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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Israel: On Ground Updates - March 31, 2009

Israel: On Ground Updates
Israeli Parliament Approves Netanyahu Government
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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After six-hours of debate, Israel's Parliament finally approves Benjamin Netanyahu's new right-leaning government
Final Vote:

69 to 45 with five abstentions
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YNETNews.com has the report and it starts off like this… Following a tumultuous session the Knesset green-lighted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government Tuesday night… The vote tallied 69 Knesset members in favor and 45 Knesset members against. Labor MKs Shelly Yacimovich, Eitan Cabel, Yuli Tamir, Amir Peretz and Ophir Pines-Paz abstained… Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) was the only member of the House not present in the vote… The newly inducted Likud-led government then began its swearing in ceremony, with Netanyahu pledging first among his ministers… “This is a special day for the State of Israel and a very emotional day for me and my family,” said Netanyahu once officially inducted prime minister. “I mostly feel the weight of the responsibility I now shoulder. My fellow ministers and I will do all we can to lead Israel towards a better future.”…
Read the full report at link below…
New government sworn in
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AubreyJ………

Pakistan/Afghanistan: On Ground Updates - March 31, 2009

Pakistan/Afghanistan: On Ground Updates
Pakistani Taliban Chief Baitullah Mehsud claims responsibility for deadly assault on Pakistani Police Academy - Says group planning Terrorist Attack on White House that would "amaze" the world
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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FOXNews.com brings us this troubling report today and it starts off like this… The commander of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said the group was planning a terrorist attack on the White House that would "amaze" the world… Baitullah Mehsud, who has a $5 million bounty on his head from the U.S., said Monday's attack on the outskirts of the eastern city of Lahore was retaliation for U.S. missile strikes against militants along the Afghan border… "Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world," Mehsud told The Associated Press by phone. He provided no details…
Read the full report at link below…
Taliban Chief Vows 'Amazing' Attack on Washington 'Soon'
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* France24.com has this report…
The leader of Pakistan’s Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, has reportedly claimed Monday’s deadly assault on a police academy in Lahore. Yet among the region’s insurgents, some are sceptical of the claim.
Read the Report/Watch the News Video at link below…
Taliban militant denies leader’s role in Lahore raid
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AubreyJ………

North Korea: On Ground Updates - March 31, 2009

North Korea: On Ground Updates
North Korea vows to wage war against Japan if Japanese Defense Forces try to shoot down their Communications Satellite [Missile]

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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Musudan Ri, North Korea
Above Image Collected March 29, 2009
About Image: This is a natural color, 60 centimeter (2 foot) high-resolution QuickBird satellite image featuring the Musudan Ri missile launch facility, formerly known as Taepo-dong.

> View Large Image HERE
Above Info/Imagery courtesy of DigitalGlobe
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* Bloomberg.com brings us this report today and it starts off like this… North Korea’s government vowed to wage war against Japan if Japanese defense forces try to shoot down a missile that the communist nation says will carry a communications satellite… “Should Japan dare recklessly to intercept the DPRK’s satellite, its army will consider this as the start of Japan’s war of reinvasion more than six decades after the Second World War,” the official Korean Central News Agency said today in an e-mailed statement. North Korea is also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea… Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on March 27 ordered his forces to shoot down any North Korean object entering his country’s airspace and deployed guided-missile units around Tokyo…
Read the rest at link below…
North Korea Threatens War Against Japan Over Missile
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* AFP has the following report posted on their website today and it starts off like this… Intelligence agencies have information that North Korea has assembled several nuclear warheads for its medium-range Rodong missiles capable of targeting Japan, an analyst said Tuesday… Daniel Pinkston, senior analyst with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said the agencies believe that probably five to eight warheads have been assembled… "Intelligence agencies believe the North Koreans have assembled nuclear warheads for Rodong missiles, which are stored at underground facilities near the Rodong missile bases," Pinkston told AFP… "It might be right, it might be wrong -- but if others believe it is true, it has implications for the psychological aspects of deterrence," he said, describing the assessment as "quite significant."…
Read the full report at link below…
Spy agencies believe NKorea has nuke warheads
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* Also from AFP today is the following report…
Japan right to defend against NKorea: Clinton
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* Reporters Without Borders bring us the following report and it starts off like this… Reporters Without Borders urges the North Korean authorities not to go ahead with their announced intention to try two American journalists of Asian origin, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, on charges of entering the country illegally and carrying out “hostile” activities… The two journalists, who work for San Francisco-based online television station Current TV, were arrested by the North Korean authorities on 17 March after travelling through northern China to the North Korean border to do a story on trafficking in North Korean women. According to an email which one of them sent to a Reporters Without Borders contact, they wanted to investigate the networks organizing the smuggling of women out of North Korea and their sale in China… The state-owned North Korean news agency KCNA announced on 30 March that they have been charged with “illegal” entry. “The illegal entry of US reporters into the DPRK [North Korea] and their suspected hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their statements,” the news agency said. If convicted, they could be sentenced to between five and 10 years of forced labour…

Read the full report at link below…
Two American journalists face up to 10 years in labour camps
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AubreyJ………

Monday, March 30, 2009

Video: President Obama on Stabilizing the Auto Industry

President Obama on Stabilizing the Auto Industry
Monday
, March 30, 2009

About this Video: President Obama announced Monday that his Auto Task Force has completed its evaluation of General Motors and Chrysler, and gives his response.
This video is just under 18 minutes long
Video posted on YouTube by the whitehouse
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* Read the full Transcript HERE
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AubreyJ………

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tiger Woods Wins on Final Hole at Bay Hill

TIGER WOODS…
YOU THA MAN!!!
CONGRATULATIONS TIGER
And Stevie too
On another GREAT finish on the last Day
At the 18th hole of the
Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament
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What A FINISH!!!
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This is Tiger’s first win since coming back from knee surgery nine months ago.
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I would also wish to say what A GREAT GAME OF GOLF was played over these last four days by Sean O’Hair… who came into Sunday’s last day of play with a five-stroke lead over Tiger. Maybe next time, Sean…
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Thank you too Mr. Palmer for another GREAT Tournament.

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File photo from Woods website

AubreyJ………

Photo for the Day - March 29, 2009

* Photo for the Day *NORTHERN LIGHTS
Personnel from the Applied Physics Lab Ice Station watch the aurora borealis light up the night sky over a temporary base camp set up on Arctic Ocean ice near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, March 21, 2009. Two Los Angeles-class submarines, USS Helena and USS Annapolis, will participate in exercise Ice Exercise 2009, along with personnel from the Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory and University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory researchers.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tiffini M. Jones

Israel: On Ground Updates - March 29, 2009

Israel:
On Ground Updates
Unmanned Israel Air Force Drones Attack Secret Iranian Convoys in Sudan trying to Smuggle Weapons to Palestinians - 50 Smugglers/Iranian Escorts Killed
Sunday, March 29, 2009

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HAARETZ.com brings us the following report today and it starts off like this… The Israel Air Force used unmanned drones to attack secret Iranian convoys in Sudan that were trying to smuggle weapons to Palestinian militant organizations in the Gaza Strip, the London-based Sunday Times reported Sunday… Defense officials were quoted as saying that the trucks were carrying missiles capable of striking as far as Tel Aviv and the nuclear reactor in Dimona… The unmanned aerial vehicles attacked two convoys, killing at least 50 smugglers and their Iranian escorts, the newspaper reported. All the trucks in the convoys were destroyed…
Read the full report at link below…
Report: Israel used unmanned drones to attack Sudan convoys
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* JPOST.com has it reported this way today… Israel used unmanned aircraft in a series of attacks on Iranian convoys in Sudan which were attempting to smuggle long-range missiles into the Gaza Strip, according to a report in London's Sunday Times. The Sunday report quoted Israeli defense forces as saying that the strikes, which were widely reported last week, were carried out by Israeli-made Hermes 450 drones…
Read the rest at link below…
'UAVs hit Gaza-bound weapons convoys'
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AubreyJ………

North Korea: On Ground Updates - March 29, 2009

North Korea:
On Ground Updates
DoD file photo of Sec Robert Gates
Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells "FOX News Sunday" that the US can do nothing to stop North Korea from thumbing its nose at the international community by test-firing a long-range missile
Sunday, March 29, 2009
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* FoxNews.com brings us the following report late this Sunday Morning and it starts off like this… The United States can do nothing to stop North Korea from breaking international law in the next 10 days by firing a missile that is unlikely to be shot down by the U.S. or its allies, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday… Appearing on "FOX News Sunday," Gates said North Korea "probably will" fire the missile, prompting host Chris Wallace to ask: "And there's nothing we can do about it?"… "No," Gates answered, adding, "I would say we're not prepared to do anything about it."…
Read this report in full at link below…
Gates: U.S. Not Prepared to Respond to North Korea Missile Launch
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* AP has this bit of NEW News posted up on their website today. It goes in part like this… North Korea is preparing to launch a short- or medium-range missile, possibly right after it carries out its plan to fire a long-range rocket in early April, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday… Tokyo's Sankei newspaper, citing several unnamed Japanese government sources, reported Sunday that the North is also preparing to test-launch another missile from Wonsan, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of Musudan-ni. It said U.S., South Korean and Japanese intelligence analyses said the missile could be short or medium range The report said the North may conduct another missile test if the U.N. Security Council approves sanctions against it, or if it cannot wrest concessions from the United States…

Read this report in full at link below…
Report: NKorea preparing for another missile test
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AubreyJ………

Today's Funny - March 29, 2009

Today's Funny
Sunday, March 29, 2009
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I was going to embed Today's Funny into this post but sadly it needs to come with some strong WARNINGS.
So... You're going to have to CLICK your way to it at link below...
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Warning -- Above link goes to a VERY FUNNY Video clip that has curse words galore... I rate it MATURE!!!
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Thanks go out to Sikander Hayat at Sikander Hayat's World for turning us on to this sh%t

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AubreyJ.........

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On Ground Updates: Afghanistan/Pakistan - March 28, 2009

On Ground Updates:
Afghanistan/Pakistan
Pakistani Troops Kill 26 Militants in Attack near Afghan Border

Saturday, March 28, 2009
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* BBC News brings us the following report this Saturday afternoon and it starts off like this… Pakistan's army says troops backed by artillery and helicopter gunships have killed 26 militants in an attack near the Afghan border… The army said the battle took place in Mohmand, North-West Frontier Province, said to be a hub for Taliban militants… Earlier, Pakistan's president said his country would not allow use of its soil for terrorist activity…
Read the full report at link below…
Pakistan army raid 'kills rebels'
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* AFP reports the news this way…
Pakistani security forces killed 26 militants on Saturday during an operation in a restive tribal region bordering Afghanistan, a paramilitary unit said…
Read the rest at link below…
Pakistan troops kill 26 militants in border zone
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Also in the news today is this report by APAfghanistan and Pakistan on Saturday praised the new U.S. strategy for dealing with growing violence in the two countries, with the Afghan president saying the plan to reconcile with moderate Taliban militants was better than expected and his Pakistani counterpart focusing on using development to fight extremism… President Barack Obama announced the new strategy Friday with the hope of reversing the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, where violence has been increasing from Taliban militants who fled the 2001 U.S.-led invasion and have been launching cross-border attacks from sanctuaries in Pakistan…
Read the full report at link below…
Afghan, Pakistani leaders praise new US strategy

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AubreyJ………

Photo for the Day - March 28, 2009

* Photo for the Day * Space Shuttle Discovery Returns Home
Saturday
, March 28, 2009
2:15pm CDT
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Space Shuttle Discovery rolled to a stop at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. completing its 13-day journey of more than 5.3 million miles in space.

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STS-119 was the 125th space shuttle mission, the 36th flight for Discovery and the 28th shuttle visit to the International Space Station.
Photo credit: NASA TV

STS-119 Discovery Crew Set for Saturday Landing - March 28, 2009

STS-119 Discovery Crew Set for Landing Today
Weather Permitting, 1st Landing Opportunity at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., is at 1:39pm EDT
Saturday, March 28, 2009
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Discovery Crew Set for Saturday Landing
From Friday evening, March 27th posting

Post time 8:17pm CDT
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The astronauts on space shuttle Discovery are preparing to spend what is planned to be their final night in orbit, with wake up set for 5:13 a.m. EDT Saturday to ready for a 1:39 p.m. landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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Weather conditions are forecast to be acceptable for the shuttle's return home to Florida.
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Discovery's crew will go to sleep at 9:13 p.m. Following wake up on Saturday, they will begin deorbit preparations at 8:33 a.m. Discovery will fire its engines at 12:33 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida. A second opportunity is available if needed for Discovery to land at Kennedy on Saturday, beginning with a deorbit burn engine firing at 2:08 p.m. leading to a 3:14 p.m. touchdown.
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Post Update:
Saturday morning
8:55am CDT
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Astronauts Prepare for Landing

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Discovery’s crew of seven is preparing for a 1:39 p.m. EDT landing today at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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The crew was awakened this morning at 5:13 a.m. to the song “I Have a Dream” performed by ABBA. The song was played for Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus.
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Flight controllers reported to the space shuttle crew that weather conditions are forecast to be acceptable for their return home and that they could begin deorbit preparations. Discovery will fire its engines at 12:33 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida on a northeasterly track that will cross over Central America and Cuba.
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Post Update:
LATE Saturday morning
11:15am CDT
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Discovery’s 1:39pm EDT Landing Postponed -
Next Try… 3:14pm EDT, (2:14pm CDT)
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Weather "No Go" for First Landing Opportunity
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The weather forecast is "no go" today for the first landing opportunity at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The next Kennedy landing opportunity is at 3:14 p.m. EDT, with a deorbit burn of 2:08 p.m.
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Post Update:
Saturday Afternoon
12:58pm CDT
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Discovery GO for DEORBIT BURN!!!
And a 3:14pm EDT Landing…

This upcoming Deorbit Burn will last for 2 minutes 59 second and will start at 1:08pm CDT
(SHE’S COMING HOME!!!)
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Post Update:
Saturday Afternoon
1:15pm CDT
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Successful DEORBIT BURN Complete
Landing Time … 2:14pm CDT
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This will be my last update until after landing… unless some unforeseen emergency comes up…
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SAFE LANDING!!!
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Post Update:
Saturday Afternoon
2:15pm CDT
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Discovery has LANDED!!!
After performing another successful Landing
Right down the centerline...
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WELCOME HOME ALL…
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Read Latest News and Updates
at
NASA.gov
More COOL Stuff from the NASA Website:
STS-119 Landing Control Center:
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Watch Mission/Landing LIVE
IT’S On Right NOW!
At NASA TV

Click HERE to view
ENJOY!!!
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GOD SPEED to the Crew of STS-119 Discovery on a safe landing...

AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Navy Casualties

No. 199-09 March 28, 2009
DoD Identifies Navy Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two sailors who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Killed were:
Lt. Florence B. Choe, 35, of El Cajon, Calif.
Lt. j.g. Francis L. Toner IV, 26, of Narragansett, R.I.

Both died March 27th when an insurgent posing as an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire on personnel assigned to Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan at Camp Shaheen, Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Forces Afghanistan public affairs office at 011- 93-799-51-2919, or email USFOR-AMediaRelations@afghan.swa.army.mil

Friday, March 27, 2009

On Ground Updates: Afghanistan/Pakistan - March 27, 2009

On Ground Updates:
Afghanistan/Pakistan
President Obama unveils new comprehensive strategy today on Afghanistan/Pakistan War

Friday, March 27, 2009
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President Obama unveiled from the White House today a new comprehensive strategy to defeat Al Qaeda and ensure stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan which in part includes sending an additional four-thousand U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
White House photo by Lawrence Jackson
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The White House Blog has the following posting on their website this afternoon and it goes in part like this…
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The President put forth the central question:
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Many people in the United States -- and many in partner countries that have sacrificed so much -- have a simple question: What is our purpose in Afghanistan? After so many years, they ask, why do our men and women still fight and die there? And they deserve a straightforward answer.
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And gave his answer:
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So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That's the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just…

Read the Post in full at link below…
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A New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Link updated: Above link now has full Transcript and Video
Also from the White House today…
*
Read the White Paper on the new policy (pdf)
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. REUTERS has this report today on President Obama’s new Afghan/Pakistan War Strategy and it starts off like this…
In the space of a month, President Barack Obama has shifted U.S. strategy from George W. Bush's fixation on Iraq to a renewed focus on Afghanistan, where many Americans thought it should have always been… After outlining in February an 18-month timetable to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq, Obama announced on Friday a policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan that will funnel more military and civilian aid to the two countries where Islamic extremism is the biggest threat to U.S. interests… In so doing, Obama made some not-so-subtle jabs at former President Bush, saying for example that the United States would not "blindly stay the course" -- a turn on the phrase Bush sometimes employed to describe his persistence in Iraq…
Read the full report (which is more of a BUSH/Iraq War bashing) at link below…
Obama shifts strategy from Bush policy
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. ABCNews.com brings us the following report and News Video today…
Obama Declares U.S. Must Push Harder Against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda…
Obama Says Afghanistan Is 'Increasingly Perilous'
* Watch their News Video HERE
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. Telegraph.co.uk had this take on the new Obama Strategy… Mr. Obama's talk of an exit strategy is premature and dangerous…

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Obama's new plans for Afghanistan


About this news video: President Barack Obama says the US will adopt new tactics for defeating al Qaeda and the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, including broader diplomatic engagement, the deployment of 4,000 more troops and new reconstruction efforts
This news video posted on YouTube by france24english
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AubreyJ………

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 198-09 March 27, 2009
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Raphael A. Futrell, 26, of Anderson, S.C., died March 25th in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 13th Military Police Detachment, 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The incident is under investigation.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 8th Theater Sustainment Command public affairs at (808) 438-1000; or 8thTSCPAO@usarpac.army.mil

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Photo for the Day - March 26, 2009

* Photo for the Day * Parting View
Image above: Backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation… Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 2:53 p.m. CDT on March 25, 2009.

Photo credit: NASA
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Space Shuttle Discovery STS-119
ISS Fly Around


This out of this world video posted on YouTube by NASAtelevision
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Note:

STS-119 Discovery is scheduled for landing at 1:43pm EDT this coming Saturday, March 28th at Kennedy Space Center, FL.

I’ll be posting on the rest of the mission and landing too so check back!!!

GOD SPEED to the Crew of STS-119 Discovery on a safe mission finish and landing...

AubreyJ.........

#22- AubreyJ’s Energy Update Report - Tuesday, March 24, 2008

Note: This post MOVED to top today from original post date- Scroll below for newer postings
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AubreyJ’s Energy Update Report
Yes We Can!!!?
Tuesday, March 24, 2008

Image Credit: Chesapeake
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President Obama Talks the Talk on Energy Independence while leading our Country toward Financial Ruin by being so ill-prepared
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The following is from the White House Website - My Take is in RED…
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ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

.The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. [Gone Unaddressed!!! That is a right-out LIE! President Bush and the Republicans in Congress, time and time again have tried to push through legislation that would have had us OFF of Foreign Oil for several years now. BUT NO… God forbid we do something stupid like DRILL for our own Oil and Natural Gas!] Our addiction to foreign oil doesn't just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment -- it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. President Obama and Vice President Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

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[Note: Nothing Obama plans for helps us today or in the near future. If anything drastic should happen to the Oil Markets over the next 5-10 years or so… We Are SOOO Screwed!!! You just THINK the Economy is bad now… Let gas prices jump to $4.00 or more a gallon again! Then sit back and watch as prices in the stores JUMP and your cooling/heating Bills go out of sight… The Obama-Biden Comprehensive New Energy for America Plan is anything BUT well thought-out.]
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The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:
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* Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future. [How many millions of new jobs will we create, TODAY, by developing our OWN Energy here at home? How Many BILLIONS of Dollars will flow into so many local economies around the country, TODAY? How many States like California could get out of the financial messes they find themselves in today, just by Developing their OWN Energy Resources!!!?]
* Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
* Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
* Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
* Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
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Energy Plan Overview
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Provide Short-term Relief to American Families
* Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation.
* Swap Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.
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Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years
* Increase Fuel Economy Standards.
* Get 1 Million Plug-In Hybrid Cars on the Road by 2015.
* Create a New $7,000 Tax Credit for Purchasing Advanced Vehicles.
* Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
* A “Use it or Lose It” Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases.
* Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas.

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Create Millions of New Green Jobs


* Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
* Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source - Energy Efficiency.
* Weatherize One Million Homes Annually.
* Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.
* Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.
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Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050
* Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
* Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change

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My overall take is this…
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The Obama Plan is in all a Plan most ALL Americans wish to achieve in the years to come. But our Energy needs, until then, have to be answered NOW and we have but TWO Choices.
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1) Stay dependent on Foreign Oil and Gas, as we are now, for the next 10/20/30 years or more. OR…
2) Start Drilling and using our own Natural Resources while we let the Obama Plan have time to work itself out.

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My vote is number TWO!!!
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Wake Up America!!!
AubreyJ………
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POST UPDATE:
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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Yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, March 25th, I received the following email from my Senator, David Vitter (R-LA). Thought you might wish to read it too, so here it is…
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Dear Friend,
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We in Louisiana have long known of the economic benefits of oil and gas exploration and production. It creates jobs, provides revenues to the state and local governments and helps bring family energy bills down as the supply of energy on the market increases.
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I recently led a group of committed Senate and House members in introducing a bill that would increase our domestic energy production and in the process save or create two million jobs and help bring real relief to family budgets across America… all without costing the taxpayers more of their hard-earned money. It is called the No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009, and it was introduced with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Americans for Tax Reform and Alliance for Worker Freedom.
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The bill forces the Secretary of the Interior to move forward with offshore leases rather than continuing to block energy development off the East and West Coasts. It would also open ANWR for oil and gas development and use the revenues derived from production to support alternative and renewable energy.
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The No Cost Stimulus bill also reconciles outstanding environmental law issues that have been used to slow production and development by continually tying up projects in lawsuits that prevent job creation. And it extends state boundaries so states have more say in what happens off their coasts, providing them with a tool for greater energy production opportunities and creating new opportunities for individual states to increase their own revenues without asking the federal government to bail them out.
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We can create more jobs in Louisiana and throughout the country by simply harnessing our natural resources and increasing our energy production… and we can achieve this goal without increasing our debt or raising taxes on Louisiana families.
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Sincerely,
David Vitter
U.S. Senator
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Read more, at link below, from a Press Release I found dated March 11th…
Vitter Introduces No Cost Stimulus Bill
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AubreyJ………

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meet BigDog - The Possible Future Four-Legged U.S. Troops Robot

Boston Dynamics BigDog

Video posted on YouTube by olinerd
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It looks like something from a science fiction movie, but this menacing, four-legged robot could one day help troops move supplies through the treacherous terrain of Afghanistan… Aptly named the BigDog, the 250-lb. robot is being developed by Boston Dynamics and funded by the U.S. military…
Read the full story at link below…
It's not sci-fi: Meet BigDog, the robot that may help U.S. troops in the not-so-distant future
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AubreyJ………

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 192-09 March 25, 2009
DoD Identifies Army Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Jose R. Escobedo Jr., 32
, of Albuquerque, N.M., died March 20th in Baghdad, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident the night before at Forward Operating Base Kalsu in Iskandariyah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment in Schweinfurt, Germany. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Army, Europe, public affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-5816 or 8694, or email: ocpa.pi@eur.army.mil

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photo for the Day - March 24 2009

* Photo for the Day * About Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the shuttle and station crew members, Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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Earlier today, all the crew members aboard Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station gathered in the Station's Harmony Module and spoke to the President Obama, members of Congress and students. Later, they had a Q & A session… answering questions from reporters during a joint Crew News Conference.
Above White House Photo by Pete Souza
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See video below


Video courtesy NASATV
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Read Latest News and Updates +
Mission Elapsed Time Clock
at
NASA.gov


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Watch Mission/Landing LIVE
At NASA TV
Click
HERE to view
ENJOY!!!
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* View STS-119 Interactive Timeline - Here *
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Note:
STS-119 Discovery is Scheduled for Landing at 1:43pm EDT this coming Saturday, March 28th at Kennedy Space Center, FL.
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I’ll be posting on the rest of the mission and landing too so check back!!!GOD SPEED to the Crew of STS-119 Discovery on a safe mission finish and landing...

AubreyJ.........
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Image/Info Credit: NASA

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

No. 189-09 March 24, 2009
DoD Identifies Marine Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Killed were:
Corporal Anthony L. Williams, 21
, of Oxford, Pa
Corporal Michael W. Ouellette, 28, of Manchester, N.H

Both died March 22nd while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. They were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on these Marines, news media representatives may contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 450-6575.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery STS-119 - Astronauts to Begin Third and Final Spacewalk Today

Note: This Post on top today - Scroll below for newer postings
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Astronauts to Begin Third and Final Spacewalk Today
Monday
, March 23, 2009
8:ooam CDT
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Astronauts Preparing for Monday's Spacewalk
Following from a NASA, Sunday evening posting
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In preparation for Monday's spacewalk, STS-119 mission specialists Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold reviewed spacewalk procedures at 7:13 p.m. EDT and will "camp out" overnight in the Quest Airlock beginning at 9:08 p.m. The station crew goes to sleep at 10:13 p.m. followed by the shuttle crew at 10:43 p.m.
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Mission Update:
Monday morning - 6:29am CDT
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Astronauts Prepare for Third Spacewalk
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Today's wakeup music was "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens" by Louis Jordan played for Discovery astronaut Steve Swanson at 6:43 a.m. EDT, suggested by his children.
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Astronauts aboard Discovery begin the mission's third spacewalk at 11:43am EDT. During the 6.5 hour excursion, Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold will relocate a cart that moves along the rails of the station's truss, attempt again to deploy the unpressurized cargo carrier attachment system, install a similar attachment system on the starboard side, lubricate the space station arm's end effector and reconfigure some cables that power the station's gyroscopes.
Info from the NASA.gov website
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About image: Mission Specialists Richard Arnold and Joseph Acaba work outside the International Space Station during the mission's third spacewalk.
Image credit: NASA TV

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Read Latest News and Updates +
Mission Elapsed Time Clock
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Watch Spacewalk/Mission LIVE
At NASA TV Click HERE to view
ENJOY!!!
Image Credit: NASA
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* View STS-119 Interactive Timeline - Here *
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Mission Update:
5:13pm CDT
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Astronauts Wrap Up Third Spacewalk
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Astronauts Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold ended the mission's third spacewalk at 6:04 p.m. EDT. They helped robotic arm operators relocate the Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart from the Port 1 to Starboard 1 truss segment, installed a new coupler on the CETA cart, lubricated snares on the "B" end of the space station's robotic arm and performed a few "get ahead" tasks.
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They were unable to deploy the Port 3 unpressurized cargo carrier attachment system (UCCAS) and tied it safely in place while engineers evaluate the problem. Because the issue is not yet understood, Mission Control cancelled the installation of a similar payload attachment system on the starboard side.
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Today's spacewalk lasted six hours, 27 minutes. It was the second spacewalk for both Acaba and Arnold and the 123rd spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance, totaling 775 hours. The three STS-119 spacewalks totaled 19 hours, 4 minutes. Steve Swanson has performed four spacewalks totaling 26 hours, 22 minutes. Acaba has two spacewalks totaling 12 hours, 57 minutes. Arnold has two spacewalks totaling 12 hours, 34 minutes.
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Note:
I’ll be posting on the rest of the mission and landing too so check back!!!
GOD SPEED to the Crew of STS-119 Discovery...
AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Army/Marine Casualties

No. 187-09 March 23, 2009
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Geary, 22, of Rome, N.Y., died March 20th while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 450-6575.


No. 186-09 March 23, 2009
DoD Identifies Army Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Adam J. Hardt, 19, of Avondale, Ariz., died March 22nd, at Forward Operating Base Airborne in Wardak Province, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
For more information media may contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-8286.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

President Obama ALREADY looking for “exit strategy” in Afghanistan

Sunday, March 22, 2009
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* The New York Times had this article posted on their website today and it starts off like this… The United States must look for a way out of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama said, in a signal that the military build-up in Afghanistan will not be open-ended and will lead to the eventual withdrawal of American and NATO troops from the country.
Read the rest of the story at link below…
Obama Says a Way Out of Afghanistan Is Needed
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* AFP reports it this way… US President Barack Obama said the United States must have an "exit strategy" in Afghanistan even as it expands its military, diplomatic and economic fight against a Taliban insurgency… "What we're looking for is a comprehensive strategy," Obama said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS television's 60 Minutes show… "There's got to be an exit strategy," he said. "There's got to be a sense that this is not a perpetual drift."… Obama's comments come as he prepares to roll out a new strategy for Afghanistan, against a backdrop of rising insurgent violence that has questioned the viability of a seven-year-old US-led effort to create a functioning democracy…
Read the rest at link below…
US Afghan plan must have 'exit strategy': Obama
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* AP had this take…
A comprehensive strategy in Afghanistan - including an exit plan - is key to America's "No. 1 mission" of preventing an attack on the U.S., its interests or its allies, President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday… "What we can't do is think that just a military approach in Afghanistan is going to be able to solve our problems," the president said on CBS' "60 Minutes." "So what we're looking for is a comprehensive strategy. And there's got to be an exit strategy. There's got to be a sense that this is not perpetual drift."…
Read this report in full
HERE
White House file photo by Pete Souza
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AubreyJ………

Photo for the Day - March 22, 2009

* Photo for the Day * BLOSSOM PATROL
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Danieto Bacchus, right, participates in a dismounted patrol mission near Forward Operating Base Baylough, Zabul province, Afghanistan, March 19, 2009. Bacchus is assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment.
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery STS-119 - Astronauts To Begin Second Spacewalk Today

Astronauts To Begin Second Spacewalk Today
Saturday, March 21, 2009 CDT
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Today's wakeup music was "In a Little While" by the group Pilgrim and Trout played for Discovery astronaut Richard Arnold at 7:43 a.m. EDT.
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Astronauts Steve Swanson and Joseph Acaba will begin the mission's second spacewalk at 12:43pm EDT. They will prepare a workstation on the Port 6 (P6) truss for later removal and replacement of P6 batteries by the STS-127 crew. The spacewalkers also will prepare a couple of cargo attachment systems for storing equipment and supplies on the outside of the space station, install a GPS antenna on the Japanese segment that will help guide the HTV resupply vehicle later this year, snap photos of a radiator truss whose corner has curled up and reconfigure a patch panel on the station's truss.
Info from the NASA.gov website

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Mission’s Second Spacewalk to begin today just before NOON, CDT.
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Read Latest News and Updates +
Mission Elapsed Time Clock
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Watch Spacewalks/Mission LIVE
At NASA TV
Click HERE to view
ENJOY!!!
Image Ccedit: NASA
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* View STS-119 Interactive Timeline - Here *
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Mission UPDATE
Saturday Evening, March 21, 2009
6:29pm CDT

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Astronauts Complete Second STS-119 Spacewalk

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Astronauts Steve Swanson and Joseph Acaba ended the mission's second spacewalk at 7:21 p.m. EDT.
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They prepared a worksite so that the STS-127 spacewalkers can more easily change out the Port 6 truss batteries later this year. On the Japanese Kibo laboratory they installed a second Global Positioning Satellite antenna that will be used for the planned rendezvous of the Japanese HTV cargo ship in September. They photographed areas of radiator panels extended from the Port 1 and Starboard 1 trusses and reconfigured connectors at a patch panel on the Zenith 1 truss that power Control Moment Gyroscopes.

After struggling with a balky pin that kept an unpressurized cargo carrier attachment system (UCCAS) from fully deploying, they tied UCCAS safely in place. Engineers will evaluate the issue.
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Today's spacewalk lasted six hours, 30 minutes. It was Swanson's fourth spacewalk and Acaba's first, and the 122nd spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance, totaling 768 hours, 33 minutes.
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NASA Television will carry a news briefing at 8 p.m. with STS-119 Lead Space Station Flight Director Kwatsi Alibaruho and STS-119 Lead Extravehicular Activity Officer Glenda Laws-Brown.
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Info/Image Credit: NASA

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Mission UPDATE
Sunday Morning, March 22, 2009
6:41am CDT
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Astronauts Begin New Day Aboard Station
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Today's wakeup music was "Alive Again" by Chicago played for space shuttle Discovery Commander Lee Archambault at 7:14 a.m. EDT.
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Astronauts aboard Discovery will enjoy some off duty time beginning at 10:18 a.m. before participating in a media interview and planning for Monday's third spacewalk.
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At 6:12 p.m., Discovery Commander Lee Archambault, Pilot Tony Antonelli, Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, John Phillips and Sandra Magnus and International Space Station Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata will talk to reporters from CNN Espanol, CBS and WOFL-TV in Orlando, Florida.
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At 7:13 p.m., Acaba and Richard Arnold will review Monday's spacewalk procedures and at 9:09 p.m. they will camp out in the Quest airlock.

Info from the NASA.gov website
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Note:
I’ll be posting on Mission & final Spacewalk over the next few days so check back!!!

GOD SPEED to the Crew of STS-119 Discovery...
AubreyJ.........