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Air show takes over Miami Beach for Memorial Day

This Memorial Day Weekend, Miami Beach is hosting the National Salute to America s Heroes[1] with an Air and Sea Show that features jets, helicopters, planes and other tactical assets and some of them are going to just be parked right there on the sands of Miami Beach between 11th and 14th Streets. Executive Producer Mickey Markoff, who has produced other big sporting events like the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show, says the Salute is just that, a chance to celebrate our men and women in uniform with a show of military technology on the sands of Miami Beach. We were asked by the city of Miami Beach to come in and help create a family oriented event and bring back the true spirit of Memorial Day.

Continued below[2]

When is the last time you got up close and personal with a B-2 Stealth Bomber? Or a B-52 Stratofortress Bomber? A USAF F-22 Raptor fighter jet? Don t lie. The only real military muscle most of us get to see is in movies or museums.

Obviously you aren t going to get to sit in the cockpit of a B-1 Lancer Bomber. The three U.S. bombers are actually doing what is called a remote fly by, zooming in from across the country just so audiences can get a glimpse. But attendees of the free event can see six football fields of military displays from all branches, interactive exhibits and have the chance to meet military and first responders in person.

Air Show Takes Over Miami Beach For Memorial DayA three-ship bomber formation composed of a B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress fly near Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 2, 2017. The bombers participated in an in-trail formation flyover to honor and commemorate the Eighth Air Force s 75th anniversary. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo by Sagar Pathak)

The air show itself is exclusively military demonstrations, so don t expect too much Blue Angel-style aerobatic flying. From 9:30-11:30 a.m. the day kicks off with the water demonstrations; powerboat races, jet ski freestyle and race exhibitions. Then the planes will be flying from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Some of the demonstrations include a mid-air baton pass by the US Army Golden Knights, a squad of paratroopers famous for their black and gold parachutes and their uncannily precise landings. The US Coast Guard helicopters will perform a mock Air Sea Rescue Demonstration and Customs Border Protection will perform a drug interdiction exercise to let spectators witness a drug takedown with a high speed boat chase. The event will have a Kid s Zone, with fun activities for the little ones. So the kids don t get lost in the crowd, organizers plan to provide wristbands that kids can wear with their parents cellphone numbers. The USAF and US Army bands will be performing live during the event along with other musical acts and iHeart DJ s mixing your favorite music.

Memorial Day Weekend in Miami Beach for the last decade has been the scene of Urban Beach Week, a lively celebration that attracts a crowd consisting mainly of people of color and parties hosted by rap stars. The streets fill up with bikini-clad tourists looking for fun and drink specials and has not been without incident in past years.

The mixing of the two crowds one in full party mode, the other seeking family fun will be an interesting change[3]. But Markoff is not worried. Everybody is welcome to the free event, he says. It s a chance to showcase the city in a positive light and generate community spirit.

IF YOU GO:

What: National Salute to America s Heroes Air and Sea Show

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Where: 11th-14th Streets on Miami Beach, off Ocean Drive

Cost: Free

References

  1. ^ National Salute to America s Heroes (www.usasalute.com)
  2. ^ Continued below (www.miami.com)
  3. ^ will be an interesting change (www.miamiherald.com)

Islamic State-linked militants besiege Philippine city

Islamic State group-linked militants swept through a southern Philippine city, beheading a police chief, burning buildings, seizing a Catholic priest and his worshippers and raising the black flag of IS, authorities said Wednesday. President Rodrigo Duterte, who had declared martial law across the southern third of the nation, warned he may expand it nationwide. At least 21 people have died in the fighting, officials said. As details of the attack in Marawi city emerged, fears mounted that the largest Roman Catholic nation in Asia could be falling into a growing list of countries grappling with the spread of influence from the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The violence erupted Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged allegiance to IS. He is on Washington’s list of most-wanted terrorists with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. The militants called for reinforcements and around 100 gunmen entered Marawi, a mostly Muslim city of 200,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

“We are in a state of emergency,” Duterte said Wednesday after he cut short a trip to Moscow and flew back to Manila. “I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere.”

He declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire Mindanao region home to 22 million people and vowed to be “harsh.”

“If I think that you should die, you will die,” he said. “If you fight us, you will die. If there is open defiance, you will die. And if it means many people dying, so be it.”

But he said he would not allow abuses and that law-abiding citizens had nothing to fear. Duterte said a local police chief was stopped at a militant checkpoint and beheaded, and added that he may declare martial law nationwide if he believes the group has taken a foothold.

Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Pena said the militants forced their way into the Marawi Cathedral and seized a Catholic priest, 10 worshippers and three church workers. The priest, Father Chito, and the others had no role in the conflict, said Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

“He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none,” Villegas said of Chito. “His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilized conflict.”

Villegas said the gunmen are demanding the government recall its forces. Military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said 13 militants had been killed, and that five soldiers had died and 31 others were wounded. Other officials said a security guard and two policemen were also killed, including the beheaded police chief.

Arevalo said troops had cleared militants from a hospital, the city hall and Mindanao State University. About 120 civilians were rescued from the hospital, the military said. Thousands of people have fled the city, said Mary Jo Henry, an emergency response official. She quoted another official as saying Marawi was like “a ghost town.”

Broadcaster ABS-CBN showed people crammed inside and on top of public vehicles leaving the area, and some walking on foot with their belongings as they passed through a security checkpoint manned by soldiers. Martial law allows Duterte to use the armed forces to carry out arrests, searches and detentions more rapidly. He has repeatedly threatened to place the south, the scene of decades-long Muslim separatist uprisings, under martial law. But human rights groups have expressed fears that martial law powers could further embolden Duterte, whom they have accused of allowing extrajudicial killings of thousands of people in his crackdown on illegal drugs.

Hapilon, an Arabic-speaking Islamic preacher known for his expertise in commando assaults, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014. He is a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group and was wounded by a military airstrike in January. Troops sealed off major entry and exit points to prevent Hapilon from escaping, military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associated Press late Tuesday.

“We will conduct house-to-house clearing and do everything to remove the threat there. We can do that easily,” Ano said, but added it was more difficult in an urban setting because of the need to avoid civilian casualties. He said the group erected Islamic State flags at several locations.

Duterte met late Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he is counting on Russia to supply weapons for the Philippines to fight terrorism.

“Of course, our country needs modern weapons, we had orders in the United States, but now the situation there is not very smooth and in order to fight the Islamic State, with their units and factions, we need modern weapons,” he said, according to Russian state news agency Tass. While pursuing peace talks with two large Muslim rebel groups in the south, Duterte has ordered the military to destroy smaller extremist groups which have tried to align with the Islamic State group. At least one of those smaller groups, the Maute, was involved in the Marawi siege. It’s one of less than a dozen new armed Muslim groups that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and formed a loose alliance, with Hapilon reportedly designated as the alliance’s leader.

Political analyst Ramon Casiple said the Maute is a clan-based group with members in Marawi who came to Hapnilon’s assistance, with some directly assisting in the fighting and others fanning out to different parts of the city, setting up checkpoints and burning some buildings and taking hostages from the cathedral.

“It is difficult to root out because they are from there,” he said. “The Mautes are embedded in the population.”

The group has been blamed for a bombing that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, Duterte’s hometown, last September and a number of attacks on government forces in Lanao, although it has faced setbacks from a series of military offensives.

Last month, troops backed by airstrikes killed dozens of Maute militants and captured their jungle camp near Lanao del Sur’s Piagapo town. Troops found homemade bombs, grenades, combat uniforms and passports of suspected Indonesian militants in the camp, the military said.

British prime minister raises nation’s threat level, saying another attack ‘may be imminent’

MANCHESTER, England British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday night raised the nation s threat level and deployed the military to guard concerts, sports matches and other public events, saying another attack may be imminent following a bombing Monday night that left 22 people dead.

The announcement, which takes Britain s alert level from severe to its highest rating, critical, clears the way for thousands of British troops to take to the streets and replace police officers in guarding key sites. May announced the move after chairing an emergency meeting of her security cabinet and concluding that the attacker who carried out Monday s bombing may have been part of a wider network that is poised to strike again. The decision, she said, was a proportionate and sensible response to the threat that our security experts judge we face. The worst terrorist attack on British soil in over a decade was carried out by a 22-year-old British citizen who lived a short drive from the concert hall that he transformed from a scene of youthful merriment into a tableau of horror.

But whether Salman Abedi acted alone or with accomplices remained a question that British investigators were urgently trying to answer Tuesday night as they reckoned with an attack more sophisticated and worrisome than any seen here in years. The prospect of a wider plot, May said, was a possibility we cannot ignore. The killing of 22 people many of them teens following a concert in this northern English city by American pop star Ariana Grande was claimed Tuesday by the Islamic State, which said one of its soldiers was responsible.

Even as officials and experts cast doubt on the terrorist group s assertion, however, authorities were scrambling to execute searches, arrest potential accomplices and reinforce security systems at a spectrum of public events that look newly vulnerable to attacks like Monday s. After years of successfully fending off more-sophisticated strikes even as countries across continental Europe have fallen victim to bombings, Monday night s carnage underscored that Britain is not immune amid a rising tide of extremist violence. The highest priority for police, said Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, was to establish whether [Abedi] was acting alone or as part of a network.

Earlier he had said that Abedi executed the bombing alone and that he was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity. But unlike in previous high-profile attacks including one in March in which an assailant driving a speeding car ran down pedestrians on a London bridge, then stabbed to death a British police officer experts said it was unlikely that Monday s attack had been carried out without help.

British Prime Minister Raises Nation's Threat Level, Saying Another Attack 'may Be Imminent'

[Three seconds of silence, then a scream: How the attack unfolded[1]]

Getting a car or a knife is easy, said Raffaello Pantucci, a terrorism expert at the London-based Royal United Services Institute. Making a bomb that works and goes off when you want it to go off takes preparation and practice. And it usually involves other people. Pantucci said British authorities are going to try to figure out who [Abedi] knows, who he s linked to. Did he build the bomb itself, or did someone build it and give it to him?

Young victims

If police have an answer, they did not say so publicly Tuesday. But there was ample evidence of a widening security operation, with the arrest of a 23-year-old from south Manchester in connection with the bombing. Police also carried out searches at two homes, including the house in the leafy suburban neighborhood where Abedi was registered as having lived. A senior European intelligence official said the attacker was a British citizen of Libyan descent. The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and thus spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the suspect s brother has been taken into custody. A family friend said Abedi traveled frequently between Libya and Britain. We have an ISIS problem in Libya. We wonder whether he met people there who trained him, said the friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ISIS is another name for the Islamic State.

Even before May s announcement of a critical threat level for just the third time ever the first two came in 2006 and 2007 authorities from London to Scotland said that they would be reviewing security plans for upcoming public events. Even smaller gatherings that would not have been policed in the past may now get protection, they said.

[The targeting of women and girls in Manchester may have been intentional[2]]

Over the coming days as you go to a music venue, go shopping, travel to work or head off to the fantastic sporting events, you will see more officers, including armed officers, said Commander Jane Connors of London s Metropolitan Police Department. May s decision to deploy the military means the public may now see soldiers rather than police. May said the military would operate under police command. The escalation came as the nation grieved for the young victims, with thousands of people converging on Manchester s graceful Albert Square for a vigil that was part solemn remembrance and part rally against extremism.

To roaring applause, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham vowed that the city which has seen hardship, having been bombed relentlessly during World War II would not succumb to division or anger. A poet named Tony Walsh delivered an ode to the city titled This Is the Place. And in what has become a dark mainstay of life in Western Europe, passersby left candles, flowers and cards for the dead. The casualties included children as young as elementary school students. Police said that among the 59 people injured, a dozen were younger than 16. Among the dead was Saffie Rose Roussos, who was just 8 years old. The first victim to be publicly identified was Georgina Callander, an 18-year-old student.

[An 8-year-old was separated from her family. She never made it out.[3]]

Other names were expected to be released Wednesday, with authorities bracing the public for deaths among the teens and tweens who form the core of Grande s enthusiastic fan base. The Islamic State did not give any details about the attacker or how the blast was carried out, raising doubts about the truth of its claim. Its statement was posted on the online messaging service Telegram and later noted by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites. The Islamic State often quickly proclaims links to attacks, but some previous boasts have not been proved.

In Washington, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Tuesday that despite the group s statement, we have not verified yet the connection. He noted in a Senate hearing that they claim responsibility for virtually every attack.

Wave of revulsion

In a speech outside 10 Downing Street, where flags were lowered to half-staff, May called the Manchester killings a callous terrorist attack.

This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives, she said. May later visited Manchester, meeting with local authorities and signing a condolence book honoring the victims. Queen Elizabeth II, meanwhile, led guests of a garden party at Buckingham Palace in a moment of silence and issued a statement expressing her deepest sympathies.

The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert, she said.

Across the world, other leaders expressed revulsion and scorn toward the bomber.

[The Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared[4]]

During a visit to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, President Trump pledged absolute solidarity with Britain and called those responsible for the attack evil losers in life. Organizers of the Cannes Film Festival denounced the bombing as an attack on culture, youth and joyfulness and observed a minute of silence Tuesday. Cannes is 15 miles from Nice, where an attacker driving a truck plowed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in July, killing 86 people.

[In the midst of Manchester s terror, strangers reach out through Twitter[5]]

The Monday night attack was the worst terrorist strike on British soil since 2005, when Islamist extremists bombed the London subway and a bus, killing 54 people[6]. And as with that attack, Monday s bombing prompted desperate searches for missing loved ones that continued through the night and into Tuesday.

Charlotte Campbell told the BBC that she was phoning everybody, including hospitals, trying to locate her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia. She last spoke to her daughter Monday night while she was at the concert.

She d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time, and thanking me for letting her go, Campbell said in an emotional interview. The attack occurred near one of the exits of the arena, in a public space connected to a bustling train station. Jake Taylor, a former security guard at the arena, said its layout makes absolute safety impossible.

You can t stop people from getting through the train station, Taylor said.

Mark Harrison, who accompanied his 12-year-old daughter to the concert from Cumbria in northern England, said there were no metal detectors or body checks at the arena s entrance, although bags were inspected and items such as water bottles had to be discarded.

There was definitely a security presence, but anyone can come through the train station, said Harrison, 44.

[Trump decries the losers who wage terrorism[7]]

In France, the scene of several terrorist attacks in recent years, Prime Minister douard Philippe called on people to be vigilant in the face of a threat which is more present than ever before. Britain s threat level had been classified as severe since the summer of 2014, meaning the chance of an attack at any given time was highly likely. Pantucci, the security expert, said that authorities had disrupted several plots in recent months but that Monday s attack somehow slipped through. Understanding why, he said, will be crucial.

They ve been dealing with a very high threat tempo, he said. But this is one they weren t able to stop.

Adam reported from London. Isaac Stanley-Becker, James McAuley and Rick Noack in Manchester; Paul Schemm in Addis Ababa, Ethi o pia; and Devlin Barrett, Brian Murphy and Ellen Nakashima in Washington contributed to this report.

Read more

Four killed, 40 injured in vehicle and knife assault near Parliament[8]

After privileged childhood, London attacker became a troubled loner[9]

What we know about the victims of the London attack[10]

Today s coverage from Post correspondents around the world[11]

Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news[12]

References

  1. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  4. ^ The Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ In the midst of Manchester s terror, strangers reach out through Twitter (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ killing 54 people (en.wikipedia.org)
  7. ^ Trump decries the losers who wage terrorism (www.washingtonpost.com)
  8. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  9. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  10. ^ www.washingtonpost.com (www.washingtonpost.com)
  11. ^ Today s coverage from Post correspondents around the world (www.washingtonpost.com)
  12. ^ Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news (www.facebook.com)
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