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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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

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


Tweets For Today

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 10:33 PM PST













DARPA Wants Lockheed To Develop A New Class Of 'Extra-Large' Manta Ray Underwater Drones

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 10:17 PM PST

Lockheed Martin, a leader in global security and aerospace, has been awarded a $12.3 million contract to start the first phase of the Manta Ray program (artist impression). The ultimate goal is allowing soldiers to continue their mission on land without being interrupted to power, maintain and refuel an underwater machine

Daily Mail: New class of 'extra-large' Manta Ray underwater drones will be built by Lockheed Martin after Pentagon awards the firm $12.3 million

* Lockheed Martin has been chosen by DARPA to start its Manta Ray program
* The firm received a $12.3 million contract to start the first phase of the program
* It will have long distance and range and will not need a human commander

Lockheed Martin, a leader in global security and aerospace, has been awarded a $12.3 million contract to start the first phase of the Manta Ray program.

The contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will fund the research, development and demonstration of an 'extra-large' unmanned underwater vehicle.

The military machine will be the first in a new class of long duration, long range and payload-capable unmanned undersea vehicles, which carry out missions without the need of human interference.

The ultimate goal is allowing soldiers to continue their mission on land without being interrupted to power, maintain and refuel an underwater machine.

Read more ....

Update: Lockheed Martin receives $12.3 million to develop underwater drone (UPI).

WNU Editor: Interesting concept (if they can make it work).

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 10:02 PM PST

A demonstrator is detained by a member of the security forces during a protest against Chile's government in Vina del Mar, Chile. REUTERS/Leandro Torchio

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

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper Took Part In Nuclear War Scenarios Last Week

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 09:58 PM PST

Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper hosts a town hall during his visit to the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Feb. 20, 2020. Staff Sgt. Brandy Nicole Mejia

Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One: Esper Plays Nuclear War: Russia Nukes Europe, US Fires Back

The defense secretary took part in a classified drill at U.S. Strategic Command this week.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper took part in a classified military drill this week in which Russia and the United States traded nuclear strikes, Pentagon officials said on background Friday.

The "mini exercise" held at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday comes just weeks after the U.S. confirmed that it has deployed controversial low-yield nuclear missiles on Navy submarines, and as the Trump administration asks Congress to approve $44 billion to buy new nuclear weapons and maintain its existing arsenal.

"The scenario included a European contingency where you're conducting a war with Russia and Russia decides to use a low-yield, limited nuclear weapon against a site on NATO territory," a senior defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified military drills.

The U.S. fired back with what the senior official called a "limited response" to Moscow's nuclear attack in Europe.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These exercises must produce some sobering moments.

U.S. Army Now Engineering New Rocket, Missile And Artillery Rounds That Are More Lethal With A Greater Range

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 09:51 PM PST

File photo (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo of Long Range Precision Fires CrossFunctional Team/U.S. Army)

FOX News/Warrior Maven: Army engineers more lethal and more explosive fragmenting missiles, artillery

The Army Research Laboratory is now engineering new rocket, missile and artillery rounds able to destroy groups of mobile enemy fighters, incinerate armored vehicles and eliminate structures with a single munition -- all at much longer ranges than currently deployed weapons can fire.

Experts are currently immersed in cutting edge research, using 3D printing, to develop new metal alloys, weapons casings and design geometries to increase range and lethality for the Army's emerging Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) program.

"Additive manufacturing (3D printing) can take weight out of certain components, create complex geometries inside things and create complex fragmentation patterns," Dr. Brandon A. McWilliams, materials engineer, lead for Metals Added Manufacturing, Army Research Lab, Combat Capabilities Development Command, told Warrior in an interview at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This focus on developing better artillery rounds is long overdue.

If The Coronavirus Outbreak Tanks The U.S. Economy, Will This Help Bernie Sanders Win The Presidency (If He Is The Democrat Nominee)?

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 09:43 PM PST

Senator Bernie Sanders after he announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Joe Battenfeld, Boston Herald: Trump's worst nightmare: Coronavirus tanks economy and hands race to socialist Bernie Sanders

It would be the ultimate twist in the 2020 election — a virus from the largest communist dictatorship in the world putting a socialist in the White House.

And all this time we were worried about Russia interfering in the presidential race.

No, it turns out the Chinese-originated coronavirus could now pose a bigger threat to Donald Trump's re-election and could end up aiding Bernie Sanders' socialist revolution.

The evidence is already there, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting on Monday by more than 1,000 points amid fears of the coronavirus leading to a global economic crisis.

Trump has long crowed about presiding over a record-breaking stock market surge and is counting on a robust U.S. economy to convince voters to put him in White House for another four years.

But what he didn't count on is a foreign virus throwing Wall Street into a panic.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: For the past week I have been hearing this type of speculation from Trump supporters. I have a different point of view. Many of Senator Sander's supporters are people who are already suffering economic hard times, and they will vote for him regardless. And as for the rest of his supporters, they are attracted to his ideology and policies. As for President Trump, his supporters and the Republican Party are solidly committed to him, and they will not blame him for such a disaster. What will determine this upcoming election will be Democrats who are not part of Bernie Sanders' base and independents, and I just do not see them flocking to the polls on election day to elect him. America is a centre-right country, not a socialist one. And a President Bernie Sanders is a bridge too far for these voters to support.

Presdient Trump Says Coronavirus Under Control In The U.S

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 06:00 PM PST


Reuters: Trump says coronavirus under control in the U.S

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the coronavirus was under control in the United States, and added that he thought the stock market, which tumbled on Monday on worries over the fast-spreading disease, was "starting to look very good to me!"

"The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA," Trump, who is visiting India, said on Twitter.

"We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!," he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No it is not .... You're Likely to Get the Coronavirus (The Atlantic).

Kim Yo-jong Is North Korea’s Second-In-Command

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 05:00 PM PST

Reuters

Harry J. Kazianis, John Dale Grover, and Adriana Nazarko, National Interest: Kim Yo-jong: North Korea's Second-In-Command?

The sister of Kim Jong-un has been rising in the leadership ranks since she was a teenager, and might be considered North Korea's second-in-command. The Center for the National Interest's Korean Studies team presents a look into her ascent to power (part two of a two-part series).

Editor's Note: This piece is part of a two-part series on Kim Yo-jong. For details surrounding Ms. Kim's childhood and ancestry, please refer to Part I.

Negotiations between the United States and North Korea stalled after no meaningful progress towards peace or denuclearization talks before the end of 2019. As a result, the future of U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) relations remain unclear. However, while the status of the U.S.-DPRK relationship has fluctuated, North Korea's leadership has remained largely consistent. Kim Yo-jong is one of the most important North Korean leaders. She is the sister—and secretarial assistant—to Chairman Kim Jong-un and an elected official of the Supreme People's Assembly. Ms. Kim plays an important role in protecting the portrayal of her brother in North Korean media, something she has had experience with since her time working for their father, Kim Jong-il.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She has been on WNU's radar since 2014 .... Report: Kim Jong-Un's Younger Sister Has Taken Control Of North Korea (October 1, 2014).

World News Briefs -- February 24, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 03:42 PM PST



Daily Mail: Coronavirus epidemic 'has PEAKED in China' says World Health Organisation - but warn the rest of the world to prepare for a 'potential pandemic'

* Pandemic fears are mounting, with a spike in cases in South Korea and Italy
* But the WHO will no longer officially declare an outbreak as being a pandemic
* It says a pathogen must spread easily between humans across the world first
* The body argues most of the confirmed cases can be tracked back to China

Coronavirus has now 'peaked' in China, according to the World Health Organisation which praised Beijing's robust measures to insulate the outbreak.

While the number of cases continues to rise, the rate of new infections has begun to decelerate.

But other countries have been warned to brace for a 'potential pandemic' as the virus continues to spill out across the globe.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom said the peak in China occurred between January 23 and February 2 and the number of new cases there 'has been declining steadily since then'.

'This virus can be contained,' he told reporters in Geneva, praising China for helping to prevent an even bigger spread of the disease through unprecedented lockdowns and quarantines around the outbreak's epicentre.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

As Syrian forces advance on Idlib, families fear being trapped at Turkish border.

Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor.

Gaza-Israel hostilities flare through second day with rocket attacks, air strikes.

Israeli jets strike Islamic Jihad targets in Syria and Gaza, military says.

Israel intercepts 12 out of 14 missiles fired from Gaza in latest cross-border flare-up – IDF .

Russia strikes kill 5 civilians as Syria regime advances.

Coronavirus: Iran death toll reportedly hits 50 as Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan announce first cases. Iraq confirms first novel coronavirus case.

Lawmaker from Iran's Qom alleges virus coverup: reports.

Earthquake near Iran-Turkey border kills nine, injures more than 100 people.

Israel slammed for 'necroviolence' on bodies of Palestinians.

UN calls for 'two state' solution to be respected in Middle East.

ASIA

Exclusive: U.S. wants Afghan president to postpone planned inauguration -sources.

Virus pushes beyond Asia, taking aim at Europe, Mideast.

Coronavirus: Xi Jinping rings alarm on China economy as country shifts priority to maintaining growth.

China delays biggest political event over coronavirus.

South Korea coronavirus cases jump as China tallies 150 more deaths.

Coronavirus: North Korea quarantines foreigners.

Trump hails 'exceptional' Modi at huge India rally.

Trump expresses optimism for US peace deal with Taliban.

Moment Chinese embassy representative is LAUGHED at by Q&A audience for describing prison camps as 'training centres' - after insisting his country is an 'inclusive democracy'.

Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigns.

Newest Thai political party shut down by courts.

AFRICA

Joint French-Nigerien military operation kills more than 100 jihadists in Niger.

Eastern Libya's legislators pull out of Geneva peace talks.

South Sudan's rivals form unity government in bid to end war.

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé wins fourth term.

Lesotho's PM Thomas Thabane seeks immunity over murder of ex-wife.

Tanzania journalist Erick Kabendera freed after seven months.

Francophone group in warning over Guinea election.

EUROPE

Car crashes into crowd at Carnival in German town of Volkmarsen, at least 30 people injured. Car drives into carnival crowd in German town Volkmarsen.

Italy imposes draconian rules to stop spread of coronavirus.

Salvini attacks Italy PM over coronavirus and links to rescue ship.

Austria to stop those suspected of carrying coronavirus at border.

The H5N8 bird flu virus is spreading in eastern Europe.

Germany: Angela Merkel's CDU to decide new leader on April 25.

No 10: UK aim is to 'restore independence' from EU by end of year.

Attorney says Assange broke law, should be sent to U.S..

AMERICAS

White House readying emergency coronavirus budget request.

Poll: Bernie Sanders's frontrunner status looks secure following the Nevada caucuses.

Trump claims Democrats will stop Sanders.

Trump lands in India and feels the love.

Haiti police and army exchange fire in violent protest. Police demonstration at Haiti's presidential palace turns deadly.

Canada: police clear rail blockade by Indigenous anti-pipeline activists.

One in three Venezuelans not getting enough to eat, UN finds.

Weinstein found guilty in landmark sex assault trial, but cleared of top charges.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

U.S. Supreme Court open to more damages against Sudan over embassy bombings.

How Mauritania is fighting Sahel jihadism... and winning.

New Jersey lists threat from white supremacists as higher than ISIS.

This is what happens when ISIS invades your village, destroys the schools, bans music, and then leaves.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Dow drops more than 1,000 as outbreak threatens the economy.

Oil sinks 4% on demand concerns as coronavirus spreads.

Airline, cruise stocks pummeled on fear of spreading virus.

Stocks, oil prices tumble as gold soars on pandemic fears.

China shutdowns to impact economy: White House economist.

Invader's 'Rubik Mona Lisa' shatters estimate at Paris modern art auction.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 24, 2020

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 04:20 PM PST



Rex Nutting, Market Watch: If the coronavirus isn't contained, a severe global recession is almost certain

Economists try to estimate the impact of a pandemic, but we just don't know how bad it could get

The world woke up Monday to the reality that the coronavirus epidemic is going to have a much bigger impact on the global economy than investors and policy makers had assumed. Just how big, no one really knows.

Last week, it seemed as if financial markets believed that COVID-19 would be contained. But new cases in Italy, South Korea and Iran over the weekend undermined that belief. The World Health Organization tried to reassure the public on Monday, saying the disease was not yet a pandemic because it was not spreading in an uncontained way.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 24, 2020

What does the coronavirus mean for China's economy? CNBC Explains -- CNBC International

Coronavirus Is Killing China's Factories (And Creating Economic Chaos) -- Gordon G. Chang, National Interest

China fears the specter of mass layoffs -- Gordon Watts, Asia Times

Iran's government is lying its way to a coronavirus catastrophe -- The Washington Post

Iran Prepares to Suffer the Wrath of the Coronavirus -- Seth J. Frantzman, National Interest

Is the Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic Yet? -- The New York Times

The new coronavirus: What is it and how does it behave? -- Kate Kelland, Reuters

Mahathir still on top as knives out in Malaysia -- Nile Bowie, Asia Times

The worst day for counterterrorism since 9/11 -- Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner

Five things to know about emerging US, Taliban peace deal -- Rebecca Kheel, The Hill

Afghanistan Is America's Greatest Strategic Disaster -- Michael Hirsh, Foreign Policy

Idlib's despair won't end bloodshed in Syria. It will provoke a rebel fightback -- Hassan Hassan, The Guardian

Trump's Middle East plan -- what's there to be angry about? -- Danielle Wallace, FOX News

The American Public Wants a Sustainable Middle East Policy -- Kaleigh Thomas Research Associate, Center for a New American Security/Defense One

The Post-Brexit Bounce Continues -- Kate Andrews, Spectator

Astonishing Drone Footage ShowsThousands Of People Queuing To Buy Face Masks In South Korea

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 03:08 PM PST



Daily Mail: Thousands of people queue to buy face masks in astonishing drone footage from South Korea as the country is gripped by coronavirus outbreak

* South Korea has highest number of coronavirus cases outside China, at 830
* City of Daegu is at the centre of the outbreak after disease spread among a cult
* Hundreds of people were pictured queuing up to buy face masks in the city
* President Moon Jae-in declared a national 'red alert' on Sunday as daycare centres were shut, school holidays extended and public gatherings banned

Thousands of people have been filmed queuing up to buy face masks in the city at the centre of South Korea's coronavirus outbreak.

A long line of people snaked out the doors of a supermarket in the city of Daegu on Monday as people tried to protect themselves against the spread of the disease amid fears of a global pandemic.

South Korea now has the largest number of confirmed cases outside of mainland China after infections spiked at the weekend, standing at 830 by Monday morning.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is what panic buying looks like.

Pandemic Fears Grip World Markets

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 03:02 PM PST

Monday's drop put the Dow on pace for its biggest one-day point drop since February 2018, when it lost more than 1000 points, erasing its gain for that year

Daily Mail: Dow plunges 1,000 points to give up its gains for the year as fears mount the coronavirus outbreak in China will become a worldwide pandemic

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1000 points on Monday due to concerns of the coronavirus becoming a global pandemic
* The Dow traded as high as 1080 points lower, or 3.7 per cent, after having erased all gains for the blue-chip index for the year
* The S&P 500 also slid 3.5 per cent, its biggest decline since February 2018, while the Nasdaq Composite was 3.9 per cent lower

Stocks were tumbling around the world as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1000 points on Monday, giving up its gain for the year due to concerns of the coronavirus becoming a global pandemic.

The Dow traded as high as 1080 points lower, or 3.7 per cent, after having erased all gains for the blue-chip index, leaving the index negative for 2020.

The benchmark S&P 500 also slid 3.5 per cent, its biggest decline since February 2018, while the Nasdaq Composite was 3.9 per cent lower.

Until health officials are able to contain the coronavirus, analysts say they expect investors will continue to be driven to sell.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is what panic selling looks like.

More News On Pandemic Fears Gripping World Markets

Dow drops more than 1,000 as outbreak threatens the economy -- AP
Wall Street clobbered as pandemic fears rattle markets -- Reuters
Dow plunges 1,000 points on coronavirus fears, 3.5% drop is worst in two years -- CNBC
Dow closes down 1,000 points as coronavirus fears slam Wall Street -- NBC
Covid-19 Contagion Sparks Carnage As Stocks Wipe Out All 2020 Gains -- Zero Hedge

In Another Sign that China Has Lost Control Of The Coronavirus Outbreak, China Has Postpone The Start Of The National People's Congress

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 01:55 PM PST



Business Insider: China canceled the central event of its political calendar because of the coronavirus, a stark symbol of how it has lost control of the outbreak

* China cancelled the central event of its political calendar after it became impossible to hold a mass gathering because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak ravaging the country.
* The annual meeting of the National People's Congress in Beijing was due to start on March, but will now be delayed to an unspecified time.
* Experts say the risk of the disease spreading at the event is high.
* New arrivals to Beijing are currently placed in a 14-day quarantine, making the logistics of a large-scale event almost impossible.

China cancelled the central event of its political calendar because of the crippling impact of the coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 2,500 people there.

China was due to kick off the annual meeting of the National People's Congress in Beijing, which symbolically approves the nation's political agenda for the year, on March 5.

But China's state TV said on Monday that the event is now postponed, Reuters reported. Its new date has yet to be decided.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is the first time in decades that China has postponed the opening of its parliament.

More News On The Covi-19 Outbreak In China

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Virus-hit China set to postpone parliament for first time in decades -- France 24
Coronavirus: China postpones National People's Congress -- The Guardian
China delays biggest political event over coronavirus -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus: Xi Jinping rings alarm on China economy as country shifts priority to maintaining growth -- SCMP
Confusion in Wuhan as move to ease coronavirus lockdown is reversed -- SCMP
China 'comprehensively bans' wildlife trade over coronavirus -- France 24

WHO Says The World Must Prepare For A Coronavirus Pandemic Even Though The Outbreak Can Still Be Contained

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 12:43 PM PST

The WHO said the current crisis, which has infected almost 80,000 people and killed 2,600, is a cluster of cases in 36 countries and territories



DW: World must prepare for potential COVID-19 pandemic says WHO

The World Health Organization has warned that the world must brace for a potential pandemic. However, it says the outbreak can still be contained.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom on Monday told countries to brace for a "potential pandemic" of COVID-19.

But Ghebreyesus said the virus could still be stopped. "This virus can be contained. Indeed there are many countries that have done exactly that," he said. He praised the efforts of China, which locked down several cities in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

He said a WHO joint mission to China had concluded that the virus there "peaked" between January 23 and February 2 "and has been declining steadily since then."

Read more ....

More News On WHO Saying The World Must Prepare For A Coronavirus Pandemic Even Though The Outbreak Can Still Be Contained

Coronavirus: World should prepare for pandemic, says WHO -- BBC
World Health Organization STILL refuses to say coronavirus crisis is at pandemic levels - despite 'deeply concerning' spread of cases to Iran, Italy and South Korea -- Daily Mail
China's Wuhan lockdown helped limit global spread of coronavirus, says World Health Organisation -- SCMP
Coronavirus outbreak not a pandemic, but has potential, WHO says -- UPI
WHO raises alarm as virus spreads in parts of Middle East, Europe -- Al Jazeera
WHO warns coronavirus may be 'around for months' -- AFP
World is approaching coronavirus tipping point, say experts -- The Guardian

Bernie Sanders Says He Would Use Military Force To Protect US Interests And To Support Its Allies

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 12:36 PM PST


Daily Mail: Bernie Sanders says he would use military force if China attacked Taiwan as he denies being a pacifist

  * Bernie Sanders said he would use US military force if China ever attacked Taiwan
  * On CBS's '60 Minutes' he said if he was president he would protect US interests
  * Sanders also said he would meet with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un
  * He also denied being a pacifist and added, 'I believe in NATO', during interview

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders said if he was elected president he would 'absolutely' use the military if China attacked Taiwan.

The presidential 2020 hopeful said if he were in the White House he would authorize military force if warranted, both to protect US interests and to support its allies.

He also denied being a pacifist, declared his support for NATO and added he would be willing to meet with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, as President Donald Trump has done on three occasions.

Sanders has emerged with an early lead in the Democratic nominating process, and as a self-declared democratic socialist his foreign and security policies are starting to draw closer scrutiny. But he has denied being a pacifist.

In the interview that aired on Sunday on CBS's '60 Minutes', the Vermont senator was asked in what circumstances he, as commander-in-chief, would deploy US military forces.

Read more ....

Update: Bernie Sanders says he would intervene if China took military action against Taiwan (CBS 60 Minutes)

WNU Editor: You can take this to the bank. I learned a long time ago that political leaders on the left have never been reluctant to use military force. So if Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders says if he was elected president he would 'absolutely' use the military to protect US interests and its allies, I believe him but with one caveat. Some US allies may not be protected.

US Senator Bernie Sanders Stands By His Old Remarks Praising Fidel Castro And Communist Cuba

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 12:31 PM PST


Daily Mail: Bernie Sanders defends 'not all bad' Fidel Castro as he stands by old remarks praising Communist Cuba and admits he's 'shocked' to be Democrat frontrunner during 60 Minutes interview

* The Democratic frontrunner defended the Communist regime as 'not all bad'
* Sanders, 78, told Anderson Cooper 'it's unfair to simply say everything is bad'
* Castro's government imprisoned dissidents and imposed one-party rule
* The self proclaimed Democratic socialist won a decisive victory Saturday in the Nevada caucuses, solidifying his frontrunner status in the race
* He spoke with 60 Minutes in a wide-ranging interview which aired Sunday
* Sanders also touched on funding for Medicare for All and a new policy idea for universal childcare; he labeled Mike Bloomberg's stop and frisk policy as 'racist'
* He also called Donald Trump a 'pathological liar' he looks forward to taking on

Bernie Sanders has praised Fidel Castro's 'massive literacy program', standing by comments he made praising the dictator's rule of Cuba in the 1980s.

The Democratic frontrunner and socialist, 78, defended the Communist regime as 'not all bad' during a wide-ranging 60 Minutes interview which aired Sunday.

During the interview, he told Anderson Cooper: 'We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know?

'When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?'

Read more ....

Update #1: Bernie Sanders on being the Democratic front-runner and taking on Donald Trump (CBS 60 Minutes)
Update #2: Sanders: 'Unfair to simply say everything is bad' in Cuba under Castro (The Hill)

WNU Editor: If he is the Democrat nominee for President, he just gave up Florida (with its huge Cuba-emigre community) to President Trump.

President Trump's Visit To India -- News Roundup February 24, 2020

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 11:56 AM PST





Daily Mail: Donald Trump visits the REAL Taj Mahal (as opposed to his old Atlantic City casino namesake): The Trumps hold hands in front of world famous 'monument of love'

* Donald and Melania Trump capped off their first day in India with a visit to the Taj Mahal
* President Trump called the Taj Mahal 'incredible' while Melania Trump said it was 'beautiful'
* Earlier, President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a raucous welcome when they held a rally at the world's largest cricket stadium
* 'You have done a great honor to the American people. Melania, my family, we will always remember this remarkable hospitality,' President Trump said
* Modi praised the 'new history' being created in U.S.-Indian relations
* Donald Trump hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in India in a rare display of affection from president
* The Trumps also joined Modi to visit Gandhi's home where Trump tried his hand at a loom similar to that Gandhi used

Donald and Melania Trump stopped by the Taj Mahal Monday evening, capping off their first day in India with a sunset visit to the world's most famous monument to love.

They held hands as they posed for photographers and spent a few minutes staring at the white marble tomb as the sun started to dip below the horizon.

'It's incredible, truly incredible,' Trump said. 'Really incredible, an incredible place.'

Melania also weighed in: 'Lovely, beautiful,' she said.

Read more ....

President Trump's Visit To India -- News Roundup February 24, 2020

Donald Trump arrived in India with much fanfare. Here are the key moments from his first day -- ABC News Online
Trump's India visit prioritizes pageantry over policy -- AP
Trump wraps 1st day of India trip after jubilant party, visit to Taj Mahal -- UPI
Massive rally kicks off Trump's first official visit to India -- France 24
Donald Trump struggles to pronounce the name of India's greatest cricketer Sachin Tendulkar as the president pays tribute to 'Soochin Tendolker' during stadium address to 110,000 -- Daily Mail
Praise, cheering crowds for Trump in India love fest -- AFP
'America loves India': Trump and Modi hail India-US ties -- Al Jazeera
Trump hails 'exceptional' Modi at huge India rally -- AFP
Trump lands in India and feels the love -- CNN
Trump receives warm welcome in India, announces $3 billion defense deal -- The Hill
Donald Trump tries his hand at a traditional spinning wheel as he and Melania visit Mahatma Gandhi's ashram during India visit -- Daily Mail
India goes wild for Melania as first lady takes equal billing with Donald Trump and her Be Best campaign gets a shout out from Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- Daily Mail
India: Taj Mahal's tombs cleaned for first time in 300 years for Donald Trump -- DW
Timeline of US presidential visits to India -- Al Jazeera

Gaza-Israel Rocket Attacks And Air Strikes Continue For A Second Day

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 11:52 AM PST



Reuters: Gaza-Israel hostilities flare through second day with rocket attacks, air strikes

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Gaza militants on Monday fired rockets toward Israel, which responded with air strikes, in the second day of an escalation that ebbed but did not come to an end despite the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad announcing a halt to its attacks.

Islamic Jihad has fired 80 rockets toward Israeli communities along the Gaza border since Sunday, an Israeli military spokeswoman said, while Israel has attacked sites in Gaza and Syria that have killed three Islamic Jihad members.

The violence comes a week before an Israeli election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term in office after two inconclusive votes.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Hostilities Between Israel And Gaza

Israel strikes Gaza and Syria after Palestinian rocket attacks -- France 24
Israeli airstrikes near Damascus kill 6: war monitor -- DW
Israeli rockets kill 6 in Syria in clash with Islamic Jihad -- UPI
IDF pounds Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza after rockets fired at south -- Times of Israel
Six killed in Israeli air raid on Damascus: Monitor -- Al Jazeera
Benjamin Netanyahu threatens a WAR with Hamas following rocket attack sparked by Israeli soldiers using a bulldozer to move a Palestinian bomber's body after they shot him -- Daily Mail

World News Briefs -- February 24, 2020

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 03:13 PM PST

People wearing face masks walk along a street, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Reuters: Coronavirus spreads outside China, pandemic fears grip Wall Street

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - With coronavirus cases rising in Italy and several Middle East countries dealing with their first infections, fears of a global pandemic sent markets into a tailspin, even as China eased curbs with no new cases reported Beijing and other cities.

The virus has put Chinese cities into lockdown in recent weeks, disrupted air traffic and blocked global supply chains for everything from cars to smartphones.

But China's actions, especially in Wuhan, had probably prevented hundreds of thousands of cases, said the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) delegation in China, Bruce Aylward, urging the rest of the world to learn the lesson of acting fast.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Israeli jets strike Islamic Jihad targets in Syria and Gaza, military says.

Israel intercepts 12 out of 14 missiles fired from Gaza in latest cross-border flare-up – IDF .

Russia strikes kill 5 civilians as Syria regime advances.

Coronavirus: Iran death toll reportedly hits 50 as Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan announce first cases. Iraq confirms first novel coronavirus case.

Lawmaker from Iran's Qom alleges virus coverup: reports.

Earthquake near Iran-Turkey border kills nine, injures more than 100 people.

Israel slammed for 'necroviolence' on bodies of Palestinians.

ASIA

Coronavirus: Xi Jinping rings alarm on China economy as country shifts priority to maintaining growth.

China delays biggest political event over coronavirus.

South Korea coronavirus cases jump as China tallies 150 more deaths.

Coronavirus: North Korea quarantines foreigners.

Trump hails 'exceptional' Modi at huge India rally.

Trump expresses optimism for US peace deal with Taliban.

Moment Chinese embassy representative is LAUGHED at by Q&A audience for describing prison camps as 'training centres' - after insisting his country is an 'inclusive democracy'.

Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigns.

Newest Thai political party shut down by courts.

AFRICA

Joint French-Nigerien military operation kills more than 100 jihadists in Niger.

Eastern Libya's legislators pull out of Geneva peace talks.

South Sudan's rivals form unity government in bid to end war.

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé wins fourth term.

Lesotho's PM Thomas Thabane seeks immunity over murder of ex-wife.

Tanzania journalist Erick Kabendera freed after seven months.

Francophone group in warning over Guinea election.

EUROPE

Car crashes into crowd at Carnival in German town of Volkmarsen, at least 30 people injured. Car drives into carnival crowd in German town Volkmarsen.

Italy imposes draconian rules to stop spread of coronavirus.

Salvini attacks Italy PM over coronavirus and links to rescue ship.

Austria to stop those suspected of carrying coronavirus at border.

The H5N8 bird flu virus is spreading in eastern Europe.

Germany: Angela Merkel's CDU to decide new leader on April 25.

No 10: UK aim is to 'restore independence' from EU by end of year.

Attorney says Assange broke law, should be sent to U.S..

AMERICAS

Poll: Bernie Sanders's frontrunner status looks secure following the Nevada caucuses.

Trump claims Democrats will stop Sanders.

Trump lands in India and feels the love.

Haiti police and army exchange fire in violent protest. Police demonstration at Haiti's presidential palace turns deadly.

Canada: police clear rail blockade by Indigenous anti-pipeline activists.

One in three Venezuelans not getting enough to eat, UN finds.

Weinstein found guilty in landmark sex assault trial, but cleared of top charges.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

How Mauritania is fighting Sahel jihadism... and winning.

New Jersey lists threat from white supremacists as higher than ISIS.

This is what happens when ISIS invades your village, destroys the schools, bans music, and then leaves.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Stocks, oil prices tumble as gold soars on pandemic fears.

China shutdowns to impact economy: White House economist.

Invader's 'Rubik Mona Lisa' shatters estimate at Paris modern art auction.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 24, 2020

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 11:34 AM PST

Four soldiers from the army confirmed to have coronavirus. | Source: Shutterstock

CCN: Gripped in Coronavirus Panic, S.Korea Confirms Army Soldier Infections

The South Korean govt raised its alert for the coronavirus and almost immediately, the military found 4 soldiers to have COVID-19.

* South Korea reports new cases of coronavirus as four army soldiers are affected.
* 6,400 soldiers are being diagnosed as a precautionary measure.
* The government raised alert level to the maximum, but reluctant towards imposing additional travel restrictions.

Hours after the government of South Korea raised the alert level for coronavirus to the maximum, the Department of Defense reported the first case of soldiers in the core army being infected within the country.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 24, 2020

13 South Korean soldiers confirmed as coronavirus patients, 7,500 in quarantine -- Yonhap News Agency

S. Korean military to delay conscription reviews because of coronavirus outbreak -- Hankyoreh

US military dependent in South Korea tests positive for coronavirus -- The Hill

US Forces Korea, DoDEA says schools to remain closed this week as South Korea takes 'unprecedented' steps to fight virus -- Military Times

US soldiers fighting to keep virus from base at ground zero of South Korean crisis -- Stars and Stripes

US forces in Afghanistan, CENTCOM monitoring coronavirus amid reports of infections in the region -- Stars and Stripes

US military takes coronavirus precautions ahead of large-scale Cobra Gold drills in Thailand -- Stars and Stripes

Pentagon officials keeping an eye on morale at nuclear bases -- Military Times

Lockheed Martin receives $12.3 million to develop underwater drone -- UPI

Marine One Gets $471M 'Go' Order for Sikorsky -- Military.com/The Hour, Norwalk, Conn.

Defiant, Raider and SARA fly together in first public demo -- Defense News

The military's 'war for talent' is affecting what the Navy's future ships will look like -- Business Insider

Pearl Harbor Dry Dock Might Be Replaced and Upgraded -- Military.com/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The largest cyber exercise you've never heard of -- Fifth Domain

Additional US service member diagnosed with brain injury from Iran attack -- The Hill

Navy and Marine Corps to Ban Personal Firearms for Foreign Troops -- Military.com

US Congress set for clash over surveillance reforms -- The Hill

US can't continue tolerating Russian 'noncompliance' on Open Skies, says Esper -- Defense News

New US Army training team heads to Africa -- Toronto Star/AP

In West Africa, U.S. Military Struggles for Scarce Resources as Terrorism Threat Grows -- Foreign Policy

Trump Announces Military Deal With India, Expresses Optimism For Trade Pact -- VOA

Libya Asks U.S. to Set Up Military Base to Counter Russia -- Bloomberg

UK Military's Trident Nuclear Deterrent Replacement Plan Leaked by Pentagon -- Sputnik

Germany's to-do list: A spring of (in)decisions is brewing in Berlin -- Defense News

Is China's Military Doing Enough to Fight the Coronavirus? -- National Interest

China's arms industry back in business despite disruption by coronavirus -- SCMP

Taiwan advises military personnel against visiting 29 countries -- Taiwan News

Thai Air Force releases wish list for the next decade -- Defense News

Prototype of Hypersonic Missile Designed for Su-57 Fighter Jet Ready for Testing – Reports -- Sputnik

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps wrestles with new reality after killing of its chief military strategist -- The Washington Post

Iran sustains military spending in face of US sanctions -- Financial Times

The presentation of new weapons, purpotedly created by the Houthi forces -- Sputnik

Israel hosts third international military doctrine conference -- Jerusalem Post

Canadian military won't block Chinese surveillance cameras banned by U.S. -- The Logic

Afghanistan Has Confirmed Its First Case Of The Coronavirus

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 08:16 AM PST



Reuters: Afghanistan confirms first coronavirus case in province bordering Iran

KABUL/HERAT (Reuters) - Afghanistan confirmed its first case of the coronavirus in the western province of Herat on Monday, declaring a state of emergency in a territory bordering Iran which itself reported a sharp rise in cases.

Dozens of cases of the virus, which originated in the central Chinese province of Hubei in December, have been confirmed in Iran where 12 people have died, the highest death toll outside of China.

"I ask people to try to stay at home and restrict their movements," Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz told reporters, referring to Heart, the gateway to Iran.

Three suspected patients in Herat had recently returned from Iran, Dr Sayed Attaullah Sayedzai, head of the disease surveillance department at ministry of public health, said on Sunday.

The confirmed case was a 35-year-old who had recently returned from the city of Qom, home to the majority of Iran's coronavirus cases, and had now been placed in quarantine, Feroz said.

Afghanistan suspended all air and land movement to and from Iran over the weekend.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is no way that Afghanistan can contain the spread of this outbreak.

Update: U.S. Military forces are monitoring the situation .... US forces in Afghanistan, CENTCOM monitoring coronavirus amid reports of infections in the region (Stars and Stripes)

More News On Afghanistan Now Confirming Its First Case Of The Coronavirus

Afghanistan confirms first COVID-19 case -- CNA
Afghanistan sees first coronavirus case as numbers spike in neighboring Iran -- FOX News
Afghan officials on alert as 3 suspected cases of Coronavirus surface in Herat -- Khaama Press

Iraq And Three Gulf States Are Now Reporting Their First Coronavirus Cases

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 07:59 AM PST



Reuters: Three Gulf states, Iraq report first coronavirus cases, linked to Iran

DUBAI (Reuters) - Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Iraq on Monday recorded their first new coronavirus cases, all people who had been in Iran, which raised its toll from the disease to 12 dead and 61 infected.

Oman's health ministry said two Omani women were diagnosed with the virus after arriving from Iran, while the sultanate's civil aviation authority said on Monday it had halted all flights to the Islamic Republic.

Iraq said the new coronavirus was detected in an Iranian theology student in Najaf, who entered the country before it banned the entry of non-Iraqis coming from Iran.

Kuwait recorded the virus in three people among 700 who had been evacuated on Saturday from the Iranian city of Mashhad. They were a 53-year-old Kuwaiti man, a 61-year-old Saudi man and a 21-year-old whose nationality was unclear.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Once this disease enters the refugee camps in the Middle East, it is going to be a nightmare. And as for what it will do to the people currently living in the warzones of Syria and Yemen where medical facilities are nonexistent .... a truly nightmare scenario.

More News On Iraq And Three Gulf States Now Reporting Their First Coronavirus Cases

Four more Mideast nations report coronavirus cases -- AFP
Coronavirus spreads to several Mideast countries from Iran -- Daily Sabah
Iraq reports first coronavirus case in Iranian student -- Jerusalem Post/Reuters
Kuwait, Bahrain report cases of coronavirus linked to Iran -- Straits Times/Reuters
Coronavirus: Kuwait, Bahrain and Afghanistan confirm first cases -- The National

Conflicting Reports In Iran On How Many Have Died From Covid-19

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 07:50 AM PST





SCMP: Coronavirus: how Iran's death toll came to be the highest behind only China

* Iran's health minister says the infections are believed to be linked to a merchant who bypassed travel restrictions by making indirect flights to China
* Qom, south of the capital Tehran, has been identified as the centre of contagion, but authorities have warned it is possible the virus is present in all cities

Iran has been thrust to the forefront of rising global concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus after reporting by far the most deaths of any country apart from China.

Iranian health officials have confirmed 12 deaths from the Covid-19 disease among 61 cases in the country, while a parliamentarian representing the city at the centre of the outbreak in the country has claimed the death toll stands at 50.

Either figure would dwarf death tolls in South Korea, Japan and Italy, until now the most severely-affected countries outside China, where at last 79,000 people have taken ill and more than 2,600 people have lost their lives since the virus was first detected in Wuhan in December.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The latest patient who tested positive in Canada had visited Iran .... B.C.'s 6th presumptive COVID-19 case flew from Montreal to Vancouver on Feb. 14 (CBC).

More News On Conflicting Reports In Iran On How Many Have Died From Covid-19

Iran MP alleges coronavirus cover-up, says '50 dead' in holy city of Qom -- Middle East Eye
Iran says 12 dead from new virus, rejects higher death toll -- ABC News
Coronavirus: Iran denies cover-up as death toll rises to 12 -- BBC
Iran Denies Cover-Up After Lawmaker Contradicts Official Coronavirus Figures, Says 50 Dead -- Gizmodo
Iranian Lawmaker Says 50 Have Died From Coronavirus Outbreak In Qom -- Zero Hedge

Global Markets Fall Sharply Due To Coronavirus Fears

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 07:21 AM PST



CNBC: Dow drops 780 points as coronavirus cases outside of China surge

Stocks fell sharply on Monday as the number of coronavirus cases outside China surged, stoking fears of a prolonged global economic slowdown from the virus spreading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 782 points lower, or 2.7%. The S&P 500 slid 2.5% while the Nasdaq Composite traded 3% lower. At its low of the day, the Dow was down 997.04 points.

"The second-largest economy in the world is completely shut down. People aren't totally pricing that in," said Larry Benedict, CEO of The Opportunistic Trader, adding a 10% to 15% correction in stocks may be starting. He also said some parts of the market, particularly large-cap tech stocks, appear to be over-owned. "It seems like there's much more to come."

Monday's drop put the Dow on pace for its biggest one-day point drop since August, when it lost 800 points.

Read more ....

Update #1: Global markets fall sharply as virus cases spread past Asia (AP)
Update #2: Dow plunges more than 800 points as pandemic fears rise (Reuters)

WNU Editor: No kidding .... China shutdowns to impact economy: White House economist (AFP).

US Forces In South Korea Have Raised The Risk Level Of Covid-19 From Moderate To High

Posted: 24 Feb 2020 07:21 AM PST

Pvt. Hector Mercado, 23, of the 25th Transportation Battalion, checks temperatures before allowing people to enter Camp Walker in the coronavirus-hit city of Daegu, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Stars and Stripes photo/Kim Gamel)

Military Times: US Forces Korea raises risk level as dependent contracts coronavirus

A widow of a retired soldier living in Daegu, South Korea has contracted the coronavirus, prompting U.S. Forces Korea to raise the risk level for the command from moderate to high.

The widow is the first and so far the only case of an individual with ties to USFK contracting the virus, and no service members affiliated with command have tested positive for the virus yet, USFK said.

USFK commander commander Army Gen. Robert Abrams clarified that the patient was the widow of a retired soldier, amid media reports that a family member of a USFK soldier had tested positive for the virus.

"To be clear, this is a 60+ year old widow of a retired soldier," Abrams tweeted. "We were saddened to hear of her of contracting the virus. We pray for her recovery."

Read more ....

Update: US Military Dependent Tests Positive for Coronavirus in South Korea (Military.com/Stars and Stripes).

WNU Editor: The patient that prompted this raising of the risk level from moderate to high is a widow of a retired soldier living in Daegu, South Korea.

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