Man drives from Ohio hoping to help Haitian friend at border

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) –As Haitian migrants stepped off a white U.S. Border Patrol van in the Texas border city of Del Rio after learning they’d be allowed to stay in the country for now, a man in a neon yellow vest stood nearby and quietly surveyed them.

Some carried sleeping babies, and one toddler walked behind her mother wrapped in a silver heat blanket. As they passed by to be processed by a local nonprofit that provides migrants with basic essentials and helps them reach family in the U.S., many smiled – happy to be starting a new leg of their journey after a chaotic spell in a crowded camp near a border bridge that links Del Rio with Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

Dave, who didn’t want to share his last name because he feared a backlash for trying to help people who entered the U.S. illegally, didn’t see his friend Ruth in this group. But he wore the bright safety vest so she would be able to spot him in the crowd when she arrived with her husband and 3-year-old daughter.

“I feel like my friend is worth my time to come down and help,” he told The Associated Press on Friday.

On Tuesday, Dave set out from his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, and made the nearly 1,300-mile (2,092-kilometer) drive to Del Rio, where up to 15,000 migrants suddenly crossed in from Mexico this month, most of them Haitian and many seeking asylum.

The 64-year-old met Ruth over a decade ago during a Christian mission to Haiti. Over the years, Dave would send Ruth money for a little girl he met in an orphanage whom he‘d promised himself he‘d support. Ruth always made sure the girl had what she needed.

Last month, Ruth and her family left South America, where they briefly lived after leaving their impoverished Caribbean homeland, to try to make it to the United States. Dave told her he’d be there when they arrived to drive them to her sister’s house in Ohio.

“I just see it as an opportunity to serve somebody,” he said. “We have so much.”

The nonprofit, the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, has received dozens of drop-offs from U.S. Border Patrol agents since the sudden influx of migrants to Del Rio became the country’s most pressing immigration challenge. Its director, Tiffany Burrow, said the group processed more than 1,600 Haitian migrants from Monday through when the camp was completely cleared Friday, assisting them with travel and resettlement necessities.

This is nothing new for Burrow, who has watched Haitian migrants cross into Del Rio in smaller numbers since January. But this recent wave overwhelmed her small group.

“It’s a different volume. And the eyes of the world are on us this time,” Burrow told the AP.

As Dave waited Friday for the next bus to arrive, he shimmied a child seat into place in the back seat of his vehicle. It was for Ruth‘s toddler and was the first thing he spotted when he stopped at a thrift store on his way out of Toledo. He viewed it as a little sign he was doing the right thing.

Ruth and her family had spent the past week at the bridge camp and Dave had been communicating with her through WhatsApp. But all communication stopped Thursday around noon, and he said Ruth‘s sister in Ohio also hadn’t heard from her.

Still, Dave waited, scrolling through a list of “what ifs.” He wondered aloud if her phone died or if she was in a Border Patrol facility with strict rules about electronic devices. “I’m putting a lot of faith in my phone,” he said, laughing.

Like Dave, Dr. Pierre Moreau made the trip to Del Rio from Miami to help. A Haitian immigrant himself and U.S. Navy veteran, he saw the images unfolding from the camp and booked a flight.

“That was devastating. My heart was crying,” Moreau said. “And I told my wife I’m coming. And she said go.”

Moreau didn’t have a plan – just a rental car full of toiletries and supplies he hoped to pass out to any migrants he came across.

“I’m concerned about my brothers and sisters. And I was concerned with the way they were treated,” he said.

Dave said he hates how politicized the border issue has become. He considers himself a supporter of former President Donald Trump but said he’s more complicated than a single label.

As he waited in his car, Dave gushed over how hard Ruth had worked as a nurse to get to the United States – a dream she’s held for over a decade. He said he knows she‘ll do the same in the U.S. and that all he’s doing is giving her and her small family a leg up.

“I help them with their first step,” Dave said. “And like a little child, next time you see them, they’ll be running.”

Every time a Border Patrol bus or van pulled up to the coalition, Dave and his yellow vest would cross the street. He waited as each migrant climbed out, hoping to see Ruth, and he even darted over to one woman thinking it was her. “That sounded just like Ruth‘s voice,” he said.

As news broke Friday that the camp had been cleared, Dave still held out hope that she‘d arrive. But 10 hours after he pulled up, the coalition announced it had received its last busload and that no more migrants would be arriving from the camp.

This wave, at least for now, was over for Del Rio. But Burrow said there will likely be others.

“Right now, we’re in a cycle,” she said. “We’re learning to work with it.”

Dave stood up from his folding chair and started walking back to his car. He still hadn’t heard anything from Ruth and he again speculated as to where she and her family might be, including that they could have been sent on a deportation flight back to Haiti.

He looked defeated but said he didn’t plan to drive back to Ohio until he heard from Ruth – not until he knew his friend was OK.

“I cringe when I hear the beep that it’s going to be the wrong message,” Dave said. “But I try to keep hoping. I don’t know what else I can do.”

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Biden admin trying to figure out if Pakistan is really our friend – HotAir

One of the items still sitting on the plate of the Biden administration’s State Department is figuring out precisely where we stand with Pakistan. Our supposed “ally” in the region hasn’t been acting much like one recently, welcoming the return of the Taliban in Kabul with open arms and quickly setting up diplomatic facilities and foreign aid for them. Of course, Pakistan hasn’t been a very loyal ally in a very long time, frequently saying encouraging words in public while figuratively stabbing us in the back. (Perhaps literally doing so in some cases.) But as the Associated Press points out this weekend, Joe Biden is running out of options in terms of direct U.S. influence in the region and they are being forced to try to hammer out some sort of agreement with Islamabad. Having already been turned down when requesting some sort of base of operations in both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, if we can’t fly surveillance missions out of Pakistan we’ll be stuck with Biden’s “over the horizon” approach. (And we’ve seen how well that’s been working out so far.)

The Taliban’s takeover of Kabul has deepened the mutual distrust between the U.S. and Pakistan, two putative allies who have tangled over Afghanistan. But both sides still need each other.

With the Biden administration looking for new ways to stop terrorist threats in Afghanistan, it will likely look again to Pakistan, which remains critical to U.S. intelligence and national security because of its proximity to Afghanistan and connections to the Taliban leaders now in charge.

Over two decades of war, American officials accused Pakistan of playing a double game by promising to fight terrorism and cooperate with Washington while cultivating the Taliban and other extremist groups that attacked U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Posing the question as to whether or not Pakistan is a true ally of the United States frequently results in a lot of uncomfortable stares from our diplomats. They have technically been in a supportive relationship with America for decades. In fact, it’s long been believed that the United States covertly helped Pakistan develop nuclear weapons to act as a counterbalance to India. But their history, particularly in the 21st century, points to a relationship that’s founded on mutual distrust and they have demonstrated a pattern of betrayals to their supposed partner.

For twenty years, Pakistan has been cheering for and offering support to the Taliban even while we were at war with them. Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, said this week that Pakistan “has been waiting for 20 years” for the Taliban’s return to power and that they now “feel that they have a satellite state.”

The relationship goes deeper than that, as do the betrayals. Look no further than the early stages of the Afghanistan war. How many years did we spend looking for Osama bin Laden, only to find out that he had been hiding out in a compound in Pakistan? The Pakistani government has consistently maintained that they simply had no idea he was there, but that’s an implausible story at best. It’s been confirmed that Pakistani General Ahmed Shuja Pasha knew of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. The information came from a senior United States official speaking to the New York Times way back in 2014. They expect us to believe that their military knew of and was supporting bin Laden all of that time but their government officials had no idea? Pull the other one. It’s got bells on it.

But here we are back at the table with the Pakistanis. We want to be able to use some airfields in their country to keep an eye on the Taliban, even as our “partners” are currying favor with them. Meanwhile, Pakistan doesn’t want to risk inflaming us too much because they want to keep receiving military help and foreign aid from the United States. It’s a dysfunctional relationship at best. Sadly, it may still remain one that we can’t easily walk away from and both sides are forced to sit there and smile at each other, pretending that everything is just fine.



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Gabby Petito family friend won’t say Brian Laundrie’s name

A family friend of Gabby Petito refused to utter Brian Laundrie’s name during an emotional TV interview — referring to him only as “the evil one.”

“The evil one — I refuse to say his name — needs to be caught and brought to justice,” Maija Polsley told “NewsNation” Thursday when asked about the hunt for Laundrie.

“Evil took out, extinguished one of the brightest lights on this planet,” she said, saying that 22-year-old Long Island native Petito had a smile that “lit up the entire world.”

“Her smile is unforgettable. Her smile would light up any room,” said Polsley.

“Everybody fell in love with her. It’s hard not to,” she said of the “beautiful” woman she had known since she was “a little kid.”

“She was so easy to fall in love with, which is why the world has really taken to this whole story,” she said.

Polsley believes Petito and her family had “a false sense of security” because she’d “known Laundrie forever” after first meeting at Bayport Blue Point High School on Long Island.

Maija Polsley said that “evil” killed Gabby Petito.
NewsNation
There has been an arrest warrant placed for Brian Laundrie.
North Port/Florida Police/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

“It turns out that he was super abusive,” she said of her friend’s fiancé who was reportedly slapping Petito when police were called on them in Utah on Aug. 12, shortly before she disappeared during their cross-country road trip.

Polsley’s interview came soon after the FBI announced an arrest warrant had been issued for Laundrie for allegedly using a Capital One debit card that may have belonged to Petito.

“At first I was like, ‘the audacity, that he had the nerve to go and use her credit card,’” Polsely told “NewsNation.”

“But you know what that $1,000 bought him? A federal arrest warrant. So well worth it, then,” she said.



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Robert Durst found guilty of murdering his longtime friend

Robert Durst, the onetime heir to a New York real estate fortune and longtime suspect in his ex-wife’s Westchester County disappearance, has been found guilty of first degree murder for killing his longtime friend Susan Berman.

A Los Angeles jury returned the verdict Friday after more than three days of deliberations. Durst, 78, was not in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. 

He faces life in prison.

Prosecutors argued Durst shot and killed confidante Berman at point blank range in 2000 to prevent her from telling police about a fake alibi she provided after his wife, Kathie Durst, disappeared from Westchester County in 1982.

Berman allegedly made a suspicious phone call to the dean of Kathie’s college the night she was last seen, impersonating the missing woman to tell the educator she would be out sick the next day.

Although he was only tried for Berman’s murder, prosecutors argued he killed Kathie — and planed to flee the country after an incriminating HBO documentary about the alleged murders aired.

They also introduced evidence from a Texas trial, where he was acquitted of murdering neighbor Morris Black after going into hiding in Galveston to avoid what he believed were imminent charges in connection with the suspicious death of his wife.

In that case, Durst admitted to killing Black, but said it was in self-defense.

Robert Durst answers questions during his murder trial last month.
AP

Durst famously appeared to confess to the murders during the miniseries “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”

“Killed them all, of course,” Durst was caught muttering to himself on a live mic. The show also exposed him lying about writing a note that directed cops to Berman’s corpse.

He was arrested in 2015 in New Orleans a day before the final episode aired in 2015, donning an elaborate head-to-shoulder prosthetic mask to conceal his identity, along with a pile of cash, a gun and a map of Cuba.

The trial began in the spring of last year but was paused for 14 months because of the pandemic.

Deputy District Attorney Habib A. Balian holds a rubber latex mask, worn by Robert Durst when police arrested him, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Inglewood, Calif. Robert Durst is a champion at running from responsibility, covering his tracks with lies so numerous he couldn't keep them all straight, a prosecutor said Wednesday during closing arguments in the New York real estate heir's murder trial.
Deputy DA Habib A. Balian holds up a rubber latex mask found with Robert Durst when he was arrested.
AP

Deputy District Attorney John Lewin argued to jurors that Durst was a privileged multimillionaire who had no problem killing people when he was backed into a corner.

“Bob Durst is not crazy. He’s not some nut job serial killer who goes around killing for the thrill of it,” Lewin said. “Don’t let this narcissistic psychopath get away with what he’s done.”

The defense argued there was a lack of forensic evidence connected to the case, and no evidence to prove he killed his wife. Kathie’s body was never found and no charges were ever filed in connection with her disappearance.

Her family said they are still “waiting for justice” in a statement after the verdict.

“Not a single day goes by that we do not think about our beautiful, smart, and kind sister, Kathleen. Today, more than ever before, it is clear that she was murdered by Robert Durst in Westchester County, New York on January 31, 1982,” family lawyer Robert Abrams wrote.

“The evidence is overwhelming. Although Durst has now been rightly convicted of killing Susan Berman, who helped him conceal the truth about Kathie’s death, the McCormack family is still waiting for justice. Kathie is still waiting for justice.”


With AP wires



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Michael K. Williams’ sister mourns ‘best friend’

Michael K. Williams’ sister on Thursday mourned the loss of her “best friend,” remembering the late actor’s heart of gold — and determination to “get back up again” on his road to recovery.

Michelle Chambers, a Compton, Calif. city councilwoman, released a statement saying, “Our family has been shaken to the core of the loss of our Mike … I will miss my brother, my best friend, and birthday partner in this realm.”

“I know he will continue to watch over me and our family in heaven as he did on earth.”

Speaking to Fox 11 Los Angeles Wednesday, Chambers, recalled her older brother’s longtime struggle with drug addiction.

“Addiction takes over your mind,” said Chambers, whose birthday is a day apart from Williams’. “There are going to be times when you are going to fall off but get back up again. Mike would say, ‘get back up again.’ Try again, you got this.” 

The beloved actor, who died Monday at 54 of a suspected overdose, had been open about his battle with substance abuse over the years, once saying it was “an everyday struggle.”

Michael K. Williams died in his apartment Monday.
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

He had trouble staying clean while playing stick-up man Omar Little, one of his most memorable characters, on HBO’s “The Wire” from 2002 and 2008. The New York Times reported in 2017 that he’d blow most of his cash on cocaine, getting kicked out of his apartment and often spending nights on the floor of a Newark drug house.

Some days, he would show up visibly high to set, but the show’s producers didn’t want to fire him, because, according to series creator David Simon, “we worried that if he lost the work he’d become truly untethered.”

“When I look back on it now, I don’t know how I didn’t end up in a body bag,” Williams told NJ Advance Media in 2012.

Council member Michelle Chambers
Council member Michelle Chambers mourned the loss of her “best friend,” Michael K. Williams.
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times/Polaris

He described having to hide his drug use from loved ones during that dark period and feeling “broke, broken and beat up. Exhausted. Empty.”

“I finally said, ‘I can’t do this no more.’ I didn’t want to end up dead,” he told NJ.com.

Williams credited a prominent Irvington, NJ, pastor the Rev. Ronald Christian, who died in 2015, with helping him get clean.

“He never judged me,” Williams recalled. “He always asked, ‘Are you OK?’ He loved me until I could love myself.”

Michelle Chambers, the sister of Michael K. Williams, talks about his life.
Michelle Chambers, the sister of Michael K. Williams, talked about the actor’s determination to “get back up again” with his addiction battle.
FOX11

But his fight with drug dependency was a lifelong endeavor, as Williams told the Times, “Addiction doesn’t go away.”

“It’s an everyday struggle for me, but I’m fighting.”

In a 2020 interview with Men’s Health, he spoke frankly about how his upbringing and feelings of inadequacy contributed to thoughts of self-harm and his addiction struggles.

“Pain. In a word, a lot of pain. A lot of trauma early on that I didn’t have the proper tools to deal with. My mom was very strict. The beatings were very severe growing up,” Williams said.

Michelle Chambers, the sister of Michael K. Williams, talks about his life.
Michelle Chambers’ birthday is a day apart from Michael K. Williams.
FOX 11

“I was 17. I was lost,” he recalled. “Drugs were there. And I was already self-medicating. And I just got lost. I just remember feeling like, ‘Eh, maybe the world will be better off without me.’ And I took a bottle of pills, woke up to my stomach being pumped.”

Growing up, he and his sister, who is six years younger, were quite close, Fox 11 reported.

Williams took her to the Emmy Awards in 2015, when he received his very first nomination for the movie “Bessie,” the report said. The pair went to church and shopped on Sunset Boulevard together.

“He wasn’t what you would consider Hollywood, you know? Mike was just down to earth,” Chambers told the outlet Wednesday.

The five-time Emmy nominee was set to travel to the West Coast again for the small-screen awards show on Sept. 19, but died before he could attend the ceremony, where he was widely expected to snag his first win for his work in HBO’s “Lovercraft Country.”

Law enforcement sources have said Williams, who grew up in East Flatbush, was face-down and unresponsive in the dining room of his Williamsburg penthouse with what appeared to be drugs on the table. Investigators are working on identifying the substance, believed to be heroin laced with fentanyl, sources said.

Williams’ politician sister called for stronger legislation against drug dealers in response to his untimely death.

His nephew Dominic Dupont — whose wife called 911 after finding Williams when she went to check on him at his apartment Monday afternoon — however previously told The Post he didn’t want to speculate on whether drugs were involved.

Michelle Chambers, the sister of Michael K. Williams, talks about his life.
Michelle Chambers recalled Michael K. Williams’ longtime struggle with drug addiction.
FOX 11

“I leave the opinions of people who have ideas or thoughts about what Michael was struggling with to them,” Dupont said Tuesday.

It could take at least a week, if not longer, for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner to release an official cause of death.

“The cause and manner of death are pending further studies following the examination,” a spokesperson told The Post Thursday. Additional tests, including toxicology, typically take at least one to two weeks or more.

Just months before he died, Williams had revealed on the “Tamron Hall Show” that he was seeking mental health treatment after wrapping up his Emmy-nominated performance in “Lovecraft Country.”

Just months earlier, Williams had revealed on the “Tamron Hall Show” that he was seeking mental health treatment after wrapping up his Emmy-nominated performance in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.”

Actor Michael K. Williams died on Monday at the age of 54 years old.
Actor Michael K. Williams died on Monday at the age of 54 years old.
Gregory P. Mango

Williams, who was promoting the movie “Body Brokers” — about a crooked drug treatment center in Los Angeles — said filming it “quite frankly, made me sick to my stomach” and brought back memories of watching TV commercials for swanky rehab facilities “when I was crying myself to sleep and listening to BeBe and CeCe Winans.”

“Drugs and alcohol are not the problems, they’re merely symptoms of the problem. And once those things go away, the real work begins, you know … working on all the character defects, the moral compass — the skewed moral compass,” Williams said.

“Those are the things that need to be addressed,” he added. “Those are the reasons we got high in the first place, and our inability to deal with life on life’s terms.”



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Taliban Praises China as ‘Trustworthy Friend’ as Commercial Prospects Grow

Days after indicating that its ties with China would be vital, Taliban officials reiterated their hopes for a close commercial relationship with Beijing on Thursday. The deputy director of the group’s political office in Doha, Qatar, Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, was quoted as saying that the group would assist China in its expansion of the “Belt and Road Initiative” into Afghanistan in a phone call with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement announced that Hanafi had described China as a “trustworthy friend” during the meeting and emphasized that the Taliban was primarily interested in maintaining friendly relations with Beijing under the new government. Hanafi committed the Taliban to proactively taking measures to ensure that Afghan territory would not be used to attack China. This point is particularly significant, as in the past, the Taliban has played host to Uyghur Islamist militants opposed to Chinese rule over Xinjiang, the large northwestern province where it has been accused of human rights violations.

China’s Xinjiang region shares a small border with Afghanistan, roughly 50 miles long.

The Chinese government has indicated that it is interested in pursuing closer relations with the Taliban. Foreign Minister Wang Webin announced at a press conference on Friday that Beijing was “following closely” the developments on the ground in the country, noting that its embassy remained open as an “important channel” for dialogue between the two countries. Wang stopped short of indicating that the Chinese government would formally recognize the Taliban, however.

Western observers have expressed surprise that the Taliban, an Islamist group, appears to have found a major partner in China, an atheist government whose treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang has drawn international outcry. However, from a realist perspective, the match is an excellent one: China has money that the Taliban needs, and Afghanistan has an estimated $1 trillion in untapped natural resources that Chinese firms could help to extract.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s long-time spokesman, told an Italian newspaper last week that the Taliban was particularly hopeful that China could play a role in its extraction of copper, which Afghanistan has large amounts of but which the country has largely been unable to extract on account of the civil war.

The spokesman also noted that China could serve as a “gateway” to the rest of the world, helping the country to sell its resources abroad.

Trevor Filseth is a current and foreign affairs writer for the National Interest.

Image: Reuters.



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Russian dad kills friend who allegedly raped his daughter

A father in Russia has been hailed as a “hero” for killing his friend — after allegedly seeing video of his 8-year-old daughter being raped by the acquaintance.

The 34-year-old factory worker, who was not identified, was drinking with his longtime pal Oleg Sviridov, 32, when he saw the horrifying footage on Sviridov’s phone.

He immediately confronted Sviridov, who ran away before he could act, the Australian news site news.com.au reported Saturday.

Sviridov had been a babysitter for the girl on numerous occasions and allegedly sexually abused her multiple times, the outlet said.

Police launched a manhunt for Sviridov but the furious father found him first and allegedly stabbed him to death.

The attacker claimed Sviridov “stumbled on the knife during a quarrel” in a forest near their village, The Sun said.

Police are also investigating the alleged sexual abuse of three other children filmed on Sviridov’s mobile.

Villagers and online commenters say the dad, who has been detained by police, is a hero and should not face murder charges, with one noting, “He is not a murderer — he protected his daughter and our children too. Everyone is on his side.”

Oleg Sviridov, 32, was allegedly stabbed to death by a friend for raping his daughter.

Prominent TV journalist and former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said: “All parents are standing up for the pedophile’s killer.”

Sviridov’s mother said that her son had often been a babysitter for the accused man’s children.

The two men were longtime friends, she said.

“I don’t know how it got to this,” she said.

“He must have been drunk. Most likely he was drunk. They left their children with him all the time.

“When he babysat these girls he came back home as normal, in a good mood.”



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Russia’s Underwater Rifle: A Frogman’s Best Friend?

Here’s What You Need To Remember: Soviet frogmen needed a weapon to ensure they could neutralize enemy frogmen underwater to complete their missions. Contrary to common perception, regular guns can indeed fire underwater. The main problem is that they are horribly inaccurate and their range is severely degraded passing through water.

The widespread use of combat divers, more commonly known as frogmen, led to the inevitable question: how do frogmen from opposing sides kill each other when they meet underwater? In response, during the 1970s the Soviet Union developed an underwater assault rifle, the APS, that is still used by Russia today. The unusual-looking weapon is so uniquely suited to fighting under the surface of the waves it rapidly degrades if used on land.

The Soviet Union deployed large numbers of Spetsnaz commandos during the Cold War, direct action special forces troops with the mission of conducting deep strikes, diversionary operations, sabotage, assassinations, and other operations in the event of war with NATO. The USSR had one Spetsnaz brigade of 900 to 2,000 troops for each of its fourteen military districts, plus an extra independent Spetsnaz brigade and air assault battalion.

Spetsnaz troops were trained to infiltrate enemy territory over land, air and sea to reach their targets. Many of the target countries, including non-NATO nations as Finland, Sweden, and Japan, had long coastlines and were thus highly vulnerable to infiltration by enemy frogmen. The Soviet Union had a variety of mini-submarines that could operate in littoral regions, detaching themselves from mother submarines and quietly unloading frogmen off enemy coastlines.

Soviet frogmen needed a weapon to ensure they could neutralize enemy frogmen underwater to complete their missions. Contrary to common perception, regular guns can indeed fire underwater. The main problem is that they are horribly inaccurate and their range is severely degraded passing through water. While frogmen still do carry conventional firearms, they are limited to combat on dry land. A handheld knife is a weapon that always works underwater, but the Soviets wanted a weapon that would overmatch anything an enemy frogman would carry to ensure their divers would go on to accomplish their mission.

The Institute of Precise Mechanical Engineering in Izhevsk was given the task of designing an underwater firearm, and the result was the APS underwater assault rifle. Designed by Vladimir Simonov, the APS uses a gas piston like its land brethren of the time, the AK-74 assault rifle. Unlike the AK-74, it fires from an open bolt position to allow the barrel to fill with water. This is necessary to allow the ammunition to operate properly.

The ammunition consists of 120-millimeter long 5.66-millimeter diameter steel bolts. The bolt uses the AK-74’s 5.45-millimeter casing but waterproof. Once fired, the bolt travels underwater in an air pocket created by the bolt’s flat nose, a process known as supercavitation. This, rather than the rifling of traditional guns, introduces stability to the round and some level of accuracy. The APS is fed from external box magazines holding twenty-six rounds each.

The APS is a select fire weapon, firing both semi-automatic and fully automatic, the latter at a rate of 600 rounds per minute on land. The rifle has a lethal range of about 100 yards on land. Underwater effective range varies due to the effect of pressure on the round. At 15 feet underwater it is thought to have an effective range of about 909 feet. At 140 feet underwater, the APS’ maximum range is thought to be no more than thirty-six feet. The weapon has a self-adjusting gas system to ensure operation at various depths and to make sure the owner doesn’t have to constantly manually adjust as he swims into deeper or shallower water.

The APS is a compact 24.17 inches with buttstock folded and 32.4 inches long with buttstock extended. Unloaded, it weighs a svelte five pounds, seven ounces. The barrel is 11.8 inches. Muzzle velocity for the 5.66 bolts is 1197 feet per second in the air.

The APS is so specialized for underwater use it is not a very good land weapon. The lack of rifled barrel stabilization makes it inaccurate, with one source estimating useful accuracy is limited to just 50 yards—less than a quarter that of land assault rifles. Using the weapon on land also induces rapid wear of parts, as the weapon is used to water slowing down and buffering operation.

The APS is an older design likely out of production, and Russia is reportedly seeking a replacement weapon. Meanwhile, the United States has never fielded an underwater assault rifle. This difference in priorities is a curious mismatch for two countries that maintain large numbers of SEALs/Spetsnaz/frogmen. Until such a replacement is fielded, the APS will continue to make Russian combat swimmers formidable adversaries underwater.

Kyle Mizokami is a writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and The Daily Beast. In 2009 he co-founded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. This article first appeared earlier this year.

Image: Reuters.



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Ohio mom says former friend beat her with a hammer in front of her children and bragged about it on FB

A mother in Youngstown, Ohio, said that her former friend beat her with a hammer in front of her children and then bragged about it on Facebook.

Autumn Hines told WFMJ-TV that she told her former friend, Jamela Chatman, to move from her home because she wasn’t on the lease that was arranged through a YMCA program.

Hines said that the 27-year-old Chatman attacked her with a hammer on Saturday after driving her car in front of Hines’ car and forcing her to stop.

She claims that Chatman opened her car door, beat her with her fists and the hammer while Hines’ 5-year-old twins watched.

“So the police came back around 30 minutes later, I was gushing blood, but my adrenaline was rushing so bad I didn’t even know,” Hines said.

She also accused Chatman of stealing the keys to her car during the altercation. She says she cannot drive to work because she cannot afford to buy another set of keys for the car.

Police said that Chatman made a Facebook Live video bragging about the assault and threatening the victim. When they arrested Chapman at her home, they found a hammer and a shoe that matched a shoe she had left in the victim’s car.

Chatman was charged with robbery and felonious assault. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A judge set her bond at $19,000.

Hines says she has a continuing headache from the altercation.

“You turn around and do it in front of my kids. Yes, I’m hurt. Yes, I’m mad,” Hines added. “I want her to pay for what you put me through, the mental stress, the emotional stress with me and my kids.”

Here’s a local news report about the startling violence:


Youngstown woman charged after allegedly beating mother with a hammer in front of children

www.youtube.com





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Bongino Shares Message From Marine Friend On Afghanistan: ‘All They Sacrifice For 20 Years And This Is What We Do?’

Dan Bongino shared an email Sunday from a Marine friend talking about what has happened in Afghanistan.

Bongino read the email aloud on Saturday’s broadcast of his Fox News show “Unfiltered.” (RELATED: ‘Welcome To ISIS 3.0’: Meghan McCain Unloads On Biden For ‘Absolutely Shameful’ Handling Of Afghanistan)

WATCH:

“Obviously a tragic situation but you heard my position on it, I agreed with President [Donald] Trump and President [Joe] Biden, both shared the impression that our mission in Afghanistan coming to an end. It has to come to that. The Afghan people have to take responsibility for their own country, I fully agree with their position on that,” Bongino said.

He went on to say that the quick decision that was made to pull the troops out as soon as possible was insane, saying that soldiers were still out there fighting.

Bongino introduced the email he got from a very close friend who served several tours of duty in Afghanistan. The email detailed several accounts of what he witnessed and experienced during those tours.

“A lot of people don’t understand what it’s like coming home from combat after doing things for your country. We have to live with what we’ve done. I feel like forfeiting any chance to see my daughters in the afterlife. When your ROEs were to smoke check anyone with a shovel and an orange bucket including kids it was like the Wild West. And your enemy changes you. You grow a hate inside you that you can’t come to terms with,’” Bongino’s friend said.

His friend detailed about how they would watch fellow soldiers lose arms, legs, private parts or even became what they would call “pink mist” from explosives — and how they had known that the locals knew where the enemy would ambush them but would not tell them.

“My friend went on to write, ‘You hate yourself because you lived. You hate yourself because your Marine killed himself when we got home and you couldn’t prevent it. You hate yourself because you get drunk texts from your Marines telling you they love you and thanking you for your what you did for them over there but they are hurting because you had to give them orders to kill kids. You have to carry that hate for the rest of your life. It doesn’t go away. It’s actually gotten worse. You have nightmares almost every night and hardly sleep. Your daughters die in bad ways in your dreams and you fear it’s punishment for what you did and they might come true. But America doesn’t care now. You are a statistic at best, you are hated at worst,’” his friend concluded.

“It was my choice to put in the show with permission from my friend because we just left people behind. Yeah, we needed to get out of there but our people are there. All they sacrifice for 20 years and this is what we do? This is inexcusable,” Bongino concluded.



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