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Northern Strike 2012 - training exercise emphasizing air-to-ground operations

Nineteen Air National Guard units from seven different states will gather July 9-20, 2012 to participate in Northern Strike 2012. Northern Strike 2012 is an Air National Guard sponsored training exercise emphasizing air-to-ground operations that will prepare ANG, ARNG, and Active Component fighter, bomber, mobility, and rotary aircrew, ANG and Coalition Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Air Support Operations Center (ASOC), Air and Space Operations Center (AOC), Combat Weather, Medical, and Intelligence personnel to conduct direct combat operations.

The focus of the exercise is to provide requirements based training emphasizing day and night Close Air Support (CAS), Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Air Refueling, Air Drop, and Medical Evacuation missions utilizing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Major Combat Operations (MCO), and Counterinsurgency (COIN) scenarios.

The exercise runs for two weeks and more than 300 fighter, bomber, mobility, and rotary sorties are planned in order to meet stated objectives for participating units. In addition, more than 30 Joint Terminal Attack Control (JTAC) team members will receive advanced training during the 12-hour daily flying window.

"I am thoroughly impressed with the way this huge exercise came together," said MG Gregory Vadnais, The Adjutant General of the Michigan Army and Air Guard. "Col Teff and his staff in Alpena have a state-of-the-art, world-class training facility; a perfect location for Northern Strike 2012, the first-ever Air National Guard sponsored exercise hosted in the state of Michigan."


Major Military Training Exercise "Northern Strike" Leads to 'UFO Sightings' in Northern Michigan?

UFO sighting websites lit up this week after several residents in northern lower Michigan phoned 9-1-1 to report suspicious, unexplained lights in the night sky.

But the conspiracy theory didn't live long.

A military official confirmed today that the lights likely were decoy flares used in a large-scale training exercise that they promoted via press release the morning of the 9-1-1 calls.

Colonel Bryan Teff, commander of the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, says operation "Northern Strike 2012" is the largest ever air-to-ground training exercise hosted in Michigan.

Ninteen Air National Guard units from seven different states are gathered in northern Michigan for the exercise, which began Monday and will continue through July 20.

"The primary things that we're doing over the two weeks are focused on close air support and training to provide support for ground forces, whether that be in Afghanistan or somewhere else," Teff said.

Heart - Black

62-year-old's Death Just a Game for 3 Chicago Teens Who Recorded a Video of the Attack and Uploaded it on Facebook

© Fox News
Delfino Mora, 62, a father of 12 children, was attacked early Tuesday morning.
Three teens were playing a game they called "Pick 'Em Out and Knock 'Em Out" when they videotaped a deadly attack on a 62-year-old man last week that was recorded and posted on Facebook, prosecutors said today.

Malik Jones, 16, Nicholas Ayala, 17, and Anthony Malcolm, 18, were each charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the slaying of Delfino Mora, who was attacked while collecting cans in an alley in West Rogers Park last week.

Prosecutors said the teens had decided to play "Pick 'Em Out and Knock 'Em Out" when they spotted Mora about 5 a.m. in the alley near the 6300 block of North Artesian Avenue on the Far North Side.

Jones told the other two, " 'I think I'm gonna knock out this (expletive),' " then started the video recorder on his cell phone and handed it to Malcolm, Assistant State's Attorney Terry Clancy said in court today at a bond hearing for Ayala and Malcolm.


Israeli man in self immolation protest at injustice

Israeli self immolation
Self-immolation protest puts pressure on Netanyahu to act

A 57-year-old Israeli man was in a critical condition yesterday after setting fire to himself during a demonstration by more than 8,000 people marking the anniversary of last summer's widespread protests in support of social and economic justice.

Moshe Silman, a former small businessman who has since fallen on dire financial circumstances, was said to have second- and third-degree burns on more than 90 per cent of his body after dousing his clothes with petrol and starting to immolate himself.


Horror as Needles Found in Sandwiches on Board Delta Air Lines

Delta Jet
© PhillipC/Flickr
Needles were found in sandwiches served to Delta passengers.
An airline is trying to figure out how needles got into turkey sandwiches on four flights from Amsterdam to the US.

Delta Air Lines said that what appear to be sewing needles were found in six sandwiches on four flights yesterday.

One passenger on a flight to Minneapolis, US, was injured, but the passenger declined to get medical attention, according to Delta spokeswoman Kristin Baur. The other needles were on two flights to Atlanta and one to Seattle.

Baur said security for its meal production has been increased and it is using more prepackaged food while the investigation continues.

The sandwiches were made in the Amsterdam kitchen of catering company Gate Gourmet, and were to be served to business class passengers on Delta flights.


Don't frack me! Yoko Ono And Sean Lennon Launch Artists Against Fracking

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and their son Sean have launched a celebrity coalition campaigning against drilling techniques in the natural gas industry which could cause the contamination of water sources across America.

The mother and son team decided to rally environmentally-aware stars to protest the use of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, which critics claim can poison nearby water supplies with chemicals, after hearing about plans to drill near their home in New York.

Their new website, ArtistsAgainstFracking.com, has gained the support of actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore, musicians such as Lady Gaga, producer Mark Ronson and The Strokes, and other celebrities like spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and author Salman Rushdie.

Now Lennon and Ono are urging fans to visit the page to learn all about the controversial practise and join their fight.


Raping the Earth: Butler County, Pennsylvania, Fracked and Contaminated

Residents in Butler County, Pennsylvania share their fracking experience.

Film shared courtesy of Nature Abounds' friend Rich Waters, a local photographer and videographer who is documenting how fracking is changing the lives of his neighbors in Southwest Pennsylvania.

Heart - Black

Missouri Man Clifford B. Miller Charged in Murders of Sisters, Britny Haarup, 19, and Ashley Key, 22

Clifford B. Miller told investigators he had smoked meth before going to Britny Haarup's home in Edgerton, about 30 miles north of Kansas City, early Friday morning, planning to rape her, Platte County Sheriff Richard Anderson said.
© handout
Britny Haarup, 19, along with her sister Ashley Key, 22, were reported missing Friday after Haarup's fiancé, Matt Meyers, came home to find his 6- and 18-month old daughters alone and in the same crib.
A man who told investigators he was high on methamphetamine when he killed two sisters at a northwest Missouri home was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder.

Clifford B. Miller, 31, of Trimble, was charged in the slayings of Britny Haarup, 19, and her sister, Ashley Key, 22, whose bodies were found Sunday in a field near a tree line.

Miller told investigators he had smoked meth before going to Haarup's home in Edgerton, about 30 miles north of Kansas City, early Friday morning, planning to rape her, Platte County Sheriff Richard Anderson said. Authorities declined to say how Miller knew Haarup, but Anderson did say Miller told investigators he had never had a sexual relationship with her.

When Miller entered the home through an unlocked front door, he found Key asleep on the couch, Anderson said. Key awoke and confronted Miller, who hit her in the head before suffocating her, Anderson said.

Miller told authorities he then went into Haarup's room, where he beat her with a stick and suffocated her. He then wrapped up the bodies in sheets and dragged them to Haarup's pickup truck, the sheriff said at a news conference Monday.


George Zimmerman Accused of Racial Bias and Molestation in New Statement

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin
© unknown
George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin
Woman known as 'Witness 9' told Florida detectives that Trayvon Martin's shooter doesn't 'like black people'

George Zimmerman's alleged racial prejudice returned as a central issue to the Trayvon Martin murder case on Monday as Florida prosecutors released a statement from a witness accusing the defendant of bias.

The woman, known only as "Witness 9", also accused Zimmerman of molesting her when they were children, in an explosive document that his legal team fought hard to keep suppressed.

The newly revealed allegation of racism comes only days after the release of other court documents that appeared to show the FBI discounting race as a factor when Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighbourhood watch captain, shot dead the unarmed black teenager during a confrontation in a Sanford gated community on 26 February.

Zimmerman's family, the witness told detectives, shared his alleged views.

"Him and his family don't like black people if they don't act like white people," she said. "They like black people if they act white."

Lawyers for Zimmerman, who has a Hispanic mother, have always denied that he was motivated by race and insist he was acting in self-defence when he fired the fatal shot because Martin, 17, was attacking him.

But race was a recurring theme during the six weeks of public protests that followed the original decision by police in Sanford to release Zimmerman without charge. It was only after a special prosecutor was appointed in April that he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

He is currently free on $1m bond.


The Cyclic Effects of Being Dumbed Down

Reality TV
© PreventDisease.com
Reality television is a genre of television we're all familiar with by now. It's a type of programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded. It appears that for the most part the more dumbed down and situationally unaware the individual characters are on these TV shows the more honour, prestige and popularity they maintain amongst viewers.

Occasionally I like to watch TV and attempt to grasp and understand the beliefs and cultural activities of the mainstream. I wish not to appear arrogant in anyway here, I am very aware of the many people, like myself who do their best to disengage from watching television, for many uphold the belief that television is basically poisonous on all levels of being. Please note that it is not about wrong or right and that those who engage in television religiously or obsessively are wrong or have misplaced values, they simply are part of the mainstream. They say though to be able to fight your enemy with prowess, power and succession it is wise to know your enemy; hence why I like to sit in front of the idiot box and contemplate the stupidities on TV and hey if I had to be honest there are some TV shows that do amuse and entertain me at a superficial level, so I also feel part of the mainstream.

When these people or reality TV 'stars' perform feats of absolute stupidity, act in an idiotic or ignorant way it seems to be more appealing to producers and revered by the public. This must be the case, otherwise why would the media continuously place these individuals on TV? Obviously the producers of the show either believe or wish to create a culture where we idolise stupidity, superficial aesthetics and negative character traits such as deception, violent & aberrant behaviour, slyness, selfishness, stupidity and cunningness (just to name a few). Why? Ratings. What do writings equate to? Cash Money! It's all about the perception of what will attract more viewers; to ultimately bring more advertising dollars in and increase the longevity and ratings of that particular show.