Monday, January 2, 2017

Stars and Stripes Daily Headlines

Taliban ramp up attacks in southwestern Afghanistan as NATO casualties hit a low
The Taliban have continued their assault on Afghanistan’s southwestern Helmand province with fresh attacks in two key districts, Afghan security forces said, as NATO announced that its forces last year suffered the fewest casualties since the U.S. invasion in 2001.

Congress ushers in new era of all-Republican rule
On Tuesday at noon, with plenty of pomp and pageantry, members of the 115th Congress will be sworn in, with an emboldened GOP intent on unraveling eight years of President Barack Obama's Democratic agenda and targeting massive legacy programs from Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson such as Social Security and Medicare.

CVS no longer part of TRICARE pharmacy network
The Defense Department notified TRICARE health care participants this fall that CVS pharmacies, including those in Target stores, would leave the network Dec. 1.

Veterans of Foreign Wars struggling to strike balance between older, younger vets
Concerns about the need to replace the organization's aging members have led area VFW posts to try new things — trivia nights, even smoking bans — often over the objections of the older crowd.

Islamic State makes unusual claim of responsibility for Turkey attack
The Islamic State group on Monday made an unusual claim of responsibility for a major terrorist attack in Turkey, saying a "soldier of the caliphate" carried out the mass shooting at an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people as they welcomed the new year.

Military weighs expanded use of cyber, space weapons against Islamic State
Military chiefs are prepared to give President-elect Donald Trump the options he wants to intensify the fight against the Islamic State, including the possibility of granting commanders greater leeway to use secret cyber-warfare and space weapons, the top Air Force leader said.

Terror's toll in Turkey could test NATO resolve
The recent surge in terror attacks in Turkey — including the massacre at an Istanbul nightclub where a gunman shot at least 39 people dead and left scores wounded — could begin to test the resolve of NATO and others, including the United States, in their willingness to aid the volatile country against a rise in blood-soaked terrorism, analysts say.

Islamic State suicide bomber kills 36 in Baghdad market
A suicide bomber driving a pickup loaded with explosives struck a bustling market in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 36 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group hours after French President Francois Hollande arrived in the Iraqi capital.

Right-wing militia trains Russians to fight the next war — with or without Putin
The "cadets" listening to instructor Denis Gariev were largely white-collar and self-employed workers from cities across Russia, men motivated less by an ideology than by the siege mentality that has surged here since the wars in Ukraine and Syria and a conviction that the modern Russian man should be combat-ready.

With less than three weeks left, Obama in final stretch of presidency
His last presidential vacation behind him, Barack Obama is entering the closing stretch of his term, an eleventh-hour push to tie up loose ends and put finishing touches on his legacy before handing the reins to President-elect Donald Trump.

Puerto Rico's new governor seeks statehood to help end crisis
Puerto Rico's new governor was sworn in Monday as the U.S. territory prepares for what many believe will be new austerity measures and a renewed push for statehood to haul the island out of a deep economic crisis.


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