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Destler Dodge

First Marine Casualty of Battle Against ISIS

            The first military casualty out of U.S. operations against ISIS was reported on Sunday, October 5 by CNN. CPL. Jordan L. Spears, 21, was aboard a tilt-rotor aircraft known as an MV-22 Osprey, but exited the plane when it was predicted to crash in the Persian Gulf. A fter Spears and one other crew member evacuated the aircraft, the pilot won back control of the plane. According to the National Journal, the member that exited with Spears landed and is safe and stable. Spears, however, is still lost at sea. According to the National Journal, the Navy released a statement saying "U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel conducted an extensive search using all available assets which continued throughout the night of Oct. 1 and throughout the next day." 

Since Spears’ death was technically a result of his support of U.S. operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the report and classification of his death has not been decided as of yet. The members that were aboard the aircraft with Spears are currently in the Gulf in support of the United States’ battle against Iraq and Syria without direct ground combat. Although Spears’ death was definitely related to the mission currently going on, Adm. John Kirby reported that he was unsure if Marine Cpl. Jordan Spears’ death would be classified under the U.S. fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Danger of Aging Pipes is Addressed

In many cities around the country, gas company and state records prove that they are running on outdated pipes, which can take up to 20 years or more to be replaced. The aging pipes represent a serious threat to communities as leaks can result in explosions.

USA Today stated that there is a gas leak in the United States about every other day on average. Because of this, cities and agencies are taking action. The Gulf Coast community plans to replaces 20 miles of old pipe a year. This will cost $2.4 million a year, and even at that pace, the city won't be rid of old pipes until 2067. Recently, new federal laws have been enforced that require gas services to file “Distribution Integrity Management Plans” with state pipeline workers. This will help to pinpoint the biggest threats certain pipes are showcasing, therefore allowing pipeline regulators to fix or replace a pipe before any gas leaks happen. The gas pipe industry is working on getting older pipes out of the ground. So far 10,000 miles have been replaced, leaving 30,000 miles to go.

According to USA Today, there are over 85,000 miles of aged pipes in the United States susceptible to leaks.

ISIS Beheads Another Hostage, Threatens American Vet

On October 3, ISIS broadcasted a video showing the country that they had another hostage. Alan Henning, a British aid worker, was the fourth to be beheaded by the group. At the end of the video, the group televised those shot by the Islamic State group as well as another hostage that they are threatening. The hostage is Peter Kassig, a former Army Ranger.

According to Fox News, there is no reason not to believe the authenticity of the video. The militant group directed a statement to U.S. President Barack Obama: “Obama, you have started your aerial bombardment of Shams (Syria), which keeps on striking our people, so it is only right that we continue to strike the neck of your people.” The ISIS member who spoke was masked, but it has been pointed out that the member's voice sounded similar to the voice that has spoken in the other videos broadcasted from ISIS. It is believed that other foreigners are held hostage by the Islamic State group as well.