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Friday, January 24, 2020

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

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


Tweets For Today

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST













China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Dogfights With J-16, J-10 Jets (Video)

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST


Sputnik: Video: China's J-20 Stealth Fighter Dogfights With J-16, J-10 Jets

To commemorate the anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Air Force's first combat engagement, the service posted a video of its new J-20 "Weilong" stealth fighter locked in a high-speed dogfighting scenario with other advanced Chinese jets like the J-16 and J-10C.

On January 21, 1951, PLAAF pilots saw action for the first time in the skies over Korea when a Chinese squadron of Soviet-built MiG-15 fighters surprised four US Air Force F-84 Thunderjets dive-bombing bridges along the Chongchon River, engaging in a tense low-level dogfight that saw one MiG shot down and one Thunderjet damaged.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Chinese Air Force is busy.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin pose with world leaders for a group photo during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... World leaders mark 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation (Reuters).

Is The Chinese Government 'Covering Up' The Spread Of The Coronavirus?

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 09:04 PM PST

People queue to receive treatment at the fever outpatient department of the Wuhan Tongji Hospital in Wuhan on January 22. The local government today said that the city was witnessing a surge in the number of its fever patients and that hospitals were running out of beds

Daily Mail: Chinese citizens fear the government is keeping information about the coronavirus secret as critics are silenced and official updates about the outbreak are 'quickly deleted' from social media

* The Chinese government has attempted to be transparent about the new coronavirus outbreak
* But citizens are wary, remembering when officials covered up the SARS epidemic from 2002 to 2004
* Authorities first led the public to believe the coronavirus outbreak was 'under control' and 'mild'
* Social media posts with updates about the outbreak are also 'quickly deleted'
* So far, more than 800 cases have been confirmed across the globe and 25 people have died

Chinese citizens fear the government is not disclosing every thing it knows about the new, mysterious coronavirus that is spreading across the globe.

The virus, known as 2019-nCoV, was first discovered in the city of Wuhan, home to 11 million people and capital of the Hubei province.

So far figures show more than 800 people have been sickened and 25 have died, and China's government, which has tight control on the country's media and Internet, has been showing signs of greater transparency than usual.

But citizen are wary, remembering how authorities covered up the SARS outbreak from 2002 to 2004, which - experts say - led to so many deaths.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If these images are true, you know that this situation has gotten out of control .... Shocking footage shows hospital in China flooded with hundreds of patients amid deadly coronavirus outbreak as leading expert warns the situation 'is already uncontrollable' (Daily Mail)

Update #1: When the medical staff are getting sick, that is even more evidence that the situation is out of control .... China coronavirus: Wuhan medical staff being infected at much faster pace than reported as national death toll hits 25 (SCMP)

Update #2: A coincidence? .... China built a lab to study SARS and Ebola in Wuhan - and US biosafety experts warned in 2017 that a virus could 'escape' the facility that's become key in fighting the outbreak (Daily Mail).

Update #3: The official Chinese government line is to be positive .... Chinese state media downplays coronavirus as Xi strikes positive tone (The Guardian).

More News On The Wuhan Coronavirus

China confirms 1st death outside epicenter of viral outbreak -- AP
China virus death toll mounts to 25, infections spread -- Reuters
Chinese cities cancel New Year celebrations, travel ban widens in effort to stop coronavirus outbreak -- Washington Post
China coronavirus: 25 dead, while eight cities on lockdown -- SCMP
China coronavirus: Fears infections will rise as hundreds of millions travel -- BBC

Poll: 27% Of Americans Believe President Trump Should Face War-Crime Charges Over Soleimani's Killing

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 08:00 PM PST

Former Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani

Business Insider: More than 25% of Americans believe Trump should face war-crime charges over Soleimani's killing

  * 27% of Americans said they agreed President Donald Trump should be charged with war crimes over the drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, according to a new Insider poll.
  * Though regarded as a terrorist by the US, Soleimani was Iran's top general and his killing marked a major escalation in the long history of hostilities between Washington and Tehran.
  * The Trump administration has been extremely hostile toward the International Criminal Court (ICC) in attempts to investigate possible war crimes by the US in Afghanistan.
  * The US does not recognize the ICC's authority.

In the wake of the US assassination of Iran's most important military leader, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, more than a quarter of Americans believe The Hague should bring war-crime charges against President Donald Trump, according to a new Insider poll.

The Insider poll, which ran on Wednesday, found that roughly 27% of the 1,083 respondents said they agreed with Iran that Trump should face a war crime tribunal. The poll did not ask for respondents' opinions on other aspects of Iran's position, including Tehran's desire to bring war-crime charges against the US military and federal government.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Unbelievable.

India To Build Six New Submarines To Counter China

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 07:27 PM PST


War Is Boring: India will build six new submarines to counter rapid expansion of China's fleet

The defence ministry on Tuesday cleared two Indian and five foreign shipbuilders to take part in a Rs 50,000-crore project to build high-tech submarines in the country, one of the biggest Make in India programmes in the military sector, two senior officials said on condition of anonymity.

Six advanced submarines will be built under project P-75I to scale up the Indian Navy's undersea warfare capabilities and counter the rapid expansion of China's submarine fleet. The project will be pursued under the government's 'strategic partnership' (SP) model, which seeks to provide fillip to the government's Make in India programme.

Read more ....

Update: India makes initial bid selections for $7 billion submarine project (Defense News)

WNU Editor: The India wants 24 subs (6 nuclear) in total .... India Wants To Modernize Its Submarine Fleet (December 29, 2019).

The US Navy Is Boasting That They Are Developing A Better Torpedo

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 07:01 PM PST

Technicians perform maintenance on a Mark 48 advanced capabilities torpedo at Keyport, Washington in 1982. Wikipedia

National Interest: Meet the Secret New U.S. Navy Torpedo That Promises To Be Even Deadlier

Watch out, Russia and China!

Key Point: Modifications to the weapon improves the acoustic receiver, replaces the guidance-and-control hardware with updated technology, increases memory, and improves processor throughput to handle the expanded software demands required to improve torpedo performance against evolving threats, according to Navy information on the weapon.

The U.S. Navy is now prototyping a new, longer range and more lethal submarine-launched heavyweight Mk 48 that can better destroy enemy ships, subs and incoming weapons at longer ranges, service officials said.

Many details of the new weapon, which include newer propulsion mechanisms and multiple kinds of warheads, are secret and not publically available. However, senior Navy leaders have talked to Scout Warrior about the development of the weapon in a general sense.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: That must be one hell of a torpedo.

Brexit Is Now UK Law

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 06:38 PM PST



SKY News: Brexit deal becomes UK law, paving way for EU departure next week

Tory backbenchers hail the "promise made, promise delivered", while an opposition MP calls it a "moment of huge regret".

Boris Johnson's Brexit deal has officially become UK law, paving the way for the country to leave the EU next week.

The prime minister's Withdrawal Agreement Act was signed off by the Queen on Thursday after completing its journey through parliament.

Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans announced the news to MPs on Thursday afternoon.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: For years Brexit dominated the news in the UK. And now that it is law .... some coverage but not really much.

More News On Brexit Now Being Law

Boris Johnson's Brexit bill becomes law -- The Guardian
Brexit bill becomes law after receiving Queen's Royal assent, clearing way for UK to leave EU -- ABC News Online
Brexit: Johnson's withdrawal bill becomes law -- DW
Crack open the English sparkling wine! Downing Street swaps champagne for home-grown British fizz as the Queen rubber-stamps Boris Johnson's Brexit Bill and it becomes law -- Daily Mail
Britain's Brexit bill becomes law -- FOX News

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 23, 2020

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 05:49 PM PST

Medical staff in protective suits at a hospital in Wuhan. Photo: STR / AFP

Gordon Watts, Asia Times: China struggles to contain Wuhan virus

Beijing left scrambling to cope with the outbreak after the first case was reported on December 31

When the Wuhan virus outbreak started creating media waves across the globe, China's state-run CCTV was dominated by a 22-minute spotlight on President Xi Jinping's tour of Yunnan.

Back down the running order was the coronavirus story, the 10th item on CCTV's agenda during Tuesday's prime-time bulletin. The cult of personality appeared to have edged out the cult of breaking news.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 23, 2020

How the coronavirus started in China — and why that's actually a saving grace -- Simon Reid, ABC News Online

Coronavirus: How do you quarantine a city - and does it work? -- Owen Amos, BBC News

China's response to the coronavirus shows what it learned from the Sars cover-up -- Thomas Abraham, The Guardian

How Dangerous Is China's New Coronavirus? -- Michael Barrett, New Statesman

Coronavirus: How worried should we be? -- James Gallagher, BBC

India's Role in the Great-Power Struggle Over the Indo-Pacific Region -- Akshobh Giridharadas, National Interest

AP Explains: Why US troop cuts in Africa would cause alarm -- Cara Anna, AP

One year in office - Is DRC's Tshisekedi in charge? -- Isaac Mugabi, DW

How to Keep Libya from Collapsing into Chaos -- Ahmed Charai, National Interest

The Iran nuclear deal that never was -- Hans Rühle, Asia Times

What we know, and don't, about the alleged Bezos phone hack -- Frank Bajak, AP

Putin's bespoke government — made for indefinite control -- Konstantin Eggert, DW

Zelensky Walks the Knife's Edge -- Kirk Bennett, American Interest

A year on, Juan Guaidó's attempt at regime change in Venezuela has stalled -- Tony Wood, The Guardian

Key quotes from world leaders at Holocaust forum -- AP

The Doomsday Clock is closer to apocalypse than at any point in its history -- Amanda Shendruk, Quartz

World News Briefs -- January 23, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 05:27 PM PST



Reuters: China virus death toll mounts to 25, infections spread

BEIJING (Reuters) - A new coronavirus has killed 25 people in China and infected more than 800, the government said on Friday, as the World Health Organization declared it an emergency but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of international concern.

China's National Health Commission said 830 cases had been confirmed so far and 25 people had died as of Thursday. Most of the cases are in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated late last year.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US general says troop surge in Middle East may not end soon.

Syria war: Jihadist assault 'kills dozens of soldiers'.

U.S. imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions on two people, six companies.

Trump meets Iraqi counterpart, first since Soleimani strike.

New Lebanon government looking for $5 billion in loans.

Turkey lashes out at EU over refugee deal ahead of Merkel visit.

Putin, Netanyahu unveil monument to Leningrad siege defenders in Jerusalem.

Holocaust forum: Netanyahu urges world to unite to confront Iran.

ASIA

UN agency: China virus 'too early' for emergency declaration.

China confirms 1st death outside epicenter of viral outbreak.

China cancels Lunar New Year events over deadly virus fears. China virus: five cities locked down and Beijing festivities scrapped.

China allocates one billion yuan to Hubei province to fight virus outbreak.

China coronavirus: Singapore confirms first case from Wuhan; second case suspected.

Afghan officials: US airstrike killed 10 civilians in Herat.

Top U.N. court orders Myanmar to halt 'genocidal' actions against Rohingya.

Philippines' Duterte threatens to end military deal with the United States.

3 U.S. firefighters die in Australian plane crash.

AFRICA

Burkina Faso to arm civilians in fight against extremists.

Libya's neighbours meet in Algiers in bid to diffuse crisis.

Libya conflict: Haftar forces threaten to target civilian planes.

Germany urges Libya's neighbors to help find solutions.

Malian army says six soldiers killed, several wounded in overnight attack.

Somalia ranked world's most corrupt nation.

A year after historic change, DR Congo struggles with 'cohabitation'.

Banker linked to money laundering case against Angola's billionaire former first daughter Isabel dos Santos - Africa's richest woman - is found dead in Lisbon. Isabel dos Santos: Banker found dead in Lisbon.

EUROPE

Spain-Venezuela encounter by tarmac unleashes speculation.

Polish parliament OKs law allowing gov't to punish judges.

Brexit: Johnson's withdrawal bill becomes law.

Merkel in Davos: 'Our mistake was not being prepared for refugee crisis'.

German president expresses 'sorrow' for Holocaust, warns 'spirits of evil' are rising.

Putin proposes holding summit of five permanent UN SC members in 2020.

Ukraine awaits decision on sending black boxes from plane downed by Iran to Kiev.

European central bank retains low interest rates amid low inflation.

Bulgaria charges three Russians over poisoning possibly linked to Skripal case.

AMERICAS

Canada's TSB says Iran has invited it to examine black boxes.

US imposes visa rules for pregnant women on 'birth tourism'.

Trump, back from Davos, denounces Senate impeachment trial.

Democrats resume arguments in Trump trial; Republicans seem unswayed.

Venezuela's Guaidó in Davos plea for help to overturn 'dictatorship'.

Colombia's president on Venezuela's Maduro: 'He's a war criminal'.

Rio violence: Police killings reach record high in 2019.

Mexican guardsmen break up migrant caravan along highway.

Hundreds of Central Americans enter Mexico under watch of security forces.

Protesters outside a Canadian courtroom pressing for release of Huawei executive fighting extradition to the US were paid ACTORS.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Militant sentenced to 19 years for role in Benghazi attacks.

No ISIS surge during pause in US operations, General says.

U.S. court rejects Omar Khadr's request for military to hear his appeal.

Russian security chief, post-Soviet security bloc head discuss list of terrorist groups.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

U.S. stocks close mostly higher, led by tech, industrials.

Exclusive: Trump to sign USMCA trade deal Wednesday at the White House - source.

Oil falls 2% as specter of China virus threatens fuel demand.

Tesla overtakes Volkswagen as world's second most valuable carmaker.

Wealth gap widening for more than 70% of global population, researchers find.

Israeli Leaders Will Travel To Washington Next Week To Discuss President Trump's Peace Plan

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 04:18 PM PST



The Guardian: Donald Trump invites Israeli leaders to Washington to hear peace plan details

* 'Ultimate deal' reported to be extremely favourable to Israel
* Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader to visit next week

Donald Trump has invited Israel's prime minister and leader of the opposition to Washington for talks on the "prospects of peace", signalling that the White House was preparing to share details of its long-awaited "ultimate deal" for Israelis and Palestinians.

Mike Pence, the US vice-president who is visiting Jerusalem for a Holocaust remembrance forum, said after a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu that he had asked the leader to fly to Washington next week.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The details are already being leaked out .... Details of the peace plan are already revealed (YNet News). Predictions on how the Palestinians will react are already being made .... Trump to release 'great' Israel peace plan ahead of Netanyahu visit, warns that Palestinians 'may react negatively' (RT).

More News On Israeli Leaders Travelling To Washington Next Week To Discuss President Trump's Peace Plan

Trump: Mideast peace plan likely rolled out in days -- AP
Netanyahu, Gantz to travel to Washington next week to discuss peace plan -- Jerusalem Post
Israel's Prime Minister and opposition leader will visit White House to discuss 'prospect of peace' next week -- CNN
Trump says he'll roll out Middle East peace plan ahead of meeting with Israeli leaders -- Politico
'It's a great plan': Trump to release Middle East peace proposal before meeting with Israeli leaders -- USA Today
Trump is preparing to release his Middle East peace plan, will brief Israel's Netanyahu in Washington, Pence says -- The Washington Post
Trump says he expects to release Middle East peace plan by Tuesday -- The Hill
Netanyahu, Gantz invited to US to talk 'prospect of peace': Pence -- Al Jazeera

U.S. Central Command Commander: U.S. Military To Maintain Expanded Mideast Presence

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 03:38 PM PST

Photo: Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie Jr., the head of U.S. Central Command, speaks to troops on the USS Bataan on Jan. 23. (Missy Ryan/The Washington Post)

Washington Post: U.S. military to maintain expanded Mideast presence, for now at least, following Iran strikes

ABOARD THE USS BATAAN IN THE RED SEA — The United States hopes to avert a conflict with Iran but will maintain an expanded military footprint in the Middle East amid heightened tensions, the head of U.S. Central Command said Thursday during a visit to the region.

Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie Jr. said that new air, naval and troop deployments were intended to restore deterrence and send a signal to Tehran following a period in which tit-for-tat Iranian and U.S. attacks pushed the region to the brink of war.

"The message is, we don't seek war with you. You should not seek war with us. And we would like to de-escalate to a lower level of tensions, if that's possible," McKenzie told reporters after visiting the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship operating in the northern Red Sea.

The general's public remarks were his first since an American airstrike killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3. The U.S. government viewed Soleimani, who was the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, as the mastermind of years of violence against American personnel.

Read more ....

Update: US Central Command general says troop surge in Middle East may not end soon (Military Times/AP)

WNU Editor: Considering how high tensions are with Iran, I do not foresee any serious US military draw-down  in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

Vice President Pence Says Trump Is 'Unstoppable' As He Shakes Hands With Netanyahu At Holocaust Commemoration

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 03:28 PM PST



Daily Mail: Pence is caught on hot mic calling Trump 'unstoppable' as he shakes hands with Netanyahu at Holocaust commemoration

* Pence is attending event an event with world leaders to commemorate the Holocaust
* He greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin
* Putin has a meeting scheduled with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
* Pence and Netanyahu spoke at the event
* The VP appeared to reference Trump, whom he called 'unstoppable'
* 'Like somebody else I know,' he then lauded Netanyahu

Vice President Mike Pence spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Jerusalem as leaders gathered to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum and mark the liberation of Auschwitz.

Their brief encounter put Pence in contact with the figure whose election interference campaign is at the center of President Trump's impeachment trial, where House Democrats are making their second day of arguments calling for Trump's removal Thursday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Trump is definitely someone who puts a lot of energy into getting his agenda approved. But is he unstoppable? The American public is going to make that decision when they go to the polls this November.

Russian President Putin Is Proposing A 2020 Summit Involving The 5 Permamnent Members Of The UN Security Council

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 03:05 PM PST

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020. © Reuters / Abir Sultan / Pool

Reuters: Putin proposes 2020 summit with leaders of Russia, France, China, U.S. and UK

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday proposed holding a summit between the leaders of Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain in 2020 to discuss the conflict in Libya and other global problems.

Putin, who was speaking during a trip to Israel, said Moscow was ready for a "serious conversation" with the permanent members of the UN Security Council, that there was much to discuss and that the summit could happen anywhere in the world.

Read more ....

Update #1: Putin proposes holding summit of five permanent UN SC members in 2020 -- TASS
Update #2: Putin calls for summit of key UN Security Council members -- RFI

WNU Editor: French Presdient Macron is on board .... Macron backs Putin's proposal to hold summit of 5 permanent UNSC members in 2020 (RT).

Russian Parliament Fast-Tracks Putin's Constitutional Changes

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 03:00 PM PST



RT: Russian MPs give first nod to sweeping constitutional changes proposed by Putin

n a unanimous move in the State Duma, lawmakers backed a bill seeking to overhaul several articles of the constitution, just a week after President Putin proposed major amendments to the law including about his own post.

Proposed by Vladimir Putin in his annual state-of-the-nation address, the changes seek to give more powers to parliament, which will be able to pick the prime minister. The premier's cabinet picks, currently not requiring a nod from MPs, would require parliamentary confirmation and could not be rejected by the president.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: After tabling the bill to amend the constitution, it was approved unanimously by the Duma within two hours. This is the definition of a rubber-stamp parliament.

More News On Russia's Parliament Fast-Tracking Putin's Constitutional Changes

State Duma adopts bill on amendments to Constitution in first reading -- TASS
Russian State Duma Supports Constitutional Amendments Legislation in Preliminary Vote -- Sputnik
Russian MPS give quick first approval to Putin reforms -- AFP
Putin's political shake-up backed by Russian parliament in initial vote -- Reuters
Putin's Overhaul Gets Initial Approval in Russian Parliament -- Bloomberg
Russia's Duma unanimously approves Putin's constitution shake-up -- Al Jazeera

US Army Begins Largest War Exercise In Europe Since The Cold War

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 01:53 PM PST


Stars and Stripes: Army's biggest exercise in Europe for 25 years begins at US motor pools

STUTTGART, Germany – The largest exercise in Europe for U.S. forces in 25 years will kick off Thursday at motor pools in the U.S., where soldiers will begin loading tanks and other gear for transport to the Continent, the Army said.

About 20,000 pieces of military equipment must be deployed from the U.S. for Defender-Europe 20, which will involve large-scale combat drills and test the military's ability to rapidly move large numbers of forces across the Atlantic Ocean.

Units from Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Stewart will load vehicles, heavy equipment and supplies for rail transport and onward shipping, the Army said in a statement Tuesday. Defender-Europe will include about 20,000 U.S.-based soldiers, 9,000 European-based U.S. troops, and 8,000 troops from 17 allied nations, the Army said.

Read more ....

Update #1: US Army Begins Largest War Exercise In Europe In Decades (Zero Hedge)
Update #2: U.S. Army begins movement for Europe's largest exercise (Defence Blog)

WNU Editor: This exercise will occur over the next few months, and will involve about 37,000 troops.

Doomsday Clock Hits 100 Seconds To Midnight

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 01:44 PM PST





Daily Mail: Doomsday clock moves the closest to midnight in its 73-year history: Apocalypse predictor ticks forward twenty seconds amid rising fears from nuclear tensions and the threat of climate change

The clock is at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has been since it launched
It has been at two minutes to midnight since 2017 in part due to climate change
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists say there are multiple 'end of days' threats
They say 'new norms of behaviour' are needed to push the clock hands back

The Doomsday clock has ticked forwards 20 seconds and stands just 100 seconds to midnight - the closest in its 73-year history - due to increased nuclear tensions and climate change, bringing us closer to the apocalypse than ever before.

The clock was founded by the US scientists involved in the Manhattan Project that developed the world's first nuclear weapons during World War 2.

It is a symbolic countdown designed to represent the time to a possible global catastrophe and is maintained by scientists including 16 Nobel laureates.

The group say the change - which is the closest the clock has ever been to the end of days - is due to the dual threats of nuclear war and climate change.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These times are the most dangerous times in 73 years?!?!?! No it is not. Not even close.

More News On The Doomsday Clock Hitting 100 Seconds To Midnight

Press Release—IT IS NOW 100 SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT -- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Doomsday Clock nears apocalypse over climate and nuclear fears -- BBC
Doomsday clock lurches to 100 seconds to midnight – closest to catastrophe yet -- The Guardian
Scientists move Doomsday Clock closer to midnight -- NBC
Doomsday Clock moves to 100 seconds to midnight -- closest point to nuclear annihilation since Cold War -- FOX News
Doomsday Clock ticks closer to midnight -- The Hill
Doomsday Clock Hits 100 Seconds To Midnight As Viral Pandemic Sweeps Globe -- Zero Hedge
The 'Doomsday Clock' has jumped closer to midnight than ever as nuclear weapons and climate disasters turn the world into a 'pressure cooker' -- Business Insider

Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak -- News Updates January 23, 2020

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 12:06 PM PST





Daily Mail: Deadly coronavirus is MUCH more contagious than feared: Medics confirm the disease that has killed 18 can be spread by COUGHING - as Singapore, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia become latest countries to confirm cases

SARS-like disease first reported in China before spreading to Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and US
Major Chinese New Year events in Beijing have been cancelled, officials at the Chinese capital revealed today
Today it emerged the infected US patient came into close contact with at least 16 people before quarantined
Official figures show more than 600 patients have caught the infection, with cases cropping up all over Asia
However, scientists yesterday warned as many as 10,000 people could have been infected in Wuhan alone
Chilling footage has emerged from city of Wuhan, the outbreak's centre, showing quarantine tents and entire streets pumped with decontamination gas. Two neighbouring cities have also gone into lockdown
European health officials said 'further global spread is likely' in a report, but World Health Organization meeting last night failed to declare the crisis a global emergency. Heath chiefs will meet again today

The deadly new coronavirus spreading across Asia is far more contagious than previously feared and can be spread third-hand via a simple cough or sneeze, medics have today confirmed.

Eighteen people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 600 have been infected in at least 10 countries. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be as many as 10,000 as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.

Nine towns and cities in China are now in lockdown while officials battle to stop the spread of the deadly new coronavirus. Major Chinese New Year events in Beijing have been cancelled, authorities in Ezhou have shut down train stations, and Huanggang has announced it will suspend public buses and trains.

The development comes as Wuhan – the city at the centre of the outbreak – remains in lockdown, with all flights in and outbound cancelled, residents banned from leaving and scenes of chaos as desperate families fight for food supplies.

Read more ....

Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak -- News Updates January 23, 2020

UN agency: China virus 'too early' for emergency declaration -- AP
WHO says 'bit too early' to declare coronavirus a global emergency -- Reuters
Beijing CANCELS major Chinese New Year celebrations in desperate attempt to control the spread of the killer Coronavirus -- Daily Mail/AFP
As China virus spreads, fear spreads faster -- France 24
China coronavirus: three cities join Wuhan in quarantine lockdown as Beijing tries to contain deadly outbreak -- SCMP
Coronavirus infections in China feared to be more widespread than officially reported, Wuhan in lockdown -- ABC News Online
China coronavirus: Lockdown measures rise across Hubei province -- BBC
China virus: five cities locked down and Beijing festivities scrapped -- The Guardian
Wuhan quarantine: shutting down a city five times the size of London -- SCMP
Coronavirus: China expands travel ban to 2 more cities -- UPI
China locks down city at center of virus outbreak -- DW
Beijing CANCELS major Chinese New Year celebrations in desperate attempt to control the spread of the killer Coronavirus -- Daily Mail
Coronavirus traps Wuhan residents in a real life horror movie as Chinese city locks down -- ABC News Online
Wuhan goes into lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak in China -- TASS
Wuhan lockdown: China takes extreme measures to stop virus spread -- DW
Beijing's Forbidden City to close over virus fears -- AFP
China Quarantines City Of 11 Million As Hong Kong Confirms Second Case Of Coronavirus -- Zero Hedge
China coronavirus: Singapore confirms first case from Wuhan; second case suspected -- SCMP
Washington state medics monitor SIXTEEN people who came into contact with US coronavirus Patient Zero as second suspected victim is hospitalized after arriving at LAX from Mexico City -- Daily Mail
WHO says coronavirus outbreak is NOT an international emergency - despite over 600 reported in China and 10 other countries -- Daily Mail
CDC raises Wuhan travel alert as coronavirus outbreak escalates -- Reuters
China virus: What we know about the fatalities -- France 24
Wuhan virus killing mostly the elderly, those with previous health problems -- SCMP
Expert who helped tackle SARS warns the Chinese coronavirus outbreak could be at least 10 TIMES worse than the 2003 epidemic that left 775 dead -- Daily Mail
What is the Wuhan coronavirus and how worried should we be? -- The Guardian

World News Briefs -- January 23, 2020

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 04:30 PM PST

Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus takes part in a news conference after a meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee for Pneumonia due to the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV in Geneva, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters: The latest on the coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday that the new coronavirus that has emerged in China and spread to several other countries does not yet constitute an international emergency but it was tracking its evolution "every minute".

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement after its Emergency Committee of 16 independent experts reviewed the latest evidence and made its recommendations, which he accepted.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syria war: Jihadist assault 'kills dozens of soldiers'.

U.S. imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions on two people, six companies.

Trump meets Iraqi counterpart, first since Soleimani strike.

New Lebanon government looking for $5 billion in loans.

Turkey lashes out at EU over refugee deal ahead of Merkel visit.

Putin, Netanyahu unveil monument to Leningrad siege defenders in Jerusalem.

Holocaust forum: Netanyahu urges world to unite to confront Iran.

ASIA

China cancels Lunar New Year events over deadly virus fears. China virus: five cities locked down and Beijing festivities scrapped.

China allocates one billion yuan to Hubei province to fight virus outbreak.

China coronavirus: Singapore confirms first case from Wuhan; second case suspected.

Afghan officials: US airstrike killed 10 civilians in Herat.

Top U.N. court orders Myanmar to halt 'genocidal' actions against Rohingya.

Philippines' Duterte threatens to end military deal with the United States.

3 U.S. firefighters die in Australian plane crash.

AFRICA

Libya's neighbours meet in Algiers in bid to diffuse crisis.

Libya conflict: Haftar forces threaten to target civilian planes.

Germany urges Libya's neighbors to help find solutions.

Malian army says six soldiers killed, several wounded in overnight attack.

Somalia ranked world's most corrupt nation.

A year after historic change, DR Congo struggles with 'cohabitation'.

Banker linked to money laundering case against Angola's billionaire former first daughter Isabel dos Santos - Africa's richest woman - is found dead in Lisbon. Isabel dos Santos: Banker found dead in Lisbon.

EUROPE

Brexit: Johnson's withdrawal bill becomes law.

Merkel in Davos: 'Our mistake was not being prepared for refugee crisis'.

German president expresses 'sorrow' for Holocaust, warns 'spirits of evil' are rising.

Putin proposes holding summit of five permanent UN SC members in 2020.

Ukraine awaits decision on sending black boxes from plane downed by Iran to Kiev.

European central bank retains low interest rates amid low inflation.

Bulgaria charges three Russians over poisoning possibly linked to Skripal case.

AMERICAS

Trump, back from Davos, denounces Senate impeachment trial.

Democrats resume arguments in Trump trial; Republicans seem unswayed.

Venezuela's Guaidó in Davos plea for help to overturn 'dictatorship'.

Colombia's president on Venezuela's Maduro: 'He's a war criminal'.

Rio violence: Police killings reach record high in 2019.

Hundreds of Central Americans enter Mexico under watch of security forces.


Protesters outside a Canadian courtroom pressing for release of Huawei executive fighting extradition to the US were paid ACTORS.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

No ISIS surge during pause in US operations, General says.

U.S. court rejects Omar Khadr's request for military to hear his appeal.

Russian security chief, post-Soviet security bloc head discuss list of terrorist groups.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Oil falls 2% as specter of China virus threatens fuel demand.

Tesla overtakes Volkswagen as world's second most valuable carmaker.

Wealth gap widening for more than 70% of global population, researchers find.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 23, 2020

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 10:42 AM PST

U.S. soldiers stand amid damage at a site of Iranian bombing at Ain al-Asad air base, in Anbar, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020.

FOX News: US 'likely' to deploy anti-missile system to protect American troops in Iraq

The Pentagon is likely deploying a missile-defense system to Iraq in response to Iran's ballistic missile attack on an Iraqi base housing American troops earlier this month, U.S. defense officials tell Fox News.

The move comes after U.S. troops were sent to a medical facility in Germany after complaining of head injuries following the Iranian missile attack.

Eleven U.S. troops were flown out of Iraq late last week for treatment out of an "abundance of caution," according to a spokesman for American forces in the Middle East.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 23, 2020

Successor to slain Iran general faces same fate if he kills Americans: U.S. envoy -- Reuters

Pentagon offers few details on troops' injuries in Iranian strike after Trump describes them as 'not very serious' -- The Hill

Iran Is Weaker Than The U.S. Military, But Tehran Won't Go Down Easy -- National Interest

Iran's Reserve of Last Resort: Uncovering the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Ground Forces Order of Battle. -- Fred Kagan, RCD/AEI

How Iran's military outsources its cyberthreat forces -- Times of Israel

US forces in Iraq are facing more attacks from Shiite militias than ISIS, commander says -- Task & Purpose

Marine Raiders led counterattack against al-Shabab militants at Manda Bay, Kenya -- Marine Times

US Military Annual Aircraft Replacement Costs to Nearly Double to $44Bln by 2038 -- Sputnik

355 Ships? Acting Navy Secretary Readies To Defend Tight Budget -- Braking Defense

Why Did the Navy Build Super Aircraft Carriers Instead of a Lot of Medium Ones? -- National Interest

Congress should fund new, not used sealift vessels, say former Maritime Administration officials -- Defense News

US Navy To Revive Flak Cannons To Combat Drone Attacks -- Zero Hedge

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Navy Debates: Is a Robotic Ship a Ship? -- National Defense

Northrup Grumman awarded $217.2M for BACN payload support -- UPI

US MDA identifies Kauai military site for $1.9bn defence radar -- Army Technology

DARPA just took a big step towards turning a C-130 into a flying drone carrier -- Task & Purpose

In nuclear spending fight, it's Trump allies vs. White House budget office -- Defense News

Amazon battles Microsoft over military cloud -- BBC

US Bombers With Nuclear Cruise Capability Deployed to Indian Ocean Amid Iran Tensions - Reports -- Sputnik

Esper's balancing act in Pensacola: showing support after shooting while encouraging training foreign allies -- Military Times

Esper says 'no decisions' have been finalized on AFRICOM changes -- Defense News

How AFRICOM plans to counter Russian, Chinese influence in Africa -- Military Times

Negotiations 'almost complete' on Poland's buy of 32 F-35s, defense minister says -- Defense News

Turkish foreign minister calls for enlarged NATO, Georgia membership -- Reuters

Japan monitoring Seoul's 'response' amid Middle East deployment -- UPI

Chinese military aircraft fly close to Taiwan, island's defence ministry says -- SCMP

Pakistan Tests Surface to Surface Ballistic Missiles, Capable of Delivering Nuclear Warheads -- Sputnik

'A landmark achievement': Pakistan test-launches new surface-to-surface ballistic missile (VIDEO) -- RT

The Future of Underwater Warfare in the Indo-Pacific -- H I Sutton & F. Gady, Diplomat

Did U.S. And Russian Soldiers Get Involved In A Fist Fight On Christmas Day In The Syrian City Of Tal Tamr?

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 09:46 AM PST

Middle East Monitor: US and Russian soldiers in Syria fist fight

A number of Russian soldiers were badly beaten and airlifted to hospital after a fist-fight with American troops in Syria last week, it has been revealed. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the incident occurred on 25 December in the city of Tal Tamr in Al-Hasakah province in north-east Syria.

When US troops arrived to collect information from local residents, the latter reportedly reacted negatively, and accused the Americans of betraying them with the withdrawal of US forces from the area ordered by President Donald Trump in October.

Read more ....

Update: Fist fight broke out between Russian, US troops in Syria: monitor (AMN)

WNU Editor: The Russian Defence Ministry is denying these reports. But for the past few weeks it has been making the rounds on Russian social media.

New Video Of A 2018 Encounter Between A Chinese And US Warship Shows How Close They Came To Colliding With Each Other

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 09:33 AM PST



SCMP: Exclusive: US Navy footage of warships' near collision in South China Sea

* New footage of a 2018 encounter between a Chinese and US warship has been released to the Post following a freedom of information request
* Experts say it appears to show the Chinese PLA crew preparing for a collision

A newly-released US Navy video of the tense encounter between a Chinese and US warship in the South China Sea in late 2018 offers an indication of how seriously the Chinese side were prepared for a collision with the US vessel in the contested waterway.

In the footage of the incident, which at the time caused heated exchanges between Washington and Beijing, Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy crew can be seen preparing buoys designed to absorb impact and protect the hull of their ship in the event of a collision between a Chinese Luyang destroyer and the USS Decatur.

Keith Patton, deputy chairman of the Strategic and Operational Research Department at the US Naval War College, said the video suggested the Chinese crew believed a crash was imminent.

"It could be upping the game of chicken with the PLAN warship signalling it was serious by making those preparations," Patton said.

Hu Bo, director of the Centre for Maritime Strategy Studies at Peking University, described the preparation of the buoys as a "natural response" ahead of a likely accident.

Read more ....

WNU editor: The Chinese are signalling to the US on how far they will go assert their South China Sea territorial claims.

Growing Tensions Between U.S. And Russian Forces In Syria

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 09:34 AM PST


VOA: Reports: Tensions Grow Between US, Russian Forces in Northeast Syria

WASHINGTON - A U.S. military patrol has blocked a Russian military convoy from using a main highway in northeast Syria amid growing tensions between the two sides, local reports said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has researchers inside the country, reported on Tuesday that U.S. forces didn't allow Russian military vehicles to use a major road between two Kurdish-held towns in Syria's northeast.

The Russian convoy was attempting to reach a border crossing between Syria and Iraq that is under the control of U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Observatory added.

After Turkish military and allied Syrian militias launched an offensive against SDF fighters in October 2019, Russia, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, stepped in to increase its military presence in northeast Syria following a U.S. decision to withdraw troops from parts of the border area between Syria and Turkey.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: US forces have blocked Russian forces three times in the past few days from entering this part of Syria. This is not by accident .... Russia testing US in Syria: military official (Anadolu Agency).

Growing Tensions Between U.S. And Russian Forces In Syria

US Troops Seen Blocking Russians From Syrian Oilfields In Series Of Dangerous Standoffs -- Zero Hedge
US troops block Russian convoy amid growing tensions over control of oil fields in Syria -- Daily Sabah
U.S.-Russia 'engagements' underscore danger of oil mission in Syria -- Washington Times
U.S. and Russian Dueling Roadblocks Create Friction Near Syria's Oil and Gas Regions -- Newsweek

US Special Representative For Iran: Successor To Slain Iran General Will Face The Same Fate If He Kills Americans

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 08:08 AM PST

Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, attends a news conference in London, Britain June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

Asharq Al-Awsat: Brian Hook to Asharq Al-Awsat: Ghaani Faces Soleimani's Fate if he Follows Similar Path

The US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, has said that the successor to Iran's Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani would suffer the same fate if he followed a similar path of killing Americans.

After Soleimani's killing on Jan. 3, Tehran swiftly appointed Esmail Ghaani as the new head of the Quds Force. He pledged to pursue Soleimani's course.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat in Davos, Hook also said the UN Security Council should condemn the September attacks on Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

Here's the transcript of the interview:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I think the Iranians know that if Americans are killed because of an action that can be traced to them, there will be consequences.

More News On The US Special Representative For Iran Threatening Soleimani's Successor That He Will Face The Same Fate If He Kills Americas

Successor to slain Iran general faces same fate if he kills Americans - U.S. envoy -- Reuters
US warns Iran's new Quds Force commander 'will meet the same fate' as Soleimani if he kills Americans -- Business Insider
Soleimani's Successor To Face Same Fate If Following Similar Path, Hook Says -- Radio Farda
Iran's new Quds Force chief will meet SAME FATE as slain Gen. Soleimani if he follows path of killing Americans – US envoy -- RT

This Is Why Russia's Hypersonic Missiles Cannot Be Seen By U.S. Radar Systems

Posted: 23 Jan 2020 06:41 PM PST

(TASS)

Military.com: Why Russia's Hypersonic Missiles Can't Be Seen on Radar

The age of Russian superweapons is upon us -- at least that's what President Vladimir Putin wants us to believe.

And they are cause for concern because the United States' traditional early warning systems might not be able to see those weapons coming.

Hypersonic weapons such as Russia's 3M22 Zircon fly so fast and low -- at speeds of up to Mach 6 and at a low atmospheric-ballistic trajectory -- that they can penetrate traditional anti-missile defense systems.

The missile flies with an advanced fuel that the Russians say gives it a range of up to 1,000 kilometers. And it's so fast that the air pressure in front of the weapon forms a plasma cloud as it moves, absorbing radio waves and making it practically invisible to active radar systems.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A good explanation on why this missile system, once fully deployed, will be a game changer.