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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea on Thursday through the heavily guarded demilitarized zone separating the two countries, leading to gunfire on both sides of the border, the South Korean military said. The "low ranking" soldier was manning a guard post along the DMZ when he fled through thick fog, the South Korean military's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The escape follows a similar one last month, in which another North Korean soldier was shot by his colleagues as he successfully fled his DMZ posting. read more


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Charles Robert Jenkins deserted the U.S. Army on a freezing night in January 1965. He pounded 10 beers to quiet his nerves, and abandoned his patrol unit along the border dividing South and North Korea -- a 160-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide strip of mine-ridden no man's land. He unloaded his M-16 rifle to show the enemy he meant no harm; he raised his knees high to avoid triggering tripwires. Several hours later, he crossed into North Korea. He didn't leave for nearly 40 years. Now, Jenkins -- 77 but looking much older, with a deep-lined face and distant expression -- lives a quiet life on Sado, a small, pastoral island in the Sea of Japan. He speaks in the thick Southern accent of his North Carolina childhood, and the stories he tells, 13 years after the end of his North Korean adventure, recall decades of solitude, deprivation and torture. read more


Penned in 1944, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a duet usually staged between a man and a woman. The lyrics place the pair at the guy's home following a date, with the woman lamenting that she has to leave and the man trying to convince her to stay. The complaints of skeeviness stem first from the song's overall tone, in which a man is putting pressure on a woman to engage in assumedly intimate behavior, and second from one now-infamous line in which the woman muses, "Hey, what's in this drink?" Well, I'm not the first to point this out, but based on the frequency of people bringing it up, it bears repeating. Consent isn't actually a problem in "Baby, It's Cold Outside," because if you pay attention, you'll notice that the inclination to leave isn't coming from the woman -- it's coming from the society that wants to control her. read more


Monday, December 18, 2017

Republican Sen. John McCain is returning to Arizona after spending several days in a Maryland hospital recovering from side effects from chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer, CBS News has learned. McCain left Washington Sunday and is heading back to his home state to spend the holidays with his family. He will not be on hand for the final vote on the GOP tax passage expected for early this week. It is unclear when McCain might return to Washington. McCain, 81, has been receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, since Wednesday. His son-in-law said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that McCain had been "in good spirits." read more


Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign Policy: If we woke up tomorrow and found that none of our laptops, iPhones, iPads, or personal assistants worked, what would we do? In our near-paperless society, our bank records, medical records, and other key personal data would be lost. Even if the disruption lasted only days or weeks, the social and economic consequences would far exceed 9/11 in impact. All of that would be bad, but the military impact is potentially worse. If whatever entity that causes this internet apocalypse is prepared to operate without computers, cellular communications, or even radios the effect on US national security could be worse than the dark months following Pearl Harbor when the Japanese overran virtually all of the Pacific east of Hawaii. We now know that American adversaries -- to include state and non-state actors -- are attempting to challenge us for cyberspace domination. We need to ask ourselves what we would do if they succeed only temporarily. read more


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