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Tuesday, Jun 25th

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U.S. Confronts Failures as Terrorism Spreads in West Africa

US anti-terrorism assistance failedIn the shadow of the 9/11 attacks, the United States rushed troops and military aid to a swath of West Africa to help French forces stop the spread of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

More than a decade later, and with hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance spent, that regional counterterrorism effort has largely failed.

Groups that have declared allegiance to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are on the march. Military coups have toppled civilian-led governments in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger. The new leaders have ordered U.S. and French troops out, and in some cases invited Russian mercenaries in to take their place.

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U.S. Army officer resigns in protest over U.S. support for Israel

Major Harrison Mann resigns over Israel policyMaj. Harrison Mann, a Jewish American working for the Defense Intelligence Agency, has resigned from the U.S. Army, citing the United States' "nearly unqualified support for the government of Israel," which he claims has "enabled and empowered the killing and starvation of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians."

Mann, a 13-year U.S. Army veteran who worked in the Middle East bureau, sat down with CBS News senior national correspondent Jim Axelrod for his first television interview since resigning his post. Mann submitted his resignation in November, and his separation from the military became effective Monday.

More than six U.S. government officials have publicly resigned in protest of the United States' support for Israel's war, but Mann is the first from the military and intelligence community.

"I understand if people are angry that I chose to speak about this, but I didn't feel like I had much of a choice," Mann told Axelrod.

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US navy admiral arrested for alleged bribery scheme with training company

US Admiral charged with bribery

A retired four-star admiral who was once the US navy’s second-highest-ranking officer was arrested on Friday on charges that he helped a company secure a government contract for a training program in exchange for a lucrative job with the firm.

Robert Burke, who served as vice-chief of naval operations, faces federal charges including bribery and conspiracy for what prosecutors allege was a corrupt scheme that led to the company hiring him after his retirement in 2022 with a starting annual salary of $500,000. He oversaw naval operations in Europe, Russia and most of Africa.

Also charged in the case are Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger, who are co-chief executive officers of the company. The company is not named in court papers – but Kim and Messenger are named as the CEOs on the website for a company called Next Jump, which provides training programs.

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Pilot hospitalized after military plane crashes near Albuquerque airport

Pilot opn hospital after plane crashA military aircraft crashed near New Mexico’s Albuquerque International Sunport Tuesday afternoon, leaving the pilot hospitalized with injuries.

The pilot, who is in the Air Force, was injured after he ejected from the jet, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

A Kirtland Air Force Base spokesperson told the outlet that he is expected to recover from his injuries.

The pilot was taking the jet from a Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas and landed at Kirtland to refuel. He took off shortly after and was heading toward the Edwards Air Force Base in southern California, the outlet reported.

The New Mexico Air Force Base is next to the airport, which confirmed the crash on social media platform X, noting that the pilot was the only person on board.

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U.S. Army aid vessels become unmoored near floating Gaza pier

US Army aid vessels come unmoored

Four U.S. Army vessels supporting the humanitarian floating pier mission in Gaza became unmoored by rough seas, military officials said.

Two vessels are now anchored on a Gaza beach near the pier, U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Saturday. The other two are beached further north, on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon.

Israeli forces are assisting recovery efforts near the pier and no U.S. personnel will enter Gaza, CENTCOM said. No injuries were reported, and the pier remains fully functional, according to the statement.

A tugboat and a landing craft mechanized (LCM) washed ashore in Israel, a U.S. official confirmed to NPR. LCMs transport vehicles and were notably used during World War II for amphibious landings of troops and tanks.

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Fleet Week NYC 2024: See massive warships sailing around New York to honor service members

Fleet Week NYC 2024

Fleet Week is setting sail in New York City from May 21 to May 27 to honor those who serve and protect the United States seas.

Nearly 3,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will be honored at the Hudson River during Fleet Week, which began in 1988.

"Fleet Week New York, now in its 36th year, is a time-honored tradition for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast team to visit New York City over the Memorial Day weekend,” Director of Public Affairs and Fleet Week New York, Beth Baker, said in a statement to USA TODAY.

“The week-long event provides us an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding area to meet their service members and see firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services," Baker said in the statement.

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Gaza aid pier mission involving US troops is off to a chaotic start

Gaza pier aid off to chaotic startAn effort involving the U.S. military to surge much-needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is off to a chaotic start, with aid trucks being overrun and at least one person feared dead over the weekend, prompting a pause in aid distribution.

U.S. soldiers and sailors built a floating pier off Gaza and stabbed it into a Gaza beach on Friday with the help of Israeli forces.

The plan, announced by President Biden in his State of the Union address and using a capability known as Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS, has been touted as another way to get food to Gazans caught between the Israeli military and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

It involves no U.S. troops on the ground in Gaza, as the U.S. military’s efforts have involved building the massive floating platform and pier that was installed last week.

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