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On Tuesday, an international tribunal soundly rejected Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea, an area where China has been building islands and increasing its military activity.

The case before the international tribunal in the Hague was brought by the Philippines, challenging what's widely seen as a territorial grab by Beijing. The tribunal essentially agreed. Beijing immediately said the decision was null and void and that it would ignore it. There are concerns now that the tribunal's decision could inflame tensions between the U.S. and China.

Screenshot / White House

President Barack Obama announced an adjustment of how many troops he plans to leave in Afghanistan at the end of the year.

The Afghan army commander said the treacherous road to Marjah, in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, was now safe. His forces had driven out the Taliban a few days earlier, he added.

"The road is open, so no problem," said Lt. Gen. Moeen Faqir. "Of course I hope you go there and find the reality and reflect it."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says the military is lifting a ban on transgender service members.

"Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender," he told reporters today at the Pentagon.

The fundamental reason for the change, Carter said, is "that the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now – the finest fighting force the world has ever known."

Thomas Hart / Wikimedia Commons

When you "pull a Benedict Arnold," you sell out your side to join the stronger side of a situation out of fear, not honor.  Needless to say, that's not a compliment.

More than 230 years after America secured independence from Britain, this skilled warrior and confidante of George Washington is remembered as a traitor and coward for defecting to the British side.

But it's not that easy.  

An attack on an intelligence office at the Baqaa refugee camp in Jordan today was an act of terrorism, says government spokesman Mohammed Momani. Jordan says five service members were killed: a staff sergeant, two corporals, a lance corporal and a private.

The timing of the attack coincides with the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, which Momani called "a clear evidence of those terrorists' criminal behavior and extremism."

Naval Submarine Base New London

For a century, Groton, Connecticut has been home to the Naval Submarine Base and Training School. It’s turned into an economic staple for the region with the presence of manufacturer Electric Boat. The state is celebrating one hundred years as the "Submarine Capital of the World." This hour, we discuss the history of the submarine industry and how it fares today. Even after all these years, the vessels continue to play an important role in U.S. military strategy.

The American Green Berets were seated around a long, plywood table at their base when they spotted the Taliban counterattack on their screens.

The burly Americans were working on computers, drinking coffee and munching on chips and peanut butter cookies. Their team leader answered an ever-ringing phone, giving his superiors updates on an Afghan commando mission in the mountains just north of Afghanistan's Kandahar Airfield.

U.S. Navy

Yale University has awarded more than 3,600 degrees during ceremonies at its 315th commencement. Later Monday, the school will confer military commissions to its first group of ROTC graduates in more than four decades.

In 2009, Emily Vorland went to Iraq with the Army for a year, hoping it would lead to a career in special operations. That dream was derailed not by the enemy, but by a superior officer, who started sexually harassing her.

"I said no and then reported it. And my direct chain of command relieved him of his position. However, it was three months later when the retaliation started," she says.

The most tangible sign of a growing American military presence in Eastern Europe, behind the former Iron Curtain, is tucked inside a former military base in rural Romania.

Hidden from view is a U.S. naval facility, where sailors use high-tech radar day and night to watch for incoming ballistic missiles fired at NATO countries. If any are spotted, the Americans would fire back with SM-3 Block IIA missiles.

NPR — together with member stations from across the country — has been reporting on troubles with the Veterans Choice program, a $10 billion plan created by Congress two years ago to squash long wait times veterans were encountering when going to see a doctor. But as we reported in March, this fix needs a fix.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

New London is the home for a new national partnership between the Coast Guard and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security. It’s focused on getting new technologies into the hands of Coast Guard crews.

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. 

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