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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/military (Page 2)

President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission

Three hostages who escaped a West African military camp arrived in Paris today, making their second appearance since the ordeal and receiving a welcome from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron expressed condolences for the two French Special Forces officers who died saving four hostages from the Burkina Faso militant camp during a rescue operation.

Two of the hostages present in France Saturday were identified as Frenchmen Laurent Lassimouillas and Patrick Picque, while the third was an unidentified South Korean woman. The fourth hostage, an American woman, was not identified, and was flown back to the United States without speaking to Macron, according to The Daily Mail.

2 DECORATED FRENCH SOLDIERS KILLED IN RESCUE MISSION THAT SAVED AMERICAN, OTHER HOSTAGES IN AFRICA

Macron spoke to the hostages as they got off the plane at the Villacoublay Air Base southwest of Paris, making note of the sacrifice made by the Special Forces officers.

“All our thoughts go to the families of the soldiers and to the soldiers who lost their lives to free us from this hell,” Lassimouillas said. “We wanted to present our condolences right away to those families because we feel ambivalent about everything that happened to us.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1d66492e9bd14a3583f6a544c9c2f961 President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70

This photo provided Friday May 10, 2019 by the French army shows navy soldiers Cédric de Pierrepont, left, and Alain Bertoncello. Two French soldiers have been killed in a military operation in the West African nation of Burkina Faso that freed four people from the U.S., France and South Korea who were kidnapped in neighboring Benin. (French Army)

The soldiers were identified as petty officers Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello. A Facebook post by the French Navy added that both men received numerous awards throughout their military careers.

SURFER KILLED BY SHARK OFF COAST OF FRANCE’S REUNION ISLAND: OFFICIALS

Lassimouillas and Picque, both music teachers, had disappeared in Pendjari National Park in Benin on May 1. The Frenchmen spoke about the death of the Beninese park guide, who was killed when they were taken from the safari and transported to the military camp. They expressed regret over what happened and French officials say their captors were ‘terrorists’ who planned to transport them to an Al Qaeda affiliate in Mali.

Westlake Legal Group burkina-faso President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70

The raid that saved the hostages happened Thursday night in the Western African nation of Burkina Faso, France says. (Google Maps)

The U.S. State Department warns Americans to “reconsider travel” to Burkina Faso as “terrorist groups continue plotting attacks and kidnappings … and may conduct attacks anywhere.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1d66492e9bd14a3583f6a544c9c2f961 President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1d66492e9bd14a3583f6a544c9c2f961 President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70

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Defense chief’s border visit will highlight Trump priority

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is making his second trip to the U.S.-Mexican border to highlight what President Donald Trump calls a national emergency, after freeing up $1.5 billion more in Pentagon money to support wall construction.

Shanahan was flying to the Texas border town of McAllen on Saturday with the acting chief of Homeland Security Department, Kevin McAleenan, for a trip that demonstrates Shanahan’s attention to border security, a top Trump priority, amid questions from some in Congress about whether the border mission is an appropriate and wise use of military resources.

As a prelude to the trip, the White House on Thursday announced that Trump intends to nominate Shanahan as defense secretary, ending months of speculation about Pentagon leadership. He has served in an interim capacity since Jan. 1, an unprecedented period of uncertainty at the helm of the Pentagon.

Shanahan has supported the use of active-duty troops, in addition to the National Guard, to bolster Customs and Border Protection efforts to handle surging numbers of Central American migrants seeking to cross the border. But recently he has hinted at impatience with the lack of a long-term strategy for ensuring border security, which is the responsibility of DHS.

In congressional testimony May 1, Shanahan said he and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been considering the question of how long the military will be needed at the border and how best it can support that need.

“The question he and I are trying to answer,” Shanahan said, “is, how long will we be at the border.” He added, “We really need to get back to our primary missions and continue to generate readiness” to undertake conventional military operations.

On May 3, Shanahan told reporters that the border crisis had developed more quickly than anyone had anticipated, putting extra pressure on DHS.

“I don’t think anybody thought it would be this bad, the situation would deteriorate like it has, and that distress would be as high on those front-line (DHS) employees,” he said.

This past week, Shanahan told Congress there are 4,364 military troops on the border, including active-duty and National Guard. They are erecting barriers, providing logistics and transportation service and other activities in support of CPB. The troops are prohibited from performing law enforcement duties.

Many Democrats, including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, have questioned the use of active-duty troops on the border.

“The longer the Southwest border mission continues, the line of demarcation starts to blur in terms of where we’re drawing a line saying this is not a military responsibility, this is law enforcement, immigration, internal security responsibility,” Durbin said at a recent hearing.

On Friday, Shanahan announced he was transferring $1.5 billion from numerous defense projects, including $604 million originally intended for use in support of Afghan security forces, to a Pentagon counterdrug fund that will help finance construction of barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. That is in addition to $1 billion the Pentagon transferred for wall construction in March.

The backdrop to Shanahan’s trip is his pending nomination. Shanahan has served as the acting secretary since Jan. 1, when Trump elevated him from deputy secretary to replace Jim Mattis, who resigned in December.

The White House has never explained why it took Trump so long to decide to nominate Shanahan, a former Boeing Co. executive. Trump himself has said he likes to keep Cabinet members in an acting status because gives him more flexibility, although it also frustrates the Senate’s efforts to exercise its constitutional role of providing advice and consent.

In March, the Defense Department’s inspector general investigated accusations that Shanahan had shown favoritism toward Boeing during his time as deputy defense secretary, while disparaging Boeing competitors. The investigation appeared to stall his nomination, but the internal watchdog wrapped up the inquiry in April and cleared Shanahan of any wrongdoing.

Westlake Legal Group 00075b3b-ContentBroker_contentid-8ca7e0b6225e44dfb82b3cc76ea33c78 Defense chief's border visit will highlight Trump priority ROBERT BURNS fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 52158a19-dddb-5287-b2f0-aa8d76deb5d3   Westlake Legal Group 00075b3b-ContentBroker_contentid-8ca7e0b6225e44dfb82b3cc76ea33c78 Defense chief's border visit will highlight Trump priority ROBERT BURNS fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 52158a19-dddb-5287-b2f0-aa8d76deb5d3

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US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran

Westlake Legal Group us-moving-patriot-missile-battery-to-mideast-to-counter-iran US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 719288fc-a315-5ce2-af8b-ab6cb09dde1d

The U.S. will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran, the Pentagon said Friday, reflecting ongoing concerns that Tehran may be planning to attack America forces or interests in the region.

The Defense Department released a statement about the move but provided no details. An official said the decision comes after intelligence showed that the Iranians have loaded military equipment and missiles onto small boats controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The official was not authorized to discuss the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials had said earlier this week that sending a Patriot battery to the area was under discussion and was part of the initial request made by the Pentagon’s U.S. Central Command. They said it took a few days to get final approval for the Patriot, a long-range, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

The U.S. removed Patriot missile batteries from Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan late last year. It was not clear if the battery would go back to one of those countries.

U.S. officials announced Sunday that they would rush an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the region. The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and accompanying ships have passed through the Suez Canal and are now in the Red Sea.

Officials had initially indicated that the military moves were based in part on indications that Iran had moved short-range ballistic missiles onto small boats called dhows along its shore.

Officials would not say if the intelligence showed that the boats have mobile launchers on them. But a notice to mariners in the region has warned of potential threats to commercial maritime traffic.

John Bolton, the national security adviser, announced the initial moves on Sunday, citing “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” but did not explain what they were.

On Friday, a defense official said the Iranian threats also include potential attacks by Iranian proxies, such as Shia militias in Iraq.

Several officials said they have not yet seen any tangible move by Iran in reaction to the U.S. military shifts in the area. But they also noted there have been no attacks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quick visit Tuesday to Baghdad to meet with top leaders and underscore Iraq’s need to protect Americans in their country.

The Pentagon also said Friday that the USS Arlington, an amphibious transport ship, will move to the Middle East region earlier than planned. The ship is in Europe and will be replacing the USS McHenry, which is scheduled to leave.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2579a3441c9344e89e83f2d5e5737a9d US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 719288fc-a315-5ce2-af8b-ab6cb09dde1d   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2579a3441c9344e89e83f2d5e5737a9d US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 719288fc-a315-5ce2-af8b-ab6cb09dde1d

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Trump faces mounting foreign policy challenges around world

New North Korea missile tests. A trade standoff with China. Fresh nuclear tensions with Iran.

President Donald Trump’s foreign policy challenges are mounting around the world, showing the limits of his self-touted ability to make a deal and perhaps the difficulty of focusing primarily on domestic concerns for his “America first” administration.

They’re also forcing him into some contorted positions, for example, backing regime change in Venezuela without any displays of force and saying he’s open to talks with Iran while dispatching an aircraft carrier and bombers to the Middle East.

Staring down high-stakes diplomacy around the world, Trump says his efforts are working.

“We’ve made a decisive break from the failed foreign policy establishment that sacrificed our sovereignty, surrendered our jobs and tied us down to endless foreign wars,” he told supporters at a rally in Florida. “In everything we do, we are now putting America first.”

Still, Trump has plenty of unfinished business. Since taking office, he has specialized in publicly hectoring friendly partners, embracing foes and resisting too much advice. Critics have labeled him an unreliable force, while allies say he has followed through on a promise to disrupt foreign policy norms.

Trump inherited some of his foreign policy problems, such as North Korea, Syria and Afghanistan, but has yet to solve them. And his hands-on approach to North Korea, holding the first meetings between a U.S. president and that country’s leader, has not yielded a deal to curtail North Korea’s nuclear missile program.

On other fronts, Trump has turned up the heat. His trade clash with China remains unresolved as he brandishes additional tariff hikes. With Iran, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal that the Obama administration had negotiated along with five other world powers, and he recently increased the pressure, designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization and deploying military forces to the Persian Gulf. He said Thursday that he would like to get a call from Iran’s leaders to negotiate.

Cliff Kupchan, chairman of Eurasia Group, described China and Iran as the two most pressing issues for the U.S. But he noted that Trump’s moves are not unexpected.

“With China and Iran we’re seeing a strategically very predictable president play out his hand,” he said. Still, he said that handling the range of challenges proves that the administration can manage to “walk and chew gum at the same time.”

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trump rattled through some of the top concerns. He said the U.S. was looking “very seriously right now” at North Korea’s recent military tests. On trade talks with China, he said the U.S. would be fine either way, but said Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote him a “beautiful” letter. And amid a rising clash with Iran, he declared, “we have information that you don’t want to know about.”

Other pressing issues include the economic and political crisis in Venezuela. The United States and other nations have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president, but a recent effort to encourage an uprising against President Nicolas Maduro failed. Also on the horizon is a blueprint for Middle East peace from Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as the possibility of peace talks with the Taliban to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Trump, who ran on limiting U.S. engagement abroad, has stressed his interest in domestic policymaking. Michael O’Hanlon, a defense and foreign policy analyst at the Brookings Institution, said a unifying theme of Trump’s approach to foreign policy is his unwillingness to commit to more wars.

“I think so far we continue to see reluctance on the part of Trump to get involved in new military operations — which is mostly a good instinct – but a willingness to brandish nonmilitary instruments” of national power, as well as assertive shows of military force with no serious intention of taking pre-emptive military action, O’Hanlon said in an email Thursday.

Every administration faces periods of intensified – and often unforeseen – foreign policy problems that can divert its attention, resources and political capital away from domestic issues, such as jobs and the economy, that are more central to a president’s re-election hopes. The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon happened in President George W. Bush’s first year in office, and his subsequent decisions to invade Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in March 2003 consumed his administration for years.

Trump also stressed that he was calling the shots. Asked if he lines up with hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, he said “I’m the one who tempers him, which is OK,” and added: “Ultimately I make the decision.”

That lines up with a central emphasis of Trump’s foreign policy, which is that he always has the final word. His advisers have shifted during his term, and he is now on his second secretary of state and third national security adviser. On Thursday, the White House said Trump will nominate Patrick Shanahan to succeed Jim Mattis as defense secretary, ending an audition period for Shanahan that began in January.

In a sign that Shanahan remains focused on Trump’s top security issue – building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border – Shanahan is scheduled to travel to the border on Saturday, even as he juggles the Iran, Venezuela and North Korea problems.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-5957328a6fd64f35863bf47fa6dd5714-1 Trump faces mounting foreign policy challenges around world fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc CATHERINE LUCEY and ROBERT BURNS Associated Press article 5de96ccf-b316-5eca-bc35-47de605947dc   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-5957328a6fd64f35863bf47fa6dd5714-1 Trump faces mounting foreign policy challenges around world fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc CATHERINE LUCEY and ROBERT BURNS Associated Press article 5de96ccf-b316-5eca-bc35-47de605947dc

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High schools across US hosting ‘military signing days’

Westlake Legal Group high-schools-across-us-hosting-military-signing-days High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

High schools across the country are highlighting their soon-to-be graduating students’ intentions to join the military.

Similar to college or athletic “signing days” — in which high school students officially or ceremonially declare the place of higher education they’ve committed to — schools are increasingly hosting “military signing days.”

YOUNG MARINE HOPEFUL HELPED STOP COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTING THAT LEFT 1 DEAD, 8 INJURED

At Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Ala., on Thursday, 28 students enlisted in the military, according to Fox affiliate WALA-TV. It was the school’s first such event, where the students signed paperwork to join various branches including the Alabama National Guard, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

Four students at Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, N.J., did the same on Wednesday, also the school’s inaugural “military signing” day.

Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

Four students at Becton Regional High School in New Jersey signed their intent to join the armed forces at the school’s first “military signing day.” (Dario Sforza)

Dario Sforza, the school principal and acting superintendent, told Fox News on Thursday, “We hope this inspires leaders to have the courage to recognize and celebrate all students’ skills, abilities, talents and post-secondary selections — not only the academically and athletically gifted.”

WWII POW GETS SURPRISE DIPLOMA 75 YEARS AFTER LEAVING HIGH SCHOOL TO JOIN ARMY

The principal told NorthJersey.com that the four students — 4 percent of the 100-student class — make up the largest amount of graduating seniors he’s seen enlist in the military during his time at the school.

Another eight students in Clarkston, Mich., committed to the armed forces once they graduate from high school during a ceremony at Clarkston High School on Wednesday.

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Alex Hunt, a student who will join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Alabama, told WDIV-TV he feels as though his enlistment will be “more of a betterment for me.”

“I’m growing as a person,” he told the news outlet. “I’m going to become a better human being by coming through this. It’s going to make me grow.”

Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article   Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

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US military veteran sues twice after being denied a passport

Westlake Legal Group us-military-veteran-sues-twice-after-being-denied-a-passport US military veteran sues twice after being denied a passport fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article AMY FORLITI 92988684-2530-5091-be9d-9e7db20f41ac

A Minnesota man and military veteran whose request for a passport was denied twice is now asking a federal court to intervene and declare that he is a U.S. citizen, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The complaint, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, says the U.S. State Department has required information from Mark Esqueda that is burdensome and goes beyond what is legally required. Both of his passport applications were made during President Barack Obama’s administration.

Esqueda’s lawsuit says that he was born in the U.S. and is entitled to rights of citizenship, including the right to travel freely across U.S. borders. The suit names Secretary of State Michael Pompeo as a defendant.

“To have them question my citizenship is an insult,” Esqueda, 30, of Lake Huron, said in a statement. “I was born here, raised here and served my country here.”

The State Department says it does not comment on pending litigation.

According to the complaint, Esqueda was born in Hidalgo, Texas, in 1988 and a midwife and police officer were present during his birth. He spent most of his childhood in Minnesota, served in the Marines from 2007 to 2011 and later served in the National Guard. While in the Marines, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan and held a military clearance level of “secret,” which the lawsuit says is given only to U.S. citizens and required a thorough background check.

Esqueda applied for a passport in 2012 and included a copy of his birth certificate. The State Department requested additional information, but Esqueda did not have it and his application was denied, the lawsuit says.

He spent the next several years gathering more documentation and applied for a passport again in 2015. This time, he also provided a signed report from the police officer who was at his birth, documentation about his military security clearance and information about government benefits his family received when he was a child.

The complaint says the State Department demanded more information, alleging the midwife at Esqueda’s birth was unreliable. Esqueda then submitted five affidavits from friends and family in Hidalgo, but his application was ultimately denied in January 2017.

The lawsuit says Esqueda is concerned that questions about his citizenship will put his other rights in jeopardy. He’s asking a judge to declare that he is a U.S. citizen and is entitled to a passport.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-60f9ee2711bc46d288dd55303ef02330 US military veteran sues twice after being denied a passport fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article AMY FORLITI 92988684-2530-5091-be9d-9e7db20f41ac   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-60f9ee2711bc46d288dd55303ef02330 US military veteran sues twice after being denied a passport fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article AMY FORLITI 92988684-2530-5091-be9d-9e7db20f41ac

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US seizes North Korean ship amid tense moment in relations

Westlake Legal Group us-seizes-north-korean-ship-amid-tense-moment-in-relations US seizes North Korean ship amid tense moment in relations fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc ERIC TUCKER cb307c7c-d55d-5183-9259-b425adff7b81 Associated Press article

The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries.

The “Wise Honest,” North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. It’s now in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said.

Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch.

Justice Department lawyers laid out the case for confiscating the ship in a complaint filed in New York, arguing that payments for maintenance and operation of the vessel were channeled through unwitting U.S. financial institutions in violation of American law. The coal trade itself is also believed to fund the isolated country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official, told reporters. He later added: “The U.S. sanctions against North Korea reflect the threat these programs pose to U.S. national security.”

The 581-foot (177 meters) Wise Honest was used for coal transports to ports in China, Russia and other countries, according to the complaint, generating badly needed revenue to a country that is under U.N. sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program. The ship also delivered heavy machinery back to North Korea.

The vessel was owned by a subsidiary of a North Korean shipping company that is controlled by the country’s military and is on a Treasury Department sanctions list, officials said.

North Korea sought to disguise the nationality of the ship and the origin of its cargo, according to the complaint. The ship, in what U.S. officials say was a clear act of concealment, also turned off an automatic signal system intended to alert other ships of its course and location.

Indonesian authorities intercepted and seized the Wise Honest in the East China Sea a month after it was photographed at the port of Nampo, North Korea, where it took on a load of coal. The captain of the ship was charged in Indonesia with violating that country’s maritime laws and convicted, the complaint says. It was not immediately clear what happened to the rest of the crew, which at least at one time totaled two dozen members.

The U.S. has prosecuted people and businesses for violating sanctions but has never before seized a North Korean ship. The country will have an opportunity to contest the seizure in court. If the U.S. prevails, it will be able to sell the vessel.

“When nations who have stated an intent to do harm to the United States evade international sanctions, Americans become less safe,” said Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Asked whether North Korea’s largest merchant ship was similarly involved in illegal coal exports, Demers said that he did not know, but added, “If it is, we’d love to get our hands on it.”

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have held two summits focused on the North’s nuclear program but have made no discernible progress toward a deal that would eliminate its weapons. At the White House on Thursday, Trump said the U.S. was looking “very seriously right now” at North Korea’s recent military tests.

“Nobody’s happy about it.”

___

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8d2b23465b4543b9adf64317d425db36 US seizes North Korean ship amid tense moment in relations fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc ERIC TUCKER cb307c7c-d55d-5183-9259-b425adff7b81 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8d2b23465b4543b9adf64317d425db36 US seizes North Korean ship amid tense moment in relations fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc ERIC TUCKER cb307c7c-d55d-5183-9259-b425adff7b81 Associated Press article

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Trump to nominate Shanahan for top Pentagon post

Westlake Legal Group trump-to-nominate-shanahan-for-top-pentagon-post Trump to nominate Shanahan for top Pentagon post ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc ce4ebfb8-d62e-5db3-ad4a-6f0b2ad98b45 Associated Press article

President Donald Trump will nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense.

The former Boeing executive has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, a highly unusual arrangement for arguably the most sensitive Cabinet position.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do an excellent job.”

Shanahan, who is 56, has a depth of experience in the defense industry but little in government.

He replaced former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a retired Marine general, who quit in December after clashing with Trump over the president’s call to withdraw American troops from Syria.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8ca7e0b6225e44dfb82b3cc76ea33c78 Trump to nominate Shanahan for top Pentagon post ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc ce4ebfb8-d62e-5db3-ad4a-6f0b2ad98b45 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8ca7e0b6225e44dfb82b3cc76ea33c78 Trump to nominate Shanahan for top Pentagon post ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc ce4ebfb8-d62e-5db3-ad4a-6f0b2ad98b45 Associated Press article

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US seizes North Korean cargo ship for violating sanctions

The U.S. said Thursday it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes tense moment in relations between the two countries.

The “Wise Honest,” North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, was detained during an April 2018 stop in Indonesia and will be moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said.

Officials made the announcement hours after the North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, a second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble.

Justice Department lawyers laid out the case for confiscating the ship in a complaint filed in New York, arguing that payments for maintenance and operation of the vessel were channeled through U.S. financial institutions in violation of American law.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official.

The timing of the complaint was unrelated to the missile launch, U.S. officials said.

The 581-foot (177 meters) Wise Honest was used to transport North Korean coal to China, Russia and other countries, generating badly needed revenue to a country that is under U.N. sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea sought to disguise the ship’s operations by listing various other countries for its nationality and the origin of its cargo, according to the complaint.

Indonesian authorities intercepted and seized the Wise Honest in the East China Sea a month after it was photographed at the port of Nampo, North Korea, where it took on a load of coal.

The U.S. has prosecuted people and businesses for violating sanctions but has never before seized a North Korean ship. The country will have an opportunity to contest the seizure in court. If the U.S. prevails, it will be able to sell the vessel.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have held two summits focused on the North’s nuclear program but have made no discernible progress toward a deal that would eliminate its weapons.

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This story has been corrected to show that ship was detained by Indonesia in April 2018 not last month, also that coal was from North Korea not Russia

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Navy leader who told sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman to ‘clap like we’re at a strip club’ has resigned

A senior Navy official who told sailors to “clap like we’re at a strip club” during a visit from Vice President Mike Pence last week has resigned, the service announced Tuesday.

Command Master Chief Jonas Carter of the USS Harry S. Truman stepped down from his position as the ship’s enlisted leader and will retire, Capt. Nick Dienna, the commanding officer of the vessel, said in a Facebook post to crew members.

“Onboard USS Harry S. Truman, we measure ourselves by the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity,” Dienna wrote. “I commend Master Chief Carter for having the forthrightness and the courage to uphold this ethos by taking responsibility and holding himself accountable for his comments.”

NAVY SAILORS ABOARD USS HARRY S. TRUMAN TOLD TO ‘CLAP LIKE WE’RE AT A STRIP CLUB’ FOR MIKE PENCE

The U.S. Navy confirmed to Fox News the statement was made when Pence visited the ship last week, calling the comments “inappropriate.”

Westlake Legal Group CMC-Jonas-Carter-DVIDS Navy leader who told sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman to ‘clap like we’re at a strip club’ has resigned Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/person/mike-pence fox news fnc/us fnc d65c58fc-bc73-5e80-966c-c8914767cc79 article

Command Master Chief Jonas Carter has resigned after telling sailors to “clap like we’re at a strip club” during a visit from Vice President Mike Pence last week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joseph A.D. Phillips)

“Truman’s commanding officer personally engaged the crew during all-hands calls to ensure that all sailors on board understand that the comments they heard are unacceptable,” the Navy said at the time.

Dienna shared a statement from Carter in the Facebook post, which read in part: “When you find yourself making a mistake, own it, accept responsibility and learn from it. Today, I want each of you to know that I have taken full responsibility of my mistake last week and together with my family, I have decided to retire.”

NAVY PETTY OFFICER SENTENCED TO NEARLY 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DUI CRASH THAT KILLED FOUR PEOPLE

Carter served for nearly 30 years in the Navy, according to Dienna.

“During his seventeen years of wearing his anchors, from his leadership aboard three aircraft carriers and as CMC of the USS Chancellorsville, Master Chief Carter has touched the lives of thousands of sailors and has molded countless future leaders in our Navy,” Dienna wrote. “I’ve seen firsthand – and the more than 3,000 sailors aboard Truman can testify to – the incredible impact he’s made to our command.”

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Pence had toured the vessel in Norfolk, Va., and thanked those who served.

The Navy had announced plans to scrap the aircraft carrier in February as part of a cost-saving move to bring in more advanced aircraft carriers. The Navy said that the move not to refuel the Truman (with a new nuclear reactor, normally done at the mid-point of ship’s life after 25 years) and retire her early would save $30 billion.

But lawmakers on both sides of the aisles opposed the decision.

The following day, President Trump said he was “overriding the Decommission Order of the magnificent aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman.”

Trump said the ship will be “updated at a fraction of the cost of a new one (which also are being built)!”

Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group CMC-Jonas-Carter-DVIDS Navy leader who told sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman to ‘clap like we’re at a strip club’ has resigned Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/person/mike-pence fox news fnc/us fnc d65c58fc-bc73-5e80-966c-c8914767cc79 article   Westlake Legal Group CMC-Jonas-Carter-DVIDS Navy leader who told sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman to ‘clap like we’re at a strip club’ has resigned Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/person/mike-pence fox news fnc/us fnc d65c58fc-bc73-5e80-966c-c8914767cc79 article

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