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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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

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


Coronavirus Is Now Being Reported In North Korea

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 10:12 PM PST

A State Commission of Quality Management staff member in protective gear disinfects a ground transportation area at the Pyongyang Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Feb. 1, 2020.


Daily Beast: North Korea's Secret Coronavirus Crisis is Crazy Scary

Kim Jong Un canceled a big parade with no real explanation just as the South Korean press reports coronavirus has hit North Korea hard and could explode there.

SEOUL–North Korea's not saying a word about deaths or illnesses from the coronavirus, but the disease reportedly has spread across the border from China and is taking a toll in a country with a dismal health care system and scant resources for fighting off the deadly bug.

One sure sign of the regime's fears is that it failed to stage a parade in central Pyongyang on Saturday, the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the country's armed forces. Last year, Kim Jong Un himself presided over the procession that displayed the North's latest missiles and other fearsome hardware along with goose-stepping soldiers in serried ranks.

This year, nothing about the nation's nuclear warheads, much less the "new strategic weapon" that Kim has vowed to unveil. Rodong Sinmum, the newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, merely cited the armed forces' supposed success combating "severe and dangerous difficulties"—and said nothing at all about the parade.

But reports have filtered out about Kim's subjects falling prey to coronavirus despite the country's decision to seal its 880-mile border with China, most of it along the Yalu River into the Yellow Sea to the west, and its 11-mile border with Russia where the Tumen River flows into the Pacific.

Read more ....

More News On  Coronavirus Now Being Reported In North Korea

North Korea 'becomes the TWENTY-NINTH country to record a case of the killer coronavirus' as suspected patient is struck down in Denmark -- Daily Mail
N. Korean woman died of coronavirus infection in late January -- Daily NK
N. Korea on highest alert to protect Pyongyang from coronavirus -- Yonhap News Agency
North Korea 'disposing of bodies' in new coronavirus panic as public parade cancelled -- Daily Star
N. Korea on highest alert to protect Pyongyang from coronavirus -- Inquirer.net/Korea Herald
UN Ready to Grant Exemption for Virus Aid for North Korea -- VOA

President Trump Doesn't Want Another Summit With North Korea's Kim Before The Election

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 06:00 PM PST


CNN: Trump tells advisers he doesn't want another summit with North Korea's Kim before the election

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has told top foreign policy advisers that he does not want another summit with Kim Jong Un before the presidential election in November, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Trump's last meeting with the North Korean dictator took place almost exactly a year ago, and both leaders walked away empty-handed. Since then diplomacy -- aimed at achieving the denuclearization of North Korea -- has floundered, and as Trump focuses on his re-election campaign his appetite to engage on the issue has waned, according to the sources.

Trump expressed his frustration late last year after the first working-level talks between the two countries for 8 months fell apart in October, sources explained. US negotiators believed they were making progress during the talks in Stockholm until the North Koreans claimed they broke down because the US had come "empty handed."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I think North Korea's Kim (and everyone else) knows that there is not going to be a summit with President Trump this year.

Update: No surprises here .... Exclusive: North Korea enhanced nuclear, missile programs in 2019 in breach of sanctions - U.N. report (Reuters).

Palestinians Pull Request For UN Vote Against President Trump's Peace Plan

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 05:00 PM PST

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas shows maps of historical Palestine during a February 2020 Arab League meeting on President Donald Trump's proposed Middle East plan

Axios: Palestinians struggle to rally opposition to Trump plan at UN Security Council

A UN Security Council vote on a Palestinian draft resolution rejecting President Trump's Middle East peace plan has been postponed. It's unclear if and when it will take place.

Why it matters: This is a significant setback for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is expected to give a speech opposing the plan at a special meeting of the Security Council tomorrow.

* The Palestinians wanted tomorrow's meeting to end with a vote. They hoped the vote would isolate the U.S. and force it to use its veto power.
* The postponement follows efforts from Jared Kushner and other administration officials over the last few days to dilute the text of the resolution and prevent a vote.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is a significant setback for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

More News On The Palestinians Pulling Their Request For UN Vote Against President Trump's Peace Plan

Lacking support, Palestinians pull request for UN vote against Trump plan -- AFP
Palestinian leader to address UN on Trump plan, but no vote -- AP
Palestinians delay vote at UNSC against Trump's peace deal -- Jerusalem Post
Fearing instability and violence, Arabs ask Abbas to 'lower the volume' -- Jerusalem Post

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 10, 2020

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 04:00 PM PST

A man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone while riding a subway in the morning after the extended Lunar New Year holiday caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Beijing, China, February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Reuters: Factbox: What we know and do not know about the new coronavirus

(Reuters) - The spread of a new coronavirus in mainland China and to more than two dozen countries and regions beyond is alarming health experts. Here is what we know - and do not know - about the virus:

HOW DANGEROUS IS THE VIRUS?

The coronavirus family of viruses includes the common cold and more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Many of those with the new virus who have died had pre-existing medical conditions or were elderly, those with weakened immune systems.

Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms, including fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

Some 15% of cases are severe and 3% critical, according to Chinese data shared with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 10, 2020

The coronavirus has killed hundreds, but is China giving us the full picture? -- Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today

Virus epidemic rocks China's political elite -- Gordon Watts, Asia Times

The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the deep flaws of Xi's autocracy -- Richard McGregor, The Guardian

Public Anger Over Coronavirus Is Mounting. Will It Matter? -- China File

Coronavirus super-spreaders: Why are they important? -- James Gallagher, BBC

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

Does Russia Still Need Belarus? -- Nikola Mikovic, Tsarizm

What awaits CDU and Germany after Angela Merkel? -- Christoph Strack, DW

Greece Is at the Nexus of America's Geopolitical Crossroads -- Eric Edelman and Charles Wald, National Interest

Why Spain's farmers are up in arms -- Vidal Maté & Ignacio Zafra, El Pais

World War III's newest potential battlefield -- Michael Klare, Asia Times

War in the Arctic? -- Michael Klare, Tom Dispatch

Parasite's historic best picture Oscar is a first for a foreign language film -- Dan Nancarrow, ABC News Online

World News Briefs -- February 10, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 03:34 PM PST



USA Today: 40,000 coronavirus cases may be 'tip of the iceberg' as death toll nears 1,000

The death toll from the coronavirus sweeping across China and surging around the globe closed in on 1,000 Monday amid warnings that the 40,000 known cases may be "the tip of the iceberg."

Chinese health officials said 97 more deaths were reported Sunday, a spike after days of decline that put the global toll at 910. All but two of the deaths have occurred on the Chinese mainland, most in and around the city of Wuhan.

Total reported cases rose to 40,645, more than 40,000 of them in China. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, warned that the numbers may not tell the entire story.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

109 U.S. troops diagnosed with brain injuries from Iran attack: Pentagon.

5 Turkish troops killed in 'intense' Syrian army attack in Idlib. Syrian army shelling kills five Turkish soldiers in Idlib.

Turkey says it hit 115 Syrian government targets, destroyed 101 after attacks on soldiers.

Syrian army vows to keep up campaign against last rebel area.

Russian airstrike kills civilians in Syria's Aleppo province attack.

Students are the 'backbone' of Iraq anti-government protests.

Iran is hit by 'largest cyber attack in its history' hours ahead of failed attempt to launch satellite into orbit.

Iranians feel strain of turmoil and sanctions.

Jordan: Destitution fears as gov't tackles public debt.

Lacking support, Palestinians pull request for UN vote against Trump plan.

ASIA

Exclusive: North Korea enhanced nuclear, missile programs in 2019 in breach of sanctions - U.N. report.

Labs ramp up coronavirus testing as cases outside of China climb.

Coronavirus clips wings of Asia's biggest air show.

Death toll from China's coronavirus jumps to 900.

Taiwan scrambles jets as Chinese air force flies around island.

Ethnic violence blows hole in Kazakhstan's narrative of tolerance.

Thailand vigil honours victims as city reels from nation's worst mass shooting.

'Chilling': Duterte tries to shut Philippines biggest TV station.

Sydney rains: Record rainfall brings flooding but puts out mega-blaze.

South Korea president congratulates 'Parasite' director Bong Joon-ho.

AFRICA

War dominates Africa summit as leaders vow Libya support.

Algeria court upholds 15-year sentence for Bouteflika's brother.

Nigeria militants burn to death motorists as they sleep in their cars.

Mali acknowledges jihadist talks as army returns north.

Malian army begins deployment to Kidal in long-awaited display of govt control.

Human Rights Watch urges Mali to investigate massacres.

South Sudan talks hit deadlock over number of states.

Polls close in Cameroon's parliamentary, municipal elections.

Africa is facing its first PLAGUE of locusts since 1989 as huge swarm that has devastated Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia reaches Uganda.

Skepticism surrounds Somalia's new surveillance cameras.

EUROPE

Italy's Renzi threatens government with no-confidence motion in 5-Star minister.

Ukraine minister sees no preparations for new Russia talks, has low expectations.

Trump: Time to negotiate 'very seriously' with EU on trade.

Sinn Fein eyes government, Irish unity poll after election surge.

Azerbaijan: Ruling party strengthens control amid violation claims. Azerbaijan governing party wins vote, opposition cries foul.

Germany: Merkel's chosen successor Kramp-Karrenbauer will not run for chancellor.

Romanian opposition ask court to overturn move to renominate PM.

Greece: NGOs accused of stoking unrest in refugee camp.

Russia jails anarchists accused of planning World Cup attacks.

Storm Sabine/Ciara pummels UK, starts hitting Germany.

AMERICAS

U.S. charges four Chinese military hackers in 2017 Equifax breach.

Biden slumps, Bloomberg surges nationally as Democratic race heats up: poll.

Democrats in disarray in New Hampshire as Sanders surges and Trump provokes.

Donald Trump unveils $4.89TRILLION budget plan to slash spending on foreign aid and social safety nets while requesting $2BN for border wall and boosting NASA funding to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024.

El Salvador's President uses armed soldiers to pressure MPs to pass anti-crime plan.

'Under Siege': desperate Mexico region uses guns, children to fend off cartels.

Colombia aims to eradicate 130,000 hectares of coca in 2020.

Coronavirus to hit Canadian oil sector, tourism, supply chains - finance minister.

Canada: arrests as protesters block ports and railways in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

British man guilty of plotting Islamist attack on London sights.

Over 60 Germans among Islamists in Idlib.

10 terrorists killed as Egypt's military foils attack in North Sinai. Seven Egyptian soldiers, ten militants killed in Sinai attack, army says.

U.N. chief calls on U.S. to remove Sudan from terror list.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

S&P 500, Nasdaq reach record closing highs; Chinese workers return.

Oil hits 13-month low on weak Chinese demand, traders eye OPEC+ cuts.

China says Huawei is the victim of a 'witch hunt' as it warns European countries not to freeze the company out of their 5G networks.

Bill Gates drops $747 million on hydrogen-powered superyacht. Bill Gates 'not buying our hydrogen yacht'.

Turkey Says That Syrian Government Shelling Has Killed Five Turkish Soldiers Is Syria's Idlib Province

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 02:00 PM PST



Middle East Eye: Syrian government shelling kills five Turkish soldiers as Idlib clashes intensify

Pro-Assad assault on opposition-held province has displaced nearly 700,000 people, UN says

Five Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian government shelling on a military post in Idlib province's Taftanaz on Monday, as a planned counteroffensive by Turkey-backed rebels appeared to stall.

Another five soldiers were wounded, Turkey's defence ministry said in a statement.

The ministry described the attack as an "intense assault that targeted our elements sent as reinforcements to the region with an aim to prevent clashes in Idlib, ensure our border security and stop migration and human tragedy," adding that it had retaliated.

In recent weeks, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have made significant advances in Idlib, the last rebel-held province in Syria's northwest, displacing nearly 700,000 people.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Turkey is claiming that they have struck back .... Turkey Strikes Scores of Pro-Assad Targets After Troops Killed (Bloomberg). More here .... Turkey says it has retaliated after deadly Syrian shelling (AP), and here .... Turkish forces strike back after five soldiers killed in Syria (Reuters).

More News On Turkey Saying That Syrian Government Shelling Has Killed Five Turkish Soldiers Is Syria's Idlib Province

Syria war: Government shellfire kills Turkish soldiers in Idlib -- BBC
Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northwest Syria -- Hurriyet Daily News
Syria: Five Turkish soldiers killed by Assad forces in deadly escalation of hostilities -- The Independent
5 Turkish troops killed in 'intense' Syrian army attack in Idlib -- Al Jazeera
Turkey tells Russia attacks on Turkish posts in Syria must stop immediately -- Reuters

Armed Police And Soldiers Storm El Salvador's Parliament To Pressure MPs To Back President's Crime Bill

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 01:01 PM PST



ABC News Online: El Salvador's President uses armed soldiers to pressure MPs to pass anti-crime plan

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele and a group of soldiers armed with automatic weapons have briefly occupied the country's Congress, stepping up a campaign pressuring MPs to back a crime-fighting plan.

Watched by soldiers in full battle uniform, Mr Bukele, 38, sat in the seat reserved for the president of Congress and cupped his hands together to pray, he said, for patience with MPs, few of whom turned up at the special session.

"If those shameless people don't approve the plan of territorial control, we'll summon you here again [next] Sunday," he told supporters in a fiery speech outside, as he left the building.

Politicians were due to meet on Monday (local time) to discuss the President's proposals, Congress president Mario Ponce said, in a possible sign of de-escalation.

Critics warned of a looming constitutional crisis, however.

Read more ....

More News On El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele's Use Of The Military to Pressure Parliamentarians To Support His Crime Bill

Backed by soldiers, El Salvador President Bukele briefly occupies Congress -- France 24
Backed by soldiers, El Salvador's president briefly occupies Congress -- Reuters
Heavily-armed police and soldiers enter El Salvador parliament -- BBC
Troops Occupy El Salvador's Legislature To Back President's Crime Package -- NPR
Armed police and troops storm El Salvador's parliament -- CNN
Constitutional crisis in El Salvador over Bukele's security plan -- Al Jazeera

Report: 70 US National Security Council Positions To Be Eliminated

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 12:45 PM PST

President Donald Trump is joined by national security advisers on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, to monitor developments in the U.S. Special Operations forces raid that took out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Shealah Craighead/The White House)

Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner: Bigger than Vindman: Trump scrubs 70 Obama holdovers from NSC

President Trump is making good on his promises to "drain the swamp" and cut Obama-era holdovers from his staffs, especially the critical and recently controversial National Security Council.

Officials confirmed that Trump and national security adviser Robert O'Brien have cut 70 positions inherited from former President Barack Obama, who had fattened the staff to 200.

Many were loaners from other agencies and have been sent back. Others left government work.

The NSC, which is the president's personal staff, was rocked when a "whistleblower" leveled charges that led to Trump's impeachment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Most of this staff will be reassigned to where they came from. What I do not understand is why did it take 3 years to finally make these decisions.

UN Warns That The 'Most Devastating Plague Of Locusts' In Recent History Could Come Within Weeks

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 11:00 AM PST

The locust swarm began in east Ethiopia and central Somalia before spreading down into Kenya and now entering northeastern Uganda (pictured above)

NBC: 'Most devastating plague of locusts' in recent history could come within weeks, U.N. warns

Climate change and al-Shabab extremists contributed to circumstances that could produce crippling swarms of locusts in Somalia and East Africa.

GAROWE, Somalia — At a glance, the desert locusts in this arid patch of northern Somalia look less ominous than the billion-member swarms infesting East Africa in the worst outbreak some places have seen in 70 years.

But their time will come.

Small and wingless, the hopping young locusts are the next wave in the outbreak that threatens more than 10 million people across the region with a severe hunger crisis.

And they are growing up in one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. Large parts of Somalia south of this semi-autonomous Puntland region are under threat, or held by, the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group. That makes it difficult or impossible to conduct the aerial spraying of the locusts that experts say is the only effective control.

Read more ....



More News On UN Warnings That The 'Most Devastating Plague Of Locusts' In Recent History Could Come Within Weeks

Next East Africa locust swarms airborne in 3 to 4 weeks, UN warns -- DW
Uganda sprays locust swarms to protect coffee crop, livestock -- Reuters
Africa is facing its first PLAGUE of locusts since 1989 as huge swarm that has devastated Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia reaches Uganda -- Daily Mail
Food fears grow as swarms of locusts reach Uganda and Tanzania -- The Guardian
"Swarms big as cities": UN chief says locust fight must intensify -- CGTN
In the eye of the swarm: the growing threat of the desert locust -- The National
"Where it begins": Young hungry locusts bulk up in Somalia -- AP

More Than 100 U.S. Troops Diagnosed With Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Attack On Iraqi Base

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 10:35 AM PST

U.S. soldiers are seen at the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province, Iraq. REUTERS/John Davison

Reuters: Exclusive: More than 100 U.S. troops diagnosed with brain injuries from Iran attack - officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military is preparing to report a more than 50 percent jump in the number of cases of traumatic brain injury stemming from Iran's missile attack on a base in Iraq last month, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an announcement, said there were over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 previously reported last month.

The Pentagon declined to comment, but in the past had said to expect an increase in numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and troops can sometimes take longer to report them.

No U.S. troops were killed or faced immediate bodily injury when Iran fired missiles at the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.

Read more ....

More News On 100 U.S. Troops Being Diagnosed With Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Attack On Iraqi Base

More than 100 US troops suffered traumatic brain injury in Iran strike, military to report -- The Guardian
Over 100 US troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following Iran strike -- CNN
More than 100 US troops are diagnosed with brain injuries from Iran missile attack after Trump dismissed their symptoms as 'headaches' -- Daily Mail

WHO Warns The Overseas Spread Of The Coronavirus May Be Just The 'Tip Of The Iceberg'

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 10:31 AM PST

More than 40,000 people have now caught the killer coronavirus – nearly 99 per cent of the cases have been recorded in China

Daily Mail: Killer coronavirus outbreak's 40,000 cases may only be the 'tip of the iceberg', World Health Organization chief warns

* Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, director general at WHO, issued warning Sunday night
* He told other countries to 'step up' their preparations for outbreaks on home soil
* Pointed to climbing number of new cases in people who've never been to China
* More than 40,000 people have so far been infected and at least 900 have died

The 40,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus may only be the 'tip of the iceberg', the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, director general at the WHO, urged other countries to 'step up' preparations because the epidemic may be more widespread than thought.

He pointed to a climbing number of cases in people who have never been to Wuhan, the outbreak's epicentre, or China – where 99 per cent of cases have been recorded.

The warning comes after a businessman from Brighton caught the killer infection at a work conference in Singapore and is thought to have infected at least 11 others at a ski resort in the French Alps.

Figures show at least 900 people have died from the coronavirus across the world, with all but two of the deaths recorded in China.

Read more ....



More News On WHO And The Coronavirus

Coronavirus cases outside China 'could be spark' for bigger fire, says WHO -- Reuters
WHO chief: Virus cases outside China could just be 'tip of the iceberg' -- The Hill
WHO warns overseas virus spread may be 'tip of the iceberg' -- AFP
Advance team of WHO experts arrives in China to probe coronavirus -- Reuters
Here is what WHO experts are watching on the coronavirus' spread -- Reuters

Coronavirus News Updates -- February 10, 2020

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 10:25 AM PST





Daily Mail: Coronavirus's deadliest day yet: 97 people are killed in 24 hours in China, bringing global death toll to 910, smashing hopes that disease control measures were working

* China reported another 3,062 cases on Sunday, halting a series of daily declines
* The death toll has now risen to 908 in mainland China with two elsewhere
* It comes as millions of people return to work today after Lunar New Year break

Nearly 100 people died from coronavirus yesterday on the deadliest day of the outbreak so far.

The death toll in mainland China rose by 97, taking the number of global fatalities to 910.

Another 3,062 cases were reported in China yesterday - an increase of 15 per cent compared to Saturday which put an end to a series of daily declines.

The latest surge in deaths is a setback to hopes that China's drastic quarantine measures might be working.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is beyond scary .... Incubation period of new coronavirus can be as long as 24 DAYS instead of previously thought two weeks, study reveals (Daily Mail). More scary stuff here .... Coronavirus' 'case-fatality rate' could range from 1% up to 18% (Yahoo News), and here .... Coronavirus is airborne, Chinese officials confirm (Newshub).

Coronavirus News Updates -- February 10, 2020

New virus has infected more than 40,600 people globally -- AP
Death toll from China's coronavirus jumps to 900 -- France 24
Coronavirus infection numbers spike as deaths top 900 -- ABC News Online
Coronavirus: Over 900 dead, confirmed cases exceed 40,000 -- DW
China Reports Nearly 100 Deaths In A Single Day From Coronavirus -- NPR
Death toll from killer coronavirus is 10 TIMES higher than average in China's Hubei province because thousands of patients with mild symptoms are not seeking help, scientists claim -- Daily Mail
More businesses reopen in China, but many people stay home -- AP
President Xi wears face mask and has his temperature checked as he visits hospital treating coronavirus patients -- AFP
Coronavirus: China's Xi visits hospital in rare appearance amid health crisis -- BBC
'Super-spreader' brought coronavirus from Singapore to Sussex via France -- The Guardian
Coronavirus: number of confirmed UK cases rises from four to eight -- The Guardian
UK calls virus "serious" health threat; will detain people -- AP
Coronavirus cases on Yokohama's quarantined cruise ship almost DOUBLE to 136, with 11 Americans among the newly-infected, as one passenger warns depression is setting in -- Daily Mail
Coronavirus: 66 more cases on cruise ship as 'depression sets in' -- The Guardian
US to spend up to $66M in efforts to counter coronavirus: health officials -- The Hill
Coronavirus is the biggest market threat right now, Wall Street bull Ed Yardeni says -- CNBC

Sinn Féin Declares Victory In The Irish General Election

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 10:14 AM PST





Daily Mail: Ireland faces MONTHS without a Government as Sinn Fein leads in general election count but Leo Varadkar rules out forming a coalition with them

* The three main parties in Ireland are all in a deadlock in the General Election
* Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meanwhile has ruled out a coalition with Sinn Fein
* However he has admitted that Ireland is a three-party system following results

The shape of Ireland's next government remains uncertain after a historic General Election saw Sinn Fein crash the long-standing domination of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

While counting will continue through Monday, and the final results remain a way off, it is clear Ireland now has three big players on its political stage.

In a remarkable result, Sinn Fein emerged as the most popular party in the country, securing the most first preference votes and topping the polls in the vast majority of constituencies across the state.

The party received 24.5 per cent of the vote share, Fianna Fail got 22.2 per cent and Fine Gael 20.9 per cent.

Read more ....

More News On Sinn Féin Declaring Victory In The Irish General Election

Irish general election: latest results -- The Guardian
Irish general election: Sinn Féin surges as majority of seats filled -- BBC
Sinn Fein eyes government, Irish unity poll after election surge -- Reuters
Sinn Féin declares victory in Irish general election -- The Guardian
Irish nationalists Sinn Fein demand place in government after election success -- France 24
Ireland: Sinn Fein wins popular vote, set for historic gains -- Al Jazeera
Irish general election: who won and what happens now? -- The Guardian
Factbox: What happens next after Ireland's 'ballot-box revolution' -- Reuters

World News Briefs -- February 10, 2020

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 02:57 PM PST



CNN: China's massive security state is being used to crack down on the Wuhan virus

The camera hovers just above the elderly woman's head, as she looks up, her face becomes confused and worried.

"Yes auntie, this is the drone speaking to you," a voice booms out. "You shouldn't walk about without wearing a mask."

The woman hurries off, occasionally looking over her shoulder as the drone continues to shout instructions: "You'd better go back home and don't forget to wash your hands."

This is China under quarantine in 2020. In another video promoted by state media, a police drone orders men sitting at an outdoor mahjong table to "stop playing and leave the site as soon as possible."

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

5 Turkish troops killed in 'intense' Syrian army attack in Idlib. Syrian army shelling kills five Turkish soldiers in Idlib.

Turkey says it hit 115 Syrian government targets, destroyed 101 after attacks on soldiers.

Syrian army vows to keep up campaign against last rebel area.

Russian airstrike kills civilians in Syria's Aleppo province attack.

Students are the 'backbone' of Iraq anti-government protests.

Iran is hit by 'largest cyber attack in its history' hours ahead of failed attempt to launch satellite into orbit.

Jordan: Destitution fears as gov't tackles public debt.

ASIA

Death toll from China's coronavirus jumps to 900.

Taiwan scrambles jets as Chinese air force flies around island.

Ethnic violence blows hole in Kazakhstan's narrative of tolerance.

Thailand vigil honours victims as city reels from nation's worst mass shooting.

'Chilling': Duterte tries to shut Philippines biggest TV station.

Sydney rains: Record rainfall brings flooding but puts out mega-blaze.

South Korea president congratulates 'Parasite' director Bong Joon-ho.

AFRICA

Nigeria militants burn to death motorists as they sleep in their cars.

Malian army begins deployment to Kidal in long-awaited display of govt control.

Human Rights Watch urges Mali to investigate massacres.

South Sudan talks hit deadlock over number of states.

Polls close in Cameroon's parliamentary, municipal elections.

Africa is facing its first PLAGUE of locusts since 1989 as huge swarm that has devastated Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia reaches Uganda.

Skepticism surrounds Somalia's new surveillance cameras.

EUROPE

Sinn Fein eyes government, Irish unity poll after election surge.

Azerbaijan: Ruling party strengthens control amid violation claims. Azerbaijan governing party wins vote, opposition cries foul.

Germany: Merkel's chosen successor Kramp-Karrenbauer will not run for chancellor.

Romanian opposition ask court to overturn move to renominate PM.

Greece: NGOs accused of stoking unrest in refugee camp.

Russia jails anarchists accused of planning World Cup attacks.

Storm Sabine/Ciara pummels UK, starts hitting Germany.

AMERICAS

Democrats in disarray in New Hampshire as Sanders surges and Trump provokes.

Donald Trump unveils $4.89TRILLION budget plan to slash spending on foreign aid and social safety nets while requesting $2BN for border wall and boosting NASA funding to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024.

El Salvador's President uses armed soldiers to pressure MPs to pass anti-crime plan.

'Under Siege': desperate Mexico region uses guns, children to fend off cartels.

Colombia aims to eradicate 130,000 hectares of coca in 2020.

Coronavirus to hit Canadian oil sector, tourism, supply chains - finance minister.

Canada: arrests as protesters block ports and railways in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Over 60 Germans among Islamists in Idlib.

10 terrorists killed as Egypt's military foils attack in North Sinai. Seven Egyptian soldiers, ten militants killed in Sinai attack, army says.

U.N. chief calls on U.S. to remove Sudan from terror list.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Oil hits 13-month low on weak Chinese demand, traders eye OPEC+ cuts.

China says Huawei is the victim of a 'witch hunt' as it warns European countries not to freeze the company out of their 5G networks.

Bill Gates drops $747 million on hydrogen-powered superyacht. Bill Gates 'not buying our hydrogen yacht'.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 10, 2020

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 09:21 AM PST



Daily Mail: Trump's new defense budget seeks $705billion including $15.3bn for his Space Force and $17.7 billion for nuclear weapons

* Pentagon is set to unveil new budget proposal for fiscal year 2021
* Plan seeks funding for Trump's priorities, including newly created Space Force
* Budget seeks upgrade of nation's nuclear weapons arsenal
* Pentagon plans to buy 79 F-35 jets, the new combat plane by Lockheed Martin

The Department of Defense is planning to increase funding for nuclear weapons systems such as intercontinental missiles and submarines while boosting tech research and the Space Force as part of next year's budget.

The Pentagon's proposed budget for fiscal year 2021, which begins on October 1, calls for $705.4billion in spending, a slight drop-off compared to the $712.6billion that was approved for this fiscal year.

The planned budget includes shifting resources away from the Air Force to some of President Trump's new priorities, including the recently created Space Force, Bloomberg News is reporting.

The president is also seeking some military funds to help build his promised border wall along the US-Mexico frontier.

Read more ....

 Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 10, 2020

Four friction points to watch in the FY21 defense budget -- Defense News

Pentagon's $705 billion budget boosts nuclear weapons funding -- Bloomberg

The Pentagon wants money for China, but troops are stuck in the Middle East -- Politico

Democrats say Trump's 2021 budget request undermines national security even before they see it -- Washington Examiner

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on how the Navy can get to 355 ships -- Defense News

U.S. Navy's Ship Spending Plan Cut by $4 Billion in Trump Budget -- Bloomberg

Defense Secretary Esper says new US missile sub is 'the Navy's bill,' setting up a fight with Congress -- Defense News

The Navy Is Arming Attack Submarines With High Energy Lasers -- Forbes

Navy Gets First Bell-Boeing CMV-22B: What It Means -- Breaking Defense

Navy SEAL's family pushes for recognition of brain injuries -- Navy Times/AP

U.S. Military Identifies Two Special Operation Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Combat -- Newsweek

24 California Marines Kicked Out Over Smuggling and Drug Charges -- Military.com

Space Force: What will the new military branch actually do? -- Space.com

The 3 most confusing days of your military career -- Business Insider/We Are The Might

US charges 4 Chinese military 'hackers' in Equifax breach -- DW

Trump under pressure to renew last nuke treaty with Russia -- The Hill

Amazon requests Trump deposition amid Pentagon 'war cloud' fight -- The Hill

Philippine President Duterte seeks military pact exit, report says, as US touts 'strong' ties -- Straits Times/Bloomberg

Canadian Military Wants Huawei Banned from 5G in Canada: Report -- Bloomberg

Brazil's military elite sees France as country's biggest threat, leaked report reveals -- France 24

El Salvador calls emergency talks on military loan after soldiers occupy parliament -- DW

Three soldiers leave the Belgian army every day -- Brussels Times

Chinese military aircraft cross into Taiwan airspace: Taipei -- AFP

Chinese Army Begins Major Military Exercise in Tibet With Battle Tank, Howitzer -- Defence Aviation Post

N. Korea's security agency emphasizes "loyalty" on Army Day -- Daily NK

Iran unveils new lightweight, short-range ballistic missile -- UPI

Russian S-500 Capable of Destroying Targets Hundreds of Kilometers Above Earth - Developer -- Sputnik

Russian Tu-160 Heavy Strategic Bombers to Be Equipped With Hypersonic Kinzhal Missiles - Report -- Sputnik

What can we expect from this year's Munich Security Conference? -- DW

Food Prices 'Explode' In China Due To The Coronavirus And Swine Fever

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 07:28 AM PST



CNN: Food prices are soaring in China because of the coronavirus and swine fever

The coronavirus outbreak is driving up the cost of food — and almost everything else in China — adding to the pressure on household budgets.

China's consumer price inflation hit 5.4% in January, according to the country's National Bureau of Statistics on Monday. Prices rose last month at their fastest rate since October 2011, when China was battling to control months of soaring inflation.

Food, which makes up nearly a third of spending by Chinese consumers, is spiking the most. Pork — a mainstay in the Chinese diet that is already under pressure because of a devastating pig disease — skyrocketed a staggering 116% compared to a year ago. Vegetables were 17% more expensive.

Other items saw modest price rises by comparison: Health care was 2.3% more expensive, for example, while clothing prices rose 0.6%.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These numbers are from January. February numbers are projected to be even worse.

More News On Food Prices 'Exploding' In China

China says pork prices surged 116% in January from a year ago -- CNBC
China inflation rises as virus disrupts supply chains -- Bangkok Post/Bloomberg
Coronavirus Helps Drive China's Consumer Prices to Highest Level in Over Eight Years -- Wall Street Journal
Chinese inflation hits eight-year high as coronavirus anxiety climbs -- Yahoo Finance
China's consumer inflation at eight-year high, but factory gate prices stay subdued -- SCMP
China Suddenly Has Another Major "Virus" Problem, As Soaring Food Prices Put A Lid On Central Bank Intervention -- Zero Hedge

Chinese Ambassador To The U.S. Says US Senator's Comments That The Coronavirus May Be A Bio-Weapon Is Racist And Xenophobic Is racial discrimination, xenophobia

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 07:14 AM PST


Politico: Chinese diplomat pushes back against coronavirus 'rumors' from GOP senator

Ambassador Cui Tiankai slammed comments from Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.

Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai on Sunday pushed back on what he called "suspicion" and "rumors" about the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus.

In an interview with CBS' Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation," Cui acknowledged that "a lot is still unknown, and our scientists, Chinese scientist, American scientists, scientists of other countries are doing their best to learn more about the virus."

But when asked about comments made last week by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who, according to Brennan, suggested the virus may have come from China's biological warfare program — Cui did not mince words.

"It's very harmful, it's very dangerous to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people," he said Sunday. "For one thing, this will create panic. Another thing is that it will fan up racial discrimination, xenophobia, all these things that will really harm our joint efforts to combat the virus."

Read more ....

Update: Angry Chinese Ambassador Slams US Senator For "Absolutely Crazy" Theory Coronavirus Is Biological Weapon (Zero Hedge).

WNU Editor: Racism has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It is silly remarks like this one that makes me wonder if the Chinese government is hiding something.

Is China At The Breaking Point?

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 07:00 AM PST

Dr. Li Wenliang, heroic doctor attacked by Chinese government for trying to tell truth about coronavirus. He died of it this week

Rod Dreher, The American Conservative: Plague Pushes China To Breaking Point

Read this stunning comment left by "Wyoming Doc," a physician in Wyoming (whose name I know) whose wife is an immigrant from China:

Has been a while since I last wrote anything. I have had the flu and have been home with my wife for the past several days. It has been fascinating. Our satellite TV provider has a service wherein you can subscribe to the People's Republic official TV station.

There have now been four occasions where I have witnessed on live Chinese national TV public officials being frog-marched out of press conferences in hand irons. Their crimes? One had his mask on upside down. One did not have a mask on at all. One was stating (translated by my wife) that he had repeatedly been telling Beijing about the problems for weeks – and there was no response. One was answering every question with obvious double-speak (not unlike listening to Nancy Pelosi or Ted Cruz). Shortly into the press conferences, young men from the PLA show up – slapped on the hand irons – and hauled them out and in all 4 cases – it was just stunned silence in the rooms. My wife just casually tells me – "no one will ever see them again."

It is also clear to me as a physician – listening to the Chinese doctors – and viewing footage from the hospitals and clinics – that this is many orders of magnitude worse than what they are saying. Common sense will tell you that as well – are they really going to torpedo their entire industrial heartland for months – just because 300 people have died? — I think not – I think this is way worse than we can possibly imagine.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: All my friends and contacts in China have been telling me this weekend that when it comes to the coronavirus they have been seeing and experiencing some surreal moments. The above post reflects some of what I have been hearing.

Chinese President Xi Makes Rare Visit At Beijing Clinic To Meet Virus Workers And Patients

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 06:27 AM PST





Daily Mail/AFP: President Xi wears face mask and has his temperature checked as he visits hospital treating coronavirus patients

* The Chinese president wore a mask and surgical gown at a Beijing hospital today
* He spoke via video link to medics in Wuhan, the city where the outbreak began
* Xi promised that the government would take further action to contain the virus

Chinese leader Xi Jinping wore a face mask and a surgical gown on a visit to a hospital treating coronavirus patients today.

The Chinese president, who has largely kept out of the public eye since the outbreak began, had his temperature checked as he met doctors at a hospital in Beijing.

He also spoke via video link to medics in Wuhan, the quarantined city at the centre of the outbreak.

China has already imposed drastic quarantine measures but Xi promised today that the government would take more decisive action to contain the virus.

Read more ....

More News On Chinese President Xi Making A Rare Visit At Beijing Clinic To Meet Virus Workers And Patients

Xi inspects novel coronavirus prevention, control work in Beijing -- Xinhua
Xi Jinping appears in public as China returns to work after holiday -- The Guardian
President Xi Inspects Coronavirus Hospital in Beijing After Conspicuous Absence -- The Wall Street Journal
Xi Jinping emerges to meet the people for the first time in China's coronavirus outbreak -- Quartz
China's Xi Jinping has not been to Wuhan since the coronavirus outbreak. Why he may be keeping his distance -- CNBC

Russia To End Selling Cheap Oil To Belarus

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 06:12 AM PST

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko toast to the 20th anniversary of the Union State. Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

RFE: Belarus To Buy Russian Oil At 'Global Market' Prices

Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Dzmitry Krutoy has been quoted as saying Minsk will pay "global market" prices for oil from Russia this year.

"The Russian side has agreed that Belarusian refineries will buy oil through agreements with Russian oil companies at prices that are set on the global market," Reuters quoted Krutoy as saying, according to Belarusian state BelTA news agency, on February 9.

Belarus is heavily reliant on Moscow for cheap oil and billions in annual subsidies to prop up its Soviet-era economy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka reportedly made little reported progress in talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 7 on the increasingly intertwined issues of energy prices and closer integration.

Lukashenka had predicted that meeting would present a "moment of truth."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This meeting between Belarusian President Lukashenka And Russian President Putin last week was a disaster .... Belarusian President Lukashenka And Russian President Putin Meet For Tense Talks Over Integration And Oil Supplies (February 7, 2020). Here is an easy prediction. Times are going to be tough economically for many in Belarus.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 05:47 AM PST












Picture Of The Day

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 05:34 AM PST

South Korean social satire "Parasite" won the Oscar for best picture, making history as the first film not in the English language to win the movie industry's highest honor. "Parasite," about the gap between rich and poor in modern Seoul, won a total of four Oscars, including best director and screenplay for Bong Joon Ho and best international feature. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Best of the Oscars (Reuters).

Saw "Parasite" two months ago and enjoyed it.