Monday, April 15, 2019

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

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

Russia Is Hacking The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) On A Massive Scale

Posted: 15 Apr 2019 12:00 AM PDT

The Kerch bridge connects Russia and Europe. Dozens of ships navigating around it have been sent false location data by the Russians. Google Maps / VMorozoff - Wikimapia, CC

Business Insider: The Russians are screwing with the GPS system to send bogus navigation data to thousands of ships

* The Russians are hacking the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) on a mass scale in order to confuse thousands of ships and airplanes about where they are, according to a study by Centre for Advanced Defense (C4AD).
* Law enforcement, shipping, airlines, power stations, your phone, and anything else dependent on GPS time and location synchronization, are vulnerable to GNSS hacking.
* All of Britain's critical infrastructure is dependent on GNSS and GPS, according to a report commissioned by the UK Space Agency.
* Russian president Putin's summer dacha is protected by a GNSS spoofing array that helps create a no-fly zone over his vast Italian-style mansion.
* GNSS jamming equipment costs $300.

On May 15, 2018, under a sunny sky, Russian President Vladimir Putin drove a bright orange truck in a convoy of construction vehicles for the opening of the Kerch Bridge from Russia to Crimea. At 11 miles long, it is now the longest bridge in either Europe or Russia.

As Putin drove across the bridge, something weird happened. The satellite navigation systems in the control rooms of more than 24 ships anchored nearby suddenly started displaying false information about their location. Their GPS systems told their captains they were anchored more than 65 kilometres away — on land, at the Anapa Airport.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This type of hacking is what I call playing with fire.

Hat tip to Robert for the above post.

Russia Just Showed Off Supersonic Bombers, S-400s And Su-27 Fighters

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 11:00 PM PDT

Mark Episkopos, National Interest: Beware, NATO: Russia Just Showed Off Supersonic Bombers, S-400s and Su-27 Fighters

Russia's Southern Military District (SMD) is conducting a series of high-profile combat exercises in defiance of NATO's Operation Sea Shield 2019, the latest in an ongoing cycle of military escalation in the Black Sea region.

Russia's Southern Military District (SMD) is conducting a series of high-profile combat exercises in defiance of NATO's Operation Sea Shield 2019, the latest in an ongoing cycle of military escalation in the Black Sea region.

The initial exercise involved escort and interception drills with the Tu-160 heavy bomber and Su-27SM fighter: "Fighters of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army of the Southern Military District escorted Tupolev-160 "white swan" strategic bombers and practiced interception of air targets," reported the SMD press office.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Everyone is sending messages.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 10:30 PM PDT

This Is How Much China's Economy Has Grown In 30 Years

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 09:45 PM PDT

WNU Editor: Just imagine where it will be in 10 more years. 20 years. 30 years.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 09:30 PM PDT

A military officer is carried by the crowd as demonstrators chant slogans and carry their national flags, after Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir was detained by the armed forces, outside the Defense Ministry in Khartoum, April 11. REUTERS/Stringer

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Photos of the week (Reuters).

This Is How To Dismantle A Nuclear Missile

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 09:00 PM PDT

Popular Mechanics: How to Dismantle a Nuclear Missile

It's a long and complex process, but it is doable.

A new video shows the intricate process involved in deactivating a nuclear-tipped missile. The video by the Outrider Foundation explains step-by-step how to break down a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, from disassembling and disposing of the rocket side to the nuclear weapon payload itself.

Introduced in the early 1970s, the Minuteman III forms the land-based component of the United States nuclear triad (nukes launches from the air and the sea for the other two legs). Four hundred Minuteman IIIs are based in hardened concrete silos across the Western states, manned by Air Force launch crews. The Minuteman III's exact payload is a secret but believed to be a single Mk. 21 reentry vehicles with a single 300- to 475-kiloton thermonuclear warhead.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is information that I hope that I will never have to use.

A List On How President Obama's Former Officials Spied On Trump

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 08:18 PM PDT

Jasper Fakkert, Epoch Times: How Obama Officials Spied on Trump

Attorney General William Barr told congressional lawmakers on April 10 that he is investigating both the "genesis" and "the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign" during the 2016 elections.

Barr said he plans to "pull together all the information from the various investigations that have gone on," such as investigations conducted by Congress, and by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Longtime critics of President Donald Trump were quick to dismiss Barr's comments. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) went as far as to claim that Barr was "perpetuating conspiracy theories," and CNN tried to write Barr's statements off by saying he didn't "provide evidence."

These are the same people who have lied to the American public for more than two years by claiming that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 elections.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The GCHQ connection is disturbing if true. My gut is also telling me that President Trump already knows the entire story on what happened. As to the big question .... what did President Obama know (and when), I am willing to bet it is answer that we will never know.

Small Wars Will Still Be The Most Likely Future Fight

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 07:32 PM PDT

U.S. soldiers deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve prepare for helicopter exfiltration during an aerial response force exercise in Iraq, Dec. 31, 2018.

Kyle Rempfer, Military Times: Keep those Iraq War notes handy: Small wars, not great power battles, still the most likely future fight

Great power competition has been the primary driver of the Pentagon over the past few years, but the Defense Department doesn't get to pick the next war.

It is more likely that the U.S. military will be drawn into another conflict against an insurgent or proxy force, than it will end up fighting naval battles in the South China Sea or halting Russian armor in the Fulda Gap.

"While you're going to have the larger force-on-force kind of engagements, at the same time, there's going to be action in 'gray zone' ... the space in between war and peace," said retired Col. Frank Sobchak, co-author of the long-delayed Iraq War Study and a former Army Special Forces officer.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A sobering analysis on who the U.S. will be fighting against in the future.

Venezuela's Economic Crisis Keeps On Getting Worse

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 06:58 PM PDT

Reuters: Blackouts threaten death blow to Venezuela's industrial survivors

VALENCIA, Venezuela (Reuters) - The latest power outage kicked off another tough week for factory owner Antonello Lorusso in the city of Valencia, once Venezuela's industrial hub.

For the past month, unprecedented nationwide blackouts have paralyzed the factory and the rest of the country, cutting off power, water and cell service to millions of Venezuelans.

Lorusso's packaging plant, Distribuidora Marina, had already struggled through years of hyperinflation, vanishing client orders and an exodus of employees.

But now the situation was worse.

Read more ....

More News On Venezuela

Venezuela in crisis: 'There is no water, no power, no nothing' -- Al Jazeera
Venezuela 'new government' could get $10 billion in trade financing: Mnuchin -- Reuters
'Large' IMF majority on Venezuela leader issue needed: Lagarde -- Reuters
For Venezuela, Producing Onions More Important Than Producing Oil -- Forbes
Maduro orders Venezuela civilian militia expand by nearly 1 million members -- Reuters
Venezuela crisis: Maduro calls for million more militia members -- BBC
German state-owned TV says Venezuela blocked its Spanish channel -- Reuters
U.S. to use all economic, political tools to hold Maduro accountable: Pompeo -- Reuters
US Secretary of State visits Venezuelan migrants in Colombia -- FOX News
Pompeo visits Colombia-Venezuela border -- France 24

U.S. Democratic Presidential Candidate Cory Booker: Releasing Migrants In Sanctuary Cities Would "Make Us Less Safe"

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 06:21 PM PDT

Zero Hedge: Cory Booker Admits Releasing Migrants In Sanctuary Cities Would "Make Us Less Safe"

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker says that Americans would be "less safe" if illegal immigrants were released from locked detention centers into migrant-friendly American cities - a plan which President Trump has threatened to explore.

When asked by Face the Nation's Margaret Brennan whether Trump's threat was an empty one, or if he was simply trying to create friction, Booker replied: "You say 'friction' -- I say he's trying to pit Americans against each other and make us less safe."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I cannot help but feel that rhetoric aside, these politicians really do not want these migrants in their community. And just like that .... President Trump got the entire Democrat party to admit that sanctuary cities are not safe.

How G.I. Joe Became A Toy Legend

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 06:07 PM PDT

Popular Mechanics: Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend

Ronald Reagan and Marvel helped create the famous action figure, and Star Wars held it back.

If you're under 30, your most prominent associations with G.I. Joe might be Channing Tatum or the Rock. Joe, though, has been around since 1964.

At the time of his debut, Joe mirrored the culture of the nation—just like Barbie did in 1959. Joe was a role model to generations of children and a boon to Hasbro, the toy company who produced him. But he was also in a constant struggle.

Here's how G.I. Joe got started, and how the action figure (a term coined for Joe to avoid the word "doll") maintained its relevance for half a century.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I wish I had one as a kid.

The World's Defense Spending

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 05:49 PM PDT

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Who Is The Worst War Criminal In Game Of Thrones?

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 05:44 PM PDT

Daily Mail: Who is Game of Thrones' worst WAR CRIMINAL? Red Cross rank the characters who could be prosecuted for the most atrocities

* Volunteers from Australian Red Cross spent six weeks watching the last seven seasons of Game Of Thrones
* They decided evil Ramsay Bolton committed the most number of war crimes with 17 - most notably for torture
* But they also put Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow high for war crimes, such as for using child soldiers

With thousands of deadly White Walkers and even the good guys often murdering without cause, it may seem an impossible task to decide who is the worst war criminal in Game Of Thrones.

But volunteers from the Australian Red Cross spent six weeks watching the franchise and have compiled a list of the characters who could be prosecuted for war crimes - and Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow make a surprise appearance high up the list.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: For Games of Thrones fans, the last season's premiere is tonight (as if any Games of Thrones fans need to be reminded).

More News On Who Is The Worst War Criminal In Game Of Thrones?

Game of Thrones' worst war criminals ranked by Red Cross -- DW
Game of Thrones is known for its violence, but the hit show's worst war criminals might surprise you -- ABC News Online
The worst war criminals in 'Game of Thrones' ranked -- Military Times
Game of Thrones 'worst war criminals' RANKED by Red Cross -- RT

Pentagon Gets Ready For War In Space

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 04:02 PM PDT

Washington Examiner: Shanahan warns war is coming to space, with China the likely adversary

"The next major conflict may be won or lost in space," Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said at a symposium on space in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday. "We must confront reality. Weapons are currently deployed by our competitors that can attack our assets in space."

Shanahan, making the case for President Trump's Space Force proposal, said both Russia and China have already weaponized space with the intent to put American satellites at risk in the event of conflict.

Shanahan singled out China, which has emerged as a major space rival in recent years, for its development of weapons that can jam or destroy U.S. surveillance, communications, and navigation satellites.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's concerns about China are justified .... For China, Space Is About Politics and War (Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times). Capital Hill has another opinion .... Space Force plans meet with skepticism, confusion on Capitol Hill (Washington Times).

More News On The U.S. Preparing for War In Space

Pentagon Officials Are Preparing for an All-Out Space War -- David Axe, Daily Beast
USAF Secretary Gives Ominous Warning That Show Of Force Needed To Deter Space Attacks -- Warzone/The Drive
U.S. Defense Secretary: Establish a space force to protect future -- CGTN
Space Force faces Senate panel's skepticism, concerns -- Stars and Stripes
Senators remain skeptical of Space Force -- Roll Call
Air Force Sec Says US May Demo New Space Weapon To Deter -- Breaking Defense
National Reconnaissance Office could join Space Force down the road, Shanahan says -- Defense News
US Is in a New Space Race with China and Russia, VP Pence Says --
The looming specter of Asian space wars -- Nikkei Asian Review
Are we destined to have a space war? -- SCMP/AFP

The U.S. And Russia Are Stocking Up On Nuclear Weapons That Could Be Used In A Tactical Nuclear Conflict

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 03:21 PM PDT

The U.S.'s new W76-2 nuclear warhead is a smaller version of the much more powerful W76-1. They are launched on the same kind of missile. Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge/DVIDS

NPR: The U.S. And Russia Are Stocking Up On Missiles And Nukes For A Different Kind Of War

At a Russian base on the Baltic Sea, construction is underway to house a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles.

Tentlike structures have popped up to shelter the mobile missile system, known as Iskander, which is capable of firing weapons with both conventional and nuclear warheads. Recent satellite imagery of the territory, known as Kaliningrad, also shows that old buildings on the base are being demolished.

"It really looks like the base is getting a pretty comprehensive overhaul," says Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey who has been analyzing the satellite imagery taken by San Francisco-based company Planet. "Right now, it's just a big construction site."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: During the Cold War the view was that if tactical weapons were used, it would then be quickly followed by strategic nuclear weapons being used on a massive scale. This is why the current talk about the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons on a limited basis is dangerous. A limited nuclear war between two major nuclear powers cannot be maintained. It will quickly spiral out of control, and all within 24 hours.

Update: Yup .... both sides are not sure what the other side is doing and/or thinking .... US-Russia chill stirs worry about stumbling into conflict (AP).

Israel Destroys Iranian Base In Syria

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 03:09 PM PDT

ISI satellite image

Jerusalem Post: Israeli Air Force attacked Syrian targets, two Iranians killed - report

The Syrian media reported the attack attributed to Israel near an army base controlled by Iranian forces. A number of buildings were destroyed and two soldiers were killed.

Israel attacked Syrian targets near Hama on Saturday, killing two Iranians and destroying several buildings, Syrian media and foreign accounts reported.

The outlets said the Israel Air Force carried out the assault from Lebanese airspace. The jets reportedly targeted an Iranian-controlled military base, which has been attacked several times. Social media posts recorded multiple missiles being fired at the base.

Read more ....

More News On Israel Launching A Missile Strike On An Iranian Base In Syria

Iranian forces said killed in reported Israel airstrike on Syria missile factory -- Times of Israel/AFP
Watch: Israel Takes out Hezbollah Positions in Syria -- Jerusalem Online
Satellite footage of missile site struck in Syria -- YNet News
Satellite images show possible Iranian missile factory in Syria destroyed -- Jerusalem Post
Satellite firm releases pics of Syria site bombed in strike attributed to Israel -- Times of Israel
Netanyahu appears to hint Israel carried out latest Syria strike -- Times of Israel

Egypt Withdraws From U.S. Effort To Form An 'Arab Nato'

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 01:57 PM PDT

U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to the White House in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Reuters: Egypt Pulls Out of U.S. Effort to Forge anti-Iran 'Arab NATO'

A major blow to the Trump administration's strategy to contain Iranian power

RIYADH/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Egypt has pulled out of the U.S. effort to forge an "Arab NATO" with key Arab allies, according to four sources familiar with the decision, in a blow to the Trump administration's strategy to contain Iranian power.

Egypt conveyed its decision to the United States and other participants in the proposed Middle East Strategic Alliance, or MESA, ahead of a meeting held Sunday in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, one source said.

Cairo did not send a delegation to the meeting, the latest gathering held to advance the U.S.-led effort to bind Sunni Muslim Arab allies into a security, political and economic pact to counter Shi'ite Iran, the source said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This announcement is happening a day after Egyptian President Al Sisi met President Trump at the White House. I guess the U.S. was not willing to accommodate Egypt's conditions for joining such a group. As for Iran, this is a huge win .... Iran welcomes Egypt's reported withdrawal from 'Arab NATO' plan (Al Jazeera).

More News On Egypt Withdrawing From The U.S. Effort To Form An 'Arab Nato'

Egypt pulls out of US-led effort to form 'Arab NATO': report -- The Hill
Egypt withdraws from efforts to form 'Arab NATO' -- Jerusalem Post
Egypt withdraws from Trump's 'Arab NATO' group -- AMN
Is Trump's Anti-Iran Arab Coalition Falling Apart? Egypt Reportedly Withdraws from 'Arab NATO' -- Jason Lemon, Newsweek

Is the White House Laying The Legal Groundwork For Military Action Against Iran?

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 09:00 AM PDT

A sailor stands guard as an oil tanker makes its way toward Bahrain during a joint U.S.-U.K. anti-mine exercise in the Arabian Sea in September. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

ABC News: New concerns Trump administration may be laying legal groundwork for military action against Iran

Congress is making clear Trump does not have the authority for military action.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration would designate a branch of Iran's military as a foreign terrorist organization Monday, he said, "The Trump administration is simply recognizing a basic reality."

But critics say they are concerned that it may also be part of an effort to bend reality enough to provide legal justification for armed conflict with Iran.

"I am troubled that the administration can't unequivocally say that you haven't been given power. I can tell you explicitly, you have not been given power or authority by Congress to have war with Iran," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Pompeo on Wednesday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I do not see the U.S. launching a unilateral strike against Iran. Sanctions are already having an impact, and a U.S. military strike will be used by Tehran to divert attention away from the economic hardships that most Iranians are now going through. I think the U.S. is more worried that Iran may do something provocative as sanctions continue (like blocking the Straits of Hormuz), and that the U.S. may have to respond to protect themselves and/or their allies. Hence the reports and concerns that the administration is now making sure that they have the legal authority to respond.

Ukraine Challenger Does Not Show Up At President Petro Poroshenko's Sponsored Debate

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 08:11 AM PDT

Petro Poroshenko, walks next to an empty tribune prepared for his opponent comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy. ©REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko

RFE: Ukrainian President Arrives for Debate In Kyiv, Challenger Doesn't

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv for a presidential election debate even though his challenger, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said he will only agree to spar with Poroshenko at the stadium five days later.

Poroshenko is to face Zelenskiy in Ukraine's presidential runoff on April 21. Zelenskiy won the first round earlier this month by a large margin, and most, if not all, opinion polls put him well out in front of the incumbent ahead of the final vote.

Both candidates have agreed to hold a debate, but disagreed on the date.

Zelenskiy insists the debate take place on April 19 while Poroshenko wants it held on April 14.

Read more ....

Update #1: Ukraine leader debates alone as vote frontrunner a no-show (AFP)
Update #2: Ukraine president holds 1-man 'debate' before runoff vote (FOX News/AP)

WNU Editor: This debate was more of a rally for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. What I am surprised is that (according to media reports in Kiev), only a thousand Poroshenko supporters showed up. Challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy will be having his rally at the same spot on April 19. I am willing to bet that far more people are going to show up for him over those who showed up today for President Poroshenko. As for my prediction on the outcome of Ukraine's Presidential runoff on April 21. It still holds .... Challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy will win in a landslide.

Libyan Civil War -- News Updates April 14, 2019

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 07:59 AM PDT

Al Jazeera: Haftar's forces 'set to push into capital Tripoli'

Head of eastern parliament says LNA forces will press offensive on Libyan capital as Sisi meets with Haftar in Cairo.

Forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar are set to move in on Libya's capital, Tripoli, on Sunday, the head of the country's self-proclaimed eastern parliament said.

Haftar announced an attack against Tripoli on April 4 to capture the capital and the entire west of Libya from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

"We need to get rid of militias and terrorist groups," Aguila Saleh, head of the House of Representatives allied to Haftar, said on Saturday, using a reference eastern officials often make to describe forces allied to the Tripoli government.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It looks like renegade General Khalifa Haftar is getting the green light from Egypt to proceed and take the Libyan capital .... Egypt's Sisi meets Libyan commander Haftar in Cairo: presidency spokesman (Reuters). It looks like the Saudis are also pushing for this war .... Saudis 'gave Libya's Haftar millions of dollars before offensive' (Al Jazeera).

Libyan Civil War -- News Updates April 14, 2019

Eastern Libya parliament says forces will push on in Tripoli offensive
-- France 24
Eastern Libya parliament head says forces will push Tripoli campaign -- Reuters
Libyan eastern-based army attacks UN-backed gov't military camps -- CGTN
121 killed, 561 wounded in Libya clashes, WHO says -- Daily Sabah/AFP
WHO Says Over 120 Killed in Libya Since Escalation of Violence Near Tripoli -- Sputnik
Khalifa Hafter: Libya's Problem, Or Its Saviour? –- Neville Teller, Eurasia Review
Will Haftar succeed in taking Tripoli? -- Guma El-Gamaty, Al Jazeera

Sudan And Algeria Are Now Experiencing Their Arab Spring

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 06:00 AM PDT

Sudan's protest movement appears to have learned lessons from the 2011 Arab Spring.REUTERS

Isma'il Kushkush, The Atlantic: Protesters in Sudan and Algeria Have Learned From the Arab Spring

The demonstrations have their own local characteristics, but there are several parallels.

A photograph has been floating around on social media recently featuring six Arab leaders at a summit meeting in 2010, all with red X marks on them. The first four, from left to right, were deposed during the Arab Spring in 2011: Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.

The two on the far right—Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir—lasted longer, but it appears their day, too, has come.

Read more ....

Update: Arab Spring comes later in Sudan and Algeria (Reuters)

WNU Editor: Both countries neighbour Libya, a country that is still mired in civil war since the overthrow of Libyan dictator Qaddafi. If that does not make everyone aware on the need to refrain from violence and factionalism, the continuing carnage in Libya should do just that.

Tweets for Today

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 05:51 AM PDT

Tweets for Today

Posted: 14 Apr 2019 05:37 AM PDT

Algerian security forces use a water cannon to disperse students taking part in an anti-government demonstration in the capital Algiers on 9 April 2019. © AFP 2019 / Stringer

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures: 6 April - 12 April (Sputnik).