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It is ‘probable’ that Corps birthday balls will be limited by COVID-19, top enlisted Marine says

Every year around the Marine Corps’ Nov. 10 birthday, Marines around the world gather to celebrate the history and honor of the Corps while recognizing the young Marines who make up its future. Parties rage from Las Vegas to San Diego to Okinawa, Japan, while more subdued celebrations are held by forward-deployed Marines in the…

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Every year around the Marine Corps’ Nov. 10 birthday, Marines around the world gather to celebrate the history and honor of the Corps while recognizing the young Marines who make up its future. Parties rage from Las Vegas to San Diego to Okinawa, Japan, while more subdued celebrations are held by forward-deployed Marines in the Middle East. Everywhere, a birthday cake is cut and the birthday message from the 13th Marine Corps Commandant Gen. John A. Lejeune is read. But in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic the celebrations may face new restrictions, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black warned Friday in a message posted on Facebook. “Marines, Sailors, and family members, although several months away, it is probable that many COVID-19 restrictions will still be in place come November 10, 2020 limiting the size and scope of unit Birthday Ball Ceremonies,” Black wrote in the message, first reported by Task & Purpose. play_circle_filled No specific restrictions relating to the ball have yet been issued by the Marine Corps, Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joseph Butterfield told Marine Corps Times in a Monday email. The purpose of the memo was to “to distinguish elements required for properly conducting a Marine Corps Birthday celebration from those that have become associated with standard Marine Corps birthday celebrations,” Butterfield said. In the Facebook post Black outlined the four elements required to hold a proper Marine Corps birthday celebration: holding a formation, cutting a cake, recognizing the oldest and youngest Marines at the celebration and finally reading Lejeune’s birthday message. Get the Marine Corps Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Marine Corps stories, delivered each afternoon (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Marine Corps Times Daily News Roundup. “All of these requirements can be met while still following COVID-19 social distancing and other requirements,” Black said. He also wanted to remind Marines that the birthday celebration can be memorable even without the raucous setting Marines may have become accustomed to. The top enlisted Devil Dog told a story about a Marine Corps birthday he celebrated as a 1st sergeant with Gulf Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines while deployed to Iraq. “A week into offensive operations, my company commander and I patrolled through the streets of Husabayh to each platoon’s defensive position,” Black wrote in a memo attached to the Facebook post. There Black, alongside the company commander, held a small Marine formation by flashlight, cut an MRE pound cake, presented a piece to the oldest and youngest Marine in the platoon and read Lejeune’s birthday message. While moving from celebration to celebration through the night Black said he was reminded of what made the Corps unique among the branches of the U.S. military: “being with Marines, accomplishing the mission and staying true to our customs and courtesies, even in the midst of our shared adversity.” “Until we can once again celebrate in the manner in which we have become accustomed, to safely, smartly, and properly honor the birth of our Corps while taking necessary steps to protect our people, is what will matter most this November,” Black said in the Facebook post.

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Top Senate Judiciary Democrat Feinstein says she doesn’t ‘have the power’ to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

CLOSE President Trump released his short list to fill any future Supreme Court vacancies and he’s doubling down on conservatives. Will it work to entice conservative voters? USA TODAYWASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate panel that examines potential Supreme Court judges, acknowledged Thursday she did not have the power to…

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President Trump released his short list to fill any future Supreme Court vacancies and he’s doubling down on conservatives. Will it work to entice conservative voters?

USA TODAYWASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate panel that examines potential Supreme Court judges, acknowledged Thursday she did not have the power to block President Donald Trump’s nominee from passing through the Republican-controlled Senate.”Neither this committee nor the Senate should consider a nomination at this time,” she said Thursday during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I recognize I don’t have the power to carry that through, but I feel it very deeply.”Feinstein said the next president should make the decision on the nomination to fill the seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, but “If things move forward, and a nominee is confirmed before a new president is inaugurated, it is deeply concerning.”Democrats want the GOP-majority Senate to hold off on Supreme Court nomination proceedings until after Election Day in the hopes Democratic challenger Joe Biden defeats Trump and Democrats take over control of the Senate. However, Republicans are pushing forward quickly and Trump is expected to announce his nominee Saturday. Sen. Lindsey Graham (L) (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaks to ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R) (D-CA) prior to a committee hearing on September 24, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)Democrats in Congress have mostly acknowledged there is little they can do to halt the process. Republicans appear to have the numbers to pass Trump’s nominee out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Republicans hold 12-10 seat advantage, to the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. A nominee needs only a majority in the 100-member Senate to be confirmed. More: Trump says he wants to fill Supreme Court seat quickly in case justices need to settle election disputeMore: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state at US Capitol Friday after two days at Supreme CourtSen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the second-ranking Senate Democrat and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Tuesday, “You can slow things down, but you can’t stop them.””I’ve been around here a few years,” he said. “You can slow things down but you can’t stop them. And there comes a point, we use whatever tools we have available, but ultimately there will be a vote,” he said. When asked if there was anything Democrats could actually do, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., also a Judiciary Committee member, said on Monday, “You mean some triple secret trick procedure that we managed to hold back through Gorsuch and Kavanaugh? No,” he said with a sarcastic smile. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/24/supreme-court-feinstein-says-she-doesnt-have-power-block-nominee/3517291001/Find New & Used CarsNew CarsUsed CarsofPowered by Cars.com
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After munition worker deaths, Army floats $16 billion plan to modernize production

WASHINGTON ― U.S. Army officials told lawmakers Tuesday they are seeking a new 15-year, $16 billion strategy to modernize and automate the military’s aging munitions plants following nearly a dozen worker deaths and injuries over recent years. In Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee testimony, Army officials suggested workers who handle dangerous materials could be…

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WASHINGTON ― U.S. Army officials told lawmakers Tuesday they are seeking a new 15-year, $16 billion strategy to modernize and automate the military’s aging munitions plants following nearly a dozen worker deaths and injuries over recent years. In Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee testimony, Army officials suggested workers who handle dangerous materials could be replaced by robotics and computers as part of their ambitious plan. The testimony came as lawmakers are deliberating over a proposed reshaping of the Pentagon’s explosives oversight body, as part of the 2021 defense policy bill. “We’re essentially making the explosives in a manner very much like we did in World War I in some cases, World War II in others,” Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Bruce Jette told lawmakers. “We literally have people standing under machines that are full of 1,500 pounds of molten explosives, drooling it into artillery shells to fill them up, and then they push the carts away. We don’t have automation, we don’t have robotics.” Lawmakers described the ammunition industrial base as fragile because of its dependence on foreign sources of materials and because its aging facilities need of safety upgrades. (Munitions production facilities are contractor operated, with some owned by the government.) Army officials largely agreed, saying they rely on 55 foreign suppliers for certain equipment and materials ― such as a TNT-replacement 2,4-Dinitroanisole, which comes from India ― because costs, environmental regulations and legal liabilities make many of them harder to develop in the United States. The Army even relies on a small volume of detonators and pyrotechnics from China, Jette said. The Army is studying how to wean itself from foreign suppliers. At the same time, Jette has not ruled out supplies from Canada, Mexico and elsewhere, if a surge is needed, adding that he personally visited a South Korean factory that once supplied the U.S. with bullets at .50 caliber and below. Jonathan Strunk, left, and James Nunn, both Blue Grass Chemical Activity toxic materials handlers, work together to guide training munitions into an enhanced on-site container during munitions movement training in the chemical limited area at the Blue Grass Army Depot on Feb. 13, 2019. (Angela Messinger/Army) Calling safety a top priority, Army officials said human handling of the energetics, explosives and acids associated with munitions can be replaced with “process automation or other technology solutions, freeing the workforce to focus on technical oversight.” More than 80 percent of major mishaps at munitions facilities were caused by human error, they said. Sign up for our Early Bird Brief Get the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information straight to your inbox Subscribe Enter a valid email address (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Thanks for signing up! × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. “Three deaths in the last ten years on our facilities, two of them were related to the manufacturing process: We don’t need to have that happen anymore,” Jette said. “I do not want to be the ASAALT and get another phone call that there’s another death on something I could have provided the improvement to.” Jette said the 2017 death of Lake City Army Ammunition Plant worker Lawrence Bass, 55, “should not have occurred,” and that Bass ― killed while handling an explosive component called tetrazine ― was performing his duties in accordance with procedures. “His death is in fact a catalyst in transforming our approach, as opposed to modernizing under current circumstances. He should never have been in that close proximity where that event could have happened,” Jette said. “Should it happen with a machine, I can buy another machine.” Still, modernizing in the way Army officials seek would require Congress appropriate roughly $1 billion per year for 15 years, which is more than twice what the Army has asked over the last three years. It’s an open question whether Congress would be as inclined to support the munitions productions facilities, if they support fewer jobs. “The idea of making it safer for workers, there’s no doubt about that, but because these plants have grown up since the ’40′s,” said Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Chairman Donald Norcross, D-N.J. “You eliminate many of those jobs, there’s potential of that support also going.” Asked what more industry could do to shoulder the cost of modernizing facilities, Jette suggested it would be better if the government made the investments upfront as industry would only pass the costs on later. “This is the United States military’s industrial base for munitions. We need to own that, not have anything beholden IP-wise or any other way to the defense industry or any other supplier,” Jette said.

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Food insecurity in the US increasingly linked to obesity

Nearly 23% of people with obesity in the United States have reported food insecurity, compared with 15% of people with moderate weight. This association with obesity has doubled since 1999–2000, according to a recent analysis of trends in food insecurity.“Food insecurity” refers to a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life.…

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Nearly 23% of people with obesity in the United States have reported food insecurity, compared with 15% of people with moderate weight. This association with obesity has doubled since 1999–2000, according to a recent analysis of trends in food insecurity.“Food insecurity” refers to a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In the West, this issue is most often due to limited financial resources. People with low food security report concerns that food will run out before they can afford to buy more and being unable to afford balanced meals.Internationally, food insecurity more often relates to the frequency of conflict and to climate-related failure of harvests. Very low food security is more likely to lead to reduced food intake and undernourishment.While there are varying degrees, low food security can reduce the “quality, variety, and desirability” of a person’s diet, even in wealthy nations like the U.S. Very low food security in the U.S., for example, leads to skipping meals and the disruption of regular eating patterns.In 2019, 10.5% of U.S. households had some level of food insecurity — 6.4% had low food security, and 4.1% had very low food security. Now, there are concerns that COVID-19 may be exacerbating this problem.Recent Census Bureau data show that before the pandemic, 1 in 10 respondents said that they “sometimes or often did not have enough to eat.” In early March, this figure rose to 25%. The survey respondents mentioned not having enough money to buy food or being unable to get out to buy food as reasons for the insecurity.Food insecurity is associated with a range of negative health outcomes. For children, these include anemia, asthma, poor cognitive performance, and behavior problems. In adults, there is a higher risk of depression, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.Meanwhile, the link between obesity and food insecurity has been a topic of debate. In 2011, a review of 42 articles concluded that while women with food insecurity were more likely to have overweight or obesity, there was no evidence that food insecurity caused weight gain over the long term. More recently, researchers have proposed a resource scarcity hypothesis to explain the ongoing associations between food insecurity and increased weight. According to the theory, an increased intake of inexpensive, high-calorie foods forms a cycle with skipping meals and intermittent hunger. This, in turn, leads to physiological changes that encourage the deposition of fat and decreased energy and exercise.The new analysis was based on data from over 46,000 adults in the U.S. collected through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The goal of NHANES is to assess the health and nutritional status of people in the U.S. through regular surveys.To better understand trends in obesity and food insecurity in the U.S., the analysis, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, LA, analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2016. The researchers focused on measures relating to food security and body fat — body mass index, or BMI, and waist circumference.Their findings, which feature in the journal JAMA Network, point to a significant increase in food insecurity rates during this time, reaching 18.2% in 2015–2016. This is in contrast to declines in food insecurity before the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the study, in 1999–2000, 12% of women with obesity were food insecure, compared with 7% who were not. By 2015–2016, the number of women with obesity and food insecurity had risen to 25%, compared with 16% of women with moderate weight, what the researchers referred to as “normal” weight. In men, there was a similar trend. At the beginning of the study, in 1999–2000, food insecurity was more prevalent in men with normal weight (10%), compared with 9% of those with obesity. By 2015–2016, food insecurity was more prevalent in men with obesity (20%), compared with those who had normal weight (16%).“Food insecurity and obesity are not mutually exclusive […] Rather, these health issues are linked in such a way that a solution will require public policy that addresses both at the same time.”– Dr. Candice Myers, an assistant professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the study’s lead authorThe prevalence of food insecurity was highest among people with obesity. This may be partly because the cheapest and most accessible foods are often the least healthful.The fact that food insecurity can coexist with obesity — and in fact correlate with it — highlights the importance of making healthy and nutritious food affordable for all.The researchers also identified differences that aligned with race and ethnicity, with food insecurity in 2015–2016 being greater among Black participants (29.1%) and Hispanic participants (35%), compared with their white counterparts (13%).The researchers observe that rising rates of food insecurity following the start of the ongoing pandemic in the U.S. are a critical public health concern.“The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly worsened the situation. The country may face long-term economic and health consequences unless we solve this public health crisis,” says Dr. Myers.The researchers recommend various ways that public health professionals can combat rising levels of food insecurity — including using screening tools to identify people at risk of this issue, who can then be referred to support services, such as food banks.They also recommend further research to better understand the link between food insecurity and obesity, as well as the racial and ethnic disparities in food security.Dr. John Kirwan, executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, concluded, “Our research has set the stage to not only continue our current efforts to explore these issues, but also develop new and innovative projects that delve into understanding their impact on the health of the citizens of our community, state, and the entire country.”
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