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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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

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


As Iran Missiles Were Landing At Ain al-Asad Air Base In Iraq, The U.S. Military Lost Contact With Seven Of Their Drones

Posted: 15 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

A US soldier walks past a drone at the Ain al-Asad airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar (AFP Photo/Ayman Henna)

AFP: As Iran missiles battered Iraq base, US lost eyes in sky

Ain al-Asad Air Base (Iraq) (AFP) - Moments after volleys of Iranian missiles began to batter Iraq's Ain al-Asad airbase, US soldiers at the desert facility lost contact with their ultra-powerful -- and expensive -- eyes in the sky.

At the time the attack was launched at 1:35 am on January 8, the US army was flying seven unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Iraq to monitor bases where US-led coalition forces are deployed.

They included MQ-1C Gray Eagles, advanced surveillance drones that can fly for as long as 27 hours and carry a payload of up to four Hellfire missiles.

"We thought it may lead to a ground assault, so we kept the aircraft up," said one of the pilots, 26-year-old Staff Sergeant Costin Herwig.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am surprised that they did not transfer control of these drones to another US base. I can only speculate on why they choose not to do that.

The U.S. Navy Wants More Money

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 11:00 PM PST

The fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO-187) refuels the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) during a replenishment-at-sea. Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Chanel L. Turner

Defense One: The US Navy Needs More Money, Its Top Admiral Bluntly Argues

The sea service is pushing for a fleet of 355 ships in the next decade, and that's not counting unmanned vessels.

The U.S. Navy needs more money for warships — perhaps tens of billions of dollars more over the next decade — if it is to keep pace with China and Russia, its top admiral said.

"We need more money," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said bluntly Tuesday at a Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Virginia. "There's broad agreement across the government that our Navy needs to grow…We need to pursue unmanned technologies and we need to solve tough technology and policy issues associated with unmanned instead of running away from them."

The admiral spoke less than a month before the White House is to send Congress a 2021 defense budget that is capped at $740 billion — up just $2 billion after three years of substantial growth.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  Everyone always wants more money.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST











U.S. Navy Is Fast-Tracking Its New Weapons

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Farragut (DDG 99) transit the Atlantic Ocean - file photo. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

FOX News/Warrior Maven: Navy strategy fast-tracks new weapons for 'offensive' attack

Arlington, Va.- Senior Navy leaders say the service is fast-tracking a handful of key emerging weapons systems such as new destroyers, Tomahawk missiles, lasers and hypersonics as part of a new "offensive attack" maritime combat strategy.

"Today we are moving to the offensive. We are already moving out on an increase in lethality," Vice. Adm. Rich Brown, Command, Naval Surfaces Forces, told an audience Jan. 14 at the Surface Navy Association Annual Symposium.

The concept is grounded upon a decided paradox ... be ready to fight and kill today and tomorrow... to keep the peace. Within this strategic framework, Brown cited a handful of specific weapons systems intended to bring this vision to fruition and essentially prevent major war. It is no surprise that this kind of deterrence focus would take center stage in the often discussed era of "great power competition," a global environment now inspiring the U.S. to make its best effort to stay in front of major rivals such as Russia and China.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:Welcome to the era of "great power competition".

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

Students walk around, instead of across, U.S. and Israeli flags at the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran. Courtesy of @MAMLEKATE/via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture came form this photo-gallery .... Editor's Choice Pictures (Reuters).

President Trump Accuses Apple Of Refusing To Unlock iPhones Used By 'Killers And Drug Dealers'

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 09:00 PM PST


Daily Mail: Trump accuses Apple of refusing to unlock iPhones used by 'killers and drug dealers' after AG Bill Barr demanded it gives access to phones of Pensacola Navy base gunman

* President Donald Trump attacked Apple on Twitter Tuesday
* He said Apple officials 'refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements'
* 'They will have to step up and help our great Country, NOW!' he added
* The tweet came the day after Attorney General William Barr urged Apple to help FBI investigators crack two iPhones used by gunman Mohammed Alshamrani
* The FBI has been unable to access the phones as they are locked and encrypted
* Barr accused Apple of refusing to provide 'substantive assistance'
* Apple responded by saying it rejected that characterization but did not say that it would unlock the phones
* Barr's latest appeal for Apple's cooperation marked an escalation of the DOJ's ongoing fight with the tech giant over personal privacy vs public safety
* The attorney general indicated that he intends to use the Alshamrani case to push for a solution to the DOJ's struggle to get around Apple security features

President Donald Trump accused Apple of refusing to unlock iPhones used by criminals one day after his attorney general demanded that the company help FBI investigators gain access to devices used by the gunman in a mass shooting at a Florida Navy base.

'We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements,' Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday. 'They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!'

The tweet came on the heels of US Attorney General William Barr's call for Apple to cooperate with the FBI - which has been struggling to get past the encryption on two iPhones belonging to Saudi military trainee Mohammed Alshamrani.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is why Apple is refusing to cooperate .... Trump wants Apple to unlock the Pensacola shooter's iPhones. Here's why it won't (CNN). Here is an easy prediction. One day a crime that is beyond horrible will be committed that could have been prevented if an iPhone's encryption was broken. That is when legislation will be passed that will force Apple and other smart phone manufactures to comply with DoJ demands to have a phone unlocked when subpoenaed.

More News On President Trump Accusing Apple Of Refusing To Unlock iPhones

Trump criticizes Apple's encryption stance on Pensacola phones -- Reuters
Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals -- CNBC
Trump tears into Apple for refusing to unlock Pensacola shooter's cell phones -- Politico
Trump launches fresh attack on Apple over privacy -- BBC

Cyber Security Firm With Ties To 2020 Democrats Claims Russians Hacked Ukraine Company Burisma

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 08:00 PM PST



USA Today: Russians hacked Ukraine company Burisma at heart of Trump impeachment, cybersecurity firm says

WASHINGTON – A computer security company reported Monday that Russian hackers sought access to the Ukraine gas company at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, and House Democrats warned the move threatened to interfere with the 2020 election.

Area 1 Security, a California company focused on email security, reported that members of Russian military intelligence known as the GRU launched a campaign in early November to steal email credentials from workers at Burisma Holdings.

The eight-page report does not say what information, if any, the GRU obtained or what it was looking for. The firm also did not speculate as to the GRU's motivations. But the target and timing of the apparent hacking, which happened in the middle of a presidential race and a House impeachment inquiry against Trump, quickly raised concerns among Democrats that Russia may be using similar hacking techniques to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: So a single cybersecurity start-up, whose founder is a Democrat working with 2020 Democrats and who won't say anything about how he knows that the hacking actually happened, comes out and says that Russia hacked the Ukraine company Burisma that is also at the heart of the current impeachment of President Trump. And right after that, the main stream media repeats his claims and Democrat politicians demand an investigation and hearings .... while also providing zero evidence. Do they really think this is going to work? Do they view us with that much contempt? You tell me.

Update: Founder of Area 1, firm that alleges Russian hacking of Burisma, is working with 2020 Democrats (Eddie Scarry, Washington Examiner).

Update #2: U.S. Intelligence is now on the case (does anyone want to make a bet that they will find nothing, or say that they cannot make it public because it will compromise intel methods and sources) ..... U.S. Spy Agencies Tracking Russian Hack of Biden-Linked Burisma (Bloomberg).

More News On Claims That Russia Hacked The Ukraine Company Burisma

Russian spies hacked Ukraine's Burisma, company says -- The Washington Post
Burisma Holdings 'successfully' hacked by Russian military amid House-led impeachment hearings: US tech company -- FOX News
Democrats press for details on alleged Burisma hack -- Politico
Russian intelligence officials hacked Ukrainian gas company — seemingly looking for dirt on the Bidens: report -- Alertnet

Iran Has Told Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah To Unite Iranian-Backed Militias In Iraq After Soleimani's Death

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 07:00 PM PST

Paramilitary groups in Iraq have agreed to accept Hadi al-Amiri, right, as the new leader of the PMF, including those loyal to anti-Iran cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, left (Reuters)

Middle East Eye: EXCLUSIVE: Iran tasked Nasrallah with uniting Iraqi proxies after Soleimani's death

Hezbollah leader sponsors 'truce' talks, with Iraqi paramilitaries endorsing Hadi al-Amiri as PMF leader and Tehran courting Moqtada al-Sadr in bid to form 'united resistance'.

The leaders of Iranian-backed paramilitary groups in Iraq have agreed to put their differences aside and back Hadi al-Amiri as the new chairman of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) as part of a wider plan brokered by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to quell tensions between the groups and create a "united resistance" to US troops in the country.

The informal agreement was forged at a meeting convened in Beirut on Thursday after Nasrallah was asked by Iran to organise its Iraqi factions following the assassinations of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the de facto leader of the PMF, in a US drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If Hadi al-Amiri is now the new Iraq leader of the PMF, this is an ominous sign. It is people like him who are primarily responsible for the violence directed at Iraq's anti-government protesters who are frustrated with Baghdad's corruption and incompetence. He also despised by Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish communities, who are going to see his appointment as a signal of more Iranian backed violence directed at them. One more point that I got from the above article. Iran is also no longer hiding what they are doing in Iraq. They are making their intentions very clear that they will use their militias to assert control on the country.

Do You Know The Name Of The Fallen U.S. Contractor That Was Used To Justify The Killing Of Soleimani?

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 06:33 PM PST


WNU Editor: His name is Nawres Waleed Hamid .... U.S. contractor killed in Iraq, which led to strike on Iranian general, buried in Sacramento (Sacramento Bee).

New Video Emerges Shows Two Missiles Striking Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 06:20 PM PST



Daily Mail: New footage shows the moment Iranian missiles are fired at a passenger jet killing 176 people as the commander responsible holds awkward meeting with the bereaved families

* CCTV footage four miles from military base shows missiles being fired at jet
* Two missiles struck the passenger killing all 176 people on board last week
* Commander responsible met bereaved family of a victim on Tuesday night
* Iran has made arrests after initially denying culpability which sparked protests

New CCTV footage has revealed the moment two Iranian missiles were fired at a Ukrainian passenger jet killing all 176 aboard shortly after it took off from Tehran.

It shows the first missile tearing across the horizon last Wednesday and exploding against the fuselage before a second follows in its wake.

The Boeing 737 can then be seen descending in a ball of flame which grows larger as it plummets towards the ground. The footage obtained by The New York Times was filmed on a rooftop camera around four miles away from the base which Iran's Revolutionary Guard confirmed fired the rockets.

On Tuesday night Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, responsible for the country's missiles, held stilted meetings with the bereaved family of one of the victims of the strike.

Read more ....

More News On A New Video Emerging that Shows Two Missiles Striking Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

New video shows two Iranian missiles hit Ukraine plane in Iran - NYT -- Reuters
Ukraine plane struck by two missiles: NYT -- AFP
New Iran plane crash video shows 2 missiles hit Ukrainian jet -- FOX News
New Video Shows Moment Ukrainian Airlines Plane Is Hit by Two Missiles in Iran -- Epoch Times
New video shows that 2 missiles struck the Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran -- Business Insider

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 14, 2020

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 06:08 PM PST

Dan De Luce and Robert Windrem, NBC: After Soleimani strike, Persian Gulf countries worry about a war on their doorstep

Gulf Arab powers privately welcomed the death of Iran's top general, but they fear their nations could be caught in the crossfire of a U.S.-Iran conflict.

WASHINGTON — Gulf Arab states are on edge after President Donald Trump's decision to kill top Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, fearing tensions between the United States and Iran could spiral into a military conflict on their doorstep with devastating economic effects, according to foreign diplomats, former U.S. officials and regional experts.

Even the most hawkish powers in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have backed Trump's tough line on Iran, were stunned by the attack on Soleimani and have appealed to the White House to avoid a conflagration with Tehran, the sources said.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 14, 2020

Esmail Qaani: Soleimani's discreet successor -- Alison Tahmizian Meuse, Asia Times

The Danger From Iran Didn't Die With Soleimani -- Brett Bruen, NPR

Why the Ukrainian plane tragedy is unlikely to lead to global airspace rules -- Allison Lampert, Rozanna Latiff, Tim Hepher, Reuters

Trump's Plan for Iran Is Regime Disruption -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg View

Why the European Union just admitted the Iran deal is dead -- Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

US-China pact signing to ease tension but leave much undone -- Paul Wiseman and Joe McDonald, AP

China trade deal is a win for Trump, but... -- Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

China aims to break US high-tech stranglehold -- Gordon Watts, Asia Times

Resistance Is Futile: The Real Reason Why China Seeks Submissive Partners -- Kathryn Waldron, National Interest

A Stunner in Taiwan -- Gary Schmitt, The American Interest

What's behind Haftar's refusal to sign Libya deal? -- AFP

Could fragile cease-fire lead to peace in Libya? -- Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor

South Africa's Leaders Face Looming Disaster -- Stephen Rakowski, The National

Here's who's going to Davos this year -- CNBC

Can a woman win the presidency? Clash exposes deeper issue -- Will Weissert and Sara Burnett, AP

Daily World News Briefs -- January 14, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 05:05 PM PST



Reuters: Britain, France, Germany formally accuse Iran of breaking nuclear deal

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - Britain, France and Germany formally accused Iran on Tuesday of violating the terms of its 2015 agreement to curb its nuclear program, which eventually could lead to the reimposing of U.N. sanctions lifted under the deal.

The European powers said they were acting to avoid a crisis over nuclear proliferation adding to an escalating confrontation in the Middle East. Russia, another signatory to the pact, said it saw no grounds to trigger the mechanism and Iran dismissed the step as a "strategic mistake."

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian army says Israeli jets attack air base in Homs.

Iraq's Sadr calls for anti-US protests amid new rocket attack.

High-gear diplomacy aims to avert U.S., Iran conflict.

Iran vows to punish those responsible for downing Ukrainian plane.

Iran makes arrests in relation to Ukrainian plane crash, Justin Trudeau points finger at US.

Iran calls for expulsion of UK ambassador as arrests made over plane crash.

Erdogan would not refrain from 'teaching a lesson' to Haftar.

Lebanese demonstrators take to the streets in show of ongoing anger.

Lebanon in 'week of wrath' protests over political vacuum, economic crisis.

Fears for southern Yemen as 'landmark' peace deal crumbles.

Human rights group: Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019.

ASIA

Japan says Middle East mission in self-interest as crude importer.

China conducting 'intense' global attack on rights: HRW.

South Korean President Moon: Door not closed on U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

Melbourne chokes amid warning gigantic fires could become routine.

China says Taiwan independence movement will 'stink for eternity'.

China's latest move in its Uighur crackdown is forcing Muslims to redecorate their homes to make them look more Chinese.

Wuhan pneumonia: Chinese tourist in Thai case did not visit outbreak-linked market, while scientists say virus not likely to prove as deadly as Sars. WHO says new mysterious China coronavirus linked to SARS could spread, warns hospitals worldwide.

Kerala state challenges India's citizenship law in Supreme Court.

Philippines volcano: Residents warned to stay away.

AFRICA

Thousands of Tunisians celebrate anniversary of revolution.

Nearly 1,000 migrants forced back to Libya since start of year: UN.

Insurgent Libyan leader leaves peace talks without signing cease-fire. Libya's Haftar positive about outcome of Moscow talks, but needs 2 days for discussions with tribal leaders – Russian MoD.

Germany calls Libya conference in Berlin.

Gunfire erupts in Khartoum as security agents resist reform.

Two shot dead in Guinea protests.

Burundi: More than 4,000 mass graves uncovered.

Sailor kidnappings surge 50% off West Africa.

Lesotho Prime Minster Thabane's wife wanted by police.

Malawi police face legal action over failure to investigate alleged rapes.

EUROPE

EU lays out 1 trillion-euro plan to support Green Deal.

Britain, France, Germany file dispute over Iran nuclear violations.

Boris Johnson: Replace Iran nuclear plan with 'Trump deal', says PM.

Ukrainian parliament demands official apology from Iran over downed plane.

Court in Ukraine orders investigation of Poroshenko, Obama administration members.

Scottish independence: Johnson rejects Sturgeon's indyref2 demand.

Irish general election to be held on 8 February.

Low tide leaves Venice's canals dry, just months after severe floods.

Pope Benedict wants his name removed as co-author of controversial new book about celibacy.

AMERICAS

Trump trial likely to begin next Tuesday: Senate chief.

Dem senator says he has 51 votes to restrain Trump on Iran. War powers measure has majority support in US Senate: Democrats.

Republicans brush off Trump's call for impeachment dismissal.

McConnell knocks call for additional impeachment witnesses.

House chairman: Pompeo won't testify at Iran hearing Tuesday.

Donald Trump retweets fake image of Democrats in Muslim clothes, drawing accusations of bigotry.

Trump administration sanctions 7 Venezuelans over failed National Assembly takeover.

Mexico mass grave holding 29 bodies found near Guadalajara.

Guatemalans demand arrest of outgoing president for corruption.

Trudeau: 'Lots of discussions' about Harry and Meghan's move.

Cuba warns citizens to prepare for cooking-gas shortages .

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US officials cite deterrence to defend lethal drone strike.

France agrees to send more troops to West Africa to fight terrorism.

Will new measures to fight terrorism in the Sahel region be enough?.

Trump says it doesn't matter if Soleimani posed an imminent threat.

German police raid 'Islamists' suspected of planning attack.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street dips from record in 'Jason Bourne market'.

Trump administration moves toward blocking more sales to Huawei: sources.

Boeing reports lowest order numbers in 30 years following 737 Max catastrophes.

US lifts China's currency manipulator designation ahead of phase one trade deal.

Trade war: China to make huge purchases of US goods as details of phase one deal revealed.

Reports: Top Secret Russian Spy Satellite Exploded In Space

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 04:11 PM PST

File illustration of Kosmos-2491

Space Daily/Sputnik: Russian spy satellite has broken up in space says harvard astronomer

Russia launched the Kosmos-2491 military satellite into orbit in 2013, with few details made available regarding its capabilities and mission, leading to speculation about its true purpose.

Russia's Kosmos-2491 military satellite may has disintegrated in space, either by accident or after deliberately self-destructing, Harvard-Smithsonian astronomer Jonathan McDowell believes.

Earlier, the US Air Force's Project Space Track reported that ten fragments thought to be the remnants of the Kosmos-2491 military satellite, assigned the numbers 44912-44913 and 44987-44994, were observed orbiting at altitudes between 1,329 to 1,699 km.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is a lot of speculation on what may have happened. But deliberately blowing up the satellite is a little far fetch for me.

More News On Reports That A Top Secret Russian Spy Satellite Exploded In Space

Space shock: NASA reveals top-secret Russian spy satellite 'exploded in space' -- Express
Secret Russian spy satellite 'explodes in space' – and it may have been deliberate -- The SUN
A top-secret Russian military satellite has 'exploded in space', astronomer says -- Metro

China's Censors Are Letting Iran And The US Go At Each Other On China's Social Media Website Weibo

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 03:13 PM PST

Photo: Many countries and companies operate Chinese social media accounts to speak to the vast Chinese audience. (Weibo)

ABC News Online: Iran and the US are now trading barbs on China's Weibo amid censorship on other platforms

The world has been on alert since the United States killed Iran's revered military general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad earlier this month.

For the moment, it appears as though Tehran and Washington will not be coming to armed blows in the immediate term, but that has not stopped the countries from trading barbs in the virtual sphere — in places largely unexpected.

In recent days, tensions between the US and Iran have been playing out on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform available to Chinese citizens.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China's internet rules are very simple. Do not criticize China, do not reveal state secrets, and definitely do not criticize the Communist Party and its leadership.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Blames President Trump For Rising Escalations In The Middle East That Led To The Shooting Down Of A Ukrainian Passenger Jet

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 01:41 PM PST





Daily Mail: 'Those Canadians would be with their families now': Justin Trudeau takes extraordinary swipe at Donald Trump as he blames Iran shooting down jet on US raising tensions

* Trudeau blamed US killing of general Qassem Soleimani for raising tensions
* He said international community had to 'manage tensions brought about by US'
* Iran has admitted its Revolutionary Guards shot down the jet, killing 176 people
* Today Tehran said it had made several arrests as Hassan Rouhani vowed justice
* Dozens of Iranians were on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight

Justin Trudeau has today blamed the US 'escalation' in the Middle East for the Iranian shoot-down of a passenger jet in an extraordinary swipe at Donald Trump.

Echoing what Iranian officials have said, Trudeau said the dozens of Canadian crash victims would be 'home with their families' but for the tensions started by the US killing of Qassem Soleimani.

The Canadian PM said the international community had to 'manage the tensions in the region that are brought about by US actions'.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Tensions did not escalate and rise because of the death of Soleimani. Those tensions have been escalating for months, from oil tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf, an attack on Saudi Arabia's critical oil refinery in September, and the continuous rocket attacks by Iranian-backed militias on Iraqi bases that housed coalition forces, Canadian forces included. And as for who was responsible for shooting down this Ukrainian passenger jet. It was shot down in Iran, by a missile fired by an Iranian officer, who was giving the authority to do so by his superiors. Historically speaking, assessing blame like this is nothing new. There are historians who blame the U.S. for  Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor because of U.S. sanctions on Japan at the time.

More News On Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Blaming President Trump For Rising Escalating In The Middle East That Led To The Shooting Down Of A Ukrainian Passenger Jet

Justin Trudeau: US escalation partly to blame for Iran plane deaths -- The Guardian
Trudeau: Escalating 'tensions' with Iran to blame for downed jet -- The Hill
Justin Trudeau says Iran plane crash victims would still be alive if not for heightened tensions -- The Week
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau blames downing of Ukraine jet on US 'escalation' -- NYPost
Trudeau: Canadians who Died in Iran Plane Attack 'Would Be Home with Their Families' If Not for U.S. 'Escalation' -- NRO
Trudeau: Plane victims would be alive if not for US-Iran tensions -- Al Jazeera
Iran Shoots Down Passenger Plane and Kills 57 Canadians, So Trudeau Blames Trump -- PJ Media

Israel Declares It 'Had No Role In Soleimani Killing'

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 07:01 PM PST



France 24: Israeli army 'had no role in Soleimani killing,' IDF spokesperson tells FRANCE 24

The Israel Defence Forces played no part in the killing of Iran's Qassem Soleimani, IDF's international spokesperson Jonathan Conricus tells FRANCE 24's Middle East Matters programme, describing the senior commander's death as an "opportunity" for the region.

"The IDF had no role, this was an American-executed operation," Cornicus told FRANCE 24's Sanam Shantyaei on Tuesday, denying reports that Israeli intelligence helped locate the target of the US strike on Soleimani.

Widely regarded as the most powerful Iranian military commander, the head of the elite Quds Force was killed in a US drone strike at Baghdad airport on January 3.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Israel is going out of its way to wash its hands that they had a role in this killing.

Another Rocket Attack Reported On The Joint Iraq-Coalition Base Camp Taji North Of Baghdad

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 12:28 PM PST

The National: Several rockets fired at US military base in Iraq

* Tensions have been high in the Middle East after the US killed Qassem Suleimani

A rocket attack has been reported on Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, the Iraqi military said on Tuesday.

The military didn't specify how many rockets hit the US military base.

Police and medical sources told AFP two Iraqi personnel members were wounded in the attack.

Sky News reported that a 'missile' landed near the camp's gates on Tuesday evening, wounding a member of the security forces.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is a huge base just north of Baghdad. U.S.. coalition, and Iraqi forces are based there.

Britain, France And Germany Trigger Iran Nuclear Deal 'Dispute Mechanism' That Will Call For Sanctions

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 12:16 PM PST





Daily Mail: Britain, France and Germany trigger Iran nuclear deal 'dispute mechanism' paving the way for fresh sanctions as Boris Johnson calls for a new 'Trump deal'

* The three European powers of the JCPOA have raised a dispute against Iran
* The dispute could go to the UN and all sanctions could be 'snapped back'
* But, the signatories, including France, Germany and Britain, have said they will not join the campaign to exert maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a new 'Trump deal' on the same day European signatories to the Iran nuclear treaty said they would trigger the agreement's dispute mechanism, paving the way for fresh sanctions on Tehran.

In one of the strongest calls yet from Europe for a new agreement to replace the 2015 deal that Washington abandoned two years ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the way forward was to agree a new 'Trump deal'.

'If we are going to get rid of it then we need a replacement,' Johnson said of the 2015 nuclear deal that he and other European powers have been trying to salvage after Washington pulled out.

He added: 'If we are going to get rid of it, let's replace it and let's replace it with the Trump deal.

'That's what we need to see. I think that would be a great way forward.'

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran has issued a warning/threat to these European governments .... Iran warns Europeans of 'consequences' in nuclear dispute (Al Jazeera). Moe here .... Iran warns against 'destructive measures,' promises firm response as EU trio starts nuclear deal 'non-compliance' investigation (RT). As to what is my take. They are just going through the motions. Everyone knows this deal is dead.

More News On Britain, France And Germany Triggering The Iran Nuclear Deal 'Dispute Mechanism'

Britain, France, Germany formally accuse Iran of breaking nuclear deal -- Reuters
EU pressures Iran on atom deal in last-ditch bid to save it -- AP
European countries launch dispute against Iran over nuclear violations -- France 24
Iran nuclear deal: European powers trigger dispute mechanism -- BBC
European states trigger dispute mechanism in Iran nuclear deal -- The Guardian
France, Germany, UK pull diplomatic trigger on Iran deal dispute -- Al Jazeera
European powers trigger Iran nuclear deal dispute process -- DW
Britain, France, Germany file dispute over Iran nuclear violations -- UPI
Iran nuclear accord in balance as UK, France, Germany trigger dispute mechanism -- SCMP/DPA
Europeans trigger Iran nuclear deal mediation -- Politico

European States' Decision to Launch Dispute Resolution Mechanism May Doom Iran Nuclear Deal - Moscow -- Sputnik

Iran Claims to Have Arrested Several People Involved In The Crash Of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 12:08 PM PST





Daily Mail: Iran arrests several people over missile strike that brought down Ukrainian passenger jet as Hassan Rouhani vows to punish those responsible

* Iranian judiciary spokesman said 'some individuals' were arrested over the crash
* President Hassan Rouhani said the shoot-down was an 'unforgivable error'
* The regime's initial denials and subsequent admission have sparked protests

Iran said today it has arrested several people over the erroneous missile strike which brought down a passenger jet last week.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said 'some individuals' had been detained after 'extensive investigations', without saying how many.

Esmaili also described British ambassador Rob Macaire - who was briefly arrested at the weekend for attending an anti-regime protest - an 'undesirable element' and said he expects him to be expelled from the country.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Apparently the person who videotaped the missile striking the Ukrainian passenger jet and posting it online has been arrested. The identities of the others are still not known.

More News On Iran Claiming to Have Arrested Several People Involved In The Crash Of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

Iran makes arrests in downing of Ukrainian jet as Rouhani vows to punish those involved -- France 24
Iran plane downing: 'Several people detained' over airliner loss -- BBC
Iran announces first arrests in downing of Ukrainian airliner -- Al Jazeera
Iran announces arrests over plane crash as Rouhani warns those responsible will be punished -- CNN
Iran arrests several over shootdown of Ukrainian airliner -- UPI
Iran vows to punish those responsible for downing Ukrainian plane -- DW

U.S. House Will Vote On President Trump's Articles Of Impeachment On Wednesday

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 11:45 AM PST



Daily Mail: Nancy Pelosi tells Democrats the House will vote on articles of impeachment on Wednesday but she does NOT name the 'managers' who will prosecute Donald Trump in the Senate

* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday to send impeachment articles to the Senate
* She did not name the Democrats who would serve as impeachment managers
* Some speculate two of the impeachment managers could be House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler
* Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has still not said if he will host witnesses
* He claims the Senate will vote after opening arguments on if they should call individuals to testify in the impeachment trial
* Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney have said they will likely vote to hear from witnesses after opening argument
* They also foiled the White House's plan to request a resolution to dismiss the case, claiming they would not vote to approve
* Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar will likely be taking time off the 2020 campaign trail as they participate in the trial

Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday to send impeachment articles to the Senate.

'The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial. The House will now proceed with a vote on transmitting the articles of impeachment and naming impeachment managers on Wednesday, January 15. The President and the Senators will be held accountable,' Pelosi wrote in a statement Tuesday.

The House speaker was expected to also announce on Tuesday the lawmakers who will prosecute Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial following her meeting with the caucus earlier in the morning.

She did not name any impeachment managers Tuesday.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That The U.S. House Will Vote On President Trump's Articles Of Impeachment On Wednesday

Pelosi sets Wednesday votes to send impeachment to Senate -- AP
Democrats to vote on sending impeachment charges as Trump trial edges closer -- Reuters
Pelosi announces Wednesday vote on impeachment articles -- Politico
House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate -- The Hill
House to vote on sending Trump impeachment articles to Senate -- BBC
Pelosi sets Wednesday vote on sending Trump impeachment charges to Senate -- France 24
US House to vote Wednesday to send impeachment articles to Senate -- Al Jazeera

Daily World News Briefs -- January 14, 2020

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 04:13 PM PST



Reuters: Europeans trigger dispute mechanism in Iran nuclear deal

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - France, Britain and Germany formally triggered the dispute mechanism in Iran's nuclear deal on Tuesday, the strongest step the Europeans have taken so far to enforce an agreement that requires Iran to curb its nuclear programme.

The European powers said they were acting to avoid a crisis over nuclear proliferation adding to an escalating confrontation in the Middle East. Russia, another signatory to the pact, said it saw no grounds to trigger the mechanism.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

High-gear diplomacy aims to avert U.S., Iran conflict.

Iran vows to punish those responsible for downing Ukrainian plane.

Iran makes arrests in relation to Ukrainian plane crash, Justin Trudeau points finger at US.

Iran calls for expulsion of UK ambassador as arrests made over plane crash.

Erdogan would not refrain from 'teaching a lesson' to Haftar.

Lebanese demonstrators take to the streets in show of ongoing anger.

Human rights group: Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019.

ASIA

South Korean President Moon: Door not closed on U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

Melbourne chokes amid warning gigantic fires could become routine.

China says Taiwan independence movement will 'stink for eternity'.

China's latest move in its Uighur crackdown is forcing Muslims to redecorate their homes to make them look more Chinese.

Wuhan pneumonia: Chinese tourist in Thai case did not visit outbreak-linked market, while scientists say virus not likely to prove as deadly as Sars. WHO says new mysterious China coronavirus linked to SARS could spread, warns hospitals worldwide.

Kerala state challenges India's citizenship law in Supreme Court.

Philippines volcano: Residents warned to stay away.

AFRICA

Insurgent Libyan leader leaves peace talks without signing cease-fire. Libya's Haftar positive about outcome of Moscow talks, but needs 2 days for discussions with tribal leaders – Russian MoD.

Germany calls Libya conference in Berlin.

Gunfire erupts in Khartoum as security agents resist reform.

Two shot dead in Guinea protests.

Burundi: More than 4,000 mass graves uncovered.

Sailor kidnappings surge 50% off West Africa.

Lesotho Prime Minster Thabane's wife wanted by police.

Malawi police face legal action over failure to investigate alleged rapes.

EUROPE

Britain, France, Germany file dispute over Iran nuclear violations.

Boris Johnson: Replace Iran nuclear plan with 'Trump deal', says PM.

Ukrainian parliament demands official apology from Iran over downed plane.

Court in Ukraine orders investigation of Poroshenko, Obama administration members.

Scottish independence: Johnson rejects Sturgeon's indyref2 demand.

Irish general election to be held on 8 February.

Low tide leaves Venice's canals dry, just months after severe floods.

Pope Benedict wants his name removed as co-author of controversial new book about celibacy.

AMERICAS

Republicans brush off Trump's call for impeachment dismissal.

McConnell knocks call for additional impeachment witnesses.

House chairman: Pompeo won't testify at Iran hearing Tuesday.

Donald Trump retweets fake image of Democrats in Muslim clothes, drawing accusations of bigotry.

Trump administration sanctions 7 Venezuelans over failed National Assembly takeover.

Mexico mass grave holding 29 bodies found near Guadalajara.

Guatemalans demand arrest of outgoing president for corruption.

Trudeau: 'Lots of discussions' about Harry and Meghan's move.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

France agrees to send more troops to West Africa to fight terrorism.

Will new measures to fight terrorism in the Sahel region be enough?.

Trump says it doesn't matter if Soleimani posed an imminent threat.

German police raid 'Islamists' suspected of planning attack.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Boeing reports lowest order numbers in 30 years following 737 Max catastrophes.

US lifts China's currency manipulator designation ahead of phase one trade deal.

Trade war: China to make huge purchases of US goods as details of phase one deal revealed.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 14, 2020

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 10:16 AM PST


Military.com/Canadian Press: US Warns Vessels Transiting Gulf amid Tensions with Iran

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United States on Tuesday warned of threats to commercial vessels in and around the Persian Gulf in the wake of its confrontation with Iran.

Tensions have soared since the U.S. airstrike earlier this month that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general and the architect of its regional military activities. Iran responded by firing ballistic missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq, without wounding anyone, and accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran, killing all 176 on board.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 14, 2020

US warns vessels transiting Gulf amid tensions with Iran -- AP

US Defence Secretary clarifies Donald Trump's justification for strike on top Iranian general -- ABC News Online

Thousands of Marines with 26th MEU move into the Red Sea -- Marine Times

Mail delivery to military bases in Iraq temporarily suspended to clear backlog -- Military Times

Trump's top general puts his reputation to the test over Iran -- CNN

Iran attack highlights US missile defense vulnerability -- Bradley Bowman, Andrew Gabel, and Mikhael Smits, Defense News

5 things you should know about the US Navy's plans for autonomous missile boats -- Defense News

US Air Force Drops Nuclear Bombs From B-52H Bomber's Nuke Inventory - Report -- Sputnik

Lockheed announces $3B deal for 50 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft -- UPI

Why Aren't America's Navy's F/A-18 Fighter Pilots Ready for the Next Big Conflict? -- National Interest

The 'Super-Charged' F-15EX Fighter: Why This Combat Pilot Loves It -- National Interest

U.S. Air Force investigating deaths of 2 airmen at Germany base -- UPI

Lawmakers voice concern about a potential troop reduction in Africa -- Military Times

Congress boosts budget for US Army's long-range assault aircraft to drive down risk -- Defense News

Trump to divert an extra $7.2 billion from military for border wall, reports say -- CNBC

Group to Fight Space Force's Use of Bible for Swearing-In Ceremonies -- Military.com

8 truths to remember before starting another military campaign -- Colonel Eric Reid, Brookings

21 Saudi Military Students Disenrolled from Training Programs After Investigators Find Jihadist Material, Child Pornography -- USNI News

Intel: Why the US is expelling dozens of Saudi military trainees -- Al-Monitor

U.S., Japanese paratroopers hold bilateral jump in annual drill -- UPI

South Korea, US Far From Compromise on Military Cost-Sharing Deal — President Moon -- Sputnik

German foreign spying law tested at top court -- DW

Sweden to Revive Cold War-Era Military in Preparation for Potential 'Armed Attack' -- Sputnik

RCAF still dealing with legal issues on new rescue aircraft name – Canadian military doesn't know when it will be able to announce a name -- Ottawa Citizen

Crimean shipyard confirms readiness to build helicopter carriers for Russian Navy -- TASS

Russia's first helicopter carriers to be laid in early May — source -- TASS

Chinese shipyards call time on corvettes to switch to larger vessels -- SCMP

North Korea's Military Is Huge, And It Would Be A Nightmare For America To Fight -- National Interest

Niger fires army chief following deadly attacks on military bases -- Al Jazeera

Pakistan extends Turkey's deadline to deliver T129 helos -- Defense News

Colombian Military Spied On Judges, Journalists -- Latino USA

France And Five West African States To Step Up Anti-Terror Efforts In Sahel Region

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 07:56 AM PST



Reuters: France, West Africa to unite forces in fight against Islamist militants

PARIS (Reuters) - France and five West African states agreed on Monday to combine their military forces under one command structure to fight a growing Islamist militancy in the Sahel region, with Paris committing an extra 220 troops.

French President Emmanuel Macron had called the leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania, known as the G5, to the southwestern French town of Pau to discuss the battle against insurgents in the Sahel, an arid region just below the Sahara desert.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When militants can launch attacks like this one, you know you have a serious problem .... Death Toll From Niger Army Base Attack Rises To 89 (January 11, 2020).

More News On France And Five West African States Agreeing To Step Up Anti-Terror Efforts In Sahel Region

Live: France, Sahel nations pledge to bolster anti-jihadist fight, urge US to maintain support -- France 24
France summit: Macron and Sahel partners step up jihadist fight -- BBC
French president and African leaders to step up anti-terror efforts in Sahel region -- Arab News
France to send extra 220 troops to fight Islamist militants in Sahel: Macron -- Reuters
France's Macron to host G5 Sahel presidents in Pau -- Al Jazeera
Is the French army the last line of defence against jihadists in Sahel region? -- France 24
France summit: Sahel crisis in danger of slipping out of control -- Louise Dewast, BBC News

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace: 'UK Must Be Prepared To Fight Wars Without US'

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 07:22 AM PST

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace

Insider: The UK is abandoning its alliance with Trump as the United States 'withdraws from its leadership around the world'

* The UK is threatening to tear up its defense alliance with the US after President Donald Trump's Iran crisis triggered a rupture between the two countries.
* UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told The Sunday Times that the UK was looking to forge stronger alliances with other international partners that shared its priorities.
* He said the US under Trump risked withdrawing from its global leadership role.
* Wallace also said Trump threatened to tear up the US's intelligence-sharing relationship with the UK.

President Donald Trump's order to assassinate Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani has triggered a major rupture between the US and its historically closest ally, the UK.

In remarkably outspoken comments, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in an interview published Sunday that Trump's isolationist foreign-policy stance had prompted the UK to look for alternative allies.

"I worry if the United States withdraws from its leadership around the world," he told The Sunday Times.

He added: "The assumptions of 2010 that we were always going to be part of a US coalition is really just not where we are going to be."

Read more ....

WNU editor: Countries like the UK are not interested in getting involved in America's wars, and on the flip side the US wants its allies to spend more on defense which they have shown a reluctance to deliver. So while the UK Defense Secretary may talk about Britain being prepared to fight wars without US help, the problem is that the U.K. is not ready to spend money to make sure that they can.

More News On UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace Saying That Britain 'Must Be Prepared To Fight Wars Without The US'

Ben Wallace: UK 'must be prepared to fight wars without US' -- BBC
Britain must prepare to fight wars without US help, says defence secretary -- The Guardian/Press Association
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace fears US may no longer be UK's key ally in conflicts -- SKY News
Britain must be ready to fight wars without US assistance, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warns -- Politics Home
UK defense chief: Thought of US isolationism 'keeps me awake at night' -- The Hill
Britain must prepare to fight wars without the US, says Defence Secretary -- PA Media
What keeps Britain's defense secretary up at night? -- Andrew Chuter, Defense News

U.S. Navy: Top-secret UFO files Could Damage U.S. National Security

Posted: 14 Jan 2020 06:52 AM PST



FOX News: Top-secret UFO files could 'gravely damage' US national security, Navy says

The Department of Defense has top-secret classified briefings and a classified video about a UFO incident.

The U.S. Navy acknowledged the existence of the information, which concerns a 2004 encounter between the USS Nimitz and strange unknown aerial objects, in response to a public records request from Vice.

Last year, the Navy for the first time acknowledged that three UFO videos -- one from the 2004 USS Nimitz incident and two from 2015 -- were real videos of unidentified flying objects.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am surprised to see the US Navy admitting how sensitive these classified files are. It makes you wonder what dot hey have that the public should not see. The above video is a summary on one incident.

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