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In The News

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US government to accept delivery of new Navy destroyer named for first black general

Its commanding officer on Tuesday will accept delivery of a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer named after Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr. In a short, informal ceremony to be shown live on the Facebook page of the future USS Frank E. Petersen Jr., Commander Daniel Hancock at 10 a.m. will accept delivery of the ship on behalf of the U.S. government from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division. The vessel was known as Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer DDG 121 when its construction began in 2016 at the HII shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss The Navy announced that year that the ship would be named in honor of Petersen, a three-star general who became the first Black aviator, first Black general and first Black base commander in the Marine Corps. LGEN Frank E. Petersen Jr., commanding general, Marine Corps Development and Education Command (MCDEC), on April 22, 1987. (Staff Sgt. J. S. Sanders, U.S. Marine Corps) The ship’s keel was laid in 2017. It was launched in 2018 and christened later that year. The ship recently successfully passed naval acceptance trials. Petersen is thought to be the first Topeka native to become the namesake of a U.S. Navy ship. He graduated in 1949 from Topeka High School, spent two semesters at Washburn University, enlisted in the Navy in 1950, then left in 1952 to accept a commission as a second lieutenant and become the first black pilot in the Marine Corps. Petersen flew more than 350 combat missions and more than 4,000 military aircraft hours during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also became the first Black man in the Marines to command a fighter squadron, an air group and a major base. Petersen earned a master’s degree in 1973 from the National War College in Washington, D.C. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1979, major general in 1983 and lieutenant general in 1986. He retired in 1988 as the senior aviator on active duty in the U.S. military. President Barack Obama appointed P in

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US State Department updates travel advisories for 19 countries

The U.S. State Department has issued updated travel advisories for 19 countries around the world, including Level 4: Do Not Travel advisories for Germany and Denmark in response to COVID-19. The updates, made Nov. 22, come amid renewed pandemic-related restrictions and closures across Europe and after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Level 4 Travel Health Notices for both countries indicating a very high level of COVID-19. In addition to the ongoing pandemic, the State Department encourages travelers to exercise increased caution in Germany and Denmark due to the threat of terrorism. Other notable destinations to receive updates this week include Aruba, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Officials are advising travelers to reconsider plans to visit Aruba this holiday season due to COVID-related conditions and recommending that travelers exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime and civil unrest. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates joins a list of just 13 countries to receive a Level 1: Exercise normal precautions advisory from the State Department. The other levels are Level 2: Unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to this destination, and Level 3: Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to this destination. The CDC currently warns of a high level of COVID-19 in Aruba but low levels in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Other travel advisories include Togo (Level 1), Bangladesh (Level 2), Benin (Level 2), Ghana (Level 2), Kenya (Level 2), Zimbabwe (Level 2), Curacao (Level 3), Eswatini (Level 3), French West Indies—including Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Saint Martin, and Saint Barthelemy (Level 3), Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (Level 3), Kosovo (Level 3), Nigeria (Level 3), Burundi (Level 4) and Iraq (Level 4). The vast majority are related to COVID-19, crime

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