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Monday, March 24, 2008

RASHID CHECKPOINT - U.S. Army Sgt. Difruscio provides security as a new Sons of Iraq checkpoint is established in the Rashid district of Baghdad, Iraq, March 6, 2008. Difruscio is assigned to the 1st Infantry Division's 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Michael Hendrickson

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Connecticut Mourns a Hero

A Norwalk, Connecticut police officer who also served in the Marines was killed late last week. He was only 38, and police are looking for his killer. Matthew Morelli was a man who dedicated his life to protecting others. The world is poorer for his loss:

OXFORD -- A veteran Norwalk police officer who was shot and killed Friday left his mark on a close-knit neighborhood here where he made his home.Neighbors remembered Matthew Morelli, 38, as an upstanding man who helped his fellow neighbors even after putting in more than a full-day of work. Morelli owned a small farm on Freeman Road, where he kept llamas, chickens and a pet dog, friends say."We will probably never be the same," said Pam Blasko, who lived by Morelli. "He was a great guy.''

Officer Morelli was investigating suspicious activity when his killers shot him and left him there. His body was discovered when other officers arrived on the scene, responding to his call for backup.

He had a six-year-old daughter. A trust fund has been set up on her behalf.

Here's hoping his killers are spending every waking moment of their freedom looking over their shoulders, and that said freedom will be brief, and devoid of a moment's peace.

UPDATE 3/25: As if this story can't get sadder, it now appears that Officer Morelli's death may have been a suicide How the heck do you explain that to a six-year-old??

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A U.S. Army soldier assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment swims to the surface during egress training, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, March 20, 2008. The training teaches aviators and aircrew survival skills if an aircraft is immersed. U.S. Army Sgt. Bryanna Poulin

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In Today's News - Monday, March 24, 2008

Quote of the Day
"Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny."
-- Aeschylus, Greek tragic poet

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraq Journal: The Liberation of Karmah, Part I
Bush Recognizes 4,000th Military Death in Iraq
US blames rocket attacks on militias
Green Zone shelling mirrors militia ire
McCain says US succeeding in Iraq
Remains of 2 US contractors recovered
Command releases report - More about JCOA
Expert Explains Counterinsurgency Effort
Forces Work to Bring Peace to War-Torn Baghdad
Market Returns to Life as Forces Beef up Security

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan peace hurt by West's failed aid pledges

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Conspiracy: Chinese-Born Engineer Gets 24 Years
Cheney says Hamas-Fatah deal unlikely - Video
Saudi announces low-level delegation to Arab summit
Passport case raises outsourcing concern
Crossfire War - Syria Masses Three Armored Divisions on Lebanon's Border
Crossfire War - Hezbollah to Stage Mass War Rally in Beirut Monday

Fallen Heroes
DoD Identifies Army Casualties (Baghdad)
DoD Identifies Army Casualty (Baghdad)

Supporting Our Heroes...or not
Holly Aho, Soldiers Angels Webmaster, Builds Website, Helps Soldier Adoptions
Debby Frerichs - Soldiers Angels VP of Donations Did Something About It
Marines Fight 'Domestic' Enemies

Religion of Peace??
Muslims question Vatican baptism of Islamic critic

Worldwide Wackos
Cuban shift

Politics / Government
'Hip Hop' Mayor Indicted - Perjury among charges in sex-text probe
TIMELINE: Text-Messaging Scandal
BIO: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Spitzer Nemesis Sent Letter to FBI Alleging His Use of Call Girls
Clinton Calls for Housing Crisis Team - RAW DATA
Campaign: Clinton 'Misspoke' With 'Sniper Fire' Remark
No Carville apology for Judas remark
Fred Thompson heads back to Hollywood
Pakistani parliament elects Gilani prime minister
Bhutan votes for stability but rejects king's uncle - Video

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Manhunt for Iowa Killer
'Barbie Bandits' Are Sentenced in Georgia
Woman, 4 Children Found Dead in Iowa City Home
Ex-Cop Drew Peterson Prepares for Possible Arrest, Blames Media for 'Sinister' Portrayal
Woman Suspected of Being 'Weather Girl Bandit' Captured
Georgia Hiker Fought Her Convicted Killer Before He Tricked Her
Five found dead in Iowa home of accused banker
Partial Skeleton Found in Search for Missing Mom Sought at Staten Island Pond

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Delta's Red-Headed Flight Attendant a Hit on YouTube in Airline's Safety Video
FOXBusiness:Justice Dept. Approves Pay Radio Merger
Media cos. battle Web portals on ads

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Modern Day 'Elephant Man' Tranformed by Full-Face Transplant
Death more common in baby boys than girls
Miami doctor breaks new ground in cancer surgery
Visiting astronauts bid farewell to space station
Dinosaur lured mates with giant horns
Google unveils "white space" airwaves plans
Karate robot takes on pugnacious chicken
UN chief urges global fight against TB
Don't just blame the chickens for flu
Weighing costs in choosing cancer care
NASA cut means no roving for Mars rover

Mother Nature
Fishing Boat Captain a 'Hero' - MAYDAY AUDIO - VIDEO
Despite Sun, Arkansas Warned of Flooding - PHOTOS

Life Isn't Easy for World's Tallest Man
21-Year-Old Message In a Bottle Drifts 1,735 Miles
Women, Want a Healthy Marriage? Marry Man Uglier Than You, Study Says
Pilot's Gun Goes off During U.S. Airways Flight
Jackson 'Dive': Once-Mighty Music Family Goes From Riches to Rags
Dog of Buddhist Priest Prays at Zen Temple
Gophers notch a win in man-rodent battle
Rice heist sows panic among farmers
Man Declared Dead Feels 'Pretty Good'

Other News of Note
Nepal Police Beat Monks - PHOTOS (Warning: Graphic)
Protest at Olympic flame-lighting
Deadly Shooting at Sea
Raising that '07 baby will cost $204,060 in U.S.

Fox News
Finally, Housing Looks Up - Jump in existing homes sale fuels Wall Street
Doctor: Grammy-Winning Tejano Singer Emilio Navaira May Not Survive
Pop Tarts: Randy, Simon Dis Ryan Seacrest's Details Magazine Cover

Wall Street may cut 20,000 jobs over 2 years: report
U.S. satellite radio merger gets antitrust OK
U.S. toll in Iraq hits 4,000 as four soldiers killed - Video
Fed and Bear: moral hazard or greater good?
Detroit's mayor indicted in sex scandal
Shuttle Endeavour leaves space station, heads home
Cities grapple with surge in abandoned homes
Charges laid in alleged nationwide mortgage scam
Launching Olympic-themed lottery
Beatles' friend Neil Aspinall dies in New York
JPMorgan raises Bear Stearns bid, grabs stake
Biovail execs face SEC charges; company settles
Icahn sues Motorola for access to documents
BlackRock stakes place as fixer with Fed's nod
Microsoft sees Windows gaining smartphone share
Banks allowed to lift MBS holdings
Ford to announce Jaguar sale to Tata on Wed: FT
Stocks soar on revised Bear offer, home sales - Video
Netflix shares reach all-time high, Blockbuster up
Valero Energy shares fall on outlook
Oil slides further on dollar
Home sales, Bear Stearns news lift dollar
Sirius, XM shares surge on antitrust clearance
Stocks up, bonds down on upbeat credit view
Bear Stearns stock jumps above offer price
Brazil's Vale leads stocks higher, real weakens

AP World News
George Michael to tour North America
Talks pending on baseball drug agreement
Tiger's 6-month win streak ends at Doral
Pakistani prime minister frees judges
Corinne Bailey Rae's husband found dead

News Blaze
Dragons Celebrate Second Easter At Falcon
PHOTOS: MND-B Troops Patrol Western Baghdad
Iraq News
Operations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

Village of Hope lives up to its name
Security forces cooperate along Afghanistan-Pakistan border
Naval forces halt illegal shipping
ISAF hosts Afghan leaders for Now Ruz dinner
NATO progress in Afghanistan significant, general says

JKO provides training for those deployment-bound - podcast
More about Joint Knowledge Online
Targeting school revising courses to prepare students - podcast
More about Joint Targeting School
SOCJFCOM continues to ready warfighters for global operations - podcast
More about SOCJFCOM

Multi-National Force - Iraq
Diyala’s Leaders Meet to Establish Tribal Support Councils
Iraqi Judges Using Newest Technology
Georgian, U.S. Soldiers Deliver Food, Toys to Gurtan Village
MND-N hosts United and Healthy Conference, discuss public health issues (Tikrit)
Three terrorists killed, eight suspects detained in operations targeting al-Qaeda
UPDATE God’s glory abounds at Camp Victory By Pfc. Eric J. Glassey 13th Public Affairs Detachment Mu
Relentless MND-B Soldiers detain suspect terrorist after year long pursuit

All Casualties 'Keenly Felt' Within Military Family
England Presents ‘Check It’ Awards for Agencies' Efforts

‘Posse’ Turns Into Trained Force
Coalition Troops Kill Two Insurgents

Woman Medic Receives Silver Star

Student Finds Meaning in Marines

Commander Sees Improvement Involving Detainees
Coalition Kills Two Terrorists, Detains Eight Suspects

‘Jewel’ Expands Services

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1379 - End of Gelderse war victory
1545 - German Parliament opens in Worms
1550 - France & England sign Peace of Boulogne
1603 - Scottish king James VI becomes King James I of England
1629 - 1st game law passed in American colonies, by Virginia
1645 - Battle at Jankov Bohemia: Sweden beatS Roman Catholic emperor Ferdinand III
1664 - Roger Williams is granted a charter to colonize Rhode Island
1765 - Britain enacts Quartering Act, required colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers
1801 - Aleksandr P. Romanov becomes emperor of Russia
1828 - Philadelphia & Columbia Railway (1st state owned) authorized
1832 - Mormon Joseph Smith beaten, tarred & feathered in Ohio
1837 - Canada gives blacks the right to vote
1848 - State of siege proclaimed in Amsterdam
1855 - Manhattan Kansas founded as New Boston KS
1860 - Clipper Andrew Jackson arrives in San Francisco, 89 days out of New York
1878 - British frigate Eurydice sunk; 300 lost
1882 - German scientist Robert Koch discovers bacillus cause of TB
1883 - 1st telephone call between New York & Chicago
1887 - Oscar Straus appointed 1st Jewish ambassador from US (to Turkey)
1894 - 37 miners killed at Franklin WA
1898 - 1st automobile sold
1920 - 1st US coast guard air station established (Morehead City NC)
1924 - Greece becomes a republic
1927 - Cuban chess champion, Jose Capablanca wins 33-day Grand Chess Tournie; Dutch 1st Chamber condemns Belgian & Netherlands' Wielingen Treaty
1930 - Planet Pluto named
1932 - 1st US radio broadcast from a moving train (Belle Baker, WABC from Maryland)
1933 - Peter I Island incorporated as a Norwegian dependency
1934 - US declares the Philippines to become independent in 1945
1935 - Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour goes national on NBC Radio Network
1937 - Bus blows a tire, going out of control, killing 18 (Salem IL); National Gallery of Art established by Congress
1941 - British troops defeat British Somalia; German troops occupy El Agheila Libya
1944 - 76 Allied officers escape Stalag Luft 3 (Great Escape); 811 British bombers attack Berlin; In occupied Rome, Nazis executed more than 300 civilians
1945 - General Eisenhower, Montgomery & Bradley discuss advance in Germany; Largest one-day airborne drop, 600 transports & 1300 gliders; Operation Varsity: British, US & Canadian airborne landings East of Rhine; US minesweepers reach Kerama Retto, South coast of Okinawa
1947 - Congress proposes 2-term limitation on the Presidency; John D. Rockefeller, Jr., donates NYC East River site to the UN
1952 - Great demonstrations against apartheid in South-Africa
1955 - 1st seagoing oil drill rig placed in service; British Army patrols withdraw from Belfast after 20 years
1958 - Elvis Presley joins the army (serial number 53310761)
1959 - Iraq withdraws from the Baghdad Pact
1960 - US appeals court rules novel, "Lady Chatterly's Lover", not obscene
1964 - Kennedy half-dollar issued
1966 - Selective Service announces college deferments based on performance
1967 - University of Michigan holds 1st "Teach-in" after bombing of North Vietnam
1972 - Great Britain imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland
1976 - Argentine President Isabel Perón deposed by country's military
1980 - ABC's nightly Iran Hostage crisis program renamed "Nightline with Ted Koppel"
1981 - Colombia drops diplomatic relations with Cuba
1982 - US sub Jacksonville collides with a Turkish freighter near Virginia
1986 - NASA publishes "Strategy for Safely Returning the Space Shuttle to Flight Status"; Suriname army Captain Etienne Boerenveen arrested for cocaine smuggling; US & Libya clash in Gulf of Sidra
1989 - Worst US oil spill, Exxon's Valdez spills 11.3 million gallons off Alaska
1990 - Indian troops leave Sri Lanka
1991 - In liberated Kuwait, banks reopen
1992 - 1st Belgian in space, Dirk Frimout on Atlantis Space Shuttle STS-45 (Atlantis 11) launches into space; Sudanese Boeing 707 crashes on mountain Hymettos at Athens; 5-6 die
1993 - Ezer Weizman elected President of Israel
1994 - F-16 collides with C-130 Hercules above AFB in North Carolina, 120 die
1997 - Australian parliament overturns world's 1st & only euthanasia law

1188 - Ferrand of Portugal, earl of Flanders/son of Sancho I
1441 - Ernst I, elector of Saxon (1464-86)
1607 - Michiel A. de Ruyter, Dutch Rear Admiral (St Vincent, Dune)
1755 - Rufus King, framer of US constitution/(Senator-F)
1802 - Jacob van Lennep, attorney/Dutch MP
1809 - Joseph Liouville St. Omer, discover of transcendental numbers
1814 - Galen Clark, US naturalist, discovered Mariposa Grove
1821 - [George] Hector Tyndale, Union Brevet Major General
1835 - Josef Stefan Austria, physicist (Stefan-Boltzmann law)
1855 - Andrew W. Mellon, founder (Mellon Bank)/US Secretary of Treasury
1874 - Harry Houdini [Erik Weisz], magician/escape artist; Luigi Einaudi, economist/1st President of Italy (1948-55)
1884 - Peter Debye Holland, physical chemist (Nobel 1936)
1898 - Dorothy Stratton, organizer (SPARS-women's branch of US Coast Guard)
1902 - Thomas E. Dewey, 1st Catholic Presidential candidate 1944, 1948 (R)
1903 - Adolph F.J. Butenandt, German bio-chemist (Nobel 1939)
1907 - Janet Harmon Bragg, US pilot/columnist (Chicago Defender); Lauris Norstad US General (NATO commander)/CEO (Owens-Corning Fiberglass)
1909 - Clyde Barrow, bank robber (of Bonnie & Clyde fame)
1911 - Herman W. "Fritz" Liebert, US OSSer/librarian (Yale curator)
1919 - John J. Duncan Jr. (Representative-TN)
1922 - Dorothy Irene Height, president (National Council of Negro Women)
1923 - Edna Jo Hunter, expert on military families & prisoners of war
1932 - Yuri Anatoyevich Ponomaryov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz 18 backup)
1937 - Erskine Sandiford, premier (Barbados, 1987-94)
1943 - H. Martin Lancaster (Representative-NC)
1947 - Pieter W. Coetzer, South African journalist/MP (NP)
1951 - Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr., Commander USN/astronaut (STS 48, 60)
1957 - Scott J. Horowitz, PhD/Captain USAF/astronaut (STS 75, 82)

0809 - Harun al-Rashid, caliph of the Abbasid empire (786-809), dies at 44
1455 - Nicholas V [Tommaso Parentucelli], Italian Pope (1447-55), dies at 57
1471 - Sir Thomas Malory, author (Le Morte d'Arthur), dies at 55
1644 - Cecilia Renata, arch duchess of Austria
1881 - Friedrich Hecker, German revolutionary republic politician, dies at 69
1882 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, US poet (Song of Hiawatha), dies at 75
1945 - J.S. Nicklin Lieutenant-Colonel/Canada's 1st parachutist; Thomas Rennie General-Major (Dutch command 51st Highland Division)
1953 - Queen Mary [Victoria of Teck] of Great Britain/North-Ireland, dies at 86
1968 - Lauwrens Voorthuyzen Dutch sect leader, dies at 70
1969 - Joseph Kasavubu President of Congo (1960-65), dies at about 55
1976 - Bernard L. Montgomery, British General, defeated Rommel, dies at 88
1980 - Archbishop Oscar Romero, assassinated while conducting mass in San Salvador
1990 - An Wang computer manufacturer (Wang), dies at 70 from cancer
1993 - Peter Roovers, Dutch sculptor/teacher (war monuments), dies at 90
1994 - Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexican politician, assassinated

Reported Missing in Action
Bush, Robert E., USAF (CT); F105D shot down - remains returend December, 1988

Ellison, John C., USN (UT); A6A shot down (w/Plowman)

Hallberg, Roger C., US Army SF (CA); disappeared following ambush (w/Stewart)

Plowman, James E., USN (CA); A6A shot down (w/Ellison)

Stewart, Jack T., US Army SF (DC); disappeared following ambush (w/Hallberg)

Arroyo-Baez, Gerasino, US Army (PR); DIC August, 1972 - remains returned March, 1985

Bowers, Richard L., US Army (WI); died in escape on day of capture

The following US Army and US Army SF personnel reported MIA when their UH1H was shot down (survival ruled unlikely):
Boronski, John A. SF (MA); passenger

Becerra, Rudy M. (TX); crew chief

Ganoe, Berman, Jr. (FL); gunner

Hoskins, John C. (OH); pilot

Harned, Gary A., (PA); survival unlikely

O'Donnell, Michael D. (IL); aircraft commander

Pool, Jerry L. SF (IL); passenger

Butcher, Jack M., USAF (MI); OV10A shot down, released March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Beckwith, Harry M., US Army (MI); OH58A shot down, KIA, body not recovered

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