National/International News

CLG: Navy presence off Israel grows as USS Mount Whitney deploys to region

The command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20)
Photo by Journalist 1st Class Kurt Riggs

National and international media news & headlines compiled by CLG

Navy Presence Off Israel Grows as USS Mount Whitney Deploys to Region With Senior Admiral Aboard | 18 Oct 2023 | The Navy’s fleet commander in Europe and the command-and-control ship USS Mount Whitney are deploying to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea amid a U.S. military buildup in the region to support Israel as it wages a bloody war against Hamas, the service announced Wednesday. In a released statement, the Navy said the Mount Whitney — the 6th Fleet’s flagship — departed its port at Gaeta, Italy, “in support of U.S. operations.” A Navy spokesman confirmed to Military dot com that the commander of 6th fleet, Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, and his staff were aboard. The sailing of the Mount Whitney and Ishee’s putting to sea comes just days after defense officials confirmed that the Navy would send a second aircraft carrier strike group into the region and move a pair of ships carrying a Marine Corps expeditionary unit there as well.

2,000 U.S. Troops Ordered to Prepare for Deployment in Growing Response to Israel War With Hamas | 17 Oct 2023 | Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered around 2,000 troops to be on heightened alert to potentially deploy in response to the continuing conflict in Israel, a Pentagon statement released Tuesday morning announced. Austin “placed approximately 2,000 personnel and a range of units on a heightened state of readiness through a prepare-to-deploy order,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said in the emailed statement. The order is just the latest in a series of deployments and posture adjustments, including the movement of two carrier strike groups and a Marine expeditionary unit to the region, that have been announced by the Pentagon in recent days to bolster support of Israel as it wages war against Hamas, a Palestinian group that rules the Gaza Strip and launched a terrorist attack earlier this month.

Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit En Route to Waters Off Israel, Defense Official Says | 16 Oct 2023 | A Marine Corps expeditionary unit, which abruptly ended pre-scheduled training in Kuwait last week, is en route “to the waters off of Israel,” a defense official familiar with planning told Military dot com on Monday. Its movement comes as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered additional military capabilities to the region. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU, is capable of conducting amphibious operations and crisis response, among other missions, the official said. It was unclear what operations the MEU could be tasked with as it was on its way to the area in response to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, which erupted earlier this month.

U.S. to send 2nd aircraft carrier to eastern Mediterranean –USS Eisenhower will join the USS Ford off of Israel | 14 Oct 2023 | The Pentagon has ordered a second aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean near Israel to deter Iran or Hezbollah from joining the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to U.S. officials. A senior U.S. official and a U.S. official told ABC News that the USS Eisenhower carrier strike group will be ordered to the eastern Mediterranean to join the USS Gerald R Ford carrier strike group that arrived there earlier this week and is in international waters off of Israel. Senior U.S. officials have said publicly this week that the presence of the USS Ford carrier strike group in the eastern Mediterranean and the addition of more U.S. Air Force fighter jets to the region was intended to show the U.S. commitment to Israel and to serve as a deterrent to Iran and Hezbollah not to get involved in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Biden seeks $100 billion in Israel and Ukraine aid – report | 17 Oct 2023 | Joe Biden reportedly intends to propose a 100 billion aid bill that would include funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and [allegedly] securing the border with Mexico, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. It is believed that bundling the aid would ensure bipartisan support in Congress. One anonymous source told Bloomberg that details of the bill “are still being worked out,” but noted that it would cover the entire fiscal year, which ends in October 2024. The earlier Ukraine aid request — which led to the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy this month — was for 24 billion and covered only three months. While the majority of both Democrats and Republicans supports sending military aid to Israel, the Republicans are less convinced about more funds for Ukraine.

Israel asks U.S. for ’emergency’ $10 billion – report –The White House has been working on a package that would combine aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, the NYT said | 17 Oct 2023 | Israel has requested 10 billion in emergency assistance from the US, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing three unnamed officials. The White House and members of Congress are working on a package that would combine military assistance to Israel with aid to Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as funds to fortify the US-Mexico border, the paper said. Speaking during a visit to Tel Aviv on Sunday, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said lawmakers had discussed supplying Israel with new and replacement ammunition, precision-guided bombs and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits, which convert standard munitions into more accurate ones, according to the NYT.

Israeli anger at Netanyahu erupts at hospital bedsides | 18 Oct 2023 | One Israeli cabinet minister was barred from a hospital visitors’ entrance. Another’s bodyguards were drenched with coffee thrown by a bereaved man. A third had “traitor” and “imbecile” shouted at her as she came to comfort families evacuated during the horror. The shock Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas gunmen has rallied Israelis to one another. But there is little love shown for a government being widely accused of dropping the country’s guard and engulfing it in a Gaza war that is rattling the region. Whatever ensues, a day of judgment looms for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after a record-long career of political comebacks. Public fury over some 1,300 Israeli fatalities has been further fuelled by Netanyahu’s signature self-styling as a Churchillian strategist who foresaw national-security threats.

Gaza hospital explosion: Protests erupt across Middle East | 18 Oct 2023 | Protesters staged anti-Israel rallies around the Middle East on Wednesday, some of them turning violent, to voice rage at an explosion that killed hundreds of Palestinians at a hospital in the deadliest incident inside Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war. Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers near Ramallah in the West Bank during protests against Tuesday’s blast at Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital in Gaza City, Palestinian officials said. The two sides have blamed each other for the explosion. In Lebanon, security forces fired tear gas and water canon at protesters who were throwing projectiles as a protest near the U.S. Embassy north of Beirut turned violent, footage by Lebanese broadcaster al-Jadeed showed.

Israel blames Islamic Jihad for hospital strike, but says rocket only hit parking lot | 18 Oct 2023 | The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Wednesday claimed that the group Islamic Jihad was responsible for a strike on the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. The alleged strike, which Hamas blamed on Israel, prompted major demonstrations and Israeli and U.S. installations across the Middle East, including in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. The exact events of the strike remain unclear as of press time. An IDF After Action Review outlined Jerusalem’s account of events, insisting that a rocket misfire struck the hospital parking lot and that Hamas ultimately used the episode to spread anti-Israel propaganda… The IDF further stated that no fire from the Israeli side struck the hospital and that they had confirmed that rockets launched from Gaza were fired near the complex.

RT correspondent loses five family members in Gaza hospital attack –Four more of Saed Swerki’s relatives have died over the past week | 18 Oct 2023 | RT Arabic’s Saed Swerki held back tears on Wednesday evening as he reported from the Gaza City hospital, where hundreds perished the evening prior, five of them his own relatives. As Swerki reported live from the Ahli Arab Hospital, he revealed that his family members – a cousin and her children – were among those killed on Tuesday evening. The exact number of casualties from the explosion is still being established, though the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has claimed at least 450 have died and over 1,000 were wounded. It was the second time in a week that Swerki had lost family members. Four of his in-laws were killed on October 11, when their high-rise was obliterated by Israeli bombing.

Russian Air Defenses Well Adapted to Taking Out Aged ATACMS Missiles U.S. Gave to Ukraine | 18 Oct 2023 | While Ukraine has received a new longer-range ballistic missile from the U.S., the weapon is of limited use due to its age, against which Russian defense systems are well-adapted, an expert told Sputnik. The weapon might cause problems for Russian forces, but its impact will be limited. The U.S. has confirmed that it transferred MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine, which were then used to strike Russian forces in Berdyansk, on the Sea of Azov. The short-range surface-launched ballistic missile is fired from the HIMARS, which the U.S. previously supplied to Ukraine along with missiles inferior to the ATACMS. The U.S. had previously hesitated to give Ukraine the longer-range ATACMS over fears that Kiev would use them to strike inside Russia, further escalating the conflict.

Sputnik journalist’s infant child killed in Ukrainian strike | 12 Oct 2023 | A four-year-old child and parents-in-law of a Sputnik Afghanistan producer were killed in n a Ukrainian strike on Russia’s Belgorod Region on Wednesday. Khaibar Akifi and his wife Olesya were wounded in the attack, according to his employers in Moscow. Their dead daughter has been named as Amina. “Our staff member Khaibar Akifi, 29, was severely hurt in the strike and is in intensive care,” the head of the “Rossiya Segodnya” media group, Dmitry Kiselyov, told RIA Novosti. The journalist is still “in critical condition,” the head of the Belgorod Region health department, Andrey Ikonnikov, said on Telegram on Thursday.

Hundreds arrested after Pro-Palestinian demonstrators flood Cannon Rotunda, Capitol complex | 18 Oct 2023 | Hundreds were arrested Wednesday after pro-Palestinian protests broke out on Capitol Hill, with demonstrators flooding into the Cannon House Office Building and large crowds gathering with flags and signs around the Capitol complex. The Cannon House Office Building holds several House Committee and congressional offices. By 2:30 p.m., its rotunda was full of protestors singing and chanting “ceasefire now” and “free Palestine.” U.S. Capitol Police put out an alert about the demonstrations, saying the activity was not allowed inside Congressional buildings. They worked for hours to clear the crowd that had grown inside. Police say they arrested about 300 people in total.

Pro-ceasefire demonstrators overrun Capitol Hill demanding end to Israel-Hamas conflict | 18 Oct 2023 | Supporters of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas occupied Capitol Hill on Wednesday demanding an end to the ongoing conflict and urging the government against escalating the hostilities. Carrying banners blaring the single word “ceasefire,” the demonstrators gathered en masse and staged a sit in. Video footage of the event showed them collectively chanting “not in our name.” The demonstration appeared to occur in the Cannon Office Building. Critics of the demonstrators characterized the event as an “insurrection,” in an apparent reference to an oft-used term for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Twitter user sentenced to 7 months in prison after being found guilty of election interference for making memes disparaging Hillary Clinton | 18 Oct 2023 | Meme-maker Douglass Mackey was sentenced in the Eastern District Court of New York on criminal charges on Wednesday after a March conviction for conspiracy against rights, i.e., election interference, over memes he created during the 2016 presidential election that disparaged Hillary Clinton. Mackey was sentenced to seven months in prison for the crime of making memes the DOJ didn’t think were funny… The case was heard in the U.S. Court of the Eastern District of New York. Mackey, who was known as Ricky Vaughn on Twitter, was found guilty of the federal charge after making memes that jokingly encouraged Hillary Clinton supporters to cast their votes via text message. 

Ontario man files $35.6 million lawsuit against Pfizer over son’s vaccine death –American pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole determined in July Sean died from the COVID-19 vaccine. | 16 Oct 2023 | New Tecumseth, Ontario, resident Dan Hartman has initiated a wrongful death lawsuit against Pfizer because his son Sean died from the COVID-19 vaccine. “On the morning of September 27, 2021, 33 days after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination, Sean Hartman was found deceased in his bedroom by his mother,” said Sheikh Law lawyer Umar Sheikh in a court filing. “The Plaintiff pleads that Sean Hartman died as a result of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination.” Dan was denied m-ney from the Vaccine Injury Support Program in March despite Sean dying after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Leaker of Trump Taxes Worked for Biden Beltway Donor That Just Won a Big New IRS Contract | 18 Oct 2023 | The Internal Revenue Service recently awarded a lucrative contract to help modernize its computer databases to the same Washington firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, that employed the man who pleaded guilty last week to stealing and leaking thousands of private tax returns of wealthy Americans, including former President Trump, according to records reviewed by RealClearInvestigations. The massive IRS theft is the third major breach of confidential and classified government information by Booz Allen contractors over the last decade — including Edward Snowden’s 2013 leak exposing the National Security Agency’s worldwide anti-terror surveillance program. Cyber-thief Charles “Chaz” Littlejohn was working on an IRS contract for Booz Allen in 2018 when he stole more than two decades of Trump’s personal tax records from IRS computers. He later leaked them to the New York Times, which published negative stories on Trump’s long-sought returns several weeks before the 2020 election, which Trump narrowly lost [sic] in a handful of battleground states.

House Democratic Lawmaker Floats George W. Bush for Speaker of the House | 16 Oct 2023 | On Forbes Newsroom, California Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman floated the idea of former President George W. Bush becoming the next Speaker of the House. “He could come back,” Sherman said. “Obviously, I’m not a real fan of how the Iraq War went, but I would think that any reasonable Republican would be somebody that Democrats could work with — if it was part of a system where you didn’t have five of the most extreme Republicans blocking important legislation and saying, ‘If you bring that to the floor for a vote, we’ll knock you out of your Speakership.'”

4 replies »

  1. Refit, and recomission the Mighty Mo, and the rest of the Iowa class battleships. Nothing says “go ahead, make my day” like 16″ guns poised to launch high explosive shells that weigh as much as a Volkswagen from 20 miles away off shore at a tenuous position .