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The Grand Foyer and Cross Hall are decorated with “The Nutcracker Suite” theme during a media preview of the 2017 holiday decorations at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The White House officially began the 2017 holiday season Monday morning as first lady Melania Trump unveiled Christmas, Hanukkah and other seasonal decorations throughout the house.

Trump chose to honor the White House’s 200-year-old tradition of celebrating the winter holidays, and this year’s theme is called “Time-Honored Traditions.” White House Christmas parties date back to 1800 when President John Adams and his wife, Abigail Adams, hosted the first soiree.

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The discovery of additional remains of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four soldiers killed in an October ambush in Niger, drew renewed attention to the process of how the military transports the remains of deceased service members back to the United States and releases them to their family.

On Tuesday, a Defense Department spokesperson told ABC News that additional remains were discovered on Nov. 12 in the same location in which his body was originally discovered two days after the Oct. 4 ambush.

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Bosnian Serbian military chief Ratko Mladic during an angry outburst in the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague on Wednesday. The UN Yugoslav war crimes tribunal ordered Mladic out of the courtroom before reading findings of guilt on 10 of 11 charges. (Associated Press)

Mladic, known as the Butcher of Bosnia, found guilty on 10 of 11 counts; lawyer says he will appeal

The UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal convicted Bosnian Serbian military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic on Wednesday of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to life in prison for atrocities during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

Mladic, 75, was found guilty of commanding forces responsible for crimes including the worst atrocities of the war — the deadly three-year siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, which was Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II.

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President Trump on Wednesday touted his efforts to build up the military and boost the economy, as he prepared to spend the day at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

“Will be having meetings and working the phones from the Winter White House in Florida (Mar-a-Lago),” he wrote on Twitter. “Stock Market hit new Record High yesterday — $5.5 trillion gain since E. Many companies coming back to the U.S. Military building up and getting very strong.”

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Air Force Gen. John Hyten at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Neb., last year. On Saturday, the top officer at U.S. Strategic Command said an order from President Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal. (Nati Harnik/Associated Press)

Back in the campaign, when then-candidate Donald Trump was still promising to torture terrorists and kill their wives and children, he insisted the generals would do whatever he told them. (“They won’t refuse. They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me,” he said in a debate. “I’m a leader, I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”) Wrong!

His authoritarian misconception of the American system is based on the delusion that “his” generals are loyal to him. He is the commander in chief, but they take an oath to the Constitution and to abide by the laws of war, as experts told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. The military is obligated to follow legal orders from those with authority to give them.

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WINTER HAVEN — Polk County Sheriff’s Major Vance Monroe Jr. said he treats every day as Veterans Day.

Monroe stood at a podium Saturday morning in downtown Winter Haven, flanked by Junior ROTC students from Winter Haven High School and backed by a contingent of veterans, some of them much older than him. Wearing his green Sheriff’s Department uniform, Monroe encouraged his audience to honor those who have worn the uniforms of the military branches.

“I don’t heed one day a year to celebrate veterans,” Monroe said. “I celebrate veterans every day. That’s what we need to do — every day that we’re walking down this street.”

A week after the designated holiday of Veterans Day, Monroe and others gathered in Veterans Memorial Park and paid enthusiastic tribute to the sacrifices of military members — both living and dead — and their families. Monroe, an Air Force veteran, joined about a dozen speakers at the second annual Veterans Memorial Ceremony, an event organized by the American Ideals Foundation.

Under a cloudless azure sky, the morning began with a walk of honor. Members of the Winter Haven High JROTC program carried an oversized American flag, holding it stretched horizontally as they marched toward the park, which occupies the south grounds of Winter Haven City Hall.

Robert Moffa of Ruskin, founder and chief operating officer of the American Ideals Foundation, opened and closed the ceremony. Moffa, a composer and pianist, is not a veteran but has dedicated himself to honoring military members through the nonprofit organization he started in the 1980s.

The ceremony drew an audience of a few dozen who occupied chairs set up on Avenue D. More than half in attendance appeared to be veterans, some of them elderly and wearing caps or even full uniforms indicating their branch of service.

Hoffa’s organization set up a small display of military gear and uniforms around the park’s semicircular focal point, which is ringed by flag poles flying the national banner and the flags of the five military branches.

The morning sun blazed on a varying lineup of speakers, among them Winter Haven Mayor Steven Hunnicutt. The mayor said Moffa approached him years ago and requested creation of a space in the city dedicated to veterans, and that conversation yielded the park at which Saturday’s event took place.

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A Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber performs during the International Army Games 2016, in Dubrovichi outside Ryazan, Russia, on August 5, 2016. The supersonic warplane was set to soon receive an upgrade giving it new electronics and advanced Kh-32 cruise missiles.

Russia has completed designs to upgrade one of its most powerful aircraft, giving it brand-new hardware and the ability to carry advanced, precision cruise missiles that travel hundreds of miles at five times the speed of sound.

As six Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range bombers blasted the very last positions held by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria, where an alliance of Russia, Iran and the Syrian government declared victory over the jihadis last week, Russia’s defense ministry told state media Friday that military designers had finalized plans to fit the warplane with “modern long-range precision weapons” among other modifications. The remodeling was the latest in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rejuvenation of the country’s armed forces.

“The development of the documentation for the Tu-22M3M has been completed and work is currently underway at the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise to prepare the production facilities for the repair and modernization of the bombers that are in service in the operational units of Russia’s Aerospace Force,” a ministry source told the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

“The first heavy upgrade of these planes since the time of their development will begin from next year,” the source added.

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The military has asked Guam residents to provide input on two proposed projects related to the programmatic agreement of the planned military buildup, and issued a callout for traditional healers and cultural practitioners, who will be authorized to gather plants at sites that will be developed.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas recently announced two plans affecting the areas of potential effect for two of their project. Comments on these projects will be accepted through Jan. 3, 2018.

The first proposal will add approximately 75 acres of development on Naval Base Guam Telecommunications Site for utilities and site improvements. The expansion still falls within Department of Defense footprint, and NAVFAC stated no historic properties are located in the additional lands.

The community also has the opportunity to review an amendment to the Urban Combat Training Project, which is being developed in Andersen South in support of the military buildup. The amendment includes responses to earlier questions about potential historic ranches in the vicinity of the project site.

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