Monday, March 4, 2019

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Cartoons Roundup

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 12:00 AM PST

The U.S. - Russian Cyberwar Is Just Getting Started

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 11:00 PM PST

Cyberwar games at the United States Military Academy.
(Photo: Michael Falco for The New York Times)

Konstantin Eggert, DW: US-Russian cyberwar just getting started

The US has figured out, correctly, that Russia's president only respects force. But after the revelations of US cyberattacks against Russian targets, Vladimir Putin will surely retaliate, says DW's Konstantin Eggert.

According to The Washington Post, the recently established US Army Cyber Command completely blocked internet services to the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg — better known as the Kremlin's troll factory on the day of the US Midterms in November.

The agency is said to be financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a billionaire businessman believed to be close to Vladimir Putin. He is also thought to be the main backer of Russian mercenaries in eastern Ukraine, Syria and Africa. The agency — reported to be behind Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election as well as a host of other malicious activities in Western cyberspace — was, the paper reported, completely blocked which triggered confusion and panic among its management.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This "war" has been ongoing for a very long time.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 10:30 PM PST

Today's Free E-Book Is 'Escape From Colditz' By P. R. Reid

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 10:00 PM PST

WNU Editor: You can download this ebook from here .... Escape From Colditz by P.R. Reid.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 09:30 PM PST

A U.S. Army Soldier, assigned to the 10th Mountain Division and East Africa Response Force, maneuvers on the range during squad live fire training in Djibouti, July 17, 2018. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Larry Reid Jr./ U.S. Air Force

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... The 11 best photos of the US military in 2018, according to an award-winning Army photographer (Task & Purpose).

Could The Collapse Of The U.S. - Russian Nuclear Treaty Lead To A Cold War-Like Arms Race?

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 09:00 PM PST

A static display of intercontinental ballistic missiles at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., front gate the evening of April 4, 2012. From left are the Peacekeeper, the Minuteman III and the Minuteman I. The planet Venus is visible in the sky above the Minuteman missiles and Jupiter is visible to the left of the Minuteman I. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Tasha Wibawa, ABC News Online: Why the collapse of a historic nuclear treaty could lead to a Cold War-like arms race

The United States and Russia have ripped up a Cold War-era nuclear missile treaty, leaving analysts fearing a potential arms race with global ramifications.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the US wanted one, referring to the 1962 standoff that brought the world to the edge of nuclear war.

Decades later, tensions between the two nations are heating up again.

Mr Putin warned that Moscow would retaliate if the US placed new missiles closer to Russia, telling local media that Moscow could deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines outside US territorial waters.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  We are still far away from a Cold War-like arms race. But the trend-lines are not good.

U.S. And Taliban Officials Have Resumed Negotiations In Qatar

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 08:05 PM PST

Al Jazeera: US-Taliban negotiations in Qatar enter fifth day

The two sides resumed talks this week after making significant progress in an earlier round of discussions in January.

Negotiations between the Taliban and the United States officials in Qatar entered the fifth day in an attempt to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

The talks mark the highest level negotiations between the two sides since the US ramped up peace efforts last year.

Cofounder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has joined the talks as the new head of the Taliban team. He met the US special representative, Zalmay Khalilzad, for the first time on Monday.

Read more ....

Update: US, Taliban resume talks on draft agreement (DAWN)

WNU Editor: The U.S. side is very optimistic that progress is being made. I do not see it.

U.S. House Democrats To Launch Probe That President Trump Committed Obstruction

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 07:00 PM PST

Daily Mail: 'It's very clear that the president obstructed justice': House Judiciary chair to demand documents from 60 Trump associates, including his sons, in probe of 'abuses of power, corruption and obstruction of justice'

* House Judiciary Committee chair plans to issue the document requests Monday
* Rep. Jerrold Nadler says it's 'very clear' that Trump obstructed justice
* His committee is in charge of impeachment in the House of Representatives
* But Nadler declined to call the investigation an impeachment inquiry yet

Declaring it's 'very clear' President Donald Trump obstructed justice, the chairman of the House committee in charge of impeachment says the panel is requesting documents Monday from more than 60 people from Trump's administration, family and business as part of a rapidly expanding Russia investigation.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, said the House Judiciary Committee wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president's son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: So much for waiting what the Mueller report will reveal.

More News On The U.S. House Democrats To Launch Probe That President Trump Committed Obstruction

U.S. House panel launches probe into possible obstruction by Trump -- Reuters
House to query 60 Trump officials in obstruction probe -- AP
Donald Trump: US House committee seeks proof of obstruction and abuse -- BBC
Looking beyond Mueller, Democrats cast investigative nets -- AP
US lawmakers to demand documents in sweeping Trump probe -- AFP
Democrats target Trump Jr, Weisselberg and more as investigations grow -- The Guardian
US: House panel to widen Trump probe, request documents -- Al Jazeera
Donald Trump claims opponents are trying to take him out with 'bullshit' -- ABC News Online

Venezuela's Soldiers Are Defecting

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 06:31 PM PST

A Venezuelan national guardsman who defected to Colombia is escorted by a Colombian policeman near the Simon Bolivar bridge between Venezuela and Colombia, in Cucuta, Colombia, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Business Insider: 567 Venezuelan soldiers defected to Colombia, and it could be a sign that Maduro's once rock-solid power base is starting to crumble

* 567 Venezuelan soldiers defected to Colombia, according to Colombian officials, amid a spiraling political crisis in Venezuela.
* The military is a vital power base for Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, which his rival Juan Guaidó is trying to chip away at.
* Amanda Lapo, a defense analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told Business Insider that the defections show that military loyalty "is not unanimous any more."

More than 500 Venezuelan soldiers have fled President Nicolás Maduro's crumbling regime for neighboring Colombia, the Colombian migration authority reported Thursday.

The wave of desertions comes as opposition leader Juan Guaidó continues to seek support from the armed forces, which are one of the foundations of Maduro's authority.

Colombia has counted 567 defectors since violent clashes between security forces and activists trying to bring US aid to Venezuela, according to CNN and Colombia's El Tiempo.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here's why Venezuela's soldiers are deserting in their own words .... The 'king-maker' keeping Nicolas Maduro in power is starting to crack — here's why Venezuela's soldiers are breaking ranks, in their own words (Business Insider).

Venezuela's Juan Guaido Calls For Nationwide Protests To Mark His Return

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 04:58 PM PST

CNN: Tensions mount in Venezuela as Guaido seeks return to country

The four men in green walk calmly down the street, to gentle clapping from the people around them. They appear to be defectors, shown on a video posted to social media from Wednesday in the town of Herran, Colombia. While CNN has not been able to verify the video, the scene is now a common one in Colombia, from a steady drip of Venezuelan soldiers that have given themselves over to Colombian immigration officials over the past week. As of Thursday, an astounding total of 567 had defected.

This is perhaps the most enduring sign of change since the world was startled by clashes last weekend, when Venezuelan opposition protesters tried to force humanitarian aid into the country over border crossings, past Venezuelan riot police and pro-Maduro gangs.

Read more ....

More News On Venezuela's Juan Guaido

Venezuela's Guaido calls for nationwide protests to mark his return -- The Age
Venezuela's Guaido begins journey home from Ecuador -- Reuters
Venezuela's Guaido, in Ecuador, says next stop is home -- AP
Venezuela's Juan Guaido to return home, risk arrest -- DW
'Let's go Venezuela!': Juan Guaidó calls for nationwide protests as he announces return to the country -- The Telegraph
Venezuela's Guaido to 'return home soon', risking arrest -- Al Jazeera

Reform Party Beats Centre Rivals In Estonian Parliamentary Election

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 03:56 PM PST

BBC: Estonia general election: Reform party beats Centre rivals

The centre-right Reform party has won Estonia's general election, beating the ruling Centre party.

Reform, led by former MEP Kaja Kallas, took about 29% of the vote to 23% for Centre in Sunday's ballot.

Meanwhile the far-right Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), which has called for a referendum on EU membership, came a close third.

Ms Kallas - set to be Estonia's first female prime minister - said all coalition options were on the table.

Speaking to public broadcaster ETV however she insisted EKRE were "not a choice for us".

Nearly a quarter of Estonia's 881,000 eligible voters cast their ballots by e-voting. Results from e-voting gave Reform an even higher score.

Read more ....

More News On Estonia's Parliamentary Election

The Latest: Center-right tops Estonia vote, populists gain -- AP
Reform Party overwhelmingly wins e-vote -- ERR
Estonian center-right opposition wins parliamentary election -- Reuters
Populist party gains as Estonia faces possible power swap -- AP
Estonia general election: Polls point to tight vote -- BBC
Estonia election: rise of far right threatens centrist parties -- The Guardian
What to know about Estonia's general election -- AP

Algerian President Bouteflika Says He Will Step Down After One Year If Re-Elected

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 03:21 PM PST

The Guardian: Algerian president announces departure plans after mass protests

Spokesman for ailing Abdelaziz Bouteflika says he will stand down after next election

Algeria's ailing president has promised to step down after the next election and enact reforms, as the nation's elite moved to consolidate its power in the face of historic mass protests.

"I've heard the heartfelt cry of the protesters," said Abdelaziz Bouteflika in a letter read out on national television on Sunday night. Addressing the uprising against his rule for the first time, he promised that, if re-elected in April, he would hold a national conference to implement political reforms and set a date for a second election where he would not be a candidate.

Read more ....

More News On The Unrest In Algeria

Algeria's Bouteflika formally submits re-election bid amid renewed protests -- France 24
Algeria's Bouteflika offers to leave within one year if re-elected: Ennahar TV -- Reuters
Algeria's president runs for 5th term, promises key changes -- AP
Algeria protests: President confirms fresh poll bid despite rallies -- BBC
Bouteflika confirms bid for fifth term amid ongoing protests -- Al Jazeera
Protests in Algeria as president moves closer to 5th run -- DW
In face of protests, Algeria leader vows to quit early if re-elected -- AFP
Amid protests, Algeria's Bouteflika vows to run for last time -- Al Jazeera
'We need change': Algerians in Paris join anti-Bouteflika rallies -- Al Jazeera

Top U.S. And Russian Military Chiefs To Meet In Vienna On Monday

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 02:58 PM PST

General Joseph Dunford (right) and General Valery Gerasimov in Baku in February 2017

France 24: US, Russian military chiefs to meet on Syria

The US and Russian military chiefs are to meet Monday in Vienna to discuss operations in Syria, where the US has decided to leave a residual force to protect its Kurdish allies.

General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will represent the US side in the meeting with General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs.

"The two military leaders will discuss the deconfliction of coalition and Russian operations in Syria, plus exchange views on the state of US-Russia military relations and the current international security situation in Europe and other key topics," Ryder said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The issues that will be covered are Syria, nuclear forces, and the tensions in Europe.

Islamic State In Syria Making Last Stand With Car Bombs And Human Shields

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 02:02 PM PST

Reuters: Islamic State deploys car bombs in defense of last enclave

BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - Islamic State unleashed car bombs against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) assaulting Baghouz, in a last-ditch effort to stave off defeat in its final patch of territory, fighters from the U.S.-backed force said on Sunday.

Capturing the besieged village in eastern Syria will be a milestone in international efforts to roll back the jihadists, whose self-styled "caliphate" covered roughly a third of Syria and Iraq at its height in 2014.

But it is universally accepted that the group, which has been in territorial retreat since then and suffered its major defeats in 2017, will remain a security threat as an insurgent force with sleeper cells and some remote pockets of territory.

Read more ....

More News On The Islamic State's Last Stand In Syria

IS Making Last Stand With Car Bombs, Human Shields -- VOA
IS fighters put up fierce resistance to defend last pocket -- AP
Syria force pounds holdout IS village -- AFP
ISIS zealots face final assault as coalition forces close in on desperate jihadists -- Daily Mail
Fireballs and black smoke billow from final IS holdout in Syria -- AFP
Fierce fighting as SDF pounds last ISIL-held pocket in Syria -- Al Jazeera
Shelling lights up the sky over Baghouz, the last ISIS pocket in Syria -- The National
US-backed Syrian fighters advance on 2 fronts against IS -- AP
US-backed forces expect 'decisive battle' against ISIL on Sunday -- Al Jazeera
The caliphate is a hellscape of smoke and fire – Isis has nowhere left to go -- The Guardian
Wounded and alone, children emerge from last Islamic State enclave -- Reuters

South Korea And U.S. To End Large-Scale War Games To Promote Nuclear Diplomacy With North Korea

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 11:46 AM PST

BBC: South Korea and US to end large-scale war games

The US and South Korea have confirmed they will no longer hold large-scale joint military exercises which have always infuriated North Korea.

The alliance's defence chiefs said the decision supported "diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

A number of exercises were suspended last year after US President Donald Trump met North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

North Korea regards the games as preparation for a military invasion.

The defence ministers from the US and South Korea agreed to end the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve series of exercises in a phone call on Saturday.

Read more ....

More News On South Korea And The U.S. Agreeing To End Large-Scale War Games

US, South Korea end spring military drills to back diplomacy -- AP
US, South Korea to end key joint military exercises -- AFP
US and South Korea to end springtime military drills to back diplomacy effort in North Korean nuclear crisis -- Daily Mail
U.S. announces end to large-scale military drills with South Korea as Trump pursues nuclear diplomacy -- NBC
Pentagon announces end of springtime military drills with South Korea -- FOX News
US ending spring military drills with South Korea -- The Hill
US, South Korea to end key joint military exercises -- Al Jazeera

Were Reports Of The U.S. Navy Retiring The Aircraft Carrier USS Truman Just A Ploy To Get More Money?

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 11:05 AM PST

David Axe, National Interest: This U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Won't Be Headed to the Scrapper

Congress won't let the USS Harry S. Truman go.

Lawmakers are lining up to reject the U.S. Navy's proposal to prematurely decommission, as a cost-saving measure, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman .

The Navy likely anticipated the widespread opposition, observers pointed out, underscoring that the sailing branch apparently floated Truman's early retirement as a ploy to secure additional funding in the 2020 budget.

The ploy apparently is working.

There is "zero" chance the House Armed Services Committee will approve the decommissioning, said Rep. Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat and the chair of the HASC seapower subcommittee.

Read more ....

Update: The Puzzling Case Of The Navy's Attempt To Retire Supercarrier USS Harry S. Truman Early (Warzone/The Drive)

WNU Editor: The original Pentagon/Navy budget proposal was to only allocate $17 million for the Truman overhaul, a sign that the U.S. Navy may retire the USS Truman .... Pentagon Plan to Sideline Carrier Truman Will Net Just $17M in FY 2020 (USNI News). And the reason for this low budget allocation was because of an agreement between former Secretary of Defense Mattis (who believed the age of the aircraft carrier was over), and the U.S. Navy's desire to buy 2 Gerald Ford-class carriers in one contract.... Mattis and the Navy got into 'a mini civil war' over the future of aircraft carriers, and the Navy could still lose (Business Insider/Foreign Policy). Secretary of Defense Mattis is gone, and the U.S. Navy will get it's two new Gerald Ford-class carriers. And if Congressional reaction is any indication, they will also keep the USS Truman.

Can An Indian MiG-21 Shoot Down A Pakistani American Built F-16?

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 09:03 AM PST

Being the first recorded F-16 (up) kill by MiG 21 (down) in history, you'd think it would send ripples across the world of aviation. But curiously, Western defence experts maintained complete silence.

The Eurasian Times: MIG 21 vs F-16: Can a 3rd Generation MIG-21 Really Shoot-Down Hi-tech F-16 Aircraft?

MIG 21 vs F-16 Fighter Jet – How does the Russian/Indian MIG-21 Bison compete against Pakistani/US F-16 Fighter Jets? India insisted that its MIG-21 Bison fighter jet shot down a 4th generation Pakistani Air Force F-16 which raised many eyebrows. How do experts compare the India MIG-21 Bison vs Pakistani F-16?

The IAF claimed that one of its MiG-21 fighters downed a PAF F-16 after Pakistan said that it had shot down two Indian jets as tensions continue to mount between India and Pakistan. The Pakistan Air Force has denied any losses adding that they did not use an F-16 during the engagement.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:
It would be hard, but not impossible .... Fishbed vs Falcon: Why the ancient MiG-21's F-16 kill is no fluke (Business Today).

Washington Wants To Know If Pakistan Used U.S.-Built F-16s To Down An Indian Warplane

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 08:56 AM PST

Reuters: Washington wants to know if Pakistan used U.S.-built jets to down Indian warplane

ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - The United States said on Sunday it was trying to find out if Pakistan used U.S.-built F-16 jets to down an Indian warplane, potentially in violation of U.S. agreements, as the stand-off between the nuclear-armed Asian neighbors appeared to be easing.

Pakistan and India both carried out aerial bombing missions this week, including a clash on Wednesday that saw an Indian pilot shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir in an incident that alarmed global powers and sparked fears of a war.

A Pakistan military spokesman on Wednesday denied Indian claims that Pakistan used F-16 jets.

Read more ....

WNU editor: There are videos circulating on social media that are making the claim that a Pakistani F-16 was shot down by an Indian MIG .... VIDEO Purportedly Showing Pakistani F-16 Shot Down by Indian MIG Goes Viral (Sputnik). The Indian government is also making this claim .... Pakistani F-16 shot down in J-K's Rajouri sector: Officials (Economic Times). But other experts are saying no .... Falcon vs Bison: Verifying a MiG-21 Wreck (Bellingcat). More here .... Finnish expert busts Indian claim of downing Pakistan F-16 (Economic Times).

Is The U.S. Air Force's F-117s Flying Missions In The Middle East?

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 08:09 AM PST

Warzone/The Drive: Let's Talk About The Rumor That F-117s Have Flown Missions In The Middle East Recently

The rumor isn't new and there is certainly some highly relevant logic to back it up, but is it actually true?

After a fairly amazingly well documented week of F-117 Nighthawk action over desolate Death Valley, the Facebook page of an established aviation enthusiast's website from the Netherland's featured a post that has raised a remarkable amount of attention. In it, they state that the F-117 Nighthawk—an aircraft that had supposedly been retired from operational service for over a decade—was sent back into combat as recently as 2017, albeit in very small numbers. This claim was quickly parroted by military aviation websites around the globe, leaving many asking what they should believe.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: While there is no proof that the F-117 operating in the Middle East, the above post by Tyler Rogoway gives a very convincing explanation on why such an aircraft would be valuable in the current terrain of the Middle East.

The F-117 Nighthawk Is Still Flying (Updated Photos And Video)

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 07:40 AM PST

Warzone/The Drive: Behold The Most Detailed Photo Taken Of An Airborne F-117 Nighthawk In Over A Decade (Updated)

The "retired" stealth jet has been photographed in the air once again, but this time while ripping around down low over Death Valley in California.

It's far from a secret, the F-117 is still flying over a decade after it was officially retired from service and put into storage at Tonopah Test Range Airport—its first operational home. The F-117's unique status is something I have been reporting on and explaining in detail for years. Just as recently as last July, we got some video footage of an F-117 operating over the Nevada Test and Training Range. That same encounter also resulted in some great radio traffic that gave us new insights as to what the handful of flyable F-117s are up to. Fast forward seven months and we are blessed with absolutely the best photo of an F-117 in flight since the type's retirement 11 years ago.

The image comes to us from our good friends over at my favorite magazine on the planet, Combat Aircraft. And there are more where this one came from. Make sure to check out the whole set on their website.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: For more photos go here .... F-117 Nighthawk — still out there, still flying (clearest photos yet) UPDATED (Combat Aircraft)

A Look At China's And Russia's Military Space Program

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 06:59 AM PST

The second Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket at Wenchang, Hainan, on July 1, 2017. CNS

FoxTrot Alpha: Trump's Space Force Isn't the Only Military Space Program: Here's What China and Russia Are Up To

The United States may or may not be getting a Space Force, but while President Trump is all-in on the creation of a new branch of the U.S. Military—and blowing up the military bureaucracy—it's worth keeping in mind other countries have their military space programs. A recent DIA report shines a light on how the U.S. views these programs, particularly those of Russia and China, neither of which seem particularly threatening—for now anyway.

This week President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4, ordering the Pentagon to stand up the Space Force as a new branch of the U.S. military. The Space Force, which still requires the blessing of Congress, is miles from being able to put moon boots on the ground, and its existence—let alone usefulness—is still a puzzle to many. To look at how supporters justify the Space Force, it's useful to look at America's potential adversaries, particularly Russia and China, and what the U.S. government claims they're doing in space.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Russian military space program is limited by resources. And while it has a lot of expertise when it comes to space, its scope and future objectives are not threatening (for now). China is a different story. They may not have the expertise, but they are learning fast, and their long term objective is to be the dominant power in space.

Police Departments In Canada Are Using A “Risk-Driven Tracking Database” To Monitor 'Negative Behavior'

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 06:51 AM PST

VICE/Motherboard: Police in Canada Are Tracking People's 'Negative' Behavior In a 'Risk' Database

The database includes detailed, but "de-identified," information about people's lives culled from conversations between police, social services, health workers, and more.

Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent.

Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a "Risk-driven Tracking Database" that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people's lives. Information in the database includes whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a "negative neighborhood."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I live in Canada and I am stunned to be reading this. I know people in Montreal who are currently conducting pilot projects with its Police Department on how to use behavioural analytics and other recognition software to identify crimes in real time (I am providing some technical advice). From these projects I know that the rules/laws/and privacy protections in Canada are very extensive, and such a program would not be permitted. But apparently the police departments in two provinces have found a way to run such a database, and I am sure they are implementing policies based on the results of these programs. I will update this story when I get more information.

Does Islamic State Still Pose A Threat?

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 06:34 AM PST

Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province, Syria, June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Reuters: Explainer: Does Islamic State still pose a threat?

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State looks about to lose its last foothold - on the banks of the Euphrates near the Iraq border - but while its era of territorial rule may be over for now, there is near universal agreement that IS remains a threat.


Islamic State's possession of land in Iraq and Syria set it apart from other like-minded groups such as al Qaeda and became central to its mission when it declared a caliphate in 2014, claiming sovereignty over all Muslim lands and peoples.

The destruction of the quasi-state it built there has denied the group its most potent propaganda and recruiting tool as well as a logistical base from which it could train fighters and plan coordinated attacks overseas.

It also freed its former subjects from summary executions and draconian punishment for breaking its strict laws or, for some minorities, sexual slavery and slaughter.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: ISIS is not the threat that it once was. Losing its territory has crippled it. But it is an ideology that has millions of supporters worldwide, and as long as its radical viewpoint is not confronted directly, it and its many offshoots will continue to run amok when the opportunity arises.

Two Russian Frigates Shadowing A U.S. Warship (Photos)

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 06:22 AM PST

Sputnik: US Destroyer Caught Between Two Russian Warships Off Turkey (PHOTOS)

Earlier, the Russian Black Sea Fleet promised to keep a close eye on the USS Donald Cook as it made its way into the waterway last week for a visit to the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

The Tomahawk-capable USS Donald Cook destroyer was caught between two Russian warships shadowing it near the Dardanelles Strait, a military diplomatic source told Russian media on Friday.

The US vessel was said to have left the Strait at about 8 am local time, followed about ten minutes later by Russia's Admiral Essen, a Kalibr-capable frigate normally based in Sevastopol. At the same time, the USS Donald Cook reportedly maneuvered to avoid a collision course with Russia's Admiral Makarov frigate, en route to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean Sea, where it had engaged in military drills off the Syrian coast in January.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Two little Russian corvettes/frigates trying to catch up to a Tomahawk-capable U.S. destroyer. That must have been quite a sight to see.