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Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 8:41pm

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.


Venezuela government, opposition hold new round of talks

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 8:16pm

Venezuela's government and opposition concluded a new round of talks Friday in an effort to bridge deep and entrenched differences to find a way to end the dire political and economic crisis tearing apart their country. After eight hours of discussions at the foreign ministry in Santo Domingo, the two sides agreed to resume negotiations on January 11, Dominican President Danilo Medina announced. It will be followed by a meeting of foreign ministers on January 12.


The New Tax Bill's Winners and Losers

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 8:00pm

Senate and House Republicans announced agreement Friday on the first major tax overhaul in more than 30 years—a $1.5 trillion bill that would touch most Americans in some way, affecting not only ...


Lawsuit: 2 immigrant teens in US custody can't get abortions

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 7:49pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's administration is blocking two pregnant teens in the country illegally and being held in federal custody from obtaining abortions, the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday, a repeat of the situation that led to a high-profile court fight earlier this year.


Plan released for dividing money to Vegas shooting victims

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 7:36pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A plan that will be used to divide donations for victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting was finalized Friday with a significant change that allows injured people who were not hospitalized to seek some of the money.


Trump on cusp of tax reform victory as wavering Republicans pledge support

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 6:10pm

Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Corker had both expressed reservations about the landmark legislation, but they said they were now on board. Mr Corker, a Tennessee Republican who has feuded publicly with Donald Trump, said he would back the legislation despite concerns about the measure inflating the deficit. A Congressional Budget Office analysis of a version of the legislation found it would add some $1.4 trillion to the deficit, but supporters argue surging economic growth would offset that.


Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 6:09pm

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  


SpaceX 1st: Recycled rocket soars with recycled capsule

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 5:30pm

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX racked up another first on Friday, launching a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule on a grocery run for NASA.


Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 4:45pm

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...


Capitol Hill Nervously Waits For The Next Big Sexual Harassment Scandal

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 3:50pm

WASHINGTON ― The atmosphere is tense on Capitol Hill, as members of Congress and their staff anxiously await more sexual harassment revelations in their ranks.


Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 3:28pm

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.


Americans pessimistic about Trump, country: AP-NORC Poll

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 3:19pm

President Donald Trump frequently casts his first year in office as a string of successes and campaign promises fulfilled. But less than a quarter of Americans think Trump has made good on the pledges he made to voters while running for president, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.


#StarWarsHolidayFilms Is Precisely The Holiday Hashtag You're Looking For

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 3:17pm

It’s the season of giving, and we’ve been gifted the next episode in the “Star Wars” saga.


Why did Broward destroy 2016 ballots? Sanders ally seeks US probe

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 3:02pm

A South Florida law professor, running to unseat Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is calling for a federal investigation into the destruction of all ballots cast in the August 2016 Democratic primary in Broward County. The challenger, Tim Canova, has made repeated public records requests and filed a lawsuit seeking access to paper ballots cast in his unsuccessful race last year against the former Democratic National Committee chair in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. Over the past year, the Broward supervisor of elections, Dr. Brenda Snipes, has taken no action on Mr. Canova’s requests to examine the ballots, and she has urged a judge to throw Canova’s lawsuit out.


Matt Lauer's First Accuser Lives 'In Constant Fear' Of Being Identified

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 3:01pm

Matt Lauer’s original accuser is “terrified” that her identity will become public.


A bird, a plane, a polar bear? Wild guests at Alaska airport

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 2:32pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Scott Babcock was wrapping up an early morning runway inspection at America's farthest north airport when he saw what he thought were a couple of wolves.


Pentagon alarmed by uptick in close calls with Russia jets in Syria

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 2:27pm

The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap -- or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border.


How To Beat The Winter Blues, According To Top Experts

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 2:13pm

If you’re starting to feel glum, listless and irritable this time of year, you’re not alone.


Former Time Warner CEO: It's Time to Replace All Men at the Top With Women

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - December 15, 2017 - 2:00pm

The former executive says he has a queasy feeling that his generation has been too silent, for far too long, and it's time to speak out


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