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Saturday, Feb 06th

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Egregious safety failures at Army lab led to anthrax mistakes

Errors at army lab led to anthraz failuresA brigadier general who led an Army biodefense lab in Utah is among a dozen individuals facing potential disciplinary actions — including loss of jobs — for egregious failures that contributed to the facility mistakenly shipping live anthrax to other labs for more than a decade, according to the military’s accountability investigation report that was provided to USA TODAY.

“Over time, you see there is complacency that the leadership should have recognized and taken action to correct,” Maj. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, who led the review team, said in an interview.

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12 feared dead in military helicopter crash in Hawaii

military helicopter crash in HawaiiThe U.S. Coast Guard is searching for two Marine helicopters with 12 aboard that reportedly collided north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Coast Guard District 14 said two CH-53 helicopters, the Marine Corps' largest helicopter, collided shortly after midnight local time (3 a.m. Eastern). Emergency workers found debris including an empty life raft and fire on the water. Waves reaching 40 feet are hampering rescue efforts.

TVNL Comment: This is a developing story. Watch for updates.

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The Latest: US official: 10 American sailors now in Qatar

Sailors in QatarA senior U.S. defense official says the 10 American sailors briefly held by Iran are heading to a U.S. military facility in Qatar and likely have already arrived there.

The official says the sailors also will be debriefed by naval officials and will get medical checkups, though there's no sign any were harmed.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity as the information had yet to be made public.

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Court rules wearing unearned military medals is free speech

wearing medals is free speechA U.S. federal appeals court tossed out a conviction of a veteran who wore unearned military decorations, saying it was a form of free speech protected under the Constitution.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling on Monday in the case of United States of America v. Elven Joe Swisher.

in 2007, Swisher was convicted of violating the Stolen Valor Act, a measure outlawing false claims of military accomplishments. The law was signed by former President George W. Bush in 2006, but the Supreme Court struck it down in 2012 as a violation of the First Amendment.

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Pentagon: 2 US Navy boats held by Iran but will be returned

US nave boats taken by IranTen sailors aboard two small Navy boats were taken into Iranian custody Tuesday, but Tehran gave assurances the crew and vessels would be promptly returned.

The two craft were en route from Kuwait to Bahrain when the military lost contact with the vessels, a U.S. military official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident told USA Today.

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Missing U.S. Missile Found in Cuba

Missiong US missile found in CubaOne of the most advanced U.S. missiles was unintentionally shipped to Cuba in 2014, according to a report Thursday evening in the Wall Street Journal.

The Hellfire missile was supposed to be sent to Europe for a training mission, the Journal reported, cited “people familiar with the matter.”

Shipping such a sophisticated weapon to a communist dictatorship with which the U.S. at the time didn’t have diplomatic relations and has been under U.S. embargo for a half-century would be among the worst mistakes of its kind in U.S. military history, the sources said.

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American charged in bombing attack on U.S. base in Afghanistan

American charged in Afghan bombingA U.S. citizen already accused of going to Pakistan to train with al-Qaida was charged Wednesday with helping build explosives for a 2009 suicide attack on an American military base in Afghanistan.

A revised indictment charges Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh with conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other crimes. He is to appear Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn; there was no immediate comment by his lawyer.

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