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March 31, 2014

News Briefs March 31, 2014

U.S. military chief in Israel at time of tensions

The U.S. military chief has kicked off a visit to Israel at a time of heightened tensions with Israel’s defense minister.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon tried to portray business as usual March 30, weeks after Yaalon angered U.S. officials.

In brief remarks, Yaalon said the U.S. is ìtruly our best friendî and relations are central to Israel’s security. Dempsey, meanwhile, joked that his wife is upset he speaks more to Israel’s military chief than to her.

Yaalon sparked a falling-out with the U.S. and embarrassment at home this month when he questioned Washington’s commitment to Israel. Earlier, he accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of being unrealistic and naive in trying to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace. AP

Ex-Air Force instructor sentenced for abuses

A former Air Force basic training instructor has been sentenced to eight months in prison for abusive behavior toward recruits that included threatening to castrate one and not letting others to eat.

SSgt. Annamarie Ellis was sentenced Friday by a military judge following a weeklong trial. Her punishment also included dropping her rank to airman basic and a bad-conduct discharge. She was taken to a lockup at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The San Antonio Express-News reports Ellis pleaded guilty earlier to three charges, including the maltreatment of recruits, and 24 allegations of misconduct. She had faced a maximum prison sentence of 43 years.

The abuse occurred over a nearly two-year period starting in 2009. Recruits testified they were unaware Ellis’ methods were outside Air Force rules of conduct. AP




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