Lima Charlie News U.S./Washington End-of-Week Briefing – AUG12
| The Week’s Wrap Up in One. Big. Blast.
On AUGUST8, #DonaldTrump used his economic policy speech in #Detroit to launch a fervent attack against Democratic opponent #HillaryClinton.
“We can either give in to Hillary Clinton’s campaign of fear,” he began, “or we can choose to Believe In America.”
He went on to remind the audience, “the city of Detroit is where our story begins.” The motor city, he said, “was absolutely booming once.” Citing the first Commander-in-Chief he added, “George Washington said that ‘the promotion of domestic manufactur[ing] will be among the first consequences to flow from an energetic government.’” Trump followed, “The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that ‘the abandonment of the protective policy by the American government… must produce want and ruin among our people.’”
Staying on message, Trump tied in the historical references to the tenets of his campaign: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time to declare our economic independence once again.” “I want to jump start America,” he expressed. “Our opposition, on the other hand, has long ago run out of ideas.”
During his speech, Mr. Trump also cited key facets of his economic plan, namely an America first policy with an across the board income tax reduction and an elimination of the carried interest deduction and special loopholes that benefit #WallStreet. His plan ends the death tax, excludes childcare expenses and institutes a limit on taxation on business income to 15 percent.
The #GOP nominee also announced plans, in the coming weeks, to delineate his strategy for repealing and replacing #Obamacare.
On AUGUST9, House Speaker #PaulRyan achieved an easy victory against business executive #PaulNehlen in the #Wisconsin primary race.
Ryan was expected to win handily and had garnered more than 80% of the vote with nearly 90% of the precincts reporting on primary night. However, his challenges lie ahead, as the Speaker will need to protect the House GOP’s 59-seat majority and quell party infighting in the process. A self-described “movement conservative” Ryan’s platform is rooted in the tax-cutting policies of Republicans past. Ryan has maintained a tenuous relationship with the #Trump campaign’s stance on immigration and trade.
Tuesday’s primary represents a microcosm of the stage awaiting Ryan as #House Republicans approach an election this fall.
Ryan’s competitor, Nehlen, is a fierce supporter of the Trump campaign. For many House Republicans, his candidacy represented the contingent of populist right-wing representatives whose policies aligned strongly with those of the GOP Presidential Nominee. His primary run provided the perfect platform for those who share his hardline views on immigration. Many of Nehlen’s supporters expressed regret over Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Paul Ryan last week, hoping, instead, that he would throw his support behind their favored candidate.
On AUGUST9, Democratic Nominee #HillaryClinton held a rally in Kissimmee, #Florida, beginning her speech by condemning the Pulse nightclub shootings. “I know how many people, family members, loved ones, friends are still grieving. We will be with you as you rebuild your lives…because we can’t ever let that kind of hatred and violence break the spirit, break the soul of any place in America.”
The rally received much media attention, given the presence of the #Orlando nightclub shooter’s father in the crowd behind Clinton’s podium. The Clinton campaign responded to questions regarding its knowledge of the father’s presence, noting, “The rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public. This individual wasn’t invited as a guest and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event.”
The Former #SecretaryofState also thanked local officers and leaders for responding fearlessly to the June attack, the worst terror attack on American soil since September 11th.
On AUGUST11, #HillaryClinton laid out her economic plan, speaking in Warren, Michigan just days after her #GOP rival’s fiscal speech. Clinton immediately attacked her opponent, noting, “his tax policy is a more extreme version of the failed theory of trickle-down economics, with his own addition of outlandish Trumpian ideas that even Republicans reject.”
The Former Secretary of State discussed economic plans she has mentioned at prior speaking opportunities, including her intention to expand incentives like the New Markets Tax Credit, efforts to make college tuition free for the middle class, and promises to stand up to China and “anyone else who tries to take advantage of American workers and companies.”
She focused much of the beginning of her speech on opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as President,” she said.
The Democratic Nominee closed her speech by refocusing on her campaign’s theme, reminding voters, “We’re going to do this together. We are stronger together. Let’s go out and build the future!”
On AUGUST6, the #GreenParty held its convention to officially nominate #JillStein as its presidential candidate and #AjamuBaraka as her running mate. Notable speakers at the event included #DNC Platform Committee member #CornelWest, WikiLeaks Editor #JulianAssange (via video), Green Party founder #JohnRensenbrink, and organizer for United for Peace and Justice #LisaFithian.
Nominee Jill Stein was proclaimed her party’s frontrunner out of the gate, announcing she had received 203 delegates (enough to win) by June 15, 2016. Stein’s famous “Power to the People” Plan pledges to set a 15 dollar federal minimum wage, abolish student debt, establish a “Medicare for all” single-payer public health insurance program, and transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.
A hallmark of her campaign and party, Stein’s clean energy goals are the most ambitious of virtually all the 2016 presidential nominees. Although her most recent party platform is yet to be published, the 2014 Green Party platform reads, “Greens want to stop runaway climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 40 percent by 2020 and 95 percent by 2050, over 1990 levels.”
On AUGUST5, House Speaker #PaulRyan announced the Trans-Pacific Partnership (#TPP) deal will not get a vote in Congress this year. Ryan noted there is no point in bringing up the Asia-Pacific trade deal in the lame-duck session after the November elections.
“The sands are burning through the hourglass pretty fast, I don’t see how they’ll ever get the votes for it,” Ryan noted, going on to propose that the agreement be amended by President Obama before circulating through either chamber of #Congress.
Both the #GOP and #Democratic nominees for President have expressed opposition for the TPP. Ryan argues, however, that there are benefits to the deal, namely for his home state where the export of dairy products fuels the local economy. While the #Speaker is a longtime proponent of free trade, he noted that Obama made key mistakes in negotiating the agreement with 11 other countries and, thus, it will not garner the necessary support by #US lawmakers.
On AUGUST9, the parents of two of the four Americans killed in the #Benghazi terror attack in 2012 filed suit against #HillaryClinton, claiming the Former Secretary of State “recklessly handled” classified information which played a hand in their children’s deaths. On behalf of Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, the case was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch USA. The case launches accusations of wrongfully causing the death of their sons, defamation, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Given that government officials are typically awarded immunity from such suits, provided they act within the authority given to them, many believe the case lacks any potential viability in court.
Clinton campaign spokesman, Nick Merrill, responded to the allegation in an emailed statement, noting “While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi, there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.”
On AUGUST11, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose, leaving the drug under its Schedule 1 substance classification. Drugs in this category are specified by the #FDA to have no medical use.
Thus, states permitting marijuana for medical purpose remain in defiance of federal law and the drug is still classified as more dangerous than cocaine.
The #DEA noted that “the drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available … There is no evidence that there is a consensus among qualified experts that marijuana is safe and effective for use in treating a specific, recognized disorder.”
As part of Thursday’s announcement, the federal government also ended its decade-old monopoly on marijuana production for medical research. The DEA announced that it will start allowing drug companies and researchers to use pot grown outside of its secure facility at the University of Mississippi.
With the November elections ahead, pressure is mounting for the agency to ease its stance on marijuana, as a fresh batch of states will begin to weigh the merits of legalizing the drug for recreational use. #California is one such state, and polls indicate that full legalization will likely be approved by voters.
On AUGUST9, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in #London published a report revealing that more than 100 Americans have volunteered in the fight against ISIS, travelling to #Iraq and #Syria to pledge their lives to the battle against the Islamic State.
According to the report, Americans are more prevalent in the group than those from any other Western nation and most of the volunteers are serving in Syrian-Kurdish YPG or Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Following the #US, the #UK accounts for 14%, #Germany for 8%, #France and #Sweden with 6% each, and #Canada with 5%, of the volunteers who make up the fight against ISIS.
Almost all the volunteers are male and many are military veterans. They cite their interests in travelling to the region, noting they planned to “consolidate the post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization that they contributed to in Iraq after 2003.” In plain terms, they wanted to “finish the job” and to ensure that, “For these fighters” the sacrifices that military forces made before them “have not been in vain.”
On AUGUST10, Operation Inherent Resolve (#OIR) Commander Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland told reporters that the campaign is reaching a turning point in #Ramadi. According to Lt. Gen. #MacFarland, the Iraqi security forces’ liberation of Ramadi from ISIS control marked this watershed moment in the fight against the Islamic State. Lt. Gen. MacFarland will be leaving his position in the coming days and delivered the #DOD Briefing via Skype from Baghdad.
MacFarland paraphrased #WinstonChurchill, accounting his observations of the last 11 months and saying, “The liberation of #Ramadi was the end of the beginning of the campaign against [ISIL]. The beginning of the end will be the liberation of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. Once it is recaptured, the enemy in Iraq will be reduced to scattered pockets of resistance and that is now our focus.”
MacFarland also offered a few lessons learned from the operation, adding, “Ramadi also taught us important lessons about how to train and equip the ISF for urban combat, which will pay dividends as we prepare for the battle of #Mosul. We’ve shifted away from counterinsurgency towards combined arms maneuver training, teaching the Iraqis how to integrate infantry, armor, artillery, engineers, aviation and other combat multipliers to achieve an overwhelming advantage at the right place and time on the battlefield.”
MacFarland reported that coalition aircraft have conducted about 50,000 sorties against ISIS in the past year, dropping more than 30,000 munitions, with approximately two-thirds of those in Iraq and about one-third in Syria. According to the Lt. Gen.,”although it’s not a measure of success and it’s difficult to confirm, we estimate that over the past 11 months we’ve killed about 25,000 enemy fighters. When you add that to the 20,000 estimated killed prior to our arrival, that’s 45,000 enemy taken off the battlefield”.
On AUG11, a congressional report stated that senior US Central Command (#CENTCOM) leaders manipulated intelligence assessments in 2014 and 2015 to downplay the threat of ISIS and make it appear that #PresidentObama was winning the war against the Islamic State.
The report was a joint effort by the chairmen of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
According to the document, “40% of analysts responded that they had experienced an attempt to distort or suppress intelligence in the past year.”
Representative Pompeo of #Kansas added, “The result: consumers of those intelligence products were provided a consistently ‘rosy’ view of U.S. operational success against ISIS. That may well have resulted in putting American troops at risk as policymakers relied on this intelligence when formulating policy and allocating resources for the fight. I urge the Department of Defense Inspector General to hold accountable the intelligence leaders that failed our service members fighting our wars on the ground.”
The report came in response to whistleblower allegations that CENTCOM officers were distorting ISIS intelligence assessments to show statistics in favor of Administration efforts.
On AUGUST8, US State Department spokesperson #ElizabethTrudeau released a statement urging #Chinese authorities to release lawyers and human rights defenders who have been imprisoned or placed in detention. The Department’s Press Release cites last week’s conviction of prominent human rights attorney Zhou Shifeng, and activists Hu Shigen, Zhai Yanmin, and Gou Hongguo, noting, “More than a dozen other attorneys and activists detained on and around July 9, 2015, including Li Heping, remain in pretrial detention without access to their families or to legal counsel of their own choosing. This campaign undermines China’s development of a judicial system that respects the rule of law. We urge Chinese authorities to release the lawyers and rights defenders who are imprisoned or in detention, including those already sentenced. We call for an immediate end to the cases brought against them and to restrictions on their freedom of movement and professional activities.”
On AUGUST8, the US Mission to the United Nations Ambassador #SamanthaPower delivered remarks at the UN Security Council on what she called the need to end the siege of Aleppo:
“The fighting of the past few days confirms what we have known for a very long time–despite the overwhelming force of the Assad regime, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah on one side – neither side will be able to win a swift or decisive victory in the battle for Aleppo. Yet the longer the fighting drags on, the more civilians will be caught in the middle, the more that they will pay the highest price. I would remind all of you that amidst the immeasurable hardship and suffering in places like Aleppo, there are so many people…who are risking their lives for each other…also among mothers and fathers, neighbors and ordinary citizens. All of them are heroes. In the face of their suffering, we must all ask … what will we do to help?”
On AUGUST8, the #USStateDepartment professed its commitment to “defeat terrorism around the world and … to continue to work with our partners in #Pakistan across the region to combat the threat of terrorism.” This, in the wake of the Monday attack on Quetta Hospital and Civil Hospital that killed dozens of Pakistanis and wounded many more. The pledge also comes in the aftermath of the murder of Bilal Anwar Kasi, President of the Baluchistan Bar Association. The spokeswoman for the Office of Press Relations at the State Department added, “We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured, and we offer our assistance to Prime Minister Sharif as his government investigates and works to bring the murderers to justice.”
On AUGUST10, the #USStateDepartment released the 2015 Annual Report on International Freedom. Secretary Kerry expressed, “the purpose of this annual report is not to lecture; it is to inform, to encourage, and ultimately, to persuade. Bigotry and intolerance can be found in every part of the world, including the United States. But every country has an obligation to respect religious liberty and freedom of conscience; we encourage every country to do so. This report, which is based on a wealth of objective research, is one of many ways we give life to that advocacy.”
The report, mandated by #Congress, documents the status of the universal human right to religious freedom in 199 countries worldwide.
Wednesday’s report denotes #Iraq, #Syria, #Nigeria, #CentralAfricanRepublic and #Burma as “countries of particular concern,” identifying those governments, in addition to a handful of others, as perpetrating intolerance and abuses of religious freedom.
On AUGUST10, a joint statement from the governments of the #UnitedStates, #France, #Germany, #Italy, #Spain, and the #US expressed the countries’ concern over reports of increasing tension near the #Zueitina oil terminal on the central coast of #Libya. All parties expressed support for the Government of National Accord’s efforts to peacefully resolve the disruptions to Libya’s energy exports. The effort focuses on control of all facilities that should be transferred unconditionally to the legitimate national authorities recognized by #UN Security Council Resolution 2259. Libya’s energy infrastructure is a priority for the nations noted above and the countries’ governments urge all parties to refrain from hostilities that may endanger this energy security. According to the joint press release:
“The UN Security Council Resolution 2278, #Libyan state financial institutions, and the National Oil Corporation must benefit all Libyans. The Government of National Accord must work with the National Oil Corporation to restore oil production to rebuild Libya’s economy. Restoring oil exports is vital to generating revenues that can provide for the essential needs of the Libyan people, including electricity, healthcare, and infrastructure. It is in the interests of all Libyans that they fully support the efforts led by the GNA to provide these key services to the Libyan people.”
Zueitina is one of three eastern oil ports under Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (#PFG). On one side is the PFG, which has signed a deal to reopen the ports with the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli. On the other side are the forces that swear allegiance to a separate government based in eastern Libya which has threatened to block renewed access to exports.
On AUGUST10, the #USStateDepartment released an update on the nation’s growing relationship with our third-largest trading partner, #Mexico. Mexico has recently published a new and innovative National Cluster Map, reinforcing its relationship with the US and identifying areas for job growth and investment between the two nations.
Mexican President Enrique Peña #Nieto released the Cluster Map as a free, open website available to the public internationally. Nieto paid a visit to US #PresidentBarackObama at the end of July, to discuss means to bolster US-Mexico relations. 1.5 billion dollars in trade crosses between our borders daily.
The Cluster Map site represents an important milestone between the two countries, as North American competitiveness remains a key component of the US-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue. US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, #JayWilliams, noted, “The U.S. and Mexican maps will help regions work together to capitalize on assets and discuss best practices in economic development, policy, and innovation.” In addition, President Obama, #PresidentNieto, and Canadian #PrimeMinisterJustinTrudeau agreed to establish a broader North American Cluster Map. The creation of Canada’s cluster map will constitute the next step in completing this mission.
On AUGUST5, the closing ceremony for exercise #SouthernStar took place, marking a successful end to the partnership exercise between 130 US #Airmen, #Soldiers, #Sailors, and #Marines and their #Chilean counterparts. The Chilean-led exercise is also commonly known as “Estrella Austral” in #Spanish and is a capacity-building exercise which culminates months of training between Special Operations Command South forces and their Chilean equivalents to enhance interoperability and relations between the militaries of both nations. The exercise took place during a 10-day simulated scenario in one of the world’s driest desserts, in #Antofagasta, Chile, along the #Pacific coastline.
On AUGUST5, Comcast NBCUniversal announced, for the first time in history, that US service members worldwide will be able to watch the #2016RioOlympics from their desktop and personal devices at no cost. NBCUniversal has partnered with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and US cable, satellite, and telco providers to stream 4,500 hours of coverage from August 3-21. To access the service, service members can go to NBCOlympics.com or the #NBC Sports app and choose the Exchange as their service provider.
On AUGUST7, the day commemorated the creation of the oldest American military decoration for battlefield merit, the Purple Heart. Created by General George Washington in 1782 for soldiers of “any singularly meritorious action,” the accolade was a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver, with the word “Merit” embroidered in silver across the face. In late July, talks had begun, to pass Senate Concurrent Resolution 159, which would officially declare August 7, 2016 as #PurpleHeartDay. Senators #MikeMorrell and #JanetNguyen brought forth the resolution, which garnered bipartisan support. The medal is believed to be the first official military combat badge of the Armed Forces and has been awarded to approximately 2 million recipients to date.
On AUGUST8, after almost 10 years of designing and testing, the #Army Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (#AATE) program is almost complete. THE AATE is a 3,000-horsepower engine demonstrator program to provide advanced propulsion capability for future Army rotocraft platforms. AATE focuses on developing a new turboshaft engine to support modernization requirements to ensure the Apache Black Hawk remains operationally effective well into the future.
The Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Aviation Development Directorate spearheaded the effort, in an attempt to improve the shaft horsepower to weight ratio and reduce the life cycle cost.
On AUGUST9, for the first time, #USAirForce F-16C aircraft were deployed to Exercise PITCH BLACK 2016, in partnership with the Royal #Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-Multi-Role tanker Transport. The deployment is a notable achievement for the RAAF’s KC-30A, proving its ability to refuel international F-16’s within the Asia Pacific region as well as operations abroad.
Exercise PITCH BLACK is a biennial warfare exercise hosted by the RAAF, whose goal is to practice Offensive Counter Air and Defensive Counter Air combat, in a simulated war scenario. The US Marine Corps even took part in this year’s exercises with the KC-130J Super Hercules preparing for takeoff as part of the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152.
On AUGUST10, the day marked the 67th anniversary of President Truman’s signing of the National Security Bill, renaming the National Military Establishment as the Department of Defense. Shortly after WWII, Truman created a unified department known as the National Military Establishment. Under this umbrella was the Department of the #Army (once the old War Department), the Department of the #Navy, and the newly created #USAirForce. In addition, the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Council, National Security Resources Board and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were also set up.
On AUGUST10, the annual #USNavy training and humanitarian mission to partner nations in Latin America began. The U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet began Southern Partnership Station 2016 with a mission deploying Adaptive Force Packages (#AFP), via commercial air, to Central and South America. During this mission, #Colombian, #Salvadoran, and #Honduran medical professionals and their US counterparts will work side by side to carry out medical subject matter expert exchanges to assist in educating local populations on community health and disease prevention. The mission will also offer land navigation training, small-scale construction projects, river operations, and tactics training.
On AUGUST11, Secretary of the Army #EricFanning announced that the #USArmy has engaged in 127 energy-saving projects with the private sector that now top 1 billion dollars in investments. The briefing was given at the Department of Energy Training and Trade Show in Providence, #RhodeIsland.
The figures come in response to a challenge proposed by #PresidentObama, requesting all federal agencies in 2011 to partner with companies to conserve energy, known as the Energy Savings and Performance-Based Contracting Investments Initiative. The Army’s impressive numbers represent almost 35% of the entire federal government’s current share in reaching that goal.
On AUGUST11, #ScottAirForceBase became home to the largest cyber operation center in the United States. After more than 10 years of planning and construction, government officials officially unveiled the 100 million dollar facility, housing a 164,000-square foot complex built to execute global mission support and emergency response coordination. The site will contain the most advanced networking systems available to the #DepartmentofDefense and will be capable of monitoring the nation’s vast cyber infrastructure from military forces stationed worldwide. The facility is the first line of defense for the US, in the event of a cyber war.
On AUGUST5, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the #Brazilian Olympic Committee, proclaimed, “The best place in the world is here and now,” at the Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the #2016RioSummerOlympics. It may be easy, however, to overlook some Rio Olympians who represent our country even when the games aren’t in session:
Last week, Lima Charlie News offered a spotlight on the soldier-athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, which got underway this week. We would like to take this opportunity to present the #USArmyParalympians who have been vying for gold in the Games, as an ode to both the enduring sacrifices they’ve made on behalf of their nation and the rigorous training they have completed at the most elite levels to make it to the biggest stage there is (courtesy of the US Army Installation Management Command):
Sgt. Elizabeth Marks
US Army Occupation: Combat Medic
Olympic Event: Para-Swimming
Sgt. #ElizabethMarks made international waves this summer, when she gave one of her four gold medals from the Invictus Games to Prince Harry to return to London and honor those who saved her life. As a Paralympic swimmer in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, Sgt. Marks will compete in the 100m breaststroke as part of the U.S. Paralympic team in Rio.
Staff Sgt. Michael Lukow
US Army Occupation: Infantryman
Olympic Event: Para-Archery
Rehabilitating a foot amputation got a lot easier for SSG. #MichaelLukow when he took up archery. Retrieving his bows on prosthetics and braces was easier when he hit more targets, a huge incentive to practice even harder. From his 2008 injury while deployed in Iraq, SSG. Lukow now shoots the Recurve bow in competition as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team.
Staff Sgt. John Joss
US Army Occupation: Indirect Fire Infantryman
Olympic Event: Prone Rifle
Part of the Army Marksmanship Program, Staff Sergeant #JohnJoss competes in the prone rifle event. SSG Joss was deployed to Iraq in 2007 where he was injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joss quickly adapted to the sport of shooting after joining the Army Marksmanship Unit in 2012. SSG Joss earned a direct allocation quota for the U.S. Paralympic Team.
Lima Charlie would also like to present the highlights for TEAM USA from August’s first full week of Olympic competition.
On AUGUST9, the #FinalFive USA gymnastics team proved they are, without any doubt, the best in the world. Led by Olympic team captain #AlyRaisman and up-and-coming superstar #SimoneBiles, the duo easily set a new record for the largest margin of victory in the team all-around competition. In a sport where scores are calculated down to a one-thousandth of a point, the final numbers were staggering, with 184.897 points for the first-place USA finishers to 176.688 for second-place #Russia, the largest margin of victory since the current scoring system was put in place. The 2016 Summer Games mark the last year that the team will be comprised of 5 girls and the last time that veteran Coach #BelaKarolyi will serve as their advisor.
At the end of week one, Team USA swimmers #KatieLedecky and #MichaelPhelps had accumulated a combined total of seven gold medals for their country. Phelps, who will likely be competing in his last Olympics, won gold in the 200m individual medley, helped two relay teams to gold, and took first place in the 200m butterfly final. His rivalry with #ChaddeLeClos was the subject of much media attention, but Phelps eventually came out on top. Phelps won his 13th individual Olympic gold medal this week, tying a record set 2,168 years ago by Leonidas of Rhodes. Phelps held up four fingers following his 200-meter individual medley, winning by over a bodylength, and immediately rushing to his next event, the 100 butterfly semifinals, of which he is the three-time defending champion. He placed second in the semis but memories of his second-best ever time at the previous medley race were still fresh in his mind.
Ledecky won gold in the 400m and 300m freestyle and secured gold as a member of the women’s 4X200m freestyle relay. Both Phelps and Ledecky have upcoming races next week in which they are expected to medal, if not take gold.
On AUGUST11, Team USA swimmer #SimoneManuel made history as the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming for the #UnitedStates. At first, it wasn’t clear what happened, as Manuel came in for the finish, but in a rare twist, she tied with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak for gold. Both swimmers set a new Olympic record, 52.70 seconds, as they touched the wall that made history. Thursday’s medal comes as Manuel’s second, as she won silver as part of the 4X100-meter freestyle relay team.
Manuel also gave Team #USA its first gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle in 36 years.
On AUGUST11, Team USA cyclist #KristinArmstrong took gold in the Individual Time Trial, mere days before her 43rd birthday. Armstrong made history as the oldest female athlete to win a gold medal in an individual event since 1908.
By the end of Week One, world #1 Tennis player #SerenaWilliams and sister #Venus were both unexpectedly eliminated from competition. Although Serena secured gold in the 2012 Olympics, in both singles and doubles, 2016 marks the first time in her career that she has competed in the Games and left without a medal. In the doubles match, the loss is the sisters’ first defeat in the Olympics, following a 15-0 record with three golds.
On AUGUST7, Team USA’s women’s #basketball team opened their showing at the Olympics by breaking three women’s basketball records and defeating Senegal in a 121-56 victory. The team broke the record for the most points scored in a game, margin of victory, and assists. They also broke their previous benchmark for points scored (114) which they reached in 1992 and in 2012. While the team is stacked with #WNBA all-stars and MVP’s, much of the arena crowd cheered for the underdog during Sunday’s game, consistently yelling “Sen-e-gal!” at every chance they got.
By AUG12, the state of Maryland boasted 12 Olympic medals, all from the Olympic swimming pool, thanks to Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps, Allison Schmitt, Cierra Runge, Jack Conger, and Chase Kalisz. This means that if the state were a country, it would have the third-most Olympic Gold Medals, behind the US and China.
On AUGUST4, #Apple announced details for its first-ever bug bounty program, through which computer security researchers, coders, engineers, and hackers, are given the chance to expose software vulnerabilities in exchange for compensation. Keeping pace with Microsoft and Google, which have had similar programs for some time, Apple will pay up to 200,000 to anyone who can identify vulnerabilities in its software and services.
Less than one week after Apple’s announcement, however, Exodus Intelligence, a small, four-year-old private firm based in Texas, published plans to offer a similar program that compensates as much as $500,000 for certain discoveries, competitive figures for a company just a fraction of the size of Apple.
On AUGUST10, Amazon launched #PrimeAir, its own dedicated cargo planes to facilitate delivery and streamline its massive distribution network. The plane, named “Amazon One,” is a Boeing 767-300 and is operated by #AtlasAir. Under the agreement, Amazon will fly a total of 40 cargo planes. The first official model was unveiled during the Boeing Seafair Air Show in #Seattle.
On AUGUST12, #Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, bought out Jet.com, a shopping website, marking the most expensive deal ever for an American e-commerce startup. The move also denotes the retail giant’s likely fear of the rise of Amazon and figures demonstrating that, of every 10 dollars #American shoppers dispensed on goods last year, 1 dollar was spent online. Walmart’s acquisition has also opened access to the wealth of talent comprised in Jet.com. The online retail company’s Chief Executive Marc Lore is the co-founder of Quidsi, the parent company of Diapers.com and Soap.com, which #Amazon actually bought for just under 550 million dollars six years ago. The 3.3 billion dollar purchase of Jet.com will also help Walmart expand its demographic to the millennial crowd.
#NationalNumbers #StockExchange #Oil
#DollarIndex #Jobs #Gasoline
#Silver #Gold #Copper
On AUGUST8, oil prices jumped 3% in #NewYork after news broke that #OPEC planned to assemble unofficially in Algeria in September, responding to the latest setback in the market. The news ushered in speculation that OPEC might curb production in response to an oversupply that has resulted in oil prices dropping to a three-month low. This, despite the fact that the cartel’s biggest member, #SaudiArabia, has halted such pullbacks at the group’s meetings in #Vienna and in #Doha earlier this year.
The US’ highest level energy diplomat is now suggesting we halt our fixation on OPEC, noting, “You know, a few years ago the world stopped everything it was doing whenever the oil ministers met at OPEC in #Vienna, and we all waited with bated breath to see what the wise men would say in Vienna…that’s not the case anymore.”
On AUGUST11, major US stock indexes set record highs, marking the first time since December 31, 1999 that all three closed at such skyrocketed levels. The 3 indexes were S&P 500, #DowJonesIndustrialAverage, and #Nasdaq. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.64% to end at 18,613.52, the S&P 500 gained 0.47% to 2,185.79, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.46% to 5,228.40.
On AUGUST12, a day after investors partied like it was #1999, stocks ended with mixed results in the wake of a disappointing reading on overall July retail sales. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48 points, or 0.3%, to 18,564, the S&P 500 Index dropped by 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,182, and the #NasdaqComposite index rose 1 point to 5,229. All 3 indexes hovered just under their all-time highs on the previous day’s closing.
On AUGUST 12, #oil prices rose $1.02 or 2.3%, to $44.51 a barrel. The price of #gold dropped $6.70, or 0.5%, to $1,335.80 an ounce. #Silver slid 32 cents, or 1.6%, to $19.70 an ounce and #copper fell 5 cents, or 2.3%, to $2.14 a pound.
On AUGUST12, the #USDollar weakened to 101.26 #yen from 101.93 on Thursday, while the #euro strengthened to $1.1165 from $1.1141.
Lima Charlie News, with Special Ops by Nikita Roach
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