US conducts airstrikes on Afghanistan opium labs

The US conducted airstrikes targeting opium processing labs in Afghanistan Sunday, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Andrews tells CNN.The airstrikes were part of a joint US-Afghan operation targeting drug facilities in Taliban-controlled areas in no…

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Argentina: Missing navy submarine tried, failed contacting bases

A missing Argentine submarine attempted to contact naval bases via satellite seven times, but communication with the vessel was not established, the nation’s defense ministry said.

The calls came to different bases between 10:52 a.m. and 3:42 p.m. Saturday, and lasted between four and 36 seconds, the ministry said in a statement to CNN en Español.

“We received seven satellite calls that likely came from the submarine San Juan. We are working hard to locate it. To the families of the 44 crew members: we hope you’ll have them home soon,” Argentina’s Defense Minister Oscar Aguad tweeted.

The military is working with a US company that specializes in satellite communication to determine the location of the submarine that vanished three days ago.

The ARA San Juan submarine and its 44 crew members were traveling through the Atlantic Ocean from a base in southern Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home port in Mar del Plata. It was scheduled to arrive at its destination Sunday.

The submarine was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf, a few hundred kilometers off the coast of southern Argentina’s Patagonia region and nearly midway between the bases.

As officials await word on the submarine, relatives of crew members gathered Saturday for mass at a navy base in Mar del Plata, where they prayed for their safe return.

Southern Argentina’s Patagonia coast is notorious for strong storms.

“Currently a powerful low pressure system is causing wind gusts in excess of 70 kph (nearly 45 mph) and churning up the South Atlantic Ocean with swells equivalent to a two-story building. This weather will hamper the search efforts for at least the next 48 hours,” CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

The Argentine navy said it ordered stations along the coast to search their communications and listen into all possible frequencies of the submarine.”

The San Juan is a 65-meter long (213 ft) TR-1700 submarine, powered by one electric and four diesel engines, Argentina’s military said.

International search

The US Navy said Saturday it ordered its Undersea Rescue Command based in San Diego to deploy to Argentina to help with the search.

The first rescue system — the submarine rescue chamber and an underwater remotely-operated vehicle — was flown from Miramar to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, where it ‘s expected to arrive Sunday.

The second rescue system and supporting equipment will be transported using additional flights, and is scheduled to arrive in Argentina next week,” the navy said in a statement.

The systems allow the safe underwater transfer of sailors from a submarine.

A P8-A Poseidon — a maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft — has arrived in Argentina, along with a NASA P-3 Orion aircraft, the statement said.

The P-3 is a turboprop aircraft capable of long-duration flights, according to NASA.

Britain’s Royal Navy said its patrol ship, the HMS Protector, is also joining search and rescue efforts at the request of the Argentine government. It said the ice patrol ship has sonar equipment to search beneath the waves.

The ship is speeding toward the search area, and is expected to arrive Sunday morning, said Capt. Angus Essenhigh, its commanding officer. He said rescue efforts are expected to start as soon as the team arrives.

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Argentina: Missing navy submarine tried, failed contacting bases

A missing Argentine submarine attempted to contact naval bases via satellite seven times, but communication with the vessel was not established, the nation’s defense ministry said.

The calls came to different bases between 10:52 a.m. and 3:42 p.m. Saturday, and lasted between four and 36 seconds, the ministry said in a statement to CNN en Español.

“We received seven satellite calls that likely came from the submarine San Juan. We are working hard to locate it. To the families of the 44 crew members: we hope you’ll have them home soon,” Argentina’s Defense Minister Oscar Aguad tweeted.

The military is working with a US company that specializes in satellite communication to determine the location of the submarine that vanished three days ago.

The ARA San Juan submarine and its 44 crew members were traveling through the Atlantic Ocean from a base in southern Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home port in Mar del Plata. It was scheduled to arrive at its destination Sunday.

The submarine was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf, a few hundred kilometers off the coast of southern Argentina’s Patagonia region and nearly midway between the bases.

As officials await word on the submarine, relatives of crew members gathered Saturday for mass at a navy base in Mar del Plata, where they prayed for their safe return.

Southern Argentina’s Patagonia coast is notorious for strong storms.

“Currently a powerful low pressure system is causing wind gusts in excess of 70 kph (nearly 45 mph) and churning up the South Atlantic Ocean with swells equivalent to a two-story building. This weather will hamper the search efforts for at least the next 48 hours,” CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

The Argentine navy said it ordered stations along the coast to search their communications and listen into all possible frequencies of the submarine.”

The San Juan is a 65-meter long (213 ft) TR-1700 submarine, powered by one electric and four diesel engines, Argentina’s military said.

International search

The US Navy said Saturday it ordered its Undersea Rescue Command based in San Diego to deploy to Argentina to help with the search.

The first rescue system — the submarine rescue chamber and an underwater remotely-operated vehicle — was flown from Miramar to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, where it ‘s expected to arrive Sunday.

The second rescue system and supporting equipment will be transported using additional flights, and is scheduled to arrive in Argentina next week,” the navy said in a statement.

The systems allow the safe underwater transfer of sailors from a submarine.

A P8-A Poseidon — a maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft — has arrived in Argentina, along with a NASA P-3 Orion aircraft, the statement said.

The P-3 is a turboprop aircraft capable of long-duration flights, according to NASA.

Britain’s Royal Navy said its patrol ship, the HMS Protector, is also joining search and rescue efforts at the request of the Argentine government. It said the ice patrol ship has sonar equipment to search beneath the waves.

The ship is speeding toward the search area, and is expected to arrive Sunday morning, said Capt. Angus Essenhigh, its commanding officer. He said rescue efforts are expected to start as soon as the team arrives.

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Vigil held for US airman from South Florida who died in South Korea

A vigil is being held Monday evening for a U.S. airman from South Florida who died last week in South Korea.

Family and friends of Airman 1st Class Darrick Jones are gathering at Miami Southridge High School in honor of the 23-year-old. 

“He was a great guy, very sarcastic,” Jones’s friend, Ron Hariprashad, said. “But at the end of the day, he was someone that cared and he was always there for people, especially when you opened up to him.” 

Jones’s family said they still don’t know the circumstances surrounding his death.

Jones was assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in 2016. His parents said they didn’t think he was in any danger in Anchorage, Alaska.

They said they didn’t know the water and fuels systems apprentice was working with a civil engineering squadron, and he was on a temporary assignment to train his South Korean counterparts. According to the military, his death was sudden.

“The grief felt as a result of the loss of Airman 1st Class Jones cannot be overstated,” Col. George T.M. Dietrich III, commander of the 673d Air Base Wing, said in a statement.

Jones’s relatives said they are confused about the news that he collapsed and died. They remember him being healthy and they weren’t aware of any medical condition.  

Before joining the military in 2015, Jones was a runner and a member of National Society of High School Scholars. He also was a member of Miami Southridge High School’s cross-country and track team. 

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Poland nationalist march attracts thousands on independence day

Tens of thousands of people joined nationalist marchers waving flags and burning flares in Warsaw on Saturday during protests held on Poland’s independence day.

Protesters carried banners that read “White Europe,” “Europe must be white,” and “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust.”

Some wore masks and waved red and white Polish flags, chanting “Death to enemies of the homeland,” and “Catholic Poland, not secular.”

Police estimate that 60,000 people took part in the nationalist demonstration. While the vast majority were Poles from all over the country, other protesters came from all over Europe.

One of the lead organizations behind the nationalists march is the National Radical Camp, which has previously taken to the streets to protest against Muslim immigration,gay rights, the EU and anything it considers undermines Polish Catholic values.

While support for the group remains small, its critics argue that the Polish government, which has struck a nationalistic tone and linked immigrants to crime and disease, has fostered an atmosphere of intolerance and xenophobia that has emboldened it.

Earlier on Saturday, the Polish capital had seen a far smaller demonstration by groups condemning the protesters’ hijacking of Polish independence day, which falls on Nov. 11.

The day celebrates the re-birth of Poland in November 1918, 123 years after the Prussian, Habsburg and Russian empires carved up Poland among themselves and erased it from the map of Europe.

But in the past few years, the holiday has been overshadowed by the far-right march and fears of violence.

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Trump, Putin issue joint statement on fighting ISIS in Syria

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin informally met on the sidelines of a regional economic summit in Vietnam Saturday and agreed to an extensive statement on the conflict in Syria.

The statement, which reaffirms the leaders’ commitment to defeat ISIS in the country, stresses the need to keep existing military communications open and agrees that the bloody conflict does not have a military solution.

“President Trump and President Putin today, meeting on the margins of the APEC conference in Da Nang, Vietnam, confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS in Syria,” the statement reads, adding later that Trump felt he had a “good meeting with President Putin.”

While the statement mostly addresses long-accepted areas of agreement between the United States and Russia, it comes after Trump and Putin spoke casually at least three times at the ocean-side summit in Da Nang on Friday and Saturday.

A senior State Department official told reporters they were optimistic the US-Russian diplomacy would be met with more success than the past because of the changing landscape in Syria.

“Russia got themselves involved back when it was a civil war. In some respects, the effort to defeat ISIS changed priorities for some,” the official said. “Certainly, for us, the priority was defeating ISIS. I think for Russia, it’s a question of how long do they want to continue to support conflict.”

“What the joint statement indicates is a commitment to get this to a political reconciliation and peace process. That serves their interest, it serves our interest,” the official said.

Asked if Russia has enough influence to bring Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to the table, the official said: “We’re going to be testing that, we’re going to find out.”

The White House said Trump and Putin spoke for about five minutes in between events at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The most extensive conversation observed by reporters came as the two leaders shared a friendly, yet brief, walk to a photo op in between meetings on Saturday. The two leaders looked comfortable together and smiled as they talked.

Trump, speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday, said the agreement is “going to save tremendous numbers of lives.”

Describing his interactions with Putin, Trump said that they got along well and agreed to the joint statement “very quickly.”

“We seem to have a very good feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well,” Trump said. “I think it’s a very good relationship.”

According to the joint statement, Trump and Putin “agreed to maintain open military channels of communication” between the two countries on Syria and said their efforts would continue “until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved.”

“The Presidents agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria,” the statement said, adding that the two agreed to find an “ultimate political solution” to the conflict.

The results of the Trump-Putin meeting in Vietnam mirror what happened when the two world leaders met for the first time in Germany earlier this year.

Though Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was discussed, the two leaders also agreed to a ceasefire in southwest Syria, too.

“This is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the time.

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