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Monday, March 2, 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: 01 Mar 2020 09:30 PM PST

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 08:59 PM PST

Soldiers take part in the Amphibious Assault Demonstration during the Cobra Gold multilateral military exercise in Hat Yao Beach, February 28. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Cobra Gold military exercises (Reuters).

Afghan Government Rejects U.S. Peace Deal's Prisoner Swap With Taliban

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 08:51 PM PST

NPR: Afghan President Rejects Timeline For Prisoner Swap Proposed In US-Taliban Peace Deal

Afghanistan's president publicly rejected the timeline for a prisoner swap with the Taliban on Sunday, just one day after the United States signed a peace deal with the militant Islamist group that proposes a March 10 deadline for an exchange of prisoners.

The peace deal, more than a year in the making, aims to end the longest war in American history.

Signed Saturday in Doha, Qatar, the agreement calls for the full withdrawal of American troops and supporting civilian personnel, including those of its allies, from Afghanistan within 14 months. There are currently about 12,000 U.S. forces in the country, tasked with counter-terrorism efforts, training Afghan troops and providing air support for Afghan ground forces.

The deal also outlined the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners by the Afghan government in exchange for up to 1,000 Afghan security forces held prisoner by the Taliban.

Read more ....

Update #1: Afghan peace deal hits first snag over prisoner releases (Politico/AP)
Update #2: President Ghani rejects peace deal's prisoner swap with Taliban (Al Jazeera)

WNU Editor: This is a deal breaker.

US Carrier Strike Group Enters The Mediterranean

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 08:08 PM PST

Zero Hedge: US Carrier Strike Group Enters Mediterranean As Syria & Turkey Move To State Of War

Erdogan is urging US and NATO help to halt the Syrian-Russian offensive in Idlib, and elsewhere Libya is also turning into a full-blown major conflict involving external powers, notably also Turkey which is providing military support to Tripoli against Gen. Haftar's offensive. Turkey and Syria are currently downing each other's aircraft over Idlib province in a major escalation.

And now the Marine Traffic maritime information portal has identified along with other international reports that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (or "Ike") crossed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea late Friday into Saturday, accompanied by multiple support ships.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Russian navy is also making its presence felt .... Russia deploys warships to Syria coast after Turkey loses 33 soldiers in attack (NBC). More here .... Russia Sends Warships as Turkish Troops Killed in Syria (Moscow Times).

The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Resulted In the Worst-Case Scenario For Oil Markets

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 07:30 PM PST

Julianne Geiger, Coronavirus Panic Is Causing A Worst-Case Scenario For Oil

As the World Health Organization on Friday upgraded its global risk assessment for the coronavirus to "very high", anxious oil markets are wondering when might be a good time to panic about the oil demand and its effect on inventories, investment dollars, and ultimately, oil prices.

Now could be as good of a time as any.

Where We Stand

So far, the coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people worldwide, claiming nearly 3,000 lives. It has spread to 49 different countries in just a few short weeks, and continues to disrupt airline travel on a massive scale. In California, one possible case of community transmission reared its head—bringing awareness of what the virus can do to a whole new level.

And make no mistake, there is more pain coming.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If what is happening in China, Iran, and South Korea is duplicated in places like the U.S., Japan, Germany, and the U.K., the drop in oil consumption will be a disaster for those countries that depend on oil exports. Iran exports over half of its oil to China. This market is now closed. Venezuela needs to sell oil to meet its debt obligations to China and Russia. But the price to extract this oil makes it economically unfeasible to sell it at today's prices. Bottom line. If this outbreak continues for the rest of the year, the impact on countries like Iran and Venezuela will be disastrous.

Here Are The Countries Best And Worst Prepared For An Epidemic

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 07:17 PM PST

Zero Hedge: The Countries Best And Worst Prepared For An Epidemic

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has stated that another case of the coronavirus has been detected in the United States, pushing the total number of confirmed cases over 60 with 22 outside of the evacuees (and Washington State has announced the first US death from Covid-19) According to tracking by Johns Hopkins University, over 85,000 people have been infected, the vast majority of them in China. The coronavirus has also slowly spread to many other countries with cases reported across the globe.

Even though Chinese authorities have said that they have observed evidence of person-to-person transmission, health officials in Orange and LA counties in the United States have said that the precautions in place should stop any spread of the coronavirus.

As Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, that raises the question: which countries are the most and least prepared to contain large outbreaks of disease?

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Had lunch with a good friend and his wife today. He is an ophthalmologist. She is an anesthesiologist. I asked them if the hospitals that they work at in Montreal have prepared themselves for the coronavirus. Their answer was no.

Chinese President Xi Has Delayed His State Visit To Tokyo Due To The Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 06:43 PM PST

The coronavirus epidemic may mean a delay in Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan. Photo: DPA

SCMP: China, Japan weigh delay in Xi Jinping's state visit to Tokyo due to coronavirus spread

* Xi's visit initially planned for early April but 'may be postponed until autumn'
* New coronavirus cases in China continue to slow, but rise rapidly in other countries like South Korea

Beijing and Tokyo are considering postponing Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan until the autumn because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Japanese media reported on Sunday, citing diplomatic sources in both countries.

The reports came as new coronavirus cases in China continued to slow, while infections in other countries rose sharply, raising concerns about a possible worldwide pandemic.

New South Korean cases exceeded those in China for a third straight day and included a 45-day-old boy. The United States, Australia and Thailand all reported their first deaths from the epidemic, while Ireland and Luxembourg reported their first confirmed cases.

Read more ....

Update #1: China Xi's visit to Japan could be delayed until autumn: Sankei (Reuters)
Update #2: Xi's Japan visit postponed over coronavirus crisis (Nikkei Asian Review)

WNU Editor: This is a very important trip. But everyone understands the situation, and this trip will be done later this year.

Editor's Note

Posted: 01 Mar 2020 04:09 AM PST

Taking some R&R today. Blogging will return later this evening.

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