military

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The U.S. Navy recently picked Groton's Electric Boat shipyard to build 12 new submarines in what could be a $100 billion contract. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Three cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut are facing possible expulsion and more than three dozen others have been disciplined in an investigation into cheating on an online quiz. 

John Narewski / U.S. Navy

The Navy's submarine force museum is opening a new exhibit dedicated to the history of Naval Submarine Base New London. 

Catie Talarski / WNPR

Two Connecticut Army veterans are in Washington D.C. on Wednesday as their all Puerto Rican unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, are awarded the Congressional Gold Medal -- the highest honor Congress can award to civilians. 

As the U.S. Air Force prepared to roll out a new sexual assault prevention strategy, it sent a delegation to Connecticut College, a small liberal arts school that introduced the same program several years earlier.

Tom Berry

Later this month, Yale Cabaret will cast its spotlight on a unique "troupe" of New Haven performers: veterans and refugees who experienced the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from very different places. This hour, we hear their stories and learn about their play "Voices from the Long War." 

North Country Public Radio

Reporters describe Donald Trump events as frightening and unsettling for those in the media. Trump relegates the media  to rectangular pens they're not allowed to leave, singles out reporters with personal insults and refuses entry to those he doesn't like, and whips up his crowds against reporters he says are "very dishonest people." Will there be a free press under a President Trump?

In Syria, Russian-backed government troops have entered the ancient city of Palmyra after days of intense clashes with Islamic State militants.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, says regime troops have pushed into the southwest corner of the city. Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman says advances inside the city are slow, as ISIS planted mines in areas where it retreated.

State news agency SANA reports that the army took control of Mount Altar, a strategic point west of the city's famed ruins.

Tony Falcone

The Coast Guard got its moment on the silver screen recently, with the release of "The Finest Hours" -- a retelling of the true story of what’s still rated as the greatest small boat rescue in the history of the service.

Behind the the big-budget Hollywood production, a Connecticut artist had a small part in bringing that story to the screen.

North Korea fired a pair of medium-range ballistic missiles from its east coast into the Sea of Japan at about 6 a.m. local time, according to South Korea's military. The first missile flew about 500 miles.

This follows the launch of two short-range missiles last week. A senior defense department official says neither missile was a threat to the U.S. or regional allies, but that the launches violate multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin just made another shrewd and decisive move with his surprising decision to start withdrawing forces from Syria. Or, the Russian leader was overextended abroad and short of cash at home and was looking for a quick exit.

Putin wants everyone to believe the former, claiming the Russian airstrikes and the Syrian government army have achieved a "fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism."

The fifth year of the Syrian conflict was the worst yet for civilians — and Russia, the U.S., France and Britain are partly to blame. That's according to a new report from 30 aid and human rights groups, including Oxfam and Care International.

For his part in an operation that rescued an American civilian who was being held hostage in Afghanistan, U.S. Navy SEAL Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers was presented with the Medal of Honor at the White House on Monday.

You can watch the event via White House video.

U.S. operation of the Guantanamo Bay military detention center in Cuba is "contrary to our values" and is seen as "a stain on our broader record" of upholding the highest rules of law, President Obama said Tuesday as he announced plans to close the facility.

"Raise your hand if you have ever determined your location on the planet using the stars," Lt. Daniel Stayton tells his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.

A young officer halfheartedly puts up her hand. Another wavers. The rest of the class of 20 midshipmen sits stone-faced.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced late Thursday that they had agreed to push for a "nationwide cessation of hostilities" in Syria within one week.

The communiqué backed by major world powers also vowed to work toward getting humanitarian aid into hard-to-reach areas such as the city of Aleppo.

Rep. Esty's office

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says progress is being made in Afghanistan. She recently returned from a visit there and to Kuwait as part of a bipartisan delegation. 

Harold Shapiro

Members of the United States Coast Guard Band, based in New London, Connecticut, are scheduled to march up the red carpet Monday for the premiere of Disney's film, "The Finest Hours."

Less than 24 hours after reports of their detention emerged, 10 U.S. Navy personnel have been freed by Iran. The sailors left an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday morning, along with the boats they were operating when they were taken into custody.

"There are no indications that the sailors were harmed during their brief detention," the Department of Defense says, confirming the release of nine men and one woman.

Iraq's military has launched an offensive to wrest control of the city of Ramadi from Islamic State militants.

NPR's Alison Meuse told our Newscast unit that the operation is backed by U.S.-led airstrikes. Here's more from Alison:

"A 72-hour government deadline for civilians to leave Ramadi is over. Now, U.S. airstrikes are targeting ISIS positions, and Iraqi troops are pushing into the city center from three sides. The troops are working alongside Sunni tribal fighters and militiamen — against the Sunni extremists of Islamic State.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he left his base in Afghanistan in 2009, could receive life in prison.

Overriding the recommended punishment by an Army officer, head of Army Forces Command Gen. Robert B. Abrams ordered that Bergdahl, now the subject of the Serial podcast, face a court-martial for desertion.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Naval Submarine Base New London has a new leader. U.S. Navy Captain Paul Whitescarver, formerly of Norfolk, Virginia, is the SUBASE's new commanding officer.

Saying America's military must draw from "the broadest possible pool of talent," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that women in the U.S. military — including the Army and Marines — can now serve in combat posts.

The formal process to open combat jobs to women began in January of 2013; in finishing that process, Carter acknowledged that in recent years, U.S. women have fought — and sometimes given their lives — in combat posts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cameroon's military says it has killed more than 100 members of Boko Haram and freed more than 900 people who had been held hostage by the militant Islamists.

The news, which is difficult to independently verify, came in a statement from Cameroon's defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo.

"The statement says during the sweep last week, from Nov. 26 to 28, Cameroonian troops also ... recovered a large stock of weaponry and black and white Islamic State flags," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast unit. "Few details were forthcoming about those reportedly freed."

The British Parliament has begun a daylong debate over whether to grant the government authority to conduct airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

The U.K. is already conducting strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Pentagon has announced it will send additional Special Operations forces to Iraq and Syria to help defeat the so-called Islamic State. The news shouldn't be a surprise according to Connecticut's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, but he said it is concerning.

Saying his country will not apologize for downing a Russian warplane, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu struck a defiant note after meeting with his NATO allies.

The Associated Press reports that Davutoglu said his country was simply defending its airspace last week when two of its F-16s fired at a Russian Sukhoi SU-24.

One of two crew members survived the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkey on Tuesday, Russian officials say, and was rescued by a Syrian commando unit in an operation that ended early Wednesday.

Let's start with one thing that's clear and simple in Syria's messy war: Many foreign powers are engaged in the battle, and all share the goal of beating back the Islamic State.

This very loose grouping includes Turkey and Russia, who aren't best friends, but at least have this common interest in Syria that would seem to override any inclination to confront one another.

Turkey says that after issuing 10 warnings in five minutes, two of its F-16s shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey claims violated its airspace.

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