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Daily News Brief November 30, 2016

1dnbAn aircraft flies in front of the crowd during an air-to-ground demonstration at the Aviation Nation Air Show on Nov. 13, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. A1C Kevin Tanenbaum/Air Force | Military Times >>

Today’s Top Stories

As many as 2,000 veterans planned to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said. | The New York Times >>

Before the recession, those loans totaled around 140,000 a year. Today, those numbers are closer to 510,000, making them the third-largest home loan type in the country (behind conventional commercial mortgages and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration). | Military Times >>

The bill creates a quality assurance process. It requires the VA to develop a plan to ensure any communication to the crisis line or a backup center is quickly handled by someone in accordance with guidance established by the American Association of Suicidology. | Stars and Stripes >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

Six weeks into the battle, the force made up of 50,000 troops, Shiite and Sunni tribal militias and Kurdish fighters is a long way from winning back the country’s second-largest city. The fight is showing the limitations of Iraq’s military and security forces, suggesting it has still not fully recovered from the collapse it suffered two years ago in the face of the militants’ blitz across much of northern and western Iraq. | Fayetteville Observer >>

Afghan forces are incapable of rolling back gains made by a resurgent Taliban over the past several months without a larger U.S. military presence in the country, according to an analysis of the 15-year-old conflict. | The Washington Times >>

Kenneth Medlock, director of an energy-studies center at Rice University, said if Iraq pledges to cut its own production it could influence other reluctant countries and help push OPEC to an agreement. The size of the cuts suggested by al-Abadi would be big enough to push up prices, he said. | Seattle Times >>

Military Affairs

The additional programs eligible for special pay include The Old Guard/Caisson Platoon at Arlington National Cemetery; The Old Guard/Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers; Asymmetric Warfare Group operational advisers, E-7 to E-9; United States Army Pacific Command Northern Warfare Training Center instructors; and the Secretary of Defense Security Team. | Military.com >>

Together with virtual reality (VR) creator Mass Virtual, NVIDIA said the technology runs its Quadro graphics processing unit (GPU) and uses Mass Virtual’s Virtual Attain platform. The end result is a VR simulation that puts pilots in the cockpit of a F-18 fighter jet. Pilots are put through paces and have to determine whether or not an aggressor aircraft is nearby using sounds coming from the cockpit’s radar. | Fox News >>

The NHL’s newest expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, is already facing some stiff competition, but not on the ice. The team’s first challenge, it appears, is descending on them from above — in the form of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, which has been called the Golden Knights since the 1960s. The Army isn’t quite sure it approves of the hockey team borrowing its name. | The Washington Post >>

#VetsRising

Voss returned home in 2005 with a head full of flashbacks and a soul full of pain and contradictions. He was prescribed sleeping pills and antidepressants—which he topped up with alcohol. | The Epoch Times >>

After receiving help from the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, he decided to build “something good from something horrible” and bring attention to men who are sexually assaulted in the military. The Connecticut veteran co-founded a national advocacy group called Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma, or Mr. MST, because, he said, “male victims aren’t taken seriously.” | New Haven Register >>

“We have quite a few military men in our class, who are actually all standing by the doors, keeping us safe,” Molly Clarke, an Ohio State University student, said in an interview with CNN. “I’m feeling pretty good about that.” | Task and Purpose >>

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