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SOP newswire3

Mike Mullen Discuses Marja - Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said the mission of Operation Moshtarak -- the anti-insurgent offensive in the former Taliban stronghold of Marja in central Helmand -- has transformed from the clear " phase to the hold " phase.

Chilean Quake: Death Toll Tops 720 - The death toll from the strongest earthquake to strike Chile in more than 50 years officially stands at 723 people.

UN Condemns Deadlly Attack In Afghan Capital - The UN strongly condemned today's attacks in Kabul which caused the death and injury of many Afghan and foreign residents and for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Academy Women to Become First Female Submariners - Female sailors will begin serving on submarines by the end of next year, with Naval Academy graduates leading the way, Navy leaders told a Senate committee yesterday.

Marja Operations Move Toward "Holding` Phase - Operations in Marja, Afghanistan, are transitioning from the clearing to the holding phase, as today`s turnover of the government center there marks a symbol of progress, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today.

Robert Gates, Israeli Counterpart Discuss Security Issues - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was slated to host Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack at the Pentagon today to continue their ongoing discussions about a broad range of security issues, including Iran,

UN Calls On All Sides In Darfur Conflict To Join Latest Peace Accord - The UN has called on all parties in the deadly conflict in Sudan`s Darfur region to join in the peace process following the signing of a cessation of hostilities accord between the Government and a major rebel group.

UN Recruits Young People To Help With Haiti Relief Efforts - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has recruited dozens of them to help drive the reconstruction effort in the wake of last month`s catastrophic Haiti earthquake.

UN Chief Ban: Global Effort Needed To Fight Organized Crime - The UN denounced organized crime as a threat to international peace, with Ban Ki-moon calling on Member States to confront the scourge with the same unity and determination they have shown in fighting terrorism.

Mike Mullen Shares Observations From Middle East Trip - Navy Adm. Mike Mullen shares his obserations from his recent trip to the Middle East.

Robert Gates: Women Will Serve On Subs - The Navy plans to repeal its ban on women serving on submarines, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has informed Congress.

Abuse Of "Date Rape" Drugs On The Rise - Governments need to give greater attention to fighting drug abuse, particularly the so-called date-rape drugs whose use is on the rise.

UN Envoy Calls For End To Conflict In Afghanistan - The outgoing UNenvoy to Afghanistan warned that " on its own " the massive US-led military push in Taliban strongholds in southern Helmand province will not bring peace and stability to the country.

UN Chief Ban To Visit Los Angeles - Ban Ki-moon will travel to LA to meet with the creative community and look into how the UN and the entertainment industry can spotlight and mobilize the public on global issues.

60,000 Haitians Vaccinated By UN-backed Campaign - More than 60,000 people in earthquake-devastated Haiti have been vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and other diseases.

UN Concered About Israel's Actions In Palestinian Territory - A senior United Nations official today voiced concern at Israel`s announcement that it was adding two religious sites in occupied Palestinian territory to its list of national heritage sites.

Afghanistan: Combined Forces Detain Militants - Combined Afghan and international forces in Afghanistan killed or detained militants and seized enemy weapons in recent operations, military officials reported.

UN: Safeguard Afghan Civilians - The UN called on parties to the conflict to avoid civilian casualties, after an international military operation killed at least 27 people, including women and children, in the southern province of Uruzgan.

General Sees Positives In Afghan Army Training - Though training an Afghan army essentially from the ground up has been a difficult undertaking, an Army general involved in the effort said yesterday that he`s seeing positive results.

Mike Mullen Honors Black Military Engineers - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff helped to honor the accomplishments of Army and Navy members here Feb. 20 during the 24th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards gala.

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