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Sunday, February 2, 2020

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

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

U.S. Offers To Deliver 100% Of The Oil That Belarus Needs

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 10:02 PM PST

DW: US pledges full energy supply to Belarus

During a visit to Minsk, US top diplomat Mike Pompeo has said Washington wants to help Belarus safeguard its sovereignty. Pompeo said US energy producers were ready to deliver 100% of the oil Belarus needs.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that his country was ready to supply Belarus' energy needs, filling a gap left by Russia, which recently cut off oil supplies.

"The United States wants to help Belarus build its own sovereign country," Pompeo said in a joint news conference with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.

"Our energy producers stand ready to deliver 100% of the oil you need at competitive prices. We're the biggest energy producer in the world and all you have to do is call us,'' Pompeo added.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The problem with this US offer is that Belarus cannot pay. It is one of the reasons why Russia cut-off  Belarus' oil supply.

More News On The U.S. Offering To Deliver 100% Of The Oil That Belarus Needs

Pompeo offers Belarus oil in rare visit -- BBC
Pompeo says US can supply Belarus with 100% of oil, gas -- AP
Pompeo visits Belarus as Minsk's ties with Moscow fray -- Reuters
Pompeo says US can cover 100% of Belarus' oil needs amid Minsk row with Moscow -- RT

Pentagon Approves Using Four Military Bases To Quarantine 1,000 People Due to The Wuhan Coronavirus

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 09:51 PM PST

Business Insider: The Pentagon is preparing to house up to 1,000 people at military sites who may need to be quarantined due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

* The Pentagon is preparing military facilities to, if necessary, quarantine up to 1,000 people returning to the US from overseas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, the Department of Defense revealed Saturday.
* The Pentagon, acting on a request from the Department of Health and Human Services, will provide access to multiple facilities capable of housing at least 250 people through Feb. 29.
* As of Feb. 1, the coronavirus had killed 259 people and infected more than 12,000 people in China and in around two dozen other countries.

The Pentagon is preparing military installations to, if necessary, quarantine up to 1,000 people returning to the US from overseas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, the Department of Defense announced Saturday.

"On Feb. 1, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper approved a request for assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services for housing support for 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas travel due to the novel coronavirus," a Pentagon statement explained.

The Pentagon will provide access to multiple facilities capable of housing at least 250 people through Feb. 29.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Only 1,000?!?!?! I would add an extra zero to that number.

More News On The Pentagon Approving Using Four Military Bases To Quarantine 1,000 People Due to The Wuhan Coronavirus

Pentagon to provide housing support for 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined -- Reuters
Pentagon prepping housing for 1,000 people over coronavirus concerns -- CNN
Esper approves DoD housing for US coronavirus quarantine after eighth case confirmed -- FOX News
Defense secretary approves request for housing assistance to contain coronavirus -- The Hill
Pentagon to prepare coronavirus quarantine housing for 1,000 people -- Washington Examiner
4 More Military Bases Tapped to House Coronavirus Evacuees --

China Outraged To Flight Cancellations And Border Closures

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 09:22 PM PST

Zero Hedge: China Outraged As World Cancels Flights And Shuts Borders Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Countries that surround China have closed their border crossings and halted trade this week, air carriers across the world have also suspended flights to and from the country because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Beijing has responded with outrage, by saying the measures enacted by the global community to limit the spread of the deadly virus goes way beyond standards accepted worldwide, reported R.T. News.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Saturday that "we have adopted the most comprehensive and strictest prevention and control measures, and many of them go far beyond the requirements of the International Health Regulation."

Read more ....

More News On China's Response To Flight Cancellations And Border Closures

Beijing bristles as more countries bar travellers over coronavirus fears -- CBC/AP
China facing global isolation as virus toll rises -- Reuters
'Virus control beyond standards': China warns countries against spreading havoc as more borders shut & flights canceled worldwide -- RT
Travel bans plunge China into deepening isolation over coronavirus -- The Guardian
China's isolation grows as virus toll reaches 259 -- AFP

Here Is How Countries Around The World Are Responsing To The Coronavirus Crisis

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 08:54 PM PST

ABC News Online: Coronavirus has claimed more than 200 lives, here's how countries around the world are responding

A deadly outbreak of a new coronavirus in China's Hubei province has spurred governments around the world into action.

The official death toll has reached 259, all in China, while over 11,000 cases have been recorded around the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a global emergency — only the sixth time it has ever done so.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed confidence in China's response and said "the main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China but because of what is happening in other countries".

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The WHO is now warning everyone .... China's isolation continues as coronavirus death toll reaches 259 and World Health Organisation warns other countries to prepare for 'outbreak control' if disease spreads (Daily Mail).

More News On The Coronavirus Outside Of China

Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases? -- Al Jazeera
Philippines reports 1st virus death outside of China -- AP
Philippines reports first coronavirus fatality, second confirmed infection -- Reuters
U.S. confirms its eighth case of coronavirus; Pentagon to provide quarantine housing -- Reuters
NYC tests first suspected coronavirus case as man in Boston becomes EIGHTH person diagnosed in US while the Pentagon prepares 1,000 quarantine beds and new study says 75,000 could be infected globally -- Daily Mail
Coronavirus: US and Australia close borders to Chinese arrivals -- BBC
Coronavirus spread sees Singapore, US, Solomon Islands impose strict travel regulations as case numbers surpass SARS outbreak -- ABC News Online
US to bar entry to foreign nationals recently in China as coronavirus death toll exceeds 250 -- France 24
Coronavirus: US confirms eighth case with quarantine in effect -- The Guardian
Coronavirus: US confirms 8th case of virus in person who travelled to China; Pentagon agrees to provide quarantine housing for up to 1,000 people -- SCMP/Reuters
Fears of coronavirus spreading locally as Hong Kong hospital staff back strike to demand closure of border with mainland China -- SCMP
Britain, Sweden confirm first coronavirus cases -- UPI
Australians told not to travel to mainland China due to coronavirus threat, border restrictions tightened considerably -- ABC News Online
Russia suspends visa-free tourist travel to and from China over virus -- Reuters
Russia stops processing Chinese work visas & scraps visa-free travel amid coronavirus epidemic -- RT
Coronavirus: German evacuation flight lands in Frankfurt -- DW
China coronavirus: Indonesia prepares to evacuate students -- Al Jazeera
Indonesian evacuees from China's Hubei to be quarantined in Natuna military base -- Reuters
Africa mobilises against coronavirus as fears mount -- AFP
How prepared is Africa for an outbreak of deadly coronavirus? -- Al Jazeera

Watch This Time-Lapse of China Building a Coronavirus Hospital in Two Weeks

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 08:35 PM PST

WNU Editor: It is amazing how fast things can be done when it is an emergency.

Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak In China Has Claimed 304 Lives, Infected 14,375

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 08:29 PM PST

Reuters: China's coronavirus infections hit daily record, deaths climb to 304

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's new confirmed infections from the coronavirus outbreak increased by a daily record, up by 2,590 cases on Saturday to top 14,000, as the quickly growing epidemic prompted global travel restrictions and evacuations.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China had reached 304 as of the end of Saturday, state broadcaster CCTV said on Sunday, citing the country's National Health Commission.

All the new deaths and most of the new infections on Saturday were in central Hubei province, the epicenter of the flu-like coronavirus outbreak.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When it rains it pours .... China reports outbreak of deadly bird flu among chickens in Hunan province, close to coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan (SCMP).

More News On The Coronavirus Outbreak In China

China coronavirus deaths, infections jump: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus: 45 more deaths, 2,590 new cases reported across China, bringing totals to 14,380 infected, 304 dead -- SCMP
China virus death toll rises to 304 with 45 new fatalities: govt -- France 24
China's Hubei province reports rise in coronavirus deaths to 294 -- Reuters
China coronavirus toll reaches 304, number of cases hits 14,380 -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus: Wuhan may be home to 75,815 infected, report says -- SCMP
China's Premier Li asks EU to facilitate urgent procurement of medical supplies -- Reuters
'Corpses Taken Directly To Crematorium' - New Accounts Detail Grisly Operation At Wuhan's Fifth Hospital -- Zero Hedge
Desperate to get TO Wuhan: Chinese flights full of locals land back in virus lockdown zone where people are queuing for two days to see a doctor -- Daily Mail
Chinese Woman Whose Relatives Died From Wuhan Coronavirus Berates the Chinese Regime: Video -- Epoch Times
China pledges more money to help companies weather coronavirus outbreak -- SCMP
Paranoia and frustration as China places itself under house arrest -- The Guardian
Wuhan: The London-sized city where the virus began -- BBC
Timeline: How China's new coronavirus spread -- Al Jazeera

The Battle Of Hue Began 52 Years Ago Today

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 04:50 PM PST

Business Insider: 52 years ago, the bloodiest battle of Vietnam began and changed forever how Americans felt about the war

* The Battle of Hue began early on January 31, 1968.
* Hue was a major part of North Vietnam's Tet Offensive, and even though the US and South Vietnam thwarted the attack, the battle had a profound effect on the war.

In the middle of the night on January 31, 1968, 10,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops swept into the historic city of Hue, a major cultural center in South Vietnam.

Within days, those troops captured the city, surprising US commanders, who were slow to understand what had happened and the opponent they now faced.

The city was retaken by early March. Ostensibly it was a US and South Vietnamese victory, won at the toll of 250 US Marines and soldiers and more than 450 South Vietnamese troops. With several thousand North Vietnamese and thousands more civilians killed, the number of dead in the shattered city was more than 10,000.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Tet Offensive certainly did change how Americans felt about the war.

Taliban-Led Attacks In Afghanistan Are At A Ten Year High

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 04:25 PM PST

Al Jazeera: Afghanistan violence soars amid US-Taliban talks: Watchdog

A record high of 8,204 attacks took place in the last quarter of 2019, according to the latest SIGAR report.

Violent attacks in Afghanistan jumped to record levels in the last quarter of 2019 compared with previous years, a US government watchdog has said, underscoring the 18-year-long conflict's continued toll on the country.

There were 8,204 attacks between October and December last year - up from 6,974 in the same period in 2018 - according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released on Friday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is a sobering number .... 8,204 Taliban-led attacks between October and December last year - up from 6,974 in the same period in 2018. I guess this also explains why US Air strikes have increased in the past year .... Airstrikes on the rise as US pursues Afghan peace talks (AP).

More News On The Increase in Violence In Afghanistan

Afghanistan violence rises amid US-Taliban talks: watchdog -- AFP
Violence at record levels as Afghan forces decline amid U.S.-Taliban talks -- CGTN
Taliban-Led Attacks in Afghanistan Hit 10-Year High -- The Wall Street Journal
Violent attacks in Afghanistan war reach record levels despite US peace talks -- The Telegraph
Attacks in Afghanistan spike as US weighs troop drawdown -- CNN

Venezuela’s Capital Is Booming (For Those Who Have Money)

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 04:14 PM PST

DNYZ: Venezuela's Capital is Booming. Is This the End of the Revolution?

CARACAS, Venezuela — Swaying to the D.J. and sipping cocktails on the open terrace of a mountain side bar, a party of private-school teenagers in Prada sneakers and Chanel bags looked down over the shantytowns of Venezuela's capital, Caracas, spread over the valley below.

On the poorer outskirts of the city, residents continue to struggle with water shortages and malnutrition. And in the countryside beyond, Venezuela is falling apart, with residents lacking even the most basic services, like electricity and the police.

But the wealthier areas dotting the capital have undergone a striking economic boom in recent months.

Shopping malls that were deserted six months ago are bustling, and imported SUVs course through the streets. New restaurants and bars are popping up weekly in the wealthier parts of town, their tables packed with foreign businessmen, fashionable locals and government insiders.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  Life is still very hard for almost 90% of the country.

Retired US Army General Slams Mike Pompeo And The 1986 West Point Graduating Class

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 04:02 PM PST

Business Insider: 'Who mentored you?' Retired US Army general slams Mike Pompeo and his West Point graduating class

* Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who commanded the Army's Infantry Center and was later responsible for the training of Iraqi forces, railed against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
* "Disgusting performance by @SecPompeo," Eaton said on Twitter.
* Pompeo graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1986 — a fact that was not lost on Eaton, who graduated from the college in 1972.
* "What is wrong with West Point class of 86? Who mentored you?" Eaton added. "What happened to the West Point Honor Code in your class? America is very badly served by these men."

A retired two-star US Army general rated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's performance as "disgusting" and described Defense Secretary Mark Esper as a "lightweight coward."

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who commanded the Army's Infantry Center and was later responsible for the training of Iraqi forces, railed against the two cabinet officials in the Trump administration amid some heavy criticism in recent days. Eaton now works as an adviser to the progressive VoteVets political action committee.

"Disgusting performance by @SecPompeo," Eaton said on Twitter. "Lightweight coward @EsperDoD."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is going to be a crazy US election year.

Editor's Note

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 07:13 AM PST

Blogging will return later this evening.

US Defense Department Test Launches A Gremlin Drone From A Mothership For The First Time

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 07:11 AM PST

Defense News: US Defense Department launches Gremlins drone from a mothership for the first time

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department is one step closer to having swarming drones that it can launch from military planes and recover in midair, having successfully conducted the first flight of the Gremlins aircraft in November.

The test, which occurred at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, proved that a C-130A could successfully launch an X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle, said Tim Keeter, who manages the program for Dynetics. The company won the Gremlins contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2018.

"It gives us a lot of confidence going forward that this vehicle can fly where it's supposed to fly, how it's supposed to fly," Keeter said during a Jan. 21 phone call with reporters. "Now the team can be principally focused on the other portion of our program plan … which is to successfully rendezvous with a C-130, dock with our docking system … and safely recover the vehicle."

Read more ....

More News On The US Defense Department Test Launching A Gremlin Drone From A Mothership For The First Time

Watch DARPA's Air-Launched And Air-Recovered "Gremlins" Drone Take Its First Flight -- Warzone/The Drive
DARPA's Gremlins Program Accomplishes First Flight -- Air Force Magazine
Kratos' Gremlins Take to the Sky -- Motley Fool
Video: Pentagon's 'Mad Scientist Division' Tests 'Mothership' for Gremlin Drone Swarm -- Sputnik
DOD launches swarming drone in test of C-130 "drone mothership" concept -- Ars Technica

The Greatest Threat To National Security Is The Vulnerability Of The World's Undersea Cables

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 06:02 AM PST

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Rep. Rob Wittman, C4ISRNet: The greatest risk to national security you've never heard of

Tensions with Russia are increasing with no end in sight. Over the course of the last year, the House discussed at length Russia's successful attempts to meddle in our election — affecting what Americans hold most dear: our democracy. But now, Russia — through intensified submarine activity — is threatening our undersea cables. Should we be worried? Probably more than you think.

In a world of wireless and cloud computing, many imagine invisible waves jumping from the Earth toward satellites in space and back down. But that's not how it works — not really.

The truth is, for the most part, the internet is more physical than many believe; we aren't internationally connected by satellites in the sky, but by cables deep under the ocean's surface. And since these cables are privately owned and maintained, anyone with malicious intent and the means to do so can drastically impact our way of life.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is more information here .... This incredible map shows the undersea cables that keep the internet alive — and security services are worried Russia could cut them (Business Insider).

Artist Rendering Of A B-21 Raider Concept

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 06:02 AM PST

Artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept
This is an artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. Ellsworth AFB is one of the bases expected to host the new airframe. (Courtesy graphic by Northrop Grumman)

WNU Editor: My first impression. It looks dark and creepy.

The SAS Is Advertising For Female Reservists For The First Time

Posted: 01 Feb 2020 05:46 AM PST

The job advert says it welcomes both men and women to apply for the gruelling role

Daily Mail: The SAS recruits women for the first time but they'll have to pass the same tough tests as men

* Job demands applicants to 'commit to intense and extended training demands'
* SAS is seeking volunteers aged 18 to 42 for its 21 and 23 reserve squadrons
* Both sexes must be able to pass tough tests, including an eight-mile march

The SAS is advertising for female reservists for the first time.

An advert on the Army's job website says applicants must be prepared 'to commit to intense and extended training demands'.

The first course will begin in June. And online advertising for Special Forces reservists has been updated to state 'male and female' recruits are welcome.

The SAS is seeking volunteers for its 21 and 23 reserve squadrons, who must be aged between 17 years and nine months and 42 for those with no previous experience, or up to 50 years old if they have previously served in the Forces.

Read more ....

Update #1: SAS recruiting women for the first time and they will have to pass the same 'intense' tests as men (The SUN)
Update #2: SAS launch first ever recruitment drive for women (Express)

WNU Editor: All that I can say is "Good Luck"!

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