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

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

Covid-19 Has Spread To At Least A Dozen US Navy Sailors Assigned To Ships In San Diego

Posted: 23 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PDT

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer transits the East Sea during Exercise Ssang Yong 2016 March 8, 2016. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Craig Z. Rodarte/Handout via Reuters

Business Insider: The coronavirus has spread to at least a dozen US Navy sailors serving aboard ships in San Diego

The coronavirus has spread to at least a dozen US Navy sailors assigned to ships in San Diego, California, according to Navy statements.

The first three coronavirus infections aboard San Diego-based US Navy warships emerged among sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer and Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado. The Navy has changed its policy and is no longer reporting which ships infected sailors serve aboard.

Since the policy change, the Navy has reported nine additional cases among sailors assigned to ships based in San Diego.

As of Sunday, at least 111 US service members have reportedly tested positive for the virus.

The novel coronavirus has spread to at least a dozen US Navy sailors assigned to ships in San Diego, California, according to Navy statements.

The first sailor aboard a US warship to test positive for the coronavirus was a service member aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, currently at port in San Diego. That first sailor tested positive on March 13. A few days later, the Navy announced that a second sailor aboard the ship had the virus.

As the virus spread aboard the Boxer, the Navy revealed that a sailor aboard the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado, also in San Diego, had tested positive.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It's beginning .... Pentagon reports what it believes is first death of someone working for DoD who tested positive for COVID-19 (Military Times).

B-2 Bomber Escorted By F-15C Eagles, And Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35As

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 11:00 PM PDT

A B-2A Spirit bomber is escorted by F-15C Eagles, and Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A aircraft in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 over Keflavik, Iceland, March 17, 2020. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Matthew Plew

Business Insider: US B-2 stealth bombers teamed up with Norwegian F-35s for another flight over Iceland

* Increasing geopolitical tension between NATO and Russia has renewed attention on the North Atlantic and the Arctic.
* Iceland sits between those two regions, and the latest trip there by US stealth bombers underscores how important the island is to military planners.

Six months after the US Air Force's B-2A Spirit made its first trip to Iceland, the stealth bomber made another flight over the island this week, teaming up with US F-15C fighters and Norwegian F-35A stealth fighters.

Two B-2s, deployed for Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 and operating out of RAF Fairford in the UK, made the flight on March 16, supported by F-15C Eagles out of RAF Lakenheath and by Norwegian F-35 Lightning IIs flying from Iceland.

B-2s also took part in a Bomber Task Force deployment in August and September, during which the stealth bomber made its first stop ever in Iceland.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Impressive photo-gallery.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 10:31 PM PDT

Videos For Today

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 10:13 PM PDT

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 09:30 PM PDT

A customer's cart filled with the supplies they're purchasing in response to news about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Real Canadian Superstore on Southwest Marine Drive in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada March 14, 2020. Picture taken March 14, 2020. © REUTERS / Alec Jacobson

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Just in Case Food Cart: What the Virus is Prompting Shoppers to Buy (Sputnik).

China Deployed 12 Underwater Drones In Indian Ocean

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 09:15 PM PDT

The Chinese Sea Wing glider is very similar to the US Navy's Littoral Battlespace Sensing-Glider (LBS-G) H I Sutton

Forbes: China Deployed 12 Underwater Drones In Indian Ocean

China has deployed a fleet of underwater drones in the Indian Ocean. According to Chinese government sources, the drones were launched in mid-December 2019 and recovered in February after making more than 3,400 observations. These Sea Wing gliders are a type of Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle (UUV) which can operate for months on end.

The gliders are similar to ones deployed by the U.S. Navy. When China seized a U.S. Navy ocean glider in 2016 the stated reason was to ensure "safe navigation of passing ships." Taken at face value, it may be surprising that China is now deploying these types of UUV en masse in the Indian Ocean. China has also deployed the Sea Wing from an ice breaker in the Arctic.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:The Chinese undersea drone is very similar to ones used by the US Navy. It makes one wonder if Chinese spies had a hand in making this possible.

Taliban And Afghan Government Officials Are Negotiating By Skype On A Prisoner Release

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 08:29 PM PDT

U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, speaks during a debate at Tolo TV channel in Kabul, Afghanistan April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Reuters: Taliban-Afghan government Skype call breathes life into peace process

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban and the Afghan government held a "virtual" meeting on prisoner releases on Sunday, officials said, offering some hope of a breakthrough on a matter that has deadlocked the two sides and threatened a nascent peace process.

The two sides have differed on the release of prisoners - the Afghan government wanting a phased and conditional release and the Taliban wanting all prisoners released in one go as envisaged in an agreement signed with the United States in Doha last month.

The impasse threatened to derail a carefully negotiated peace process outlined in the agreement, including a pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan after over 18 years of fighting.

The two sides spoke for over two hours in a Skype meeting facilitated by the United States and Qatar, officials said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Afghanistan confirmed its first coronavirus-related death today .... Afghanistan confirms first coronavirus-related death (Anadolu Agency).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel In Quarantine After Contact With Doctor Who Tested Positive For Coronavirus

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 08:20 PM PDT

CNBC: Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine after contact with doctor who tested positive for coronavirus

* Merkel decided to immediately quarantine herself in her home, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
* She will be tested regularly over the coming days and will continue to conduct her duties as chancellor from home, Seibert said.
* Germany, the European Union's largest economy, has banned meetings of more than two people in public for the next two weeks to contain the spreading virus.
* Exceptions will be made for people who live together and for work-related gatherings.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the decision to self-quarantine in her home after having contact with a doctor who tested positive for the coronavirus, making her the latest world leader to take precautions after possible exposure to the rapidly spreading disease.

Merkel was informed after a press conference Sunday that a doctor who administered a pneumococcal vaccine to her Friday afternoon tested positive for the virus, according to her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Read more ....

Update #1: Merkel in quarantine after doctor tests positive for virus (AP)
Update #2: Germany's Merkel goes into quarantine after contact with infected doctor (Reuters)

WNU Editor: This is not the time for world leaders to get sick.

Canada Becomes The First Country To Declare That It Is Not Sending Atheletes To The Olympic Games In Tokyo This July

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 07:55 PM PDT

CBC: Canadian athletes will not compete at Tokyo 2020 Games due to risks of COVID-19

Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees call for 1-year postponement.

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee say they will not send athletes to compete in Tokyo if the Games — set to begin July 24 — go ahead as scheduled.

Backed by the Athletes' Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, the COC and CPC say they have "made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020."

The two committees are calling on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Games for a year, citing the safety of athletes and the general public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health," the committees said in a statement Sunday night.

Read more ....

Update #1: Canada says it won't participate in Games in summer 2020 (Reuters)
Update #2: Coronavirus: Canada refuses to send athletes to Tokyo Olympics unless Games postponed (Global News/Canadian Press).

WNU Editor: This pandemic is nowhere close to coming to an end. And certainly not by July. I expect more countries will be making an announcement that they are not sending their teams to Tokyo this summer.

Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 In His Patients

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 07:41 PM PDT

ProPublica: A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients

"It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube."

As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of the highest numbers in the country. Ten people had died. The majority of cases are in New Orleans, which now has one confirmed case for every 1,000 residents. New Orleans had held Mardi Gras celebrations just two weeks before its first patient, with more than a million revelers on its streets.

I spoke to a respiratory therapist there, whose job is to ensure that patients are breathing well. He works in a medium-sized city hospital's intensive care unit. (We are withholding his name and employer, as he fears retaliation.) Before the virus came to New Orleans, his days were pretty relaxed, nebulizing patients with asthma, adjusting oxygen tubes that run through the nose or, in the most severe cases, setting up and managing ventilators. His patients were usually older, with chronic health conditions and bad lungs.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video is an interview with Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Canada. He has become a regular on CBC news, and I find him to be one of the best in explaining this disease, and what measures should be implemented. I also support his call for a nationwide lock-down. The exponential growth of this disease in Canada is accelerating, and everything must be done right now to stop it before we become another Italy or Spain.

U.S. Global Debt Is About To Explode To Unsustainable Levels Due To the Covid-19 Pandemic

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 07:19 PM PDT

Econimica: US Debt To GDP Will Hit New All-Time High In 2020


Coronavirus is no plague or Spanish-flu, but we aren't who we once were either. So the end result may be the same?!?
The young (representing the future) cannot cover the rapidly growing debt...and the policies to avoid dealing with the debt are ultimately destroying future economic activity.

The US is going bankrupt in half measures but double time. Global depression is now unavoidable and imminent.

Some thoughts on Coronavirus...

1- The Coronavirus ain't no black plague or Spanish-flu. Those were true killers that wiped out young and old without regard for the strength or age of the afflicted. In fact, Spanish-flu was attracted to the young adults above all else.

2- However, Coronavirus has come along when the 1st world is at its most vulnerable. Never have more elderly been artificially kept alive beyond their natural expiration dates by drugs and our 1st world medical system promoting quantity over quality. Never has the 1st world been more obese and suffered from more "lifestyle" diseases than now. Hypertension, Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, smoking / vaping lung related issues, drug abuse, etc. The 1st world has the best medicine in world history but capacity is limited and the vulnerable hordes will overwhelm our hospitals. BTW - one of the most vulnerable of populations are the truckers responsible for maintaining transportation...this weak link should be very worrisome.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. is not going to go bankrupt as the above author believes that it will. What will happen is inflation, higher taxes, and interest rates that have not been seen since the early 1980s. Bottom line. This burden is going to be put on the shoulders on those below the age of 50, and they are going to pay a terrible price to pay this debt off to a manageable level. And the U.S. is not alone. Most countries are in a far worst situation .... List of countries by public debt (Wikipedia). On a side note. Russia is one of the best placed to financially weather this storm with one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world.

Should We Trust The Main Stream Media's Coverage Of The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic?

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 06:19 PM PDT

Zero Hedge: Half Of Americans Don't Trust Mainstream Media's COVID-19 Coverage

Americans are split on whether to trust news media with information regarding the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new poll.

As Statista's Willem Roper notes, a joint poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist, shows that 47 percent of U.S. adults responded by saying "not very much" or "not at all" when asked how much they trusted news media with coronavirus information.

This poll also included questions asking how much Americans trusted President Donald Trump, with 60 percent saying they didn't trust him with coronavirus information, and on public health experts, with 13 percent saying they had little to no trust.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Regular readers of this blog know that I do not trust the media. It is not what they report that irks me, it is what they decide not to report that bothers me. For example, Friday night's CTV evening news broadcast (CTV is one of Canada's major news network) had a very critical story on President Trump's confrontation with an NBC reporter. There was no context behind the confrontation, the video itself was edited to feed the narrative that President Trump was attacking the reporter for no reason, and to make it worse it was followed by the CTV news reporter editorializing how unfit the President was. But what really killed me was the news story that then followed the one on President Trump. It was an over-the-top glowing news  report on China and the government's apology to the Wuhan doctor who first made public the danger of the outbreak that was occurring in his hospital, and who eventually died from the disease. No reporting from CTV on how he was threatened by the authorities, no reporting on how China's deliberate policy of denial and obfuscation of even remedial measures to control this outbreak has resulted in the pandemic that we are all experiencing today. Nothing but praise for the government of China.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab Is Next In Line If U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Falls Ill From The Coronavirus

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 05:37 PM PDT

There is no clear legal successor to Boris Johnson

Daily Mail: 'Designated survivor' Cabinet row as senior ministers 'squabble over who gets to stand in for Boris Johnson' if he contracts coronavirus

* Plan sets out who takes over if Mr Johnson becomes ill from coronavirus
* Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, will reportedly take on the top job
* But other ministers are said to be unhappy at the idea

Senior Cabinet ministers are said to be at war over who gets to replace Boris Johnson in leading the nation if the Prime Minister comes down with coronavirus.

No 10 is believed to have set up a 'designated survivor' plan setting out who takes over if Mr Johnson becomes ill and is unable to continue working.

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State, will take on the top job should it occur.

But the decision has not gone down well with some top Cabinet ministers who think it should be then stepping up to the plate, the Sunday Times reported.

Read more ....

Update: Coronavirus: Downing St draws up Covid-19 'Designated Survivor plan' reports claim (Mirror)

WNU Editor:  I am willing to bet that almost every government in the world is making sure that their lines of succession are clear right now.

Partisan Battles In The U.S. Senate Stalls Emergency Coronavirus Bill

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 05:42 PM PDT

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after a meeting to wrap up work on coronavirus economic aid legislation, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

Reuters: Partisan battles block U.S. Senate coronavirus bill but talks continue

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Partisan battles in the U.S. Senate on Sunday stopped a coronavirus response bill from advancing, even as negotiations continued over Democrats' demands for more federal funding for medical care and state and local efforts to combat the outbreak.

The measure faltered after it failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to clear a procedural hurdle after days of negotiations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Democrats to stop their "obstruction," saying it was delaying aid and hurting financial markets.

The bill is Congress' third effort to blunt the economic toll of a disease that has killed at least 415 people in the United States and sickened more than 35,000, leading governors to order nearly a third of the nation's population to stay at home and putting much business activity on hold.

Read more ....

Update: As crisis deepens, congressional rescue deal teeters (AP)

WNU Editor: If this is not resolved by 9:30 EST Monday, there is going to be a bloodbath when the stock markets open. Is Washington that stupid?

Update #2: The futures markets are crashing .... TARP Failure Monday? Futures Crash As Coronavirus Bill Fails Key Procedural Vote (Zero Hedge).

A Look At The Pentagon's Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 03:19 PM PDT

Newsweek: Exclusive: Inside The Military's Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government

Even as President Trump says he tested negative for coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic raises the fear that huge swaths of the executive branch or even Congress and the Supreme Court could also be disabled, forcing the implementation of "continuity of government" plans that include evacuating Washington and "devolving" leadership to second-tier officials in remote and quarantined locations.

But Coronavirus is also new territory, where the military itself is vulnerable and the disaster scenarios being contemplated -- including the possibility of widespread domestic violence as a result of food shortages -- are forcing planners to look at what are called "extraordinary circumstances".

Above-Top Secret contingency plans already exist for what the military is supposed to do if all the Constitutional successors are incapacitated. Standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready these plans, not just to protect Washington but also to prepare for the possibility of some form of martial law.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No surprises here. If the central government is incapacitated, the military and state/local authorities will step up. But what caught my eye in this Newsweek story is this ....

.... Above-Top Secret contingency plans already exist for what the military is supposed to do if all the Constitutional successors are incapacitated. Standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready these plans, not just to protect Washington but also to prepare for the possibility of some form of martial law.

Someone decided three weeks ago that the situation merited issuing a standby order to get ready to implement these plans if necessary.

Update: This is the general who will be in charge .... The four-star general who will command the US if government is crippled by coronavirus: Military puts plans in place for 'extraordinary circumstances' and martial law (Daily ail).

The Collapse In Global Stock Markets Will Continue

Posted: 22 Mar 2020 12:54 PM PDT

Wall Street Journal: The Worst of the Global Selloff Isn't Here Yet, Banks and Investors Warn

Wall Street is only now coming to grips with the dislocation being wrought by the coronavirus.

The most brutal stretch for global markets since the financial crisis likely isn't over yet, say investors and analysts who believe it is too early to assess the possible scale of economic damage from the coronavirus.

In just a few weeks, U.S. stocks have lost roughly a third of their value. In recent weeks, investors have even fled assets like U.S. government bonds and gold that typically do well during times of turmoil, underscoring the extent of the panic and the shock to once-robust investor sentiment delivered by the global health emergency.

But many analysts and portfolio managers warn that neither those declines nor recent extraordinary actions by the Federal Reserve are likely to signal the end of the market crunch. They note that by historical standards, stocks' declines look modest compared with some prior downturns, given the early indications of how much damage virus-related shutdowns are likely to do to global growth. The S&P 500 is down 32% from its February peak. In comparison, stocks tumbled 57% during the financial crisis and 49% after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 before beginning to rebound.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am not buying the narrative that it is "too early to assess the possible scale of economic damage from the coronavirus". IMHO it is very easy to determine what the economic damage is (and will be) for the simple reason that it has already happened. This global pandemic is hitting us now, and it is going to be with us for the next year or two. The shock and trauma of what people have experienced and/or are experiencing right now is going to take a long time to dissipate. I should know because I experienced something like that when the Soviet Union imploded in the 1990s. No one thought that the economic collapse of the former Soviet Union would last for a long time, but it did. It is bad enough when you experience an economic dislocation and the hardship that it brings. It is worst when everyone around you is experiencing the same thing. This is going to be the reality for most Europeans and Americans in the coming months. No job and/or a job with limited hours. Dwindling or limited savings. And pressure from loved ones for help. In this environment the last thing people are going to be doing is investing in the stock market.