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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

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

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

‘What the hell is that?’: US Navy Pilot Describes How A ‘Dark Mass’ Came From The Ocean Depth To Make A Torpedo Disappear

Posted: 09 Oct 2019 02:00 AM PDT

A number of UFOs have been spotted underwater. Picture: iStockSource:istock 'What the hell is that?': Navy pilot reveals creepy incident of 'dark mass' coming up from the depths

A former high-ranking US Navy fighter pilot has shared a hair-raising story of an encounter with an enormous underwater object.

A former high-ranking fighter pilot who chased a "Tic Tac"-shaped UFO off the coast of San Diego in 2004 has shared a chilling story of another pilot's encounter with an enormous underwater object a decade earlier.

Retired US Navy pilot commander David Fravor first came forward in a bombshell New York Times article in December 2017, describing how his squadron witnessed a 737-sized object just under the surface of the water during training exercises in the Pacific Ocean, 160km off the coast of San Diego.

Read more ....

Update: Navy Pilot Says 'Dark Mass' Made Torpedo Disappear (Popular Mechanics)

WNU Editor: A friend of mine who enjoys sailing told me he saw a submarine pass underneath his sailboat off the coast of Florida in the late 1980s. It is something that he has told me more than once that he will never forget. But in this story this Navy pilot had experienced a sub passing underneath, so he would know what it looks like. But this sighting is different, and it has clearly spooked him.

Reports: 10 To 35 Russian Mercenaries Killed In Libya

Posted: 09 Oct 2019 01:00 AM PDT

A smoke plume rises in Tajoura, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, June 29, 2019, following a reported airstrike.

VOA: Reports: Up to 35 Russian Mercenaries Killed in Libya

MOSCOW - As many as 35 Russian mercenaries are reported to have been killed in Libya while they were fighting for Khalifa Haftar, the military general most associated with the rule of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who launched an offensive earlier this year on the Libyan capital of Tripoli, home to the country's internationally-recognized government, according to a Russian media.

The mercenaries are thought to work for the Wagner Group, a military contractor run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman nicknamed Putin's Chef because he holds lucrative Kremlin catering contracts.

Asked by VOA about the reports of the fatalities in an airstrike on the outskirts of Tripoli, where Haftar's forces have been bogged down for months, Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said she had "no detailed information" and suggested directing questions to Russia's defense ministry.

Read more ....

Update #1: Dozens of Russian Mercenaries Killed in Libya – Meduza (Moscow Times)
Update #2: Falling off the Fence: Russian Mercenaries Join the Battle for Tripoli (Roger McDermott, Jamestown Foundation)

WNU Editor: The original report on Russian mercenaries being killed in Libya is here .... A small price to pay for Tripoli Between 10 and 35 Russian mercenaries have been killed in the Libyan Civil War. We identified several of them. (Meduza).

UN Chief Says United Nations May Not Have Enough Money For Staff Salaries Next Month

Posted: 09 Oct 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Antonio Guterres says he has been working to improve UN operations and cut costs [Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

Reuters: U.N. chief warns may not have enough money to pay staff next month

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations may not have enough money for staff salaries next month if member states don't pay what they owe, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Tuesday.

He told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly's budget committee that if he had not worked since January to cut spending then "we would not have had the liquidity to support" the annual gathering of world leaders last month.

"This month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade. We risk ... entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls," said Guterres. "Our work and our reforms are at risk."

The United States is the largest contributor - responsible for 22 percent of the more than $3.3 billion regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: As someone who worked for the UN for about 5 years, I can say this without hesitation. The best job in the world is being a UN employee.

More News On The UN Chief Saying The UN Will Be Running Out Of Money Next Month

UN chief says UN facing worst cash crisis in nearly 10 years -- AP
UN might not have enough money to pay staff next month -- DW
UN warns of 'severe' cash shortage as agency nears deepest deficit of the decade -- FOX News
Guterres warns UN may not have money to pay staff next month -- Al Jazeera

Tweets For today

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 11:00 PM PDT

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 10:30 PM PDT

Demonstrators take part in a protest in Quito, Ecuador, October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

WNU Editor: The above report is from the following photo-gallery .... Protests rage over Ecuador austerity measures (Reuters).

Can The A-10 Destroy Iran's Navy In A War?

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 10:00 PM PDT

Image: DVIDShub.

Robert Beckhusen, National Interest: How America's A-10 Warthogs Will Destroy Iran's Navy in a War

Small attack boats are no match.

Key Point: A-10s are anti-tank planes but they also have a great anti-ship role.

It doesn't necessarily take the resources of a major nation-state to challenge U.S. Navy warships. China for instance is building up a large navy and invests in long-range, ship-killing missiles. Iran can't build a large navy but it does invest in swarms of small missile boats.

Like a swarm of insects, a swarm of boats can pose a threat as a larger, far more expensive warship might not be able to swat them all — and a single missile with enough punch can be devastating.

So the U.S. military is practising with ways to defeat such a potential threat with tank-killing A-10 Warthogs.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  I find it more interesting that the U.S. military decided to use an A-10 in an exercise to show how effective it can be used against a swarm of boats.

Iranian Media Is Calling For The Seizure Of The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 09:30 PM PDT

File photo: U.S. Embassy Baghdad

RFE: Khamenei-Linked Newspaper In Iran Suggests Seizure Of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

Iranian media affiliated with various parts of the country's political spectrum have been trumpeting a rhetoric that blames U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel for the widespread protests in Iraq.

This comes while protesters and most observers believe Iran-aligned Iraqi ruling factions have mismanaged the country and tolerated corruption, driving desperate people to come out into the streets with more than 70 killed so far.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran is worried that their allies are under siege in Iraq, and are trying to divert everyone's attention from this .... After bloodshed hits flashpoint district, Iraq scrambles to stem violence (Reuters).

This Is How Iran Can Shut Off The World's Oil Supply

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 09:00 PM PDT

Edward Chang, National Interest: How Iran Could Try to Shut off the Global Oil Supply

(Close the Strait of Hormuz.)

Key point: Iran could try to stop some oil tankers from getting out of the Gulf, but doing so would lead to a firm U.S. response.

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to potential sanctions that could be levied upon Iranian oil exports, threats which were echoed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). President Donald Trump has given countries until November 4, 2018, to stop importing petroleum from Iran. This wide-scale ban is part of a new campaign of confrontation and pressure against the Islamic Republic. This demand comes on the heels of the U.S. departure from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Sink a few oil tankers will be more than enough to shut down the oil trade through the Strait.

Iran Admits That U.S. Sanctions Have Crippled Its Oil Industry

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 08:00 PM PDT

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh at an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo Iran Admits U.S. Sanctions Dealt ''Deadly Blow'' To Its Oil Industry

Iran's oil industry has been falling behind because of the U.S. sanctions, but Tehran will resist, Iranian media quoted Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying on Tuesday.

"The conditions in Iran are in a way that once every few years the oil industry receives a deadly blow and the economic sanctions can be considered one of those," Zanganeh said, as carried by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

"This has caused Iran's oil industry to fall behind from the international position and space but we will resist in this area," Zanganeh added, according to the agency.

Read more ....

Update: Sanctions have led to Iran's oil industry falling behind: Iran oil minister (Reuters)

WNU Editor:The Iranian oil minister is admitting the obvious. Especially after this announcement .... Iran Confirms China Has Withdrawn From A Crucial $5 Billion Gas Project (October 6, 2019).

Here's Who Controls Syria Now

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 07:19 PM PDT

Skye Gould/Business Insider

Business Insider: A brutal dictator, warring US partners, and a former al-Qaeda branch: Here's who controls Syria now

* Who controls which parts of Syria has changed dramatically since the civil war began in 2011.
* While Kurdish forces control a large swath of northeastern Syria, a Turkish incursion threatens to change that.
* Syrian President Bashar Assad, who used chemical weapons against his own people, now controls about half the country.

Since the Syrian civil war started in 2011, who controls what parts of the country has changed dramatically.

President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to pull US forces from Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria, which Turkey threatens to invade, cast renewed attention on Syria's territorial divisions.

As of October, Kurdish forces, loosely allied under the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), control much of northeastern Syria, from the northern border with Turkey, encompassing the former ISIS capital in the city of Raqqa, south to al-Qaim on the Syria-Iraq border, as well as a bit of territory in western Syria, north of Aleppo.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Syrian regime's control on much of the country is tenuous at best. The Kurds do not have the manpower or resources to control eastern Syria. Turkey is saying they are going to intervene in northeastern Syria. If they do, this map is going to change once again.

Official: No U.S. Troops Are Leaving Syria

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 06:59 PM PDT

MSNBC: As fallout over the president's late night decision to pull American troops out of Syria increases, it turns out they are still there – and aren't leaving. NBC's Richard Engel joins Stephanie Ruhle with reaction out of Turkey. Weighing in on the troops and Turkey's president visiting the White House: Defense One Executive Director Kevin Baron and former Obama National Security team member Ned Price.

WNU Editor: It looks like initial reports of U.S. soldiers leaving right away were wrong. But they are leaving.

Syria Kurds And The Assad Regime Are Hinting At A Partnership

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 06:53 PM PDT

A Syrian boy watches as Turkish military vehicles, part of a US military convoy, take part in joint patrol in Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad along the border with Turkey (AFP)

RUDAW: Syria Kurds, Assad regime hint at partnership against Turkish threat

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Threatened by an imminent Turkish invasion from the north following Monday's US withdrawal from the Syria-Turkey border, Syria's Kurds and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus have separately hinted at possible coordination.

US President Donald Trump appeared to greenlight a long-threatened Turkish operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria on Sunday night, despite the SDF's role as America's key ally in the ground war against the Islamic State group (ISIS).

Ankara, a long-time backer of Syria's armed opposition, appears primed and ready to invade territories east of the Euphrates River, where Kurds have built an autonomous administration of their own – independent of the Syrian regime.

Read more ....

Update: Syrian Kurdish official eyes possible talks with Damascus (Reuters)

WNU Editor: This is a golden opportunity for Assad and his Russian alliance to step into this vacuum. My prediction. If Turkey breaks its promise with President Trump and launches an all-out assault against the Kurds, which I believe they will, the Kurds will make a deal with Damascus.

Turkey's Military Ready To Invade Northern Syria

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 06:23 PM PDT

Daily Mail: Turkey fires first shots: Ankara bombs Kurdish supply route ahead of invasion to create a 'peace corridor' along border just hours after Trump pulls US troops - as president reveals he has invited Erdogan to the White House next month

* Turkey confirmed it carried out strikes against Kurdish forces on the Syria-Iraq border overnight Monday
* Strike was designed to sever supply lines between Kurds in the two countries in preparation for invasion
* Turkey plans to create a 'peace corridor' in northern Syria by driving Kurdish forces away from its border
* Comes after Donald Trump agreed to withdraw U.S troops from Syria, but denied he abandoned the Kurds
* Trump revealed on Tuesday that he has extended an invitation to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet with him at the White House in November
* He tweeted that Turkey was a 'good trading partner' of the U.S and 'have been very good to deal with'

Turkey fired its first shots against the Kurds overnight by bombing a key supply route on the Syrian-Iraqi border, officials have confirmed.

The Turkish air force struck the Semalka Border Crossing in order to stop Kurdish forces resupplying along a route which links their territories in northern Iraq and Syria, two security officials said.

'One of the fundamental goals was to cut off the transit route between Iraq and Syria before the operation in Syria, a source told Reuters. 'In this way, the group's support lines, including ammunition, are shut off.'

Read more ....

More News On Turkish Forces Ready To Engage Kurdish Forces In Northern Syria

Turkey-Syria border: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Ahead of offensive, Turkey says it strikes Syria-Iraq border -- Reuters
Turkey dismisses US threats, amasses troops on Syrian border -- France 24
Turkey boosts troops on Syria border after operation warning -- BBC
Erdogan's aide says Turkey to start Syria offensive 'shortly' -- Reuters
Turkey: Preparations 'complete' for Syria military action -- Al Jazeera
Turkey vows to press ahead with attack on Kurdish-led forces in Syria -- The Guardian
Turkey's military gets into position at Syria-Iraq border, anticipating withdrawal by US -- ABC News Online
Turkey prepares to fight Kurds in northern Syria -- UPI
'People are panicking but life goes on': Syrian Kurds brace for war -- The Guardian
Turkey says it won't bow to US threat over its Syria plans -- AP

World News Briefs -- October 8, 2019 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 06:12 PM PDT

Reuters: Ahead of offensive, Turkey says it strikes Syria-Iraq border

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's military struck the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria, as Ankara prepared to attack following a surprise U.S. troop pullback, Turkish officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

Turkey says it is ready to advance into northeast Syria now that the United States has begun withdrawing troops from the Turkey-Syria frontier in an abrupt policy shift by U.S. President Donald Trump widely criticized in Washington as a betrayal of America's allies, the Kurds.

As Turkish troops finalize plans, the government's scheme to move millions of refugees into conquered territory in northeast Syria is alarming some Western allies as much as the military operation itself.

Read more ....


Turkey confirms strikes on Syrian border ahead of offensive: report.

Turkey says it won't bow to US threat over its Syria plans.

Trump says US has not 'abandoned the Kurds' in Syria. Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria. Trump shifts tone on Turkey in effort to halt Syria invasion.

Donald Trump reveals he is inviting Turkish strongman Erdogan to the White House next month AND calls Turkey 'good to deal with' in the face of Republican disgust at 'betrayal' of Syrian Kurds with U.S. troop pull-out.

Protests resume in Iraq's Sadr City as uprising enters second week.

Iraq protests: Government under pressure despite lull.

Iraq's parliament meets after protests spark political crisis.

Iran foreign minister says ready to talk with Saudis if they stop 'killing people'.

UAE pulls some forces from Yemen's Aden as deal nears to end standoff: witnesses.


Hong Kong's leader warns China's military could step in if 'situation becomes so bad'. Carrie Lam: China intervention in Hong Kong can't be ruled out.

Hong Kong's undercover medics reveal hidden toll of protests.

China state newspaper criticizes Apple for app use by Hong Kong protesters.

Cambodia's PM Hun Sen orders military to 'attack' exile opposition leaders on sight.

Abducted Indian engineers freed in trade for 11 Taliban commanders.

Pakistan's Imran Khan in China to talk Kashmir, economic ties.

Europeans urge strict sanctions enforcement on North Korea.

Survey: South Koreans grow wary of unification with North.

New Zealand divided over history on 250th anniversary of Captain Cook's arrival.


DR Congo fighting: Thousands flee ethnic violence.

Malawi policeman stoned to death by protesters.

Egypt PM says will not allow protests to spread 'chaos'.

Mozambique says army killed 9 jihadists in restive north.

Murder of election observer in Mozambique causes outcry.

EU observers regrets Tunisia 'silent campaign' ahead of vote.

Zuma's son says not corrupt, but victim of S.African political 'storm'.


Reports: Merkel tells Johnson Brexit talks close to breaking down.

Boris Johnson's office says Brexit deal 'essentially impossible', blames Angela Merkel.

IMF boss Kristalina Georgieva warns of 'painful' Brexit.

EU concerned at new migrant wave from Turkish operation in Syria.

EU fails to cement agreement on migrants rescued at sea.

Portugal president asks Antonio Costa to form government.

Azerbaijan PM resigns, president replaces him with loyalist.

Italian lawmakers back overhaul to reduce their seats.


White House tells Pelosi, committee chairs it won't cooperate with impeachment inquiry. White House throws down gauntlet to Nancy Pelosi and says Donald Trump will not cooperate with her 'illegitimate' impeachment inquiry because it is 'seeking to overturn 2016 election'.

Trump fires back on impeachment.

US Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria.

US economy likely to keep growing: Fed's Powell.

US detained nearly one million migrants in 12 months.

Ecuador's government flees as thousands of protesters converge in capital. Ecuador president Moreno leaves Quito amid growing unrest. Ecuador protesters storm parliament as unrest worsens.

Seven Latam nations suggest Maduro behind unrest in Ecuador, back Moreno.

Ex-Colombian President Uribe to testify in fraud case.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is slammed as 'a phony and a fraud' over his blackface photos as his conservative rival lays into him during live debate.


Al Qaeda affiliate claims deadly attack on Malian army.

Ex-US commander warns Trump's Syria retreat 'threatens to undo' ISIS gains.

U.S., Afghan forces kill al-Qaida south Asia leader Asim Umar.

Uncertainty over jailed ISIL suspects' fate in Syria before looming push.


Indexes tumble as visa restrictions fuel U.S.-China worries.

Chinese e-commerce platforms block Houston Rockets' merchandise after backlash over GM's tweet supporting Hong Kong protests.

New U.S.-China trade talks threatened by escalating tensions.

Hong Kong drops £32bn bid for London Stock Exchange.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 8, 2019

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 05:43 PM PDT

Chase Winter, DW: Explained: Why Turkey wants a military assault on Syrian Kurds

A Turkish military operation against Syrian Kurdish territory could unleash instability, displacement and intense fighting. The Kurds are warning of ethnic cleansing and all-out war.

Turkey appears poised to launch a military incursion against a US-backed, Kurdish-led militia alliance in northeast Syria, setting the stage for a potential bloodbath and instability across the region for years to come.

US President Donald Trump surprisingly announced US troops would pull away from the Turkish-Syrian border, allowing Turkey to carry out an operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 8, 2019

Why Turkey wants to invade the Kurdish region in north-eastern Syria -- Eric Tlozek, ABC News Online

Why does Turkey want to attack Syria's Kurds and what does the US have to do with it? -- Tracey Shelton and Adam Harvey, ABC News Online

Will Turkey succeed in creating a 'safe zone' for Syrians? -- Sinem Koseoglu, Al Jazeera

'Islamic State' resurgence a 'very real possibility' after US exits Syria -- Max Zander & Teri Schultz, DW

Trump's Syria withdrawal: Who stands to gain? -- Tom Allinson, DW

Making sense of Iran's nuclear moves -- Behnam Ben Taleblu, The Hill

Have Iran, US slammed door on nuclear negotiations? -- Saeid Jafari, Al-Monitor

Iran sees Iraq unrest as a plot to undo bilateral ties -- Al Jazeera

After 18 years of war, Afghan youth dejected but hopeful -- Ruchi Kumar, Al Jazeera

Taiwan fears China's authoritarian threat in the Pacific after losing two diplomatic allies -- ABC News Online

US in Somalia: Is it still a safe haven for al-Shabab? -- Christopher Giles, BBC

Brexit: The end for negotiations in Brussels? -- Katya Adler, BBC

AP Explains: Crisis in Ecuador over end to fuel subsidies -- Gonzalo Solano, AP

Are we alone? Nobel Prize goes to 3 who tackled cosmic query -- Seth Borenstein and David Keyton, AP

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 8, 2019 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 04:17 PM PDT

National Interest: The U.S. Military Has Big Plans to Stop Iran from Attacking Saudi Arabia

This deployment represents the latest American effort to deter Iranian aggression and highlights the growing and evolving air and missile threat to the United States and its partners.

n response to the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced plans to deploy additional personnel and air and missile defense assets to the Middle East – including one Patriot battery, four Sentinel radars, and 200 support personnel. This deployment represents the latest American effort to deter Iranian aggression and highlights the growing and evolving air and missile threat to the United States and its partners.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 8, 2019

If a War Happened, Iran Would Train Its Missile on the Navy -- National Interest

Iran Unveils Kit to Turn Artillery Rockets Into Guided Missiles – Report -- Sputnik

Netanyahu said pushing major missile defense program to counter Iran -- Times of Israel

Israel, bracing for Iranian assault, studies recent attack on Saudi oil facility -- Times of Israel

Netanyahu: Israel needs billions invested for defense against Iran -- UPI

Israel Needs 'Many Billions Immediately' To Counter Iran: Netanyahu -- Breaking Defense

Analysis Netanyahu Seeks Billions to Fund Israeli Defense Against Iranian Cruise Missiles -- Haaretz

Israel military budget plan 'hampered' by political instability -- Middle East Monitor

US Defense Firms Will Strike It Rich Amid Saudi Oil Hit And Iranian 2020 Election Hack -- Forbes

U.S. Army To Execute Its Most Massive European Deployment Exercise In 25 Years -- Warzone/The Drive

U.S. Army's Atlantic Resolve troops start rotation in Europe -- UPI

The Army Is Using 'High-Tech Virtual Training Simulations' To Get Ready for War -- National Interest

Shark-like "Invictus" is Bell's bid for Army's future attack-recon aircraft -- Ars Technica

Leaked Army document reveals 84 percent of women have FAILED the new rigorous combat fitness test, slated to become the official physical exam in 2020 -- Daily Mail

US Navy exercises sprawl across western Pacific -- Navy Times

U.S. Air Force rolls out new uniforms -- UPI

Top Democrats warn against withdrawing from treaty that allows observation flights over Russia -- The Hill

House Democrats look for paper trail on blocked military aid to Ukraine -- NBC

Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria -- The Hill

Pentagon insists it was consulted ahead of Syria move -- The Hill

Remarks by President Trump in Briefing with Military Leaders --

Meet America's newest military giant: Amazon -- Technology Review

Game of Drones: Coming to a Military Theater Near You -- Daily Signal

Pompeo visits Greece, signs new defense deal -- UPI

Germany: US military plane crashes near Trier -- DW

Norway Says No to NATO's Missile Defence Shield -- Sputnik

UK-France military force tested in Scotland -- BBC

Australian Navy recruiting for roles that don't yet exist -- The Strategist

This abandoned 'Forbidden City' was once the largest Soviet military base in East Germany -- CNN

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Receives First Rafale From France -- Sputnik

Cameroon's efforts to improve army image greeted with skepticism -- DW

US F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes Near Air Base In Germany. Pilot Ejects To Safety

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 03:00 PM PDT

A USAF F-16 fighter on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base last week

Daily Mail/AFP: US military F-16 fighter jet crashes in south west Germany: Pilot is 'taken to hospital after ejecting over a forest'

* USAF Spangdahlem base confirmed an F-16 crashed at around 3pm on Tuesday
* The pilot was able to use the ejector seat to get to safety and is in hospital
* There were no immediate details on what caused the crash in the Zemmer area
* Police have a wide cordon in place and fire crews rushed to the scene

A US military F-16 fighter jet has crashed in western Germany, with the pilot ejecting to safety before the plane smashed into the ground.

Officials said the jet came down in a forest in the Zemmer area during a training mission, between the city of Trier and the U.S. Air Force's Spangdahlem Air Base.

Base spokeswoman Angela Watson confirmed the plane crashed around 3pm local time on Tuesday and the pilot, who was taken to hospital with minor injuries, was safe. She provided no immediate details about the cause of the crash.

The news comes just a week after two US airmen were killed at the Spangdahlem base in a fiery car crash. The cause of the September 30 accident remains under investigation.

Read more ....

More News On Today's US F-16 Fighter Jet Crash Near Air Base In Germany

US F-16 fighter jet crashes in Germany, pilot ejects to safety-- Air Force Times
American F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes Near U.S. Air Force Base in Germany -- Time/AP
Air Force F-16 Crashes in Germany; Pilot Escapes with Minor Injuries --
Air Force F-16 crashes in Germany, pilot suffers minor injuries -- FOX News
Germany: US military plane crashes near Trier -- DW
Crashes of US Military Aircraft in Europe Over the Last Decade: How Many and Where? -- Sputnik

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper: US Military Has Been Hitting The Taliban Harder Since The End Of Peace Talks

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 01:20 PM PDT

Task & Purpose: The US military has been hitting the Taliban harder since peace talks fell through, Esper says

At the direction of President Donald Trump, the U.S. military has ramped up the number of air and ground attacks against the Taliban, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday.

"We did step up our attacks on the Taliban since the [peace] talks broke down," Esper told reporters while returning from visits to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky. "The president spoke about this publicly. We did pick up the pace considerably."

In September, the president placed peace talks on hold amid continued Talban attacks. Now, the Taliban are reaping the whirlwind.

Read more ....

Update: Trump defense head says US has stepped up attacks on Taliban since talks broke down (The Hill)

WNU Editor: The data shows that this is the case .... The US military dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in the last month than it has since 2010 (Task & Purpose).

Violent Protests In Ecuador Has Forced The Government To Move From Quito To The Coastal City Of Guayaquil

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 01:04 PM PDT

FOX News: Ecuador's government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes

Ecuador's president is accusing his political rivals of trying to orchestrate a coup this week after violent protests tied to rising fuel prices forced his government to relocate away from the country's capital.

Officials say about 350 people have been detained so far for blocking traffic, interrupting public services or attacking police following President Lenín Moreno's decision to end government subsidies that have been keeping fuel prices down. Moreno says the subsidies have cost the government heavily in recent years and dropped them in a bid to stimulate Ecuador's economy, but scenes coming out of Quito showed protesters throwing stones and marching through the streets in response.

Read more ....

More News On The Growing Unrest In Ecuador

Ecuador moves government out of capital amid violent fuel subsidy protests as president claims he is the target of a coup attempt -- Daily Mail
Ecuadorean president moves govt from capital as indigenous march to protest fuel prices -- France 24
Ecuador moves government out of capital as violent protests rage -- The Guardian
Ecuador protests: Government moves out of capital as violent demonstrations escalate -- The Independent
Ecuador government leaves capital city amid violent protests -- CNN
Ecuador Government Holds Talks to End Chaos After Fleeing Quito -- Bloomberg
Ecuador protests: Indigenous groups block highways as protests continue -- BBC
AP Explains: Crisis in Ecuador over end to fuel subsidies -- AP

New Polls Show Almost 50% Support For Impeaching President Trump

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 12:44 PM PDT

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

FiveThirtyEight: Do Americans Support Impeaching Trump?

An updating calculation of support for and opposition to impeachment, accounting for each poll's quality, recency, sample size and partisan lean, since Aug. 1, 2018

Now that House Democrats are holding an official inquiry into allegations that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, FiveThirtyEight is following how public opinion responds with this preliminary impeachment polling tracker.

In addition to tracking the polling averages for and against impeachment among all Americans, which you can see in the chart above, we are also keeping tabs on how opinion breaks down along party lines. As you can see below, Democrats are strongly in favor of impeachment, Republicans are strongly opposed and independents hover somewhere in between

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This poll also shows 50% support for impeaching President Trump .... Brutal new poll shows 3 in 10 Republicans support Trump impeachment push (The Week).

New Book Claims Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Had The Support Of Two Cabinet Colleagues For Invoking The 25th Amendment tT Remove President Trump From Office

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 08:13 PM PDT

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: FBI lover Lisa Page LIED about her affair with Peter Strzok, new book reveals, which also tells how 'biased' Loretta Lynch stopped a special counsel taking over Hillary Clinton email probe

  * FBI lawyer Lisa Page lied to Andrew McCabe about her relationship with agent Peter Strzok, new book Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law claims
  * Strzok, who worked on Robert Mueller's probe, was caught calling Trump an 'idiot' and discussing an 'insurance policy' if Trump won the 2016 election
  * Page was 'acutely embarrassed, mortified' that her affair was public but chose to lie rather than tell the truth, writes James B. Stewart in his new book
  * Their relationship has become a lightning rod for Trump and his allies, who see it as evidence of bias in the probe into Russian interference in the election
  * The book also reveals that former FBI director James Comey had deep concerns about the impartiality of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch
  * Another revelation is former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had the support of two cabinet colleagues for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office
  * Stewart claims former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said they might back it

The female FBI lawyer who was caught sending anti-Donald Trump texts lied about her relationship with FBI agent Peter Strzok when the director of the bureau confronted her, a new book exclusively obtained by reveals.

Lisa Page told Andrew McCabe that she and Strzok were not an item and had never been romantically involved.

Page was 'acutely embarrassed, mortified' that her affair was public but chose to lie rather than tell the truth, writes James B. Stewart in his new book Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law, out today.

When their relationship did become public, so did the texts they exchanged mocking Trump and his supporters, with the two becoming a symbol of the so-called Deep State that was out to get the President.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is quite revealing that when you look at all of those who wanted President Trump gone, they are now out of government with a few of them facing some serious legal charges.

China Rejects President Trump's Call To Investigate Former Vice-President Joe Biden And His Son

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 12:07 PM PDT

US President Donald Trump wants former vice-president Joe Biden (left) and his son Hunter (right) investigated by China, but Beijing has refused. Photo: Reuters

SCMP: China rejects Donald Trump's call to investigate Democrat rival Joe Biden and son

* Beijing will stick to 'principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries'
* Former vice-president in embattled Trump's sights over Hunter Biden's business ties in China and Ukraine

China has rejected US President Donald Trump's call to investigate his Democrat rival Joe Biden and Biden's son, saying Beijing had no intention of intervening in US domestic affairs.

"China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday.

"We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear."

Trump said last week that Ukraine and China should investigate former vice-president Biden and his son, Hunter, and that he [Trump] had "tremendous power" and a "lot of options" going into the China-US trade talks.

US President Donald Trump wants former vice-president Joe Biden (left) and his son Hunter (right) investigated by China, but Beijing has refused. Photo: Reuters

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WNU Editor: The Biden's business partner is China is also not talking .... Chinese business partner of Joe Biden's son yet to decide whether to comment after Donald Trump's call for investigation (SCMP). What's my take. The Chinese know what this arrangement was all about. A payoff to the Biden's for helping China, and I predict a very profitable one when we know all the details at the end.

Hong Kong's Embattled Leader Carrie Lam Says ‘No Options Can Be Ruled Out,' When Asked About A China Intervention

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 08:01 AM PDT

Daily Mail: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warns of military crackdown from China for the first time, claiming Beijing WILL step in if anti-government unrest gets worse

* Lam warned that Beijing's troops could intervene if unrest 'becomes so bad'
* But she reiterated that the government still hopes to resolve the crisis itself
* Western envoys in the city claimed China had quietly doubled its troop levels
* China's PLA army in Hong Kong gave its first warning to activists on Sunday
* The financial hub was plunged into further chaos after an emergency mask ban
* 77 people have been arrested and 14 have been charged for violating the law
* Trump today urged President Xi to ensure a 'humane solution' in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam warned today that the Chinese military could step in if an uprising for democratic reforms that has rocked the city for months 'becomes so bad', but reiterated the government still hopes to resolve the crisis itself.

Lam urged foreign critics to accept that the four months of protests marked by escalating violence were no longer 'a peaceful movement for democracy'.

Beijing's army stationed in the city gave its first warning to activists on Sunday, telling them that they could be arrested for targeting its barracks with lasers.

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Update #1: Hong Kong leader Lam does not rule out Beijing help, as economy suffers (Reuters)
Update #2: Carrie Lam says Chinese military could step in if Hong Kong's situation gets worse: 'Nothing can be ruled out' (The Independent)

WNU Editor: This tells me that they (the Chinese and Hong Kong leadership) are now discussing the type of Chinese military/police intervention that they will need to stop the protests. The question that remains unanswered is how and when will these forces be deployed.

Brexit Talks On Brink Of Collapse (Again)

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 07:53 AM PDT

FOX News: Brexit deal is 'essentially impossible,' Johnson says, if European Union stands by trade demand

The British government warned Tuesday that it will be "essentially impossible" to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union if the bloc continues to stand by a key trade demand involving Northern Ireland.

The grim assessment from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office following a phone call between the British leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes just weeks before an Oct. 31 deadline to leave the EU. The EU has been responding coolly to the U.K.'s plan for maintaining an open Irish border after Brexit, which has been the main stumbling block to a deal.

Downing St. said Merkel told the prime minister Tuesday morning that "a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely" unless Northern Ireland remains in a customs union with the EU — something the U.K. says it can't allow.

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WNU Editor: Everything fell apart after this phone call .... No 10 source: Brexit talks on brink of collapse after Merkel-Johnson call (The Guardian). The impression that I am getting is that the EU is banking on Prime Minister Johnson being removed in the coming weeks, so why compromise now.

President Trump Opens Up About His Letters To Parents Of Killed Soldiers

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 07:03 AM PDT

Breitbart: 'I Hate it' — Donald Trump Opens Up About His Letters to Parents of Killed Soldiers

President Donald Trump reminded Americans that troops were still dying in the Middle East, opening up on Monday about his letters to parents of slain soldiers.

"I have to sign letters often to parents of young soldiers that were killed and it's the hardest thing I have to do in this job," Trump said. "I hate it. I hate it."

Trump spoke about the process after presiding over a signing event for the new United States and Japan trade deal at the White House.

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WNU Editor: Yup. This is by far the worst part of the job. The remarks are made at the 47:00 mark in the above video.