Sunday November 19, 2017
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“Goodbye My Brother” Wrote US Marine as the World Bid Farewell to 10 Year Old Service Dog

What have we done to deserve the love of dogs? The world mourns the death of 10 year old Cena.

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Cena died at the age of 10.
"May the Lord greet you with open arms and a nice ear scratch" are DeYoung's words on his Facebook post (representational image). Pixabay
  • Michigan and the world bid a teary farewell to Marine service dog who served three years in Afghanistan
  • The 10-year-old Labrador was diagnosed with a pungent form of bone cancer, following which he was put down 
  • The Ceremony was attended by officers of various ranks and cadres and the general public. 

MICHIGAN, August 1, 2017 : “.. And now I am 27, and having to say goodbye to one of the biggest pieces of my life”, said an emotional Lance Corporal Jeff DeYoung, as hundreds of people gathered in Michigan to salute and bid a tearful final goodbye to a cancer-stricken service dog who served three-tours in Afghanistan with the US Marines.

Cena, the black Labrador was no less than a hero and received a well-deserved beautiful, military farewell before being euthanized at a museum ship on July 27.

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10-year-old Cena was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer. Having been a bomb sniffer for the US Marines until his retirement in 2014, he then became a service dog for Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, his wartime partner.

Not only did the pair spend every second together for over six months in Afghanistan, they were also responsible for each other’s lives and wellness as they survived military strikes together and headed into Operation Moshtarak, the largest joint militarily operation yet in Afghanistan. Jeff remembered carrying him over his body to cross rivers, and shielding him during Talibani strikes while Cena kept his body warm during cold-dessert times.

Cena was 10 years only when he was diagnosed with cancer.
The duo was more than war time partners, DeYoung called Cena his “brother”. Facebook

Following his retirement, DeYoung had adopted Cena who then helped him deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Over the past year and a half, this dog, this brother of mine, has sat with me through homelessness, through missed jobs, my PTSD strikes, and waking up in my bath tub crying,” Jeffery DeYoung had said at a Veterans Day ceremony at Muskegon Community College during November 2015.

An evidently emotional DeYoung had also posted on Facebook publicly about Cena’s final moments with him, whom he fondly called ‘Chicken’. The status had over 250 comments and 62 shares as on August 1, 2017.

Cena was a 10 year old Labrador who served with the Us Marines.
In his post, DeYoung called Cena his “brother”. Facebook

To cherish their final days together, Lance Corporal Jeffrey DeYoung had prepared a bucket list for his “brother” Cena, at the top of which was a ride in a topless Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep was decorated and named ‘Cancer Response Team’ and was joined by multiple Jeep convoys from the lengths and breadths of the country in honor of Cena’s service.

Cena’s illness had made him immobile. Heavily medicated and in a lot of pain, he appeared for the ceremony in a homemade blue Marine vest and made his way to the ceremony in a wagon.

At the museum was a celebration of Cena’s life, and the ceremonial military farewell was also open to the general public.

 

Following a short, police-escorted convoy ride, Cena and Jeff DeYoung boarded the US LST 393 where he was euthanized to the sound of ‘Taps’, which is played at every army funeral.

DeYoung then tearfully carried his casket covered by an American flag.

The Ceremony was attended by the US Marine Corps League, Michigan State Police, Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office, Muskegon City Police, Muskegon Fire Department and officers from several other departments including a canine officer Rex, reported Associated Press.

ALSO READ: The Reason Why Dog is Man’s Best Friend

A GoFundMe page had also been set up in mid-July by fellow Marine Jacobie Baumann for donations to help build a headstone for Cena which recorded more than 1,100 responses, pledging donation worth nearly $45,000.

The news deeply struck social media which has been since abuzz with people sharing messages and kind words for both, Cena and DeYoung.

“Any dog that served overseas deserves exactly what I’ve done with Cena, if not more”, DeYoung said, as reported by Associated Press.

-by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


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Quitting Militancy by Kashmiri Footballer Regarded as ‘Brave’ by the Army

Majid Khan, a young Kashmiri footballer has given up militancy to pursue academics and passion for football, leaving the Kashmirs stunned over his decision

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Kashmiri Footballer
Kashmiri Footballer quits militancy.Pixabay.

Jammu and Kashmir, November, 17: Majid Khan, a young Kashmiri footballer whose decision to join the LeT stunned Kashmirs, has given up militancy, the Army announced on Friday, with the 20-year-old making a brief appearance at a press conference here.

Amid conflicting reports whether Majid Khan had surrendered or was caught, Major General B.S. Raju said: “The brave young man, Majid Khan, the Kashmiri footballer decided on his own to shun violence and returned to lead a normal life, pursuing his academics and passion for football.”

The Army, he said, merely facilitated his decision.

“He was neither apprehended nor did he surrender. We only facilitated his return,” Gen Raju said, providing no details about how Majid made contact with the family or the security agencies.

Majid, wearing a black Kashmiri phiran, made a brief presence before journalists. But the kashmiri footballer did not speak and was quickly escorted out of the venue by a police officer.

Gen Raju complimented his parents, especially the mother, whose persuasion he said helped the young man to change his mind.

Majid’s mother’s passionate and wailing appeal to her only son to return home went viral on social media — just like Majid’s earlier photographs showing him with an AK-47.

Gen Raju, who commands the Army’s Victor Force, which oversees all anti-military operations in southern Kashmir, urged other Kashmiri youths to also give up militancy.

“Those youths who have strayed and have committed no crime are welcome to come back and no action will be taken against them. I appeal also to those who might have committed some crime to return within the parameters of law.”

The Kashmir Valley’s police chief, Muneer Khan, said no charges would be pressed against Majid and he would be allowed to join his family.

Army sources had earlier said that Majid, a second year college student, surrendered after walking into a Rashtriya Rifles camp at Kulgam on Thursday evening. He came with his arms and ammunition.

The sources added that he was handed over to Army’s 15 Corps in Awantipora town.

There was a sense of relief among Majid’s friends and relatives when they learnt that he had crossed back — into safer hands.

Kashimiri footballer
Army appreciates Kashimiri footballer, Majid Khan’s decision to quit militancy. IANS.

“It is great to hear that he will be now serving his parents and pursuing his passion about football,” a relative who did not wish to be named told IANS.

The relative said Majid was the only son of his parents, who were shocked when they came to know that he had joined the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is active in the Kashmir Valley.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “A mother’s love prevailed. Her impassioned appeal helped in getting Majid, an aspiring kashmiri footballer, back home. Every time a youngster resorts to violence, it is his family which suffers the most.”

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: “It is a very good development. Hope he can go back to leading a normal life and not be harassed. (IANS)

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Greater Scrutiny Set for Nonimmigrant Work Visa Renewals

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H1B Visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
A security guard looks out of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York. VOA

United States, October 27: The United States has announced changes to its nonimmigrant work visa policies that are expected to make renewals more difficult.

In the past, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would generally approve the renewals unless the visa holder had committed a crime. Now, renewals will face the same scrutiny as the original applications.

“USCIS officers are at the front lines of the administration’s efforts to enhance the integrity of the immigration system,” USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna said, according to the announcement posted on USCIS’ website this week. “This updated guidance provides clear direction to help advance policies that protect the interests of U.S. workers.”

The new regulations could affect more than 100,000 people holding at least eight different types of work visas who fill out the I-129 form for renewals.

Sam Adair, a partner at the Graham Adair business immigration law firm in California and Texas, said that for the most part, he expected visa holders would most likely face lengthier adjudication periods in their renewal processes, as opposed to increased numbers of denials.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big shift for us,” Adair told VOA. “But I think what we’ll see is just an increase in the number of requests for evidence, an increase in the delays on the adjudication of these petitions, and really it’s going to just result in more costs for the employers who are filing these petitions.”

‘High-skilled’ workers

Of all visa holders affected by this policy, those in the United States on an H-1B, a visa for “high-skilled” workers, are the biggest group. Of 109,537 people who had to submit I-129 forms in fiscal 2017, 95,485 were H-1B holders, according to data sent to VOA by USCIS.

H-1B visas have been threatened in the past, most recently by a bill proposed this year that would have raised the minimum salary requirement for workers brought in on the visa. While advocates of the program argued that it would keep workers from being exploited, many H-1B holders feared that businesses would be less willing to hire them or keep them on board.

But some Americans support the new regulations, saying that nonimmigrant work visas hurt American workers.

“It’s prudent to make sure that the people that receive those visas are in complete compliance with all of the requirements,” Joe Guzzardi, national media director of Californians for Population Stabilization, told VOA.

“It just isn’t possible to think that there aren’t American workers that couldn’t fill these jobs,” he said, noting that while the regulations might hurt businesses, they would help Americans looking for work.(VOA)

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North Korea may soon be able to hit US with Nuclear Missiles ; Could a war break out soon?

Pyongyang's deputy envoy to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, warned Monday that war could break out at any moment.

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NORTH KOREA
CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks during the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)(VOA)

Washington, October 20, 2017 : North Korea is likely just months away from being capable of striking the United States with a nuclear missile, according to two top U.S. officials.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a forum in Washington on Thursday he is “deeply worried” about the advancing threat from North Korea and the possibility it could spark a nuclear arms race across East Asia.

“We ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective,” Pompeo said when asked about Pyongyang’s pursuit of missile technology that could launch a warhead to targets in the U.S.

“They are so far along in that it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step?” he added.

north korea
National security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks during the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)(VOA)

McMaster: We’re running out of time

U.S. National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster said later on Thursday that Washington was racing to resolve the situation, short of using military force.

“We’re not out of time but we’re running out of time,” McMaster said, speaking at the same event. “Accept and deter is unacceptable.”

The comments by Pompeo and McMaster come as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been steadily rising following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test last month, it’s sixth overall, and repeated tests of what intelligence officials have assessed to be both intermediate and long range ballistic missiles.

But despite warning that North Korea is just months away from being able to target the U.S., the CIA’s Pompeo cautioned there are still questions about just how “robust” the North Korea nuclear threat has become, and whether Pyongyang will be able to deliver multiple nuclear warheads to nuclear targets.

“There’s always a risk. Intelligence is imperfect,” Pompeo said, adding there is evidence Pyongyang may be getting help from Iran, citing “deep conventional weapons ties as between the two countries.”

He also warned that each North Korean test makes an arms race ever more likely.

“You watch as North Korea grows ever closer to having its capability perfected, you can imagine others in the region also thinking that they well may need that capability,” he said.

north korea
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while answering questions at a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia (VOA)

Putin suggests force won’t work against North Korea

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against the use of force to eliminate the North Korean nuclear threat, suggesting it would not work.

“Talks about a preventative, disarming strike — and we hear both hints and open threats — this is very dangerous,” Putin said during a speaking engagement in Sochi.

“Who knows what and where is hidden in North Korea? And whether all of it can be destroyed with one strike, I doubt it,” he said. “I’m almost sure it is impossible.”

North Korean officials have also repeatedly warned the U.S. against any provocations.

Pyongyang’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, warned Monday that war could break out at any moment.

Other North Korean officials have accused the U.S. of making preparations for war, citing the presence of the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, conducting exercises to the east of the Korean Peninsula.