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Monday, Aug 31st

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Pentagon: U.S. to increase drone use

drone use to expand by US- The number of U.S. military and intelligence daily drone flights will be increased by 50 percent in coming years, a senior Pentagon official said.

It is the first significant increase in drone use since 2011 and reflects the value of drones, for information-gathering as well as for lethal airstrikes, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Strikes by the unmanned aircraft have killed at least 3,000 people, non-governmental organizations have estimated.

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Chelsea Manning denied access to legal library prior to prison hearing, she says

Chelsea ManningChelsea Manning, the soldier and Guardian columnist, has been denied access to a prison legal library days before a crucial hearing at which she will represent herself against charges including possession of unapproved reading material, according to a message posted to her official Twitter account at the weekend.

The hearing is part of a legal process that could result in indefinite solitary confinement for Manning, for reported violations that also include storing a tube of expired toothpaste in her military prison cell.

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Soldier's journey to heal spotlights 'soul wounds' of war

Soul wounds of war"It was just another day in Mosul," the soldier began, his voice shaking. Sgt. 1st Class Marshall Powell took a deep breath. He couldn't look at the other three servicemen seated around him in the therapy session.

He'd rarely spoken about his secret, the story of the little girl who wound up in his hospital during the war in Iraq, where he served as an Army nurse. Her chest had been blown apart, and her brown eyes implored him for help. Whenever he'd thought of her since, "I killed the girl" echoed in his head.

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Why the US nuclear budget grows while the stockpile of warheads shrinks

nuclear weaponf you simply tally the number of warheads, the United States’ nuclear stockpile looks like a shadow of what it once was. The number of warheads held by the U.S. peaked in 1967 at over 31,000, but has been steadily declining, mainly through a series of treaties with nuclear rival Russia.

By February 2018, the deadline for the most recent treaty, the U.S. will have pared down its active strategic arsenal (warheads ready to launch) to 1,605, the lowest number since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

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Navy probes complaint of cancer 'cluster' among Guantanamo workers

GitmoThe U.S. Navy is investigating a complaint that seeks the evacuation of civilian and military lawyers from parts of the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, following reports of cancer cases among personnel working on the trials of detainees there.

At least seven civilians and military members who worked on detainee trials at Guantanamo Bay have been diagnosed with cancer, according to the complaint, which was filed with the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General. The complaint calls on American military officials to remove personnel from court facilities on the base and test them and the base itself for carcinogens.

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How the U.S. is training China’s military – while inching toward conflict

US training Chinese militaryDespite tensions between the United States and China over the South China Sea, the two nations’ militaries train together at a very high level. Current “mil-mil” engagements are robust, with China participating in the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC 2014, which is hosted biannually by the U.S. Pacific Command. The drills allowed China to learn a great deal about U.S. tactics, techniques and procedures (in military shorthand, “TTPs”).

But even as the United States provided China with its highest-level access to military drills, the U.S. military leadership consistently ratcheted up the level of confrontation in the South China Sea. Most recently, a top U.S. Navy admiral participated in a surveillance flight in the region. The United States is at once inching closer to armed confrontation, while at the same time training Chinese forces in the American way of war.

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Chattanooga shootings: 5 dead including gunman after recruiting centers gunfire

tennessee shootingFour Marines are dead after a gunman opened fire on two military recruiting centers on Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn., according to reports.

A police officer was also shot and the suspected shooter is also believed dead.  The deadly attack prompted lockdowns across the state.

A police officer went "down" at a Navy and Marines reserve center at Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke told reporters around 11:30 a.m.

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