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Friday, March 6, 2020

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

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


There Is A Lot Of Activity At This Top Secret US Air Base

Posted: 06 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PST

Sputnik Screenshot

Warzone/The Drive: Mystery Objects Simultaneously Emerge From Hangars Again At Secretive Tonopah Airport

We first spotted this type of unprecedented activity in satellite imagery of the clandestine base three months ago.

Last December, The War Zone reported on a bizarre instance where Planet Labs' satellite imagery showed a dozen mystery objects sitting in front of and/or poking out of one of the rows of hangars at the secretive Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada. After reviewing years of daily imagery from Planet Labs, such an event appeared unprecedented. Since the December 6th occurrence, it hasn't happened again, that is until Monday, March 2nd, 2020.

For key information on the first sighting of this kind, comparative and high-resolution images, as well as critical background information, including historical context about Tonopah Test Range Airport and its very unique tenants, make sure to read our past report linked here.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even the Russians are curious on what is happening there .... Photo: Satellite Captures Re-Emergence of Mysterious Vehicles at Top Secret US Air Base (Sputnik).

How Russian And Chinese Satellites Are Helping American U-2 Pilots Spy On Russia And China

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 11:00 PM PST

A U-2 Dragon Lady flies above the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, California, Mar. 23, 2016. U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo

Defense One: Russian and Chinese Satellites Are Helping US Pilots Spy on Russia and China

U-2 pilots are wearing watches that connect to foreign satellites, giving them backup navigation when GPS is jammed.

American U-2 spy plane pilots, who have long flown bleeding-edge technology to the edge of Earth's atmosphere, have a new high-tech gadget: a watch that receives satellite navigation coordinates from Russian, Chinese, and European satellites.

It serves as a backup to U.S. Global Positioning System satellites, in case their signal becomes unavailable.

"My U-2 guys fly with a watch now that ties into GPS, but also BeiDou and the Russian [GLONASS] system and the European [Galileo] system so that if somebody jams GPS, they still get the others," Gen. James "Mike" Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, said Wednesday at a McAleese and Associates conference in Washington.

The general mentioned the watch as an example of building redundancies into military equipment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I would love to have one of those "watches" when I go sailing.

Tweets For Today

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 10:30 PM PST











Defense Secretary Mark Esper: Coronavirus Won’t Prevent Military Operations

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 10:00 PM PST

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Yuri Gripas/Reuters

FOX News: Pentagon is 'fully confident' military can withstand threat of coronavirus: Esper

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said a coronavirus protection plan is being "finalized" for DoD employees and service members and will be presented to him next week.

Esper said he was "fully confident" the Pentagon would be able to perform its functions in the event coronavirus comes to the nation's capital.

"We have a lot of capabilities in this building [the Pentagon]," Esper told reporters. "Our National Military Command Center has the capability to go for weeks at a time if they have to be locked down inside the building if we have some type of outbreak."

Read more ....

Update: Esper says new virus won't prevent military operations -- Military Times/AP

WNU Editor: The virus may not prevent military operations, but I am sure that it will limit some.

Update #2: Some operations are being cancelled .... Pentagon Cancelling Exercises Due to Coronavirus (Popular Mechanics).

Picture Of The Day

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 09:30 PM PST

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is seen while entering the port in Da Nang, Vietnam. REUTERS/Kham

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

The U.S. Department Of Defense Is Preparing For A Potential Coronavirus Outbreak At The Pentagon

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 09:00 PM PST

Business Insider: The Department of Defense is bracing for a potential coronavirus outbreak at the Pentagon

* The Department of Defense is making plans for a possible coronavirus outbreak at the Pentagon, the secretary of defense said Thursday.
* Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters that the department is looking at strategies that have proven effective for US Forces Korea, where there have only been six USFK-related infections, despite South Korea's high number of cases.
* "We have a lot of capabilities in this building," Esper said. "Our national military command center has the capability go for weeks at a time ... if we have some type of outbreak."

The Department of Defense is planning for a possible coronavirus outbreak at the Pentagon, the world's largest office building, the secretary of defense said Thursday afternoon.

The US has had 11 coronavirus deaths among more than 220 cases of infection. None of those infections or deaths have been close to the Pentagon, where more than 20,000 people work, but DoD wants to be prepared just in case.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Thursday that he expects to receive a proposal next week on prevention and mitigation measures "should we have somebody come up positive or display symptoms."

Read more
....

WNU Editor: Pray for the best, prepare for the worst.

Report: US Congressional Staffer Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 07:48 PM PST


WNU Editor: Aside from the above Tucker Carlson video and a few blogs reporting this story, there has been no official confirmation that a US Congressional staffer has been tested positive for the coronavirus.

If Bloomberg Couldn’t Buy 2020, How Could Russia Buy 2016?

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 07:00 PM PST



The Federalist: Hemingway: If Bloomberg Couldn't Buy 2020, How Could Russia Buy 2016?

Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway joined Fox News' "Special Report" to discuss New York billionaire Mike Bloomberg's historic level of campaign spending, and what it reveals about the power of media and establishment consensus.

Hemingway pointed out how Bloomberg's failed campaign, despite unlimited resources, pokes holes in the popular narrative that Russia helped Donald Trump "steal" the 2016 election.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Money poorly spent .... Bloomberg and Steyer spent more than three quarters of a billion dollars on the 2020 race (CNN). This also makes a mockery to all those who pushed and bought the narrative that Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential election with its social media campaign.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Chief Says Coronavirus May Be A U.S. Biological Attack Targeting China And Iran

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 06:00 PM PST

Hossein Salami (pictured), the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, has today claimed that the coronavirus outbreak could be a biological attack by the United States

Daily Mail: Iranian revolutionary guard chief claims coronavirus outbreak 'may be the product of an American biological invasion' aimed at China and Iran

* Hossein Salami told a crowd in Kerman that virus outbreak could be deliberate
* Revolutionary Guards commander vowed Iran will 'win the fight' against virus
* Scientists believe the virus jumped from animals to humans in China late in 2019

The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards has today claimed that the coronavirus outbreak could be a biological attack by the United States against China and Iran.

Hossein Salami told a crowd in Kerman today that the virus outbreak which has brought misery to Iran 'may be the product of the American biological invasion'.

'We will win in the fight against the virus, which may be the product of the American biological invasion, which it first spread to China and then to Iran and the rest of the world,' he declared.

Read more ....

More News On Iranian Revolutionary Guard Chief Hossein Salami Saying The Coronavirus May Be A U.S. Biological Attack Targeting China And Iran

IRGC Says Coronavirus Outbreak Is 'Biological Warfare' By America, 3,500 Infected -- Radio Farda
Iranian nation will get through this biological warfare: Salami -- MEHR News Agency
Сoronavirus may be a product of US 'biological attack' aimed at Iran & China, IRGC chief claims -- RT
Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander says coronavirus may have been caused by US biological attack -- FOX News
Coronavirus Conspiracy? Iranian Commander Suggests Virus Might Be U.S. Biological Weapon -- RFE
Iranian General: Coronavirus Is A Manmade Bio-Weapon -- Zero Hedge

Saudi Arabia's Great Mecca Mosque Is Closed Due To The Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 06:23 PM PST



Daily Mail: Mecca's Great Mosque is DESERTED due to coronavirus: Courtyard is closed for disinfecting as Saudi Arabia battles the virus… and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem shuts too

* Saudi Arabia has banned its citizens from making the pilgrimage to Mecca, having already banned foreigners
* Area around the stone Kaaba was closed Thursday for disinfection in a rare sight in bid to control coronavirus
* Iran, at the centre of the outbreak in the Middle East, has also barred Friday prayers

The central courtyard of the Great Mosque of Mecca was completely closed on Thursday as workers disinfected it in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Photos and videos showed the area around the cuboid Kaaba - the holiest site in Islam - completely deserted except for cleaners in near-unprecedented scenes.

It comes after Saudi Arabia banned its citizens from making pilgrimages to the site, having already banned foreigners from coming amid fears it was spreading the virus.

The courtyard of the mosque is at it busiest during the Hajj pilgrimage - which this year falls during July and August - but remains busy throughout the year for Umrah pilgrimages, meaning it is almost never empty.

Read more ....

Update #1: Saudi Arabia announces extraordinary measures to protect Mecca and Medina from coronavirus (Middle East Eye)
Update #2: Saudi Arabia bans all pilgrimages to Mecca to fight virus spread (The Hill)
Update #3: Grand mosque in Mecca closed until Friday morning prayers (Gulf News)

WNU Editor: These are truly extraordinary times.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak Medical News Updates -- March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 05:31 PM PST



Hannah Devlin, The Guardian: Has Covid-19 mutated into a more deadly strain? Busting the coronavirus myths

The truth about the protective value of face masks and whether it's easy to catch Covid-19

Claim: it is mutating into a more deadly strain

All viruses accumulate mutations over time and the virus that causes Covid-19 is no different. How widespread different strains of a virus become depends on natural selection – the versions that can propagate quickest and replicate effectively in the body will be the most "successful". This doesn't necessarily mean most dangerous for people though, as viruses that kill people rapidly or make them so sick that they are incapacitated may be less likely to be transmitted.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak Medical News Updates -- March 5, 2020

What you need to know about coronavirus right now -- Reuters
The Coronavirus, by the Numbers -- The New York Times
A coronavirus vaccine isn't coming very quickly -- DW
Family clusters: A common pattern for how the coronavirus spreads -- NBC
How Coronavirus Spreads: A Cough In Your Face ... Or A Kiss On Your Cheek -- NPR
Explainer: Why do so many epidemics originate in Africa and Asia? -- Suresh V Kuchipudi, Pennsylvania State University/Navy Times
Why are there so many conspiracy theories around the coronavirus? -- Gouri Sharma, Al Jazeera
What it's REALLY like to catch coronavirus: First British victim, 25, describes how 'worst disease he ever had' left him sweating, shivering, and struggling to breathe as his eyes burned and bones ached -- Daily Mail
Science Says: How risky is that virus? Your mind may mislead -- Malcolm Ritter, AP
Cluster, COVID-19 and all the coronavirus terms you need to know -- CNN

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 05:21 PM PST





Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner: In Moscow, Erdogan kneels to Putin

Even by Vladimir Putin's standards for embarrassing his foreign counterparts, his treatment of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday was a spectacle — and not a good one for the Turkish president.

Meeting Putin in the aftermath of a recent Syrian airstrike, which killed 34 Turkish soldiers, Erdogan might have been expected to take a tough stance with the Russian leader. Or at least a harder line than his submissiveness of past.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 5, 2020

As Erdogan licks wounds over Idlib, Putin wins again -- Omer Taspinar, Asia Times

Pompeo's Turkish Gambit Fails in Syria -- Matthew Petti, National Interest

Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets -- AP

Thailand caught in a destabilizing viral spiral -- Shawn W. Crispin, Asia Times

OPEC calls for big production cut, but will Russia agree? -- AP

AP Explains: Why Syria's M5 is Assad's highway to victory -- Zeina Karam, AP

Palestinian voters are the new power brokers in Israel, much to Netanyahu's chagrin -- Yair Wallach, The Guardian

Libyans Deserve Peace. They Need Help to Achieve It. -- Taher El-Sonni, RCW

Macron, Merkel and the battle for the future of Europe -- Guardian podcast

Political spring cleaning in Ukraine -- Bohdan Nahaylo, Kyiv Post

US has opened door to Taliban rule in Afghanistan -- Faisal Al Yafai, Asia Times

Taliban 'peace deal' fraught with danger and begs question – who will police the world? -- Cal Thomas, FOX News/Tribune Media Services

Joe Biden is surging but his campaign has one weak spot: Joe Biden himself -- Cas Mudde, The Guardian

Downplaying virus could lose Trump the election -- David P. Goldman, Asia Times

World News Briefs -- March 5, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 04:55 PM PST



BBC: Turkish police move to stop Greece pushing migrants back

Turkey says it is deploying 1,000 police officers to its land border with Greece to halt the pushback of migrants into Turkey.

Thousands of migrants and refugees, desperate to get into the EU, remain in the border zone. Greek guards have fired tear gas to stop them entering.

The extra Turkish police are going to the Meric river (called Evros in Greek) on the border, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

The EU has condemned Turkey's policy.

The Greek government says that since early Saturday its forces have prevented the illegal entry of 34,778 people and arrested 244.

Syrians, Afghans, Pakistanis and West Africans are among the migrants at the border.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Bodies 'pile up' in morgue as Iran feels strain of coronavirus.

Another senior politician has died of coronavirus in Iran, where 8% of the parliament is infected.

Russia, Turkey announce cease-fire in northwestern Syria.

Russian airstrikes kill more than a dozen civilians in Syria.

U.S. divided over support for Turkey in Syria, Jeffrey says.

Tensions escalate in Deraa, 'cradle of the Syrian revolution'.

Assad says Erdogan blackmailing Europe with refugees.

Syria says it intercepted Israeli missile attack near Golan Heights.

Iran says IAEA case for inspecting sites based on fake Israeli intel.

Israel razes homes of Palestinian bombing suspects.

Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed abducted daughters and threatened wife - UK court.

Bethlehem's storied Nativity Church closes amid virus fears.

ASIA

Chinese province reports 11 new virus cases from Iran flights: state media.

Fighting in Rakhine, Chin states rages as Myanmar limits internet.

Afghan war crimes probe must go ahead says ICC judges.

Afghan political rivals divided over release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

China's coronavirus death toll surpasses 3000.

Hong Kong authorities accused of seizing on coronavirus outbreak to pressure pro-democracy movement.

Japan postpones highly anticipated Xi, Abe summit.

India restores internet in Kashmir after 7 months of blackout.

Experts warn of more 'apartheid cities' following Delhi violence.

AFRICA

UN's first employee with coronavirus among Senegal infections.

Libya conflict: Post-shelling, flights resume at Tripoli airport.

Kenya and Somalia leaders speak after heightened tensions.

Ivory Coast's Ouattara says he won't seek third term in October election.

Sudan's June crackdown killed 241 people, rights group says.

Algeria seeks 4-year prison term for protest leader.

South Africa confirms first coronavirus case. Coronavirus: South Africa's President Ramaphosa warns of crisis.

Trump extends sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Greenpeace accuses DR Congo of signing vast new logging contracts.

EUROPE

Putin: Russia needs constitutional changes to move forward.

Coronavirus: Greece shuts schools as WHO warns about local transmission.

Greece blocks 35,000 migrants, plans to deport arrivals after March 1.

Greece says it will deport asylum seekers who arrived after Turkey opened way to Europe.

Turkey to deploy 1,000 Special Forces at Greek border over refugees situation. Turkish police move to stop Greece pushing migrants back.

Five years on, ill-prepared EU sees migrants on its borders.

EU's Barnier warns of big divergences with UK in talks.

Ukraine Parliament selects Denys Shmygal as new PM.

Ukraine's prosecutor general axed in parliament no-confidence vote.

AMERICAS

Sweeping Senate vote sends Trump $8.3B bill to fight virus.

Cruise ship is held off California coast for virus testing.

Guyana opposition cries fraud in presidential election.

U.S. sanctions Nicaragua police force over 'violent repression'.

Warren to drop out of presidential race. Warren, once a frontrunner, ends her US presidential campaign.

Schumer walks back words he used on Supreme Court justices.

Empty stores, quarantined firefighters: Washington city at coronavirus epicenter reels as death toll rises.

Haiti's new PM calls for help in tackling 'precarious socio-economic situation'.

Brazil economy slows in Bolsonaro's first year.

Nazi name lists in Argentina may reveal loot in Swiss bank.

Anger on Easter Island after truck crashes into sacred stone statue.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

SecDef: Soleimani's killing dealt big setback to Iranian terrorism.

Jihadists kill five police in Nigeria's restive north.

Former soldier sentenced for attempting to provide support to ISIS.

Met officer suspected of belonging to group linked to terrorism.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Virus fears grip markets again; stocks and bond yields slide.

Wall Street drops over 3% on virus fears, travel shares slammed.

IMF provides $50bn to fight coronavirus outbreak.

Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets.

Trade group: Airline industry will lose at least $63B due to COVID-19.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Asia -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 03:33 PM PST



New York Post: Coronavirus cases growing outside China, but slowing inside country

Countries outside China are now reporting more than 18 times the number of daily coronavirus cases than within the nation where the deadly bug originated, new statistics show.

China reported 120 new cases on Wednesday — the lowest number since nationwide daily updates began Jan. 21, World Health Organization figures show. Thirty-eight new deaths were reported there that day, according to the records.

Outside of China, 2,103 new coronavirus cases were reported Wednesday — with four new countries reporting infections, the stats show. Forty-eight new deaths were reported.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Asia -- News Updates March 5, 2020

China's coronavirus death toll surpasses 3000 -- France 24
COVID-19 deaths top 3,000 in China -- UPI
New coronavirus infections may drop to zero by end-March in Wuhan: Chinese government expert -- Reuters
Coronavirus: 'recovered' patient dies as China reports discharged cases falling ill again -- SCMP
Recovered coronavirus patient, 36, dies of the disease five days after being discharged from a hospital in Wuhan -- Daily Mail
China may have 'no new coronavirus cases' outside Hubei by mid-March -- SCMP
'Very homesick' Wuhan residents trickle back to stricken city -- AFP
China curbs communal meals over coronavirus outbreak -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus: China keen to promote its success in controlling epidemic -- SCMP
Virus cancels exams, jeopardizes Chinese students' plans -- AP
China's factories try to shield workers as output revives -- AP
Coronavirus: South Korea's aggressive testing gives clues to true fatality rate -- SCMP
South Korea declares new 'special care zone' as coronavirus spreads -- Reuters
Food, water and masks: South Korea's COVID-19 quarantine kits -- France 24
South Korea declares new 'special care zone' as coronavirus spreads -- Reuters
North Korea outlines quarantine measures for COVID-19 -- UPI
N. Korea's Kim expresses condolences over virus in S. Korea -- AP
Kim Jong Un offers South Koreans 'comfort' over virus: Seoul -- AFP
Kim Jong Un sends letter of support as South Korean coronavirus cases top 6,000 -- UPI
Japan to quarantine visitors from China, South Korea over virus -- AFP
Japan's coronavirus infection rate could be 'tip of the iceberg' as experts call for more testing -- CNN
South Korea added to Australia's coronavirus travel ban list, restrictions for travellers from Italy -- ABC News Online
Coronavirus cases jump to six in Pakistan as Iran-returned man tested positive in Karachi -- Express Tribune
India identifies 29 coronavirus cases as global infections top 95,000 -- CNN

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In The Middle East -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 03:19 PM PST



Daily Mail: Iran closes all its schools and universities until April – joining the 290MILLION children facing weeks at home around the globe

* Iranian schools will be shut until Persian New Year on March 19, which is followed by national holidays which mean classrooms will remain empty into April
* UNESCO warned children's 'right to education' is being threatened by closures
* 13 countries have shut schools, with nine others introducing localised closures
* UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said the 'educational disruption is unparalleled'
* Comes as number infected globally reached more than 95,000, with 3,286 dead

Iran has today ordered all its schools and universities shut until April because of the coronavirus outbreak, with 290million children facing weeks at home in 'unparallelled' closures around the globe.

Health minister Saeed Namaki said classrooms would remain closed until the end of the Persian year on March 19, which is followed by national holidays into April.

'People should not consider this as an opportunity to go travelling,' the minister said. 'They should stay home and take our warnings seriously.

'This virus is highly contagious. It is a serious matter, do not joke about it.'

The UAE earlier became the latest country to close its schools as the worldwide toll of those infected reached more than 95,000 today, including 3,286 deaths.

Read more ....



Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In The Middle East -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Iran says 15 new coronavirus deaths raise toll to 107 -- AFP
Iranian revolutionary guard chief claims coronavirus may be a US biological weapon -- TASS
Coronavirus: how big is the threat to Iran? -- SCMP
Coronavirus: Iraq reports first two confirmed deaths as fears rise -- BBC
Iraq's virus response halts Iran trade, resorts to online schooling -- AFP
Palestinians declare state of emergency over coronavirus: prime minister -- Reuters
Palestinians confirms virus cases, declare two-week tourist ban -- France 24
Church of Nativity in Bethlehem to close over coronavirus fears -- Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia denounces Iran for accepting Saudi visitors amid coronavirus -- Reuters
Saudi empties Islam's holiest site for 'sterilisation' -- AFP
Mecca's Great Mosque is DESERTED due to coronavirus: Courtyard is closed for disinfecting as Saudi Arabia battles the virus… and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem shuts too -- Daily Mail
Saudi risks fallout with coronavirus curbs on holy sites -- AFP
Concerned by coronavirus outbreak, UAE advises against travel abroad -- Reuters

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Europe -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 03:11 PM PST



Daily Mail: Italy sees highest number of deaths in a single day with 41 fatalities, bringing total to 148, as country bans visiting elderly relatives

* Coronavirus has infected a further 769 today bringing the total to 3,858 in Italy
* Italy's government has urged the elderly to stay inside unless strictly necessary
* Ministers are facing growing anger over school closures in place until March 15
* Rome will also ask EU to revise its budgetary targets to boost Italy's economy

Italy has seen its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day with 41 new fatalities in the worst outbreak in Europe.

The latest figures brings the death toll to 148.

It comes as Italy announced a clampdown on people visiting their elderly relatives in its latest bid to contain the deadly disease, that infected a further 769 today bringing the total to 3,858.

The government has placed restrictions on nursing home visits and has urged the elderly to stay inside unless strictly necessary.

Read more ....

`Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In Europe -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Coronavirus: Italy closes schools, universities until March 15 as death toll tops 100 -- France 24
Italy shutters all schools, universities as COVID-19 death toll reaches 107 -- UPI
Coronavirus: Italy to close all schools as deaths rise -- BBC
Italian coronavirus death toll jumps, government doubles financial help -- Reuters
Germany reports 109 new confirmed coronavirus cases -- Reuters
Coronavirus: Greece shuts schools as WHO warns about local transmission -- The Guardian
Total coronavirus cases in UK rise to 115 -- Reuters
First person in UK dies from coronavirus as number of cases doubles in 48 hours -- RT
First coronavirus death in Britain confirmed -- Reuters
Coronavirus: HSBC staff in London sent home after employee tests positive -- SCMP
Britain moves to trying to delay coronavirus spread -- Reuters
Hungary confirms third coronavirus case in man who returned from Milan -- Reuters
Coronavirus: Spain advises companies to send workers home -- Al Jazeera
Sweden's Stockholm region reports jump in coronavirus cases -- Reuters
Ireland reports first coronavirus community transmission, cases hit 13 -- Reuters
Moscow imposes 'high alert regime' to stem coronavirus outbreak -- Reuters
Moscow placed on high alert due to threat of coronavirus outbreak -- TASS
Europe could face more drug shortages as coronavirus squeezes supplies -- Reuters

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In The U.S. -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 03:05 PM PST



Daily Mail: Coast Guard delivers coronavirus testing kits to THOUSANDS of Grand Princess cruise ship passengers stranded 400-miles off coast of California as number of cases in the U.S. rises to 207 across 19 states

* The Grand Princess cruise ship has been banned from returning to San Francisco following a trip to Hawaii amid a suspected coronavirus outbreak onboard
* Two passengers who traveled on the same ship on a previous voyage last month between San Francisco and Mexico later fell ill and tested positive for the coronavirus
* The first was a 71-year-old man who died on Wednesday and became the state's first coronavirus death, while the second remains in hospital and is 'gravely ill'
* Eleven passengers and 10 crew members who are currently on the same ship have now reported symptoms that could turn out to be the coronavirus
* Sixty two passengers who were on the previous Mexican cruise where the two cases were detected remained on the ship for the Hawaii voyage as well and may have had contact with the two infected passengers
* The predicament of the Grand Princess cruise liner was reminiscent of the Diamond Princess vessel that was quarantined off the coast of Japan in February
* The death toll in the US now sits at 11 with more than 160 confirmed cases across the country
* An increase in testing countrywide has seen a jump in confirmed cases in Washington state, California and New York with Tennessee and Nevada each reporting their first cases in the last 24 hours

The US Coast Guard has delivered coronavirus test kits to a cruise ship that is being held 400 miles off the California coast amid fears of a suspected outbreak as the number of cases across the country rises to more than 170 in 19 states.

Thousands of passengers are currently on the Grand Princess cruise ship after it was banned on Wednesday from returning to its home port of San Francisco from a voyage to Hawaii after at least 20 people onboard fell ill.

It comes after two passengers who traveled on the same ship on a previous voyage last month between San Francisco and Mexico tested positive for the coronavirus and one later died - becoming California's first fatality from the disease.

Eleven passengers and 10 crew members who are currently on the same ship have now reported symptoms that could turn out to be the coronavirus, seasonal flu or the common cold.

Read more ....



Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak In The U.S. -- News Updates March 5, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak expands to 18 states -- The Hill
Senate passes $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus package, sending bill to Trump's desk -- CNBC
BREAKING NEWS: Every New Yorker who has 'recently' returned from five coronavirus hot-spot countries is told to self-quarantine for two weeks - as Mayor Bill de Blasio says virus spread is 'unpredictable and worrisome' -- Daily Mail
New York state coronavirus cases double, Senate passes $8.3 billion spending bill -- Reuters
New York state coronavirus cases double to 22 with more testing: governor says -- Reuters
Washington county recommends all 2.2M residents to work from home, tells over 60's to stay indoors -- FOX News
Washington county with nine coronavirus deaths urges ALL its 2.2MILLION residents to work from home, pulls 22,000 students from school and tells everyone over 60 to stay indoors - while state officials warn primary voters not to lick ballots -- Daily Mail
Washington state urges patience as Covid-19 test delays stoke anger -- Reuters
New Jersey confirms its first coronavirus case as man in his 30s is hospitalized and governor Phil Murphy urges residents to 'remain calm' -- Daily Mail
Coronavirus: California declares emergency after death -- BBC
Cruise ship is held off California coast for virus testing -- AP
Second Princess cruise ship with possible coronavirus onboard held offshore near San Francisco -- The Hill
Coronavirus: thousands held on Grand Princess cruise ship off California over fears of new outbreak -- SCMP
FIVE states in the US are NOT testing for coronavirus AT ALL as Washington state residents are furious that only 100 tests can be run a day after CDC sent flawed kits -- Daily Mail
Trump disputes WHO's 3.4 percent global death rate for coronavirus -- The Hill
Coronavirus mortality rate 1 percent or less: US -- AFP
Stores including Kroger and Costco ration water, rice and hand sanitizer as shoppers stock up on their 'pandemic pantries' amid fears malls will become ghost towns due to coronavirus outbreak -- Daily Mail

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak: Live Updates And WHO Announcements -- March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 02:07 PM PST



CNBC: WHO calls on all nations to 'pull out all the stops' to fight coronavirus

* WHO called on all nations to "pull out all the stops" to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus as it continues to spread outside of China.
* "This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses," WHO's top official said.

The World Health Organization on Thursday called on all nations to "pull out all the stops" to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus as it continues to spread outside of China.

"This epidemic can be pushed back but only with a coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency's headquarters in Geneva. "We're calling on every country to act with speed, scale and clear-minded determination."

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak: Live Updates And WHO Announcements -- March 5, 2020

The Latest: Vatican working to control spread of new virus -- AP
Live: LiveCoronavirus: Italy and Iran close schools -- BBC
Coronavirus latest: Italy seeks EU permission for extra borrowing -- DW
Coronavirus: patient with underlying health conditions becomes first fatality in UK – latest updates -- The Guardian
Coronavirus live updates: US cases jump to 197, deaths now total 12 -- CNBC
South Africa confirms first case of coronavirus: Live updates -- Al Jazeera
What's Happening: WHO calls for action, dog tested -- AP
Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases? -- Al Jazeera

Countries need to 'pull out all the stops' to combat coronavirus, WHO warns, as Bethlehem church closes and Indian PM Modi advises citizens to exercise restraint during Holi festivities -- Daily Mail
WHO urges globe to 'pull out the stops' against virus' march -- AP
'Long list' of countries not doing enough against virus: WHO -- France 24
COVID-19 epidemic can be pushed back with concerted approach: WHO -- Reuters
Daily coronavirus cases outside of China are now 18 TIMES higher than inside the worst-hit nation where the outbreak began as Beijing offers help by sending 250,000 face masks to Iran -- Daily Mail
Some 300 million students out of school as world steps up coronavirus battle -- France 24
How coronavirus spread around the world: Animated graphic shows how severely each country was hit over the last two months -- Daily Mail

Putin, Erdogan Agree to A Temporary Idlib Cease-Fire

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 01:56 PM PST




BBC: Syria war: Russia and Turkey agree Idlib ceasefire

Turkey and Russia have agreed a ceasefire from midnight local time in Syria's north-western Idlib province in a bid to avoid a major escalation.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan also agreed to establish a security corridor and joint patrols.

Last month, 36 Turkish soldiers were killed in Idlib during a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive.

Turkey, which backs opposition rebels, responded by attacking Syrian troops.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The meeting lasted for 6 hours .... Putin-Erdogan negotiations are over (TASS). Russian officials are making it clear that this is a temporary ceasefire. That tells me that this "ceasefire" is probably going to fall apart sooner rather than later.

More News On Russian President Putin And Turkish President Erdogan Agreeing To A Temporary Idlib Ceasefire

Russia, Turkey reach deal on midnight ceasefire for Syria's Idlib -- France 24
Russia, Turkey reach cease-fire deal in northwestern Syria -- AP
Russia's Putin says agreed deal with Turkey's Erdogan that lays ground for Syria ceasefire -- Reuters
Russia & Turkey agree on de-escalation in Idlib, Syria, after Putin-Erdogan talks in Moscow -- RT
Turkey and Russia announce temporary Syria ceasefire -- DW
Erdogan, Putin announce Idlib ceasefire after Moscow meeting -- Al Jazeera
Putin, Erdogan Agree to Idlib Cease-Fire After Hours of Syria Talks -- Bloomberg
Turkey to Deploy More Troops as Ceasefire Comes Into Effect in Idlib Under New Agreement With Russia -- Sputnik
Putin, Erdogan agree on security corridor for Syria's Idlib: Lavrov -- Reuters

U.S. Officials Say Resumption Of Violence In Afghanistan Is Unacceptable

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 01:18 PM PST



The Hill: Pompeo: Increase in Afghanistan violence after deal with Taliban 'unacceptable'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called a surge in violence in Afghanistan this week "unacceptable" and warned both the Taliban and the Afghan government to "stop posturing" ahead of intra-Afghan peace talks.

"The upsurge in violence in parts of Afghanistan over the last couple days is unacceptable," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department on Thursday. "In no uncertain terms, violence must be reduced immediately for the peace process to move forward."

The Taliban has resumed offensive operations against Afghan government forces after last week's reduction in violence and after signing a deal Saturday with the United States that lays out a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Afghans have been at war against foreigners and themselves for decades. It is not going to stop overnight.

More News On U.S. Reaction To The Resumption Of Violence In Afghanistan

Resumption of violence in Afghanistan 'unacceptable,' must be reduced: Pompeo -- AFP
US defense leaders: Taliban peace deal results mixed -- AP
Esper: US-Taliban deal seeing 'mixed' results -- The Hill
Esper says Taliban not honoring deal as US warplanes bail out Afghan forces -- Military Times
US urges halt to Afghan violence but puts faith in Taliban -- AFP

International Criminal Court Approves Afghan War Crimes Probe

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 01:13 PM PST



DW: International court backs Afghan war crimes probe

Appeal judges at the International Criminal Court have given prosecutors the go-ahead to launch an investigation into alleged war crimes by Taliban, Afghan and US forces.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday authorized an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan. The probe targets US, Afghan and Taliban forces as well as intelligence personnel.

The ruling came only days after the US and the Taliban signed an ambitious peace deal to end conflict in Afghanistan.

The Hague-based international court upheld an appeal by prosecutors against an earlier deision to block an investigation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. is not going to cooperate .... Pompeo says US will take 'all necessary measures' to bar war crimes probe of military (USA Today). More here .... Pompeo: 'Misinformation' behind international court's probe of US actions in Afghanistan (The Hill).

More News On The International Criminal Court Approving An Afghan War Crimes Probe

Afghan conflict: Top court backs war crimes probe -- BBC
International court approves Afghanistan investigation -- AP
ICC clears way for probe of alleged Afghanistan war crimes -- Reuters
ICC approves investigation into war crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan -- France 24
ICC authorizes investigations of war crimes in Afghanistan -- UPI
ICC authorises investigation into alleged Afghanistan war crimes -- Al Jazeera

Former President Bill Clinton Admits For The First Time In Hillary Hulu Documentary That He Had Oral Sex With Monica Lewinsky To Ease Pressures Of The Job

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 12:12 PM PST

Bill Clinton said that he had the affair with Monica Lewinsky while in office because it helped to 'manage my anxieties'. The former President makes the claims in an interview featured in a new documentary series about his wife Hillary Clinton, called 'Hillary'

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: 'I did it to manage my anxieties.' Bill Clinton reveals in Hillary Hulu doc that he had oral sex with Monica Lewinsky to ease pressures of the job, feels 'terrible' scandal defined her life and confessing to Chelsea was the worst

* Bill Clinton said he had the affair with Monica Lewinsky while he was in office because it helped to 'manage my anxieties'
* The former President makes the claims in an interview featured in a new documentary series -'Hillary' - to air on Hulu Friday
* He said that when he met Lewinsky, the pressure of the job was too much and he thought, 'Here's something that will take your mind off it for a while'
* The former First Lady candidly reveals that in the aftermath of the scandal the couple underwent 'painful' marriage counseling
* Clinton apologizes to Lewinsky, saying he feels 'terrible' that the affair defined her life
* The series features extraordinary access to the Clintons' inner circle and Hillary's life from her student days to losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump
* She's explained that she agreed to the documentary 'because I'm not running for anything'

Bill Clinton claims that his affair with Monica Lewinsky was one of the 'things I did to manage my anxieties'.

The former President suggests, in an explosive documentary seen by DailyMailTV, that he had the fling with the ex-White House intern while he was in office because it helped with his own issues.

Bill reveals that at the time he met Lewinsky the pressure of the job made him feel like a boxer who had done 30 rounds and he looked at Lewinsky as 'something that will take your mind off it for a while'.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Why is he admitting this now? I know it is not because of guilt.

World News Briefs -- March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 03:34 PM PST



Al Jazeera: Erdogan, Putin announce Idlib ceasefire after Moscow meeting

Truce in Syria's last rebel stronghold to begin at midnight, presidents say, after lengthy meeting in Russian capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have announced a military ceasefire in Idlib to begin at midnight on Thursday, after a meeting in Moscow that lasted six hours.

Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, has witnessed increased violence and bloodshed since last December, the start of a Russia-backed Syrian offensive to regain control over the region which resulted in Turkey sending thousands of troops into the province to repel the Syrian army.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Russia, Turkey announce cease-fire in northwestern Syria.

Russian airstrikes kill more than a dozen civilians in Syria.

U.S. divided over support for Turkey in Syria, Jeffrey says.

Tensions escalate in Deraa, 'cradle of the Syrian revolution'.

Assad says Erdogan blackmailing Europe with refugees.

Syria says it intercepted Israeli missile attack near Golan Heights.

Iran says IAEA case for inspecting sites based on fake Israeli intel.

Israel razes homes of Palestinian bombing suspects.

Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed abducted daughters and threatened wife - UK court.

ASIA

Fighting in Rakhine, Chin states rages as Myanmar limits internet.

Afghan war crimes probe must go ahead says ICC judges.

Afghan political rivals divided over release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

China's coronavirus death toll surpasses 3000.

Hong Kong authorities accused of seizing on coronavirus outbreak to pressure pro-democracy movement.

Japan postpones highly anticipated Xi, Abe summit.

India restores internet in Kashmir after 7 months of blackout.

Experts warn of more 'apartheid cities' following Delhi violence.

AFRICA

Libya conflict: Post-shelling, flights resume at Tripoli airport.

Kenya and Somalia leaders speak after heightened tensions.

Ivory Coast's Ouattara says he won't seek third term in October election.

Sudan's June crackdown killed 241 people, rights group says.

Algeria seeks 4-year prison term for protest leader.

South Africa confirms first coronavirus case. Coronavirus: South Africa's President Ramaphosa warns of crisis.

Trump extends sanctions against Zimbabwe.

EUROPE

Greece blocks 35,000 migrants, plans to deport arrivals after March 1.

Greece says it will deport asylum seekers who arrived after Turkey opened way to Europe.

Turkey to deploy 1,000 Special Forces at Greek border over refugees situation. Turkish police move to stop Greece pushing migrants back.

Five years on, ill-prepared EU sees migrants on its borders.

EU's Barnier warns of big divergences with UK in talks.

Ukraine Parliament selects Denys Shmygal as new PM.

Ukraine's prosecutor general axed in parliament no-confidence vote.

AMERICAS

Warren to drop out of presidential race. Warren, once a frontrunner, ends her US presidential campaign.

Schumer walks back words he used on Supreme Court justices.

Empty stores, quarantined firefighters: Washington city at coronavirus epicenter reels as death toll rises.

Haiti's new PM calls for help in tackling 'precarious socio-economic situation'.

Brazil economy slows in Bolsonaro's first year.

Nazi name lists in Argentina may reveal loot in Swiss bank.

Anger on Easter Island after truck crashes into sacred stone statue.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Jihadists kill five police in Nigeria's restive north.

Former soldier sentenced for attempting to provide support to ISIS.

Met officer suspected of belonging to group linked to terrorism.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

IMF provides $50bn to fight coronavirus outbreak.

Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets.

Trade group: Airline industry will lose at least $63B due to COVID-19.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 5, 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 10:19 AM PST



The Hill: International court for first time approves war crimes investigation of US forces

International court for first time approves war crimes investigation of US forces

Appeals judges on the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday approved a request to investigate alleged war crimes committed by U.S. military forces, CIA personnel, the Taliban and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

The move overturns a lower court decision and allows prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to launch a probe into alleged war crimes by U.S. forces for the first time, according to The Associated Press. The U.S. government has long refused to cooperate with the court.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 5, 2020

International court approves Afghanistan investigation -- AP

1 US military member, 5 service members' dependents have coronavirus in South Korea: Pentagon officials -- FOX News

Army, Navy, Air Force screening recruits for coronavirus -- The Hill

All Military Services Are Now Screening New Recruits for Deadly Coronavirus -- Military.com

The Army Wants to Design a Coronavirus Test Kit That Can Screen Whole Units at Once -- Military.com

Top Pentagon doctor says most troops not at great risk for coronavirus -- Military Times

Military stores working to replenish depleted stocks of hand sanitizer, masks -- Military Times

F-35 Full-Rate Production May Slip Again -- Air Force Magazine

Air Force Is Still Short More Than 2,000 Pilots -- Corey Dickstein, Stars and Stripes

F-35 program head pushes back on Elon Musk's critique of the Joint Strike Fighter -- Defense News

A 2nd US Navy aircraft carrier is visiting Vietnam amid simmering tensions with China -- SCMP

CSG-12 assumes operational control of USS Gerald Ford -- UPI

US Army Doubts Iron Dome Can Kill Cruise Missiles -- Breaking Defense

Army to buy additional BONUS munitions for howitzers -- UPI

The US military is putting sensors on body armor that can detect and measure exposure to potentially harmful blast -- Business Insider

Fate of ex-CIA employee charged with massive data leak in jury's hands -- CNN

2 Chinese men plead guilty to photographing US Navy base -- ABC News

Exclusive: Army Special Forces command disbands elite units -- SOFREP

US Special Operations Command is looking for a new armored vehicle -- Task & Purpose

The US Army is sending 20,000 troops across the Atlantic to see if they have the 'bandwidth' to fight a major war -- Business Insider

US-Israeli anti-missile drill aborted over coronavirus fears -- Defense News

Another US-Israel joint military exercise canceled due to coronavirus fears -- CNN

Participants in Major NATO Drill Quarantined Over Coronavirus Suspicions -- Sputnik

Canada's military ordered to begin 'pre-pandemic planning' -- CBC

Pentagon says Patriot sale to Turkey still on table -- Al-Monitor

Turkey's drones are battle tested and ready for export -- C4ISRNet

Russia's top brass to unveil new heavy flamethrower at Moscow's Victory Day parade -- TASS

Chinese surveillance giants blacklisted by Trump's administration are set to appear at a major US security trade show -- Business Insider

What we know about the laser a Chinese warship flashed at a US Navy patrol plane -- Business Insider/The Aviationist

India Seizes Chinese Ship Carrying Material to 'Manufacture Nuke-Capable Missiles' in Pakistan -- Sputnik

U.K. Navy Has Just Bought What Could Be the World's Biggest Underwater Drone—And It Can Be Armed -- Newsweek

Japan commissions first Soryu-class submarine equipped with lithium-ion batteries -- Jane's 360

This Stealth Fighter Could Dominate the Skies Until 2060 -- National Interest

Laser weapons are almost ready for the battlefield -- The Economist

The City Is Not Neutral: Why Urban Warfare Is So Hard -- John Spencer, Modern War Institute

Pakistan Doctor Who Helped The U.S. In Tracking And Finding Osama Bin Laden Has Gone On A Hunger Strike Behind Barts After 'Losing Hope For Justice'

Posted: 05 Mar 2020 07:39 AM PST

Shakil Afridi

FOX News: 'Hero' doctor Shakil Afridi who helped find bin Laden launches hunger strike behind bars after 'losing hope for justice,' lawyer says

The Pakistani doctor who aided U.S. intelligence agencies in identifying the whereabouts of September 11 mastermind Usama bin Laden, has launched a hunger strike after languishing for almost nine years behind bars, his lawyer confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday.

"His family, including his brother, visited [Dr. Shakil Afridi] a few days back and told me about his deteriorated health. He has been refusing to take a meal after losing hope to get justice," Afridi's attorney and cousin Qamar Nadeem said. "I want the world to know that in his case, justice has been denied."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have mentioned this more than once on this blog. But for everyday that Pakistan keeps this hero in jail, it is confirmation to me that Pakistan is not a serious partner in the war against terror groups like Al Qaeda.

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