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Some veterans groups say they’re uncertain about the future of care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, after President Trump ousted Secretary David Shulkin and nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson to head the agency.

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Army general has been reprimanded for steering a defense contract to a firm run by two former classmates at West Point, according to a published report.

Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, who as deputy commander for operations in the Middle East oversaw the training of Iraqi forces, was reprimanded after an investigation by the Army’s inspector general, according to The Washington Post, which cited documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

An Army review board is considering whether to strip Pittard of his rank as a two-star general before he is allowed to retire, the newspaper reported.

On Friday, 24 robots and their masters will be going head-to-head in California for a $2 million prize. The robotics challenge is sponsored by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Those fearing the Pentagon-sponsored prize could signal the dawn of Terminator-style cyborgs needn't worry. "Even though they look like us, and they may look a little bit mean, there's really nothing inside," says Gill Pratt, the program manager running this competition. "What you're really seeing is a puppet."

Gillibrand2010 / Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — In a scathing critique of the Defense Department’s efforts to curb sexual assaults, a U.S. senator warned Monday that the true scope of sex-related violence in the military communities is “vastly underreported” and that victims continue to struggle for justice.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a report that the Pentagon refused to provide her with all the information she requested about sexual assaults at several major bases. The material she did receive revealed that the spouses of service members and civilian women who live or work near military facilities are especially vulnerable to being sexually assaulted.

Yet they “remain in the shadows” because neither is counted in Defense Department surveys to determine the prevalence of sexual assaults, the report said. “I don’t think the military is being honest about the problem,” Gillibrand said in an interview.

The senator said her analysis of 107 sexual assault cases found punishments that were too lenient and the word of the alleged assailant was more likely to be believed than the victim. Less than a quarter of the cases went to trial and just 11 resulted in conviction for a sex crime. Female civilians were the victims in more than half the cases, said Gillibrand, an outspoken advocate for an overhaul of the military justice system.

Iran Seizes Cargo Ship After Firing Warning Shots

Apr 28, 2015
Source: Data marinetraffic.com, via gcaptain.com

DUBAI — Iranian forces fired warning shots across the bridge of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel as it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters, boarded the ship and directed it toward the Iranian mainland, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.

The incident, which prompted the U.S. Navy to dispatch a destroyer and a plane in response, comes as Iran and the U.S. along with other world powers try to hammer out a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.

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