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xx Increase font in quotes

May 06, 2017, 20:25:53 by Messerschmitt
I'm suggesting to increase the font in quotes. I stopped trying to read text in quotes that's more than 2-3 lines. The crazy small font hurts my eyes.
7 comments | Write Comment News

xx Tax Exemption for Salaries of Deployed Canadian Armed Forces Personnel and Polic

May 18, 2017, 15:03:18 by dangerboy
Good news for some pers

News Release
From National Defence

May 18 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Government of Canada

Recognizing the commitment and sacrifice that Canadian Armed Forces members - and their families - make for Canada when a member deploys abroad, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale today announced the Government’s intention to exempt the military salaries of all Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on named international operations from federal income taxes, up to and including the pay level of Lieutenant-Colonel.

This tax relief would also apply to police officers deployed on international operational missions.

This measure is an important part of a broader package of administrative changes and new measures included in Canada’s new Defence Policy, which will improve the way the Government of Canada treats our military personnel. Canada’s new Defence Policy will be made public on June 7, 2017.

These changes ensure that Canadian Armed Forces personnel and police officers deployed on designated international missions are recognized for their sacrifice and that of their family.

“When our women and men in uniform deploy internationally, they and their families make great sacrifices on our behalf. Military families are the strength behind the uniform and we must do more to acknowledge that our people are our most important asset. The Government of Canada will recognize their sacrifices with these important tax relief measures.”

—    Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“I am very pleased to provide further recognition of the special contribution that Canadian Armed Forces members and police officers make to international peace and stability while serving their country abroad.”

—    Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
“The government is proud of the important work our police do abroad to support peace and stability in parts of the world that badly need both. We will provide further recognition of their tireless work by providing additional tax relief when they are deployed abroad.”

—    Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Quick Facts
While the number of CAF personnel on deployed operations changes from day-to-day, there are currently approximately 1,450 Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on international military operations.

The Government intends to make this measure retroactive to January 1, 2017. These changes will not affect the assessment and awarding of existing hardship and risk allowances earned by Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed abroad.

Related Products
Notice of Ways and Means Motion
Backgrounder: Tax Relief for Canadian Armed Forces Personnel and Police Officers
Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Annie Donolo
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
Phone: 613-769-7187

Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Phone: 613-998-5681

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Media Relations
Department of Finance
Phone: 613-369-4000

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xx 12-13 May 2017: "Dozens of countries hit by huge cyberextortion attack"

May 13, 2017, 11:29:46 by
Holy crap!
Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack Friday that locked up computers and held users' files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.

It was believed to the biggest attack of its kind ever recorded.

The malicious software behind the onslaught appeared to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was supposedly identified by the National Security Agency for its own intelligence-gathering purposes and was later leaked to the internet.

Britain's national health service fell victim, its hospitals forced to close wards and emergency rooms and turn away patients. Russia appeared to be the hardest hit, according to security experts, with the country's Interior Ministry confirming it was struck.

All told, several cybersecurity firms said they had identified the malicious software, which so far has been responsible for tens of thousands of attacks, in more than 60 countries. That includes the United States, although its effects there didn't appear to be widespread, at least initially.

The attack infected computers with what is known as "ransomware" — software that locks up the user's data and flashes a message demanding payment to release it. In the U.S., FedEx reported that its Windows computers were "experiencing interference" from malware, but wouldn't say if it had been hit by ransomware.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, called the attack "the biggest ransomware outbreak in history." ...
More via Google News here.
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xx NATO nations being asked to send troops back to Afghanistan.

May 12, 2017, 13:45:15 by Altair

LONDON (Reuters) - NATO is assessing a request from the alliance's military authorities to send more troops to Afghanistan and will make a decision on the scale and scope of the mission within weeks, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
The request for what Stoltenberg said was "about a few thousand" more troops reflects the West's alarm about the worsening security situation in Afghanistan, territorial gains by Taliban militants and military and civilian casualties.
"We are now assessing that request. We will make decisions on the scale and scope of the mission within weeks but this is not about returning back to a combat operation in Afghanistan," he said after meeting British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Reuters reported in late April that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration was weighing sending between 3,000 and 5,000 U.S. and coalition troops to Afghanistan.
NATO already has some 13,450 troops in Afghanistan, including about 6,900 U.S. military personnel, who are training the Afghan armed forces to eventually take over the country's defense and security.
In addition, the United States has about 1,500 more troops in a parallel mission, part of a counter-terrorism unit that mostly targets pockets of al Qaeda and Islamic State fighters.
Stoltenberg stressed that any new NATO arrivals would not be in a combat role. "It will continue to be a train, assist and advise operation," he said of the so-called Resolute Support mission that was launched in January 2015 and signaled the end of an official combat role for NATO troops in Afghanistan.
A decision could be taken by NATO defense ministers in June, according to an alliance official. The NATO leaders summit in Brussels on May 25 was probably too soon, the official said.

Almost 16 years since the United States tried to topple Afghanistan's Taliban, who had harbored al Qaeda militants behind attacks on New York and Washington, the West remains entangled in an effort to stabilize a country facing resurgent rebels.
Facing public fatigue at the long-running conflict, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has sought to progressively reduce its presence in the country by building up the country's armed forces, notably creating an Afghan air force.
However, loss of territory to Taliban and Islamic militants, a rise in civilian casualties and a fall in the number of Afghan security forces have led the U.S. administration under Trump to review Afghanistan policy.
Over the past 18 months, Taliban insurgents have twice succeeded in seizing the northern town center of Kunduz for brief periods and the latest fighting underscores the challenge Afghan forces face to quell the insurgency.
According to the United Nations, 583,000 people fled their homes due to conflict in 2016, the highest number of displacements since records began in 2008.
U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster visited Kabul in April to assess the situation, days after the U.S. military dropped one of the largest conventional weapons ever used in combat during an operation against Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan.
"I strongly believe that the best answer we have to terrorism, the best weapon against terrorism, is to train local forces to fight terrorism, to stabilize their own country," Stoltenberg said.

Any increase of several thousand troops would leave U.S. forces in Afghanistan well below their peak of more than 100,000 troops in 2011, when Washington was under huge domestic political pressure to draw down the costly operation.
Some U.S. officials told Reuters they questioned the benefit of sending more troops to Afghanistan because any politically palatable number would not be enough to turn the tide, much less create stability and security. To date, more than 2,300 Americans have been killed and over 17,000 wounded.
For now, deliberations include giving more authorities to forces on the ground. This could allow U.S. advisers to work with Afghan troops below the corps level, potentially putting them closer to fighting, a U.S. official said.
Stoltenberg said NATO trainers could also do more.
"We are now looking into requests regarding some areas like more education, for the military academies, but also training special operation forces and air forces," he said.

Anyone interested?
12 comments | Write Comment

xx Three Canadian Rangers missing in Northern Alberta

April 30, 2017, 21:53:58 by dapaterson
Three of the four hunters who went missing in the northern Alberta wilderness last weekend were members of the Fort Chipewyan Canadian Ranger Patrol.

The Canadian Rangers have been identified as Walter Ladouceur, Andrew Ladouceur and Keith Marten, according to a statement from the Department of National Defence. The fourth hunter has been identified as Keanan Cardinal.

The group left Fort Chipewyan, Alta. – about 200 kilometres north of Fort McMurray – on the evening of April 23 in a boat, which was later found in a river that flows through Wood Buffalo National Park.

On Wednesday, RCMP and Parks Canada shifted their efforts to a recovery operation after failing to find the men in the rugged bush.

Keith Marten and Andrew Ladouceur were 15-year members of the Canadian Ranger Patrol. Walter Ladouceur joined in 2016. All three are said to be “highly experienced outdoorsmen.” The defence department notes they were on their own time when they began the hunting trip.
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clip 25 Aprill 2017: One dead, three injured in Ex RUGGED BEAR accident

April 26, 2017, 06:14:24 by
Condolences to family, colleagues and friends of Sgt. Dynerowicz, and hopes for a full and speedy recovery to the injured  :salute:

This from the CF:
Sergeant Robert J. Dynerowicz from the Royal Canadian Dragoons, based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa (Ontario), has died as a result of his injuries following a vehicle accident while conducting training at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright (Alberta). Three other soldiers were injured. Today’s tragic accident occurred around 10 a.m. (Eastern), while Canadian Army personnel were participating on Exercise RUGGED BEAR.

The three injured soldiers have been taken to hospital for medical treatment. Their medical condition will not be disclosed at this time.

A military police investigation has been initiated; however, no further information is available at this time.
Given the bit in yellow, let's keep a lid on any speculation or insider "knowledge", given how fresh the wounds are right now - thanks in advance.
4 comments | Write Comment
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That in a post-Cold War world, violent conflict would come not from ideological friction between nation states, but from cultural and religious differences among the world's major civilizations.

- Political Scientist Samuel P. Huntington

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