US Marines live-fire range planned on ‘pristine’ Guam land

A U.S. military plane is pictured on the tarmac of Andersen Air Force base during a media tour, on the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific Territory, August 17, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 August 2017
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US Marines live-fire range planned on ‘pristine’ Guam land

HAGNATA, Guam: A US military live-fire training range is being built on Guam to support the relocation of Marines.
Black Construction Corp. was awarded a $78 million contract on Friday, the Pacific Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2wHXt6z ).
“We are committed to Guam, and our forward presence here will play an essential role in strengthening the military’s ability to maintain regional security and protect the nation’s interests in the Pacific,” said Col. Brent Bien, who is the officer in charge of the Marine Corps Activity Guam.
The complex will be built in Andersen Air Force Base on a patch of land that the community has said is one of the last pristine places on Guam.
It will be near a wildlife refuge and will require part of the refuge to be closed when the range is in use.
Sabina Perez, spokeswoman of a group against the complex, said the military seems to be rushing to get its projects started.
“Our group has been contacting our local leaders to tell them to prevent this toxic legacy from happening,” Perez said.
The group, called Prutehi Litekyan, has garnered the support of Speaker Benjamin Cruz, D-Tumon, Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje, D-Yona, and Sen. Fernando Esteves, R-Yona.
“No amount of money can compensate for the permanent destruction, loss of access and other adverse impacts to Guam’s historic sites, 187 acres of limestone forests, endangered species and fishing areas that are part of this particular live-fire training range project,” Terlaje said. “The Department of Defense has not kept its promises to avoid these adverse impacts to Guam and in fact continues to expand its control over lands and waters of Guam and the Marianas.”
Terlaje is calling on Gov. Eddie Calvo to make time to meet with federal authorities to find ways to prevent the potential impacts of the firing range complex.
The group also is working on scheduling a face-to-face meeting with military officials, Perez said.
Work is expected to be completed by November 2020, but a groundbreaking date has not been scheduled.


Merkel suffers new trembling spell on eve of G20

Updated 27 June 2019
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Merkel suffers new trembling spell on eve of G20

  • The shaking went on for two minutes, according to a DPA photographer who was present at the event
  • Her previous bout of shaking last Tuesday had been blamed on dehydration on a hot summer’s day

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday suffered another episode of uncontrolled trembling, a week after a similar incident that sparked questions about her health.
The latest lapse came hours before Merkel was due to board a plane for the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
The German leader began to tremble as she stood next to President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was giving a speech at a ceremony to formally appoint a new justice minister.
The shaking went on for two minutes, according to a DPA photographer who was present at the event.
Merkel folded her arms visibly in a bid to stop the trembling.
She only finally brought it under control once she was able to take a few steps.
She was offered a glass of water but turned it down.
Her previous bout of shaking last Tuesday had been blamed on dehydration on a hot summer’s day.
Despite the latest incident, a German government spokesman said Merkel would not be canceling any appointments on Thursday and Friday.
“The chancellor is well,” he said, adding that she will be flying as planned to Osaka for the G20 summit.
Merkel, frequently called the European Union’s most influential leader and the most powerful woman in the world, turns 65 next month.
She has said she will leave politics at the end of her term, in 2021.
There were brief concerns about her health in 2014 when she was taken ill during a television interview. The broadcast was briefly interrupted when she experienced a drop in blood pressure.
Her spokesman Steffen Seibert explained at the time the leader did not feel well for a moment, then ate and drank something and continued the interview.