An opening is scheduled this month for the new 1,400-square-foot site of the Great Plains Black History Museum in Omaha, Neb. Board member Frank Hayes said the organization also hopes to launch a new capital campaign that will help fund future growth and enable it to become a major cultural institution in the north Omaha community.
Jennifer Lopez, with the help of singer/actor Marc Anthony and former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, hosted a Puerto Rico benefit concert on Saturday that raised $35 million for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Lopez and Rodriguez collected $26 million in pledges and another $9 million was donated during the event.
The Army has directed recruiters to stop enlisting green-card holders in the National Guard or Reserve. Immigrants who are legal permanent residents can still enlist for active duty, but they won't be able to go to basic training until a lengthy background check has been completed, which could take more than a year.
Lawmakers are still waiting for answers from the Pentagon and the White House about an ambush in Niger two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of four US soldiers. "They are not forthcoming with that information," said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sparred with Pentagon official Kenneth Rapuano on Thursday over the Defense Department's role in cyberdefense. Rapuano said the military's role in domestic affairs should be limited, while McCain argued that the Pentagon's responsibility extends to defending the nation against threats that involve cyberspace, including any attempt by a foreign entity to influence US elections.
Puerto Rico Army National Guard troops who have been on deployment in Kuwait have been allowed to return home a week early to help their families recover from Hurricane Maria. "The soldiers were happy [and] they were focused on doing whatever they needed to do to leave a week early," said Army Capt. Luis Camacho Santiago, the 215th Engineer Company's commander.
The California Air National Guard is helping provide cellphone and internet service to those evacuated from areas affected by wildfires in Northern California. A mobile operations center from March Air Reserve Base's 163rd Attack Wing set up shop in Napa, Calif., last week, enabling evacuees to contact family members and get information about their homes.
The Army's Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Online Enrollment System launched earlier this month to streamline the enrollment process. Nearly 49,000 soldiers had used the system as of mid-October, said Lt. Col. Stacie Hatten, a branch chief with Human Resources Command.
The VA's new ID cards will go only to veterans who received honorable discharges, a decision that has angered some advocacy groups. "I find it incredibly frustrating, and deeply hurtful, that the VA would deny hundreds of thousands of veterans like me our very identity, after all that we know today about the nexus of PTSD and bad paper," said Kris Goldsmith of High Ground Veterans Advocacy, which helps veterans who have received less-than-honorable discharges.
The Senate will likely vote today on a budget resolution vital to Republicans' success in passing a tax reform bill by year-end. Senate Republicans appear to have enough support to pass the measure, which comes to the floor under reconciliation rules which allow Republicans to pass tax legislation with a simple majority.