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Brig. Gen. David A. Rubenstein of the Europe Regional Medical Command has been nominated for major general.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Thursday that President Bush had nominated Rubenstein for the promotion.

Rubenstein is serving as commander of the medical command and command surgeon, U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army, Germany.

Airman to be tried for indecent actsRAF MILDENHALL, England — The court-martial for a 501st Combat Support Wing noncommissioned officer charged with committing an indecent act with a minor is slated to begin Monday.

Tech. Sgt. Ruben Ablang also faces several charges in connection with the alleged misuse of a ration card used to buy cigarettes and alcohol, according to court documents.

Air Force authorities allege Ablang fondled, kissed and placed his hands on the breasts of a female under the age of 16 on several occasions between May 2002 and January 2005.

He also allegedly used his ration card to buy alcohol and tobacco and then resell the items in London, according to court documents. He later allegedly lied to 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron officials by telling them that he had lost his ration card.

Ablang also is charged with disobeying an order to refrain from contacting an airman by making phone contact with the airman.

Senate approves four-star nomineesThe Senate on Friday gave Marine Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis a fourth star and named him commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

The confirmation was one of several high-profile posts reviewed by the Senate last week. Lawmakers also approved Adm. Gary Roughead as Chief of Naval Operations, Gen. Kevin Chilton as head of U.S. Strategic Command, and Gen. William Ward as head of the new Africa Command.

Mattis, who currently commands the I Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Forces Central Command, will replace Air Force Gen. Lance Smith, who announced his retirement this summer.

Roughead, the head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, replaces Adm. Michael Mullen, tapped to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff earlier this summer.

Chilton, current head of Air Force Space Command, takes the post previously held by Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, who now serves as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Ward is the first person to lead the new African Command, which will begin operations Monday.

Playpens sold by AAFES recalled after deathKolcraft Enterprises Inc. has recalled 425,000 play yards after a 10-month-old was strangled by a hanging strap.

Officials from the Army and Air Force Exchange Services confirmed that more than 2,000 of the playpens have been sold through its Internet and mail-order catalog offerings since 2002.

Consumer Product Safety Commission investigators found the 12 different models included in the recall present strangulation and suffocation threats.

The models sold through AAFES and included in the recall were 18064-OC, 18737-LJ, 18751-DV, 55235-JC, JP002-XSP and SP001-SBK. The play yards sold for between $50 and $130.

CPSC warned parents with the pens to immediately stop using the changing tables and rocking cradle, and contact the firm for instructions on receiving a free repair kit. Additionally, parents always should remove the raised changing table and cradle or bassinet before placing a child in a play yard.

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