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Friday, December 13, 2019

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

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


Tweets For Today

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 10:30 PM PST













Cuba's Fuel Shortages Are Now Widespread

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 10:00 PM PST

Due to a lack of fuel, Cuba resorts to animal traction to boost its agriculture and the transport of goods and people in rural areas

Daily Mail/AFP: Cuba manages to keep ploughing on in the face of US sanctions: Oxen and horses are the only option for farming and transportation in many parts of the country due to fuel shortages

  * The nation was forced to function with just 30 percent of its fuel needs in September, rising to 60 in October
  * In recent weeks, some areas have had their garbage disposal done by horse and cart to save precious fuel
  * Cuba doesn't have enough work animals, currently around 200,000, to take up the place of silenced engines

Cubans have been forced to return to using horse and oxen power for farming, travel and transport, largely due to a US blockade on fuel.

In Los Palacios, 60 miles west of the capital Havana, Heriberto Piloto bellows at his oxen 'Montezuelo' and 'Pasajero' as they plough a tobacco field at the 'La Juanita' farm.

Once the fields were ploughed by tractors, plus some animal help, but now beasts of burden are the only option, meaning the job of ploughman has made a comeback too in Cuba's fields.

Alfredo Reynoso, the director of the state company Cubaquivir, which provides services to the 12 agricultural cooperatives in Los Palacios said: 'Under normal conditions, we always used animals and... given the country's fuel restrictions, we've had to increase this activity.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Another reminder on how incredibly poor Cuba is.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 09:30 PM PST

Conservatives' British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures while speaking after winning his seat at the counting centre in Britain's general election in Uxbridge, Britain, December 13, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... UK destined for Brexit as Johnson wins big (Reuters).

These Are The Soldiers Who Help Move US Army Equipment

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 09:00 PM PST

Trucks like this Army Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, move supplies to Syria at the Syrian Logistics Cell operations center, Erbil, Iraq, November 29, 2019. US Army Reserve/Spc. Dakota Vanidestine

Business Insider/US Army: Meet the US Army team that helped withdraw from Syria as the ISIS fight drags on

The US Army's Syrian Logistics Cell recently helped conduct the withdrawal of US forces from several bases in Syria.

The 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), the Syrian Logistics Cell (SLC), located in Erbil, Iraq, is composed of a small team of soldiers who pack a big punch when it comes to supporting the warfighters in Syria.

The 103rd ESC SLC team was directly involved in the recent withdrawal from Syria.

"The SLC was heavily involved in the materiel retrograde from Syria," Sgt. Maj. Jason Palsma, SLC noncommissioned officer in charge, 103rd ESC, said. "Our team assisted in the deliberate withdrawal of US forces from several bases in Syria while simultaneously continuing the defeat of ISIS."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even the U.S. Army needs truck drivers.

Is The U.S. Navy's New Ford-Class Carrier Program A Massive Mistake?

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 08:22 PM PST

Reuters

Dan Grazier, National Interest: Did America Make a Big Mistake Building the New Ford-Class Carrier?

Lot of problems.

Key point: The Ford-class makes a lot of promises but is very expensive and has had several issues.

Pres. Donald Trump used the Navy's next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, as a backdrop to unveil his vision for the next defense budget in March 2017.

The moment was meant to symbolize his commitment to rebuilding the military, but it also positioned the president in front of a monument to the Navy's and defense industry's ability to justify spending billions in taxypayer dollars on unproven technologies that often deliver worse performance at a higher cost.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am sure that with time and money the problems that are now besetting the new Ford-class carrier will be ironed out and solved. But it has been a time consuming and expensive education.

Will The U.S. Senate Move To Acquit President Trump If He's Impeached?

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 08:17 PM PST



CNN: McConnell will move to acquit Trump if he's impeached, not merely dismiss charges, 2 Republican senators say

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to hold a final vote to acquit President Donald Trump, should he be impeached, when a majority of senators believe his trial has run its course instead of holding a vote on dismissing the articles of impeachment, two Republican senators told CNN on Wednesday.

Republicans want to have a vote on acquittal -- to clear the President of the charges against him -- not simply rely on a 51-vote threshold procedural motion to dismiss the hotly disputed case.

The Constitution mandates 67 votes are required to convict the President and remove him from office, a barrier widely considered too high to be reached in this case.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If President Trump had committed a crime that one can point to a statute and make the case that this is a clear violation of the law, while having bi-partisan support to support this case, I can understand why this impeachment process and vote should move forward. But in this case, after three years of investigations and claims of high crimes being committed, I have yet to see any real evidence where one can make the case that a crime has been committed to justify the impeachment and forcible removal of President Trump from office. And as for the two articles of impeachment that the Democrats are pursuing. Asserting executive privilege is not obstruction of justice, and pursuing the agenda that you got elected on is not abuse of power. But this will make no difference. Even though there is zero support from Republicans, President Trump will be impeached next week, and this case will move to the US Senate for trial.

IMHO this is unfortunate. This now sets a precedent where almost any future President can be faced with impeachment along partisan lines if the opposing party controls Congress. This is why I believe  a strategy should be implemented by the Republican Senate to make sure that this type of partisan impeachment never happens again. Since impeachment is a political process (especially in this case), the Senate Republicans are now in the position where they make the Democrats pay dearly for what they have put the country through in the past three years so that any future Congress (Republican or Democrat) would think twice should they decide to do it again. Dismissing the charges, while convenient, will not exact any price to the Democrats who have pushed this mess for three years. My advice is that you conduct a trial, and give President Trump the opportunity to meet and answer the charges and claims from his accusers. The entire impeachment inquiry/process has so far been one sided and biased. Time to balance everything out, and make the process fair. The American people are not stupid. They have a very good idea on knowing what is right and wrong, and it is only fair that they see and hear what the other side has to say, and to question their accusers. 

E.U. Leaders Agree To Extend Russian Sanctions By Six Months

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 06:40 PM PST

DW: EU extends sanctions on Russia over Ukraine conflict

EU sanctions targeting Moscow's finance, energy and defense industries will stay in place until mid-2020. The decision comes after the leaders of Russia and Ukraine met in Paris to seek a solution to Ukraine conflict.

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia for another six months, officials said.

The measures were first implemented in 2014 after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and backed a separatist insurgency in the country's east.

The sanctions, which were set to expire in January, will now be in place until the end of July 2020.

Read more ....

More News On E.U. Leaders Agreeing To Extend Russian Sanctions By Six Months

EU leaders agree to extend sanctions on Russia: diplomats -- Reuters
EU leaders extend Russia sanctions for six months over 2014 annex of Crimea -- France 24
EU Extends Sanctions On Russia For Role In Ukraine Conflict -- RFE

US And China Reaches A 'Deal In Principle' To End Trade War

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 06:14 PM PST





CNBC: US reaches a phase one trade deal with China in principle pending Trump's approval

* The Trump administration has reached a trade deal in principle with China, three sources close to the talks told CNBC.
* The president met with advisors Thursday afternoon about whether to scrap the next round of tariffs on China.
* The Trump administration has offered to eliminate tariffs on Chinese goods set to take effect Sunday and cut some existing duties in half, sources told CNBC.

The Trump administration has reached a phase one trade deal with China in principle, pending approval from President Donald Trump, three sources close to talks told CNBC on Thursday.

Trump met with top advisors on Thursday about trade with China and whether to delay the next round of U.S. tariffs. Duties of 15%, set to take effect Sunday, would affect about $160 billion in Chinese-made goods including toys, computers, phones and clothing.

Read more ....

More News On The US And China Reaching A 'Deal In Principle' To End The Trade War

Trump 'signs off' on deal to pause US-China trade war -- BBC
Trump signs off in principle on tentative China trade deal agreement -- CNN
China to buy $50 billion in U.S. farm products in return for tariff concessions-U.S. sources -- Reuters
White House and Beijing strike deal to avoid tariffs -- Washington Examiner

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- December 12, 2019

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 05:56 PM PST



Martin Kettle, The Guardian: If the exit poll is right, this election will transform British politics

For the last four UK general elections, bar 2015, the 10pm exit poll on election day has been almost exactly correct, even if sometimes the predictions have been a shock to many experts. So the likelihood is that the pollsters have got it right again in 2019. But whereas in 2017 their correct prediction of a hung parliament guaranteed a embattled legislature, the 2019 prediction may even transform British politics.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- December 12, 2019

How to Watch UK Election Night Like a Pro -- Eleni Courea, Politico EU

Exit polls: How accurate are they? -- BBC

UK exit poll analysis: What a big win for Boris Johnson would mean -- Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Election results 2019: Exit poll could signal historic change ahead -- Laura Kuenssberg, BBC

What Boris Johnson's Britain will look like: What to expect now that the PM has won a mandate for Tory manifesto promising Brexit by January 31, a five-year tax freeze and points-based immigration system -- James Tapsfield and Tim Stickings, Daily Mail

What if North Korea Launches a Satellite? -- Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest

Factchecking Aung San Suu Kyi's claims over genocide allegations -- Michael Safi, The Guardian

What a tougher EU means for Asia -- David Hutt, Asia Times

Anti-French sentiment on the rise in West Africa as security situation deteriorates -- Ineke Mules, DW

The Changing State of Israel's Peace Plans -- Glen Segell, National Interest

Will Protests Beat Back Macron's Reform Plans? -- Judah Grunstein, World Politics Review

There's no miracle solution to Ukraine conflict -- MK Bhadrakumar, Asia Times

Why are there so few prisoners in the Netherlands? -- Senay Boztas, The Guardian

Poland and Hungary Are Right to Fear EU's Green Deal -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Scheer is out. What happens next will change Canada forever -- Scott Gilmore, Macleans

World News Briefs -- December 12, 2019 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 04:53 PM PST



Daily Mail: Exit poll shows Boris Johnson STORMING home: Sensational prediction has Tories winning historic Brexit election with a stonking majority of EIGHTY SIX and Labour with its worst result since 1935 as 'red wall' crumbles

* Exit poll has given the first indication of results after ballot boxes closed in biggest election for a generation
* The prediction shows voters handing the Tories a whopping 368 seats with Labour collapsing to just 191
* The result would mean a huge 86 Commons majority and be the worst Labour showing in modern history
* Declarations in key seats are expected from 2am tomorrow and the next PM should be known by 6am Friday
* Early results in Labour strongholds in the North East could show early signs of a swing to the Conservatives
* Results will come pouring in from around 3am, with big names including Iain Duncan Smith at risk of losing
* Tory strategists believe key to victory is grabbing Labour heartlands including Workington and Grimsby

Boris Johnson hailed his new blue-collar Tory army tonight as it emerged he is on track to secure a staggering landslide in the election battle - with Labour's 'red wall' of Brexit-backing strongholds imploding.

A dramatic exit poll shows voters handing the Tories a massive 368 seats in the first December election for nearly a century, with Labour languishing on 191 - down 71 on 2017.

The bombshell numbers would give a huge Commons majority of 86, the biggest since Margaret Thatcher's triumph in 1987, and are equivalent to a 10-point lead in the popular vote.

By contrast Jeremy Corbyn looks to have stewarded the party to its worst performance since 1935 - despite his allies claiming earlier that high turnout might have helped him pull off a surprise.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US hits Iran with new sanctions, hopes for prisoner dialogue.

Suicide bomber kills 7 Iraqi paramilitary fighters: military.

Rockets land near Baghdad airport, Iran-backed militias approaching a red line US official says.

US slaps sanctions on Iran's biggest airline and shipping group.

Russia denies intensifying attacks on civilians in Idlib.

Lebanon PM asks World Bank, IMF help with economic rescue plan.

Iraq mob lynches youth accused of attacking protesters.

Israel to hold third election in a year after parties fail to agree on government.

UN envoy: 'We are always no more than two, three days away from war in Gaza'.

U.S. Senate passes resolution recognizing Armenian genocide, angering Turkey.

ASIA

U.S. warns North Korea against 'ill-advised behavior' as deadline looms.

North Korea berates US for criticizing its missile tests.

Aung San Suu Kyi criticised in court over 'silence' on Myanmar rape claims.

Rohingya refugees reject Aung San Suu Kyi's 'lies on genocide'.

China to focus on economic 'contingency plans' to battle growing pressures in 2020.

Indian government sends troops to Assam after violent protests against citizenship bill (VIDEO). Indian protesters set fire to train stations over new law opening citizenship to some migrants.

High level North Korean defector tells Donald Trump that Kim Jong-un is duping him and will never denuclearize - as US warns dictator not to go ahead with threat of 'Christmas Gift' missile test.

U.S. envoy to U.N. raises concern of North Korea ICBM test.

New Zealand recovers six bodies from volcanic island in high-risk mission.

AFRICA

Libyan commander urges forces to advance toward central Tripoli.

Head of Libya parliament says Turkey-Libyan deal invalid.

Algeria election: Thousands march to protest in Algiers.

Mali set sights on political talks in bid to defuse jihadist crisis.

France postpones G5 Sahel meeting after deadly Niger attack.

War-scarred Libya airport reopens after three-month closure.

'Catastrophic' floods could provoke famine in S.Sudan: WFP.

US curbs S.Sudan visas over government delay.

Ethiopia's Abiy calls for meeting with Eritrean leader.

Nigeria eases visa rules for African passport holders.

EUROPE

UK PM Johnson tells party members "enjoy a celebration tonight".

UK exit poll suggests majority for Johnson's Conservatives.

UK voters choose a new government to resolve Brexit impasse.

Ukraine extends law on special status for rebel regions.

EU leaders agree to extend sanctions on Russia: diplomats.

Russia expels two German diplomats.

Eastern European countries threatening to block climate deal.

EU leaders to consider climate neutrality pledge.

'We have work to do': World's youngest leader debuts at EU summit.

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline faces sanctions under US defense bill.

Merkel meets new SPD leaders amid coalition tensions.

Court tells Facebook to reactivate Italian neo-fascist party's account.

AMERICAS

Russia probe report spurs calls for FBI surveillance changes.

House panel presses toward historic Trump impeachment vote.

Trump impeachment: House prepares for crucial vote amid whistleblower row. Trump impeachment: US House judiciary panel to vote.

Pelosi says leadership won't pressure moderates to back impeachment.

McConnell will move to acquit Trump if he's impeached, not merely dismiss charges, 2 Republican senators say.

Joe Biden: Democratic presidential frontrunner denies one-term pledge.

US Senate committee passes bipartisan bill to stop Trump withdrawing from Nato.

Shooting in New Jersey kosher grocery labelled a hate crime as police probe links to Black Israelites.

Andrew Scheer: Canadian Conservative leader resigns.

Morales arrives in Argentina to seek asylum.

Chile finds wreckage, human remains believed to be from missing airplane.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

FBI investigating New Jersey kosher grocery rampage as domestic terrorism.

Islamic State claims responsibility for military camp attack in Niger: statement.

Al-Shabaab attacks Somali army base in Hilweyne, killing 5.

Sahel's anti-jihadist plan shaken by huge attack in Niger.

Islamist terrorism suspects arrested in raids across Denmark.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

S&P 500, Nasdaq at records as hopes build for a trade deal.

U.S., China strike partial trade deal that cuts tariffs.

Trump says US and China 'very close' to trade deal.

Southwest, Boeing agree on compensation over 737 MAX.

Saudi Aramco briefly hits crown prince's $2 trillion target.

U.K. Exit Polls -- Massive Conservative Landslide Is Being Predicted

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 02:50 PM PST

The exit poll put Boris on for a huge majority

The SUN: Election exit poll – Boris Johnson on course for a landslide as polls predict thumping majority of 86 in huge Tory win

BORIS Johnson is on course for an election landslide tonight after the exit polls tipped the Tories to win a whopping 368 seats.

Seconds after the polls closed at 10pm a joint poll put the Conservatives on track for a huge win, with Labour trailing behind on 191.

The expected results mean Britain's political chaos could finally be over, leaving Boris with the numbers to push his Brexit deal through Parliament in weeks.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn will be facing deafening calls to finally quit as Labour leader after failing to win a second general election in a row - and seeing Labour to its worst defeat since 1983 under Michael Foot.

And it would put Britain on course for the biggest Tory win since 1987 - where they got a 102 seat majority under Margaret Thatcher.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: As I said my Tuesday. My gut was telling me that the Tories were going to win even more seats than what was being predicted .... Polls Points To A Big Tory Win In UK Election This Thursday (December 10, 2019). The electorate wanted Brexit to happen, and they wanted the infighting to end. Boris Johnson now has a clear mandate to proceed.

Update: The official election results can be monitored from here .... Election results 2019 live (Guardian).

Canada: Andrew Sheer Resigns As Conservative Leader

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 01:38 PM PST



National Post: Andrew Scheer steps down as Conservative leader

Scheer announced his decision publicly in the House of Commons and pleaded with his party to stay united

Andrew Scheer is stepping down as Conservative leader.

He announced the decision Thursday morning at a caucus meeting and said he plans to ask the party to immediately begin planning a leadership race to succeed him.

Scheer announced his decision publicly in the House of Commons and pleaded with his party to stay united in the wake of his resignation and what could be a fractious leadership contest.

He was emotional in his seven-minute speech to the House of Commons, interrupted multiple times by applause and standing ovations from his caucus. His wife Jill was in the gallery watching.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Not winning the Federal election in October .... when many within the Conservative party believed was theirs to win .... sealed his fate. What also did not help was that he alienated many in the base on policies and conduct when he was running in the election. Bottom line. My guess is that he realized in the past few weeks that he was not going to survive the leadership review in April of next year, and he made the decision to step down ASAP.

More News On Canadian Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer Resigning

Scheer is resigning as Conservative Leader -- Ottawa Citizen/Canadian Press
Andrew Scheer stepping down as Conservative Party leader -- CBC
Andrew Scheer is resigning as Conservative leader -- CTV News
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer resigns, vows to stay on until new leader chosen -- Global News
Andrew Scheer resigns as Conservative leader -- The Globe and Mail
Andrew Scheer: Canadian Conservative leader resigns -- BBC
Canada's Conservative leader Andrew Scheer resigns -- Reuters

US Air Force Conducts First Test Of Non-Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile After INF Treaty Exit

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 01:08 PM PST



Business Insider: The US just shot off another ground-launched cruise missile, the 2nd since a key arms control pact with Russia collapsed

* The US tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile Thursday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
* The test saw the missile fly over 500 kilometers and is the second such test since the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty collapsed this summer.
* Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has called the development of intermediate-range weapons a "prudent response" to Russia, as well as a necessary capability given the capabilities of China's missile force.

The US conducted its second flight test of a missile that would have been banned under the restrictions of a now-defunct arms control agreement with Russia, Air Force officials told Insider on Thursday.

The US military tested a prototype conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) Thursday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"We are currently evaluating the results of the test," officials told Insider.

Thursday's missile launch marks the second such test since the US formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in August in response to alleged Russian violations of the 1987 agreement.

Read more ....

More News On The US Air Force Conducts First Test Of Non-Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile After INF Treaty Exit

Pentagon Conducts First Test Of Non-Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile Post-INF Treaty (Updated) -- Warzone/The Drive
U.S. tests ground-launched ballistic missile after INF treaty exit -- Reuters
US military tests land-based intermediate-range missile from Vandenberg -- FOX News
Watch the Pentagon test a previously banned ballistic missile -- Defense News

U.K. Election Coverage (Live)

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 12:07 PM PST

U.K. Election -- Analysis, Commentaries, And Predictions

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 12:00 PM PST



Daily Mail: Hour by hour, the 10 key moments that will reveal whether Boris Johnson will stay in Downing Street

* Ten Leave-supporting Labour marginals in the North and Midlands expected to declare their results by 3am
* The exit poll will be released at 10pm and will give an indication of how tight the results will be.
* One of the earliest is bellweather seat of Workington, where Labour is defending a majority of almost 4,000
* Darlington will follow soon after followed by Wrexham and Stockton South
* The results in these key seats could make all the difference to the timing and manner of Brexit

Boris Johnson will not have to wait long to decide whether he will taste champagne or bitter tears tonight with a host of key seats determined early on.

Ten Leave-supporting Labour marginals are among the constituencies expected to declare their results in the early hours of Friday, after polls close at 10pm.

Many have been Labour for generations and whether they stay in the hands of Jeremy Corbyn or switch allegiance to the Tories could make all the difference to the timing and manner of Brexit.

Read more ....

U.K. Election -- Analysis, Commentaries, And Predictions

What time will we know who won? Hour-by-hour election night guide -- Kate Proctor, Rowena Mason, Jim Waterson and Tim Jonze, The Guardian
'Brutal, packed with untruths, uninspiring': European press on UK election -- The Guardian
Brexit in the balance: A look at possible outcomes of the UK vote -- France 24
Almost a quarter of voters might CHANGE THEIR MINDS about who to vote for, according to new poll that suggests Boris Johnson is on course for a majority -- Daily Mail
REVEALED - Corbyn's polling day ploy to convince celebs to back his party: Comedian claims leader's social media team asked him to tweet 'Labour' and help 'start a wave' of other luvvies doing the same (and looks like it worked!) -- Daily Mail
From a thumping Tory win to a Corbyn coalition – four election scenarios -- The Guardian
On the campaign trail - The funny, strange and surreal of Britain's election -- William James and Kylie MacLellan, Reuters

U.K. Election -- News Updates December 12, 2019

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 12:06 PM PST



Daily Mail: The election is too close to call: 'Mega' turnout has nervous Tories fearing Boris Johnson's huge poll lead has slipped away while Labour claim their 'red wall' is NOT crumbling

  * Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm, when an exit poll will give the first indication of the results
  * Boris Johnson voted in Westminster at around 8am and Jeremy Corbyn in Islington expected at 9.30am
  * Results in key seats are expected from 2am tomorrow and the next PM should be known by 6am Friday
  * Early results in Labour strongholds in the North East could show early signs of a swing to the Conservatives
  * Results will come pouring in from around 3am, with big names including Iain Duncan Smith at risk of losing
  * Tory strategists believe key to victory is grabbing Labour heartlands including Workington and Grimsby

The election looks too close to call with just hours to go until the polls close - with both parties claiming that high turnout will boost their chances.

Going in to today, Boris Johnson had a narrowing lead in the polls and is hoping to secure a swathe of northern Labour seats.

But Labour sources claim its vote is holding up and the so-called 'red wall' is not crumbling as predicted weeks before the election.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I always use the Guardian to look at the incoming results .... Election results live: find out when your constituency will be declared (The Guardian).

U.K. Election -- News Updates December 12, 2019

UK Election: Live -- BBC
General election 2019: voting enters final hours in 'most important poll in a generation' – live news -- The Guardian
General election news - live: One in four still undecided on who to back in 'truly historic' poll as voting enters final hours -- The Independent
Live blog: UK votes in general election that could determine future of Brexit -- France 24
UK general election: Voters head to the polls — live updates -- DW
Live Updates: U.K. Votes in General Election -- The New York Times

General election 2019: Voters head to polls across the UK -- BBC
UK voters head to polls for 'Brexit general election' -- France 24
UK voters choose a new government to resolve Brexit impasse -- AP
UK votes to decide the fate of Brexit, again -- Reuters
British election: Johnson, Corbyn battle for PM; 'Brexit' on the ballot -- UPI
Polls open in UK election, giving voters a Brexit choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn -- ABC News Online
Britons vote in high-stakes election dominated by Brexit -- Al Jazeera
Long queues reported at polling stations as voters turn out for 'election of a lifetime' -- The Independent

Israel To Hold Its Third Election This Year

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 11:18 AM PST



VOA: Israel Headed for Third Election in a Year

JERUSALEM - Israel is headed for a third election in a year, for the first time ever. The new election comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a series of corruption charges and after the two largest parties failed to reach an agreement to join forces.

Israel's speaker of parliament, Yuli Edelstein, announced that the Knesset had voted to break up and hold new elections.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That Israel Will Be Holding Another Election This Year

Israel will hold unprecedented third election in a year -- BBC
Israel's Netanyahu limps into new election campaign -- AP
Israel heads for third election in a year as deadline to form government expires -- France 24
Election-weary Israel to face third vote in a year -- AFP
As another election looms, Israel's president asks public not to despair -- Reuters
Deadlocked Israel to hold third consecutive election -- Politico
Israel heads for third general election within a year -- Al Jazeera
Israel heads for unprecedented third election in a year, as Netanyahu clings to power -- CNN
Indicted Netanyahu to resign ministries, remain PM: lawyers -- AFP

Presidential Election In Algeria -- News Updates December 12, 2019

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 11:13 AM PST



The Guardian: Police and protesters clash as Algeria holds disputed election

Unrest in Algiers and other cities as low turnout expected amid widespread disaffection

Algeria's presidential election has been marked by police clashes and a mass boycott, in a victory for the country's pro-democracy protest movement, which has derided the vote as a sham.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday, chanting "No to elections of shame" and "Generals in the rubbish". The election commission put the turnout at just 20% by 3pm – a figure that will be seen as a victory by the protesters.

Read more ....

Presidential Election In Algeria -- News Updates December 12, 2019

Voting ends in disputed Algerian election -- Reuters
Algerians are voting for new president or boycotting poll -- AP
Algerians head to polls amid opposition calls to boycott the vote -- France 24
Algerians protest through day of disputed election -- Reuters
Algeria holds presidential vote despite push for boycott -- Al Jazeera
Algeria election: Thousands march to protest in Algiers -- BBC
'Charade': Algerian protesters take to streets to reject election -- Al Jazeera
Who are the five men bidding to be Algeria's next president? -- AFP

World News Briefs -- December 12, 2019

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 03:36 PM PST



Daily Mail: 'Biggest queue I've EVER seen': Millions line up to vote in Britain's most crucial election in a generation with turnout boosted by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn's final call to arms (but naughty Dilyn has voted twice!)

* Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm, when an exit poll will give the first indication of the results
* Boris Johnson voted in Westminster at around 8am and Jeremy Corbyn in Islington expected at 9.30am
* Results in key seats are expected from 2am tomorrow and the next PM should be known by 6am Friday
* Early results in Labour strongholds in the North East could show early signs of a swing to the Conservatives
* Results will come pouring in from around 3am, with big names including Iain Duncan Smith at risk of losing
* Tory strategists believe key to victory is grabbing Labour heartlands including Workington and Grimsby

Voters were stuck in the biggest queues seen at polling stations for years today as millions took part in Britain's most important election for a generation with their decision expected to make-or-break Brexit.

Thousands snaked around the block outside schools, village halls, churches, pubs and other community buildings in the wet and cold to exercise their democratic right at the UK's 50,000 polling stations from 7am.

Experts have said the crowds suggest that the turnout for the first December general election since 1923 could be the highest since Clement Atlee and Sir Winston Churchill fought to be PM in the 1950s.

Turnouts have been dropping in the UK since Tony Blair's landslide victory in 1997.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Rockets land near Baghdad airport, Iran-backed militias approaching a red line US official says.

US slaps sanctions on Iran's biggest airline and shipping group.

Russia denies intensifying attacks on civilians in Idlib.

Lebanon PM asks World Bank, IMF help with economic rescue plan.

Iraq mob lynches youth accused of attacking protesters.

Israel to hold third election in a year after parties fail to agree on government.

UN envoy: 'We are always no more than two, three days away from war in Gaza'.

ASIA

Aung San Suu Kyi criticised in court over 'silence' on Myanmar rape claims.

Rohingya refugees reject Aung San Suu Kyi's 'lies on genocide'.

China to focus on economic 'contingency plans' to battle growing pressures in 2020.

Indian government sends troops to Assam after violent protests against citizenship bill (VIDEO). Indian protesters set fire to train stations over new law opening citizenship to some migrants.

High level North Korean defector tells Donald Trump that Kim Jong-un is duping him and will never denuclearize - as US warns dictator not to go ahead with threat of 'Christmas Gift' missile test.

U.S. envoy to U.N. raises concern of North Korea ICBM test.

New Zealand volcano victims' bodies could be recovered from White Island on Friday, authorities say. New Zealand volcano: Police to attempt recovery of bodies Friday.

AFRICA

Algeria election: Thousands march to protest in Algiers.

Mali set sights on political talks in bid to defuse jihadist crisis.

France postpones G5 Sahel meeting after deadly Niger attack.

War-scarred Libya airport reopens after three-month closure.

'Catastrophic' floods could provoke famine in S.Sudan: WFP.

US curbs S.Sudan visas over government delay.

Ethiopia's Abiy calls for meeting with Eritrean leader.

Nigeria eases visa rules for African passport holders.


EUROPE

UK voters choose a new government to resolve Brexit impasse.

Russia expels two German diplomats.

EU leaders to consider climate neutrality pledge.

'We have work to do': World's youngest leader debuts at EU summit.

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline faces sanctions under US defense bill.

Merkel meets new SPD leaders amid coalition tensions.

Court tells Facebook to reactivate Italian neo-fascist party's account.

AMERICAS

Trump impeachment: House prepares for crucial vote amid whistleblower row. Trump impeachment: US House judiciary panel to vote.

Pelosi says leadership won't pressure moderates to back impeachment.

McConnell will move to acquit Trump if he's impeached, not merely dismiss charges, 2 Republican senators say.

Joe Biden: Democratic presidential frontrunner denies one-term pledge.

US Senate committee passes bipartisan bill to stop Trump withdrawing from Nato.

Shooting in New Jersey kosher grocery labelled a hate crime as police probe links to Black Israelites.

Andrew Scheer: Canadian Conservative leader resigns.

Morales arrives in Argentina to seek asylum.

Chile finds wreckage, human remains believed to be from missing airplane.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al-Shabaab attacks Somali army base in Hilweyne, killing 5.

Sahel's anti-jihadist plan shaken by huge attack in Niger.

Islamist terrorism suspects arrested in raids across Denmark.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Trump says US and China 'very close' to trade deal.

Southwest, Boeing agree on compensation over 737 MAX.

Saudi Aramco briefly hits crown prince's $2 trillion target.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- December 12, 2019

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 09:35 AM PST

Daily Mail: House approves $738 billion defense bill recognizing Donald Trump's Space Force as the sixth branch of the military and approving paid family leave for federal workers

* The House of Representatives has approved the $738 billion bill, setting policy for the U.S. Department of Defense
* It covers everything from family leave to the creation of a Space Force
* The fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act increases defense spending by about $20 billion
* It increases pay for the troops by 3.1% and mandates 12 weeks' paid leave so federal workers can care for their families
* A handful of mostly left-leaning House Democrats opposed the bill

The House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a $738 billion bill setting policy for the U.S. Department of Defense on everything from family leave to fighter jets and the creation of a Space Force that has been a priority for President Donald Trump.

The count in the Democratic-controlled chamber was 377-48, enough to send the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, to the Senate, where a vote is expected by the end of next week.

Trump has promised to sign the legislation as soon as it passes Congress.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- December 12, 2019

House passes 'progressive' defense bill, 377-48 -- Defense News

U.S. House approves Space Force, family leave in $738 billion defense bill -- Reuters

House passes defense bill creating Space Force, paid parental leave -- UPI

House passes defense bill to establish Space Force, paid family leave for federal workers -- The Hill

House Dems Pass Defense Budget On Republican Terms: 7 Key Takeaways -- Forbes

DoD Considers Leaving Smaller Number of Troops in Afghanistan -- AP

After Banning Transfer, Pentagon Makes Plans for Buying F-35s Once Destined for Turkey -- Sputnik

Pentagon Must Demand Refunds on Flawed F-35 Parts -- Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg

Direct Hit: Army Test-Fires Lockheed Precision Strike Missile EXCLUSIVE -- Breaking Defense

Shyu To Army: 'You Can't Have It All' With 31 Modernization Priorities -- Breaking Defense

Why the US Army must 'get religion' on 3D printing -- Aaron Mehta, Defense News

US Navy Will Focus on Building More New Generation Submarines, American Admiral Says -- Sputnik

Reclaim the Coast Guard's Military Roots -- US Naval Institute

Pentagon dismisses Amazon questions over Esper's recusal in 'war cloud' case -- The Hill

State Department Reprimanded Pakistan for Misusing F-16s, Document Shows -- US News and World Report

Pentagon leaders: Trump clemencies won't affect military order and discipline -- The Hill

Pentagon's top official on Asia policy, Randall Schriver, quits his post -- SCMP

Top general: Military won't be a 'raping, burning and pillaging' gang after Trump's war crimes pardons -- Politico

White House vows to appeal ruling blocking use of military funds for border wall -- The Hill

Trump Pressures Tokyo to Choose U.S. Fighter Jet Over Rival BAE -- Financial Times

F-35's troubled present & uncertain future: Japan eyes local assembly of the fighter jet that faces new problems in the US -- RT

US To Lead Biggest Military Drill In Europe Since Cold War, Showing NATO How It's Done -- Zero Hedge

Germany: Indian couple convicted of spying for Delhi -- DW

German arms companies accused of aiding war crimes in Yemen -- DW

German army reintroduces military rabbis after more than 100 years -- FOX News

Putin, Erdogan pledge to continue military cooperation: Kremlin -- Reuters

Top Turkish official suggests US might be blocked from air bases over sanctions -- The Hill

Facing Up to China's Military Interests in the Arctic -- Anne-Marie Brady, RCD/China Brief

Human remains from Chilean military plane found floating in water -- CBC/AP

Author Reveals Top-5 List of World's Most Powerful Navies -- Sputnik

South Korea's Air Force Releases Video Of A Simulated Pre-Emptive Strike Against North Korea

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 08:50 AM PST



UPI: South Korea releases pre-emptive strike video amid rising tensions

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- South Korea's air force released a video of a simulated pre-emptive strike against North Korean weapons systems on Thursday, amid concerns Pyongyang could be preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The video from Seoul's military shows fictitious footage of the Global Hawk, a remotely piloted surveillance aircraft, detecting activity in North Korea, where the regime is seen setting up an ICBM on a mobile launch pad, South Korean television network JTBC reported Thursday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  I am sure this is going to get North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's attention.

Report: Improving U.S. Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, And Targeting

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 08:42 AM PST

The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) (rear) conduct dual aircraft carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific in Philippine Sea on June 18, 2016. Courtesy Jake Greenberg/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

Seth Cropsey, Hudson Institute: If You Can't See 'Em, You Can't Shoot 'Em: Improving U.S. Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Targeting

Introduction

The United States today faces the greatest challenge to its international stature since the mid-twentieth century. America's adversaries, despite their differences, threaten to come together in a coalition that can dominate Eurasia and by extension, jeopardize American strategic interests and values globally.

Of several potential flashpoints for confrontation, the Western Pacific has the potential to be the most decisive. The most powerful of the three US rivals is Asian, and it is the only adversary with the economic and political power to field a technologically sophisticated, quantitatively superior military force.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This report recognizes the implications of a Russia - China military coalition, and the threat that China poses in the West Pacific.

Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Is On Fire

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 08:07 AM PST



RT: Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov seen covered in smoke in FIRST VIDEO

Firefighters have rushed to tackle a blaze which is raging aboard Russia's sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. Fire started during repair work and rapidly spread along the deck.

A short video, which has been circulating on social media, shows a team of firefighters with walkie-talkies on the snowy pier in the Barents Sea port city of Murmansk where the burning ship is docked.

Greyish smoke is seen billowing from the vessel's deck. A fire truck and an ambulance van are also present at the scene.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is one unlucky aircraft carrier.

More News On Russia's Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov On Fire

Live Updates: Rescue Op Underway as Fire Breaks Out on Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier -- Sputnik
Three injured in fire onboard Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov -- TASS
Blaze at Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier Stationed in Murmansk Caught on Video -- Sputnik
Russia's only aircraft carrier catches fire, with seven sailors injured and captain missing as blaze breaks out during repairs -- Daily Mail
Two soldiers injured as Russia's only aircraft carrier catches fire -- Reuters
Russia's only aircraft carrier on fire in port -- AFP
Russia's only aircraft carrier catches fire; 6 believed injured and 1 missing -- CNN
Major fire breaks out on unlucky Russian aircraft carrier -- NBC
Russia's Accident-Plagued Aircraft Carrier Is On Fire (Updated) -- Warzone/The Drive
Russia's only carrier, damaged in shipyard accident, now on fire -- Ars Technica

Twenty Iranian Navy Crafts Escort US Aircraft Carrier Out Of The Persian Gulf

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 07:33 AM PST


Middle East Monitor: US aircraft carrier escorted out of Gulf by Iran

Satellite images have been released showing a US Navy aircraft carrier being escorted away by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) craft today, amid a year of heightened tensions in the Gulf waters.

The group of 20 small crafts reportedly surrounded and allegedly "harassed" the USS Abraham Lincoln, as well as the group of American ships it was leading including the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut, during their transit through the Strait of Hormuz.

The incident took place last week, though the satellite images were revealed and circulated yesterday.

Read more ....

Update: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier 'harassed' by 20 Iranian small craft (Defence-Blog)

WNU Editor: Those Iranian navy crafts are very close to the USS Abraham Lincoln.

The U.S. Has 7 Aircrafts Carriers At Sea Right Now

Posted: 12 Dec 2019 07:25 AM PST

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on February 16, 2018. US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford

Business Insider: The US Navy brags it has 7 carriers at sea — half the fleet was stuck pier-side over a month ago

* The US Navy tweeted Tuesday morning that it had seven of its 11 aircraft carriers out to sea.
* Less than two months ago, the service had around that many flattops stuck pier-side or in the yard for maintenance, malfunctions, and other issues.
* Four of the carriers previously stuck pier-side— the Harry S. Truman, John C. Stennis, Eisenhower, and Gerald R. Ford — are now underway.

The US Navy bragged on social media Tuesday morning that it currently has seven aircraft carriers underway, a major improvement over the situation in late October, when half the carrier fleet was in a non-deployable state.

"The Navy has 7 aircraft carriers underway today. NBD," the Navy Chief of Information (CHINFO) tweeted Tuesday in a humble-brag; "NBD" is an acronym for "no big deal."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It has been a long time since seven aircraft carriers were at sea.