Trump directs Pentagon to create ‘space force’ branch of military; Vows to expand America’s leadership in space

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Monday announced plans to develop a special “space force” branch of the U.S. forces in an effort to expand upon America’s military presence in outer space.

“We are going to have the Air Force and we’re going to have the Space Force, separate but equal. It is going to be something, so important,” the president said of his plan to develop a “sixth branch of the armed forces” while speaking at a National Space Council meeting. “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space.”

President Trump hinted at the idea once before while addressing a group of US Marines in March. “My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain,” he told the group at that time.

Joined by Vice President Mike Pence, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and members of his space council, the president also vowed to return the United States to the moon and to reach Mars by the end of his term in office.

Trump’s announcement comes in defiance of Defense Secretary James Mattis’ stance on expanding U.S. military presence in space. Mattis, in a letter to ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, said he opposed the idea on the grounds that development of such a unit would only create more bureaucracy.

“I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts,” Mattis said of the proposition last October.

The president did not go into details as to what military role the “space force” would carry out or who would lead it, but referred to it as a national security issue, saying he wanted America to lead the effort instead of “China and Russia and other countries leading us.”

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HORROR IN THE HEARTLAND: Student in custody after opening fire at Indiana middle school

Noblesville, In — A male student was taken into custody Friday morning after police say he opened fire inside an Indiana middle school, leaving a student and one teacher critically injured.

Officials say the incident occurred at Noblesville West Middle School at approximately 9:06 a.m.

Both victims were transported to a nearby hospital and their families notified. IU Health Methodist Hospital confirmed that they are treating the adult shooting victim and Riley Hospital for Children confirmed that they are treating the child for gunshot wounds.

Eighth-grader Chris Navarro told WSAZ that he was inside an auditorium when he heard the sound of approximately 16 gunshots about a minute before the bell rang for the change in classes.

“The speaker came on and said we were on lockdown and people rushed in and we went to the back of the room. I went into this little room in the back with three other people,” Navarro said.

Noblesville Police Department Chief Kevin Jowitt told reporters Friday that a male student was detained after a teacher on campus was able to knock the gun from the shooter’s hands. He was unharmed and taken into custody without further incident.

A number of agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, have been brought in to assist in the shooting investigation.

Former governor of Indiana Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter shortly after news broke of the shooting to offer words of encouragement and support to the Noblesville community.

“Karen and I are praying for the victims of the terrible shooting in Indiana. To everyone in the Noblesville community – you are on our hearts and in our prayers. Thanks for the swift response by Hoosier law enforcement and first responders,” Pence wrote.

The shooter’s age and identity have not yet been released. It remains unclear what motivated the student to open fire.

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‘EVERY CHILD IS A PRECIOUS GIFT FROM GOD’: Trump becomes first sitting president to address anti-abortion March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Friday became the first sitting president in U.S. history to lend his support to the March for Life movement.

Addressing a crowd of tens of thousands who had gathered at the nation’s capital, President Trump said it was his “honor” to speak out on behalf of the unborn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfgByiC057k).

The annual event, held in Washington, protests the 1974 “Roe v. Wade” decision, which cleared the way for legal abortions in the U.S.

“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence and that is the right to life,” Trump said while speaking from the Rose Garden.

During his speech, the president directly targeted a gruesome procedure referred to as “partial-birth abortion” during which a late-term baby can be aborted as last as during the ninth month of a woman’s pregnancy.

“That is why we march, that is why we pray, that is why we declare that America’s future will be filled with goodness, peace, joy, dignity and life for every child of God,” said Trump, referring to the procedure as “wrong”, saying it “has to change.”

‘We are with you all the way. May God bless you,” the president said to those at the march, many of whom had come from all over the country to attend.

The move symbolized the president’s change in view on the issue of abortion after having been vocal in his pro-choice stance in years past.

Indeed, during his opening remarks before introducing the president, Vice-President Mike Pence referred to Trump as “the most pro-life president in American history”.

Pence, long known for his pro-life stance, had represented the Trump administration by addressing the crowd last year.

Organizers of the movement praised the president for his pro-life efforts.

“He has been great on pro-life public policy,” March for Life’s president, Jeanne Mancini, told POLITICO. “He doesn’t lack courage. He’s been leaning into this issue in a way that’s refreshing.”

The president has been challenged by the left on his evolution when it comes to the matter of abortion. But it was a personal experience, he said while on the campaign trail in 2016, that caused him to “see the light”.

“What happened is friends of mine, years ago, were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances,” Trump said. “I am (now) very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.”

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WAR OF WORDS: Tillerson blasts reports he called president a ‘moron’; Demands apology over ‘fake news’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration came out swinging on Wednesday in response to reports by NBC News that Rex Tillerson had referred to President Donald Trump as “a moron”.

The NBC report (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/tillerson-s-fury-trump-required-intervention-pence-n806451) claimed that Tillerson, who serves as Secretary of State, had considered resigning over the summer due to ongoing differences of opinion with Trump but stayed after being asked to do so by vice president Mike Pence.

“There’s never been a consideration in my mind,” Tillerson told reporters during a press conference inside the State Department’s Treaty Room in response to the allegations. “The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post.”

“My commitment to the success of our President and our country is as strong as it was the day I accepted his offer to serve as secretary of state,” Tillerson continued. “President Trump’s foreign policy goals break the mold of what people traditionally think is achievable by our country. Our job is now to achieve results on behalf of America and we are doing that.”

“What we have accomplished, we have accomplished as a team,” Tillerson added, citing a list of foreign policy changes the Trump administration has carried out, including sanctioning North Korea, pressing Arab leaders to do more against terrorism and working with India and Pakistan to help stabilize conditions in Afghanistan.

Tillerson said he knew little about Trump on a personal level before accepting his role as Secretary of State, but that the one thing he’s learned for certain is that the president loves his country.

“He loves this country. He puts Americans and America First. He’s smart,” Tillerson said. “He demands results wherever he goes and he holds those around him accountable.”

When asked directly whether or not he had ever referred to the president as “a moron” Tillerson said he would not dignify such an allegation with an answer. “The places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense,” Tillerson said. “I’m just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration.”

Tillerson went on to blame spite and politics for the rumors that are spread about him, saying he’s learned to expect it because he’s an “outsider”.

“While I’m new to Washington, I have learned that there are some who try to sow dissension to advance their own agenda by tearing others apart, in an effort to undermine President Trump’s own agenda,” Tillerson said. “I do not and I will not operate that way.”

The president also unleashed his rage on Twitter this morning over the report which he called, “fake news”.

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KIM TARGETS TRUMP: North Korea vows ‘ruthless’ retaliation toward America as tensions mount

Washington, D.C. — North Korea released a propaganda video on Tuesday showing President Donald Trump looking out over a graveyard full of crosses (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/844271/World-War-3-North-Korea-v-USA-Guam-warning-video-propaganda-Kim-Jong-Un).

The video, which was paired with an ominous warning from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, criticized the president for “spouting rubbish” and parodied his frequent use of Twitter and other social media platforms.

The video also showed a figure resembling Vice President Pence consumed by flames and mocked South Korea’s “puppy-like” Defense Minister Song Young-moo for “pinning hope on that mad guy.”

“Trump spouted rubbish that if a war breaks out, it would be on the Korean Peninsula, and if thousands of people die, they would be only Koreans and Americans may sleep a sound sleep,” a statement from KCNA, North Korea’s official news agency, read on Tuesday.

In a separate statement issued by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency (http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/08/22/0200000000AEN20170822002752315.html), the KCNA vowed to wage “ruthless” retaliation against South Korea and the U.S. in response to their participation in a series of ongoing joint military exercises.

“The U.S. will be wholly held accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by such reckless aggressive war maneuvers, as it chose a military confrontation [with North Korea],” a North Korean military spokesman told the KCNA.

In related news, the US Treasury Department announced on Tuesday new sanctions which target Chinese and Russian entities that help fund and facilitate North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of US persons or within the United States must be blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them,” the Treasury Department said in a released statement (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0148.aspx).

“Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs and isolating them from the American financial system,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region. We are taking actions consistent with UN sanctions to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to North Korea and to deter this activity in the future.”

North Korea’s latest round of threats come on the heals of Monday’s Reuters report which revealed that two North Korean shipments bound for a Syrian chemical arms facility were recently “intercepted.”

“The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the [North Korea],” the report read (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-syria-un-idUKKCN1B12G8?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=599b6e2604d301797510cb1b&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter).

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. The Security Council has stepped up efforts in recent weeks to shut those programs down since North Korea’s recent tests of nuclear weapons and four long-range missile launches.

President Trump has heavily called on China to put more pressure on North Korea but thus far China has done little to curb the threats of it’s neighbor and ally.

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