These brave men and women are already risking their lives for this country around the world.
    "They have earned their right to appropriate medical care, and President Trump's attempt to rip that away is beyond unconscionable."
    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, responded to The Wall Street Journal's report with a tweet Wednesday night: "This is NOT how you keep America safe. Period. #ProtectTransTroops." Also on Wednesday, CNN first reported that MTV was reaching out to transgender military members, inviting them to attend Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, according to a US defense official.
    By Sophie Tatum, CNN

    May 11, 2017

    Israeli Defense General Demoted as He Comes Out Gay

    IDF General Sharon Afek

    For the first time in IDF history, a top member of the high command revealed on Wednesday that he is openly gay.

    Military Advocate General (Brig.-Gen.) Sharon Afek told the Israel Bar Association’s official magazine that even though currently there are pockets of "ignorance and hatred," the IDF accepts him and he never experienced discrimination. 

    Afek added that, “I never felt discriminatory or preferred treatment due to my sexual orientation” as a factor in decisions the army made on whether to promote him or not  “and that is a positive.”

    "When I was a young officer, times were different and I worried that the issue would be used against me and that I might really hit the glass ceiling. But happily, the issue did not make waves," he said.

    He said it was important for him to send a message to the many young LGBT teens on the verge of being drafted into the IDF, "it is important for them to know that there is no glass ceiling that will hold them up in the IDF. Their success depends on them and only them. It is possible to rise to the top of pyramid.”

    "The IDF is the people's army and it encourages all who want to contribute and grow," he added. "I will be pleased if many more will walk in my footsteps."

    Afek does not only serve as a model for equality for LGBT soldiers, he has also been a consistent supporter of women in the IDF.

    Although he clarified that primarily the place of women in the IDF is a command policy issue, not a legal issue, he strongly defended the legality of the IDF’s recent policies, which have seen an increase of women in fighting units and in the higher ranks.

    “I think that the decisions which were undertaken until now were balanced and well-considered and that they make it possible for all those serving in the IDF to fully serve,” he said.

    He noted that half of the IDF’s legal division are women and that two of its top division heads are women, “and I am proud of that.”

    Shifting to the Hebron shooter trial, Afek said, “I am completely at peace at the manner in which the Azaria case was handled and this was given expression from the verdict,” in which Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter in the killing of neutralized terrorist Abdel Fatah al-Sharif on March 24, 2015.

    Questioned about the storm of political pressures he faced during the case, he responded, “no defense establishment official came to me and said to me: ‘I want you to act in this way or another way.’ All decisions were made totally independently without outside influences or attempts to influence.”

    One criticism from Azaria’s lawyers has been that pretrial comments by then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and the IDF Spokesman’s Office infected the trial and caused various witnesses to turn against Azaria in a biased manner.

    Afek responded by defending the conduct of Eisenkot and the IDF Spokesman’s Office in terms of sending a moral, not legal message, to the army’s soldiers. Notably, he did not defend Ya’alon and was not asked a follow-up question about his statements against Azaria.

    The MAG also said that he had given then-IDF Brig.-Gen. Ofek Buchris no preferable treatment when he decided to indict him for rape, despite his high rank.

    He acknowledged that Buchris’ service to the army played a role in considering his punishment of a demotion in rank as part of a plea bargain deal, but said that it was only one of many typical factors taken into account. 

    August 21, 2014

    How The Us Military failed on the Rescue of Foley

    The U.S. military earlier this summer carried out an attempt to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, in an operation that the Pentagon said ultimately failed to find the captives.
    Foley, 40, was beheaded by an Islamic State militant in a video that surfaced on the Internet on Tuesday. President Barack Obama expressed revulsion on Wednesday at the execution and vowed the United States would do what it must to protect its citizens.
    The unsuccessful rescue operation "involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL," the Pentagon said in a statement, using a different name for the militant group. "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."
    Officials would not say exactly when the operation took place but said it was not in the last couple of weeks.
    Obama authorized the mission "earlier this summer," Lisa Monaco, Obama's top counterterrorism aide, said in a separate statement. "The President authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody," she said.
    Islamic State said Foley's execution, which prompted widespread horror that could push Western powers into further action against the group, was in revenge for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.
    The Pentagon said U.S. aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes in the vicinity of Iraq's Mosul Dam, destroying or damaging militants' Humvees, trucks and explosives.
    Britain's prime minister cut short his vacation as UK intelligence tried to identify Foley's killer, while France called for international coordination against the Islamist militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.
    U.S. officials said on Wednesday that intelligence analysts had concluded that the Islamic State video, titled "A Message to America," was authentic. It also showed images of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, whose fate the group said depends on how the United States acts in Iraq.
    The gruesome video presented Obama with bleak options that could define American involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially dragging him further into a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.
    Obama called the beheading of Foley "an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world" and said the militants had killed innocent civilians, subjected women and children to torture, rape and slavery and targeted Muslims, Christians and religious minorities.
    "So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day," Obama said in brief comments to reporters in Edgartown, Massachusetts, where he has been vacationing. He said he had spoken with Foley's family.
    "ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt."
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States would "never back down in the face of such evil.
    "ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable," Kerry said in a statement.
    British anti-terrorist police began an investigation of the video, in which Foley's killer spoke with a London accent.
    Possibly a British national, the killer is just one of hundreds of European Muslims drawn to join Islamic State, who authorities say pose a security threat to U.S. and European interests if they return home from the Middle East.
    The video showed a high level of technical proficiency and the use of a British voice may have been intended to make its contents clear to audiences in the United States, Islamic State's declared enemy.
    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was not surprised to hear the British accent and that large numbers of British nationals were fighting in Iraq and Syria.
    "Our intelligence services will be looking very carefully on both sides of the Atlantic at this video to establish its authenticity, to try to identify the individual concerned and then we will work together to try to locate him," Hammond told Sky news.
    France said it wanted the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and regional countries, including Arab states and Iran, to coordinate action against Islamic State. President Francois Hollande called for an international conference to discuss how to tackle the group.
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "the horrific murder of journalist James Foley, an abominable crime that underscores the campaign of terror the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues to wage against the people of Iraq and Syria," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
    Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari urged the world to back his country against Islamic State, which he described as a threat to the world, not just to the minority ethnic groups whose members it has killed in Iraq.
    Germany and Italy said they were ready to send arms to bolster the military capabilities of Iraqi Kurds fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq.
    Sending arms into conflict zones is a major departure for Germany, which has often shied away from direct involvement in military conflicts since World War Two due to its Nazi past.
    The video's message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. airstrikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of Islamic State, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.
    Foley was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria, according to GlobalPost. He had earlier been kidnapped and released in Libya.
    Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013. He has written for TIME among other news organizations.
    On Facebook, Foley's mother, Diane Foley, said: "We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
    "We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."
    The video was posted after the United States resumed airstrikes in Iraq this month for the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in 2011.
    U.S. Senator John McCain, a Republican, said Foley's death should serve as a turning point for Obama in his deliberations over how to deal with Islamic State. "First of all, you've got to dramatically increase the airstrikes. And those air strikes have to be devoted to Syria as well," McCain said in a telephone interview.
    Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in the parts of Iraq and Syria it controls, opened the video with a clip of Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.
    The words "Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims" appeared in English and Arabic on the screen.
    It showed black and white aerial footage of airstrikes with text saying: "American aggression against the Islamic State."
    A man identified as Foley, head shaven and dressed in an orange outfit similar to uniforms worn by prisoners at the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, is seen kneeling in the desert next to a man holding a knife and clad head to toe in black.
    "I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality," the kneeling man says.
    The man next to him, in a black mask, speaks with a British accent and says, "This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State."
    "Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide."
    Following his statement, he beheads the kneeling man. At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say, "Steven Joel Sotloff," as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen. "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," the masked man says.
    University of Virginia political scholar Larry Sabato said the killing was like the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. He said it could help bolster a perception among Americans that the United States will have to be more aggressive in dealing with Islamic State militants.
    Syria has been the most dangerous country for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there and more than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria.
    The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that about 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.
    Reuters(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Oliver Holmes and Tom Perry in Beirut, Sabine Siebold in Berlin, Costas Pitas and William James in London, Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations and John Irish in Paris; Writing by Giles ElgoodJim Loney and Eric Beech; Editing by David Stamp, Dan Grebler and Eric Walsh)

    August 20, 2014

    Be Dazzled with Military Exoskeletons

    Throughout the early 1960s, Neil Mizen developed the early stages of the Man Amplifier at Cornell University's Aeronautical Lab. The suit was intended to have powered gears at the joints to provide additional support and strength. (suit below)
    Although it was hoped that the Amplifier would have military and scientific uses, Mizen could not master the system's powered gear system, and the suit was never completed. Even so, his research went on to inspire future exoskeleton projects. 

    Now be dazzled!

    The below video clip was recently placed on Youtube by Neil Mizen's son.  
    The person in the video and in the below pics is Ronald J. Patterson, a technician from Cornell Aeronautical Labs at the time.
    Exoskeleton actuators PS Nov65 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    Machines With strength ScienceJournalOct68 p4 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    Exoskeleton flexibility p3 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    man amplifier bionics pt2 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    man amplifier bionics x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    Note: The description above incorrectly describes the exoskeleton as having motors. Unfortunately Cornell never got to the powered stage.
    Exoskeleton p2 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
     1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
     1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)

    Exoskeleton uses p4 x640(1) 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    Exoskeleton uses p5 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)

    Cornell Aeronautical Laboratories of Buffalo, New York  were producing papers on Man Amplifiers as early as 1960. In 1961 they received a grant to explore these ideas. Initial work was on an exoskeleton, and later work on a mock-up.
    There are some initial concepts one has to be aware of in understanding Man Amplifiers.
    Typically there is a master component, and a slave component. In other teleoperated manipulators, they are physically and spatially separate.  In the exoskeleton man-amplifier, they are together. In the Cornell Man-Amplifier, one of the problems encountered was the close proximity of the control harness (master) with the powered exoskeleton.
    You will often see the phrase "bilateral force feedback with force reflection".
    Bilateral force feedback meaning that both the master and slave units have common joints and position and force information can be transmitted in both directions (from operator to task and vice versa).  Force feedback is when, for example, an obstacle is met with some resistance, that the resistance is felt back at the master. E.g. if you were to place an object next to a wall, you, as the operator, would feel the wall if the object being held by the slave unit touched it.
    Force reflection is force feedback but the power can also be amplified. A force-reflection ratio of 1:1 would be normal force-feedback (compensation for the units weight and inertia). A ratio of 1:10 would mean that, for example, the person operating the master unit would lift an object of 1 kilogram would amplify to 10 kilograms at the powered slave end.  The ratio can also go in the other direction and could apply to manipulators such as those used for surgical procedures.
    The first prototype man amplifier wasn't to be seen until General Electric built their Hardiman I, based on results from the Cornell research.

    There are a few articles on Cornell's Exoskeleton. The pdf's are :
    See also Mizen's patent for the Man-Amplifier here
     Neil J. Mizen et al
    Patent number: 3449769
    Filing date: Jun 27, 1966
    Issue date: Jun 17, 1969
     1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)

    Machines With strength ScienceJournalOct68 myo x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
    Some of the concents of the exoskeleton were spun off for possible use in rehabilitation. Above we see the "Myotron", where the powered exoskeleton is exercising the disabled limb. 
    (This entry is filed under Man Amplifiers.)  
    Hope you got dazzled, I don’t get impressed easily but this article impressed me so much that I decided to sahare it with you, the adamfoxie blog  reader.
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