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USS Guam (CB2)

The Alaska class consisted of six cruisers ordered prior to World War II for the US Navy. They were officially classed as large cruisers (CB), but others have regarded them as battlecruisers. Their intermediate status is reflected in the naming of the ships after US territories and insular areas, rather than states (battleships) or cities (cruisers). The idea for a large cruiser class originated in the early 1930s when the Navy sought to counter German Deutschland-class "pocket battleships". Planning of what became the Alaska class began in the later 1930s after the deployment of Germany's Scharnhorst-class battleships and rumors that Japan was constructing a new battlecruiser class. To serve as "cruiser-killers" capable of seeking out and destroying such ships, the Alaska class was given large guns, limited armor protection against 12-inch shells, and machinery capable of speeds of about 31–33 knots (36–38 mph, 58–61 km/h). Of the six planned, two were completed and a third was cancelled during construction. Alaska and Guam (pictured) served for the last year of World War II as bombardment ships and fast carrier escorts, and were decommissioned in 1947. (Full article...)

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Lauren Mitchell

Australian artistic gymnast Lauren Mitchell (b. 1991) performing a layout step-out on the balance beam during the 41st World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in London, United Kingdom, on 14 October 2009; at the Championships, Mitchell won two silver medals, one for the balance beam and another for floor exercises. Since her first medal in 2007, Mitchell has placed in the World Championships, World Cup, and Commonwealth Games, and competed in two Olympic Games.

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