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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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U.S. military personnel rescued after helicopter crash in Gulf of Aden

helico[pter crash gulf of adenAll 25 military personnel aboard a U.S. Marine helicopter that crashed into the Arabian Sea during a training exercise Monday are safe, a Navy spokesman said.

None of the 17 Marines or eight Navy sailors was seriously injured when the CH-53E Super Stallion hit the water while attempting to land on the USS Mesa Verde in the Gulf of Aden, near Djibouti.

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F-15 reports emergency, crashes in Virginia forest

F-15 crashes in Va.An F-15C fighter jet based at a National Guard facility in Massachusetts crashed Wednesday into a national forest in central Virginia after reporting an in-flight emergency and losing radio contact, officials said.

The jet, from the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, is a one-person craft and the status of the pilot was not immediately known, said Maj. Candice Ismirle, an Air Force spokeswoman.

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Report: VA scandal probe targets potential obstruction of justice

FBi to probe VAThe Justice Department and the FBI have joined the Veterans Affairs inspector general to investigate allegations of obstruction of justice at dozens of veterans hospitals across the country, according to a long-awaited report released Tuesday.

The report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General said 93 VA health care sites across the country are being investigated in connection with falsifying scheduling records to hide delays in veterans' health care and "attempting to obstruct OIG (Office of Inspector General) and other investigative efforts."

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VA says no proof delays in care at Phoenix facility caused vets to die

VA deaths not caused by delaysThe Department of Veterans Affairs says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix, deflating an explosive allegation that helped expose a troubled health care system in which veterans waited months for appointments while employees falsified records to cover up the delays.

Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care at the Phoenix VA hospital rocked the agency last spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well. The scandal led to the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. In July, Congress approved spending an additional $16 billion to help shore up the system.

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Half of returning vets battle chronic pain, many risk pill addiction

Vets with chronic painChronic pain tortures nearly half of returning U.S. veterans, a new study suggests, and a large number of them — as many as 15 percent — are using narcotic painkillers to manage it.

Research shows that soldiers are four times as likely to use prescription narcotics compared to the wider civilian population. Such drugs carry the risk of lifelong addiction, fatal overdose and have been linked to the nation’s epidemic levels of heroin use.

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Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Unrest

PentagonA US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands."

Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD 'Minerva Research Initiative' partners with universities "to improve DoD's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US."

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After Lull, U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 13 in Pakistan

Drone strikesMissiles from U.S. drones slammed into militant hideouts overnight in northwestern Pakistan, killing 13 suspected insurgents and marking the resumption of the CIA-led program after a nearly six-month break, officials said Thursday.

The strikes came just days after a five-hour siege of Pakistan’s busiest airport ended with 36 people, including ten militants, killed. The audacious attack raised concerns about whether Pakistan was capable of dealing with the Pakistani Taliban, which said it carried out the assault along with an Uzbek militant group.

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