Distraught family still showing up here. Asking "why would god let this happen?" @ABC7NY
You know things are getting very serious when the United States rolls-out it's ultra-sophisticated, B-2 Stealth, long-range bombers. At least THREE of the aircraft have rolled-out from Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB); destination classified.
With tensions peaking around North Korea, its illegal nuclear weapons and repeated threats to use them against the United States, it isn't hard to guess where these B-2's are heading.
Whether the U.S. has to actually use these aircraft is really up to North Korea. The NORKS can either continue their threats and lose the very items they've threatened to use, or they can return to the bargaining table and negotiate out of the current crisis.
One thing is certain: The U.S. is not fooling around in our effort to confront the UN-Banned nuclear development taking place in North Korea.
While every effort is being made Diplomatically to encourage, cajole or even coerce the North Koreans back to the bargaining table, the roll-out of these aircraft, plus the highly unusual "visible port call" by the USS Michigan nuclear missile submarine to Busan, South Korea (today), the arrival in the Sea of Japan of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group, and the announcement yesterday that the USS Nimitz and it's strike group are clear for deployment, shows what's coming if negotiations are not successful.
Thankfully, China is engaging is very strong efforts to encourage the North Koreans to bargain. The Chinese are a good and decent people, with a long and proud history. They are also, to their credit or, perhaps to their detriment, very patient.
They see the writing on the wall with the new US President, and they are using every means they can to discourage the US from using force. Their efforts are appreciated.
China knows it is in NO ONE's interest to have war break out on the Korean Peninsula. China also knows that the days of the North Korean "problem" continuing unresolved, must finally come to an end.
Whether that takes place at the bargaining table or on the battle field, remains to be seen.
A defrocked priest pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of sexually abusing a young girl on Long Island.
Augusto Cortez, 53, pleaded not guilty to criminal sexual act, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Spota said the crimes occurred in June 2014 and Cortez was indicted by a grand jury in October of that year.
But Cortez fled to South America in 2014 to avoid arrest, officials said. He was arrested by Southampton Town police April 22 when he was returned to the U.S.
He is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to court May 15.
Cortez is a registered sex offender; he was convicted of forcible touching in Brooklyn in 2009.
An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for Wednesday, April. 26, between 12:01 p.m. ans 6:01 a.m. from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.
Col. John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.
"Team V is once again ready to work with Air Force Global Strike Command to successfully launch another Minuteman III missile," said Moss. "These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities. We are proud of our long history in partnering with the men and women of the 576th Flight Test Squadron to execute these missions for the nation."
The 576th Flight Test Squadron will be responsible for installed tracking, telemetry, and command destruct systems on the missile.
The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 successfully completed "Blue Water Certification" meaning the carrier and its Strike Group can depart the US West Coast for . . . . . Korea, perhaps?
The Blue Water Certification test is called COMPTUEX, and is an exercise that tests a strike group's ability to work and operate as one cohesive unit in a simulated real-world-scenario based training environment.
Nimitz was joined by CSG 11, to include Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, to prove their operational capabilities prior to deploying.
Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, said COMPTUEX is designed to put a strike group through the highest level of training that we can possible give. This allows them to go forward around the world and do anything that our country would ask them to do.
Throughout the exercise, the strike group encountered an environment that mirrored, as closely as possible, what they may encounter while deployed in future areas of operation.
"Considering that the past five weeks have been the first time that the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group has trained together at sea in more than three years, we did extremely well," said Commander, CSG 11, Rear Adm. Bill Byrne. "We did a lot of high velocity learning."
Nimitz, during the COMPTUEX, became the first carrier strike group to implement the use of the Fleet Warfighting Training System Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) training concept. LVC allows for the synthetic virtual environment to be integrated with the live environment, providing a more comprehensive and realistic training environment.
LVC can create scenarios that involve higher complexities and stress the strike group to its max capabilities, leading to more proficient strike groups and fighting forces while better preparing them for what they may encounter while deployed.
The COMPTUEX was broken up into two separate phases.
Phase I closely followed a schedule of events (SOE) that acted as a training phase for Sailors and watchstanders. Phase II provided the strike group with a scenario that didn't follow an SOE, and is more realistic.
"Some of it might be in a synthetic environment, some is live, but overall it is designed to really challenge the strike group," said Tyson. "This is so that, from Rear Adm. Byrne, to the youngest Sailor on the deck plates, everyone feels confident that, if you have to go into any scenario where you are tested to the highest end of your capability, you will be able to comfortably go and succeed."
The COMPTUEX challenged and trained the strike group on all levels including the Sailors on the deckplates.
"I believe the training was invaluable," said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Traci Allen, Combat Systems' Electronic Warfare (EW) Module Supervisor, and a native of Chattanooga, Tennesee. "We finally got the chance to work with our whole strike group and figure out our battle rhythm. The experiences we gained will follow us over the horizon when we take to open water. Nothing and no one can take that away from us."
Commander, CSG 15, Rear Adm. Ross Myers and his staff acted as the grading entity for the COMPTUEX. They observed the Sailors aboard Nimitz and throughout the strike group as they reacted to scenarios that they may face on deployment and determined their proficiency to operate in a real-world environment.
"CSG 15, our trainers and assessors, presented an enemy and warfighting environment that was both relevant and realistic," said Byrne. "This is the best training scenario I've seen in my 30 years of working these types of battle problems. That sort of competitiveness, initiative, and toughness I saw across the strike group is exactly what the Chief of Naval Operations asks of us."
With the completion of COMPTUEX, the Nimitz carrier strike group is now fully certified to deploy.
"We are going to be tested. We need to go forth confident that we will be competitive enough and that we will be tough enough to prevail. I have no doubt that Nimitz Strike Group is both," said Byrne.
A ferociously strong Magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck near Santiago, Chile, bringing serious destruction, damage and injuries to the South American country.
Tsunami Warning Buoys are in EVENT MODE in the Pacific.
The quake took place at 5:38 PM eastern US Time, at a shallow depth of 10km.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) the quake measured at a "6" on the Mercali Shake Scale, meaning the "Perceived Shaking" was "strong" and the likelihood of Damage is "moderate to heavy."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a TSUNAMI WARNING and now reports that small Tsunamis "have been observed" coming ashore.
A nuclear-powered U.S. submarine is to arrive at the South Korean port city of Busan on Tuesday, the same day North Korea is expected to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army.
The USS Michigan, the second Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine in the U.S. Navy, is to make a visit to South Korea to send a strong message of warning to Pyongyang.
The U.S. supercarrier Carl Vinson is also expected to arrive near the peninsula this week, a move that is being met with threats from North Korea.
"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the North Korean Rodong Sinmun stated in an editorial.
A South Korean military official who spoke anonymously said the Michigan will receive a hull inspection upon arrival at Busan port, then leave for training exercises in waters near the Korean peninsula.
According to a second source who spoke to the Donga, the submarine will join the Carl Vinson strike group and carry out surveillance missions.
It is also likely the submarine will conduct exercises with the South Korean navy, the source said.
The Michigan has a displacement of more than 18,000 tons when submerged and, at 560 feet long and 42 feet wide, is one of the largest submarines in the world.
It can travel at speeds of 29 miles per hour and can stay submerged for up to three months.
The submarine is equipped with about 150 Tomahawk missiles that can hit targets up to 990 miles away, plus four torpedo tubes (2 front, 2 rear) and can carry out a range of missions including anti-submarine warfare and reconnaissance.
The Michigan was originally built to carry the Navy's third generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the Trident C-4. After arriving in Bangor, Maine, in March 1983, Michigan would carry out her primary mission of deterrence for nearly 20 years, conducting more than 60 strategic deterrent patrols.
At the conclusion of the Cold War, Michigan, Ohio and two sister ships - USS Florida (SSBN 728) and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) - were considered for decommissioning. Instead, the Navy chose to convert the Ohio-class seaframe to carry Tomahawk land attack missiles (TLAMs) or other payloads in lieu of ballistic missiles.
Following more than three years of reconfiguration at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Michigan rejoined the fleet as a guided-missile submarine on June 11, 2007, following in the footsteps of Ohio. Florida and Georgia would also be converted into SSGNs in the following years.
In addition to their makeovers, Michigan and Ohio began forward-deployed operations out of Polaris Point, Guam - much as their SSBN forerunners did throughout the Cold War. Similarly, the Kings Bay, Ga. -based Florida and Georgia operate out of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
Between these four submarines, there are over 600 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region; and that doesn't even begin to count what onboard the Destroyers and Guided Missile cruisers accompanying the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, which will arrive near-enough to the Korean Peninsula to engage, as early as tomorrow morning.
UN to Have "Ministerial Level" Meeting Friday about Korea
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will Chair a Ministerial-level meeting of the United Nations this coming Friday. The topic of the meeting will be the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley made the announcement Monday, saying the April 28 meeting will be an important follow-up to this weekend's talks between President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping at the U.S. leader's resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump said ahead of the meeting that China has great influence over North Korea and he wants Xi to help the U.S. denuclearize the reclusive northeast Asian nation. If the Chinese leader won't, Trump said he can handle the problem without Beijing.
Haley, the Security Council president this month, said the focus of the April 28 meeting will depend a lot on the outcome of the Xi-Trump talks.
"The United States has seen China for 25 plus years say that they're concerned about North Korea but we haven't seen them act like they're concerned about North Korea," she said. "This administration wants to see them act, and I think they're going to pressure them to do that."
"We all hope ... that we see some real partnership and working together," Haley said.
Top Trump administration officials will brief all 100 senators next week about North Korea's provocative behavior, according to guidance sent to lawmakers Friday.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will meet with senators at the White House on Wednesday to bring them up to speed on North Korea and U.S. policy toward the isolated nation.
The briefing had been originally scheduled to occur at the Senate, but instead senators must go to the White House, according to a notice sent to Capitol Hill.
No congressional staffers will be allowed in the members' briefing.
In addition to discussing North Korea's belligerent behavior, lawmakers are also likely to question the administration on its response.
White House officials had said earlier this month that the United States was quickly sending an aircraft carrier to the region after a North Korean missile test, but later backtracked after the carrier was spotted thousands of miles away from its expected location near North Korea.
Four Hudson County Sheriff's officers helped evacuate residents from a massive three alarm fire on Gray Street late Sunday night, officials said.
The fire at 34 Gray St. was first reported at about 11:30 p.m. about one block away from the Sheriff's office on Cornelison Avenue. Officers at the building saw the flames, called the fire department and ran over to the four story home, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.
At least one of the officers pulled a man out of the basement while the others evacuated the rest of the building, Morrill said.
Firefighters battled the blaze for hours because there was a weakened roof from renovations that were "done improperly adding to the extent of the fire," she said.
The four officers, along with two children and another adult, were treated for smoke inhalation. The fire was brought under control at about 2 a.m., two and a half hours after the blaze was first reported.
The American Red Cross is assisting 14 people from four families who were affected by the fire. The cause of the fire may have been from a defective space heater on the first floor of the building, Morrill said.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on back-to-back days at LaGuardia Airport for trying to bring weapons through security, authorities said.
Screeners saw the weapons and stopped him.
Rios returned the following day, police said. This time he allegedly tried to board with an air pistol, six knives, throwing stars and other items at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, according to police.
He was twice charged with criminal possession of a weapon. No flights were delayed.
One Port Authority Police Officer told SuperStation95
"I don't know what his intent was, but I have a feeling he has bad intent."
A horrific house fire has killed five people in Queens, NY -- four of them children!
Authorities have identified the victims of Sunday's house fire in Queens that killed five people, New York City's deadliest fire in two years.
Police say the victims were 2-year-old Chayse Lipford, 10-year-old Rayshawn Matthews, 16-year-old Jada Foxworth, 17-year-old Melody Edwards, and 20-year-old Destiny Dones. Four of them are said to be members of the same extended family, while the fifth is a family friend.
A sixth person, identified by relatives as 46-year-old Maurice Matthews, was able to escape out a second-floor window and was taken to New York Hospital Center of Queens in satisfactory condition. He is reportedly Rayshawn's father and Chase's grandfather.
Fire investigators said they have not found any working smoke detectors in the house. They are trying to determine what sparked the fire, but they say that it is not considered suspicious and is believed to have started on the first floor.
The blaze broke out in a house on 112-16 208th Street in Queens Village just after 2:30 p.m. and also spread to an adjacent home. That home was damaged, but no one was home at the time.
(Photos: Peter Gerber)
The three-alarm fire took hours to get under control, and the wooden frame of the house burned quickly.
The flames were so intense that the black smoke drew neighbors from their homes, and the flames could be seen by firefighters before they arrived, leading them to call in extra crews.
They struggled to reach some of the victims who were as high up as the attic, a "super-human" task for firefighters to reach people in a home engulfed by such a massive fire, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
They managed to bring a 2-year-old and someone else from the attic where they had been trapped, he said, but they were too late to save them.
Investigators will closely examine a car parked in a driveway between the two houses that burned, as the fire appears to have started or spread through the car to the two adjacent homes.
Witnesses heard tires pop, which may have been mistaken for an explosion, and Nigro said the preliminary investigation indicates the fire did not start from the car.
"We are just beginning our investigation," Nigro said. "Our fire marshals will determine where the fire started, they'll determine how it started, they'll work with police detectives and we'll come to a conclusion. But we're far from that right now."
Distraught family members and neighbors showed up to the scene, crying and asking 'why would God let this happen?'
Four firefighters suffered minor injuries.
The mother of the 2-year-old victim was away on vacation and left him in the hands of relatives.
"She's a good mother, she was always with her baby," relative Sheener Bailey Briggs said. "And she went for the first time on an airplane, the first time away from her baby and she just found out. Just pray for the family."
The fire was the deadliest in the city since March 2015, when a house fire in Brooklyn killed seven children, all siblings. That fire was touched off by a hot plate.