Today, the South Korean and U.S. navies on Monday kicked off massive combined drills off the coast of the peninsula amid heightened tensions, a train exercise which North Korea has warned may prompt another ballistic missile launch, potentially to coincide with the launch of the Chinese 19th Party Congress on October 18. The two allies plan to continue the Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) through Friday in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea.
As reported over the weekend, the drill involves the U.S. 7th Fleet's aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers - the USS Stethem (DDG-63) and the USS Mustin (DDG-89). The carrier strike group will train with South Korean warships and other defense assets, such as the Sejong the Great Aegis ship and P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft in the East Sea.
And while details of the drill were well-known in advance, what was reported for the first time overnight from Yonhap is that a unit of U.S. special forces tasked with carrying out "decapitation" operations is also aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in the group, according to a defense source. So far, little else is known about why said decapitation team is on location, or whether it will be put into use, although it presence may explain Trump's "calm before the storm" comment that beffudled the media two weeks ago.
Among other assets mobilized for the joint drill are F-15K, FA-18 and A-10 fighter jets, as well as AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, Lynx and AW-159 Wild Cat naval choppers. The U.S. has also deployed a Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) plane to closely monitor the North's ground and naval forces.
Multiple neurologists and experts have told The Guardian that the mysterious "sonic attacks" upon US diplomats in Cuba are likely just a case of mass hysteria. The extensive Guardian report is based on research and interviews with top neurologists and medical experts explaining that the likeliest explanation for the strange and inexplicable symptoms reported by US embassy staff in Cuba which have led to a breakdown in relations between the two countries has nothing to do with some kind of Cuban sonic device or high tech conspiracy.
The neurologists say that the most plausible explanation is that the diplomats' high stress environment is leading to neurological abnormalities and disorders which are causing psychosomatic (or self-induced) symptoms. If true it would be a shocking revelation that such a "natural cause" phenomenon could result in the US removing most of its embassy staff from Havana. The Guardian report was issued on the very day that the Associated Press published what it purports to be an audio recording of high pitched undulating sounds which some embassy workers in Havana claim made them sick. Reports indicate that 22 US victims have suffered mysterious ailments after working at the embassy, including hearing, visual, cognitive, balance, sleep and other problems.
Though it took over a year for the complaints to surface in the media, it all started in the fall of 2016. Several of the affected diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of Barack Obama’s reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba. The various accounts were strange yet similar: one diplomat, for example, described being jolted awake in a Havana hotel room by a grinding, blaring cacophony. When he moved a few feet across the room, the noise stopped. When he got back into bed, the agonizing sound hit him again; as if, he told doctors, he had walked through some invisible wall cutting straight down the middle of his room. Multiple personnel also reported persisted nausea, nosebleeds, headaches, and dizziness while stationed in Cuba.
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President Trump's "de-certification" of Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal. CIA torture sites in Afghanistan. PATRIOT Act. FISA Amendments. Saudi Arabia. Israel. Syria. Mass surveillance. How does Rex Tillerson drag himself to work each day? Neocon triumph. RPI Director Daniel McAdams sits down for a full hour with KMEC's Heroes and Patriots program. The topics are wide ranging, the interview is fast-paced. Brew a tea, pour a beer, listen to the interview here.
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Five Minutes Five Issues: ICE Seizures, Roy Moore, Marijuana Industry, JFK Assassination, Wisconsin Hemp
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
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President Trump hates the international nuclear deal with Iran. The agreement put temporary restriction of Iran's nuclear program and opened it up to deeper inspections. The other sides of the deal committed to lifting sanctions and to further economic cooperation. Trump wants to get rid of the deal; but he is unwilling to pay the political price.