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Aug 15'45: V-J Day but Korea divided; Aug 15'10: US-S Korea military drills..Korea-South-North tension increased

Victory over Japan Day, WWII ends, celebrating peace
Top: 15 August 1945. American servicemen and women gather in front of "Rainbow Corner" Red Cross club in Paris to celebrate the unconditional surrender of the Japanese. Bottom: 14 August 1945. Residents of Oak Ridge (one of the three main sites of the Manhattan Project), TN, fill Jackson Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan.

Japanese surrender ceremonies on USS Missouri, September 1945
Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945: Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies. Standing in front are: Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.

U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier leaves for joint naval and air drills with South Korea
The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington leaves for joint naval and air drills with South Korea at a naval port in Busan, South Korea, July 25, 2010. South Korea and the United States on Sunday began their large-scale joint military drills off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula as scheduled.

South Korea has launched its biggest-ever anti-submarine exercises despite warnings from the North
Tensions between North and South Korea are boiling.  read more »

Girl in iconic World War II V-Day Time Square Kiss photo, passes away at 91. Rest in Peace: Edith Shain

Edith Shain, nurse kissing Navy man in Eisenstaedt's iconic WWII photo on VJ-Day

May all World War II veterans and victims rest in peace.

(June 20, 2010) Edith Shain, the nurse in Alfred Eisenstead's famous Victory over Japan Day In Times Square photo, died in Los Angeles. She was 91.

Photos courtesy of Alfred Eisenstaedt / Getty

Original Source: hollywoodmemoir.com

Top 5 arms exporters: who feels secure? Weapons piling up, enough to blow up Earth many times over rather than defend it

Top L: US President Barack Obama and South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak; Bottom R: U.S. Air Force C-17A Globemaster III
The United States of America remains the largest exporter of conventional weapons in the world, according to the latest study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The U.S account for 30% of global arms sales, or about $7 billion per year, for the period 2005-2009, SIPRI statement says. From 2005 to 2009, the U.S. sold one-third of its arm exports to South Korea (15%), Israel (13%) and the United Arab Emirates (11%). The top U.S. military equipments included JDAM guided bombs and RGM-84L Harpoon-2 anti-ship missiles, delivered to South Korea, in 2008.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev holds a Kalashnikov gun
Russia remains the second largest supplier, with 23% of the global arms exports, or about $4.5 billion per year, the SIPRI data indicates. Russia’s main clients are China (40%) and India (20%), which belong to the top five of the largest conventional weapons importers from 2005 to 2009, SIPRI says. Russian exports of fighter planes included 82 Sukhoi fighters for India and 24 MI-17 helicopters for China.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Germany, whose exports doubled over the past five years, has become the world’s third-largest arms dealer, SIPRI reports. Germany now makes up 10% of the global volume. Most of Germany’s arms are sold to other European countries, such as Turkey (15%) and Greece (13%). German Leopard 2A4 tanks delivered to Turkey cost over 365 million Euros.  read more »

2010: Russian site of 1940 Katyn massacre of 20000 Poles witnesses deaths of Polish President, top political & military leaders

the plane crash that wiped out much of Poland's leadership including the president, bank head & military chief
'A black day for Poland': The death toll included the country's President and wife, its central bank head and the country's military chief along with other senior government and military figures.

Polish man mourn at site of plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski
A Polish man mourns at the site where Polish government Tupolev Tu-154 plane crashed near Smolensk airport.

Polish flag at half-mast mourning late President Kaczynski who died in plane crash
Respects: Polish Army soldiers salute the coffin carrying the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski in Warsaw, Poland.

Polish president & top officials killed in plane crash at Smolensk, Russia
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and wife, Maria both died in Saturday's crash near the site of the 1940 Katyn massacre of 20,000 Poles.

daughter of President Lech Kaczynski, Marta, and his twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski pay their respects in front of his coffin
Daughter of the late Polish president Lech Kaczynski, Marta, and his twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the coffin containing the body of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski at the Military Airport in Warsaw, Poland, 11 April 2010.  read more »

US Navy Ship, USS Farragut, lets 11 Somali pirates go after sinking pirate ship in Indian Ocean

USS Farragut sinks pirate mother ship, captures then releases pirates
The guided missile destroyer USS Farragut passes by the smoke from a suspected pirate skiff it had just disabled in this March 31, 2010 photo. USS Farragut is part of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force established to conduct anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

(quote)

A U.S. Navy ship has sunk a pirate "mother ship" in the Indian Ocean and captured 11 pirates, and then promptly let them go. It was the second time within 24 hours that U.S. forces captured Somali pirates. Earlier Thursday, five pirates were taken into custody after they attacked a U.S. warship.

While those five pirates remain in custody, the 11 captured Thursday were allowed to leave in small skiffs after the mother ship was sunk. The action prompted a Pentagon spokesman to deny that the Navy had a "catch and release" policy regarding pirates.

A Naval official told ABC News that the practice of releasing pirates is not unheard of. While piracy is illegal according to international maritime law, it is considered a criminal issue, not a national security one.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cassandra Thompson

Talks failed. War on extinction.150 wardens died..SAS veterans use guns to save elephants, rhinos & tigers from poachers

endangered African elephants in Namibia
Adorable tiger cubs at Tiger Canyon, South Africa

(quote)

The battle to save some of the world’s most endangered species is turning bloody, with wildlife charities deploying guns and military vehicles to protect elephants, rhinos and tigers from a surge in poaching. "We have to keep talking but so far, against a backdrop of catastrophic population declines of key species, there is little to show for it,” said Dominic Dyer, chairman of CWI. “These animals are being wiped out by poachers who are increasingly well equipped with automatic weapons, GPS satellites, night-vision kit and heat-seeking telescopes to spot animals at night. That means we also need a more robust approach to enforcement."

At least one British organisation, Care for the Wild International (CWI), is buying military-style field equipment and supporting the deployment of armed guards, while the US-based International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has bought night-vision supplies, ammunition and light aircraft.

WWF, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, has hired former SAS soldiers to train African wildlife wardens, and the Zoological Society of London is funding elephant-mounted patrols to protect rhinos in Nepal. The trend towards militarisation follows an estimated 150 deaths among game wardens in Africa in gunfights with poachers.

The disclosures coincide with a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Qatar, which has dismissed proposals to protect bluefin tuna, and this week likely to approve plans to restart sales of ivory taken from African elephants.  read more »

Women's Day hears voice of "comfort women", WWII survivors/victims, for justice, compensation, apology. Japanese Gov denies all

Victim, former “comfort woman” Lee Yong-Soo: ‘This is a war crime, but the Japanese government continues to be deaf.’
Former “comfort woman” Lee Yong-Soo (L) stands beside her supporters holding portraits of Philippine, South Korean and Chinese comfort women who were sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II, at a protest held in front of the Japanese parliament in Tokyo. Japan on 27 June 2007 brushed aside calls from US lawmakers for a fresh apology to wartime sex slaves, even as the former “comfort women” renewed their demands for Tokyo to acknowledge their plight. Japan said the US move to pass a resolution calling for an “unambiguous” apology from Japan for the coercion of women into army brothels during World War II would not damage relations between the two allies. Inset: Recruitment advertisements for comfort women in the Japanese Imperial Army.

surviving WWII ‘comfort women’ in Japanese Army’s “comfort battalions”
Top: Former comfort women want Japan to do more to apologize. Bottom right: Rangoon, Burma. August 8, 1945. A woman who was in one of the Imperial Japanese Army’s “comfort battalions” is interviewed by an Allied officer.

Former Filipino “comfort woman” Piedad Nobleza, 86, outside Japanese Embassy in suburban Manila
Former Filipino “comfort woman” Piedad Nobleza, 86, at a demonstration outside the Japanese Embassy in suburban Manila. Elderly Filipino women and their supporters demanded Tokyo’s clear-cut apology and compensation for wartime sexual slavery by Japanese troops.  read more »

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