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Next generation U.S. military grenade is two grenades in one

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To give soldiers more flexibility in the field, engineers at the United States Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) are designing the first new lethal hand grenade in more than 40 years.

There are many different types of grenades used by the U.S. military. The most prominent grenades used in combat are concussion and fragmentation models. Fragmentation grenades explode releasing ball bearings and shrapnel to eliminate enemy combatants. These typically have a lethal radius of roughly 49 feet.

Concussion grenades on the other hand use a powerful blast to kill or incapacitate. These devices have a rather small kill radius, meaning soldiers can use them in rather close proximity without fear of being caught in the lethal blast zone.

Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) hand grenade

The grenade currently under development — known as the Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) hand grenade — looks to combine these two models for greater combat flexibility. Soldiers will have the option to instantaneously switch between either the concussion or fragmentation setting by simply flipping a lever on the device. Currently soldiers carry only a single M67 fragmentation grenade. The MK3A2 concussion grenade was taken out of service in 1975 because of an asbestos hazard.

The ET-MP will also incorporate a few other design upgrades as well. Unlike the fragmentation grenades in the field, the next generation ET-MP will be designed for ambidextrous use. At the moment, grenades require an alternate arming procedure for lefties. Also, the fuse timing in the ET-MP will be completely electronic for greater reliability and precision. And the detonation time can be reduced down to milliseconds.

The ARDEC plans to transition the ET-MP to Project Manager Close Combat Systems by the 2020 fiscal year.

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Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead

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All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.

Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.

But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.

In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.

At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.

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Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government

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After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.

Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival,  Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

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