US Marine gets 10 years for abusing Muslim recruits

In this Oct., 31, 2017 photo, US Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph A. Felix, his wife, and his lawyers exit a courtroom after testimony at Camp Lejeune, N.C. A Marine Corps jury on Nov. 10, is deciding whether Felix should be sentenced to military prison time for choking, punching and otherwise tormenting recruits, especially Muslims, one of whom eventually hurled himself to his death down a stairwell. (AP)
Updated 12 November 2017
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US Marine gets 10 years for abusing Muslim recruits

WASHINGTON: A US Marine Corps drill instructor was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for abusing more than a dozen Muslim recruits, one of whom died in 2016, US media reported.
Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix was convicted a day earlier of maltreatment of the recruits during their basic training at the Parris Island, South Carolina base.
A jury of eight fellow servicemen and women considered Felix, an Iraq war veteran, the most to blame of six instructors who ordered and participated in extreme hazing of the recruits, taunting them as terrorists.
Two of them were forced into industrial-sized clothes dryers and in one case the machine was turned on when they did not renounce their faith.
One of the recruits, Raheel Siddiqui died after a plunge over a third-story railing in March 2016 after enduring days of hazing worse than the normal high-pressure treatment given recruits.
The Marines called his death a suicide. In October, Siddiqui’s family sued the Marines for $100 million, saying he was driven by an unnamed superior through a door and onto a balcony where he fell to the ground below.
The sentence decided Friday, which also includes a dishonorable discharge, was harsher than the seven years in prison that prosecutors had recommended.
The case will automatically go to appeal per military regulations for judgments that involve lengthy prison sentences and dishonorable discharges.


Pentagon suspends August military drills with South Korea

Exercises with other countries in the Pacific will continue. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018
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Pentagon suspends August military drills with South Korea

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon says it has formally suspended a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, a much-anticipated move stemming from President Donald Trump’s nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The announcement Monday says all planning for the exercise has been stopped. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says the department has made no decisions on other military exercises with South Korea. Exercises with other countries in the Pacific will continue.
Trump’s abrupt decision to cancel what he called provocative and expensive “war games” appeared to catch US defense officials by surprise last week and ran counter to long-held American arguments that the drills are critical for effective operations with allies. The Pentagon has for years flatly denied North Korean assertions that the exercises are “provocative.”