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GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

Piracy Drops, but Militants Carry Out Bloody Attack
By Harold Hutchison

Piracy around Somalia has declined significantly according to report from the International Maritime Organization, part of a general downward trend for piracy in general.

According to a report by VOA News, only five piracy incidents were reported off Somalia in the first quarter of 2013 – part of a 55 percent decline in attacks worldwide. Naval patrols have been particularly intense off Somalia. A total of 66 piracy incidents were reported worldwide.

DID MADURO STEAL THE ELECTION?

Close Result in Venezuela Could Create Chaos
By Harold Hutchison

Nicolas Maduro, the chosen successor to deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, claimed victory in Sunday’s election for the presidency of Venezuela, with 50.7% of the vote. However, opposition candidate Henrique Caprilas is demanding a recount.

"Maduro and his government are the losers," Capriles said, as he claimed 300,000 incidents involving voters. Maduro was the chosen successor of Chavez, who died of cancer last month. The results showed a margin of victory of 235,000 votes.

FRENCH PULLOUT STARTS

First 100 Troops Leave Mali
By Harold Hutchison

As the first 100 French troops left Mali, a sign that France is ending an intervention against Islamist rebels aligned with al-Qaeda, many in Mali are wary of the departure, even as 11,000 African Union troops are slated to take over.

According to a report by VOA News, the French force is likely to decline to about 1,000 by the end of the year. The French did much of the heavy lifting the conflict.

ARE CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS HATE GROUPS?

Army Officer Labels FRC, AFA in E-mail
By Harold Hutchison

Christian groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association were labeled as “hate groups” by an Army officer in an e-mail sent to his subordinates. The officer, a Lt. Col. Jack Rich, wrote, “Just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values.”

TERRORIST MERGER!

Al-Qaeda in Iraq Merges With Syrian Jihadists
By Harold Hutchison

Jihadists in Syria are now formally allied with al-Qaeda in Iraq after the two groups have merged. The merger was announced by al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who stated that his group was funding the Syrian jihadists.

According to a report by VOA News, the combination of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the al-Nusra Front will be called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The al-Nusra Front has been responsible for a number of car bombings, including one in Damascus that killed 15 people yesterday.

700 Special Ops Veterans to House of Representatives: Support a Select Committee for Benghazi

“The families of those slain in Benghazi, our servicemen and women around the globe, and the American public deserve the truth - not the lies, misdirection, and stonewalling coming from President Obama.”

CAPT Larry Bailey, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL issued the following statement along with a letter signed by 700 veterans of the U.S. Special Operations community asking Members of Congress to support House Resolution 36, which would create a House Select Committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA COVERING UP PURPLE HEART DENIALS?

ABC Ignores Its Own Story About Fort Hood Victims
By Harold Hutchison

ABC’s news programs on TV, including World News Tonight have not followed up on a story posted on the ABC News web site about the Pentagon’s denial of Purple Hearts to victims of the terrorist incident at Fort Hood. The medals have been denied because the attack has been categorized as “workplace violence” by the Obama Administration.

KEEPING SOMALI PIRATES AWAY FROM A FLOATING BOMB

(From the May 2013 Issue)
By Ike V. Montgomery

A yellow dot enters the dark, round field of a radar screen. Its appearance does not go unnoticed in the wheelhouse of the hijacked, commercial fishing boat—now a pirate “mother ship.” The Somali leader of the “pirate attack group” (NATO’s term for an operational raider unit) studies the screen. After a few minutes, he orders the boat’s hostage crewmen to steer an intercept course with the unidentified ship, still a few dozen nautical miles away on the Indian Ocean.

NRA RELEASES SCHOOL SAFETY PROPOSALS

Broad Report Suggests Full Range of Efforts
By Harold Hutchison

The NRA’s School Shield Program released a 225-page report, which included measures for prevention, as well as steps to be prepared for an incident and a means to respond to an incident. The report, presented by former DEA chief Asa Hutchinson, was intended as a response to the 14 December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

TARGET: LOS ANGELES?

North Korean Strike Plans Also Include D.C., Austin, Hawaii
By Harold Hutchison

North Korean strike plans include Los Angeles, Hawaii, Washington D.C., and Austin, Texas, according to photographs that ran in the state-owned newspaper Rodong. The photographs were from what the North Korean propaganda sheet called an “emergency meeting” of North Korean officials.

The meeting came after B-2 bombers took part in joint exercises between American and South Korea forces. The B-2s flew about 12,000 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and simulated nuclear strikes.

SYRIA GOING TO HELL?

One Opposition Leader Quits, Another Wounded in Blast
By Harold Hutchison

The Syrian opposition has descended into chaos, as one opposition leader resigned, and another was wounded in a bomb blast. The chaos comes as Secretary of State John Kerry asked the Iraqi government to stop Iranian arms shipments to Syria.

ITALIANS TO FACE TRIAL

Standoff Between Italy and India Ends
By Harold Hutchison

Two Italian Marines will face murder charges in India as the result of a diplomatic settlement ending a standoff that emerged from the deaths of two Indian fishermen in waters off the southwestern coast of India.

The incident occurred while the marines were guarding an Italian ship against pirates. The Italian Marines had returned to Italy to vote in the country’s election, then the government had announced they would remain there. The Indians responded by barring Italy’s ambassador from leaving the country.

AL-QAEDA STILL STIRS

Iraq Affiliate Claims Wave of Bombings
By Harold Hutchison

A wave of bombings Tuesday that left 60 people dead was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq, the official name of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in that country.

Over a dozen bombs went off in Baghdad itself, while others went off in surrounding towns. That day, the Iraqi government announced that local elections in two provinces would be delayed for as many as six months from a planned 20 April date.

IRANIANS PURSUE UAV!

Incident Goes Down Over Persian Gulf
By Harold Hutchison

An Iranian military jet pursued an American unmanned aerial vehicle over the Persian Gulf. The incident, on 12 March, ended only when escorting American aircraft gave a verbal warning to the Iranian jet.

TERRORISTS SLAUGHTER HOSTAGES

Islamist Group Kills Seven
By Harold Hutchison

Seven hostages held by the terrorist group Ansaru were slaughtered by the terrorists, who claimed the murders were in retaliation for a planned rescue operation.

The four Lebanese citizens, one Briton, one Greek citizen, and one Italian had been held since February. The terrorist group had taken them in response to the French intervention in Mali against Islamist rebels with ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb.