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Friday, January 10, 2020

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

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


China Is Financing Megaprojects Around The World

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 05:23 AM PST

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Zero Hedge: Visualizing How Chinese Financing Is Fueling Megaprojects Around The World

On a mountaintop a few miles north of the bustling streets of Harare, Zimbabwe, a curving, modern complex is beginning to take shape. This building, once completed, will be the home of the African country's parliament, and the centerpiece of a new section of the capital city.

Aside from the striking design, Visual Capitalist's Nick Routley notes that there's another unique twist to this development - the entire $140 million project is a gift from Beijing. At first glance, gifting a country a new parliament building may seem extravagant, but the project is a tiny portion of China's $270 billion in "diplomacy spending" since 2000.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China is expecting a return on these investments. The problem that I foresee is that it is going to take years for these countries to pay these debts off (if ever).

Russia's Goals In Syria Are Facing Obstacles

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 04:40 AM PST

© Syrian President's press-service

Dmitriy Frolovskiy, Moscow Times: Russia's Role in Syria is Changing

Moscow might face difficulties in promoting its vision of a political settlement, while competition with Tehran is growing.

This year could bring challenges for Russia's role in the Syrian conflict, despite it having been at the forefront of efforts to resolve the crisis in the past.

With the regime in Syria becoming less likely to undergo a reshuffle and Iran reaping the benefits of its wide-scale involvement, Moscow might face difficulties in promoting its vision of a political settlement, while competition with Tehran could become more evident.

Threats of a military operation in Idlib, unresolved issues with refugees and expanding confrontation in Libya might introduce new twists to Russia-Turkey relations that would, nonetheless, be unlikely to change the stone-cold pragmatism at their core.

Russia could end up at a crossroads between its actual and declared goals in Syria.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Moscow is learning the same lesson that Washington has learned in the past few years. Middle Eastern conflicts are quagmires, and because of competing interests there will never be peace. Never ending conflict is now the new normal in the region, and Syria (after Yemen) is the worst country to be in.

Will China Use Its Military Drones Like The U.S.?

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 03:00 AM PST

China shows off its GJ-11 stealth combat drone at the National Day parade in Beijing in October. Photo: Simon Song

SCMP: China has powerful military drones but won't use them like the US, analysts say

 * The killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a US air strike last week was evidence of the deadly power of modern unmanned aerial vehicles
 * But while China has been building up its own fleet of UAVs, analysts say it is unlikely ever to employ them for such an audacious mission

The assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last week shows the ever increasing role of drones in modern warfare. But while China has its own fleet of powerful unmanned aerial vehicles, it is unlikely to use them for such an audacious mission, analysts say.

During last Friday's operation, a US MQ-9 Reaper, controlled from afar, identified and locked in on Soleimani's convoy near Baghdad airport. It fired at least two missiles at the two vehicles, killing everyone inside.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Yes. They will use these drones like the U.S.. Next question.

A Lot Must Have Gone Wrong For Iran To Shoot Down A Ukrainian Passenger Airline

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 02:00 AM PST

Warzone/The Drive: Let's Talk About How Iran Could Have Shot Down A 737 Full Of Innocent People

A lot had to of gone wrong to get us to this point and not just with a surface to air missile battery.

The tragic loss of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, a Boeing 737-800 with 176 souls on board, increasingly appears to have been a horrific mistake. Video of the airliner careening into the ground ablaze at around 6:12AM local time on January 8th, 2020 has permeated news headlines. It has also served as an unexpected and horrific aftershock to the unprecedented Iranian missile strikes on U.S. forces in Iraq that occurred just a few hours prior. Many are asking how an airliner taking off normally from a major international airport located on the outskirts of a capital city could simply be swatted out of the sky. Clearly, nobody has the complete answer to that question at this time, but there is certainly a lot to comprehend and ponder until we do.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The only ones who know for sure on what caused this Ukrainian passenger jet to be shot down are the Iranians themselves. And they are not talking. But considering how dysfunctional the country is, and the above explanation by Tyler Rogoway, it is not hard to understand why this plane was shot down. Bottom line. Bad communications. Inadequately trained personnel. Lower end weapons. Wrong people in the wrong place making the wrong decision.

Is President Trump To Blame For The Ukraine Plane Crash?

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 01:00 AM PST

Passengers' bodies in plastic bags are pictured at the crash site on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA

Newsweek: Democratic Rep Blames Trump for 'Collateral Damage' of Ukraine Plane Crash, Urges Diplomacy With Iran Rather Than Military Strikes

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) claimed Thursday that President Donald Trump could be to blame for the fatal crash of a Ukraine passenger jet in Iran on Wednesday, due to "collateral damage" caused by his "provocative" killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Speier made the remarks during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, on the Thursday edition of his show The Situation Room. The congresswoman confirmed that she had heard classified details concerning the claim by U.S. officials that the plane was accidentally brought down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile strike. She insisted Trump would be responsible for the crash if the claim proves to be true.

"If what is being projected is true, this is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States," Speier said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:
I watched this news conference on Thursday. It was nutty .... CBC journalists try to blame Trump for Ukrainian plane crash (True North).

More News On President Trump Critics Blaming Him For The Ukraine Crash

Pete Buttigieg is blasted for suggesting America's 'tit for tat' exchange with Iran caused the missile attack on the Ukrainian jetliner that killed 176 passengers after it was mistaken for a 'US bomber' -- Daily Mail
Iran plane crash: Social media users quick to place blame -- Global News
We're Just Discovering the Price of Killing Soleimani -- David Frum, The Atlantic
Trump Critics Blame Him For Iran Reportedly Shooting Down Ukrainian Plane -- Daily Caller
West Backs Off of Blaming Iran Despite Crash Evidence -- US News and World Report

Iran Has Invited The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board To Participate In The Crash Of Ukraine Passenger Jet

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Red Crescent workers check plastic bags at the site where the Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians, fell to earth in a fireball shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA

Reuters: U.S. to join probe of jet disaster, no missile link: Iran official

PARIS (Reuters) - Iran has invited the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to take part in its investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian jetliner and the U.S. agency has agreed to assign an investigator, an Iranian official said on Thursday.

"The NTSB has replied to our chief investigator and has announced an accredited representative," Farhad Parvaresh, Iran's representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization, part of the United Nations, told Reuters.

The NTSB declined comment.

A person briefed on the matter confirmed the NTSB had agreed to take part but said it was unclear what if anything its representative would be able to do under U.S. sanctions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran does not have a choice. No airline in the world is going to fly into Iran unless this is resolved.

World Stocks Hit Record High

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 11:00 PM PST

Tokyo Stock Exchange opening ceremony for first session of 2020 JANUARY 6, 2020 : Japan Exchange Group holds an opening ceremony marking the start of this year's first trading at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan on January 6, 2020. (Photo by AFLO)

Reuters: World stocks hit record high as techs lead relief rally

TOKYO (Reuters) - The world's shares hit a record high on Friday as a relief over de-escalation of U.S.-Iranian tensions quickly prompted investors to bet on faster global growth, especially in the technology sector.

MSCI's broadest gauge of the world's stocks in 49 countries .MIWD00000PUS rose a tad to hit an all-time high and its index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.18%.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 0.34% while Australian stocks rallied 0.7% to a record high. Chinese shares .SSEC were little changed.

Asia's gains followed record-setting in the pan-regional STOXX 600 index in Europe and the three major stock indexes on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.67%, with its technology sector rising more than 1%. Apple (AAPL.O) gained 2.1%, helped by news that sales of its iPhones in China in December jumped more than 18% year-on-year. [.N]

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A story that has been completely buried in most mainstream outlets.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST











Has President Trump Prepared The U.S. Military For Whatever Comes Next?

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST

President Trump's Remarks At 2019 Pentagon 9/11 Ceremony. YouTube

Loren Thompson, Forbes: Top Five Steps Trump Has Taken To Prepare The U.S. Military For Whatever Comes Next

Last week's domestic reaction to the killing of Iran's top military commander was predictably partisan and speculative. Nobody can say for sure what will happen next in the Persian Gulf—just as we don't know what lies ahead on the Korean Peninsula, in Eastern Europe, or in the Horn of Africa.

In such circumstances, the only prudent posture for America's military is to be prepared for a diverse array of challenges. That is the vector President Trump put military plans on when he took office. Whatever you may think of Trump the man, he installed a highly capable defense team that systematically addressed military deficiencies inherited from the Obama years.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: You can never be prepared for whatever comes next. But you can try. Which I guess is the point of the above article.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

Relatives of the flight crew members of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that crashed in Iran, mourn at a memorial at the Boryspil International airport outside Kiev, Ukraine, January 8. The Boeing 737-800, flying to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians, crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, killing all 176 people on board. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Ukrainian airliner crash victims mourned (Reuters).

Russian President Putin Oversees Hypersonic Missile Test Launches Off The Coast Of Crimea

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 09:44 PM PST



Daily Mail: Putin oversees hypersonic missile test launches as part of huge military drill off the coast of annexed Crimea

* President saw Kalibr cruise and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles being launched
* Russian commander-in-chief was on the Marshal Ustinov cruiser
* Moscow annexed Crimean peninsula in 2014 after rolling tanks over the border

Russian president Vladimir Putin has been pictured watching a massive military drill off the coast of disputed Crimea.

The commander-in-chief watched Kalibr cruise and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles being launched from the Marshal Ustinov cruiser as he floated with the Northern and Black Sea fleets off the coast of the territory.

Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, in a move condemned by Western nations, and recently held talks with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as it cosies up to the NATO country.

Read more ....

More News On Russian President Putin Overseeing Hypersonic Missile Test Launches Off The Coast Of Annexed Crimea

Putin Observes Hypersonic Kinzhal's Launch as Trump Boasts US Developing 'Lethal, Fast' Missiles -- Sputnik
Putin Oversees Hypersonic Missile Test in Crimea -- Moscow Times
Russia's Vladimir Putin oversees hypersonic missile test near Crimea -- CNN
Russia's Putin attends Black Sea drills by the Russian navy -- AP
Vladimir Putin personally oversaw Russia's latest test of a hypersonic missile -- Reuters
Russia: Putin Oversees Hypersonic Missile Test in Crimea -- Haaretz
Kinzhal hypersonic and Kalibr cruise missiles fired during massive Russian Navy drills in the Black Sea (VIDEOS) -- RT

Anti-Government Protests Are Predicted Throughout Iraq Tomorrow

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 08:30 PM PST


WNU Editor: There are suppose to be widespread demonstrations and protests throughout Iraq tomorrow. We shall see. But tonight's demonstrations are an ominous sign on what is probably going to happen tomorrow.

Would Members Of Congress 'Compromise Sources And Methods' If Fully Briefed On The Soleimani Strike?

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 08:00 PM PST



Business Insider: Mike Pence says Congress might 'compromise sources and methods' if fully briefed on the Soleimani strike

* Vice President Mike Pence insisted on Thursday that the administration couldn't reveal more information to lawmakers about the alleged "imminent threat" posed by an Iranian general the US military assassinated last week.
* Pence said in interviews with NBC News and Fox News that providing more information about the threat to lawmakers in a classified setting could compromise sensitive "sources and methods."
* This comes as many lawmakers — including two Republican senators — have slammed the administration for failing to provide Congress with key information about the threat after the fact.
* The administration has repeatedly insisted it was forced to "act in self-defense," but has not made public any information regarding a specific threat.

Vice President Mike Pence appeared on Fox and Friends and The Today Show Thursday morning to insist that the Trump administration couldn't reveal more information — even to lawmakers in a classified setting — about the alleged "imminent threat" posed by an Iranian general the US military assassinated last week.

Pence said that congressional lawmakers might compromise sensitive "sources and methods" if they were given more information about the specific attack Soleimani was allegedly planning.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is no longer any trust between the two branches of government. When House Democrats declared President Trump a threat to national security and voted to impeach him so that he could be forcibly removed from office, this ended any hope of cooperation. In regards to the Iran file, both sides are on opposite sides on what should be done.

Who Are Iran's Allies?

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 07:00 PM PST

Photo: While the US commands a large sphere of influence, the Middle East presents an uncertain landscape for Washington. (ABC News: Jarrod Fankhauser)

ABC News Online: Who are Iran's allies in a potential conflict with the United States?

After a week of hostilities between the US and Iran raised fears of an all-out conflict that could draw in the two countries' global allies, President Donald Trump says Iran appears to be "standing down".

The latest escalation came when top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last week, before Tehran hit back by firing missiles at Iraqi bases housing US troops.

Following the missile strikes, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that Iran "took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defence" and did not "seek escalation or war".

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russia and China are not going to get involved. Iraqis have been protesting against the pro-Iranian government in Baghdad for months now, and I do not see that changing anytime soon. And as for Syria. The country is majority Sunni, and many harbour a deep resentment towards Iran and pro-Iranian allies like Hezbollah on what they have done to their country after years of war.

Will The U.S. - Iran Conflict Return To The Shadows?

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 06:24 PM PST

People gather at the funeral of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, top commander of the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 4, 2020. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili

Kimberly Dozier and John Walcott, Time: After Retaliation, Iran's 40-Year Conflict With U.S. Likely to Return to the Shadows

Now that Tehran and Washington have openly exchanged fire, the conflict between the two nations will continue in the shadows where it has been fought for 40 years — and where Iran's Revolutionary Guard still seeks to exact revenge for the U.S. killing its top commander.

But after the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, Iran now knows that any attack that even its proxies launch could trigger another American strike. President Donald Trump's backers say the raised stakes have restored "big stick" deterrence that American enemies and allies had begun to doubt after Trump failed to respond militarily to repeated Iranian aggression. His critics say he has ushered in a new era that makes every American a target for kidnapping and assassination across the Middle East, and beyond.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The dynamics have changed in the past week. Helped by Iran's own rhetoric, any future attack against US or allied assets in the Middle East will end with fingers being pointed at Iran.

US Congress Votes To Limit President Trump's Power To Wage War Against Iran

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 05:13 PM PST

The War Powers Resolution passed the House of Representatives Thursday evening, with 224 lawmakers voting for it and 194 against it, mainly along party lines

Daily Mail: Democrats vote to limit Donald Trump's power to wage war against Iran - and even his top Republican ally Matt Gaetz backs Nancy Pelosi's move

* The House of Representatives voted on a resolution Thursday that aimed to curb President Trump's ability to wage war with Iran
* The vote saw eight Democratic defections, while three Republicans voted alongside the Democrats
* Most notably was Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who is a vocal defender of the president

The House of Representatives voted 224-194 Thursday to limit President Trump's ability to wage war with Iran.

The vote on the War Powers Resolution included some notable defections, with Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and top Trump ally, voting with the Democrats.

'If our servicemembers have the courage to fight and die in these wars, Congress ought to have the courage to vote for or against them. I'm voting for this resolution,' Gaetz pledged earlier Thursday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This was all for show. It was voted primary along party lines, and it is not legally binding. If passed by the US Senate, it will not even be brought to President Trump for his signature or veto.

More News On The US Congress Voting To Limit President Trump's Power To Wage War Against Iran

House approves measure to restrain Trump's actions on Iran -- AP
U.S. House votes to limit Trump's ability to wage war on Iran -- Reuters
House passes measure seeking to limit Trump on Iran -- The Hill
House votes to rein in Trump on Iran -- Politico
House passes War Powers Resolution in rebuke of Trump's actions against Iran -- FOX News
US House votes to limit Trump war powers on Iran -- BBC
These Republicans voted yes on the War Powers resolution -- CNN

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 9, 2020

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 04:42 PM PST

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani

Anthony Dworkin, Just Security: Soleimani Strike Marks a Novel Shift in Targeted Killing, Dangerous to the Global Order

The drone strike against Qassem Soleimani marks a significant escalation in the United States' use of force against external security threats as it has evolved in the years since September 11, 2001. President Donald Trump's decision to target Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, brings the signature technique of the so-called "war on terror" – the targeted killing of individuals outside any wider conventional military engagement – into the context of inter-state relations. After a period when the United States used the analogy of inter-state war to expand its use of force against terrorist groups, this new development shows how the influence of the open-ended military campaign against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State is washing back into the inter-state realm, imperiling the line between war and peace.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 9, 2020

Risky Gulf Arab strategy tested by killing of Iran general -- Aya Batrawy, AP

Why the US and Iran are not at war -- Wesley Rahn, DW

US says Iran shot down the Ukrainian jetliner. Was it intentional? -- Kaylee McGhee, Washington Examiner

On streets of Tehran, relief for now at no wider conflict -- Mehdi Fattahi and Aya Batrawy, AP

Iran attack: Who are the winners and losers in the crisis? -- Dr Sanam Vakil, BBC

Iraq is caught in the middle as Iran and U.S. trade blows -- Samya Kullab and Qassem Abdul-Zahra, AP

Iran's power over Iraq includes electricity -- Robert Bryce, The Hill

President Trump draws his red line -- Admiral James "Sandy" Winnefeld Jr., The Hill

Did Fox's Tucker Carlson play role in calming Iran pressure? -- By David Bauder, AP

As US and Iran step back from the brink, China faces energy security risk -- Wendy Wu, SCMP

China, US face off in Middle East and Africa -- Christian Le Miere, Asia Times

Erdogan Is Taking a Big Gamble In Libya -- Bloomberg

Can Britain really do the trade deal it wants with the EU? -- Arthur Sullivan, ABC News Online

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step back from Royal duties dominates UK front pages -- ABC News Online

Which countries love Trump the most and least? -- BBC

Daily World News Briefs -- January 9, 2020 (Evening Updates)

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 04:07 PM PST



Reuters: Iran likely downed Ukraine airliner with missiles, Canada's Trudeau says, citing intelligence

A Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 people aboard, was likely brought down by an Iranian missile, Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Thursday, citing intelligence from Canadian and other sources.

The destruction of the airliner, which carried 63 Canadians, "may well have been unintentional," Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa.

"We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile," he said.

The Ukraine International Airlines flight to Kiev from Tehran crashed on Wednesday hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq, and Iranians were on high alert for a U.S. military response.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iranians shot down airliner, Western leaders declare.

Iran denies Ukrainian plane was hit by missile: statement.

Iran calls on Canada to hand over information on Crashed Ukrainian plane.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards warn of 'harsher revenge' after strikes on US targets.

Tensions remain high as US, Iran pull back from brink of war.

Iran crisis: US 'ready for serious negotiations' with Tehran.

Iraqi Shia cleric whose militia killed American troops says crisis is over following Iran strike and Trump speech.

Iran: Ukrainian jetliner was returning to airport when it crashed.

Ukraine airliner accidentally downed by Iran, U.S. officials say.

UN monitors say Houthis not behind Saudi Aramco attacks: Report.

Lebanese prosecutor slaps travel ban on former car magnate Ghosn.

ASIA

Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines among carriers avoiding Iran airspace after missile attack.

As US and Iran step back from the brink, China faces energy security risk.

Australian fires: Victoria extends state of disaster ahead of worsening weather conditions. Australia fires: Victoria extends 'state of disaster' as threat intensifies.

Taiwan election seen as referendum on China influence.

Indonesia president visits Natuna islands amid dispute with China.

Indonesian military says Chinese vessels left disputed waters.

China's mysterious outbreak could be new virus, WHO says.

AFRICA

Suspected Islamists kill 25 soldiers in Niger: government.

East Libya forces to press campaign against Tripoli rivals despite ceasefire call. Libya's Haftar says military ops won't stop amid ceasefire call.

Europe, N. Africa in diplomatic flurry to avoid 'second Syria' in Libya.

UN envoy: 'Devastating surge' of attacks in Sahel and West Africa. UN warns of 'devastating surge' in Sahel attacks.

Fresh attempt to sue Libya for supplying IRA with Semtex explosive.

Fears of new violence in Niger's Agadez after refugee camp blaze.

Kenyans and Nigerians 'have great faith in Trump'.

Lesotho PM's party seeks his ouster over wife's murder.

Dozens killed by heavy rain in Angola.

Angola billionaire Isabel dos Santos lashes out over graft probe.

EUROPE

UK lawmakers back EU exit deal, turning page on Brexit crisis.

UK's Johnson says there is evidence Ukrainian plane was shot down by Iran missile.

Trump seeks support in Iran crisis but Europe skeptical.

Ukraine vows to 'find out the truth' behind plane crash in Iran that killed 176 people.

Four Mediterranean countries call Turkey-GNA deals 'void'.

Live: French pension reform strikes enter sixth week with nationwide day of protest.

French ex-president Sarkozy to stand trial in October on graft charges.

Hungary for Brexit: Orbán praises Johnson and Trump.

UK accused of 'behaving like cowboys' over EU database copying.

Prince Harry and Meghan: Royal Family 'hurt' as couple begin 'next chapter'.

AMERICAS

Trudeau: Evidence shows Iranian missile downed Ukraine plane. Canadian PM says Iranian missile brought down airliner. Canada PM says he won't rest until he gets answers about downed jet.

House approves measure to restrain Trump's actions on Iran.

Donald Trump backs away from Iran conflict, includes China in call to resume nuclear talks.

Full text: President Donald Trump's remarks on Iran.

Defense Secretary Esper privately warned lawmakers against debating war powers.

Senators introduce resolution warning that Congress has not authorized Iran war.

Pelosi to 'soon' send impeachment articles for Senate trial.

Senate Democrats begin breaking with Nancy Pelosi on articles of impeachment.

Bernie emerges as growing threat to Biden.

US courts rule for border walls both public and private.

Puerto Rico earthquake: Two-thirds of island still without power.

Mexican asylum seekers fear deportation to Guatemala.

Fence-scaling Venezuela opposition leader rekindles his mojo.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

At United Nations, US justifies killing Iranian commander as self-defence.

Don't let Iran tensions stop the battle Aaainst ISIS.

FBI asks Apple for Saudi shooter's phone data.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street notches records on trade optimism, Apple gains.

World Bank: Global economy should grow, but could see crisis in 2020.

'Phase Two' China trade deal may come after US election: Trump.

Trade war: China to send Liu He to US to sign phase one deal next week but phase two talks remain remote.

Doubts over phase one trade deal as US-China ties 'still in deep trouble'.

New Video Shows Ukrainian Plane Being Hit Over Iran

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 03:21 PM PST



New York Times: Video Shows Ukrainian Plane Being Hit Over Iran

The New York Times has obtained video of the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit minutes after takeoff from Tehran.

Video verified by The New York Times appears to show an Iranian missile hitting a plane above Parand, near Tehran's airport, the area where a Ukrainian airliner stopped transmitting its signal before it crashed on Wednesday.

A small explosion occurred when a missile hit the plane, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport, The Times has determined. The plane flew toward the airport ablaze before it exploded and crashed quickly, other videos verified by The Times showed.

Visual and sonic clues in the footage matched flight path information and satellite imagery of the area near where the plane crashed. The satellite images were taken on Thursday and provided to The Times by Maxar Technologies, a space technology company. This helped to verify the video's authenticity.

In the video, approximately 10 seconds elapse between the flash of impact with the plane and the sound of the explosion reaching the camera. The sound delay indicates the plane was a little over two miles from the camera at the time of impact. This comports with the path of the flight, as recorded by the flight tracking company FlightRadar24.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The New York Times investigation to prove that this video is authentic is impressive.

More News On A New Video Showing Ukrainian Plane Being Hit Over Iran

Video appears to show the moment a missile hit the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in Iran -- Business Insider
Video appears to show missile strike as Canada and UK say they have intel Iran shot down Ukrainian plane -- CNN
Report: Video Shows Ukrainian Plane Getting Struck By Missile Over Iran -- Forbes
Watch: Video Reportedly Captures Moment Iranian Missile Downs Ukrainian Airliner -- Sputnik

Reuters Exclusive: Informants In Iraq And Syria Assisted The U.S. To Kill Iran's Soleimani

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 01:11 PM PST

A man holds a picture of slain Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, as people celebrate in the street after Iran launched missiles at U.S.-led forces in Iraq, Iran January 8, 2020.WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS

Reuters: Exclusive: Informants in Iraq, Syria helped U.S. kill Iran's Soleimani - sources

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani arrived at the Damascus airport in a vehicle with dark-tinted glass. Four soldiers from Iran's Revolutionary Guards rode with him. They parked near a staircase leading to a Cham Wings Airbus A320, destined for Baghdad.

Neither Soleimani nor the soldiers were registered on the passenger manifesto, according to a Cham Wings airline employee who described the scene of their departure from the Syrian capital to Reuters. Soleimani avoided using his private plane because of rising concerns about his own security, said an Iraqi security source with knowledge of Soleimani's security arrangements.

The passenger flight would be Soleimani's last. Rockets fired from a U.S. drone killed him as he left the Baghdad airport in a convoy of two armored vehicles. Also killed was the man who met him at the airport: Abu Mahdi Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the Iraqi government's umbrella group for the country's militias.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When one looks at Qassem Soleimani's history of destruction and mayhem, especially among the Sunni populations in Syria and Iraq, it is not hard to believe that many would assist the U.S. to see this man dead.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau: Ukraine Plane With 63 Canadians Was 'Shot Down’ By An Iranian Missile

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 12:32 PM PST




National Post/Canadian Press: Trudeau: Canada has intelligence that plane was shot down by Iranian missile

'There have been important developments on potential causes of the crash — developments of which Canadians should be made aware'

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation Thursday afternoon amid multiple reports pointing the finger at Iran for the downing of a Ukraine International Airlines flight, killing all on board including 138 people who were headed to Canada.

Addressing assembled media in Ottawa, Trudeau said Canada has intelligence that indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile.

"We have intelligence from multiple sources including our Allies and our own intelligence, the intelligence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile. This may well have been unintentional," he said.

Read more ....

More News On Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Saying That Ukraine Plane With 63 Canadians Was 'Shot Down' By An Iranian Missile

Trudeau says evidence indicates Iranian missile brought down Ukrainian flight -- CBC
Intelligence indicates Flight PS752 was shot down by Iran: Trudeau -- CTV News
Trudeau says Iranian missile likely brought down plane, killing dozens of Canadians -- Global News
Trudeau: Evidence shows Iranian missile downed Ukraine plane -- AP
Trudeau says Canada has intelligence Iran shot down Ukrainian airliner -- CNN
Ukraine plane 'shot down' by Iranian missile, Trudeau says -- Globe and Mail

Was Iranian General Qassem Soleimani Plotting To Destroy The U.S. Embassy In Iraq?

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 12:16 PM PST



Daily Mail: Donald Trump claims Qassem Soleimani was plotting to BLOW UP the U.S. embassy in Iraq after days of pressure to explain the 'imminent threat'

* President Trump justified the strike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by revealing there was a plot to 'blow up' the U.S. embassy in Baghdad
* 'We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy,' Trump told reporters at the White House
* For days, the White House has said Soleimani was targeted because the No. 2 Iranian was an 'imminent threat' to American lives

President Trump said he decided to take out Iranian general Qassem Soleimani because there were plans to 'blow up' the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

'We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy,' Trump told reporters during an environmental event at the White House Thursday. 'He had more than that particular embassy in mind,' the president also said.

For days, the Trump administration has claimed that Soleimani was planning an attack on Americans making him an 'imminent threat' who needed to be killed.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above presser begins at the 21:00 mark.

More News On President Trump's Remarks That Iranian General Qassem Soleimani Was Plotting To Destroy The U.S. Embassy In Iraq

Trump says Iran was 'looking to blow up our embassy' -- The Hill
Trump claims Soleimani was planning to blow up U.S. embassy -- Politico
Trump Says Soleimani Killed After Iran Plot to 'Blow Up' Embassy -- Bloomberg
Trump claims Iran's top general was plotting to blow up the US Embassy in Iraq — but doesn't give any evidence backing it up -- Business Insider

Where Does China Stand On U.S.-Iran Tensions?

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 11:44 AM PST



Daily Mail: China labels the U.S. the 'root cause' of heightened tensions in the Middle East after Trump urged Beijing to abandon the Iran nuclear deal

* Beijing also accused Washington of ignoring international law today
* It said the U.S. prevented other countries fulfiling their responsibility
* Came after Trump urged China and other nations to ditch the accord
* China's Foreign Ministry stressed the need to de-escalate tensions

China has labeled the United States the 'root cause' of heightened tensions in the Middle East after U.S. President Trump called on China and other nations to abandon the 'defective' Iran nuclear deal.

Beijing's Ministry of Foreign Affairs today accused Washington of ignoring international law and its international duties with the proposal.

Geng Shuang, a spokesperson of the Ministry, condemned the U.S. for pulling out of the agreement one-sidedly. He said America was applying 'extreme pressure' on Iran and 'preventing' other countries from fulfiling their responsibility.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Chinese relationship with Iran is built around money .... China and Iran: a relationship built on trade, weapons and oil (SCMP).

Iranian Generals Issue Threats Of ‘More Severe Revenge’ On US

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 11:20 AM PST

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Iran's air force commander, claims he was ready to launch hundreds of missiles killing 5,000 Americans within hours - if Trump had retaliated to Wednesday's strike

Daily Mail: Iran will take 'harsher revenge soon' and had prepared to 'kill 5,000 Americans' if US responded to missile strike in Iraq, Tehran's military commanders claim

* Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two US bases in Iraq on Wednesday
* Donald Trump said regime is 'standing down' after attack failed to kill US troops
* Air force general said Iran was ready to kill 5,000 Americans if US had retaliated
* Senior Iranian commander now claims a 'harsher revenge' on US will begin soon

Iran will take a 'harsher revenge' on US troops in the Middle East after an initial rocket attack on Wednesday failed to kill anybody, a senior commander has warned.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Abdollah Araghi threatened further reprisals against the US on Thursday, despite Donald Trump saying the country 'appears to be standing down'.

Meanwhile air force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh claimed that Iran had been prepared to launch 'hundreds' of missiles aimed at killing up to 5,000 Americans if Trump had decided to retaliate.

Read more ....

More News On Iranian Generals Issuing Threats Of 'More Severe Revenge' On US

Iran crisis: Commander says more air strikes were planned against US -- BBC
Iran's Revolutionary Guards warn of 'harsher revenge' after strikes on US targets -- DW
Iran's Guards warn of 'harsher revenge' after missile strikes on U.S. targets: agency -- Reuters
Iranian commander vows 'harsher revenge soon' against U.S. -- Politico
Iranian generals ramp up rhetoric with chilling threats of 'more severe revenge' on US -- Express
Missile strikes on bases housing US troops aimed at damaging America's 'military machine' – Iranian commander -- RT

Iran Gave The U.S. A Three Hour Warning To Prepare For A Missile Attack

Posted: 09 Jan 2020 11:39 AM PST

A satellite image (above) of the Ain Al Assad Airbase after Iran's missile attack showing the damage caused to the site after Iran launched ballistic missiles

Daily Mail: Iran warned the U.S. via a European embassy of missile attack so troops had THREE HOURS to prepare - and Tehran made sure American satellites could detect their plans, report claims

  * U.S. officials say they had three hours warning of the Iranian missile strikes
  * They say Iran tipped the U.S. off about attacks via a European embassy
  * The officials say the Iranians also ensured their plans were easily detectable to the U.S. via satellites and eavesdropping
  * An official said the hours-long warning enabled a U.S. military officer to visit one of the bases in Iraq and warn them of when and where the missiles would strike
  * The top U.S. military officer had said earlier on Wednesday that Iran's missile attack intended to kill U.S. personnel at Iraq's al-Asad airbase
  * Donald Trump on Wednesday tempered days of angry rhetoric and suggested Iran was 'standing down'

The United States had three hours warning of the missile strikes after Iran tipped them off via a European embassy and ensured their plans of an attack were easily detectable, U.S. officials claim.

The Iranians prepared for the missile strikes on two Iraqi airbases housing American troops by intentionally making sure U.S. intelligence could detect the plans via satellites and eavesdropping, the officials told TIME magazine.

Intelligence managed to pick up the threat of strikes about three hours before they actually took place, according to the U.S. officials.

Read more ....

Update: Did Iran deliberately avoid US casualties in 'revenge strike'? (SCMP/Tribune)

WNU Editor: The Pentagon has a different point of view .... Pentagon says Iran DID try to kill US troops in missile strikes despite claims Tehran deliberately avoided human targets after there were no casualties (Daily Mail).

Update: Images show chaos on US base as Iranian missiles explode (see below).