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Sailors Missing After Destroyer USS John McCain Collides with Oil Tanker off Singapore



A search and rescue operation is underway for 10 US sailors after a US warship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore on Monday morning. This is the second accident involving US Navy destroyers in within only a few months.

The guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of Singapore for a routine port call, the Navy said in a statement.

Initial reports indicate the USS destroyer sustained damage to the port side aft, “There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured,” according to a Navy statement.

A search-and-rescue mission was under way involving Singaporean ships, helicopters and tug boats, as well as US Navy aircraft.

“Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway,” Donald Trump tweeted as operations continued.

The warship was sailing under its own power and heading to port, the Navy said.  The Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged, 183 metre-long oil or chemical tanker of 50,760 deadweight tonnes, according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Five US sailors were injured in the collision—four were evacuated by helicopter to the Singapore General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the fifth did not need further medical attention, according to statements reported by the Navy.

The USS John S McCain is seen after a collision in Singapore waters on Aug 21, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Ahmad Masood)

No crew members on the oil tanker were injured, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed the collision in a Facebook post, which he said happened in Singapore’s territorial waters.

The MPA is leading the search and rescue operation, Dr Ng said, adding that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has also been mobilized after it responded to the US Navy’s request for assistance from the Republic of Singapore Navy.

“From the SAF, two Patrol Vessels, RSS Gallant and RSS Resilience; one Frigate, RSS Intrepid; two Super Pumas and one Chinook helicopter are assisting in the efforts. RSN’s RSS Resilience is currently escorting USS John S McCain back to Changi Naval Base,” he said.

In Facebook posts on Monday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan said that their thoughts are with the families of those missing and injured in the collision.

According to an Alnic crew member, the tanker was carrying nearly 12,000 tons of fuel oil from Taiwan to discharge in Singapore.

“We have not discharged the tanker yet,” the crew member who did not want to be identified, told Reuters via telephone.

“We are proceeding to Raffles Reserved Anchorage where the owners will investigate the matter. There was some damage to the valve.”

Shipping data showed Alnic last sent a transponder signal at 6.58am. The ship data showed it was “ballasting”, meaning that it was not loaded full of oil for cargo.

According to VesselsValue, which provides shipping and maritime data, the Alnic is owned by a Greek company Brave Maritime and is reportedly worth US$17.36 million (S$23.6 million).

Shipping data showed it last sent a transponder signal at 2258 GMT Sunday and has since come to a halt 6-12 miles off the east coast of the Pengerang peninsula in Johor, southern Malaysia. The ship data showed it was “ballasting”, meaning that it was not loaded full of oil for cargo.

The waterways around Singapore are some of the busiest and most important in the world, carrying around a quarter of the world’s trade in goods and oil.

The US Navy said last week it had removed the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on a warship that almost sank off the coast of Japan in June after it was struck by a Philippine container ship.
That collision killed seven US sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald.

The USS Fitzgerald and USS John S McCain are both ballistic missile defense (BMD) capable ships and part of the same Japan-based destroyer squadron. The Seventh Fleet has six ships assigned to BMD patrols, with half of those out on patrol at any one time.

Asked whether the US Navy would need to bring forward other ships to maintain its strength, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet said it was “way too early to know”.

The vessel involved in the latest collision is named for the father and grandfather of US Republican Senator John McCain, who were both admirals in the United States Navy.

“Cindy & I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight – appreciate the work of search & rescue crews,” Senator McCain said on Twitter.

Senator McCain is a Vietnam War-era naval aviator who was shot down and held prisoner for five-and-a-half years. He is now undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

Singaporean, Malaysian and US search and rescue teams, consisting of patrol ships, helicopters and tug boats, were deployed to the area to look for the missing crew.

The US navy said the warship had “sustained damage to her port side aft” in the collision with the Alnic MC east of the straits of Malacca and Singapore. The breach “resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms,” the Navy added.


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The Former President Barack Obama Speaks: In your own ability to make a difference in your community and your country.

The Former President Barack Obama Speaks:

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Friend —

A little over a year ago, at my farewell address in Chicago, I asked you to believe. Not in a candidate, or a politician, or a party — in yourself.

In your own ability to make a difference in your community and your country.

For eight years in the White House — and long before that — I’d seen it happen time and time again: ordinary people who got involved, stayed involved, and pushed for a better future for this country we love.

That’s how change happens.

And this November, we have a chance to make that change happen in local and federal elections across the country. We cannot squander it.

Commit to vote in November 2018. Say you’ll fulfill your duty as a citizen, and that you’ll keep pushing for progress.

That faith I placed all those years ago in the power of ordinary Americans to bring about change — that faith has been rewarded in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined.

In the past year, I saw people like Kim, an OFA volunteer in Virginia, bravely share her story during the health care fight — of how, before Obamacare, her 13-month-old son Isaac was on the verge of being kicked off insurance as he went through surgery after surgery. She spoke up, and helped save health care for Isaac and millions of Americans.

I saw folks in South Carolina identify a problem with their town’s outdated, dangerous school buses — then roll up their sleeves, do some organizing, and get the statehouse to fund new buses for Charleston’s kids.

And I saw a new generation of young leaders grab clipboards, collect signatures, and decide to run for office themselves.

Throughout 2017, I saw Americans all over the country step up, have the tough conversations, and speak out about the issues affecting us all. We have to keep it up in 2018 — because every ballot measure, every election, every conversation on an issue we care about — it all matters.

There are no do-overs.

So right now, I’m asking you to make a commitment: Seize the power you have. Speak up. Make this democracy work. Do not succumb to cynicism. And say you’ll vote in 2018 — there’s too much at stake this year to sit this out.

I’m in

Thank you,

Barack Obama

Reported by Tam Lawrence

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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct



Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’



TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17


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