SAN DIEGO — An admiral and captain in charge of U.S. naval units in Asia were removed from their commands due to loss of confidence in their abilities, the Navy said Monday.

They are Rear Adm. Charles Williams, who commanded Task Force 70, which has tactical control of U.S. ships in Asia, and Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, who led the destroyer squadron based in Japan.

This is the latest fallout from a deadly series of ship mishaps in Asia this year that killed 17 U.S. sailors and left at least two U.S. warships gravely damaged.

The move comes one day before the Navy secretary and chief of naval operations are scheduled to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the incidents.

On Aug. 21, 10 sailors died when the destroyer John S. McCain collided with a Liberian chemical tanker.

That followed the June 17 death of seven sailors when the destroyer Fitzgerald destroyer collided before dawn with a container ship.

Additionally, the San Diego-based cruiser Lake Champlain was hit by a South Korean fishing boat while deployed in Asia in May. The cruiser did not suffer major damage.

And in January, the Japan-based cruiser Antietam ran aground on shoals just outside its base in Yokosuka and spilled fluid into Tokyo Bay.

In addition to today’s announcements out of Japan, the Navy has also replaced its commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. That fleet, led by a three-star admiral, oversees all naval forces while they are in Asia.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was removed from his job last month as an expression of loss of confidence. It was a somewhat ceremonial gesture; Aucoin was already scheduled to retire a month later.

—The San Diego Union-Tribune


New report cites risks youths face when getting tattoos and piercings

CHICAGO — Recognizing a growing trend, the American Academy of Pediatrics released its first report on tattoos and piercings, warning parents and teens of rare but possible risks, and offering safety tips.

The report will be published in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics.

“Tattooing is much more accepted than it was 15 to 20 years ago,” said lead author Dr. Cora C. Breuner in a statement released Monday. “In many states, teens have to be at least 18 to get a tattoo, but the regulations vary from place to place. When counseling teens, I tell them to do some research, and to think hard about why they want a tattoo, and where on their body they want it.”

In “Adolescent and Young Adult Tattooing, Piercing and Scarification,” authors note a 2014 survey that shows 76 percent of 2,700 people with a tattoo or piercing believe it hurt their chances of getting a job, according to an AAP release announcing the report.

The report also explains how the rate of complications, mainly infection, is unknown, and advises teens to research a facility before getting a tattoo or piercing, the release states. Facilities should be clean and offer tips on how to care for a tattoo or piercing.

The report also notes that scarification, the practice of burning or branding words or images into the skin, is not as highly regulated and is banned in some states.

—Chicago Tribune


Nancy Pelosi shouted down at DACA news conference for working with Trump

WASHINGTON — More than four dozen immigration activists upset with Democrats for negotiating with President Donald Trump shouted down House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a San Francisco news conference Monday.

“We are not your bargaining chip,” the crowd chanted at one point, according to KCBS News political reporter Doug Sovern.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Evan Sernoffsky said on Twitter that some in the group were yelling, “All of us or none of us.” Other reporters said the group chanted, “Shut down ICE.”

Pelosi held the news conference to advocate for speedy passage of a legislative fix to the legal status of hundreds of thousands of people brought to the country illegally as children.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York met with Trump last week after he announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Obama-era program deferred deportation for some people brought to the country illegally as children.

Pelosi and Schumer said their discussion with the president included the possibility of adding more immigration enforcement — which some immigration advocates are against — to legislation to address DACA.

At the news conference, Pelosi first made remarks and introduced an immigrant in the country illegally, at which point the shouting began, according to a Pelosi aide. The group surrounded Pelosi, with some gesturing close to her face. She attempted to calm the crowd for about half an hour before leaving the news conference. The aide said the group was made up of local DACA beneficiaries.

“We need to have a conversation, but that was completely one-sided; they don’t want any answers,” Pelosi told reporters afterward, according to a transcript.

—Tribune Washington Bureau

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