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Friday, January 31, 2020

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

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


Key Republican Senator Says He Will Oppose New Witnesses On President Trump's Impeachment Trial

Posted: 31 Jan 2020 03:00 AM PST



Politico: Sen. Lamar Alexander to oppose new witnesses in trial, signaling vote likely to be defeated

Mitch McConnell and the GOP Senate could get Trump acquitted by Friday.

Sen. Lamar Alexander announced he will vote against a motion to call witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, almost certainly ensuring the vote fails and paving the way for a speedy end to the trial.

"I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution's high bar for an impeachable offense," Alexander said in a statement.

Senate Democrats need four Republicans to join them to win the witness vote, and the retiring Tennessee Republican was considered a key swing vote they might be able to win over.

The Senate will hold the vote on witnesses Friday afternoon and could move to acquit Trump from the impeachment charges later that night.

Read more ....

Update #1: Day in Impeachment: Lamar Alexandar Says He'll Vote Against Witnesses (The New York Times)
Update #2: GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, a key impeachment swing vote, says he will vote against witnesses (NBC News)

WNU Editor: Republican Senator Collins has said that she will vote for witnesses. I can only assume that Senator Romney will also vote for witnesses. But Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander's  announcement that he will not vote for witnesses means that this impeachment trial will now probably end, and President Trump will be acquitted in a Senate vote later tonight.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper: U.S. Will Not Completely Withdraw Forces From Africa

Posted: 31 Jan 2020 02:00 AM PST

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says U.S. does not plan to remove all troops from Africa as part of review.

Military Times: Esper says US military not withdrawing from AFRICOM

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday that the U.S. military would not conduct a full troop withdrawal from Africa, though an ongoing review that could result in troop reductions.

Lawmakers and national security experts have expressed concern over the potential reduction of U.S. troops from the region following an al-Shabab attack on the Manda Bay, Kenya, base that killed three Americans, among them a U.S. soldier.

The Pentagon is amidst a review of the U.S. troop posture across the globe as military planners look for avenues to shore up resources and forces to address rising near-peer threats like Russia and China, and to better align policy with the National Defense Strategy.

Read more ....

Update #1: U.S. will not completely withdraw forces from Africa: Pentagon chief (Reuters)
Update #2: U.S. Officials: Some Troops To Stay In Africa Amid Moves By Russia, China (RFE)

WNU Editor: The French are relieved .... 'Critical to our operations': French defense minister asks Esper to maintain US presence in Africa (Washington Examiner).

Pentagon Waiting Iraqi Permission To Deploy Patriot Missile Defenses To Protect U.S. Troops

Posted: 31 Jan 2020 01:00 AM PST


Warzone/The Drive: Here's Why Patriot Missiles Weren't Protecting US Troops In Iraq And Why They Still Aren't

Iraq is holding up the plan, but it's also hard to understand how the US military didn't fix this defensive gap earlier given the known threats.

The U.S. military wants to send Patriot surface-to-air missile units to Iraq in the wake of unprecedented Iranian ballistic missile strikes aimed at American forces in the country earlier this month, which the Pentagon now says caused dozens of injuries in addition to significant damage to facilities at Al Asad Air Base. However, the U.S. government still needs permission from authorities in Iraq to do so, approval that has so far not been forthcoming, something The War Zone's Tyler Rogoway had raised as a likely issue immediately following Iran's strikes. Discussions regarding the potential deployment of the air defense are ongoing, but come amid attempts by certain Iraqi factions to secure the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the country.

Read more ....

More News On The Pentagon Waiting Iraqi Permission To Deploy Patriot Missile Defenses To Protect U.S. Troops

Pentagon seeking Iraqi permission to deploy missile defenses -- AP
U.S. seeks Iraqi nod to bring in air defenses after Iran attack -- Reuters
US awaits Iraq's okay to deploy Patriots to protect troops -- AFP
Pentagon still 'working on' deploying Patriot missiles to Iraq, admits Baghdad's 'permission' hasn't been granted -- RT
Here's why Patriot missile defense systems aren't in Iraq yet -- Military Times

There Are Now 64 U.S. Troops Being Treated For Traumatic Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Strike

Posted: 31 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST





Military Times: Esper says he personally briefed Trump on the seriousness of TBI after Iran attack, now at 64 cases

In the days following an Iranian rocket attack on U.S. troops in Iraq, as reported injuries ballooned from zero casualties to 64 diagnosed traumatic brain injuries at last count, questions have arisen as to whether the military's most senior leadership recognizes the concerns over TBI.

Though President Donald Trump last week dismissed the injuries as "headaches" and "not serious," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Thursday that he had personally explained to the president the implications of the diagnosis.

"I've had the chance to speak with the president. He is very concerned about the health and welfare of all of our service members — particularly those who were involved in the operations in Iraq," Esper said, though he did not elaborate on whether the talk came before or after Trump's statements. "And he understands the nature of these injuries."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Of the 64 service members who have been diagnosed, 39 have already returned to duty.

More News On 64 U.S. Troops Being Treated For Traumatic Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Strike

Pentagon chief defends Trump after traumatic brain injury comments -- Reuters
Now It's 64. Wounded Troop Tally from Iran Missile Strike Rises Again -- Defense One
Number of US troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iran attack rises to 64 -- FOX News
64 US troops now being treated for Traumatic Brain Injury as toll of Iranian attack continues to increase -- Task & Purpose
Defense secretary says Trump 'very concerned' about Iran attack brain injury victim -- ABC News
DoD Releases Video Explaining Traumatic Brain Injuries After Trump Comments -- Military.com

Pentagon Reveals F-35 Lightning's Guns Don't Shoot Straight

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 11:00 PM PST



Daily Mail: Pentagon reveals F-35 Lightning's guns don't shoot straight and are cracking in scathing report that demands Lockheed Martin fix 873 flaws on $100million stealth fighter jet

* Report due this week lists flaws that need to be resolved with F-35 Lightning
* More than 800 software bugs were found in the Lockheed Martin jet
* Air Force model's 25mm gun doesn't shoot straight and mounts are cracking
* The $428 billion program has produced 491 jets so far that must be fixed
* Top customers for the Joint Strike Fighter include US, UK, Italy and Australia

The F-35 Lightning II's problems include hundreds of software vulnerabilities and guns that don't shoot straight, according to a new Pentagon report on issues with Lockheed Martin's $428 billion program.

Air Force models of the F-35 use an internally mounted 25mm Gatling gun that has 'unacceptable' accuracy due to 'misalignments,' according to an upcoming report from the Pentagon's test office obtained by Bloomberg.

The mounts on the guns are also cracking, forcing the Air Force to restrict use of the gun, the report says.

The Marine and Navy versions of the Joint Strike Fighter use an externally mounted version of the gun that does not have the same issues, according to the report.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Unbelievable!!!!

More News On The Pentagon Revealing That The F-35 Lightning's Guns Don't Shoot Straight

F-35's List of Flaws Includes a Gun That Can't Shoot Straight -- Bloomberg
The Gun On the Air Force's F-35 Has 'Unacceptable' Accuracy, Pentagon Testing Office Says -- Time
Pentagon finds flaws in new F-35 amid increasing orders: report -- The Hill
F-35 To Go To School For Trillion-Dollar Planes That Can't Shoot Good -- Jalopnik
Mission incapable? Pentagon review finds gun on F-35 fighter jet can't hit targets & 800+ software glitches – report -- RT
DOD tester's report: F-35 is still a lemon -- Ars Technica

Tweets For Today

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 10:30 PM PST











The Residents Of Wuhan Sing The Chinese National Anthem At 8:00

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 10:00 PM PST








WNU Editor: This is moving.

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 09:30 PM PST

An empty street is seen in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. INSTAGRAM/EMILIA via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Top Photos of the Day (Reuters).

CNN Is Saying That The U.S. Coronavirus Task Force Should Be More Diverse

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 09:00 PM PST


WNU Editor: What's wrong with CNN? This crisis has nothing to do with diversity. It is an international health emergency. The CNN article is here .... Coronavirus task force another example of Trump administration's lack of diversity (CNN).

Today Is Brexit Day

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 08:00 PM PST





Daily Mail: A new dawn: Boris Johnson will say that Brexit is 'not an end, but a beginning' while hailing a new era and promising to transform neglected regions of Britain - as the nation leaves EU at 11pm TONIGHT

* Boris Johnson will deliver a plea for country to move on from Brexit on Friday night as the UK leaves the EU
* The Prime Minister will insist that Brexit marks 'not an end but a beginning' in an address shortly before 11pm
* He will stress his belief that the referendum was a vote for lasting change in neglected areas of the country

Boris Johnson will deliver a plea for the country to move on from Brexit on Friday night as the UK finally leaves the EU tonight.

In an address to be broadcast shortly before Britain's departure at 11pm, the Prime Minister will insist that Brexit marks 'not an end but a beginning'.

And in a sign of the new Government's changed approach, he will convene a symbolic Cabinet meeting this afternoon in Sunderland, the first city to declare for Brexit when the 2016 referendum results came out.

Read more ....

More News On The UK Leaving The EU Today

Brexit finally arrives Friday: A momentous yet quiet moment -- AP
Brexit day: United Kingdom casts off from the European Union -- Reuters
Brexit: Boris Johnson to hail 'dawn of a new era' on departure day -- BBC
'Leap into the unknown': what the papers say about Brexit day -- The Guardian
Britain is finally set to leave the EU, but what happens next? The UK and Brussels are braced for 11 months of crunch trade talks before a 'cliff-edge' in December (and Boris Johnson wants deals with Japan AND the US in 2020 as well) -- Daily Mail
Brexit: What travelers need to know -- DW
Brexit is happening Friday but not much is changing ... for now -- CNBC
Brexit Timeline 2016–2020: key events in the UK's path from referendum to EU exit -- Euronews

U.S. State Department Now Advising Citizens To Not Travel To China Due To The Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 07:00 PM PST

Passengers leave LAX after arriving from Shanghai, China, after a positive case of the coronavirus was announced in the Orange County suburb of Los Angeles, California, January 26. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

Reuters: U.S. tells citizens not to travel to China as virus toll tops 200

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - The U.S. government warned Americans not to travel to China as the death toll from a new coronavirus reached 213 on Friday and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency.

A new State Department travel advisory raised the warning for China to the same level as Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a notice posted on its website, the department said: "Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China."

The death toll in Hubei, the Chinese province at the center of the epidemic, had risen to 204 and there were 9,692 cases of infection nationally as of Thursday, Chinese health authorities said. A total of 129 cases have been reported in 22 other countries and regions, with no deaths outside China.

Read more ....

Update #1: US advises against travel to China over virus outbreak (AP)
Update #2: Coronavirus: US says 'do not travel to China' as death toll hits 213 with 43 fatalities in country's worst day yet (SCMP)

WNU Editor: I will not be surprised if in the next day or two almost every country in the world will be issuing the same warning.

Report: Trump Administration To Allow US Troops To Use Landmines By Overturning Obama Ban

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 06:46 PM PST

Soldiers of the 789th Ordnance Company prepare a cache of landmines, mortars and 107mm rockets to be disposed of by a high explosives charge, near Besmaya region southeast of Baghdad. Army researchers are designing smarter, safer and more mobile landmines for future operations. (Army)

Daily Mail: Trump to allow US troops to use landmines by overturning Obama ban - but they will have 30 day self-destruct function

* Donald Trump will reportedly allow US troops to use landmines again by overturning an Obama administration ban
* The explosives that have killed about 130,000 civilians over the past 20 years
* Pentagon sources told CNN the change was to make sure countries such as Russia or China will not be able to get access to critical terrain
* It's based off a Secretary of Defense-led review launched in 2017 which found lack of landmines outside of Korea 'increased risk to mission success'
* Since 1993 it has cost about $3.6billion to clear excess weapons and explosives from over 100 countries, many of them African
* The woman who received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize together with International Campaign to Ban Landmines, blasted the decision Thursday

Donald Trump will allow US troops to use landmines again by overturning an Obama administration ban on the explosives that have killed about 130,000 civilians over the past two decades, a report says.

In the coming days the president is expected to loosen the restrictions set in 2014 in line with the Ottawa Treaty's aim to prevent the production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapons of war.

But troops will only be able to use mines that self-destruct or self-deactivate in 30 days as the US prepares to be well equipped in case of major conflict with a 'great power'.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That The Trump Administration Will Allow US Troops To Use Landmines By Overturning Obama Ban

Exclusive: State Department cable reveals new Trump policy expanding landmine use -- VOX News
Trump to reportedly allow use of landmines, reversing Obama-era policy -- The Guardian
Trump administration expected to loosen restrictions on use of landmines -- CNN
Trump administration to roll back restrictions on land mine use: report -- The Hill
Trump Administration Expected to Loosen Military's Limits on Land Mines -- The New York Times
White House Prepares to Expand Ability to Use Land Mines -- Bloomberg

You Can Track The Spread Of The Wuhan Coronavirus From This Website

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 06:12 PM PST


ABC News Online: Coronavirus map tracks the spread of the virus across the world

The coronavirus is spreading far beyond the confines of the Chinese fish market where symptoms were first reported — now you can track its spread.

Johns Hopkins University's Centre for Systems Science and Engineering in the US has launched a map visualising confirmed cases of the virus, which originated in Wuhan.

Confirmed cases are marked with red dots, which vary in size according to the amount of confirmed cases in the area shown.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The link to Johns Hopkins University's Centre for Systems Science and Engineering coronavirus map is here.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 30, 2020

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 05:53 PM PST


Frederick Kempe, CNBC: The coronavirus joins tough list of 2020 tests for China's global leadership

* Kishore Mahbubeni, the Singaporean author and intellectual, is promoting his new book, "Has China Won?"
* The cover blurb announces that he will explain "how, while America became arrogant and distracted, a three-thousand-year-old civilization is well on the way to becoming the number one power in the world."
* The year ahead is likely to provide the most profound trial yet for that thesis and for the durability of China's rise.

Davos, Switzerland – "Has China Won?"

Kishore Mahbubeni, the Singaporean author and intellectual, greets me warmly in a conference lounge here and hands me a card promoting the March release of his new book, bearing that provocative question as its title.

The cover blurb announces that he will explain "how, while America became arrogant and distracted, a three-thousand-year-old civilization is well on the way to becoming the number one power in the world."

The year ahead is likely to provide the most profound trial yet for that thesis and for the durability of China's rise.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 30, 2020

China's virus response has been 'breathtaking' -- Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Factbox: Latest on the coronavirus spreading in China and beyond -- Reuters

Will the Wuhan virus become a pandemic? -- The Economist

The Guardian view on Libya and foreign interference: talking peace, shipping arms -- Guardian editorial

Bribes, lies and a dead man's vote rock Indonesia -- John McBeth, Asia Times

'Two different political cultures': A divided Scotland braces for Brexit -- Tom Wheeldon, France 24

Iran's Regional Armed Network -- Kali Robinson, Council on Foreign Relations

Trump's Nuclear Waivers Irk Washington's Iran Hawks -- Matthew Petti, National Interest

The Goal Isn't Peace, It's Power -- Robert Malley & Aaron David Miller, Politico

What Sort of Revolution Does Bernie Sanders Want? -- Amitai Etzioni, National Interest

Is this the end of the liberal international order? And what might take its place? -- Antony Funnell, ABC News Online

How Third-Worldism Can Be Reimagined Today -- Howard W. French, WPR

Why the Doomsday Clock is Wrong -- Patty-Jane Gelle, National Interest

World News Briefs -- January 30, 2020

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 04:46 PM PST



Reuters: China virus death toll tops 200 as WHO declares global emergency

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The death toll in China from the new coronavirus reached 213 on Friday, with overall cases worldwide rising rapidly in an outbreak that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency.

The death toll in Hubei, the Chinese province at the center of the epidemic, had risen to 204 and there were 9,692 cases of infection nationally as of Thursday, Chinese health authorities said. About 100 cases have been reported in at least 18 other countries, with no deaths outside China.

Even as the WHO said cases had spread to 18 countries, Italy announced its first confirmed cases, in two Chinese tourists.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. seeks Iraqi nod to bring in air defenses after Iran attack.

Syria war: Rebel-held Idlib 'hit by 200 air strikes in three days'.

At least 10 killed in air raid in Syria's Idlib. Deadly strikes hit Syria rebel bastion as army advances.


Arabs prioritize key ties with U.S. against Iran in reacting to Trump peace plan.

US sanctions head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization – Treasury.

Palestinians push for UN action over Trump Middle East plan.

Israel shores up West Bank and Gaza troops, protests turn violent after Trump's peace plan.

Israel's Netanyahu in Moscow to talk Trump peace deal with Putin. Putin meets Netanyahu, reserves judgement on Middle East plan.

Fire erupts on Panama-flagged oil tanker off UAE coast.


ASIA

China has confidence and capability to win the war against coronavirus: foreign ministry.

China's U.N. envoy says Beijing assessing WHO coronavirus declaration.

China to release winter and spring vegetable reserves to ease supply shortages: Xinhua.

Coronavirus: Death toll rises as virus spreads to every Chinese region.

Hong Kong braces for spread of coronavirus.

S Korea officials face anger over coronavirus quarantine centres.

North, South Korea close Kaesong liaison office.

Seoul: 2.5-magnitude quake detected near North Korea site.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Chinese Communist Party the 'central threat of our times'.

Japan prosecutors issue warrants over Ghosn escape.

AFRICA

Egypt refutes reports over coronavirus detection; urges accuracy.

More than 30 civilians killed in attacks in eastern DR Congo.

Burundi jails four journalists for 'undermining state security'.

Guinea protests: Anti-government demonstrations continue.

Libya civil war: Macron accuses Erdogan of meddling in conflict.

River Nile dam talks extended.

US general asks Europeans to do more for French in Africa.

Mali: Former junta leader to walk free while trial date pends.

EUROPE

Two first coronavirus cases confirmed in Italy: prime minister.

Coronavirus test negative for passenger aboard Italian cruise ship.

'Dawn of a new era': Johnson 'respectfully' marks Brexit day.

US says EU understands 5G risks but pushes on Huawei.

New U.S. envoy tells Russia to 'end nightmare' for jailed ex-Marine.

Brexit: European Parliament approves UK's withdrawal agreement.

UK interest rates held as economy shows signs of picking up.

French govt, unions kick off talks on tackling pension deficit.

Macron's party faces uphill battle in upcoming mayoral races.

US top diplomat Pompeo promises 'enormous benefits' to Brexit on UK trip.

Naama Issachar: US-Israeli woman released from Russian prison.

Greek plan to stop migrant boats with floating barriers.

AMERICAS

Trump says coronavirus outbreak is 'very well under control'.

Claim of Trump's near-absolute power riles impeachment trial.

Trump urges lawmakers to vote their heart on war authority repeal after White House threatens veto.

U.S. bans 13 El Salvadoran officials over 1989 priest killings.

Mexico cartels: Three suspects escape 'with help from guards'.

Mexico's President AMLO under fire over migration clampdown.

Argentina issues food cards to low-income families.

US life expectancy up for first time in four years.

Colombia rejects Venezuelan proposal to resume diplomatic relations.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

U.S. will not completely withdraw forces from Africa: Pentagon chief.

Isis starting to reassert itself in Middle East heartlands, UN warns.

U.N. warns of Islamic State's 'increasingly bold insurgent attacks'.

U.S. men who joined Somalia's Al-Shabaab now remorseful.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street reverses course to end higher after WHO comments.

China's coronavirus epidemic threatens global economy.

Coronavirus: Technology giants join China shutdown.

US economy grows at 2.3 percent in 2019, slowest year of Trump presidency.

China's Coronavirus Epidemic Will Impact The Global Economy

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 03:49 PM PST





DW: China's coronavirus epidemic threatens global economy

The virus has emerged as a major risk to the global economy, still reeling from the impact of US-China trade war. Some of the biggest companies, including iPhone-maker Apple, are bracing for supply-chain disruptions.

The rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak in China continues to rattle global markets as investors and policymakers assess the risks posed by the SARS-like virus to the global economy

Stocks around the world took a beating as the death toll from the virus reached 170 and more cases were reported. India became the latest country to report a case — a student in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: At least this business is booming .... China virus triggers global rush for protective masks (Reuters).

More News On How China's Coronavirus Epidemic Will Impact The Global Economy

The coronavirus could be much worse for China's economy than SARS -- CNN
Fed chair sees China virus as possible risk to world economy -- AP
IMF says too soon to quantify China's coronavirus economic impact -- Reuters
Policymakers fret over risk to global growth from China virus outbreak -- Reuters
Air France suspends all flights to mainland China over cornovirus outbreak until February 9 -- France 24
Air France suspends all flights to mainland China until February 9 -- Reuters
Coronavirus: turbulent times ahead for air travellers as carriers cancel China flights -- SCMP
Factbox: Airlines suspend China flights over coronavirus -- Reuters
Coronavirus: Could it damage the global economy? -- Andrew Walker, BBC World

U.S. Response To The Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 03:27 PM PST





Daily Mail: Wuhan evacuee tries to walk off California military base halfway through mandatory 72-hour coronavirus observation period - forcing officials to issue quarantine order

* Riverside County Health officials issued a quarantine order on Thursday
* A person apparently tried to leave March Air Reserve Base before the conclusion of a mandated 72-hour quarantine period
* They were one of 195 passengers who landed at the base in Riverside, California, on Wednesday morning on an evacuation flight from Wuhan
* Passengers are being held at the base to ensure they don't pose a public risk
* The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Thursday
* More than 8,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in 18 countries and territories and 170 people have died, all of them in China
* There are six confirmed cases and 168 possible cases in the US

A passenger on the US evacuation flight from the coronavirus outbreak epicenter in Wuhan has reportedly tried to leave a California military base less than halfway through a mandatory 72-hour observation period.

Riverside County Health officials issued a quarantine order requiring the passenger to remain at March Air Reserve Base on Thursday.

The subject of the order, who was not identified, was one of 195 passengers who landed at the base in Riverside on Wednesday morning on a flight chartered by the State Department to remove US diplomats and private citizens from the virus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan.

All of the passengers are being monitored for coronavirus symptoms on the base for 72 hours to ensure they do not pose a risk to the public.

Read more ....

More News On the U.S. Response To The Coronavirus Outbreak

210 US evacuees fleeing China's coronavirus outbreak land at California air reserve base -- Military Times
US officials confirmed the first person-to-person spread of the coronavirus: a case in Illinois. Here's what we know about all 6 US patients. -- Business Insider
US reports its first case of person-to-person spread of new virus -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus spread from wife to husband in Chicago: official -- AFP
Trump creates task force to lead U.S. coronavirus response -- CBS
U.S. warned to prepare for worst on coronavirus -- Axios
Coronavirus in the U.S.: Map of where the virus has been confirmed across the country -- NBC

What Is Life Like For Those Who Are Living At Ground Zero Of The Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 03:22 PM PST



Business Insider: Wuhan is running low on food, hospitals are overflowing, and foreigners are being evacuated as panic sets in after a week under coronavirus lockdown

* Wuhan, a city in the Chinese province of Hubei with a population of 11 million, has been under an unprecedented quarantine since January 23 because it is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
* The coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, had killed at least 170 people and infected more than 7,700 worldwide — the vast majority in China — as of Thursday morning.
* In just a week under quarantine, Wuhan has experienced food shortages, an overwhelming number of patients, and several evacuations of foreigners visiting the city.

The epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, a city in the Chinese province of Hubei with a population of 11 million, has been under an unprecedented quarantine since January 23.

The coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, had killed at least 170 people and infected more than 7,700 worldwide — the vast majority in China — as of Thursday morning.

The number of Wuhan coronavirus infections in the mainland officially outstripped those of SARS on Wednesday morning. The number of SARS cases on the mainland topped out at 5,327.

SARS, which also originated in China, had spread to more countries and killed nearly 800 people worldwide from 2002 to 2003.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Blame is now being dispensed in Wuhan for this outbreak .... China coronavirus: first city health chief sacked as death toll climbs to 170 (SCMP). More here .... Politics may have stalled information in Wuhan coronavirus crisis, scientist says (SCMP)

More News On How People Are Coping In Wuhan With This Coronavirus Outbreak

A teacher's videos inside quarantined Wuhan show the streets eerily deserted and lines out the door at the pharmacy -- Business Insider
Life in the time of coronavirus: how Wuhan made it through a week in lockdown -- SCMP
'Wuhan is a ghost city': Video reveals life in a coronavirus lockdown -- Euronews
China virus fears prompt homemade barricades and online shaming -- AFP
'I'm in an apocalypse:' American student trapped in coronavirus-hit Chinese city -- Reuters
China postpones 2020 football season over virus fears -- AFP
Coronavirus chaos in China's sporting calendar -- AFP
Holed up in Wuhan, foreign students look to escape virus-hit city -- Al Jazeera
"I'm In An Apocalypse" - New Accounts From Wuhan Detail Coronavirus Outbreak -- Zero Hedge
Life Under Lockdown for Americans Evacuated From Wuhan -- Inside Edition
Stranded in Wuhan: foreigners raise call for help in virus epicentre -- AFP
French student Instagrams life in Wuhan under coronavirus quarantine -- France 24
Coronavirus Wuhan diary: Living alone in a city gone quiet -- BBC

Wuhan Coronavirus News Updates -- January 30, 2020

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 02:59 PM PST





CNBC: WHO declares China coronavirus that's killed 171 a global health emergency

* The World Health Organization said the fast-spreading coronavirus that's infected more than 8,200 people across the world is a global health emergency.
* The rare designation will help the international agency mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak.

The World Health Organization said the fast-spreading coronavirus that's infected more than 8,200 people across the world is a global health emergency — a rare designation that helps the international agency mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak.

The announcement comes just hours after the U.S. confirmed its first human-to-human transmission of the virus, which has killed at least 171 people in China and has now spread to at least 18 other countries.

Since emerging less than a month ago in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus has infected more people than the 2003 SARS epidemic, which sickened roughly 8,100 people across the globe over nine months. As of Thursday, there are at least eight cases in four countries, outside of China, of human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus.

Read more ....

Wuhan Coronavirus Live Updates -- January 30, 2020

Coronavirus Live Updates: W.H.O. Declares a Global Health Emergency -- The New York Times
Live updates: World Health Organization declares coronavirus outbreak a 'public health emergency' -- The Washington Post
Coronavirus: US reports first human-to-human transmission – live news -- The Guardian
Coronavirus death toll hits 170 — live updates -- DW
China battles coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
First Case Of Human-To-Human Coronavirus Infection Confirmed In US: Live Updates -- Zero Hedge

Wuhan Coronavirus News Updates -- January 30, 2020

Coronavirus: Death toll rises as virus spreads to every Chinese region -- BBC
Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to 170 amid evacuations -- UPI
Coronavirus death toll rises to 170 as nations accelerate China evacuations -- France 24
China virus toll hits 170 as countries step up evacuation plans -- Al Jazeera
Russia closes its eastern border as killer coronavirus spreads to EVERY region of China: Death toll jumps to 170 and almost 8,300 people have caught the deadly SARS-like infection worldwide -- Daily Mail
France confirms sixth case of infection with coronavirus -- Reuters
Russia Closes Parts of Border with China to Combat Spread of Virus -- VOA
Three Japanese evacuees from Wuhan test positive for virus, two had no symptoms -- CNBC/Reuters
Philippines confirms first case of novel coronavirus -- CNN
India confirms its first coronavirus case -- CNBC
Hong Kong braces for spread of coronavirus -- Al Jazeera
Hong Kong to boost face mask stocks with prison labour -- AFP
China coronavirus reaches province near North Korea -- UPI

World Health Organization Declares The Coronavirus A Global Health Emergency

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 01:41 PM PST





Daily Mail: Coronavirus outbreak is declared a global emergency as SIXTH case is confirmed in the US after Chicago man is infected by his wife in first person-to-person spread in North America

* The World Health Organization had declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a global health emergency
* The 'public health emergency of international concern' is the highest warning the UN health agency can give
* Just one week ago, WHO officials said it was too early to declare the outbreak an emergency
* It comes the same day that the sixth US case of coronavirus was confirmed in a Chicago man in his 60s
* This marks the first case of human-to-human transmission of the virus in America
* The man was infected by his wife, 60, who became the second person in the US to be diagnosed after she returned from a trip to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak
* The couple, who have not been identified, are now both being isolated at a suburban Chicago hospital
* Four other cases have been confirmed in Arizona, California and Washington - all of whom traveled to China
* Currently, there are 168 possible cases are under investigation in the US, 21 of which are in Illinois
* Worldwide, more than 8,000 people have been infected and 170 people - all in China - have died

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Thursday that it was declaring the deadly coronavirus outbreak spreading from China to be a global health emergency.

The warning, officially known as a 'public health emergency of international concern' and defined as an 'extraordinary event', is the highest alert the UN health agency can issue.

Just one week ago, the organization decided to hold off the declaration as there was no evidence of human-to-human evidence outside of China.

However, in the week since, the number of cases surged ten-fold.

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More News On The World Health Organization Declaring The Coronavirus A Global Heath Emergency

UN agency declares global emergency over virus from China -- AP
WHO declares global emergency as China virus death toll reaches 170 -- Reuters
World Health Organization declares coronavirus an international public health emergency -- France 24
Coronavirus: WHO declares international health emergency -- DW
China coronavirus: Global health emergency declared by World Health Organisation, reversing earlier decision on outbreak -- SCMP
Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO -- BBC
Experts say WHO's time has come to declare coronavirus outbreak world health emergency -- SCMP
Coronavirus transmission between humans of 'grave concern' to World Health Organisation -- ABC News Online
WHO declares China coronavirus that's killed 171 a global health emergency -- CNBC
What happens if the WHO declares the coronavirus a global health emergency? -- Michael Walsh, ABC News Online
What constitutes an international public health emergency? -- DW

World News Briefs -- January 30, 2020

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 04:25 PM PST



Reuters: WHO considers whether to declare China virus emergency as deaths reach 170

BEIJING/GENEVA (Reuters) - A World Health Organization (WHO) panel of experts met on Thursday to reconsider whether China's fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak that has now killed 170 people should be declared a global emergency.

All the deaths so far have been in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in Wuhan city, as have the vast majority of the more than 8,100 cases of the flu-like illness detected globally, according to official data.

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MIDDLE EAST

Syria war: Rebel-held Idlib 'hit by 200 air strikes in three days'.

At least 10 killed in air raid in Syria's Idlib. Deadly strikes hit Syria rebel bastion as army advances.


Arabs prioritize key ties with U.S. against Iran in reacting to Trump peace plan.

US sanctions head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization – Treasury.

Palestinians push for UN action over Trump Middle East plan.

Israel shores up West Bank and Gaza troops, protests turn violent after Trump's peace plan.

Israel's Netanyahu in Moscow to talk Trump peace deal with Putin. Putin meets Netanyahu, reserves judgement on Middle East plan.

Fire erupts on Panama-flagged oil tanker off UAE coast.


ASIA

Coronavirus: Death toll rises as virus spreads to every Chinese region.

Hong Kong braces for spread of coronavirus.

S Korea officials face anger over coronavirus quarantine centres.

North, South Korea close Kaesong liaison office.

Seoul: 2.5-magnitude quake detected near North Korea site.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Chinese Communist Party the 'central threat of our times'.

Japan prosecutors issue warrants over Ghosn escape.

AFRICA

More than 30 civilians killed in attacks in eastern DR Congo.

Burundi jails four journalists for 'undermining state security'.

Guinea protests: Anti-government demonstrations continue.

Libya civil war: Macron accuses Erdogan of meddling in conflict.

River Nile dam talks extended.

US general asks Europeans to do more for French in Africa.

Mali: Former junta leader to walk free while trial date pends.

EUROPE

6,000 passengers stuck on cruise ship in Italy over coronavirus fears.

Brexit: European Parliament approves UK's withdrawal agreement.

UK interest rates held as economy shows signs of picking up.

French govt, unions kick off talks on tackling pension deficit.

Macron's party faces uphill battle in upcoming mayoral races.

US top diplomat Pompeo promises 'enormous benefits' to Brexit on UK trip.

Naama Issachar: US-Israeli woman released from Russian prison.

Greek plan to stop migrant boats with floating barriers.

AMERICAS

Claim of Trump's near-absolute power riles impeachment trial.

Trump urges lawmakers to vote their heart on war authority repeal after White House threatens veto.

U.S. bans 13 El Salvadoran officials over 1989 priest killings.

Mexico cartels: Three suspects escape 'with help from guards'.

Mexico's President AMLO under fire over migration clampdown.

Argentina issues food cards to low-income families.

US life expectancy up for first time in four years.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Isis starting to reassert itself in Middle East heartlands, UN warns.

U.N. warns of Islamic State's 'increasingly bold insurgent attacks'.

U.S. men who joined Somalia's Al-Shabaab now remorseful.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

China's coronavirus epidemic threatens global economy.

Coronavirus: Technology giants join China shutdown.

US economy grows at 2.3 percent in 2019, slowest year of Trump presidency.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 30, 2020

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 09:48 AM PST

Medical staff from the Army Medical University based in Chongqing head to Wuhan to fight the pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus there. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China.org.cn: Xi orders military to contribute to winning battle against epidemic

President Xi Jinping has ordered Chinese military to keep its mission firmly in mind and shoulder responsibility to make contributions to winning the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a recent instruction to the military on the prevention and control of the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

The military resolutely implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee after the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan of Hubei Province, Xi said, adding that the armed forces rapidly initiated the joint prevention and control mechanism and sent elite medical teams to combat the epidemic at the frontline.

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Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 30, 2020

Xi orders military to contribute to winning battle against epidemic -- Xinhua

Trump urges lawmakers to vote their heart on war authority repeal after White House threatens veto -- The Hill

The Navy's top civilian official says the aircraft carrier Ford's weapons elevator 'disaster' is back 'on track' -- Business Insider

Acting SecNav Hints at Fewer Aircraft Carriers in Next Ship-Count Plan -- Military.com

Navy looks to beef up its cargo fleet with used ships -- Washington Times

The U.S. Navy Might Run Out of Tomahawk Cruise Missiles -- National Interest

Next-Generation Combat Vehicles "all about the soldier": US General -- Army Technology

Pentagon finds flaws in new F-35 amid increasing orders: report -- The Hill

Air Force Starts F-15EX Buying Process -- Air Force Magazine

Lockheed nabs $185M to produce SEWIP systems for Navy -- UPI

U.S. Military Invests In New Weapon to Defeat Hypersonic Missiles As Russia Upgrades Its Arsenal -- Newsweek

The Army Wants To Use AI To Predict Where the Next Battle Will Take Place -- Popular Mechanics

The Air Force Is Busy Preparing For The Delivery of New Nuclear Weapons -- National Interest

Pentagon releases names of Airmen killed in Afghanistan jet crash -- UPI

The history of the US Air Force private jet that crashed in Afghanistan and has been called 'as essential to mission success as bullets' -- Business Insider

US military deaths from aviation mishaps plummeted to a five-year low in 2019 -- Task & Purpose

Air Force's Limits-Pushing Valkyrie Drone Takes Flight Again After Mishap -- Military.com

Bill Would Reform NSA Surveillance Program -- NextGov

NSA faces questions over security of Trump officials after alleged Bezos hack -- The Guardian

US expands troop, fighter jet presence at Saudi base -- AP

Allies worry as US ponders cutting military forces in Africa -- Military Times/AP

U.S. plans to hand over to Ukraine Navy another three Island-class patrol boats in 2021 -- UNIAN

Poland to sign F-35 purchase on Friday -- Air Force Technology

US gives Niger Air Force hangar for C-130 transport aircraft at Agadez base -- Defense Post

New bill could get Italy its own DARPA -- Defense News

Moscow Reacts Warily to NATO's Largest Military Exercise in 25 Years -- Jamestown Foundation

Colombia wants to use military powers to impose economic development in war-torn areas -- Colombia Reports

Senior Chinese military official stresses sci-tech progress for strong military -- Xinhua

Don't Sleep on China's Increasingly Powerful Submarine Fleet -- National Interest

Current strategy of Chinese military in hegemony conflict with United States. What is the end game here? -- OilPrice.com

Iran Wants to Build a New 7000 Ton Destroyer -- National Interest

Ex-CIA chief Petraeus: Iran, Hezbollah will not risk major war with Israel -- Jerusalem Post

The Israeli Army Is Unprepared for a Ground War with Iran and Hezbollah -- Middle East Forum

Mali plans to increase the size of its army to rein in jihadists -- National Post/Reuters

GOP Reportedly Has Votes To Block Witnesses To End Impeachment

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 09:13 AM PST

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) faces reporters with fellow Senate Republicans following their weekly policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The Hill: GOP senators believe they have the votes to block witnesses

It was clear to Senate Republicans on Wednesday after a morning meeting between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that the question of having additional witnesses is settled, and the Senate will vote Friday to wrap up the impeachment trial of President Trump.

There was no discussion of witnesses at a Senate GOP lunch meeting Wednesday, which was held a couple hours after McConnell and Murkowski met for about 20 to 30 minutes.

That was seen as a sign by several senators that Democrats will fail to convince four Republicans to join them in calling for witnesses. Without a vote to hear from witnesses, the trial could end as soon as Friday.

"We're going to get it done by Friday, hopefully," Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said following the meeting.

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Update: Is It Over? GOP Reportedly Has Votes To Block Witnesses In Early End To Impeachment (Zero Hedge).

WNU Editor: It looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used his position to squeeze a reluctant Republican Senator or two to block a call for witnesses. We will know if he was successful by tomorrow, but if I was a betting man, I would not bet against the Senate Majority Leader.

Should The Military Be Responsible For Battling A Pandemic?

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

Military medical personnel arrive in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, to fight the novel coronavirus pneumonia, Jan 24, 2020. [Photo by Huang Shifeng/chinadaily.com.cn]

James Stavridis, Bloomberg: Battling a Pandemic Is a Job for the Military

Even if coronavirus fizzles out, the world's armies need to prepare for the next deadly global outbreak.

Even with China taking extreme measures to contain the spread of coronavirus — effectively quarantining 50 million people in the center of the country — at least 130 Chinese have died and it is beginning to pop up around the globe, including at least five cases in the U.S.This is one of the few times when there are advantages to being an authoritarian society where people are used to immediately obeying commands from higher authority; imagine the reaction if the U.S. government shut all transportation in and out of Chicago, a step the Chinese government has taken in a similarly sized metropolis, Wuhan.

Still, the unfortunate timing of Chinese New Year means that hundreds of millions are on the move, and the ubiquity of air travel means the virus will be difficult to contain. Are we facing another Spanish Influenza, which a century ago infected more than a third of the world's population with a 20% mortality rate? Probably not. But Mother Nature has a nasty habit of throwing deadly pandemics at us every couple of centuries, despite all medical progress – and we are increasingly due. And if this or a future virus truly goes global, the world's militaries are going to have to take a lead role in containing it.

As commander of U.S. Southern Command I oversaw the responses to several cholera outbreaks in Haiti – easier to contain a than coronavirus, but more than half a million Haitians were infected and nearly 10,000 died in the aftermath of a 2010 earthquake. The U.S. military and allied partners were crucial to halting the spread of the disease. American troops -- working with counterparts from Brazil and Chile — were able to bring water purification, electrical generation and basic civil order. No civilian agency could have done so given the scale of the emergency.

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WNU Editor: It is the health professionals who must be in the lead to battle a global pandemic. The military is there to support their actions.

Russia Closes Its Far East Border With China Over Coronavirus

Posted: 30 Jan 2020 07:35 AM PST



RT: Russia closes its Far East border with China in attempt to prevent spread of new coronavirus

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed an order to close the country's border with China in the Far East, Russia's largest and most remote region.

It follows instructions from Vladimir Putin on Wednesday for officials to do all they can to prevent the spread of the dangerous new Chinese coronavirus.

In addition, Mishustin instructed Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova to provide the public with daily updates about the status of coronavirus in Russia. So far, the country has no confirmed cases.

"An order has been signed today, it has become operational," Mishustin told ministers in Moscow.

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WNU Editor: I have been told that almost everyone in Vladivostok is now wearing a mask when they leave their homes.

More News On Russia Closing Its Far East Border With China Over Coronavirus

Russia Closes Far East Border Over Coronavirus -- Moscow Times
Russia Closes Border With China To Prevent Possible Coronavirus Spread -- RFE
Russia closes border with China as coronavirus spreads: reports -- FOX News
Russia closes border with China to prevent spread of the coronavirus -- CNBC