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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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

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


Huge Electoral Win For Conservative Party In The Oil Rich Canadian Province Of Alberta

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 11:00 PM PDT



CTV News: Jason Kenney's UCP wins majority government in Alberta

Former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party has won a majority in Alberta's provincial election, unseating Rachel Notley and ushering in a return to the centre-right for the province.

Kenney's victory follows an often heated 28-day-long political slugfest, dominated by name calling and personal attacks, allegations of voter fraud and even a last-minute RCMP search of a UCP candidate's office.

Cheers erupted and chants of "UCP! UCP! UCP!" rang out at Kenney's election night headquarters in The Big Four building on the Calgary Stampede grounds when news of his victory flashed on a screen in the room.

Read more ....

Update: Jason Kenney's UCP wins majority, defeating Rachel Notley's NDP (National Post).

WNU Editor: The election was not even close. With over 50% of the vote, the United Conservative Party has won a massive majority, and will immediately join the growing provincial opposition to Prime Minister Trudeau's climate and economic policies.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 10:30 PM PDT











Pledges To Rebuild The Notre Dame Cathedral Poor In

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 10:00 PM PDT



Business Insider: Here are all the people and companies who have collectively pledged nearly $730 million so far to help rebuild Notre-Dame after the disastrous fire

* France's superrich have pledged to donate millions to help rebuild the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris after a devastating fire.
* The donors include LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, Kering founder François-Henri Pinault, and the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L'Oréal.
* Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company will also donate but didn't give a specific amount.
* At least $728 million has been pledged so far.

France's superrich have stepped in and pledged to donate millions to help rebuild Notre-Dame, one of the most recognized sights in Paris, after the centuries-old cathedral was devastated by a fire.

The fire toppled the cathedral's iconic spire and led to the collapse of the roof, but the two bell towers and much of the shell of the structure were saved.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: While these pledges are impressive, it will really be the small donations that will make the difference. And these donations will be needed .... Rebuilding Notre Dame will be long, fraught and expensive (AP). It will also take a long time before the doors are open to the public again .... Years? Decades? Uncertainty over time needed to rebuild Notre-Dame (AFP).

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 09:30 PM PDT

A view of the damaged roof and debris inside Notre-Dame Cathedral April 16. Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Notre-Dame smolders the morning after blaze (Reuters). Another photo-gallery can be viewed here .... Assessing the damage at Notre Dame Cathedral – in pictures (The Guardian).

Update:
Here is another impressive photo-gallery .... I walked through the gutted cathedral… then the crucifix shone from what remained of the altar, a symbol of defiance in the gloom: ROBERT HARDMAN is among first witnesses inside ravaged Notre Dame (Daily Mail).

The U.S. And Japan Still Can't Find Their Missing F-35

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 09:00 PM PDT

The aircraft, designated AX-6, is the second F-35A assembled at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' F-35 Final Assembly & Check-Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya, Japan and is the first to be assigned to the JASDF's 3rd Air Wing, 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan. JASDF's 3rd Air Wing, 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Business Insider: The US and Japan still can't find a missing F-35, and its 'secrets' may be in danger

* One week has passed since a Japanese Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter mysteriously disappeared.
* Japanese authorities believe the fifth-generation stealth fighter crashed in the Pacific.
* The US and Japan have deployed high-end search and rescue and surveillance assets to find the missing pilot and his fighter jet, but so far, the allies have only been able to recover debris.
* "The F-35A is an airplane that contains a significant amount of secrets that need to be protected," Japan's defense minister said recently.

The US and Japan have been conducting a tireless, around-the-clock search for a missing F-35 for a week, but so far, they have yet to recover the downed fighter or its pilot. A life is on the line, and the "secrets" of the most expensive weapon in the world are lost somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flown by 41-year-old Maj. Akinori Hosomi disappeared from radar last Tuesday, April 9. No distress signal was sent out as the aircraft vanished roughly 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base.

Read more ....

Update: Japan, US struggle to find crashed F-35A stealth fighter jet to protect its high-tech 'secrets' (Straits Times/AFP/Reuters)

WNU Editor: Here are some facts on the F-35 program .... Factbox: The F-35 - stealthy, numerous and expensive (Reuters).

Satellite Images Show Nuclear Reprocessing Activity At North Korea's Nuclear Site

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 08:00 PM PDT

A view of what researchers of Beyond Parallel, a CSIS project, describe as the Radiochemistry Laboratory at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in North Pyongan Province, North Korea, in this commercial satellite image taken April 12, 2019 and released April 16, 2019. CSIS/Beyond Parallel/DigitalGlobe 2019 via REUTERS

Reuters: Satellite images may show reprocessing activity at North Korea nuclear site: U.S. researchers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images from last week show movement at North Korea's main nuclear site that could be associated with the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel, a U.S. think tank said on Tuesday.

Any new reprocessing activity would underscore the failure of a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in late February to make progress toward North Korea's denuclearization.

Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a report that satellite imagery of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site from April 12 showed five specialized railcars near its Uranium Enrichment Facility and Radiochemistry Laboratory.

It said their movement could indicate the transfer of radioactive material.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: On a side note, it looks like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be meeting Russian President Putin in the coming weeks .... Kim Jong Un to meet Vladimir Putin as North Korea pivots to Russia for help (ABC News).

President Trump Vetoes Congressional Measure To End U.S. Involvement In The Yemen War

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 07:10 PM PDT



CNBC/Reuters: Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end US involvement in Yemen war

* The resolution passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in March, marking the first time both chambers of Congress had supported a War Powers resolution, which limits the president's ability to send troops into action.
* Neither the 247-175 tally in the Democratic-majority House nor the 54-46 vote in the Republican-led Senate would be enough to override the veto, which would require two-thirds majorities in both chambers.

President Donald Trump has vetoed a congressional resolution that sought to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the White House said on Tuesday.

"This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future," Trump said in the veto message.

The resolution passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in March, marking the first time both chambers of Congress had supported a War Powers resolution, which limits the president's ability to send troops into action.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are not enough votes to overturn this veto.

More News On President Trump Vetoing The Congressional Measure To End U.S. Involvement In The Yemen War

Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war -- AP
Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen -- The Hill
Trump vetoes resolution on ending U.S. role in Yemen civil war -- Politico
Trump vetoes bill to end US military support for Saudi-led war in Yemen -- The Guardian
Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war -- Al Jazeera
Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end US support of Saudi-led Yemen war -- RT

Turkey's Defense Minister Makes An Unannounced Visit To The Pentagon

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 06:47 PM PDT

AA Photo

Daily Mail: Defense Minister Akar, US counterpart Shanahan discuss S-400, Syria in Washington meeting

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday met with Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in Washington to discuss the S-400 rift between the two countries and the regional developments in Syria.

According to a statement by the Ministry of National Defense, Akar and Patrick discussed developments in Syria, bilateral relations, other regional security issues, and defense industry cooperation between both countries.

Akar "reiterated Turkey's views and expectations on the proposed Safe Zone in Syria, S-400 procurement, F-35 aircraft and latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean," according to the statement.

It said Akar underlined the importance of cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. on the basis of strategic partnership that would ensure the stability and security of both countries.

Read more ....

Update: Turkish Defense Minister makes unannounced visit to Pentagon (AFP)

WNU Editor: This is what Turkey wants .... Turkey eyes Trump protection from any sanctions for Russian defense purchase (Reuters). But it looks like this meeting was a bust .... U.S., Turkey Fail to Break Impasse on Russian Missile-Defense System (The Wall Street Journal).

Islamic State Affiliate Cheers The Destruction Of Notre Dame Cathedral

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 06:23 PM PDT

Image: A poster created by the Al-Muntasir media group - an ISIS affiliated propaganda wing - appeared online on Monday night, according to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium

Daily Mail: 'Have a nice day': ISIS fanatics revel in Notre Dame's destruction days before Easter as they describe the inferno as 'retribution and punishment'

* ISIS affiliated propaganda group made a heartless poster of the inferno in Paris
* It was accompanied by a cruel message bidding 'au revoir' to Notre Dame
* The world mourned as the 850-year-old cathedral erupted in flames on Monday
* Prosecutors said they are treating it as an accident, ruling out terror for now

ISIS fanatics are heartlessly revelling in the inferno at Notre Dame Cathedral just days before Easter calling it 'retribution and punishment', according to terror intelligence researchers.

A poster of the blazing cathedral appeared online accompanied by the words, 'Have a good day,' and was created by the ISIS affiliated Al-Muntasir group according to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium.

The poster says: 'Its construction began in the year 1163 and ended in 1345. It's time to say goodbye to your oratory polytheism.'

Read more ....

Update: ISIS Propaganda Group Celebrates Notre Dame Fire as 'Retribution' (Epoch Times)

WNU Editor: Why am I not surprised.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 16, 2019

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 06:11 PM PDT



Claire Smith and Jordan Ralph, ABC News: Don't despair about Notre Dame — destruction like this can be overcome

The destruction of Notre Dame cathedral is lamentable. A wonderful icon has been largely destroyed by fire. However, we should not despair.

Part of the reason this loss is so upsetting is because we are immersed in a Western way of thinking that equates authenticity with preserving the original materials used to create an object or building.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 16, 2019

Notre Dame's loss is too much to bear -- Douglas Murray, The Spectator

The Notre Dame Fire and the Future of History -- Adam Rogers, Wired

On the Roof of Notre-Dame, Before It Burned -- Lauren Collins, New Yorker

What was lost, what was saved from the Notre Dame fire? -- AP

From France to Mali: Destruction of iconic structures -- DW

Why The Stakes Are So High For Erdogan In Istanbul -- Baris Doster, World Crunch

The Implications of Eastern Mediterranean Gas for Turkey -- Kadri Tastan, GMF

Afghanistan Needs an International Solution -- Sandy Adams, RCW

Kabul, Delhi wary about Afghan peace talks -- M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times

A Cruel April in the Sudan Spring? -- Alex de Waal, African Arguments

NATO's German Problem: Who Needs Soldiers or Weapons? -- Doug Bandow, National Interest

Brexit Will Heighten Division Within the European Union -- Benjamin Woodfinden, National Interest

After years of crisis, Venezuelans wonder what is 'normal' -- Christopher Torchia, AP

Why Isn't Assange Charged with 'Collusion with Russia'? -- Andrew McCarthy, NRO

A trade war between the US and Europe is unlikely to happen. Here's why -- Silvia Amaro, CNBC

World News Briefs -- April 16, 2019 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 05:29 PM PDT

Near disaster: An aerial view shows the vast extent of the damage to the Gothic cathedral's roof, where the fire took hold and raged throughout Monday night

Daily Mail: Bloodied but unbowed, Our Lady of Paris: Stunning aerial image shows scale of destruction to Notre Dame as ROBERT HARDMAN, the first reporter inside the cathedral, reveals sense of 'divine intervention' now uniting an angry France

* France, along with much of the world, has been deeply shocked at the near-demise of 'Our Lady of Paris'
* Yesterday evening, fresh images of the wreckage were released showing the aisle piled high with timbers
* It could have been much worse. The 850-year-old towers which stand guard over entrance are in one piece

Beneath the light rain that greeted a sleepless Parisian dawn yesterday, there was one over-riding emotion: That some sort of miracle had occurred in the early hours as it transpired one of the world's greatest medieval buildings had survived wholesale destruction.

The near-cataclysmic fire which had raged through the Cathedral of Notre Dame for eight hours during the night had finally been brought under control and smothered by first light.

Notre Dame has, without doubt, been horribly damaged. France, along with much of the world, has been deeply shocked at the near-demise of 'Our Lady of Paris'. Yesterday evening, fresh images of the wreckage were released showing the aisle piled high with charred and twisted timbers.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey eyes US sanctions waivers on Iran oil, Russia arms.

Erdogan's AK Party appeals for rerun of Istanbul's mayoral poll.

Christianity grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State.

Syria fuel shortages, worsened by US sanctions, spark anger.

Iran's top diplomat in Damascus ahead of Syria talks.

Iran ratifies bill designating US CENTCOM as terrorist group - reports.

Bahrain strips over 100 of nationality on 'terror' charges.

Israeli lawmakers back Netanyahu to form government.

Saudi king hosts Abu Dhabi crown prince amid Sudan turmoil.

ASIA

New Zealand's revises national security threat level to medium.

Satellite images may show reprocessing activity at North Korea nuclear site: think tank.

Indonesians choose president, parliament in world's biggest one-day vote.

Pakistan forces destroy 3-storey building in militant battle.

Kabul announces list of 250 Afghans for talks with Taliban.

Philippines to take legal action against China for clams harvest.

North Korea's stockpile of cryptocurrency worth $700M, analysts say.

'Pompeo lost his mind': Chinese diplomat hits back at US attacks on Beijing's investments in Chile.

AFRICA

Congo's leader sets Ebola outbreak end date after 800 deaths.

Western allies add fuel to Libya's fire with alleged military shipments to warlord.

Late night shelling in Tripoli as Europe, Gulf divided over Haftar's push.

Libya's UN-backed govt appeals to Europe against Haftar.

UN Libya envoy: Haftar offensive on Tripoli 'sounded like a coup'.

Fear of army action as Sudan protesters toughen stand.

African Union gives Sudan military 15 days to establish civil rule.

Algerian military considering all options to end crisis. Army chief says 'time running out' to resolve Algeria crisis.

Nigerian Army destroys major oil smuggling hub.

New UN envoy to work with African Union on Sudan crisis.

Egyptian parliament vote could keep Sisi in power until 2030.

EUROPE

The Latest: Macron wants Notre Dame rebuilt within 5 years.

Notre Dame assessed for structural damage after fire extinguished.

French authorities rule out arson in Notre Dame Cathedral blaze.

France's Macron pledges to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.

Mutual friends and borrowed cars: how Ukraine's would-be leader is linked to tycoon.

Tory deregulation agenda stalling Brexit talks, says Corbyn.

UK police arrest more than 200 in climate change protests.

Russia's parliament votes to unplug internet from world.

Russia jails Norwegian Frode Berg for spying on submarines.

AMERICAS

Oil workers reveal a Venezuelan region crumbling despite its resources.

Trump expresses Notre Dame 'condolences' to Macron: White House.

Trump says he's not concerned about Mueller report's release. Trump says Russia probe 'con job,' as fuller report looms.

US to allow lawsuits over Cuba property confiscation.

US hands Argentina declassified documents on 'Dirty War'.

Museum cancels event honouring Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.

Support strong for Guaidó in devastated Venezuelan oil city.

US health officials seek to stem measles outbreaks traced to Israel, Ukraine.

Hundreds of prisoners released in Nicaragua ahead of protests anniversary.

Canada court orders fresh look into Trudeau visit to Aga Khan's island.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US says Sudan new regime can exit terror list if progress.

US military says it killed ISIS-Somalia deputy in drone strike.

Instagram accounts of Iran Guards commanders blocked.

Iran names U.S. Central Command as terrorist group.

Al Qaeda linked Kashmiri terror chief denounces Pakistan, calls for renewed jihad.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Stocks rise after solid economic data, earnings.

F1 in talks over second China GP, road race on cards.

Billions at stake as Apple vs Qualcomm trial begins.

Jack Ma defends the 'blessing' of a 12-hour working day.

Does President Trump Listen To CIA Director Gina Haspel?

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 04:42 PM PDT

The C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, appears to have struck a balance between sticking to her principles while also keeping the C.I.A. mostly free from President Trump's ire. Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times

New York Times: Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen.

WASHINGTON — Gina Haspel was trying to brief President Trump early in her tenure as the C.I.A. director, but he appeared distracted. Houseflies buzzing around the Oval Office were drawing his attention, and ire.

On returning to her office, Ms. Haspel found a solution, according to two officials familiar with the episode, and sent it to Mr. Trump: flypaper.

Ms. Haspel, who will give only her second public speech as director on Thursday, has taken the reins of the nation's premier intelligence agency at a difficult moment in its 71-year history, under pressure from a president often publicly dismissive of its conclusions and a White House that views national security professionals with deep skepticism.

As she approaches her first full year on the job, Ms. Haspel has proved an adept tactician, charming the president with small gestures and talking to him with a blend of a hardheaded realism and appeals to emotion. A career case officer trained to handle informants, she has relied on the skills of a spy — good listening, empathy and an ability to connect — to make sure her voice is heard at the White House.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A puff piece from the New York Times on CIA Director Gina Haspel. As to the her relationship with President Trump .... I suspect that it is good. She is not political, and she clearly has the President's ear.

U.S. Citizens Will Now Be Allowed To Sue Companies Doing Business In Cuba

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 04:22 PM PDT



FOX News: Trump administration to allow lawsuits over seizures of US property in Cuba

The Trump administration intends to announce Wednesday that it will allow U.S. citizens to sue companies doing business in Cuba, according to a senior administration official.

Marking another break from Trump's predecessors that threatens to upend relations with allies, the administration plans to enforce a provision of a 1996 law known as Helms-Burton that allows Cubans who fled Fidel Castro's regime to sue companies that have used their former property on the island.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is going to hurt the Cuban government.

More News On U.S. Citizens Now Being Allowed To Sue Companies Doing Business In Cuba

Trump will allow lawsuits over U.S. properties seized in Cuba -- NBC/AP
In major shift, Trump to allow lawsuits against foreign firms in Cuba -- Reuters
Trump Is Making Yet Another Move to Apply Pressure On Cuba -- Time
Trump to Increase Pressure on Cuba by Lifting Lawsuit Limits -- The New York Times
Trump administration to let Americans sue Cuban companies -- NYPost

The F-35B Is Making 'Mini' Carrier Strike Groups A Viable Option

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 03:46 PM PDT

Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) transits the Gulf of Aden during a vertical replenishment while on a regularly scheduled deployment of Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). US Navy Photo

USNI News: F-35B Allowed Essex ARG to Flex New Blue-Water Capabilities in Absence of Carrier Nearby

ARLINGTON, Virginia – The F-35B Joint Strike Fighter is not only changing the way Marine forces conduct their missions, it is also changing the way the amphibious navy can do its work in the absence of an aircraft carrier, leaders from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Essex Amphibious Ready Group said.

The Essex ARG and 13th MEU were the first to deploy from the United States with the F-35B, and they operated in the Pacific and Middle East from mid-July until their March 1 return home to San Diego. The deployment not only generated lessons learned on how to operate and sustain the F-35B jets as part of the Marine unit and in support of its objectives ashore, but also how to use the new jet to support blue-water Navy missions at sea, 13th MEU Commanding Officer Col. Chandler Nelms and Amphibious Squadron 1 Operations Officer Lt. Cmdr. David Mahoney told the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies on April 12.

Read more ....

Update: The US is creating 'mini' carrier strike groups, and they are already proving their worth in combat (Business Insider)

WNU Editor: Not all missions require a super-carrier. A smaller version may just be as good.

Has North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Demoted His Sister?

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 03:30 PM PDT

South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks North Korea's Kim Young Nam and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. Seoul, South Korea, February 10, 2018 © Yonhap via / Reuters

Business Insider: Kim Jong Un's 'princess' sister may have been kicked out of North Korea's ruling body, suggesting a fall from favor

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister may have been kicked out of North Korea's top decision-making body, NK News reported, suggesting a fall from favor.

Kim Yo Jong was not listed as an alternate member of the ruling party's politburo during an important party gathering last week, the North Korea news site reported.

She is widely referred to as North Korea's "princess" and has accompanied Kim Jong Un to multiple international events, including the North Korean leader's recent summit with President Donald Trump in Vietnam.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She has always been with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un in the past, and she will be in the future. She is not a threat, and she is certainly not a liability. So no .... she has not fallen from favour.

Iran Has Offered To Send Iranian Revolutionary Guard Troops To Venezuela

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 03:00 PM PDT

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

New Arab: Iran could send Revolutionary Guards to Venezuela, foreign minister says

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif offered to send Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops to protect embattled Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, according to Channel 13 news.

Venezuela has been in crisis since its National Assembly chief Guaido proclaimed himself acting president of Venezuela following a mass opposition rally against incumbent socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The country has seen two million flee the country following food and medicine shortages.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Iranians already have their "air-bridge" to Venezuela .... New Air Bridge Reflects Iran's Growing Influence in Venezuela (VOA).

Iran's Top Generals Have Lost Their Instagram Acoounts

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 02:46 PM PDT

Major General Qasem Soleimani. © AFP 2019 / HO / KHAMENEI.IR

Al Arabiya: Instagram accounts of IRGC heads, including Qasem Soleimani, get suspended

The Instagram accounts of at least three commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were suspended on Tuesday, only a day after the US officially designated it as a foreign terrorist organization.

The accounts that were suspended included those of Major-General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the IRGC, and Brigadier-General Mohammed Pakpour, the commander of the IRGC Ground Forces.

The reasons for the suspension of the accounts were not immediately clear.

Read more ....

Update: IRGC General Soleimani's Instagram Page Blocked After US Blacklisting (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: I guess their Facebook accounts will be next.

Iran's Parliament Lables U.S. Forces In The Middle East As Terrorists

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 01:02 PM PDT

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani attends his swearing-in ceremony for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2017. President.ir/Handout via REUTERS

The Hill: Iranian lawmakers approve measure labeling US forces in Middle East terrorists

Iranian lawmakers approved a measure Tuesday designating U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorists, The Associated Press reported.

The bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Iranian parliament, comes a day after the U.S.'s terrorism designation for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officially took effect, the news service noted.

Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill, which accuses U.S. forces of "terrorist actions" and demands authorities use "legal, political and diplomatic" measures to neutralize them, according to the AP.

Read more ....

Update #1: Iran's parliament labels US troops in Mideast as terrorist -- AP
Update #2: Iran labels all US troops in the Middle East "terrorists" -- VOX

WNU Editor: Iran is following up form what they promised to do last week .... Iran Responds To The U.S. Decision To Designate The Revolutionary Guards As A Terrorist Organization (April 9, 2019).

New Russian Film On The Soviet - Afghan War Stirs Calls For It To Be Banned

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 12:22 PM PDT



The Guardian: 'Dirt and filth': Russia attacks film about Red Army in Afghanistan

Portrayal of Soviet withdrawal from country distorts historical facts, claims politician.

A row has broken out in Russia over a film about the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan, after politicians and former servicemen criticised its unflattering depiction of Red Army soldiers as unpatriotic.

Leaving Afghanistan, directed by Pavel Lungin, is based on the experiences of Nikolay Kovalyov, a veteran of the Afghan war who went on to lead Russia's FSB spy agency. It tells the story of a group of Red Army soldiers whose departure from Afghanistan is delayed after they are ordered to free a Soviet general's son taken captive by mujahideen fighters. Lungin told Variety magazine last year that the film depicts the "senselessness and cruelty of war".

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This looks like Russia's version of Platoon.

World News Briefs -- April 16, 2019

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 04:45 PM PDT



Daily Mail: Twenty-three minutes that could have saved Notre Dame? Alarm was raised during mass at 6.20pm but staff could not find the fire until 6.43pm ....when the inferno was raging out of control

* Heroic rescue team charged into the burning cathedral and saved the 850-year-old building from destruction
* Notre Dame's roof and spire collapsed but priceless treasures including reputed crown of Jesus were saved
* Today photos of the cathedral's interior showed debris strewn across the floor and the wooden roof missing
* Police currently interviewing specialist restorers who were carrying out works on the cathedral's iconic spire
* Authorities currently treating blaze as a tragic accident caused by a 'stray flame' and not arson or terrorism
* Two of France's richest men have pledged 300million euros with the total donor tally at over 600million

Officials attending the Notre Dame blaze initially couldn't find any sign of fire despite the alarm being raised 23 minutes before the structure went up in flames.

Paris public prosecutor Rémy Heitz announced on Tuesday that firefighters were called to the world-famous cathedral at 6.20pm CET, almost half an hour before the roof caught fire after a fire alarm was triggered.

But after an initial inspection they said they were unable to find any evidence of fire.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey eyes US sanctions waivers on Iran oil, Russia arms.

Erdogan's AK Party appeals for rerun of Istanbul's mayoral poll.

Syria fuel shortages, worsened by US sanctions, spark anger.

Iran's top diplomat in Damascus ahead of Syria talks.

Iran ratifies bill designating US CENTCOM as terrorist group - reports.

Bahrain strips over 100 of nationality on 'terror' charges.

Israeli lawmakers back Netanyahu to form government.

ASIA

Satellite images may show reprocessing activity at North Korea nuclear site: think tank.

Indonesians choose president, parliament in world's biggest one-day vote.

Pakistan forces destroy 3-storey building in militant battle.

Kabul announces list of 250 Afghans for talks with Taliban.

Philippines to take legal action against China for clams harvest.

North Korea's stockpile of cryptocurrency worth $700M, analysts say.

'Pompeo lost his mind': Chinese diplomat hits back at US attacks on Beijing's investments in Chile.

AFRICA

Libya's UN-backed govt appeals to Europe against Haftar.

UN Libya envoy: Haftar offensive on Tripoli 'sounded like a coup'.

Fear of army action as Sudan protesters toughen stand.

African Union gives Sudan military 15 days to establish civil rule.

Algerian military considering all options to end crisis. Army chief says 'time running out' to resolve Algeria crisis.

Nigerian Army destroys major oil smuggling hub.

New UN envoy to work with African Union on Sudan crisis.

Egyptian parliament vote could keep Sisi in power until 2030.

EUROPE

The Latest: Macron wants Notre Dame rebuilt within 5 years.

Notre Dame assessed for structural damage after fire extinguished.

French authorities rule out arson in Notre Dame Cathedral blaze.

France's Macron pledges to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.

Tory deregulation agenda stalling Brexit talks, says Corbyn.

UK police arrest more than 200 in climate change protests.

Russia's parliament votes to unplug internet from world.

Russia jails Norwegian Frode Berg for spying on submarines.

AMERICAS

Trump expresses Notre Dame 'condolences' to Macron: White House.

Trump says he's not concerned about Mueller report's release. Trump says Russia probe 'con job,' as fuller report looms.

US to allow lawsuits over Cuba property confiscation.

US hands Argentina declassified documents on 'Dirty War'.

Museum cancels event honouring Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.

Support strong for Guaidó in devastated Venezuelan oil city.

US health officials seek to stem measles outbreaks traced to Israel, Ukraine.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US military says it killed ISIS-Somalia deputy in drone strike.

Iran names U.S. Central Command as terrorist group.

Al Qaeda linked Kashmiri terror chief denounces Pakistan, calls for renewed jihad.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

F1 in talks over second China GP, road race on cards.

Billions at stake as Apple vs Qualcomm trial begins.

Jack Ma defends the 'blessing' of a 12-hour working day.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- April 16, 2019

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 10:56 AM PDT



Moscow Times: Russia Has Ceased 'All' Cooperation With NATO, Foreign Ministry Official Says

Russia has stopped all cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview with state media on Monday.

The Western alliance suspended military and civilian cooperation with Russia in the spring of 2014 in response to Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Several disputes, including a naval standoff in the Kerch Strait and the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, have further strained ties between Russia and the 70-year-old bloc.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- April 16, 2019

Russia cuts off contact with NATO over worsening relations -- UPI

Military & civil cooperation between Moscow & NATO nonexistent – Russian deputy FM -- RT

'We used to talk during the Cold War': Top US general urges communication with Moscow -- RT

Navies, companies push for torpedo-killing torpedoes -- Defense News

Boeing awarded $21.6M for GBU-57 'bunker buster' bombs -- UPI

Boeing awarded $65M in foreign military sales for small diameter bombs -- UPI

Camo netting, an age-old tool, is being re-engineered for the modern battlefield -- Army Times

US Army is unimpressed with lightweight munition options for unmanned aircraft -- Defense News

Without JEDI, Pentagon's AI Efforts May Be Hindered -- Defense One

Without JEDI, Pentagon's Artificial Intelligence Efforts May Be Hindered -- Nextgov

Could artificial intelligence save the Pentagon $15 billion a year? -- C4ISRNet

Did the Pentagon do enough to convince Congress it needs a Space Force? -- Aaron Mehta and Valerie Insinna, Defense News

Is it already time to worry about the Pentagon budget? -- Joe Gould, Defense News

Net Assessment: The Pentagon Can Count Ships (But Not Much Else) -- War on the Rocks

Why the the days of 'fighter jock culture' may be numbered -- Kyle Rempfer, Air Force Times

Navy, Army See Most Valor Medal Upgrades in Pentagon's Review -- Military.com

Woman Dies in Apparent Suicide at Arlington National Cemetery -- Military.com

Brothers in paws: A list of military-utilized dog breeds -- We Are The Mighty

U.S. approves possible $500 million military sale to Taiwan: Pentagon -- Reuters

USS Ross tracked by Russian fleet after entering Black Sea -- UPI

German air force jet makes rough landing, diverts traffic -- DW

Bad News: The British Army Bought the Wrong Tank -- National Interest

Russia flexes its heavy-lift helo muscles with new Mi-26 test flights -- Defense News

Russia hands Norwegian citizen 14-year jail term for espionage -- DW

Will China's new stealth amphibious drone boats guard its South China Sea outposts? -- SCMP

Chinese military chiefs set to move PLA service branch headquarters out of Beijing -- SCMP

Taiwan to Spend Billions on Bulking Up Island's Defenses Amid China Tensions -- Sputnik

Taiwan 'threatened' but not intimidated by China military drills -- Al Jazeera

US approves F-16 support for Taiwan in face of pressure from Beijing -- SCMP

F-35A crash: Japan's defense minister addresses security concerns, procurement plans -- Defense News

Israel Used 'S-300-Evading' Missile for First Time in Syria Strikes - Reports -- Sputnik

Iranian Air Force to Debut New Homegrown Fighter Jet in Massive Parade – Reports -- Sputnik

The Russian View On The Notre Dame Fire

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 10:00 AM PDT

Firefighters spray water on Notre-Dame Cathedral, April 16. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Moscow Times: Notre Dame Fire Symbolizes Europe's Decline, Russian Commentators Say

Russian condolences poured in after a fire tore through the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris late on Monday, but some commentators in the country said the inferno symbolized the decline of Europe.

Firefighters doused the smoldering ruins of the eight-centuries-old Gothic cathedral with water on Tuesday as investigators tried to establish what started the fire, Reuters reported. The blaze consumed the roof and caused the cathedral's spire to collapse before firefighters brought the flames under control in eight hours, saving its bell towers and outer walls.

Muscovites brought flowers to the French Embassy as a show of support in the wake of the fire. The first red carnations appeared outside the embassy as early as Monday evening, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. At Russia's largest Catholic church, worshippers in Moscow held a service in honor of the badly damaged cathedral.

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WNU Editor: This is my view also. The Notre Dame fire will become a symbol to many on the decline of Western Europe. This is also a good reason on why it should be rebuilt ASAP.

European Churches Are Being Vandalized, Defecated On, And Put On Fire "Every Day"

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 09:53 AM PDT

A firefighter is seen as flames shoot through the front door of St. Sulpice Church in Paris March 17, 2019, in this still image taken from social media. Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months. (Credit: CNS photo/Instagram@agneswebste via Reuters.)

Gatestone Institute: European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched "Every Day"

* In Germany, four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone. "In this country," PI-News, a German news site, explained, "there is a creeping war against everything that symbolizes Christianity: attacks on mountain-summit crosses, on sacred statues by the wayside, on churches... and recently also on cemeteries."

* In virtually every instance of church attacks, authorities and media obfuscate the identity of the vandals. In those rare instances when the Muslim (or "migrant") identity of the destroyers is leaked, the desecraters are then presented as suffering from mental health issues.

* "Hardly anyone writes and speaks about the increasing attacks on Christian symbols. There is an eloquent silence in both France and Germany about the scandal of the desecrations and the origin of the perpetrators.... Not a word, not even the slightest hint that could in anyway lead to the suspicion of migrants... It is not the perpetrators who are in danger of being ostracized, but those who dare to associate the desecration of Christian symbols with immigrant imports. They are accused of hatred, hate speech and racism." -- PI News, March 24, 2019

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WNU Editor: With the exception of the "Get Religion" post below, all of these articles were posted before the Notre Dame Cathedral fire.

More News On European Churches Being Targeted Everyday For Vandalism

Churches Desecrated in Ongoing Attacks Across Europe -- CBN
Vandals, arsonists target French Catholic churches -- CRUX
Report warns of 'increasing anti-Christian hostility' in France -- Christian Today
Notre Dame fire was 2nd to hit an iconic French Catholic church in a month -- RT
Vandals Threaten France's Christian Heritage With Arson, Faeces - Report -- Sputnik
Catholic Churches Are Being Desecrated Across France—and Officials Don't Know Why -- Newsweek
Politicians say vandalism at hundreds of French churches is being ignored -- Premier
Catholic churches in France vandalized, set on fire & smeared with excrement (PHOTOS, VIDEO) -- RT
Pakistani Migrant Facing Jail Time Over Damage to Ancient French Basilica -- Sputnik
If churches keep getting vandalized in France, should American news outlets cover the story? -- Clemente Lisi, Get Religion

Could Arson Be Responsible For The Notre Dame Cathedral Fire?

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 09:34 AM PDT

A view of the debris inside Notre-Dame de Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral, during the visit of French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (not pictured) in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS

Reuters: No sign of arson in Notre-Dame blaze as nation grieves for symbol

PARIS (Reuters) - The fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident, French prosecutors said on Tuesday after firefighters doused the last flames in the ruins overnight and the nation grieved for the destruction of one of its symbols.

More than 400 firemen were needed to tame the inferno that consumed the roof and collapsed the spire of the eight-centuries-old cathedral. They worked through the night to extinguish the fire some 14 hours after it began.

Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz said there was no obvious indication the fire was arson. Fifty people were working on what would be a long and complex investigation. One firefighter was injured but no one else was hurt in the blaze which began after the building was closed to the public for the evening.

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WNU Editor: The political and media rush to deny arson being responsible for the Notre Dame Cathedral fire is quite a sight to see. No one knows what caused the fire, and an investigation has not even started. But the conclusion on every major news network is already been made that this was an "accident".

Will The Release Of The Mueller Report Make Public Those Who Gave 'Damaging' Information On President Trump?

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 09:14 AM PDT



NBC: White House officials concerned about being exposed by Mueller report

Some of the dozen-plus officials interviewed by Mueller are concerned about president's "wrath" if they are seen as a source of damaging information in Thursday's report.

WASHINGTON — Some of the more than dozen current and former White House officials who cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller are worried that the version of his report expected to be made public on Thursday will expose them as the source of damaging information about President Donald Trump, according to multiple witnesses in the investigation.

Some of the officials and their lawyers have sought clarity from the Justice Department on whether the names of those who cooperated with Mueller's team will be redacted or if the public report will be written in a way that makes it obvious who shared certain details of Trump's actions that were part of the obstruction of justice probe, people familiar with the discussions said. But, they said, the Justice Department has refused to elaborate.

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WNU Editor: We will know tomorrow if the Mueller Report names witnesses, and make public their testimonies (which I doubt). As for the release of the report itself. I expect nothing new will be revealed, but it is not going to stop those who have been voicing for two years that the evidence of Trump - Russian collusion is overwhelming to be quiet.