Naval Academy Graduation Has To Do Without The Blue Angels — Baltimore Sun Sequester cuts have grounded the flight team for 2013 He saw his first Blue Angels show in Detroit at age 6, and Thomas Frosch says the experience inspired him to want to become a pilot. He saw four more performances while attending the Naval Academy, including one the “Blues” put on before his graduation in 1992. Now commander and flight leader of the Blue Angels, Frosch, a Navy lieutenant commander, was looking forward to returning to Annapolis this week, where he would have led his team through its traditional jaw-dropping show as part of the Academy’s graduation week. Read more …. My Comment: And no “Fleet Week” for lower Manhattan
Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad Is Winning — Mike Giglio, Daily Beast Obama isn’t jumping in, and neither is anyone else. Combine that with a string of military victories, and Assad is looking stronger than he has in months. Mike Giglio on the dictator’s next act. Despite President Obama’s assertion on Thursday that he reserves “the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military,” foreign intervention in Syria seems a distant prospect, and that, along with a string of military successes, has fueled the perception that president Bashar al-Assad now has the upper hand in his country’s bloody civil war. As Republican Sen. John McCain bluntly put it this week: “Right now, Bashar al-Assad is winning.” During the last few months, the Syrian military have retaken strategic areas across the country, reopening supply lines in the north and south while ramping up its offensive in the western city of Homs, a critical gateway between Damascus and the coast. Assad’s forces have also reinforced their strongholds in Damascus and elsewhere while weathering what rebels had billed as a major offensive in the capital. Read more …. My Comment : Even if he wins …. which is hard to see from my vantage point …. it will be a fools victory with a devastated country splintered along sectarian lines. Think Somalia …. but in a far darker place.
Obama, Turkish Prime Minister Discuss How To End Civil War In Syria — CNN (CNN) — The leaders of Turkey and the United States are huddling in Washington on Thursday over how to handle the Syrian civil war, the raging conflict that has left an estimated 80,000 people dead and a few million displaced — despite more than two years of diplomacy to halt the bloodshed. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meeting in Washington, discussed how to strengthen the Syrian opposition, help the many people displaced by the war, and mobilize the international community to put more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and forge a political transition. Read more …. MIDDLE EAST EU to block arming of Syrian rebels. Syrian troops repel rebel attack on Aleppo prison. Islamist rebels execute 11 Syrian soldiers for “massacres”: video. Executed as they waited on a pavement kerb: Terrifying assassination video of three men by ‘Islamist rebels’ shows new front in Syrian propaganda war. Israel hints: We’ll strike Syria again. CIA chief ‘in surprise Israel trip over Syria’. Iran election: Rafsanjani defends decision to stand as his ‘national duty’. U.N. says there is hope for Yemen if funds are forthcoming. Turkey PM Erdogan confirms June visit to Gaza, West Bank. Israel to authorize four West Bank settler outposts. Bombers target markets, mosque in Iraq, 25 dead. Austrian Yemen hostage says feared execution: report. ASIA U.S. slams Japanese mayor’s sex-slave comments as ‘offensive’. Arctic Council grants China, Japan observer status. China threatens own trade action if EU opens telecoms case. Bomber in Afghanistan kills 15, including six Americans. China cracks down on North Korea. Cyclone Mahasen fizzles as it hits Bangladesh. Japanese politicians scramble to distance themselves from ‘comfort women’ comments. Before visit, China downplays frictions with India. Pakistan’s Sharif free to rule without unwieldy coalition. In China, European companies investing more than Americans . After India, now China catches gold bug. Kim Jong-un had ‘secret’ daughter. AFRICA Congo: 32 die in clash between army and militia. Joseph Kony and LRA in Sudan. France to keep 1,000 troops in Mali indefinitely. Warplanes, troops in NE Nigeria; mobile phones cut . Jets join offensive in northeast Nigeria, opinion split. UN envoy says CAR in ‘state of anarchy’. Mali offered more than €3bn in aid – with strings attached. Egypt ‘suffering worst economic crisis since 1930s’. Security forces kidnapped in Egypt’s Sinai. Tensions continue to escalate in Tunisia. UN ‘deeply concerned’ over Jonglei unrest. Miners union threatens strike at South Africa’s Amplats . EUROPE Russia economy minister sees GDP growth above 3% in 2nd half. Car burnings rise as France threatens to take euro crisis to ‘higher plane’ , says hedge fund boss Michael Hintze . Europe can survive without Britain, says François Hollande. Greek addicts turn to deadly sisha drug as economic crisis deepens. U.S. sought to recruit spies despite warning, Russia says . Expulsion of US embassy official in espionage case was second such incident, Russian TV says. Eurozone recession is now longest in currency bloc. Germany tells France and Italy to ‘just work harder’ to solve their economic woes. Cameron survives humbling EU revolt in parliament. Bulgaria’s leading party demands vote rerun after ‘violation’. Main party in Bulgaria seeks to void election result. Big business eyes Iceland’s Arctic treasures. Russian Orthodox and Polish Catholic churches sign reconciliation appeal. AMERICAS Evidence mounts on slower U.S. economic growth. Obama says “no apologies” over U.S. security leak probe. Obama picks temporary IRS head as Tea Party rallies on scandal . Obama fires IRS chief over ‘inexcusable’ tax targeting scandal . Republicans press for more documents on Benghazi, Dems say case closed . Dems say Benghazi emails show no cover-up, rally behind White House . White House releases Benghazi e-mails. Obama juggles scandals. Mexico official fired for daughter’s ‘abuse of power’. Canada PM on pipeline plan: Oil to come anyway . Plot to kill Colombian journalists uncovered. Venezuela hopes to wipe out toilet paper shortage by importing 50m rolls. Argentina brokers 24 pct wage hikes for millions. TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR Congress rethinks 9/11 law on military force; Pentagon officials say it ‘serves its purpose’ . Jabhat al-Nusra faces al-Qaeda sanctions at UN under Anglo-French proposal. Al Qaeda websites hacked. Report: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev confessed to the Boston bombings in a note. Bin Laden son-in-law: Warning issued by NY judge. ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS Buffett’s Berkshire downgraded by S&P with negative outlook. International Monetary Fund warns on quantitative easing costs . UK lawmakers find Google misleading on tax. Google launches streaming music service ahead of Apple. Largest diamond ever sold at auction.
After two Chechen brothers were named in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings, Reuters photographer Maxim Shemetov took this collection of images titled “Inside Modern Chechnya” showing daily life in the semi-autonomous Russian region known for a centuries-old tradition of defying Moscows rule. Shemetov focused on the area in and around the capital of Grozny. — Lloyd Young ( 28 photos total ) Members of a Chechen dance group pose for photographers at a government-organized event marking Chechen language day in the center of the Chechen capital Grozny on April 25. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)
The USS Kearsarge steaming in the Gulf of Aqaba (photo credit: Official US Navy Imagery) US Aircraft Carrier Docks In Eilat — Times Of Israel USS Kearsarge’s returns to the Gulf of Aqaba for the first time since it was nearly hit by rockets in 2005. An American aircraft carrier docked Tuesday in Eilat and is scheduled to remain in port for several days. The USS Kearsarge’s arrival was prearranged with Israeli officials as part of the US military’s routine operations in the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf. No joint drills are planned between the carrier and IDF forces, an IDF spokesman said, but the Kearsarge’s crew will be granted shore leave in Israel’s southern resort town. The soldiers are also scheduled to take part in tours around the country. Read more …. More News Of The USS Kearsarge Docking At The Israeli Port Of Eliat US Helicopter Carrier in Eilat — Israel Defense U.S. Naval Carrier Makes Rare Stop in Eilat — Algemeiner US aircraft carrier docks in Eilat Port — YNet News U.S. Warship Arrives in Israeli Red Sea Port for Visit — CRIEnglish