Five sailors injured, 10 missing after US Navy destroyer collides with a merchant ship – Washington Post

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SEOUL — Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

This is the second time in two months that a Navy destroyer based at the 7th Fleet’s home port of Yokosuka, Japan, has been involved in a collision. Seven sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship south of Japan in June.

The guided missile destroyer and the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC collided near the Strait of Malacca at 5:24 a.m. local time, the Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement.

Initial reports indicated that the destroyer sustained damage to its port side at the rear, but is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port in Singapore.

“The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined,” the 7th Fleet said.

Search and rescue efforts are underway. U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopters and Ospreys have been mobilized, joining tugboats from Singapore, a Singapore navy ship and helicopters, and a Singapore police coast guard vessel.

“Our first priority is determining the safety of the ship and crew,” Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, wrote via Twitter. “As more information is learned, we will share it.”

The 7th Fleet set up an emergency assistance center in Yokosuka for family members of the McCain crew.

President Trump, returning to the White House on Sunday night, responded to reporters’ questions about the collision by saying: “That’s too bad.”

The McCain, a 505-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer based at the 7th Fleet’s home port in Yokosuka, Japan, had been on its way to a routine port visit in Singapore. Shipping data showed that the Alnic, a 600-foot-long oil tanker with a dead weight of 50,760 tons, also was on its way to Singapore.

This collision comes just days after the Navy issued a report listing errors that led to a collision between the USS Fitzgerald — also a Yokosuka-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyer — and a much larger container ship just south of Japan in June.

The collision killed seven sailors, all of whom drowned in their berth compartments when the container ship struck the destroyer’s side.

The Navy said last week that it would discipline a dozen sailors who were aboard the Fitzgerald, including the top two officers and the top enlisted sailor, whose careers are almost certainly over.

Adm. William F. Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, said that the sailors who were on watch in the ship’s bridge “lost situational awareness,” contributing to the collision.

The USS McCain is named after the father and grandfather of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). John S. McCain Sr. and John S. McCain Jr. served as admirals in the Navy during World War II. The destroyer’s motto is “Fortune favors the brave.”

Photos posted on the USS McCain’s Facebook page showed the crew enjoying fishing and playing cards on the deck at sunset Saturday, during a “patrol in the South China Sea in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

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Carr, Mack promote unity, racial harmony during national anthem – Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

OAKLAND – Raiders second-year pro Cory James seems set to play most every down at weakside linebacker. He doesn’t yet have a running mate on the inside.

Tyrell Adams was his wingman during the offseason program. Marquel Lee was his primary partner during training camp and in the exhibition opener. The fifth-round middle linebacker started Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams but didn’t last long.

He was removed after opening series, which left an opening for veteran Jelani Jenkins to earn more snaps.

Jenkins played two series with the first unit – he was anchored to the second team in camp — and played 34 defensive snaps in all. He had six tackles, including two for a loss.

“I think Jelani Jenkins went in there and played pretty well in the second or third series and played the rest of the first half,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I thought he was pretty solid.”

Del Rio has used a platoon in the middle, with Lee in the base package and other options playing in sub packages. The Raiders have used several players in a hybrid coverage linebacker role, one originally set for second-round safety Obi Melifonwu. He missed most of training camp with an undisclosed injury, and the Raiders have experimented with Sean Smith, Keith McGill before he got hurt, and now undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow in that spot.

Morrow took a turn with the first unit, and completed his 26 defensive snaps in the second half.

“Nick, those young guys we gave them an opportunity to compete. He finds the ball a little bit,” Del Rio said. “…Nick, at the end of the game, had a nice breakup. Almost got a pick. Would’ve ended it. Would’ve been nice.”

Morrow finished with two tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass defensed. He was targeted three times in coverage and allowed one catch for five yards.

Playing close to the line of scrimmage is relatively new for Morrow, who played farther back at Greenville College.

“It was an adjustment because I’m used to playing outside of the box,” Morrow said. “I started watching film with some of the vets, and I’m definitely feeling a lot more comfortable in there.”

While Lee had 40 defensive snaps in the exhibition opener, he only had 11 in the second game. He allowed one 24-yard catch on the opening series and made one tackle, but Del Rio focused on positives for the young linebacker learning on the fly.

“I think he’s actually done some pretty solid things,” Del Rio said. “He’s not the first linebacker to ever get exposed in man coverage, which happened last week. So, I think he’s actually been pretty solid. We have a pretty solid run front and he’s part of that.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Connor Cook 25, Derek Carr 17, EJ Manuel 17
Running back – Elijah Hood 13, George Atkinson III 12, DeAndre Washington 12, John Crockett 10, Jalen Richard 7, Marshawn Lynch 4, Jamize Olawale 1
Wide receiver – Johnny Holton 29, Isaac Whitney 24, Jaydon Mickens 22, K.J. Brent 21, Keon Hatcher 18, Amari Cooper 17, Michael Crabtree 16, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Ishmael Zamora 6
Tight end – Clive Walford 15, Jared Cook 15, Gabe Holmes 11, Pharaoh Brown 11, Lee Smith 10, Ryan O’Malley 8
Offensive line – David Sharpe 38, Jylan Ware 35, Jordan Simmons 35, Ian Silberman 25, Oni Omoile 41, Vadal Alexander 24, Gabe Jackson 24, Kelechi Osemele 24, Rodney Hudson 24, Kareem Are 22, Marshall Newhouse 15, Oni Omoile 13, Jon Feliciano 10, Chauncey Briggs 6

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
James Cowser 33, Eddie Vanderdoes 30, Mario Edwards Jr. 30, Treyvon Hester 28, Denico Autry 27, Khalil Mack 20, Darius Latham 19, Branden Jackson 16, Paul Boyette 11, Justin Ellis 11, Jimmy Bean 4, Fadol Brown 3
Linebacker – Cory James 37, Tyrell Adams 36, Jelani Jenkins 34, Nicholas Morrow 26, Shilique Calhoun 23, Bruce Irvin 20, LaTroy Lewis 14, Marquel Lee 11, Rufus Johnson 11, IK Enemkpali 10, Brady Sheldon 6
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 37, David Amerson 37, Antonio Hamilton 26, Kenneth Durden 26, Sean Smith 26, Dexter McDonald 20, Chris Humes 16, Breon Borders 8
Safety – Karl Joseph 37, Reggie Nelson 37, Shalom Luani 20, Marcus McWilson 20, Anthony Cioffi 16, Rickey Jefferson 16

SPECIAL TEAMS
Tyrell Adams 14, Shalom Luani 13, Shilique Calhoun 11, James Cowser 12, Elijah Hood 10, Nicholas Morrow 10, Jamize Olawale 10, Dexter McDonald 9, DeAndre Washington 9, Xavier Woodson-Luster 9, Marquette King 8, K.J. Brent 8, Isaac Whitney 8, Antonio Hamilton 8, Anthony Cioffi 7, Rickey Jefferson 7, Karl Joseph 6, Jelani Jenkins 6, Clive Walford 5, John Crockett 5, Sebastian Janikowski 5, Andrew East 5, Jalen Richard 5, Breon Borders 5, Marcus McWilson 4, Jaydon Mickens 4, Chris Humes 4, Ryan O’Malley 4, TJ Carrie 4, Darius Latham 3, Gabe Holmes 3, George Atkinson III 3, Eddie Vanderdoes 3, Mario Edwards 3, Treyvon Hester 3, Justin Ellis 3 Denico Autry 3, Jon Condo 3, Jon Feliciano 3, Lee Smith 3, Marshall Newhouse 2, Khalil Mack 2, Bruce Irvin 2, Giorgio Tavecchio 2, Cordarrelle Patterson 2, Vadal Alexander 2, Gabe Jackson 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, David Sharpe 2, Jylan Ware 1, Chauncey Briggs 1, Cory James 1, Oni Omoile 1, Kareem Are 1, Jordan Simmons 1, Ian Silberman 1, Branden Jackson 1, Brady Sheldon 1, Paul Boyette 1

DID NOT PLAY
WR Seth Roberts, CB Gareon Conley, S Obi Melifonwu, DB Keith McGill, OL Denver Kirkland, DL Jihad Ward

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Rookie Cooper Kupp shines, shows chemistry with Goff – Yahoo Sports

Rams

Cooper Kupp has been much talked about coming out of camp. On Saturday night in Oakland, he showed why with six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Kupp has demonstrated dynamic route running capabilities to go along with hands that are impressively secure, especially for a rookie. He quickly found himself working alongside Rams starters, with his level of production that will not be changing anytime soon. His relationship with quarterback Jared Goff is likely his reason for his rapid production. The two have shown very strong chemistry in the offseason program and preseason games.” data-reactid=”22″>Rams rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been much talked about coming out of camp. On Saturday night in Oakland, he showed why with six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Kupp has demonstrated dynamic route running capabilities to go along with hands that are impressively secure, especially for a rookie. He quickly found himself working alongside Rams starters, with his level of production that will not be changing anytime soon. His relationship with quarterback Jared Goff is likely his reason for his rapid production. The two have shown very strong chemistry in the offseason program and preseason games.

Kupp holds many all-time receiving records in the FBS from his college career at Eastern Washington University. Kupp was a third round pick, going 69th overall to the Rams. Many teams did not value Kupp’s statistics as highly as the Rams did due to the strength of his competition. However, even when facing high profile corners such as Sidney Jones, Kupp fared quite well.

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Given his draft position and the numbers he has been producing so early on in his professional career, Kupp is shaping up to be a true steal for the Rams. Kupp’s rapport with quarterback Jared Goff seems to be incredibly strong even though they have not been teammates for too long.

Saturday night Goff targeted Kupp seven times, the most of any of the seven receivers that he completed passes to. This is a clear sign that Goff trusts Kupp, especially given a number of targets that he receives in traffic and in the red zone. Goff often makes throws that demonstrate his chemistry with Kupp. He locates the ball exactly where it needs to be in order for his receiver to make the play in a crowd of defenders.

Teams around the league should be on the lookout for this flourishing young duo. Additionally, fantasy owners may want to be aware of the volume of targets Kupp has been receiving. He is a rookie who has very refined skills. Kupp’s skill level allows him to play at a skill level comparable to players much more experienced than he is. It looks as though the Rams may have found a diamond in the rough in Kupp, and his story has just begun.

Los Angeles Rams. Like and follow on Follow @Andrew_K47Follow @cover32_LAR ” data-reactid=”34″>– Andrew Kelly is a Staff Writer for cover32/Rams and covers the Los Angeles Rams. Like and follow on Follow @Andrew_K47Follow @cover32_LAR

Rookie Cooper Kupp shines, shows chemistry with Goff appeared first on Cover32.” data-reactid=”35″>The post Rookie Cooper Kupp shines, shows chemistry with Goff appeared first on Cover32.

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Trump Settles on Afghan Strategy Expected to Raise Troop Levels – New York Times

AMMAN, Jordan — President Trump, who has been accused by lawmakers of dragging his feet on Afghanistan, has settled on a new strategy to carry on the nearly 16-year-old conflict there, administration officials said Sunday. The move, following a detailed review, is likely to open the door to the deployment of several thousand troops.

“The president has made a decision,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on an overnight flight that arrived in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday. “I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous.”

Mr. Mattis declined to say what steps the president had ordered, including on troop levels, saying that the president wanted to outline the new approach himself.

The defense secretary received the authority in June to send as many as 3,900 troops to Afghanistan so that the United States military could expand its efforts to advise Afghan forces and support them with American artillery and airpower. But Mr. Mattis has refrained from building up the American force there until the Trump administration agreed on a broader strategy.

The White House said in a statement that Mr. Trump would address the American public and American troops “on a path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia” in a speech at Fort Myer, Va., Monday night.

American military commanders have argued during the monthslong policy assessment that the additional troops would enable the United States to reverse gains made by the Taliban and militant groups like the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, the Islamic State in Khorasan.

Administration aides, under orders to let Mr. Trump announce the details, hinted that any American commitment to increase force levels would require steps by the Afghans, like doing more to fight corruption.

Mr. Trump’s Monday evening speech will be his first nationally televised prime-time address since he spoke before Congress in January and follows a week of controversy over his reaction to the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va.

When it comes to Afghanistan, Mr. Trump entered office as the skeptic in chief, and any ramped-up engagement there poses political risks for the president, who rallied voters weary of war with his sharp criticisms of American involvement in the country.

“We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!” Mr. Trump tweeted about Afghanistan in January 2013, as he considered running for office in 2016.

The Afghanistan question has been the source of a long-running debate at the White House, Stephen K. Bannon, who was recently removed as a top Trump adviser, fought the military’s recommendation for more troops and backed a number of alternative options — including using private contractors instead of United States forces.

The decision on troops is just one component of a military and political plan for the region that Mr. Trump and his aides have been discussing for months, and it is politically important for the president to differentiate his approach from the Obama-era policies he sharply criticized.

Administration officials have been developing ways to try to pressure Pakistan to shut down the sanctuaries there for the Taliban, a goal Republican and Democrat administrations have pursued for years with little success.

A major concern is the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, which American intelligence agencies believe is responsible for some devastating attacks in and around Kabul. Funding for Pakistan, including contributions for Pakistani troops deployed near the border with Afghanistan, may be held up to more scrutiny than it is now, according to Pentagon and congressional officials.

Trump administration officials have also worked to lock in troop commitments from NATO and other Western nations, an important consideration for a president who has demanded that allies shoulder part of the burden.

Trump administration officials say they know they will need to reassure the American public that American military involvement in the nearly 16-year-old conflict will not be open-ended and will help combat international terrorism.

Moreover, many officials believe they need to do so without setting firm deadlines for reducing or withdrawing American troops, a practice President Obama embraced but which Trump officials assert denied the military needed flexibility and played into the hands of the United States’ adversaries.

One way to address that concern, administration officials have said in recent weeks, might be to stipulate that the Afghans would need to satisfy certain conditions, like fighting corruption or improving governance, to continue to receive American economic and military support.

A number of high-level participants in the review have important experience on these issues, especially Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, and Maj. Gen. Ricky Waddell, the deputy national security adviser. Each headed an anti-corruption task force in Afghanistan.

Few people think that the war in Afghanistan can be ended anytime soon.

Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of the American-led international force in Afghanistan, told Congress in February that the United States and its NATO allies were facing a “stalemate.”

According to a report to Congress by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, 57 percent of the districts in the country were under the Afghan government’s control as of November 2016, a 15 percent decrease from the previous year.

An estimated 8,400 American troops are stationed in Afghanistan, most assigned to an approximately 13,000-strong international force that is training and advising the Afghan military. About 2,000 American troops are tasked with carrying out counterterrorism missions along with Afghan forces against militant groups like the Islamic State’s affiliate.

Several hard-line lawmakers, including Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had complained that Mr. Trump was delaying his decision as security in Afghanistan was eroding. Earlier this month, Senator McCain announced he had drafted an amendment outlining a new Afghan strategy because Mr. Trump had taken so long to act.

As recently as Monday, Mr. Mattis said that administration was weighing some radically different approaches, including withdrawing American forces and sending contractors to fight in Afghanistan rather than troops. The cost of deploying troops and contributions of allies were among the president’s questions.

“There were several options,” Mr. Mattis said. “The reason we had to get back together was he kept asking questions on all of them.”

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Another US Navy destroyer collides with a merchant ship, rescue efforts underway – Washington Post

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SEOUL — A U.S. Navy destroyer has been involved in a collision at sea, with the USS John S. McCain hitting an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

The guided missile destroyer and the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC collided near the Strait of Malacca at 5:24 a.m. local time, the Navy’s 7th Fleet reported. It was on its way to routine port visit in Singapore.

Initial reports indicated that the destroyer sustained damage to its port side at the rear.

“Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities,” the 7th Fleet said in a news release.

Shipping data show that the Alnic is 600 feet long with a dead weight of 50,760 tons. The McCain is a 505-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer based at the 7th Fleet’s home port in Yokosuka, Japan.

This collision comes just days after the Navy issued a report listing a string of errors that led to a collision between the USS Fitzgerald — also a Yokosuka-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyer — and a much larger container ship just south of Japan in June.

The collision killed seven sailors, all of whom drowned in their berths when the container ship struck the destroyer’s side.

The Navy last week said it would discipline a dozen sailors who were aboard the Fitzgerald at the time, including the top two officers and the top enlisted sailor, whose careers are almost certainly over.

Adm. William F. Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, said that the sailors who were on watch in the ship’s bridge “lost situational awareness,” contributing to the collision.

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