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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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

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


The U.K. Does Not Have Enough Ships To Escort Its Aircraft Carriers

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 11:00 PM PST


David Axe, National Interest: The Royal Navy's New Aircraft Carriers Are Eating the Fleet

The Royal Navy in late 2019 announced the composition of its first-ever aircraft carrier battle group. And it's both good and bad news for the storied fleet.

Good news because the Royal Navy just barely should be able to generate all the ships and planes it need to deploy an entirely British battle group.

Bad news because frequent deployments with the same mix of ships clearly is unsustainable as the Royal Navy shrinks, the inevitable result of decades of declining budgets.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the lead vessel in a two-ship class of conventionally-fueled carriers, is slated to deploy for the first time in 2021. Fleet officials told reporters the flattop will sail with two Type 45 destroyers including HMS Dragon, two Type 23 frigates including HMS Northumberland, a nuclear-powered attack submarine, the tanker RFA Tideforce and fleet stores ship RFA Fort Victoria.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Its hard to maintain a world class navy when you are unwilling to allocate the resources to make it happen.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST











This Is What Being Stuck On A Mountain For 12 Days In A NATO Radar Station Is Like

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST


Reykjavik Grapevine: Stuck On A Mountain For 12 Days In A NATO Radar Station

Working at one of Iceland's four radar stations, which play a key role in NATO's airspace defense of the country, can certainly be a lonely job. But when foul weather last month trapped one worker all by himself in the radar station on top of Gunnólfsvíkurfjall mountain for 12 days, he took a decidedly nonchalant outlook on the situation.

Gunnólfsvíkurfjall has an elevation of about 600 metres, and is located on the edge of northeast Iceland. As can be seen from these photos from the Icelandic Coast Guard, it's an ideal location for people who enjoy working alone.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:That is a job where you have to enjoy working alone.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

People wearing masks walk through an underground passage to the subway in Beijing, China January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Lee

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Coronavirus outbreak spreads in China (Reuters).

North Korea Walks Away From Nuclear Talks With United States

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 09:00 PM PST





ABC News Online: North Korea walks away from nuclear talks with United States, blaming 'brutal and inhumane' sanctions

North Korea has walked away from nuclear talks with the United States, saying a 2019 year-end deadline for the talks had been ignored so it no longer felt bound by commitments, which included a halt to its nuclear testing and the firing of inter-continental ballistic missiles.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had earlier set a December 31 deadline for denuclearisation talks with the US and White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said at the time the US had opened channels of communication.

Mr O'Brien said he hoped Kim would follow through on denuclearisation commitments he made at summits with US President Donald Trump.

Read more ....

More News On North Korea Walking Away From Nuclear Talks With United States

North Korea abandons nuclear freeze pledge, blames 'brutal' U.S. sanctions -- Reuters
North Korea says may seek 'new path' of weapons build-up -- AFP
'A new path': North Korea threatens scrapping promise to halt nuclear tests -- Washington Examiner
North Korea won't be bound by old commitments if US continues 'most brutal and inhuman sanctions' – senior diplomat -- RT

More US Troops Are Medevaced From Iraq Over Possible Concussions From Iraq's Missile Attack Two Weeks Ago

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 08:12 PM PST

Debris and rubble are seen at the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base earlier this month. More US troops are under medical evaluation after showing concussion symptoms

Washington Post: More U.S. troops leave Iraq for medical treatment after Iranian missile attack, Pentagon says

More U.S. service members have been transported out of Iraq for medical treatment and evaluations following Iran's missile attack on military facilities there, the Pentagon said Tuesday, nearly two weeks after President Trump and defense officials initially said no one was hurt.

The Pentagon said Friday that 11 service members required medical treatment outside Iraq. U.S. military officials declined to say Tuesday how many more are receiving care but said "additional" personnel had been sent to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

The officials left open the possibility that the number could increase in coming days.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The shock waves from these missiles must have been enormous.

More News On US Troops Being Medevaced From Iraq Over Possible Concussions From Iran's Missile Attack Two Weeks Ago

MORE US troops are evacuated from Iraq for medical evaluation for possible concussion symptoms from Iran missile attack -- Daily Mail/AP
US military says additional service members treated for injuries from Iranian strikes -- CNN
About a dozen more US troops medevaced from Iraq over possible concussions following Iran's missile attack -- Task & Purpose

U.S. Troops Block Russian Forces From Capturing A Syrian Oil Field

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 07:00 PM PST

The standoff took place two days after Kurdish forces reportedly prevented Russian troops from passing through a major city. Sergei Novikov / TASS

Hurriyet Daily News/Anadolu Agency: US troops block Russian forces way to oil field in Syria

U.S. soldiers present in regions under YPG/PKK terror group's occupation in Syria stopped Russian soldiers who wanted to reach oil fields on Jan. 18.

Dispute between the U.S. and Russia about the Rumeylan oil field in northeast Hasakah is ongoing.

According to information Anadolu Agency obtained from reliable local sources, U.S. soldiers blocked a Russian military patrols en route to the oil field.

Read more ....

More News On U.S. Troops Blocking Russian Forces From Capturing A Syrian Oil Field

U.S. Troops 'Block' Russian Soldiers in Syria -- Moscow Times
Standoff: U.S. troops block Russian forces from capturing Syrian oil field -- Washington Times
US forces prevent Russian military patrol on Syria-Kurdistan Region border: reports -- RUDAW
Syria: US troops block Russian forces way to oil field -- Middle East Monitor
Reports: Tensions Grow Between US, Russian Forces in Northeast Syria -- VOA

Growing Concern Among US Officials That Iran Has Significantly Expanded Its Terror Capabilities In America

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 06:30 PM PST

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech to thousands of Basij members at Azadi stadium in Tehran, Iran October 4, 2018. Khamenei.ir/ Handout via REUTERS

Washington Free Beacon: Iran Has Spies Across U.S., Officials Warn After Tehran Posts $3M Bounty on Trump

Following Iran's announcement of a three million dollar bounty for the assassination of President Donald Trump, U.S. officials and terrorism experts are warning that Tehran has significantly expanded its terror capabilities in America, potentially allowing the Islamic Republic to conduct a domestic attack.

Iranian lawmakers announced on Tuesday that they would pay a "three million dollar award in cash to whoever kills Trump."

The bounty is the latest in a series of increasingly direct threats by Tehran. It has renewed concerns about the Islamic Republic's vast terrorism network, which stretches into the continental United States, U.S. officials and experts told the Washington Free Beacon.

While Iran has failed to pull off a strike in America, it is seen as having the resources necessary to do so. Several Iranian Americans have been arrested in recent years and charged with surveilling potential terror sites for a strike.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If Iran sanctions a terror attack on U.S. soil .... that is crossing one hell of a red line.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Accused Of Hacking Jeff Bezos' Phone In 2018

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 05:57 PM PST

Jeff Bezos with Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to the US in March 2018. Photograph: Saudi Press Agency

The Guardian: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos's phone 'hacked by Saudi crown prince'

Exclusive: investigation suggests Washington Post owner was targeted five months before murder of Jamal Khashoggi

The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone "hacked" in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.

The encrypted message from the number used by Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone of the world's richest man, according to the results of a digital forensic analysis.

This analysis found it "highly probable" that the intrusion into the phone was triggered by an infected video file sent from the account of the Saudi heir to Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If true. The Crown Prince went through a lot of trouble (and exposure) for hacking a citizen's cell phone. 

More News On Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Being Accused Of Hacking Jeff Bezos' Phone In 2018

Revealed: the Saudi heir and the alleged plot to undermine Jeff Bezos -- The Guardian
Bezos cell phone 'was hacked in 2018 after he received a WhatsApp video file from PERSONAL ACCOUNT of Saudi Crown Prince' - just months before sex pictures from his phone were leaked to National Enquirer -- Daily Mail
Jeff Bezos' phone was reportedly hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018 -- Business Insider
MBS personally involved in hacking of Jeff Bezos's phone: Report -- Middle East Eye

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 21, 2020

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 05:50 PM PST



Sarah Boseley, The Guardian: Should the world be worried about the coronavirus in China?

Experts fear latest strain of virus may spread across planet from person to person

What is the virus causing illness in Wuhan?

It is a novel coronavirus – that is to say, a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals, or possibly seafood. Many of those infected either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city. New and troubling viruses usually originate in animal hosts. Ebola and flu are examples.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 21, 2020

Coronavirus 'super-spreaders' a potential risk as strain spreads from Wuhan to cities outside of China -- Michael Walsh, ABC News Online

What's new today in the China virus outbreak -- AP

China virus spreads to U.S., curbing travel plans and spooking markets -- Se Young Lee and Lusha Zhang, Reuters

WHO could declare global emergency over Wuhan virus -- Jeff Pao, Asia Times

Factbox: How a virus impacts the economy and markets -- Ritvik Carvalho, Reuters

Iran Could Pursue a Nuclear Weapon to Restore Deterrence Lost in Suleimani Strike -- David Daoud, National Interest

Has U.S. Lost Myanmar to China? -- Hunter Marston, The Diplomat

The people of Taiwan have a country and are dedicated to keeping it -- David Keene, Washington Times

What are the Luanda Leaks? -- Hilary Osborne, The Guardian

Vladimir Putin will not be president for life but he is sure to have power -- Joseph Dresen, The Hill

It's Putin's 'moment' all over the Middle East, says Hermitage Fund's Bill Browder -- Natasha Turak, CNBC

Where is Russia Headed? -- National Interest

For Now, U.S. Is at a Disadvantage in Cold War II -- Niall Ferguson, Boston Globe

World News Briefs -- January 21, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 05:32 PM PST

An American man with the new coronavirus has been identified in Washington state, CDC officials said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of countries with cases of the deadly virus to five outside of China, including the US, Thailand, Japan South Korea and Taiwan

Daily Mail: China's contagious killer virus comes to the US: American man in his 30s is hospitalized in Washington state with SARS-like coronavirus after visiting Wuhan, CDC says

* An American man in his 30s outside Seattle, Washington who visited Wuhan, China, has been diagnosed with the coronvirus from China
* The patient is a resident of Snahomish County and is currently at Providence Regional Medical Center - Everett
* His condition is described as 'good' but he is being closely monitored
* All passengers coming to the US from Wuhan will now be rerouted to five airports: LAX, San Francisco, JFK, Atlanta and Chicago O'Hare
* Chinese officials yesterday confirmed the virus has spread between humans
* Fifteen healthcare workers have caught the respiratory virus, figures show
* Some 300 people in Asia have now tested positive for the unnamed virus
* Five countries outside China have now reported cases - the US, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea
* Three more deaths have been announced today, taking the death toll to six

An American man in Washington state has been infected with the deadly and contagious coronavirus spreading from China, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials confirmed Tuesday.

The first US patient is a resident of the US in his 30s, located north of Seattle, who is currently hospitalized and in 'good' condition, but being closely monitored in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center - Everett.

He traveled from Wuhan, but did not visit any of the markets at the epicenter of the outbreak, according to state health officials.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Russian-led airstrikes kill 18 in Syria as tens of thousands flee attacks.

Yemen: death toll rises to 116 from suspected Houthi missile attack.

Three rockets fall near US embassy in Iraq.

Iran confirms two missiles shot at Ukraine airliner. Iran acknowledges Russian-made missiles targeted Ukraine jet.

Iran seeks help reading downed plane's black boxes in new standoff.

Iranian lawmaker announces a $3 million cash reward for 'whoever kills Trump'.

Iranian MP says Iran would be protected if it had nuclear arms: ISNA.

Baghdad protest turns deadly as youths block highway.

Netanyahu calls for sanctions over ICC war crimes investigation.

Benny Gantz vows to annex Jordan Valley if elected Israeli PM.

Lebanon announces new government. Lebanon announces new government, protestors far from impressed.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Australian academic jailed in Iran, says she rejected offer to become a spy.

Israel troops kill 3 Palestinian attackers from Gaza: army.

ASIA

U.S. urges China to join nuclear arms talks with Russia.

Coronavirus: Chinese hospitals not testing patients, say relatives.

Japan's Abe strikes conciliatory note on South Korea, row may be easing.

North Korea walks away from nuclear talks with United States, blaming 'brutal and inhumane' sanctions.

North Korea's Kim taps tough-talking military veteran as foreign minister.

Hong Kong's Lam in Davos charm drive as protests persist.

China: Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Sri Lanka civil war: Rajapaksa says thousands missing are dead.

Vietnam resumes huge banking-sector corruption trial.

AFRICA

36 civilians killed in northern Burkina Faso. Civilians killed in 'terror attack' in Burkina Faso, government reports.

Half C.Africa population needs humanitarian aid: UN.

UN Security Council urges quick ceasefire in Libya.

UAE has no right to interfere in Libyan affairs: Fayez al-Sarraj.

UN's top Libya envoy Ghassan Salame opposes UN troop deployment.

Somalia: Army offensive, airstrike kill 12 militants.

Guinea police, protesters clash in rallies against Conde's third term.

Zimbabwe opposition: Peaceful protests will continue.

Tunisia's Saied tasks former finance minister to form new gov't.

Nigerian military clears thousands from Lagos waterfront.

Kenyan farmers suffer as swarms of locusts devastate their land.

Isabel dos Santos: EuroBic severs ties with Angola billionaire.

EUROPE

Russia: Putin announces new Cabinet after prime minister resigns.

Swiss police reportedly believe Russian spies posed as plumbers to bug Davos.

Could Donald Trump meet Ukraine's leader Zelensky just as impeachment trial begins? President says he's willing to have unplanned meeting at Davos summit they are both attending.

Putin speeds up Russian political shake-up, details new power center.

Putin removes top Russian prosecutor, replaces him with investigative official.

New Russian PM transferred his wealth to wife – Kommersant.

Deadly storm Gloria batters Spain, then shifts to France.

Prince Harry rejoins Meghan and Archie in Canada, leaving royal life behind.

AMERICAS

Democrats LOSE their first three battles of Donald Trump's impeachment trial as Republicans block subpoena after subpoena - but Chuck Schumer vows to keep demanding witnesses long into the night.

Deadly coronavirus reaches the US as China struggles with contagion.

Murders in Mexico hit record as Lopez Obrador seeks justice system reform.

Trump blasts 'prophets of doom' in attack on climate activism.

Trump confirms plans to expand travel ban.

Clinton says 'nobody likes' Sanders and won't commit to backing him if he's the Democratic nominee.

Hondurans in no man's land after Mexican troops block path to US.

Venezuela: Opposition leader Guaido's office raided by intelligence service.

US, Colombia vow to support effort to oust Venezuela's Maduro.

Venezuela crisis: Pompeo pledges more US support for Guaidó.

Pompeo acknowledges Colombian 'sacrifices' in drug trafficking fight.

Glenn Greenwald: Brazil accuses journalist of cyber-crimes.

Canada to start ratification of N.America trade deal.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Isis founding member confirmed by spies as group's new leader.

US military claimed 'success' in hacking ISIS: documents.

Joint Syria raid killed ISIS oil official who financed sleeper cells.

France apology after history textbook links CIA to 9/11.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street falls as China virus reaches the U.S..

France poised to drop plan to tax tech giants amid signs of US deal.

5 charts show the latest IMF forecasts for the global economy.

Airline stocks in Asia take a hit amid growing coronavirus fears in China.

Half a billion unemployed or underemployed worldwide: UN report.

Russian President Putin's Constitutional Changes Will Impact Russian Foreign Policy

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 06:45 PM PST

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov

Pavel K. Baev, Eurasia Daily Monitor/Jamestown Foundation: Putin's Surprise and Russia's Foreign Policy

The Russian political class suffered a massive shock from President Vladimir Putin's address to the Federal Assembly last Wednesday (January 15) in which he delivered three unexpected bombshells (see EDM, January 16, 2020). The first was a set of vaguely formulated revisions to the Russian Constitution—even though Putin had pledged in 2005 never to open this fundamental document to changes "under any circumstances" due to unpredictable risks to political stability (Meduza.io, January 16, 2020). The second was the resignation of the government led by Dmitry Medvedev, a loyal lieutenant, who held the position of president in 2008–2011 and then smoothly returned to the role of prime minister (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 15, 2020). The third surprise was the appointment of Mikhail Mishustin, heretofore the head of the Tax Service, as the prime minister, which propelled the obscure bureaucrat to the highest level of officialdom (Carnegie.ru, January 16, 2020). Pundits of all persuasions in Moscow have been busy trying to make sense of this uncharacteristic rush by the usually procrastination-prone Putin to reconfigure the country's political arena, but hardly any attention is being paid to the consequences for Russian foreign policy.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above writer is correct when he states that the Russian political class were shocked by President Putin's announcement that there will be changes to the constitution. No one expected this. But this shock is slowly changing into anger and (for some) fear. I do not know what is going to happen next, but from what I am hearing, no one is in favour of these changes. As to how this may impact Russia's foreign policy, I predict the first casualty will be the retirement of foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. He will be 70 years old in March and he has been foreign minister since 2004. He will be there until this transition period to a new constitution has been completed, but he wants to retire, and this will be his opportunity to leave. His departure will definitely impact the foreign service, and since many senior diplomats owe their positions to him, they will be concerned on what his replacement may do. I can answer that right now. If history is any indication, many of them will be replaced. And while President Putin does have a good rapport with almost every leader in the world, it is the foreign service and its relationships with the foreign services of other countries that implements his policies and agreements. If key people are replaced and or transferred, which I predict will happen, it is going to take some time before things return to normal.

Update: Here comes the changes .... Russia: Putin announces new Cabinet after prime minister resigns (DW).

January Has Not Been A Good Month For China

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 04:17 PM PST

Image: China's President Xi Jinping (C) attends the bilateral meeting with President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 31 August 2018. Roman Pilipey/Pool via Reuters

Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner: China just suffered five small defeats in January

China is America's preeminent global adversary. But in recent years, China has been the one scoring most of the wins in this new cold war. Fortunately, January has brought Xi Jinping's Communist regime five small defeats.

The four most recent defeats all came last week.

First, there was the U.S. Senate's introduction of the Utilizing Strategic Allied Telecommunications Act. The bipartisan legislation will provide $1 billion in funding alongside regulatory changes. The intent is to provide cellular providers with new ways of building out their 5G networks. But the strategic effect should be felt in foreign nations finding alternatives to using China's Huawei for their 5G infrastructures. This is critically important because Huawei serves the Communist Party's espionage apparatus. And China will use Huawei's 5G networks to spy on our allies and their citizens. But if the United States can provide allies with an affordable, superior, and safer 5G alternative, they'll be more amenable to rejecting Huawei.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These small defeats will not hinder China's ambitions or growth. The big worry in Beijing right now is the Wuhan Coronavirus.

9/11 Mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Appears In Guantanamo Courtroom

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 04:10 PM PST

Colonel W. Shane Cohen of the Air Force announced on Friday that the trial for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other men is set for January 11, 2021

Washington Examiner: Justice delayed: 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appears in Guantanamo courtroom as trial approaches

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will appear in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom this week, more than 18 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks he is alleged to have masterminded and a year before he will finally face a jury.

In the nearly two decades since 19 al Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center buildings, the side of the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people, the five men believed to be responsible have yet to face a trial.

The U.S. government alleges that the plotters carried out a criminal conspiracy in planning and executing the 9/11 plot, listing the names of all 2,977 victims killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in the 90-page 2011 charging sheet. The five, who were arraigned in 2012, were also charged with attacking civilians, hijacking, terrorism, violations of the rules of war, and more.

Mohammed, dubbed "KSM" and described as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" in the 9/11 Commission Report, was a close ally of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and will be on trial alongside Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Ammar al Baluchi, and Mustafa al Hawsawi.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is hard to believe that he is still alive and has not been tried for his hideous crimes. His trial is set for next year .... The Trial For Khalid Shaikh Mohammed And Four Other Men Responsible For 9/11 Is Set For January 11, 2021 (August 31, 2019). As for the media, they are more focused on this .... Architect of Interrogation Program Testifies at Guantánamo Bay (The New York Times). More here .... Architect of CIA's Torture Program Testifies Just Yards From Accused 9/11 Plotter He Waterboarded (The Intercept).

How Good Is President Trump's Security Protection?

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 12:31 PM PST

President Donald Trump. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Business Insider: Nancy Pelosi's daughter said she was able to hand Trump a bottle of water in the White House without anyone checking for contamination

* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's daughter Alexandra handed President Donald Trump a water bottle in the White House without anyone checking it for contamination, according to a new book about the president.
* Alexandra Pelosi was directing a film at the White House when the incident happened six weeks after Trump was sworn in, the book, titled "A Very Stable Genius," said, according to an excerpt of it published in Vanity Fair.
* Pelosi, who had been to the White House before, said it was highly unusual for her to witness such a lax security system.

The daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was able to hand a bottle of water to President Donald Trump without having anyone check for contamination, according to a new book about the White House.

An excerpt from "A Very Stable Genius," written by the Washington Post journalists Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, highlighted a glaring security lapse in the White House that took place six weeks after Trump's inauguration. Vanity Fair published the excerpt on Monday.

Alexandra Pelosi had been directing the filming of a documentary inside the White House on March 1, 2017, when the president appeared, the book said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Was the bottle already opened? President Trump is known to be a "germaphobe". If it was opened, I would be surprised if he took a gulp from it. This is also another event that makes me wonder (and worry) on how good is President Trump's security detail. There are after-all a lot of people who want him dead .... Iranian MP puts $3m bounty on President Donald Trump's head (Al Jazeera).

French Publisher Apologises For Undergrad Textbook Suggesting 9/11 Was 'Orchestrated' By The CIA

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 12:21 PM PST

Photo: The textbook by Jean-Pierre Rocher referenced a conspiracy theory about 9/11

Daily Mail: French publisher apologises for history textbook suggesting 9/11 was 'probably orchestrated by the CIA'

* French undergrad textbook suggested debunked 9/11 conspiracies were true
* History of 20th Century in Flash Cards referenced CIA involvement in attacks
* The book said that September 11 was 'undoubtedly orchestrated by the CIA'
* Ellipses publisher apologised and said the reference to CIA would be removed

A French publisher has apologised after a history textbook suggested the 9/11 terror attacks were 'undoubtedly orchestrated by the CIA'.

The book called History of the 20th Century in Flash Cards, is aimed at undergraduate students who study at France's elite 'grandes ecoles' universities.

Written by Jean-Pierre Rocher, a teacher of history and geography and a graduate of the Sciences Po university in Paris, the work was published in November last year.

The phrase about the debunked conspiracy theory about the CIA's involvement in the atrocity in New York in 2001 that saw nearly 3,000 people killed only came to light last week.

Read more ....

Update #1: France apology after history textbook links CIA to 9/11 (BBC)
Update #2: French publisher apologises after textbook links 9/11 to CIA: 'It doesn't reflect our editorial position' (The Independent)

WNU Editor: It took two months before the error was reported.

President Trump At Davos -- News Roundup January 21, 2020

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 12:17 PM PST



Daily Mail: 'She's very angry.' Donald Trump takes ANOTHER swipe at Greta Thunberg after calling climate activists 'fortune tellers' and 'alarmists' at keynote Davos speech - as she warns NOTHING has been done on global warming

* President Trump arrived in Switzerland Tuesday morning and will spend two days at the World Economic Forum
* During his first appearance, a speech on the main stage, he went after climate activists for their dire warnings about the 'apocalypse'
* While Trump spoke, climate activist Greta Thunberg sat in the audience and looked on
* She bookended Trump's appearance and participated in two panel discussions at the Davos summit Tuesday
* Thunberg shamed world leaders in her opening appearance saying they've done 'basically nothing' to face the climate challenge

President Trump called Greta Thunberg 'very angry' in a new interview, after saying climate activists were out-of-touch 'alarmists' and 'heirs of yesterday's fortune tellers' during his appearance Tuesday morning at the World Economic Forum.

Thunberg had been seated in the audience looking on, but Trump told the Wall Street Journal afterward taht, 'I don't really know anything about her,' before calling her angry.

Portions of Trump's remarks seemed to be aimed at Thunberg and her supporters.

'This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism,' Trump said, which was in stark constrast to Thunberg and others, who used the conference to warn that the Australian wildfires and other disasters were only the beginning of the climate chaos that lie ahead.

Read more ....

President Trump At Davos -- News Roundup January 21, 2020

Trump lauds U.S. economy at Davos as trial set to begin in Washington -- CBC/Reuters
Trump lauds US economy in Davos, says little on climate woes -- AP
Trump brags of U.S. 'blue-collar boom' on world stage at Davos -- Politico
Trump says 'America is thriving' at Davos economic forum as impeachment trial opens -- USA Today
Trump attacks environmental 'prophets of doom' at Davos 2020 -- France 24
Davos 2020: Trump rejects 'prophets of doom' at climate-focused WEF -- DW
Trump blasts 'prophets of doom' in attack on climate activism -- The Guardian
Trump says he doesn't know 'very angry' Greta Thunberg -- The Hill

Swiss Police Believed They Foiled A Russian Attempt To Bug Davos

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 12:03 PM PST

A police officer stands guard near the Congress Center ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Daily Mail: 'Russian spies disguised as plumbers planned to bug Davos forum - but were foiled by Swiss officials'

* Police quizzed two Russian men staying in the upmarket resort last August
* They were suspected of posing as plumbers so they could bug the forum
* Claimed diplomatic protection but had not registered with Swiss officials

Swiss police believe they foiled an attempt by Russian spies disguised as plumbers to bug the World Economic Forum in Davos where world leaders including Donald Trump are meeting this week.

Detectives questioned two Russian men in the luxury resort last August after they aroused suspicions during their three-week stay.

At least one of the men told police he was a plumber, Swiss paper Tages-Anzeiger reported today.

But suspicions were raised when the pair were found to be carrying diplomatic passports and could not explain how they got them.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That The Swiss Police Believed They Foiled A Russian Attempt To Bug Davos

Swiss police reportedly believe Russian spies posed as plumbers to bug Davos -- CNBC
Swiss police found 'Russian spies' in Davos last year -- The Guardian
Swiss uncovered suspected Davos spy plot by Russian 'plumbers': paper -- Reuters
Swiss police stopped alleged Russian spy plot at Davos: report -- The Hill
Swiss police 'exposed Russian spies in Davos' -- BBC
Russian 'Plumbers' Questioned at Davos Over Espionage Suspicions – Report -- Moscow Times

President Trump's Impeachment Trial Live Updates -- News Updates January 21, 2020

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 11:07 AM PST

World News Briefs -- January 21, 2020

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 04:41 PM PST



CNN: CDC expected to announce first US case of Wuhan coronavirus

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce this afternoon that the first case of Wuhan coronavirus has been reported in the United States, in Washington state, a federal source outside the CDC tells CNN.

The source is involved in the matter and was made aware of a CDC media briefing scheduled for later today.

The novel virus, which was first identified last month in Wuhan, China, has so far infected more than 300 people and killed six, in an outbreak that has been reported in five countries -- now including the United States.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Three rockets fall near US embassy in Iraq.

Iran confirms two missiles shot at Ukraine airliner. Iran acknowledges Russian-made missiles targeted Ukraine jet.

Iran seeks help reading downed plane's black boxes in new standoff.

Iranian lawmaker announces a $3 million cash reward for 'whoever kills Trump'.

Iranian MP says Iran would be protected if it had nuclear arms: ISNA.

Baghdad protest turns deadly as youths block highway.

Netanyahu calls for sanctions over ICC war crimes investigation.

Benny Gantz vows to annex Jordan Valley if elected Israeli PM.

ASIA

Coronavirus: Chinese hospitals not testing patients, say relatives.

Japan's Abe strikes conciliatory note on South Korea, row may be easing.

North Korea walks away from nuclear talks with United States, blaming 'brutal and inhumane' sanctions.

North Korea's Kim taps tough-talking military veteran as foreign minister.

Hong Kong's Lam in Davos charm drive as protests persist.

China: Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Sri Lanka civil war: Rajapaksa says thousands missing are dead.

Vietnam resumes huge banking-sector corruption trial.

AFRICA

UAE has no right to interfere in Libyan affairs: Fayez al-Sarraj.

UN's top Libya envoy Ghassan Salame opposes UN troop deployment.

Somalia: Army offensive, airstrike kill 12 militants.

Guinea police, protesters clash in rallies against Conde's third term.

Zimbabwe opposition: Peaceful protests will continue.

Tunisia's Saied tasks former finance minister to form new gov't.

Nigerian military clears thousands from Lagos waterfront.

Kenyan farmers suffer as swarms of locusts devastate their land.

Isabel dos Santos: EuroBic severs ties with Angola billionaire.

EUROPE

Swiss police reportedly believe Russian spies posed as plumbers to bug Davos.

Could Donald Trump meet Ukraine's leader Zelensky just as impeachment trial begins? President says he's willing to have unplanned meeting at Davos summit they are both attending.

Putin speeds up Russian political shake-up, details new power center.

Putin removes top Russian prosecutor, replaces him with investigative official.

New Russian PM transferred his wealth to wife – Kommersant.

Deadly storm Gloria batters Spain, then shifts to France.

Prince Harry rejoins Meghan and Archie in Canada, leaving royal life behind.

AMERICAS

Trump blasts 'prophets of doom' in attack on climate activism.

Trump confirms plans to expand travel ban.

Clinton says 'nobody likes' Sanders and won't commit to backing him if he's the Democratic nominee.

Hondurans in no man's land after Mexican troops block path to US.

Venezuela crisis: Pompeo pledges more US support for Guaidó.

Pompeo acknowledges Colombian 'sacrifices' in drug trafficking fight.

Glenn Greenwald: Brazil accuses journalist of cyber-crimes.

Canada to start ratification of N.America trade deal.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Isis founding member confirmed by spies as group's new leader.

US military claimed 'success' in hacking ISIS: documents.

Joint Syria raid killed ISIS oil official who financed sleeper cells.

France apology after history textbook links CIA to 9/11.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

5 charts show the latest IMF forecasts for the global economy.

Airline stocks in Asia take a hit amid growing coronavirus fears in China.

Half a billion unemployed or underemployed worldwide: UN report.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 21, 2020

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 10:03 AM PST

An artist's conception of DARPA's previousl Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2). The Tactical Boost Glide vehicle is reportedly similar to this design. DARPA

Warzone/The Drive: Lockheed Job Listing Offers New Details About Long-Range Ground-Launched Hypersonic Weapon

The Operational Fires system is intended to be a tactical weapon for the Army and could help in clearing paths for follow-on air and missile strikes.

A Lockheed Martin job posting has offered new details about the design and development schedule of a tactical, ground-launched hypersonic weapon that the U.S. Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are working on together. The company won the contract to proceed to the third phase of this program, known as Operational Fires, or OpFires, two weeks ago.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 21, 2020

Russia claims edge as US lags in hypersonic weapons development -- Space Daily

Trump reprises NATO spending complaints at World Economic Forum -- FOX News

How The U.S. Navy's Aging Sealift Fleet Could Lose America's Next War In Eurasia -- Loren Thompson, Forbes

US Navy Hits 2019 Enlisted Sailor Retention Targets -- USNI News

Trump's 355-ship pledge complicates the Navy's budget dilemma -- Dov S. Zakheim, The Hill

Navy Expands Cross-Fleet Radar Targeting, Networks Weapons Attacks -- Warrior Maven

Special operations Marines to call for end of iconic machine gun: M2 'Ma Deuce' will soon be replaced -- Washington Examiner

Marines to Get New Lightweight Polymer Ammo for 'Ma Deuce' Machine Gun -- Military.com

Army To Navy: Hey, We Already Get Less $$ Than You -- Breaking Defense

US Space Command Has Passed First Combat Test, Officials Say -- Military.com

Hyten: Stop 'studying the heck' out of space systems and get to work -- Defense News

Exclusive: Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained - sources -- Reuters

How a Military Cyber Operation to Disrupt Islamic State Spurred a Debate -- Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown -- The Hill

American military has grown averse to failure, US general says -- Washington Examiner

Why Lockheed Martin isn't worried about China launching tons of spacecrafts -- Yahoo

A US Army Stryker burst into flames in Poland during a show of strength against Russia -- Task & Purpose

Robot tanks: On patrol but not allowed to shoot -- BBC

How the British Army's 'Snowflakes' campaign achieved more with less -- Marketing Week

Azerbaijan, NATO discuss partnership -- Azernews

NATO's Stoltenberg Boasts Alliance Now Has Drones Which Can Look Deep Into Russian Hinterland -- Sputnik

Morocco, NATO discuss military cooperation -- China.org.cn

Lukashenka Reshuffles Top Military Leadership, Appoints New Defense Minister -- RFE

Russia transports tanks to Syria amid new Syrian Army operation: photos -- AMN

Russian Navy ships, Japanese destroyer carry out joint maneuvering in drills -- TASS

Army Committed War Crimes, Not Genocide Against Rohingya: Myanmar Probe -- NDTV

Seoul mayor wants end of military drills to push joint Korean Olympic bid -- UPI

South Korea sending troops to Strait of Hormuz -- UPI

India Shortlists Firms to Build 6 Nuclear Conventional Submarines Worth $7 Bln -- Sputnik

How a NATO-Russia World War III Conflict Would Have Killed Us All -- Robert Farley, National Interest

The AI arms race is on - and china might take the lead -- Global Defense

Families at War, from 1917 to the Present -- Anthony King, War On The Rocks

U.S. Senate Republicans Plan And Timetable For President Trump's Impeachment Trial Unveiled

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 08:11 AM PST



Daily Mail: Democrats and Donald Trump will each get just 24 hours over TWO DAYS to make their case at impeachment trial, under Republican plan - and senators will debate rules behind closed doors tomorrow

* Republicans' plan for Senate trial of Donald Trump are revealed hours before it begins at 1pm Tuesday
* Mitch McConnell wants each side given 24 hours spread over two days to make their case - the Democrats for impeaching and removing, Trump for acquittal
* He will use Tuesday to present his plan and hear the rival Democratic one before the Senate switches off cameras and kicks out reporters to decide on the rules
* If he gets his way, Democrats could start spelling out why they want Trump removed at 1pm on Wednesday
* Planned schedule could put 'docket rocket' trial on track to end before Trump delivers the State of the Union address
* Nobody will be allowed to subpoena witnesses or documents until after each side has made their case and 16 hours of questions have been asked
* Exclusion of witnesses and closed session of Senate certain to be used by Democrats to accuse McConnell of cover-up
* Plans offer apparent victory for Donald Trump - but will not explicitly allow him to demand instant dismissal of the two articles of impeachment

Democrats and Donald Trump will each have just 24 hours over two days to make their cases at his impeachment trial, a plan outlined by Mitch McConnell revealed Monday evening.

Each side will face presenting their case late into the night as the Republican majority leader plans to slam the case through the Senate, a leaked resolution first reported by CNN and confirmed by DailyMail.com revealed.

But he will allow the possibility of the trial calling witnesses or documents - but not until the third stage of the trial, after Democratic prosecutors and Trump's defense have made their case and senators have had 16 hours to ask questions in writing through the Chief Justice John Roberts.

The plan sets up a fast-moving trial which could sit late into the night as each side tries to get through their 24 hours.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It looks like the plan is to finish this trial by the end of next week.

Iran Confirms Ukrainian Airliner Was Shot Down By Two Tor-M1 Missiles

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 08:07 AM PST

File image of a Tor-1 missile system similar to the one that was fired at the Ukrainian airliner

Daily Mail: Iran confirms Ukrainian airliner was shot down by two Tor-M1 missiles as preliminary report into disaster is released

Iran has confirmed the Ukrainian airliner was shot down by two Tor-M1 missiles
Confirms video footage appearing to show projectiles being fired at the plane
The Ukraine International Airlines plane shot down in error killing 176 people

Iran's civil aviation authority has confirmed two Tor-M1 missiles were fired at a Ukrainian airliner that was brought down earlier this month.

A preliminary report into the disaster which killed all 176 passengers on board the plane was posted on its website late Monday.

'Investigators... discovered that two Tor-M1 missiles... were fired at the aircraft,' it said, adding an investigation was ongoing to assess the bearing their impact had on the accident.

Read more ....

More News On Iran Confirming That The Ukrainian Airliner Was Shot Down By Two Tor-M1 Missiles

Iran acknowledges Russian-made missiles targeted Ukraine jet -- SCMP/AP
Iran confirms it fired two missiles at Ukrainian plane -- France 24
Iran plane crash: Tor-M1 missiles fired at Ukraine jet -- BBC
Iran admits Russian-made missiles struck Ukrainian passenger plane -- FOX News
Iran Says Two 'Proximity Missiles' Brought Down Ukrainian Airliner -- Radio Farda
Iran confirms two missiles fired at downed Ukrainian airliner -- Al Jazeera

The Wuhan Coronavirus Has Now Spread To A Number Of Asian Countries

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 07:42 AM PST





SCMP: Asian health officials fear Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is larger than China's letting on

* As the number of people infected on the mainland leapt from 41 to more than 300 this week, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have all reported cases
* The surge has raised concerns over Beijing's transparency and rekindled mistrust generated during the deadly 2003 Sars outbreak

Health authorities across Asia are concerned the outbreak of the mysterious new coronavirus is larger than Chinese authorities have stated, amid a surge in the number of people infected in mainland China and as three other countries in the region confirm cases.

The number of people confirmed to have contracted the disease on the mainland jumped from 41 to more than 300 this week, with six deaths so far, while Thailand has reported two cases and Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have reported one case each of the virus – which is in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) viruses.

"It is hard to believe [the official number of] cases, but there are all these cases popping up in so many neighbouring countries," said Piotr Chlebicki, an infectious disease expert at Mount Alvernia Hospital in Singapore
who worked on the nation's Sars epidemic. "China has a track record of under-reporting cases, so the true picture may be completely different."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: My red flags went up when I read this .... China virus spreads to health workers; six patients dead (Bloomberg). When health workers start to get sick, that is when you know you have a serious disease that is now spreading through the general population. Bottom line. This could quickly escalate into a global pandemic.

More News On The Wuhan Coronavirus

Other countries join China in responding to new coronavirus -- AP
As virus spreads, anxiety rises in China and overseas -- AP
China mystery virus claims sixth victim as holiday travel stokes risk -- Reuters
China on alert as deadly coronavirus threatens to spread -- France 24
China coronavirus: Philippines and Australia investigating suspected cases after Wuhan visits -- SCMP
Taiwan reports first case of new SARS-like virus -- AFP
China virus spreads to Taiwan as island authorities confirm first case in woman who travelled from Wuhan -- SCMP
6 people dead, 300 infected as China confirms Wuhan virus can be spread by humans -- CNN
Australia to screen some China flights, warns new virus difficult to stop -- Reuters
China is trying to stop the spread of a deadly new virus at the worst possible time of year -- CNN
Wuhan coronavirus: 20 other cities in China affected by outbreak, Hong Kong academics say -- SCMP

Why The U.S. - China Trade Deal Is Doomed From The Start

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 06:40 AM PST


SCMP: China's trade war deal 'may be doomed from start' as skepticism mounts over capacity to buy US products

* Analysis continues to flood in suggesting that if China continues to insist it will buy US goods according to market conditions, it cannot meet Donald Trump's demands
* With 28 per cent of US exports to China not covered by the deal, economist Chad Bown suggests that these exporters could be cut out of the equation

Almost a week after the signing of the phase one trade deal with the United States, scepticism is continuing to mount as to whether China will fulfil its side of an agreement that "may be doomed from the start".
Of particular concern is China's commitment to buying an additional US$200 billion of US goods
over two years, including a clause that would bring its imports of US farm goods to more than US$40 billion a year.

"A close look at the data shows that the numbers are even more unrealistic than first believed," wrote Chad Bown, a trade specialist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), in a new report. "Even worse, hostilities might renew, leading to a re-escalation of trade tensions currently on hold."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am one of those who does not believe that China will be able to meet the terms of its agreement with the US. But I wonder if the US-China trade deal is also one of those agreements where President Trump is asking for the moon, but is really happy to get a least something out of nothing. Currently most Chinese imports are facing US tariffs, so the US is losing nothing there. Where the gains will/should come from is when China starts to focus on buying more US goods and resources. It may be less than what they promised, but it will still be something out of nothing. The agreement also stops the unsustainable growth of greater US trade deficits with China. In my book that is the biggest win for the US in this agreement, and it obliges the Chinese to negotiate a phase 2 trade agreement. Of course this will all change if President Trump losses the Presidential election later this year. But my Chinese contacts are telling me that Beijing is now resigned to a second term victory for President Trump this November.

Update: This is so classic Trump. It is announcements like this that are always throwing the Chinese off-guard .... Donald Trump says he and China's Xi Jinping 'love each other', phase two trade talks to start 'very shortly' (SCMP).