News Briefs – June 27, 2016


Roswell newspaper to host 2-day event on 1947 incident

ROSWELL, N.M.–A 1947 incident in Roswell that the military attributed to a weather balloon is the focus of a two-day event.
The Roswell Daily Record has been covering the mystery since the beginning and will host its first gathering of experts from July 1-2.
Publisher Barbara Beck said her grandfather Thomas Shearman owned the newspaper in 1947. She said the Daily Record was an important factor in the famous incident.
The event will feature experts on research into unidentified flying objects.
Among them will be writer Lee Speigel, who used to do UFO reports for NBC Radio. He will present three interviews with people he spoke to about the Roswell incident in 1980.
Tickets to the Roswell Incident are available at the event or online.
The event will be broadcast online. AP

Iraqi commander: Fallujah ‘fully liberated’ from IS

A senior Iraqi commander declared that the city of Fallujah was “fully liberated” from Islamic State group militants June 26, after a more than monthlong military operation.
Iraqi troops have entered the northwestern al-Julan neighborhood, the last area of Fallujah to remain under IS control, the head of the counterterrorism forces in the operation, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, told The Associated Press.
Al-Saadi said the operation, which began late May, “is done and the city is fully liberated.” The Iraqi army was backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops, mostly Shiite militias.
“From the center of al-Julan neighborhood, we congratulate the Iraqi people and the commander in chief…and declare that the Fallujah fight is over,” he told Iraqi state TV, flanked by military officers and soldiers. Some of the soldiers were shooting in the air, chanting and waving the Iraqi flag.
Fallujah has been under the control of Islamic State militants since January 2014.
Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad, was the first city to fall to IS in January 2014. During an insurgency waged by IS group’s militant predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq, Fallujah was the scene of some of the bloodiest urban combat with American forces. In 2004, more than 100 U.S. troops died and another 1,000 were wounded fighting insurgents in house-to-house battles.
IS extremists still control significant areas in northern and western Iraq, including the country’s second-largest city of Mosul. The group declared an Islamic caliphate on the territory it holds in Iraq and Syria and at the height of its power was estimated to hold nearly a third of each country. AP

Second U.S. Navy officer fired over Iran’s detention of sailors

The U.S. Navy has fired a second commander in connection with the 10 American sailors who wandered into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf in January and were captured and held by Iran for about 15 hours.
Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, commander of Naval Forces Central Command, has relieved Capt. Kyle Moses of his duties as head of the command’s Task Force 56. Moses has been reassigned.
A U.S. official says additional punishments against seven other sailors are under review and decisions will be announced next week. The seven include the squadron commander who already was fired and reassigned, and his executive officer, along with three of the sailors who were detained.
The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity. AP

Defense Department says Air Force Academy lax in reporting

The Defense Department has released a report on allegations that the Air Force Academy did not adequately investigate allegations of sexual sssault and other misconduct by football players.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports the Pentagon’s inspector general found that a former Air Force Academy boss hindered an investigation into athlete misconduct by shielding a football coach from questioning. However, investigators say the issue didn’t rise to the level of impeding an investigation.
The report released June 24 says there is no documented evidence of special treatment for a football player suspected of drug use and complaints about an officer’s interference in a sexual assault cadet.
The report is also says the Air Force Office of Special Investigations could do a better job documenting allegations of command interference. AP

U.S. launches first airstrikes against Afghan Taliban

The U.S. military has launched its first airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan since President Barack Obama’s decision to expand America’s involvement against the insurgents.
Two U.S. officials confirmed June 24 to The Associated Press that the airstrikes began this month but wouldn’t elaborate on their outcome.
U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, says U.S. forces “have conducted a limited number of strikes under these new authorities.” He says the strikes “are only being used where they may help the Afghans achieve a strategic effect.”
Obama’s decision gave the U.S. military wider latitude to support Afghan forces, both in the air and on the ground
Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said the expanded U.S. military authorities have been in effect “for about the last week or so.” AP