On Tuesday, the US Army announced that it had either fired or suspended 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, for acts of violence or harassment carried out on base.
Fort Hood is the notorious military base where dozens of soldiers have died from unnatural causes in the past year, including 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen, who was murdered at the base by a fellow soldier and had allegedly reported sexual harassment in her unit prior to her disappearance.
Along with the suspensions and firings, the Army has also ordered policy changes to address failures of leadership that contributed to a widespread pattern of violence, including murder, sexual assault, and harassment at the base.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy fired three top commanders and suspended two others pending a further investigation.
He also ordered a separate investigation into staffing and procedures at the base’s Criminal Investigation Command unit, which is responsible for investigating crimes on Fort Hood, according to the Associated Press.
In the past year, at least 25 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood have died from suicide, homicide, or some type of tragic accident.
McCarthy said that an independent panel found that leadership at the base has overlooked and disregarded credible threats of various types of abuse that took place at the base.
BREAKING: Army leaders are firing or suspending 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and ordering policy changes to address chronic leadership failures that fostered a pattern of violence including murder, sexual assaults and harassment. https://t.co/ywdgEpITgC
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 8, 2020
McCarthy also ordered the Army to change its policy in regards to the protocol for dealing with missing soldiers. Currently, there is no standard procedure for making sure that missing soldiers are safe and accounted for, which is something the Army is promising to change.
The new policy will require people in leadership positions to list soldiers as absent-unknown for up to 48 hours, and then do everything they can to track down the soldier if they are still missing after that time period.
Among the high ranking figures fired is Army Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, who was left in charge of the base earlier this year when Guillen was killed, Col. Ralph Overland, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander, and his Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp.
— John-Carlos Estrada (@Mr_JCE) December 8, 2020
According to a 2018 RAND study, Fort Hood had the highest number of reported sexual assaults and rapes of any US military facility worldwide, based on data from 2014.
Numerous murders have been reported at the base for many years, and some soldiers are accused of being a part of a child trafficking ring that was busted earlier this week.
Investigators have not yet released many specifics about the case, but 9 men were arrested during a recent sting operation near the base. At least two of those men were identified as working at the military base.
This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened either, last month, 6 Fort Hood soldiers were caught up in a human trafficking sting, although it is not clear if children were a part of that case.
Fourteen people were arrested after a two-day sex trafficking, pimp and prostitution sting that was conducted by the Temple Police Department and Bell County Sheriff's Department on March 13 and 14. https://t.co/jSGjBpt5Pg
— Auntie Mame (@nitagale) June 30, 2020
The main area of Fort Hood had a total population of 53,416 as of the 2010 U.S. Census.
Fort Hood is the most populous U.S. military installation in the world. Named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, it is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles (or 97 km) from each city.
The post is the headquarters of III Corps and First Army Division West and is home to the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Cavalry Regiment, among others.
Fort Hood is one of ten Army bases in the United States that are named after former Confederate generals.
BREAKING: Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy will fire or suspend 14 Fort Hood commanders and other leaders based on the findings of an independent review, @NorahODonnell reports.
"This report, without a doubt, will cause the Army to change our culture," Sec. McCarthy says. pic.twitter.com/XsRRDjNWX2
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 8, 2020
Nancy Pelosi Reelected As House Speaker In Narrow Vote
Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, after a narrow vote.
80-year-old Pelosi will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.
Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker and, until the inauguration of Kamala Harris as Vice President, is the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) January 3, 2021
As House speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.
During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many of the Obama administration’s landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act.
BREAKING: The floor of the House of Representatives erupts in applause as Rep. Nancy Pelosi is reelected as speaker of the House for the 117th congress, with 216 votes. https://t.co/z1mlyK1BJN pic.twitter.com/6Wdt3N9ulD
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 3, 2021
Pelosi lost the speakership in 2011 after the Republican Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.
She retained her role as leader of the House Democratic Caucus and returned to the role of House minority leader. In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats regained control of the House.
When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was again elected speaker, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on December 18, 2019.
Despite supporting the $2000 checks for struggling Americans, Pelosi, along with everyone in congress have provoked anger from citizens who see them as being out of touch with the average people.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) estimated in 2009 that Pelosi’s average net worth was $58 million which ranks her 13th among 25 wealthiest members of Congress.
Roll Call said Pelosi’s earnings are connected to her husband’s heavy investments in stocks that include Apple, Disney, Comcast, and Facebook. Roll Call reported that the Pelosis have $13.46 million in liabilities including mortgages on seven properties.
According to Roll Call, Pelosi and her husband hold properties “worth at least $14.65 million, including a St. Helena vineyard in Napa Valley worth at least $5 million, and commercial real estate in San Francisco”.
FAA Responds To Numerous Reports Of A UFO Over Hawaii
The FAA was notified after multiple people reported seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in the sky over Leeward Oahu on Tuesday evening. Witnesses all over the region called into 911 at around 8:30 p.m.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that there were no aircraft incidents or accidents in this area at the time of the reports, but multiple witnesses reported seeing a large blue object fall out of the sky and into the ocean.
Some of the witnesses managed to get video or photos of the incident.
Witness Misitina Sape told Hawaii News Now she captured a photo of the object at 8:26 p.m. near Haleakala Avenue in Nanakuli.
Another witness named Moriah said she had never been a believer in UFOs until she saw the object fall from the sky.
“I started calling my husband and them because they were all in the garage. I was like hey. Come look up there. See if you see what I see. They all said yea!” Moriah said.
They jumped in the car to follow the object and see what it was.
“I don’t know what it was,” she said. “This one was going so fast.”
About three miles down the road, they saw the object fall into the water.
She said that it was larger than a telephone pole but didn’t make any sound when it hit the ground.
“We called 911,” Moriah said, “For have like one cop or somebody for come out and come check em out.”
She also says that they saw another light in the sky after the blue object fell into the water. She says that police saw the second light as well.
“My husband went look up and he seen the white one coming,” she said. “The white one was smaller. Was coming in the same direction as the blue one.”
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said the agency received a report from police Tuesday night about a possible plane down in the area “but had no aircraft disappear off radars. And no reports of overdue or missing aircraft.”
Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced the formation of a new task force that will be studying UFOs or “Unidentified Flying Objects.”
The formation of this new task force was revealed last year when the Pentagon acknowledged that military pilots were encountering aircraft that might not have been made by humans.
The new task force was officially revealed to the public after the Pentagon released declassified videos that appeared to show government aircraft interacting with UFOs in the sky.
One of the videos, taken from US Navy aircraft, seems to show the pilots chasing a UFO off the east coast of the United States.
Navy pilots reported spotting the objects flying around 30,000 feet in the air at hypersonic speeds and showing no visible engines or exhaust plumes typical of any known aircraft currently on Earth.
The new agency has been called, The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
Mitch McConnell’s House Vandalized Over $2,000 Checks
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had his home vandalized this week, after blocking the vote to increase stimulus payments to $2,000.
Messages like ‘WERES MY MONEY’ and ‘MITCH K1LLS THE POOR.’ were spray-painted on the building.
Police said that they don’t have any suspects.
On Saturday, McConnell released a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal which read: “Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.”
In 2015, Time listed McConnell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history.
During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. Among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who were recently confirmed to the Supreme Court.
McConnell’s critics have called him by a variety of different nicknames, including “Moscow Mitch”, “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Grim Reaper”, “Darth Vader”, “Rich Mitch”, “Nuclear Mitch”, and “Midnight Mitch.” On some occasions, he has even embraced these nicknames, although he was apparently unhappy with the more recent “Moscow Mitch.”
McConnell has a net worth of $35 million dollars, and many Americans feel that he is out of touch. He isn’t the only US politician that was a target for vandalism this week.
According to a report from TMZ this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her house vandalized with a pig’s head and fake blood.
Spray painted in black on the white garage door were the messages “$2K,” an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID stimulus checks that have been held up in the U.S. Senate, as well as “CANCEL RENT!” and “WE WANT EVERYTHING!”
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