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It's Been Reported
for the week ending 11 August 2019

U.S. Air Force Pauses Flight Ops For More Than
A Hundred C-130s Over 'Atypical' Cracking


WASHINGTON (Defense News) — More than a quarter of Air Mobility Command's C-130 Hercules fleet are being temporarily removed from service after "atypical" cracking was found.

During scheduled depot maintenance, the U.S. Air Force discovered cracking of the lower center wing joint – also known as the "rainbow fitting" – which led Air Mobility Command head Gen. Maryanne Miller to order an inspection of a portion of the fleet, according to an AMC statement released Wednesday evening.

A total of 123 of 450 C-130H and C-130J aircraft will be temporarily grounded while inspections occur. "This temporary removal of service will not impact ongoing C-130 support to overseas contingency operations," AMC said in its statement.

The decision to pause operations and conduct inspections was made after a single C-130 was found with the lower center wing joint cracks, said AMC spokesman Maj. Jonathan Simmons. But the risk posed by the issue – that the wing could become dislodged from the aircraft – was so serious that the Air Force decided to move forward with inspections for all planes that could potentially be impacted.
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Wisconsin Governor Sued For Barring Conservative Journalists From Briefing

(Fox News) — A conservative think tank in Wisconsin is suing the state's governor, Tony Evers, amid allegations that his administration has denied journalists working for the group's new service access to a budget press briefing and refused to add its reporters to the governor's press list.

The Maclver Institute, a right-leaning public policy shop that runs the Maclver News Service, filed suit earlier this week against Evers for purportedly excluding its reporters from press briefings and failing to provide them with media materials given to other journalists. The lawsuit claims that the Evers' administration is violating the journalists' constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of the press and equal access.

"Our reporters have the same constitutional rights as every other journalist in Wisconsin, and we have a duty to keep the public informed about what's happening in state government," Brett Healy, the president of the MacIver Institute, said in a statement. "While we hoped Gov. Evers would do the right thing and treat our journalists they (sic) way they treat others, the administration has refused. We now have no option but to sue."

The Maclver News Service covers Wisconsin’s legislature, governor’s office and other political affairs from a conservative viewpoint.
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 Trump Freezes Venezuelan Government Assets
Amid Tensions

(Fox News) — The Trump administration froze all Venezuelan government assets in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Nicolas Maduro that places his socialist administration alongside a short list of adversaries from Cuba, North Korea, Syria and Iran that have been targeted by such aggressive U.S. actions.

The ban, blocking American companies and individuals from doing business with Maduro's government and its top supporters, took effect immediately Monday and is the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere in more than three decades, following an asset freeze against Gen. Manuel Noriega's government in Panama and a trade embargo on the Sandinista leadership in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

While the order falls short of an outright trade embargo – notably, it spares Venezuela's still sizable private sector – it represents the most sweeping U.S. action to remove Maduro since the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader in January.

Critically, it also exposes foreign entities doing business with the Maduro government to U.S. retaliation.
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Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Sworn In As Governor After Supreme Court Overturns Inauguration Of Predecessor

(Fox News) — Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez was sworn in as the island's new governor Wednesday, hours after its Supreme Court ruled that Friday's inauguration of Pedro Pierluisi as governor was against the law and overturned it.

The unpopular Vázquez had said last month she didn't want the job amid weeks of political turmoil that saw thousands of protestors demand the resignation of former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. She will be the island territory's second female governor.

Her appointment is expected to draw more demonstrations, as the hashtag #WandaRenuncia, or "Wanda resign," was trending on social media even before Rosselló formally vacated his position. The hashtag is similar to "#RickyRenuncia," which was used by activists to urge Rosselló to step down.

Widespread opposition to Vázquez – who was appointed in 2017 and is seen as being part of Rosselló's inner circle –partly stems from allegations she failed to pursue corruption probes against members of her pro-statehood New Progressive Party.
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Shocking Photos Show Massive Fireball Caused By Explosion At Russian Ammo Dump

(Business Insider) — An ammunition dump at a Russian military base exploded on Monday, setting off fires that injured a handful of people, Russian media reported.

The blast occurred in Achinsk, a military town in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region.

"The explosion went off in an ammunition depot, evacuation is being carried out," a source with the emergency services in the area told the state-run news agency Tass.

"Two sites are on fire," the source added. "In total, there are about 40 thousand artillery shells of a 125 and 152-mm caliber there."
The Russian defense ministry said the facility contained "gunpowder charges for artillery shells," The Associated Press reported.

Initial reports said at least four people were hurt, suffering burns and other injuries.  That number has since risen to eight, Russian media reported, citing medical professionals.
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AT&T Employees Took Bribes To Plant Malware
On The Company's Network

(ZD Net) -- AT&T employees took bribes to unlock millions of smartphones, and to install malware and unauthorized hardware on the company's network, the Department of Justice said yesterday.

These details come from a DOJ case opened against Muhammad Fahd, a 34-year-old man from Pakistan, and his co-conspirator, Ghulam Jiwani, believed to be deceased.

The DOJ charged the two with paying more than $1 million in bribes to several AT&T employees at the company's Mobility Customer Care call center in Bothell, Washington.

The bribery scheme lasted from at least April 2012 until September 2017. Initially, the two Pakistani men bribed AT&T employees to unlock expensive iPhones so they could be used outside AT&T's network.

The two recruited AT&T employees by approaching them in private via telephone or Facebook messages. Employees who agreed, received lists of IMEI phone codes which they had to unlock for sums of money.
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 Florida Boy, 2, Died In Sweltering Van At Daycare Center After Driver Turned Off Safety Alarm

(Fox News) — The 2-year-old Florida boy who died inside a daycare center's sweltering van last week was reportedly left alone after the driver failed to follow protocol and had switched off a safety alarm.

Noah Sneed was found dead in the parking lot of Ceressa's Day Care & Preschool in Oakland Park on July 29 after being left inside the vehicle for more than five hours as temperatures soared to around 93 degrees, the Miami Herald reported.

The newspaper, citing investigative documents from Broward County's Child Care Licensing and Enforcement section, added the van's driver shut off its safety alarm – which is supposed to sound off if passengers are left inside – before letting children out of the vehicle that day.

"They need to pay for what was done," Teresa Brown, the child's great aunt, told the Miami Herald. 
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Bodies Found In Search For Canadian Fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky, Kam Mcleod

(NY Post) — Canadian police have discovered two bodies believed to be the missing fugitive teens suspected of killing three people.

Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, have been the subjects of a two-week manhunt across three provinces that led authorities Wednesday to the shoreline of the Nelson River in Manitoba, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“I am confident it is them, but to identify them officially, and to be sure, we have to go to an autopsy,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy told reporters.

Authorities said the bodies were in a “dense brush” area within a mile from where items belonging to the Port Alberni teens were located on the riverbank.
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4 Dead, 2 Wounded In Southern California Stabbings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man who was "full of anger" went on a two-hour stabbing and robbery rampage in Southern California, killing four people and wounding two others, authorities said Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Garden Grove man was taken into custody after he came out of a 7-Eleven in Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles, and dropped a knife along with a handgun that he had taken from a guard, police said.

The violence appeared to be random and the only known motives seem to be "robbery, hate, homicide," Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney said at a news conference.

"We know this guy was full of anger and he harmed a lot of people tonight," he said.

The suspect and all the victims were Hispanic, he added.
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 Louisiana Woman Says Meth Found Hidden Inside Body Part Is Not Hers

(Fox News) — A Louisiana woman allegedly caught with meth hidden inside her vagina said she didn't know where the drugs came from, police said.

Ashley Beth Rolland, 23, was accused on July 31 of stealing $5,000 from the apartment of a man she'd been staying with for about a week, according to documents published by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.

The man told the West Monroe Police Department that while he was showering, Rolland swiped his cash and left. Rolland allegedly confessed to police she did take the man's money and left his apartment.

The documents said a female correctional officer later searched Rolland and, inside of Rolland's vagina, discovered $6,233 along with "a clear plastic bag" of roughly one gram of meth – which Rolland denied was hers.
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