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Monday, Jan 26th

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2 Nuclear Commanders Fired, Another Disciplined

ICBM launch padsThe Air Force on Monday fired two more nuclear commanders and disciplined a third, fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander.

The most senior officer to be relieved Monday was Col. Carl Jones, the No. 2 commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, in charge of 150 of the Air Force's 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. He was dismissed "for a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership abilities," and has been reassigned as a special assistant to the wing commander.

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Suicide surpassed war as the military's leading cause of death

military deathsWar was the leading cause of death in the military nearly every year between 2004 and 2011 until suicides became the top means of dying for troops in 2012 and 2013, according to a bar chart published this week in a monthly Pentagon medical statistical analysis journal.

For those last two years, suicide outranked war, cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents and other causes as the leading killer, accounting for about three in 10 military deaths each of those two years.

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Military sex survey draws complaints

US armed forcesShocked and offended by explicit questions, some U.S. servicemen and women are complaining about a new sexual-assault survey that hundreds of thousands have been asked to complete.

The survey is conducted every two years. But this year's version, developed by the Rand Corp., is unusually detailed, including graphically personal questions on sexual acts.

Some military members told The Associated Press that they were surprised and upset by the questions, and some even said they felt re-victimized by the blunt language. None of them would speak publicly by name, but Pentagon officials confirmed they had received complaints that the questions were "intrusive" and "invasive."

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U.S. Soldiers Quarantined In Italy After Returning From Aiding Ebola Patients

US soldiers quarantined in ItalyAmerican troops returning after aiding Ebola patients in Liberia have been isolated in Italy, CBS News and CNN reported Monday.

As CBS correspondent David Martin reports, troops are being isolated in Vicenza, Italy, home to a U.S. Army post:

The soldiers being monitored include Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams who was the commander of the U.S. Army in Africa but turned over duties to the 101st Airborne Division over the weekend, Martin reports. There are currently 11 soldiers in isolation.

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US Marine to be tried for killing Filipino transgender woman

US Marine charged in Filipino deathThe Philippines will put a U.S. Marine on trial for killing female transgender Filipino Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude outside a former U.S. Navy base.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to charge the Marine, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, with murder or the lesser crime of homicide.

Pemberton failed to answer a murder complaint filed by police on Monday, the deadline set by prosecutors, leaving it to the prosecution to determine what charge he faces.

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US Government Sanitizes Vietnam War History

Revising Vietnam war historyFor many years after the Vietnam War, we enjoyed the "Vietnam syndrome," in which US presidents hesitated to launch substantial military attacks on other countries. They feared intense opposition akin to the powerful movement that helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam. But in 1991, at the end of the Gulf War, George H.W. Bush declared, "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!"

With George W. Bush's wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and Barack Obama's drone wars in seven Muslim-majority countries and his escalating wars in Iraq and Syria, we have apparently moved beyond the Vietnam syndrome. By planting disinformation in the public realm, the government has built support for its recent wars, as it did with Vietnam.

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Ruling limits legal remedies for many exposed to Camp Lejeune pollutants

Camp LejeuneThis week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a North Carolina law limiting the time period in which a plaintiff can seek damages.

The law, called the statute of repose, placed a 10-year limit on which plaintiffs in that state can seek damages from exposure to contaminants, with no exception for latent diseases like the cancer contracted by Partain.

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