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Saturday, March 16, 2019

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

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


Tweets For Today

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 10:00 PM PDT






Picture Of The Day

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 09:30 PM PDT

AOS (Armed Offenders Squad) push back members of the public following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. REUTERS/SNPA/Martin Hunter

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Shootings at New Zealand mosques (Reuters).

Russian Cops Are Special

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 09:00 PM PDT


WNU Editor: Russian cops are a special breed. One experience that I will never forget happened in Saint Petersburg in the summer of 1992 or 1993. I was visiting my uncle and cousins and I had just left their apartment waiting on a busy intersection to cross the street to get my bus. Beside me was a police car (Lada model of course) with two cops inside just watching the traffic. All of a sudden a very fast BMW (he must have been doing a 100km) went through the light followed by another BMW with someone shooting at them. It lasted a few seconds and they were then gone. I was too shocked to even move. I then looked at the cops, and their expression was priceless. They had a completely normal look, and as far as they were concerned, they saw nothing. Sighhh .... after watching the above video, it looks like nothing has changed.

The Economic History Of The World In One Minute

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 08:00 PM PDT


WNU Editor: China had India have always held two of the top three positions in the world economy for centuries. But like all things .... nothing lasts forever.

Iran Releases Footage Of A 50 Drone Swarm Attack

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 07:00 PM PDT


Sputnik: WATCH: Footage of Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Massive Drone Exercise Released

The drones started at different military bases as far as 1,000 kilometers from the target and bombed it simultaneously.

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced that it had launched a massive drone military drill involving tens of unmanned aerial vehicles Thursday.

The drill involved a fleet of 50 drones modeled after the US' RQ-170 Sentinel, one of which was captured by Iran in 2011, as well as a number of other UAVs, which were launched from bases as far as 1,000 kilometers away from the target located at Bani Farur island in the Persian Gulf. It was the largest Iranian military exercise of this kind to date, the IRGC said in a statement.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  I do not see 50 drones in the video.

Does The U.S. Military Doesn't Know How Many Troops, Ships or Which Fighter Jets It Needs?

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 06:00 PM PDT

The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, taken from an airplane in January 2008. Wikipedia

David Axe, National Interest: The U.S. Military Doesn't Know How Many Troops, Ships or Which Fighter Jets It Needs

A new report highlights a scary trend.

The Pentagon lacks a reliable process for deciding how many troops and weapons it needs. The analytical gap is getting worse as Chinese and Russian forces grow increasingly sophisticated and challenge the U.S. Defense Department's assumptions.

That's the worrying conclusion of a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

The report could help to explain why the U.S. Navy insists it needs as many as 355 warships, up from 287 in 2019, and yet for 2020 has proposed to decommission early one aircraft carrier, delay amphibious-ship construction and cancel a new cruiser program.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have been following the Pentagon's procurement process for years. And I have no clue on how they determine the number of soldiers/planes/ships/etc. that they need.

Tonight's Movie Is 'Nuremberg'

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 05:00 PM PDT



From Wikipedia: Nuremberg is a 2000 Canadian/United States television docudrama, based on the book Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial by Joseph E. Persico, that tells the story of the Nuremberg trials.

WNU Editor: I posted this movie before .... but this is a far better (and cleaner) version.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 15, 2019

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 04:00 PM PDT



Curt Mills, National Interest: The Terror Attack is New Zealand's Darkest Day

At least forty-nine are dead; an assailant is in custody, and a murderous, white supremacist manifesto has been widely rejected.

It's happened again. In a fresh terror attack at least forty-nine people were gunned down in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday—a white supremacist terrorist attack streamed on social media. Two mosques, during Friday prayers. One assailant, in custody, said the dastardly acts were a "revenge on invaders." Three others are being held.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques," President Donald J. Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning. "49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 15, 2019

Christchurch mosque shootings - it was a matter of when, not if -- Darren Morton, NZHerald

Terrorism does not discriminate -- Ines Pohl, DW

The Next Stage of the Korean Peace Process: Why Seoul Remains Optimistic After Hanoi -- Chung-in Moon, Foreign Affairs

N. Korea Is Still Trying to Hack U.S. Critical Infrastructure -- Troy Stangarone, Diplomat

The Chinese Dragon Is a Hydra -- Bryson Bort, RCD

China may overtake the US with the best AI research in just two years -- Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

Depth of China's ties with Pakistan costs India -- Avinash Godbole, Asia Times

The West Is Pushing Back Against China. It's Working -- Stein Ringen, LA Times

Brexit Vote Moves Britain Closer to the Brink -- Jörg Schindler, Spiegel Online

How does the Brexit maelstrom end: Deal, no Brexit or crash? -- Guy Faulconbridge, Reuters

What is Britain's next move on Brexit? -- Reuters

New New START a Nonstarter: Russian Ambassador -- Patrick Tucker, Defense One

Russia's Tragic Great Power Politics -- Robert E. Hamilton, RCD

5 Years Since Russia's Intervention in Ukraine: Has Putin's Gamble Paid Off? -- Simon Saradzhyan, Russia Matters

Germany: The Unready Hegemon -- Constanze Stelzenmüller, Berlin Policy Journal

Where Will Maduro End Up? A Ranking -- Brendan O'Boyle, America's Quarterly

World News Briefs -- March 15, 2019 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 03:00 PM PDT

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks on live television following the shootings. TVNZ/via REUTERS TV

Reuters: World reacts with sadness and anger to New Zealand mosque attacks

LONDON (Reuters) - Leaders around the world expressed disgust and sorrow at the killing of 49 people in New Zealand mosques on Friday, attacks that many blamed on the demonization of Muslims.

Western leaders from Donald Trump to Angela Merkel expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand, deploring what the White House called a "vicious act of hate". The response from some Muslim countries went further, blaming politicians and the media for stoking that hatred.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Suicide attackers strike people quitting Islamic State's last Syria zone.

Israel fires on Hamas targets after rocket attacks. Israel launches Gaza air attacks after rockets fired at Tel Aviv.

Israel says Gaza rockets that led to airstrikes fired by mistake.

Gaza border protests called off after Israel air raids: organisers.

Anti-IS Syria force boosted as jihadist holdout shrinks.

Syria's eight year civil war has left 370,000 people dead, including more than 21,000 children.

French, German envoys write that fear stops Syria refugee returns.

Saudi women activists face 'bogus' charges, says Amnesty.

Israel election frontrunner Gantz dismisses report that Iran hacked his phone.

ASIA

49 killed at mosques in 'one of New Zealand's darkest days'.

Christchurch shootings: 49 dead in New Zealand mosque attacks.

Christchurch shootings mark 'unprecedented act of violence', New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

China's premier denies Beijing tells companies to spy.

Left out of peace talks, U.S. allies reassess Afghan support.

US expects NKorea to live up to moratorium on nuclear tests.

North Korea threatens to end nuclear talks with U.S., resume testing. North Korea may break off US talks and resume missile tests, official says.

China needs to create 11 million new jobs next year to ensure stability, Premier Li Keqiang says.

China-US trade war: New Chinese law seeks to address concerns.

Campuses not camps: China defends Xinjiang policies at UN.

Rohingya reject relocation to Bangladesh's island 'prison camp'.

AFRICA

Pilot of Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max 8 called 'in a panicky voice' and requested to return to airport shortly after take-off just minutes before the plane crashed, killing 157 people.

Fresh protests in Algeria as allies turn on Bouteflika. Algerians call for Bouteflika resignation despite poll delay.

Deposed Boko Haram leader detained not killed: sources.

Islamic State 'behind Nigeria suicide attack'.

Demolition starts after Lagos school collapse. Death toll now 20 in Lagos building collapse: state govt.

'Cannot go back': Malawi floods leave thousands homeless.

Cyclone Idai batters Mozambique.

EUROPE

U.S., EU, Canada impose sanctions on Russians over Ukraine.

Slovakia could get its first woman president in ballot.

May tries to save Brexit deal after vote to delay UK exit. May's Brexit deal lives: Northern Irish kingmakers report 'good' talks with government.

British lawmakers overwhelmingly vote in favor of delaying Brexit.

Long delay to Brexit unless you back PM's deal: top May ally.

UK Ministers in talks with DUP in attempt to win backing for Brexit deal.

Washington asks Russia: Where's your proof ex-U.S. marine is a spy?.

Russia-Trump troll suspect defends internet job.

Drones and diplomacy: US Ramstein air base stirs controversy in Germany.

France works to contain fuel spill after ship catches fire and sinks off Atlantic Coast.

AMERICAS

White House denounces 'act of hate' in mosque shooting.

US bars entry to International Criminal Court investigators.

Mueller, in U.S. court filing, says multiple probes continue.

Trump: Strzok transcript 'devastating' for FBI, DOJ, CIA.

US manufacturing sinks again in February: Fed.

Venezuela blackout devastates country's second city as world focuses on Caracas.

U.S. to upgrade military ties with Brazil during visit next week: sources.

Ecuador pulls out of South American regional group Unasur.

Brazil school shooting: Thousands attend wake for victims.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Australian Islamic State recruiter Neil Prakash sentenced to jail in Turkey.

'We don't see the enemy': Concealed jihadists slow Islamic State defeat in Syria.

Court hears case on Germany's role in US drone deaths in Yemen.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

US stocks broadly higher, on pace for solid weekly gains.

Volkswagen and former boss face US lawsuit over Dieselgate.

IEA: OPEC has enough spare capacity to cover any Venezuela loss.

Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounded 'until May at least'.

U.S. Approves Sale Of F-16s To Taiwan

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 02:00 PM PDT

F-16V Fighters (Image from Lockheed Martin)

Washington Free Beacon: Trump Administration Approves Sale of F-16s to Taiwan

Jet export reverses Obama, Bush appeasement of China.

The Trump administration has approved the sale of dozens of new F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan, the first major warplane sale to the island state in nearly 30 years.

The interagency decision, to be announced in the near future, authorized the sale of up to 66 F-16V jet fighters at an estimated cost of $13 billion, according to administration officials familiar with internal discussions.

The jets are among several new weapons systems, including missiles, that are part of the administration's latest arms sale to Taiwan, a key U.S. partner in the Asia Pacific region.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is a big order. I know the sale is under review .... Taiwan could receive new F-16V jets as soon as 2020 (Taiwan News). More here .... Taiwan Mulls F-16 Viper Fighter Purchase From the US (The Diplomat). But it looks like someone has given the heads up to Bill Gertz that it is a done deal. No response from China, but once this decision is official, their response is going to be one of condemnation and threats.

The Battle To Defeat The Last ISIS Enclave In Syria Continues

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 01:00 PM PDT

Surrendering families of ISIS militants in the village of Baghouz, Syria.PHOTO: REUTERS

Reuters: 'We don't see the enemy' concealed jihadists slow IS defeat

DEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) - The young Syrian man crossing out of Islamic State's last enclave in eastern Syria brought confirmation that the fight was still not over despite days of ferocious bombardment by U.S.-backed forces.

"There are people coming out and others not coming out," said the bearded man wearing a robe and head scarf, one of hundreds of people who left the enclave at Baghouz on Thursday to surrender to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Asked if there were many people still inside, he said "yes" in the footage obtained by Reuters from the Kurdish TV station Ronahi. "I was injured in my back," said the man, originally from the nearby city of Deir al-Zor.

On Friday suicide attackers struck a group of people leaving Baghouz and surrendering, the SDF said, the first such blasts to target any of the thousands of people abandoning the enclave.

Read more ....

Update: Push to defeat ISIS in Syria slowed by concern for hostages (CTV News/AP)

WNU Editor: The last remaining ISIS fighters are now targeting their own .... Suicide attackers strike people quitting ISIS' last Syria zone (Straits Times/Reuters). This is going to take some time to finish. The Syrian-led Kurdish forces are now playing the waiting game, letting the lack of food and water in this ISIS enclave work for them. Because the end is near, I can understand why many coalition soldiers are reluctant to risk their life when the end is so near.

China Approves New Foreign Investment Law To Assist Foreign Investors

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 12:00 PM PDT



CNN: China says it will now treat American companies more fairly. They're not convinced

China claims it's about to create a level playing field for international companies, but many of them are still wary of expanding their presence in the world's second largest economy.

Beijing has promised that a new foreign investment law will introduce measures to better protect overseas companies operating in China. It says the law, which was passed Friday, includes better safeguards for intellectual property and an end to the practice of forcing international firms to hand over critical technology to their Chinese partners.

China's treatment of foreign companies has become a flashpoint in the country's trade dispute with the United States. China's growing economy has become a huge market for top US companies like General Motors (GM), Boeing (BA) and Apple (AAPL).

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have seen this game played by China many times before in the past .... China Investment Law Fails to Deliver, Raises Concerns (VOA). They make a bold announcement, but there is no teeth to enforce their revised laws and regulations, and no penalties if there is noncompliance.

More News On China Approving Its New Foreign Investment Law

China passes Foreign Investment Law -- CGTN
China foreign investment law: Bill aims to ease global concerns -- BBC
China approves new foreign investment law designed to level domestic playing field for overseas investors -- SCMP
Chinese lawmakers endorse technology law amid US pressure -- AP
China scrambled to show it'll change how it treats foreign firms — that may not be enough for Trump -- CNBC
Amid skepticism, China fast-tracks foreign investment law to show goodwill to Washington -- The Washington Post
China-US trade war: New Chinese law seeks to address concerns -- Al Jazeera

Chairman Of The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff: 'Google's Work In China Is Benefiting The Chinese Military'

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 11:00 AM PDT



CBS/CNN: Joint Chiefs Chairman: Google 'Is Indirectly Benefiting The Chinese Military'

WASHINGTON (CBS SF / CNN) — America's top general said Thursday that Mountain View-based Google's work in China "is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military."

"The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military and I've been very public on this issue as well," Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit and frankly indirect may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it's more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military," Dunford added.

Read more ....

More News On Gen. Joseph Dunford's Testimony That Google Is Indirectly Helping The Chinese Military

Google's work in China benefiting China's military: U.S. general -- Reuters
America's top defense officials say Google's work in China benefits Beijing's military -- CNBC
Top US general says Google 'is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military' -- CNN
Pentagon Brass Bafflingly Accuses Google of Providing 'Direct Benefit' to China's Military -- Gizmodo
Top Pentagon officials say Google work is 'benefiting the Chinese military' -- The Hill
Google directly benefiting Chinese military, says top US general -- FOX News
Dunford: Google's work in China is providing a 'direct benefit' to the Chinese military -- Task & Purpose

New Zealand Shooter Broadcast His Attack Live On Social Media

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 10:12 AM PDT



Reuters: Social media firms under scrutiny over NZ shooting footage

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Google faced scrutiny over extremist content on their platforms on Friday after video footage of mass shootings in New Zealand was live streamed and widely shared online.

Footage of the attacks at two mosques, which left 49 dead in New Zealand's worst-ever mass shooting, was broadcast live to Facebook and then reshared by users on other platforms.

Following the shootings, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all said they were taking action to remove the videos.

Read more ....

More News On Social Media Firms Struggling To Deal With Today's Terror Attack In New Zealand

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struggle to deal with New Zealand shooting video -- CNN
17 minutes of carnage: how New Zealand gunman broadcast his killings online -- Reuters
New Zealand mosque attacker's plan began and ended online -- Reuters
New Zealand mosque gunman livestreamed shooting, published manifesto -- AFP
Australian media broadcast footage from Christchurch shootings despite police pleas -- The Guardian
Video of Christchurch attack runs on social media and news sites -- The Guardian
Christchurch shootings: Social media's role -- BBC
Facebook says it 'quickly' removed New Zealand shooter's video -- AFP

Who Is Brenton Tarrant, The Alleged Christchurch Shooter?

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 10:05 AM PDT



Sydney Morning Herald: From local gym trainer to mosque shooting: Alleged Christchurch shooter's upbringing in Grafton

He was known within his childhood town of Grafton as someone who was dedicated to fitness and ran free athletic programs for children. But on Friday, Brenton Tarrant became known as an alleged mass killer.

The 28-year-old, who attended Grafton High School before getting his qualifications in fitness, listened to 17th-century British military music before opening fire on a mosque in New Zealand's south island.

Tarrant worked at the Big River Squash and Fitness Centre in Grafton from 2009 after attending the facility as a high school student, owner Tracey Gray told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

"He started coming to my facility as a boy that was finishing school and showed a lot of dedication to his own training. Then he went and did his personal training qualifications," she said.

Read more ....

More News On Who Is Brenton Tarrant, The Alleged Christchurch Shooter

Christchurch shooting attacker Brenton Tarrant was a personal trainer in Grafton -- ABC News Online
'Something happened during his travels': The boy who turned into a Muslim-hating mass killer and murdered 49 in New Zealand after his dad died of cancer and he left Australia to travel the world including North Korea and Pakistan -- Daily Mail
Mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge -- AP
New Zealand mosque suspect Brenton Tarrant 'an ordinary white man' inspired by Anders Breivik -- The Telegraph
Brenton Tarrant: Who is the New Zealand shooting suspect? -- East Bay Times
'I am a monster of willpower, I just need a goal' -- Weekend Australian

World Reaction To Today's Terrorist Attack In New Zealand

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 09:47 AM PDT







Reuters: World saddened and angered by New Zealand mosque attacks

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Leaders around the world expressed disgust and sorrow at the killing of at least 49 people in New Zealand mosques on Friday, and some also expressed anger at what they described as the demonization that fueled such attacks.

Western leaders from Donald Trump to Angela Merkel expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand and deplored what the White House called an "act of hate". The response from some Muslim countries went further, blaming politicians and the media for stoking that hatred.

"I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 (where) 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror," Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote on social media.

Read more ....

World Reaction To Today's Terrorist Attack In New Zealand

Christchurch shootings mark 'unprecedented act of violence', New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says -- ABC News Online
New Zealand PM: Dozens killed in 'terrorist' attack on mosques -- Al Jazeera
New Zealand terror attacks: World leaders voice dismay at 'senseless violence' -- DW
The world reacts to New Zealand mosque attacks -- Al Jazeera
World leaders condemn 'sickening' terrorism in New Zealand -- The Guardian
NZealand mosque killings spark global horror -- AFP
'The U.S. stands by New Zealand.' Trump tweets sympathy to victims of 'horrible massacre' after an Australian anti-Muslim terrorist whose manifesto calls the president a 'white identity' symbol kills 49 -- Daily Mail
Trump condemns New Zealand mosque attack as 'horrible massacre' -- Reuters
Erdogan says New Zealand attack shows growing hostility to Islam -- AFP
Mosque attacks spark outrage, fuel concern over Islamophobia -- AP

Terror Attack In New Zealand -- News Roundup

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 09:38 AM PDT





Daily Mail: At least 49 people are killed and 48 injured in multiple Christchurch mosque massacres involving an Australian terrorist, 28, who live-streamed himself opening fire on worshippers - as a man in his 20s is charged with murder

* An Australian right-wing terrorist live-streamed himself massacring dozens of worshippers at a mosque
* Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots from his semi-automatic shotgun at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch
* The gunman live-streamed the shooting and posted a 73-page manifesto online outlining his racist ideology
* A nearby second mosque, Masjid in Linwood, also in the city of Christchurch, was attacked soon after
* At least 49 people are confirmed dead - 41 from the first mosque, seven from the second, and one in hospital
* Four people - who were not known to counter-terror authorities - were taken into custody for questioning
* New Zealand Police are raiding a home in Dunedin - believed to be the address a gunman's car is registered to
* In a twisted manifesto, the gunman wrote that he targeted the mosques while training for another attack

An Australian white supremacist who livestreamed New Zealand's deadliest terror attack on Facebook is one of four people arrested over mosque attacks which left at least 49 dead and 48 injured.

The gunman, who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant from Grafton, NSW, Australia, stormed the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island during Friday prayers about 1.30pm, opening fire with a semi-automatic shotgun and a rifle on about 100 defenceless worshippers.

The attack was broadcast in horrifying, live video which showed the suspect wielding at least two rifles. It followed the publication of a 73-page manifesto in which Tarrant laid out his racist, anti-immigrant views.

One man was arrested and charged with murder, and two other armed suspects were taken into custody while police tried to determine what role they played.

Read more ....

LIVE UPDATES

New Zealand shooting: 49 dead in terrorist attack at two mosques – live updates -- The Guardian
The Latest: Vlogger 'sickened' by mosque shooter mention -- AP
New Zealand Shooting Live Updates: Attack on Christchurch Mosques Leaves 49 Dead -- The New York Times
49 dead in terror attack at New Zealand mosques: Live Updates -- CNN

WHAT WE KNOW -- MOSQUE ATTACKS MAPPED

Christchurch shootings: Mosque attacks mapped -- BBC
How the Christchurch terror attack unfolded – visual guide -- The Guardian
Christchurch shootings leave 49 people dead after attacks on mosques, as it happened -- ABC News Online
New Zealand shooting: everything we know so far -- The Guardian
What we know about the New Zealand mosque shootings and what comes next -- Reuters

TERROR ATTACK IN NEW ZEALAND -- NEWS ROUNDUP

Mosque shootings kill 49; white racist claims responsibility -- AP
Dozens killed as gunman livestreams New Zealand mosque shootings -- Reuters
49 murdered in terror attack on New Zealand mosques -- AFP
Christchurch shootings at two mosques leave 49 dead, Australian arrested in relation to livestreamed terror attack -- ABC News Online
Christchurch shootings: 49 dead in New Zealand mosque attacks -- BBC
49 shot dead in attack on two Christchurch mosques -- The Guardian
New Zealand: Twin terrorist attacks kill dozens at Christchurch mosques -- DW
One of the worst mass shootings in history: New Zealand tragedy claims 49 lives - the same number of victims in 2016 Orlando nightclub slaughter and more than ISIS Tunisia attack -- Daily Mail
New Zealand shooting: 49 killed, more than 40 wounded in mass shootings at Christchurch mosques -- SCMP
49 dead in New Zealand mosque shootings; police examine extremist manifesto -- UPI
'Let's get this party started': Chilling 17-minute video showed 'Australian white supremacist' mosque shooter, 28, dressed in combat fatigues calmly shoot dozens of worshippers during Friday prayers -- Daily Mail
The moment 'mosque gunman' was arrested by cops after officers 'rammed the suspect off the road' following massacre -- Daily Mail
Mosque shooting survivors describe screaming, 'dead people everywhere' as gunman opened fire -- ABC News Online
Bangladesh cricketers 'three to four' minutes from being caught up in massacre -- AFP
Cricket: Bangladesh team narrowly avoid mosque shooting, test called off -- Reuters

World News Briefs -- March 15, 2019

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 12:31 PM PDT



Reuters: Dozens killed as gunman livestreams New Zealand mosque shootings

WELLINGTON/CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) - A gunman shot dead 49 people and wounded more than 40 at two New Zealand mosques, some as they were kneeling at prayer, livestreaming online some of the killings that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.

The gunman broadcast footage of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch on Facebook, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants, calling them "invaders".

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Israel fires on Hamas targets after rocket attacks. Israel launches Gaza air attacks after rockets fired at Tel Aviv.

Israel says Gaza rockets that led to airstrikes fired by mistake.

Gaza border protests called off after Israel air raids: organisers.

Anti-IS Syria force boosted as jihadist holdout shrinks.

Syria's eight year civil war has left 370,000 people dead, including more than 21,000 children.

French, German envoys write that fear stops Syria refugee returns.

Saudi women activists face 'bogus' charges, says Amnesty.

ASIA

Christchurch shootings: 49 dead in New Zealand mosque attacks.

Christchurch shootings mark 'unprecedented act of violence', New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Left out of peace talks, U.S. allies reassess Afghan support.

North Korea threatens to end nuclear talks with U.S., resume testing. North Korea may break off US talks and resume missile tests, official says.

China needs to create 11 million new jobs next year to ensure stability, Premier Li Keqiang says.

China-US trade war: New Chinese law seeks to address concerns.

Campuses not camps: China defends Xinjiang policies at UN.

Rohingya reject relocation to Bangladesh's island 'prison camp'.

AFRICA

Pilot of Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max 8 called 'in a panicky voice' and requested to return to airport shortly after take-off just minutes before the plane crashed, killing 157 people.

Fresh protests in Algeria as allies turn on Bouteflika. Algerians call for Bouteflika resignation despite poll delay.

Deposed Boko Haram leader detained not killed: sources.

Islamic State 'behind Nigeria suicide attack'.

Demolition starts after Lagos school collapse. Death toll now 20 in Lagos building collapse: state govt.

'Cannot go back': Malawi floods leave thousands homeless.

Cyclone Idai batters Mozambique.

EUROPE

British lawmakers overwhelmingly vote in favor of delaying Brexit.

Long delay to Brexit unless you back PM's deal: top May ally.

UK Ministers in talks with DUP in attempt to win backing for Brexit deal.

Washington asks Russia: Where's your proof ex-U.S. marine is a spy?.

Russia-Trump troll suspect defends internet job.

Drones and diplomacy: US Ramstein air base stirs controversy in Germany.

France works to contain fuel spill after ship catches fire and sinks off Atlantic Coast.

AMERICAS

Mueller, in U.S. court filing, says multiple probes continue.

Trump: Strzok transcript 'devastating' for FBI, DOJ, CIA.

US manufacturing sinks again in February: Fed.

Venezuela blackout devastates country's second city as world focuses on Caracas.

U.S. to upgrade military ties with Brazil during visit next week: sources.

Ecuador pulls out of South American regional group Unasur.

Brazil school shooting: Thousands attend wake for victims.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Australian Islamic State recruiter Neil Prakash sentenced to jail in Turkey.

'We don't see the enemy': Concealed jihadists slow Islamic State defeat in Syria.

Court hears case on Germany's role in US drone deaths in Yemen.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Volkswagen and former boss face US lawsuit over Dieselgate.

IEA: OPEC has enough spare capacity to cover any Venezuela loss.

Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounded 'until May at least'.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 15, 2019

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 07:56 AM PDT

A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces fires a weapon in Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, March 3. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Al-Monitor: Pentagon seeks $2 billion cut for Islamic State fight

The Donald Trump administration is asking Congress for a $2 billion cut in the US-led fight against the Islamic State as the Pentagon looks toward the exits in the five-year campaign.

The funds will "ensure an enduring defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [IS, also known ISIS] and allow flexibility for a deliberate, coordinated, disciplined withdrawal from Syria," the Pentagon said in budget documents released today.

The request would pare back the US effort to train Iraq's fledgling security forces and US-backed forces in Syria by $400 million to just over $1 billion, down nearly 30% from last year. It also calls for spending $250 million to help partner countries tighten up their borders to handle the lingering threat of IS.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 15, 2019

Intel: How the Pentagon plans to use a thinned-out US presence in Iraq -- Al-Monitor

Boeing resumes KC-46 tanker deliveries, but Air Force scrutiny will linger -- Defense News

The Pentagon wants a buttload of guided rockets to slap Russia and China from hundreds of miles away -- Task & Purpose

US Air Force asks for $35 million in new budget for light-attack experiment -- Defense News

Lockheed tapped by Navy for rapid missile technology development -- UPI

Army's 5-Year Plan Outlines a $25 Billion Shift in Weaponry -- A. Capaccio, Bloomberg

Special Ops Command contracts Barrett for new sniper rifles -- UPI

The Army is scaling back its projected growth plans -- Military Times

About 21,000 troops booted so far under 'deploy or get out' policy -- Military Times

Pentagon proposes junking the Truman -- Washington Examiner

Acting SECDEF Shanahan Defends Truman Carrier Cut to Senate Panel -- USNI News

Navy Wants 5,000 New Sailors in FY 2020; Would Cut 3,100 Medical Personnel -- USNI News

The U.S. Military Doesn't Know How Many Troops, Ships or Which Fighter Jets It Needs -- National Interest

The Demographics of America's Private Military Contractors -- Pacific Standard

Watchdog report: Pentagon does not keep close tabs on space programs and workforce -- Space News

Pentagon Wants to Test A Space-Based Weapon in 2023 -- Defense One

Pentagon Brass Bafflingly Accuses Google of Providing 'Direct Benefit' to China's Military -- Gizmodo

Top Pentagon officials say Google work is 'benefiting the Chinese military' -- The Hill

Arlington National Cemetery land expansion to begin next year -- UPI

U.S. to upgrade military ties with Brazil during visit next week: sources -- Reuters

US suspends some military aid to Guatemala over vehicle use -- Military Times/AP

U.S. sees Turkey's Russian missile deal as national security problem for NATO -- Reuters

French Carrier Strike Group Joins Operations Against Daesh – US Central Command -- Sputnik

Flagship Blue Ridge pokes China, arrives in Manila Bay -- Navy Times/AP

Pentagon: US starts work on missiles prohibited by INF Treaty -- TASS

Northrop Grumman awarded $713M for missile defense system for Poland -- UPI

NATO weighing Huawei spying risks to member countries -- Defense News

China steps up efforts to develop military technology to challenge US dominance -- SCMP

Panel: China Leading the World in Hypersonic Weapon Development -- USNI News

50 Iranian drones conduct massive 'way to Jerusalem' exercise - report -- Jerusalem Post

What Are Nuclear Analysts Worried About?

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 07:22 AM PDT


Tabitha Sanders, RCD: What Keeps Nuclear Analysts up at Night?

Fresh off the Hanoi Summit, the 2019 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference kicked off this past Monday, where analysts, officials, and scholars gathered in D.C. to discuss the future of arms control and U.S. nuclear policy. Among the top concerns were the new threat from emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the future of U.S.-Russia strategic relations after the collapse of the INF treaty, and the status of U.S.-North Korea denuclearization negotiations. Each issue comes with challenges, from human error to technical capability, and many of the first day's panelists admitted that the future of arms control was uncertain.

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WNU Editor:  I am not worried about the big powers and their nuclear arsenals. The U.S., U.K., France, Russia, and China know the dangers involved, and they will maintain the necessary dialogue to make sure that these weapons are never used. It is the other nations with nuclear arsenals that scare me, as well as those nations that do not have such an arsenal but are positioned to quickly develop one. These countries are not transparent, and they look at these weapons as an instrument to intimidate and/or deter their neighbours. In these situations, escalation and the use of these weapons could become a very real possibility.

A Look At What Is Happening To The Youth In The Separatist Regions Of Eastern Ukraine

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 07:11 AM PDT

© UNICEF/UN0150817/Gilbertson VII Photo

National Geographic: Ukrainian children train for combat

In the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, young people prepare to defend themselves—and their nation.

For youth in war-torn nations, education suffers profoundly. Schools are destroyed by indiscriminate shelling or deliberately turned into military posts. Children and teachers stay at home, afraid to step on a landmine or be caught in the crossfire of warring parties. The house of learning, envisioned as a safe haven, becomes a target.

For nearly a decade, photographer Diego Ibarra Sánchez has examined how conflict interrupts, interferes with, and obstructs learning. "Education is supposed to be the way forward, the way to build or rebuild a nation," he observes. What happens to that goal when academic institutions can't play their part?

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WNU Editor: In my opinion Ukraine has already lost this generation of Russian-Ukrainians. Even in the regions that Ukraine controls with Russian-Ukrainian majorities, the animosities that have built up after five years of conflict are there. The only thing that keeps it under the lid is the heavy presence of Ukrainian military and intelligence forces. My only hope right now is that with Ukrainians going to the polls this month and next to elect a President, they will vote overwhelmingly to turf out the political establishment that has brought about all of this destruction. If not, this is only going to get worse, and Ukraine will forever be splintered.

An Inside Look In The Plot to Kill Venezuelan President Maduro With Drones

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 06:31 AM PDT



CNN: Inside the August plot to kill Maduro with drones

New videos obtained by CNN provide chilling insight into a mystery drone attack against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro last year—the world's first known attempt to kill a head of state with a retail drone, purchased online and armed by hand with military grade explosives.

One man has come forward as an organizer of the attack, saying it was perpetrated by a group of Venezuelan Army defectors and others. In an exclusive interview with CNN, he recounted how they prepared for the attack, and provided cell phone videos of their drones, explosives, and practice flights in the rural farmlands of Colombia.

"We have tried every peaceful and democratic way to bring an end to this tyranny that dresses itself as democracy," he told CNN on condition of anonymity, referring to the Maduro regime. "We have friends who are in custody, tortured. This was a hard decision."

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WNU Editor: Since that assassination attempt, I have noticed that Maduro does not attend public events where it is known that he will show up, nor does he make himself readily available to meet people outside of his Presidential compound.

North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister: 'Pyongyang Set To Break Off Denuclearization Talks With Washington'

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 06:24 AM PDT



TASS: Pyongyang set to break off denuclearization talks with Washington — diplomat

The deputy foreign minister blamed the breakdown of talks in Hanoi on the US side

PYONGYANG, March 15. /TASS/. The North Korean leadership is considering suspension of denuclearization talks with the United States, North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told reporters on Friday.

"We have no intention to yield to the US demands [put forward at the Hanoi summit] in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind," she told reporters at a news conference in Pyongyang, to which foreign diplomats and journalists were invited.

The deputy foreign minister blamed the breakdown of talks in Hanoi on the US side, who "were too busy with pursuing their own political interests and had no sincere intention to achieve a result."

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WNU Editor: It is not in North Korea's interest to suspend denuclearization talks right now, especially in view of its current relations with South Korea, and the South Korean willingness to be accommodating to North Korea's interests.

More News On North Korea Threatening To Break Off Denuclearization Talks With Washington

NKorean official: Kim rethinking US talks, launch moratorium -- AP
North Korea may suspend nuclear talks with 'gangster-like' U.S.: diplomat -- Reuters
North Korea Threatens to Scuttle Talks With the U.S. and Resume Tests -- The New York Times
North Korea threatens to suspend denuclearization talks with the United States -- The Washington Post
North Korea says it may suspend nuclear talks -- CNN
North Korea may break off US talks and resume missile tests, official says -- BBC
Furious North Korean official says Trump threw away 'golden opportunity' for peace at failed Vietnam summit as Kim Jong Un considers suspending ALL nuclear talks over 'gangster-like' US demands -- Daily Mail
North Korea mulls suspending denuclearization talks with US, diplomat says -- DW
North Korea mulls renewing tests after 'gangster-like' stance by Pompeo and Bolton – Deputy FM -- RT

49 Killed In Terror Attack On Two Mosques In New Zeland

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 06:06 AM PDT



Daily Mail: At least 49 people are killed and 48 injured in multiple Christchurch mosque massacres involving an Australian terrorist, 28, who live-streamed himself opening fire on worshippers - as a man in his 20s is charged with murder

* An Australian right-wing terrorist live-streamed himself massacring dozens of worshippers at a mosque
* Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots from his semi-automatic shotgun at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch
* The gunman live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened about 1.30pm
* A nearby second mosque, Masjid in Linwood, also in the city of Christchurch, was also attacked soon after
* At least 49 people are confirmed dead - 41 from the first mosque, seven from the second, and one in hospital
* Four people - who were not known to counter-terror authorities - were taken into custody for questioning
* New Zealand Police are raiding a home in Dunedin - believed to be the address a gunman's car is registered to
* In a twisted manifesto, the gunman wrote that he targeted the mosques while training for another attack

A white Australian right-wing terrorist who livestreamed his sickening shooting spree on Facebook is one of four people arrested over dual mosque attacks which left 49 dead and 48 injured on New Zealand's 'darkest day'.

The gunman, who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant from Grafton, NSW, Australia, stormed the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island about 1.30pm, opening fire with a semi-automatic shotgun and a rifle on about 100 defenceless worshippers attending Friday prayers.

A sickening 17-minute video of the unfolding horror shows the self-confessed white supremacist dressed in army fatigues firing mercilessly at people scrambling to flee, and calmly reloading when he runs out of bullets.

At about the same time, there was a second shooting at Masjid mosque in Linwood, where seven more were killed.

In the aftermath of the bloody attacks, three men and one woman were arrested, with police charging 'one man in his late 20s' with murder. He will face court on Saturday.

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WNU Editor: Four suspects including the shooter has been arrested. A news round-up on this story will be posted at 12:00 EST.