A First: Marine Corps will assign female officer to infantry

A woman who just passed the Marine Corp’s grueling Infantry Officer Course is set to become the first female infantry officer in the service.

For the first time, the Marine Corps plans to place a female officer in the infantry following her expected graduation from its tough training program, officials said Thursday.

The woman, a lieutenant whose name has not been disclosed, is the first female officer to complete the rigorous Infantry Officer Course, according to a report by The Washington Post. She completed the 13-week program’s final graded requirement in a grueling combat exercise Wednesday.

The Infantry Officer Course, or IOC, is so tough to pass that about one-quarter of students fail to make the grade. The new female infantry officer is the first woman to complete the course out of some three dozen who have attempted it.

This historic first comes nearly two years after the last remaining restrictions on women in the military were lifted. The Marine Corps first opened the Infantry Officer Course to women on an experimental basis in 2012, but of the 32 women who tried to complete it before the research ended in 2015, none were successful. At the end of 2015, the Pentagon opened all jobs to women.

The first female infantry officer will be serving in a part of the military that has been hostile to the idea of gender integration. A 2012 survey found that three-quarters of active-duty Marines opposed it.

The Marine Corps is working to change the service’s culture, according to its senior leaders.

“There’s no doubt we’re leading cultural change,” said Brig. Gen. James Glynn in January. “It’s not the first time that’s happened in the Marine Corps. We’ve been known to take challenges on.”

A wave of deadly violence follows police walkout in the Brazilian city

More than one hundred people have been killed and scores of others injured in the Brazilian City of Vitoria after military and police officers went on strike, demanding better pay and benefits.

More than one hundred people have been killed and scores of others injured in the Brazilian City of Vitoria after military and police officers went on strike, demanding better pay and benefits.

Since Saturday, officers haven’t reported working while their families have been protesting outside stations blocking patrol cars from going around.

Most of the day to day policing in Vitoria is done by military police who are not allowed to officially go on strike in Brazil and could be discharged or face up to 2 years imprisonment.

According to civil police homicide investigator Walter Santana Lopes, around 110 people have been killed, while robberies and lootings have shot through the roof. Vitoria is the capital of Espirito Santo state, which saw 37.4 violent deaths for every 100 thousand residents in 2015, according to the Annual Brazilian Public Safety Report.

The violence has caused public panic and fear with schools closing down and public transport being withdrawn. Thousands of people have taken to social media, posting videos with the hashtag “#Espedesocorro” (Espirito Santo needs help).

The videos posted appear to show daylight carjackings, people being robbed at a bus station, a shootout taking place in the street and stores being looted.
Through the Facebook page, “Movimento das Familias PMES” (Movement of the Families of Espirito Santo’s Military Police), the organizers of the strike, have said officers will only return to work once they are granted a 100% pay hike.

During a recent press conference, Espirito Santo governor Paulo Hartung accused the group of “open blackmail.”

ACLU challenges detainment of US citizen accused of fighting for ISIS

The ACLU filed a brief in federal court on behalf of a U.S. citizen accused of fighting for ISIS. The brief requests that the unnamed individual, who was captured in Syria and is being detained in Iraq, gain access to a lawyer and a trial in court.

The American Civil Liberties Union petitioned a federal court Thursday to grant an American citizen captured in a combat zone in Syria last month access to a lawyer and a trial in criminal court. The individual, whose name the Defense Department refused to disclose, is currently in a U.S. military prison in Iraq as an “unlawful enemy combatant” who is facing accusations of being an ISIS fighter.

The Pentagon reported that U.S. forces first took the man in September 14 from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a mostly Kurdish militia fighting with U.S. support against ISIS in Syria. Since entering into U.S. custody, he has not had any access to a lawyer, so the ACLU filed its brief on his behalf.

“Military detention of this U.S. citizen is both unlawful and unnecessary,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, in a statement. “Fighting with a group like ISIS is a very serious allegation, and unlike the military, the federal court system unquestionably has jurisdiction to decide his case.”

Shamsi called on the Trump administration to “do the right thing here,” which means removing the man from indefinite detainment and placing him in the custody of the Justice Department for prosecution. The Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that the government can detain a U.S. citizen as an “enemy combatant” but that he or she has the right to challenge the detainment before a neutral decision-maker.

The Trump administration is reportedly considering handing him over to the Iraqi government, however. This would subject him to Iraq’s court system, which faces multiple accusations of torture, prisoner abuse, and corruption.