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John Kerry expresses ‘deep reservations’ about all-volunteer military at Vietnam forum

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Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday he feels all Americans should find a way to serve their country, suggesting the need for a renewal in public service that could also affect the military.

“I have deep reservations about just an all-volunteer military,” Kerry said at a forum on the Vietnam War at the University of Texas in Austin.

“There should be shared responsibility among all Americans,” he said. “I think that is one of the best ways you don’t have wars.”

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Kerry also said numerous deployments overseas under the current system placed enormous burdens on military families.

“Every American ought to find a way to serve, somehow. It doesn’t have to be in the military. I like the idea that everybody ought to give back something,” he said.

Kerry, a former Navy officer, earned silver and bronze combat stars and three Purple Heart medals for his service in the Vietnam War. He become a prominent figure in the anti-war movement when he returned to the United States.

He said that, among the lessons from Vietnam, was that Americans must always treat returning veterans with dignity and respect regardless of whether a war was popular or unpopular.

Kerry, who was instrumental as a Senator in helping restore diplomatic ties with Vietnam, will accompany President Barack Obama on a trip there next month.

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(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Paul Tait)


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No vaccine, no carnival, Rio’s samba schools warn

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Some of Rio's biggest samba schools say they will not participate in next year's Carnival unless a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, Brazilian media reported Tuesday.

Five of the 12 top samba schools, including Mangueira and Beija Flor, told Brazil's O Globo newspaper they would vote to postpone the parades at a meeting set for Tuesday.

"It's simple. If there's no vaccine, there will be no samba," said the head of the Sao Clemente school, Renatinho Gomes.

"How can you gather crowds without collective immunity?"

The mayor of the northwestern city of Salvador de Bahia, where festivities also attract thousands of tourists, has proposed postponing the carnival season nationwide until April or June.

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New York couple point guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their house

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A New York couple pointed guns at protesters marching past their house during a Black Lives Matter rally, and activists want them to be charged.

Protesters were nearing the end of their parade route when a white man came out of his home shouting obscenities in an apparent attempt to incite the group, and then yelled to his wife to get his gun, reported WNYT-TV.

Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, who took part in the march, said the woman came back outside and started waving the gun around.

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Australian columnist aghast at America’s ‘rotten’ COVID-19 response: ‘We are witnessing the fall of a great power’

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A columnist for an Australian newspaper has been watching the United States' response to the novel coronavirus with a mix of shock and horror -- and he now believes "we are witnessing the fall of a great power."

Crispin Hull, an editor and columnist for The Canberra Times, argues in his latest column that President Donald Trump's disastrous handling of the pandemic is symbolic of deep rot within the American political system.

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