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Dozens injured as protesters storm Baghdad's Green Zone

Green zone stormed againIraqi security forces opened fire and used tear gas on protesters, who stormed into Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone on Friday for the second time within a month.

Dozens of demonstrators were injured by tear gas and live fire, witnesses told Reuters news agency.

Some security personnel were stabbed, according to a military statement. Authorities could not immediately verify reports that several civilians had been killed.


Japanese PM Abe outraged after U.S. air base worker arrested for killing

Shinzo Abe- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, angered by the slaying of an Okinawa woman allegedly by a former U.S. Marine, vowed to confront President Barack Obama at their planned meeting next week.

Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, 32, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly admitted strangling Rina Shimabukuro, 20, and dumping her body. His arrest touched off protests and heightened tensions about American military presence in Okinawa, where a majority of some 38,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan are located. Local residents say Americans bring crime and pollution.


VA Docs Can Now Recommend Medical Marijuana to Vets in Some States

VA doctors can recomment marijuana for vetsCongress on Thursday gave veterans the right to discuss medical marijuana as a treatment option with their Veterans Affairs doctors in states where it is legal.

The House approved a bill and the Senate is expected to approve one later Thursday that include amendments forcing VA to lift restrictions that prohibit doctors from talking about medical marijuana or recommending it to their veteran patients.


Derogatory discharge papers blight lives of military who report sexual assault

Emily VorlandAmy Quinn loved serving in the US navy but after she reported a series of sexual assaults, she was forced out of the military at 22 with claims she had a personality disorder.

The mental health ruling by her superiors, which her current psychiatrist says is unfounded, ruined her hope of a second career in the police and has haunted her ever since.

“The military career I was passionate about was over and I was suddenly labeled a bad apple,” she said.


Navy officer fired amid fallout from U.S. sailors' arrest by Iran

Navy officer fired over Iran captureThe head of a riverine squadron at the center of an international incident in January was fired Thursday, the first officer to be publicly disciplined for errors that led to 10 sailors being captured by Iran after getting lost in the Persian Gulf — a debacle that nearly scuttled the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal at the 11th hour.

Cmdr. Eric Rasch, who at the time of the Jan. 12 incident was the executive officer of the Coastal Riverine Squadron 3, was removed from his job by Capt. Gary Leigh, head of Coastal Riverine Group 1, for what a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command release said was “a loss of confidence” in his ability to remain in command.


Navy SEAL in training dies during water exercises in California

Navy Seal dies in trainingA 21-year-old Navy SEAL student from Florida died during his first week of underwater demolition training in California, the U.S. Navy said.

James Derek Lovelace of Crestview, Fla., died on Friday. The Navy said safety observers noticed Lovelace was having difficulty during water familiarization exercises before pulling him out of the pool. Resuscitation efforts and first aid were attempted unsuccessfully after he lost consciousness.


The U.S. Military Is Failing to Support Its Sickest Kids

Military doesn't take care of its sickest kidsAccording to numbers provided by the Defense Department, there are only 7 in the entire military hospital system—a network of more than 50 hospitals serving nearly 2 million children. (The Defense Department told me there are 15 full-time pediatric social workers at Navy, Army, and Air Force hospitals, with more than half of them based in Japan, not the United States.)

The military health system has an annual budget of $50 billion, so why does it spend so little on full-time pediatric social workers for hospitalized babies and children?


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