Saturday, April 2, 2016

Russia Continues Serious Attack Against ISIS With Helicopter Gunships, Persecution In Unexpected Places

Russia Versus ISIS: Russia Sends in Its Attack Helicopters

The Russian Defence Ministry has now confirmed reports - which have been circulating for some time - that sophisticated MI28 helicopter gunships are operating in Syria.

It seems that at least one MI28 helicopter took part in the Battle for Palmyra and the number is surely greater though there is no information on the total number of MI28 helicopters deployed to Syria.

There is no official confirmation yet that the equally sophisticated KA52 helicopter gunships have also been deployed to Syria though rumours of their presence often circulate and it is quite likely they are there.
The MI28 is an exceptionally powerful battlefield helicopter.  Unlike the more massive MI35, which can carry 8 troops, the more powerfully armed and agile MI28 has a crew of just two (a pilot and a weapons systems operator) and is fully dedicated to ground attack.
If the MI35 is an “aerial infantry fighting vehicle” the MI28 is an “aerial tank”.

The MI28 is the exact equivalent of the US Apache helicopter.  It has similar performance and weapon load to the Apache though it is more heavily armoured.
The MI28 packs a formidable punch with a powerful 30 mm cannon and four hard points for a bewildering array of air to ground weapons including up to 16 radio guided Ataka anti tank missiles, and up to 40 S8 and or 10 larger S13 unguided rockets (the Russians are converting their S8 and S13 unguided rockets into guided missiles with laser guidance but it is not known how many of these updated missiles have been deployed yet or whether the MI28s deployed to Syria are using them).
The biggest advantage the MI28 has over the preceding MI35 is that it is more manoeuvrable and has more sophisticated electronics and guidance systems - including a radar set - which enables it to operate at night and in all weathers.
It is a formidable weapons system and potentially a force multiplier on the Syrian battlefield.  
The fight against the Islamic State is its baptism of fire.  It will increase the pressure on the Islamic State considerably.

The persecution of Christians is growing in many parts of the world and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down.
There has been an increase in violence toward Christ followers in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Kenya. On Easter, a Muslim jihadist group affiliated with the Taliban slaughtered Christians at a park in Lahore, Pakistan.
The government has ignored the problem. After last week’s Easter attack, the U.S. State Department refused to label the crime, according to Todd Nettleton from Voice of the Martyrs.
“It’s frustrating the State Department has such a hard time really calling a spade a spade and saying ‘hey these are radical Muslim terrorists’,” he said in an interview on TRUNEWS with Rick Wiles.

But killings aren’t the only way Christians are persecuted. There is an increase in harassment and discrimination against Christians in unexpected places.
Nettleton said every time core members of VOM meet, they consider adding the United States to the list of areas they are monitoring
“Every time our board meets, it’s one of the questions they ask,” he said. “It’s one of the things were watching.”
He also claimed there is persecution in Chiapas, Mexico, where groups that call themselves Catholic have kicked evangelicals out of their villages or jailed them. He said the “Catholics” were not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and had views outside Catholicism.
In Israel, Christians face persecution in the form of discrimination from some far-right groups. He highlighted the fact the harassment wasn’t coming from the Israeli government.
Attorney Justin Butterfield was also on TRUNEWS to discuss a recent First Liberty report, “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America, 2016 Edition”.
The report documents a growing number of Christians who have experienced attacks.
“First Liberty is the largest law firm dedicated solely to protecting religious freedoms here inside the United States, and in that role we see constant persecution of Christians and people of all faiths, but heavily Christian persecution right here in the United States,” Butterfield said to Rick Wiles during the interview.
Butterfield said the persecution against Christians wasn’t often physical violence, although he did note that was increasing in frequency.
“Its often legal violence, or its a crux on people’s ability to express their faith just out while living their lives,” he said.
Butterfield said First Liberty has documented jobs and housing of Christians being threatened because of their faith.
“One of the incidents we covered in this document is a person who was fired and kicked out of her apartment just because she had a sign that a Bible verse on it,” he said.

An alarming report from the Association of Medical Colleges says America will be short a million doctors by 2025 and that the shortage of primary care physicians makes up a third of that number.
We're already feeling the effects of the shortage today.

Tasked with checkups and referring more complicated health problems to specialists, these doctors have the most consistent contact with a patient. But 65 million people live in what’s “essentially a primary-care desert,” said Phil Miller of the physician search firm Merritt Hawkins.
Without those doctors, our medical system is “putting out forest fires — just treating the patients when they get really sick,” said Dr. Richard Olds, the chief executive officer of the Caribbean medical school St. George’s University, who is attempting to use his institution’s resources to help alleviate the shortage.
Dr. Ramanathan Raju, CEO of public hospital system NYC Health + Hospitals, goes even further, saying the U.S. lacks a basic primary-care system. “I think we really killed primary care in this country,” said Raju. “It needs to be addressed yesterday.”
The primary-care gap is particularly acute in about one-third of states, which have only half or less of their primary-care needs being met. Connecticut is a standout among the group, at about 15%, with Missouri, at 30%; Rhode Island, at 33%; Alaska, with 35%; and North Dakota, at 37%, next on the list, according to government statistics.
“The real problem is we don’t have enough doctors in the right places and in the right specialties,” Olds said, noting that doctors tend to cluster in big cities, and are far more scarce in rural areas and in other small communities as well as certain parts of some big cities.

Also contributing to the precipitous decline is the Obamacare mandate for doctors to switch to electronic health records (EHR), which is a time-consuming, costly addition to a physician's duties.

As one of them wrote, “My colleagues who have already left practice all say they still love patient care, being a doctor. They just couldn’t stand everything else.” By which he meant “a never-ending attack on the profession from government, insurance companies, and lawyers . . . progressively intrusive and usually unproductive rules and regulations,” topped by an electronic health records (EHR) mandate that produces nothing more than “billing and legal documents” — and degraded medicine.
I hear this everywhere. Virtually every doctor and doctors’ group I speak to cites the same litany, with particular bitterness about the EHR mandate. As another classmate wrote, “The introduction of the electronic medical record into our office has created so much more need for documentation that I can only see about three-quarters of the patients I could before, and has prompted me to seriously consider leaving for the first time.”

As medicine becomes more socialized, fewer physicians are willing to put up with the rules and regulations handed down by bureaucrats who wouldn't know a stethoscope from a tongue depressor.  Also, the huge time commitment to become a physician, as well as the increasing cost of medical school, disincentivizes young people.
Whatever needs to be done to fix this mess has to start soon.  And a good place to begin is to repeal Obamacare's onerous mandates.

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