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NEW: 1 soldier dead, 7 injured after Fort Bragg training accident

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Update 8:27 p.m.

One U.S. Army Special Operations soldier was killed by the explosion in a training accident at Fort Bragg. Fox News reports:

The Army’s Special Operations Command identified the dead soldier as Staff Sgt. Alexander Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Mass. Dalida, who enlisted in 2006, was assigned to 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne).

Col. Michael Kornburger of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School said “Our primary focus right now is to care for his loved ones. We will honor Staff Sgt. Dalida and help his family in their time of need.”

Update 4:23 p.m.

WTVD reports that the explosion occurred during demolition training. Eight soldiers were taken by ambulance and helicopter to Womack Army Medical Center.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) tweeted that he and his wife are praying for the soldiers. He was joined by Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

 

An explosion at Fort Bragg, N.C. injured 15 soldiers, WRAL reported.

The soldiers were all members of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, known as USASOC.

The Fayetteville Observer reported this was a training accident.

A spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command said officials did not yet know the number of soldiers injured or the extent of those injuries. He also could not say what may have caused the injuries.

“There was an incident that occurred on one of the ranges,” Lt. Col. Rob Bockholt said. “We’re looking into exactly what happened.”

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Guns and Crime

Did Joe Arpaio target Jeff Flake’s son with animal cruelty charges?

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Did Joe Arpaio target Jeff Flakes son with animal cruelty charges

Joe Arpaio doesn’t shy away from controversy and isn’t averse to causing a little mayhem. The latest incident may be even bigger than just whether or not he did wrong as he’s considering running for a Senate seat. The source of his troubles: the son of the man he may hope to replace, Senator Jeff Flake.

In 2014, Arpaio’s Sheriff’s Department looked into Austin Flake’s and his wife’s involvement in the deaths of 21 dogs. It was in a kennel operated by his in-laws. The Flakes were watching the dogs while the proprietors of the kennel were out of town.

Their deaths were due to an air conditioning unit that failed in a small room where the dogs spent the nights. Based on this information, the case against the Flakes was dismissed.

The lawsuit they’ve filed against Arpaio says they were targeted for political reasons to embarrass the Senator. They were put under surveillance and every effort was made to prove they were to blame for the deaths. The lawsuit goes to trial December 5.

Further Reading

Joe Arpaio accused of charging Jeff Flake’s son with animal cruelty to embarrass Arizona senator

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/joe-arpaio-accused-of-charging-jeff-flakes-son-with-animal-cruelty-to-embarrass-arizona-senator/article/2641649Sen. Jeff Flake was a vocal opponent of Arpaio’s handling of immigration issues in Maricopa County, the couple’s legal team said.

Arpaio and Jeffrey Leonard, an attorney representing the county and the former sheriff, declined to comment to the AP on the matter.

The couple previously sought $4 million in a notice of claim document for the suit, according to the AP.

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Foreign Affairs

Good news and bad as Trump makes promises to Turkey’s Erdogan before telling the Pentagon

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Good news and bad as Trump makes promises to Turkeys Erdogan before telling the Pentagon

The United States has agreed to stop arming Syrian Kurds. The end of Obama’s failed policy is the good news. The bad news is that it’s being made out by Turkish President Recep Erdogan to be something he negotiated. What’s worse is that the Pentagon is apparently hearing about the change in policy from Turkish press instead of the President himself.

There are conflicting reports on that last point. The AP says the Pentagon is scrambling:

Turkey: US to stop arming Syrian Kurdish fighters

https://www.apnews.com/673a686095de46a4b5d9e23f3a1174fcThere was no immediate reaction from the United States. But Turkey’s announcement appeared to catch the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department off guard. Officials at both agencies, who would normally be informed of changes in U.S. policy toward arming the Syrian Kurds, said they were unaware of any changes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Relations between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have soured recently over a number of issues, including U.S. support to Syrian Kurdish fighters.

However, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who was in Erdogan’s office during the call, President Trump said he had already given orders to U.S. generals and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster that “no weapons would be issued.”

Syrian Kurds had been the tip of President Obama’s spear against the Islamic State, but had been very unsuccessful at achieving any notable movement. It was assumed that the strategy was to empower them to fight a two-front war against ISIS as well as Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. They didn’t make a dent on either front.

My Take

Regardless of whether Trump informed the Pentagon or not, this is still a weak move. He’s negotiating for nothing. He could have very easily made the declaration without consulting Erdogan and still made Turkey happy. Now, it appears as if the decision was made as a result of pressure from Turkey.

These were not the forces the U.S. should ever have been arming, but the way we’re ending out support is almost as bad as offering it in the first place. For the President to really push for peace in the Middle East, he needs to do so through strength rather than by catering to demands of despots like Erdogan.

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Guns and Crime

Michael Flynn’s lawyers break contact with White House lawyers

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Michael Flynns lawyers break contact with White House lawyers

The legal team for former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn have stopped sharing information about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 election. This could be a blow for the President and some who are close to him if information gleaned from Flynn points to the Trump campaign, his transition team, or his administration itself.

The NY Times is reporting that four anonymous sources have said the agreement between the two legal teams has been ended from Flynn’s side. It is normal for teams with parallel interests to share information, but when there becomes a conflict of interest, any such sharing is halted. This leaves two likely possibilities: either Flynn is negotiating a deal to cooperate with the investigation or they’re cooperating already.

If it’s the former, there’s a chance the information sharing could be renewed if no deal is struck

Flynn is at the heart of the investigation. It was his actions and the White House’s reactions before and after he resigned that prompted the investigation in the first place. Flynn had lied on more than one occasions about financial interactions he’d had with Russian and Turkish interests. This made him vulnerable to blackmail, according to former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates. After Flynn resigned, the President had a one-on-one meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and allegedly asked him to stop pursuing Flynn. Comey was fired by the President, then leaked a memo detailing the meeting regarding Flynn.

Outcry from many in DC and in the media prompted Mueller’s appointment. Since then, he charged Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos. Charging or cutting a deal with Flynn would likely be the step prior to pursuing people directly associated with the President.

Further Reading

Flynn moving to cooperate with Mueller in Russia probe: report | TheHill

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361687-flynn-moving-to-cooperate-with-mueller-in-russia-probe-reportThe report comes after NBC News on Wednesday reported that Mueller is looking to question Bijan Kian, an associate of Flynn. Previous reports have suggested that the special counsel already has enough evidence to indict Flynn and his son, who also worked for Trump’s campaign.

Trump’s legal team has insisted recently that Mueller’s probe will end in the coming months, though legal experts have said the investigation is likely to drag on.

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