Saturday, August 19, 2017

President Trump Makes No Decision On Afghan Strategy

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One prior to departing Morristown Municipal Airport en route Camp David, Maryland, where he'll meet with his national security team to discuss a U.S. security strategy for South Asia that includes sending more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S., August 18, 2017. Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

Reuters: Trump makes no decision on Afghanistan strategy

HAGERSTOWN, Md./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump reviewed an array of options for a strategy on Afghanistan with his top national security aides, but made no decision on whether he would commit more troops to America's longest war.

Friday's meeting was the latest in a series of high-level discussions on Afghanistan and a broader security strategy for the South Asia region that has been bogged down by internal differences.

Trump was briefed extensively "on a new strategy to protect America's interests in South Asia", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters, after the meeting at the Camp David Maryland retreat.

"The president is studying and considering his options and will make an announcement to the American people, to our allies and partners, and to the world at the appropriate time," Sanders said.

Read more ....

Update #1: Trump Undecided On Committing More U.S. Troops To Afghanistan (RFE).
Update #2: Trump again puts off Afghanistan war decision (The Hill).

WNU Editor: Not committing to a U.S. military expansion in Afghanistan is a decision in my book .... and I can only hope that he sticks with it.

Picture Of The Day

The Russian team's tank during the final relay of the 2017 International Army Games’ Tank Biathlon competition at the Alabino range in Moscow Region, Russia, on August 12, 2017. © SPUTNIK/ MAKSIM BLINOV

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures (Sputnik).

China Is Shifting Its Focus From The South China Sea To The Yellow Sea.

Map from Wikipedia

South China Morning Post: What’s China worried about? Clue lies in where it’s holding navy drills

Beijing’s concerns evident in the shift of its focus from South China Sea to the Yellow Sea.

China has shifted the focus of its naval exercises from the South China Sea to the northeastern Yellow Sea amid simmering tensions over the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, military experts said.

“The tension in the South China Sea has eased as Sino-Philippines relations have improved,” said Ni Lexiong, a Shanghai-based commentator on military affairs.

Despite its victory last year in a tribunal ruling on territorial claims in the disputed waterway, Manila was now more concerned with seeking greater economic cooperation with Beijing, he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Many reasons for this shift. China has (if reports are to be believed) finished constructing its artificial islands in the South China Sea .... Has China Finished Its Island Building Campaign In The South China Sea? (August 16, 2017). North Korea is a problem .... and will be for the foreseeable future. But the big one has been the U.S. deployment of THAAD in South Korea .... a deployment that China views as a strategic threat.

Friday, August 18, 2017

This Is What A China - India War Will Look Like


Blake Stilwell, We Are The Mighty: This is how it could go down if China and India went to war

A war between the world’s largest Democracy and the world’s largest Communist state may not seem likely to the casual observer. But not only is it possible, it’s happened before. Only things were very different back then.

China was facing an economic collapse in the early 1960s in the years following the Great Leap Forward. The country was struggling to feed its people, let alone support an all-out war. India, on the other hand, was on an economic upturn. Militarily, however, India was unprepared and could only field 14,000 troops, compared to China’s exhaustive manpower.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A nightmare scenario. And while China will probably win in such a conflict .... the military and economy favours China .... the long term consequences for Asia will be a region that will be on edge for decades.

Get Ready For The Coming Wars Over Fish


Captain Jay Caputo, US Naval Institute: A Global Fish War is Coming

Hungry World

The demand for fish as a protein source is increasing. The global population today is 7.5 billion people, and is expected to be 9.7 billion by 2050, with the largest growth coming in Africa and Asia. Fish consumption has increased from an average of 9.9 kilograms per person in the 1960s to 19.7 kilograms in 2013 with estimates for 2014 and 2015 above 20 kilograms. The ten most productive species are fully fished and demand continues to rise in regions generally with little governance and many disputed boundaries.

In 2014, there were 4.6 million fishing vessels on the world’s oceans: 75 percent were in Asia and 15 percent in Africa. High seas fishing capacity has grown significantly, and there are now 64,000 fishing vessels with lengths in excess of 24 meters, and Asia’s distant water fishing nations continue to add newer and larger ships.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have been covering this story for a long time .... The Growing Threat Of Global 'Fish Wars' (Febraury 20, 2017).

Captured ISIS Fighters Show Signs Of Drug Addiction

A banner belonging to Islamic State fighters is seen during a battle with Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa, Syria, Aug. 16, 2017. (photo by REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

Al-Monitor: Pentagon says captured Islamic State fighters hooked on drugs

Encircled on all sides by US-backed Syrian rebels and cut off from municipal services in Raqqa, captured Islamic State (IS) fighters are showing increasing signs of malnutrition and drug use.

Among a handful of IS fighters who have surrendered in the Old City, where some 2,500 militants remain, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have found track marks indicating the use of amphetamines. Leaders of the US-led coalition to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria say the condition of IS fighters shows the increasing desperation of militants to keep themselves awake and in the fight.

“As the central services, as water turns off, it makes it very difficult to sustain oneself,” said Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, in response to a question from Al-Monitor. “This was a relatively new report of some of these fighters using some sort of drugs to keep them alert and keep them going.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is summer. The power is sporadic (if there is electricity). Water and other supplies are in short supply. I can only imagine the hell-hole that the remaining civilians must be going through .... and in the middle of all of this are 2500 desperate ISIS fighters with some addicted to drugs. Yup .... hell-hole.

An Interactive Tour Of The USS Zumwalt


RCD: Inside the USS Zumwalt

The Bookmark has launched an interactive 3D animated tour of the USS Zumwalt, the most technologically advanced surface ship in the world. The Zumwalt is the US Navy's new multi-purpose stealth missile destroyer. The warship features a futuristic, inward-sloping "tumblehome" hull and backswept bow, both of which contribute to its low radar profile. The ship measures two football fields and can carry two choppers and two attack boats, but it has the radar signature of a 50-foot fishing vessel.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The interactive tour is here.

United Nations: Yemen Violence Worsening



Reuters: Yemen violence worsening, more access to north needed: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Top United Nations officials on Friday warned violence in Yemen was worsening and greater access was needed to the Houthi rebel-held north, particularly through the key Red Sea port of Hodeidah.

U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien slammed Yemen's government and a Saudi-led military coalition for "unilaterally denying or excessively delaying entry to vessels carrying essential cargo" to the port.

"It is simply wrong to insist these cargoes go to Aden, not Hodeidah," O'Brien told the U.N. Security Council, appealing for countries to back a U.N. mechanism that started inspecting commercial shipments to rebel-held ports in May last year.

The United Nations has worked to avert attacks on Hodeidah port, where around 80 percent of Yemen's food imports arrive.

Read more ....

More News On The Crisis In Yemen

Yemen's 'man-made catastrophe' is ravaging country, senior UN officials tell Security Council -- UN News Centre
UN demands more humanitarian access to Yemen -- Al Jazeera
Yemen facing 'triple tragedy' of conflict, cholera, famine, UN says -- Daily Sabah
Yemen Teeters On Brink Of A New 'Catastrophe' As Blood Bank Eyes Closure -- NPR
Saudi coalition killed hundreds of children in Yemen, confidential UN report claims -- The Independent
Saudi forces deployed in Yemen’s port of Aden -- Daily Star
Confidential UN Report Suggests Saudi-Led Coalition Failing in Yemen -- Foreign Policy

President Trump Meets With National Security Team At Camp David To Decide On Options For Afghanistan



VOA: Trump, Security Team Mulling Strategic Options on Afghanistan

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is nearing a decision on a new strategy to deal with the 16-year war in Afghanistan, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Several options will be considered Friday when Trump meets with Vice President Mike Pence and his national security team at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.

Speaking to reporters Thursday in Washington, Mattis said “We are coming very close to a decision and I anticipate it in the very near future.”

Mattis did not provide hints about a new strategy to fight the war in Afghanistan, the longest conflict in U.S. history, but several options will be considered Friday.

Read more ....

Update #1: Trump, top aides seek to overcome divisions delaying Afghan strategy (Reuters)
Update #2: Trump studying options for new approach to Afghan war (AP)

WNU Editor: There are no good options. My prediction .... a significant increase in soldiers. Increase air support. Changing the rules of engagement for US forces. Maybe use more contractors (a big maybe). Train more Afghan soldiers. Create an even larger Afghan Special Forces unit modelled in the same manner as Iraq to take on Taliban strongholds directly. And .... the most important point of them all .... pray that it works. And while no one will say it publicly .... give a timetable of two years for this strategy to work. As to the big question .... will it work? If history is any indication, the answer will be no.

President Trump Elevates US Cyber Command To A Unified Combatant Command

Washington Post: President Trump announces move to elevate Cyber Command

President Trump has directed that Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s offensive cyber force, will become its own unified military command in a move that is meant to strengthen cyberspace operations and bolster U.S. defenses.

“The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries,” Trump said in a statement Friday.

CyberCom was formed in 2010 from two smaller organizations subordinate to Strategic Command, the same military body responsible for U.S. missile defenses. Since its beginning, it has been led by the director of the NSA, which is currently Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers.

Trump’s move means that Cyber Command will become the 10th unified command in the U.S. military, putting it on par with the main combatant commands, such as Central Command.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Welcome to the 21rst century.

More News On President Trump Elevating US Cyber Command To A Unified Combatant Command

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Elevation of Cyber Command -- Whitehouse
President Elevates U.S. Cyber Command to Unified Combatant Command -- US Department of Defense
Trump approves plan to create independent cyber command -- AP
Trump lifts Cyber Command status to boost cyber defense -- Reuters
Trump boosts US Cyber Command -- The Hill
Trump Boosts Military Cyber Command, Hints At Future NSA Changes -- IBTimes
Trump Boosts U.S. Cyber Command's Status in Military Chain -- Bloomberg
Trump announces plan to elevate U.S. military command that oversees cyber operations -- L.A. Times
Trump elevates U.S. Cyber Command, vows 'increased resolve' against threats -- Politico
Trump approves Obama-era plan for a more independent US Cyber Command -- Tech Crunch
Trump elevates US Cyber Command to independent status -- RT

The Aftermath From Yesterday's Terror Attack In Barcelona -- News Roundup



Daily Mail: Baby-faced jihadi, 18, who drove van into Barcelona crowds 'WAS among five terrorists shot dead during Spanish terror attack', as hunt continues for remaining ISIS cell members

* Moussa Oukabir, 18, is believed to have stolen his brother's passport to rent the van used in the attack
* He escaped the scene of the attack which killed 13 and injured more than 100 in Barcelona yesterday
* Authorities are investigating whether he then joined four others for an attack on a nearby beach resort
* His brother, Moroccan national Driss Oukabir, handed himself in to police last night and denies involvement
* Attack suspect Moussa wrote in a post online that his first act as king of the world would be 'kill infidels'
* Five members of the terror cell were shot dead during a second attack. Four people have been arrested
* Police say the cell may have had as many as 12 members although ID of Barcelona attacker not confirmed

The terrorist who drove the van which ploughed into crowds of pedestrians in Barcelona's tourist district was among five jihadists shot dead in the early hours of this morning, it has been confirmed.

Reports in Spain state that Moussa Oukabir, who authorities believe was behind the wheel of the rented Fiat van, was among the dead after a shootout at the beach resort of Cambrils.

His identity is currently unconfirmed, although police have said that the van driver - who killed 13 and injured more than 100 when the vehicle drove into crowds in the Las Ramblas district - was shot dead.

A second terror attack hours later in Cambrils claimed the life of a 61-year-old Spanish woman.

Read more ....

The Aftermath From Yesterday's Terror Attack In Barcelona -- News Roundup

Spain Attacks - Latest Updates -- BBC
Barcelona and Cambrils attackers planned bigger atrocity, say police – live updates -- The Guardian
Barcelona and Cambrils: 'Bigger' attacks were prepared -- BBC
Barcelona van attacker among five killed by police: Spanish media -- Reuters
Timeline of terror in Spain: how Barcelona and Cambrils attacks unfolded -- The Guardian
Hero policewoman kills FOUR jihadists wearing fake suicide vests made from Coke cans -- Daily Mail
Spanish police hunt van driver from Barcelona terror attack -- UPI
Inside flat where 'Las Ramblas jihadi' Moussa Oukabir lived with his mother and sisters as neighbours say he's a 'normal teenager who loves football' -- Daily Mail
Barcelona: Las Ramblas reopens as police make fourth arrest over terror attacks -- ABC News Online
'Resilient Barcelona' stands up against fear -- DW
'I am not afraid': Barcelona vigil sends message of defiance -- The Guardian
Barcelona terror attacks draw diverse reactions online -- DW
First CCTV video emerges showing van attack in Barcelona -- RT
Pictured smiling hours before Barcelona carnage: British boy, seven, who hasn't been seen since being caught in van terror attack, as US citizen confirmed dead and photos emerge of Las Ramblas victims -- Daily Mail
Spain attack: What do we know about the victims? -- BBC

President Trump Has Fired White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon



New York Times: Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

Earlier on Friday, the president had told senior aides that he had decided to remove Mr. Bannon, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion. But a person close to Mr. Bannon insisted that the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week. But the move was delayed after the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Read more ....

WNU editor: According to the New York Times, Steve Bannon submitted his resignation on August 7, but apparently President Trump was going to fire him anyway. As to what will be the consequences of his resignation .... he was a constant critic of those who wanted to implement military solutions to places like Afghanistan, the Middle East, and North Korea. His departure will mean that there will be no one else to give an alternative point of view to the Generals and hawks within the administration. My prediction .... expect to see a major ramping up of military deployments and actions around the globe very soon. He was also a critic of global trade deals .... so we may see a lesser push to disband trade deals like NAFTA (maybe). He has also been the fiercest critic on Chinese trade, but that voice is now gone .... Experts dismiss Bannon's call for economic war with China (CBS/AP). On the domestic political scene .... his departure is not going to lessen the intense opposition towards President Trump. If anything, it is going to embolden them.

More News On The Firing Of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon

Strategist Steve Bannon leaves Trump’s turbulent White House -- AP
Trump fires controversial chief strategist Bannon -- Reuters
Trump gets rid of Stephen Bannon, a top proponent of his nationalist agenda -- Washington Post
Steve Bannon Out as White House Chief Strategist -- NBC
Steve Bannon out at the White House -- FOX News
Bannon out as White House chief strategist -- Politico
Steve Bannon out as Trump's chief strategist -- LA Times
Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon fired -- CNN
Steve Bannon is out at White House -- New York Post
Steve Bannon Out As Chief White House Strategist -- NPR
Steve Bannon fired as Trump White House's top strategist -- BBC
Conservatives react with fury to Bannon's departure -- The Hill

The Case Of The Russian Dossier On President Trump Is Now In The Courts

McClatchy News: Trump dossier author faces deposition

Washington: Within days, weeks at most, the former British spy behind the infamous dossier on Donald Trump could find himself forced by courts on both sides of the Atlantic to sit for a deposition.

The stakes are high for Christopher Steele. As it stands, he faces defamation lawsuits in England and the United States. And U.S. congressional committees and investigators want to talk to him about the contents of his dossier and who compensated him for his work.

But the stakes are also high for Trump, as Steele might be forced to provide corroborating evidence and even sources for the many charges in the dossier that allege collaboration between the Republican candidate and Russian operatives.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If the author (Christopher Steele) of the Russian dossier on President Trump cannot verify its comments .... the legal consequences are going to be beyond severe for him. But if he can verify his claims .... wow .... this story (which is why the Mueller Commission was established) will get very interesting.

Update: Speaking of Robert Mueller .... some are getting restless .... Robert Mueller May Not Be The Savior The Anti-Trump Internet Is Hoping For (NPR). I have a different take .... this investigation is going to go on for a long time, it is just starting.

Editor's Note On Comments

In the past few months the comments on this blog have degenerated to name calling, swearing, even calling me a Nazi. Calling me a Nazi was the final straw. I have no patience for people who are filled with hate, and I know that most people who read this blog do not have that type of patience either.

I have now instituted comment moderation.

Venezuelan Intensifies Its Crackdown On Opponents



Bloomberg: Venezuela's Maduro Regime Steps Up Crackdown on Dissidents

* Secret police raid home of former public prosecutor Ortega
* Constituent assembly orders investigation of opposition heads

Venezuela’s government is intensifying its crackdown on critics of President Nicolas Maduro, ordering the detention of the husband of former Public Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz and separate investigations of prominent opposition leaders.

Ortega said in a post on her Twitter account that secret police were raiding the family’s home in Caracas. The Supreme Court later ordered the arrest of her lawmaker husband, German Ferrer, accusing him of leading an extortion ring out of the prosecutor’s office.

“It’s revenge for fighting against the totalitarianism that exists in Venezuela,” she wrote on Twitter, blaming the raid on Maduro and Diosdado Cabello, a high-ranking socialist party official who brought the suit against her husband. Ortega had been the highest-ranking member of Maduro’s administration to break ranks with the government before she was deposed this month by a newly convened legislative super body, the constituyente. She has since fled and gone into hiding.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is only going to get more intense. Unfortunately .... this is not going to solve Venezuela's problems of limited food, limited medicines, and hyper-inflation. On the contrary, it is only going to make it worse.

Tweets For Today




Picture Of The Day

Nice View
Army Sgt. Michael Buchanan sits on the loading ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Exercise Northern Strike 17 over Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Mich., Aug. 2, 2017. Buchanan is a jumpmaster assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 238th General Support Aviation Regiment. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Niles Lee

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Marines, Soldiers Participate in Exercise Northern Strike (US Department of Defense).

American Allies In Syria Are Saying That U.S. Forces Will Be Staying In Syria For Decades

American army vehicles drive north of Manbij city, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria March 9, 2017. Rodi Said, Reuters

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

AIN ISSA, Syria (Reuters) - Washington's main Syrian ally in the fight against Islamic State says the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria long after the jihadists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias dominated by the Kurdish YPG, believes the United States has a "strategic interest" in staying on, SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters.

"They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria) ... and the U.S. administration," Silo said.

The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State has deployed forces at several locations in northern Syria, including an airbase near the town of Kobani. It has supported the SDF with air strikes, artillery, and special forces on the ground.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Decades?!?!?!

US-South Korea War Games Set To Begin

South Korean Army K1A1 and U.S. Army M1A2 tanks fire live rounds during a U.S.-South Korea joint live-fire military exercise, at a training field, near the demilitarized zone, separating the two Koreas in Pocheon, South Korea April 21, 2017.

FOX News: All eyes on North Korea as US-South Korea war games set to begin

HAGATNA, Guam – There are two things North Korea doesn’t like. The B1 bomber, a backbone of the U.S. Air Force, and a biannual U.S.-South Korea military exercise known as Ulchi-Freedom Guardian.

That drill begins Sunday while a new contingent of bombers just arrived in Guam. North Korea sees both as a provocation.

While the U.S. has not backed away from either, both China and South Korea now say armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula is uncalled for.

"I will prevent war at all cost," South Korean President Moon Jae-in told reporters Thursday, which marked his first 100 days in office. "So I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war.”

Moon said he would consider sending a special envoy north but Kim Jong Un must first stop trying to arm his missiles with nuclear warheads. He also said, for the first time, that U.S. has agreed to consult with Seoul before taking any action against North Korea.

Read more ....

Update #1: Joint exercises could send Korea tensions soaring again (AFP)
Update #2: US Says Joint South Korea War Games Not on Negotiating Table (VOA)

WNU Editor: This is interesting .... 'Ready to fight': Inside the American base that could lead a strike on North Korea (ABC News Online).

Update #3: U.S., Japan step up defense cooperation to counter N.Korea (Reuters).

Is Cuba Targeting U.S. Diplomats?



Foreign Policy: Targeting American Diplomats, Cuba Is Up to its Dirty Old Tricks

When President Barack Obama announced his intention to normalize relations with Cuba in 2014, critics scoffed that no accommodation was possible with the Castro regime and that it would be only a matter of time before Havana embarrassed the White House for even trying, as it had done before to previous administrations who sought d├ętente.

We now know that last fall — in the middle of Obama’s final push to lock into place as much of his policy as he could — at least six U.S. diplomats based in Havana had to be medically evacuated to Miami for treatment after complaining of severe headaches, dizziness, and hearing loss. Some of the diplomats’ symptoms were so severe that they were forced to curtail their tours.

U.S. officials believe their illnesses were the result of prolonged exposure to some sort of covert sonic device “that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences.” In retaliation for this gross abuse of diplomatic norms, the Trump administration expelled two Cuban diplomats in Washington.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Cuba .... the people who run that country have been running it since the Cold War ..... and to them the Cold War is still in play. No surprise there. But what I am surprised about is that some in the U.S. government still feel uncomfortable in exposing and/or detailing who and what these people are .... U.S. Hiding Key Details of Mystery Attacks on American Diplomats in Cuba (Washington Free Beacon). As for Canada .... there is even less coverage .... Canadian diplomats in Havana also affected by suspected 'sonic device' which left US officials with hearing damage (The Telegraph).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Stalin Is Back In Vogue In Russia

A monument to Joseph Stalin is unveiled in Yakutsk before Victory Day. (RIA Novosti / Bolot Botchkarev) / RIA Novosti

USA Today: As Confederate statues fall in U.S., Russians are erecting statues for dictator Stalin

MOSCOW — While controversial statues of Confederate icons who fought for slavery come down in the United States, Russia is erecting new monuments to a once-disgraced Soviet Union dictator who killed millions: Josef Stalin.

This summer marked the 80th anniversary of the "Great Terror," a massive purge Stalin ordered against political opponents. Yet the milestone was barely noticed by Russians, who increasingly see Stalin as a national hero who defeated the Nazis in World War II as a valued U.S. ally rather than the brutal mass murderer reviled by historians.

Many here apparently don't know that on July 30, 1937, Stalin’s secret police launched a campaign that would see more than 1.5 million "anti-Soviet elements" arrested and nearly 700,000 of them killed, according to Soviet archives. Historians say that during Stalin’s three decades of rule, which ended with his death in 1953, an estimated 15 million to 30 million people were executed or died in labor camps or starved to death.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Ignore the past. Doom to repeat it. Robert E. Lee and the KKK are pikers when compared to what Stalin and his KGB thugs did.

Hat tip to Fred for this very timely link. (Even though it gets my blood boiling).

Top Two Officers And Ten Other Sailors To Be Disciplined For USS Fitzgerald Collision



CNN: USS Fitzgerald's leadership to be removed from their duties over June collision

The commanding officer, executive officer and senior non-commissioned officer of the USS Fitzgerald are due to be removed from their duties for cause amid the fallout surrounding the deadly collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship off the coast of Japan on June 17.

"They will be detached from the ship for cause, which is, we've lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead in those positions and they will not return to the ship," Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran told reporters at the Pentagon late Thursday.

Moran added that the commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, Adm. Joseph Aucoin, "has notified them of his intent" to detach them for cause a move likely to occur during their non-judicial punishment process, scheduled to take place Friday.

While the final investigation into the collision is ongoing, Moran said: "We do not have to have the investigation complete to start the process."

Read more ....

More News On Top Two Officers And Ten Other Sailors To Be Disciplined For USS Fitzgerald Collision

Top two officers and other sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald to be disciplined following deadly collision at sea -- Washington Post
USS Fitzgerald: US Navy to discipline dozen sailors -- BBC
Navy Punishes Leadership of USS Fitzgerald Following Deadly Collision Off Japan -- NBC
Commander and leadership of stricken destroyer Fitzgerald to be relieved for collision -- USA Today
Navy Fires Commander, XO from USS Fitzgerald for Fatal Collision -- Military.com
Top Two Officers on Navy Ship in Deadly Collision Off Japan to Be Relieved of Duties -- New York Times
Commander dismissed after US Navy ship crashed off Japan -- AFP
Captain of USS Fitzgerald and his executive officer are removed from duty after deadly collision with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan that claimed the lives of seven sailors -- Daily Mail
Navy Releases Harrowing Report On Fitzgerald Collision, Begins Punishing Sailors -- The Drive

Poll: Majority Of Americans Favor Leaving In Place Statues Of Civil War Figures Linked To Slavery

The Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson monument base is viewed in Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore, Maryland, after being removed by the city on August 16, 2017

AFP: Poll shows most Americans want to keep racism-tainted statues

A new poll Thursday showed that most Americans favor leaving in place statues of Civil War figures associated with the defense of slavery, offering a measure of support for President Donald Trump's stance on the issue.

Days after a violent rally by right-wing groups to protest removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 62 percent felt the statues should remain as historical symbols.

"Just 27 percent said they should go," said NPR. And, in a striking breakdown, 44 percent of African Americans agreed the statues should stay, against 40 percent who said they should be removed.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: We were faced with the same numbers (if not more) when I was part of a group that wanted to remove Lenin's Mausoleum from Red Square in the 1990s. And the biggest supporters .... like the above poll that shows that a majority of Black Americans want to keep the status where they are .... came from those who suffered the most from Communism. I will not deny it, but I had a lot of trouble accepting the fact that most did not want the removal of Lenin's tomb .... just like I am sure that there are many right now who are having trouble accepting the above poll result. In the end I took this defeat as one more reason why we must redouble our efforts to educate the Russian public on the history and legacy of Communism .... and we are now using Lenin's Mausoleum as a tool and symbol to make this point.. Will the same be done in the U.S. .... yes and no. The push to educate the U.S. public on the history of slavery will always be there even though the country's demographics is changing, and most people do not feel responsible for that legacy. But the politics of race is still  deeply embedded in U.S. politics,  and I certainly do not see any let-up on this issue from the political and media class.

Terror Attack In Barcelona Claims 13 Lives. Shoot-Out Results In 4 Terror Suspects Killed 70 Miles From Barcelona. Attack On Barcelona Beach Kills 5



Daily Mail: Mown down as they shopped: Elderly couple run over in 'ISIS' van attack on Barcelona that killed THIRTEEN and injured more than 100 before at least one fleeing suspect is shot dead as he drove into police at roadblock

* 13 dead and dozens hurt as van drives into crowds of people in Barcelona amid reports of gunshots nearby
* Harrowing footage shows dozens of bodies lying on the pavement as armed police rushed to secure the area
* One suspect is reported to have been killed after a shootout with police hours after the initial van attack
* Police circulated images of Driss Oukabir after the atrocity, but he later handed himself in and said his documents had been stolen
* Two suspects have been arrested, but police confirm neither was the driver of the van
* Emergency services rushed to the scene near the Las Ramblas tourist area as people are urged to stay away
* Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he is in contact with the emergency services at the scene

Four terror suspects have been killed in a shootout 70 miles from Barcelona as police carried out an operation linked to yesterday's massacre, which claimed 13 lives and left more than 100 injured.

Video footage shows armed officers running down a street in Cambrils, to the south of the Catalan city, shortly after midnight.

A police operation has been linked to a 'possible terrorist attack', authorities confirmed on Twitter.

A tweet by Spanish police said: 'Police operation in Cambrils for possible terrorist attack. If you are now in Cambrils avoid going out. Stay home, stay safe.'

Terrifying footage shows members of the public leaping to safety as shots are fired, and armed officers were seen running down the street in an operation thought to be related to yesterday's mass killing.

Read more ....

Update: BREAKING NEWS: Up to five dead as gunfire erupts in beach resort south of Barcelona amid fears of new terror attack (Daily Mail).

LIVE UPDATES

The Latest: UN secretary-general condemns Barcelona attack -- AP
LIVE Barcelona - latest updates -- BBC
Barcelona attack: police kill four suspects in Cambrils terror raid – latest updates -- The Guardian
Barcelona terror attack - live updates -- DW
Barcelona live blog: Attackers killed in police operation south of Barcelona -- ABC News Online
Van smashes into pedestrians in central Barcelona Live updates -- RT

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

Barcelona terror attack - what we know -- DW
Barcelona 'terrorist attack': What we know -- ABC News Online
What we know so far about the Barcelona terror attack -- The Guardian
Barcelona attack: What we know so far -- BBC

VAN ATTACK KILLS 13 IN BARCELONA

Las Ramblas attack: van hits crowd in tourist area of Barcelona -- The Guardian
Barcelona: 13 dead, two men arrested after van mows down pedestrians in Las Ramblas -- ABC News Online
Barcelona terrorist attack: 13 dead, 100 injured as van plows into pedestrians -- RT
Barcelona van attack kills 13 in agonizing repeat for Europe -- AP
Terror Strikes a European City Again as 13 Killed in Barcelona -- Bloomberg
Several killed in Spain anti-terror operation after Barcelona attack -- FOX News
Videos reveal the terrifying aftermath of the Barcelona terror attack with bodies strewn on the ground and armed police hunting the driver -- Daily Mail
Catalan official says death toll may rise from Barcelona attack -- Reuters

MANHUNT FOR FUGITIVE RESPONSIBLE FOR TODAY'S TERROR ATTACK

Spain hunts van driver who mowed down Barcelona crowd, killing 13 -- Reuters
Teenage Barcelona van terror suspect 'is 18-year-old who stole his brother's identity and talked about killing infidels on social media' -- Daily Mail
ISIL claims responsibility for van attack in Barcelona -- Al Jazeera
Two arrested over Barcelona attack not the van drivers: police -- Reuters

SECOND ATTACK FOILED. 4 TERRORISTS KILLED

Spanish police 'stop second attack' after 13 killed in Barcelona -- BBC
4 terrorist suspects killed, 1 captured at Cambrils seafront south of Barcelona -- RT
Police kill 'terrorists' in Cambrils, near Barcelona -- Al Jazeera
Catalan police say they have killed perpetrators of 'terrorist attack' in town south of Barcelona -- CNBC

BOMB EXPLOSION THE PREVIOUS DAY LINKED TO TODAY'S TERROR ATTACKS

Police link explosion south of Barcelona yesterday that completely destroyed a house 'full of butane gas canisters' and killed one person to terror attack -- Daily Mail
House explosion in Alcanar, Catalonia may be linked to Barcelona terrorist attack – police -- RT

GENERAL NEWS

How the horror unfolded: Graphic shows how terrorists in a white van ploughed into tourists on one of Barcelona's most popular streets -- Daily Mail
Spanish PM says Barcelona van attack result of 'jihadist terrorism' -- Reuters
Las Ramblas - Barcelona’s tourist magnet turned scene of terror -- DW
Las Ramblas: A top Barcelona site for tourists to stroll -- AP
Barcelona: Las Ramblas van attack in pictures -- ABC News Online
First footage of Barcelona terrorist attack aftermath (PHOTOS,VIDEOS) -- RT

Today's Terror Attack Hit Close To Home

My girl friend's daughter is in Barcelona for a dance competition (part of a Canadian dance troupe). She saw today's terror attack unfold today (but from a distance). She and her group are OK. The GF is relieved but stressed right now (she is in Ontario). I have been on the phone/skype for the past few hours. The excitement is dying down now, and I should be back to blogging in the next hour or two. Our prayers are for those who lost loved ones today .... and for the injured.

Update #1: Her trip to Barcelona was my gift to her for excelling in school, and being accepted by Queen's University this September.

Update #2: The GF's daughter is in the middle (see below picture). The picture was taken about an hour before the terror attack.

Report: North Korea's Next Nuclear Test Will Be Critical If It Wants To Have Nuclear Armed ICBMs

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in an unknown location in North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. Reuters/KCNA

Reuters: What will Kim do next? Sixth nuclear test seen critical for North Korea

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea says it has developed intercontinental missiles capable of targeting any place in the United States.

Now comes the hard part of fulfilling the declared goal of its leader Kim Jong Un: perfecting a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on the missile without affecting its range as well as making it capable of surviving re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

To do that, weapons experts say, the isolated state needs to carry out at least another nuclear test, its sixth, and more tests of long-range missiles.

North Korea's two tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month likely carried a payload lighter than any nuclear warhead it is currently able to produce, the experts said.

One way to have a lighter warhead would be to concentrate on developing a thermonuclear device, or hydrogen bomb, which would offer much greater explosive yield relative to size and weight.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I expect this nuclear test to happen in the next year or two.

North Korean Propaganda Posters Show Missiles Obliterating Washington DC And The U.S.

Bold claims: This illustration is captioned, 'Entire region of the state is now within range of our missiles!', purporting that Pyongyang's bombs could reach the U.S.

Daily Mail: North Korea shows the Capitol Building being obliterated by red missiles in new series of anti-West propaganda posters

* Posters show North Korean missiles falling on Washington DC and the U.S.
* Propaganda posters claim U.S. is 'within range' of Pyongyang's missiles
* Illustrations proclaim that bombing the U.S. would be North Korea's 'answer'
* This follows escalation in animosity between the two countries
* NK has claimed it might send missiles into waters near US territory of Guam

North Korea's latest propaganda posters shows the country bombing the United States as their 'answer' to the latest UN sanctions against the country.

The illustrations sees Pyongyang warheads destroying the Capitol Building in Washington DC, and dozens of bombs falling over a burning map of the U.S.

Proclaiming that the 'entire region of the state [U.S.] is now within range of our missiles!', the posters is the latest escalation in threats of nuclear war by North Korea.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction .... these posters are going to be collector's items in the future.

South Korea Draws A Red Line On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in deliver a joint statement from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Business Insider/Reuters: South Korea gave Kim Jong-un a 'red line'

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea would be "crossing a red line" if it put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile, South Korea's president said on Thursday, but the United States had promised to seek Seoul's approval before taking any military action.

North Korea's rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland has fueled a surge in tensions in recent days. Pyongyang has threatened to fire missiles towards the Pacific island of Guam and U.S. President Donald Trump has warned it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

"I would consider that North Korea is crossing a red line if it launches an intercontinental ballistic missile again and weaponizes it by putting a nuclear warhead on top of the missile," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said at a news conference marking his first 100 days in office.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is not really a surprise (and I would also add Japan to this mix) .... South Korea's Moon says U.S. to seek Seoul's approval before any action on North Korea (Reuters).

A Look Inside The U.S. Base Responsible For Testing Defenses Against Biological And Chemical Weapons

Photo from the Military Home Store

Daily Mail: Spectacular new pictures offer rare peek inside top secret Army base which tests defenses against biological and chemical weapons deep in the Utah desert

* Fascinating images offer a peek inside the top secret US Army Dugway Proving Ground deep in Utah desert
* The 800,000-acre base was built in 1942 and is used to create defenses against biological and chemical arms
* It is infamous for accidentally sending anthrax spores around the US and being linked to death of 6,249 sheep

These astonishing images reveal what it looks inside the US Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

Workers at the facility handle some of the deadliest and most dangerous biological and chemical agents on the planet.

The top secret 800,000-acre base - which is buried in the middle of the Utah desert - tests and develops defensive measures to counter a potential attack on the United States featuring chemical or biological weapons.

It was created in 1942 by the US Army Chemical Warfare Service as a more remote location than Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: 800,000 acres .... now that is one big base.

Tweets For Today




Picture Of The Day

Servicemen of the Presidential Regiment during the Horse Guard mounting ceremony as part of preparations for the Spasskaya Tower festival. Moscow, Russia. © SPUTNIK/ KIRILL KALLINIKOV

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo gallery .... Russian Presidential Regiment's Performance at Kremlin's Walls (Sputnik)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How The U.S. Can Win A War Against China (Watch Star Trek And Battlestar Galactica)

Chinese artist’s conception of a PLA anti-ship ballistic missile attack on three USN CVNs.

James Holmes, National Interest: If the U.S. Navy Wants to Win a War Against China They Need to Watch Star Trek First

If you’re China and confront an antagonist that opts to do without redundancy, you can deploy a troublemaking strategy. You whittle away at the center of gravity manifest in minimal manning. The object of such a strategy? Tire and bewilder crews that may already be overworked. Fling a variety of challenges at them, along as many axes as you can, as simultaneously as you can. Give each crewman more to do than he can, on the Cylon-esque reasoning that imposing numerous, repeated contingencies compounds the demands on people and hardware. Such tactics constitute the precursor to a crushing blow—or to an American withdrawal under duress.

China’s navy, in short, could ape the Cylons’ strategy. In purely martial terms, posing missile, gun, and torpedo threats from many points of the compass from as many domains as possible—from the surface, the depths, and aloft—would compel a ship’s beleaguered defenders to cope with more challenges, perhaps, than they could manage. Flooding an embattled zone with China Coast Guard vessels, fishing craft, and purportedly civilian sea and air traffic—interspersing combat units among nonmilitary ships and planes—would further complicate U.S. commanders’ picture of the surroundings. It would be hard to act for fear of hitting the wrong target—and having pictures of an errant shot splashed across TV and computer screens around the world.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I love these hypothetical war scenarios.

Has China Finished Its Island Building Campaign In The South China Sea?

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

The Maritime Executive:
China May be Finished with Island-Building Campaign

On Tuesday, Philippines defense minister Delfin Lorenzana announced that Manila has reached an understanding with Beijing about Chinese expansion in the South China Sea, and that China has promised not to seize any additional land features in the region. "The Chinese will not occupy new features in the South China Sea nor they are going to build structures in Scarborough Shoal," he told a congressional hearing.

China has built a string of seven artificial islands in the Spratly chain, all of them on land features claimed by the Philippines and other nations. The government of former Philippine president Benigno Aquino opposed Chinese expansion in the region, but under the current leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, Manila has downplayed the dispute in favor of strengthening economic ties.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It looks like China is now shifting from building islands to enforcing it's claims.

Recent U.S. - NATO Exercises Hampered By Customs And Bureaucracy

Bloomberg editorial: NATO Troops Can't Fight If They're Stuck at Customs

A recent exercise showed that soldiers face all sorts of bureaucratic hassles.

The D-Day landings in 1944 were the most complex military operation in history, but at least the GIs didn’t need to get their passports stamped on Omaha Beach. It sounds absurd, but today U.S. and NATO forces have to contend with such formalities, and more besides, as they go about their business of defending Europe.

Obviously, in the event of war, these bureaucratic impediments would be lifted. But so far as possible they should also be lifted for the purpose of preparing for war. Better coordination and compatibility among the allies requires a good hard look at the current arrangements.

Under U.S. leadership, NATO’s military partners recently completed Operation Saber Guardian in Eastern Europe; involving 25,000 troops over 10 days, it was the largest such exercise this year. For militaries that have spent more than a decade focused on fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and the Middle East, it was a vital refresher course in conventional warfare. It also helped assure the Eastern European members that the West has their back.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Customs? Noise bylaws? Load restrictions on bridges? The bureaucracy definitely lives.

President Trump, Vice President Pence, And The U.S. National Security Team Will Be Meeting At Camp David On Friday To Discuss Afghanistan

Reuters: Trump to discuss Afghan strategy with security team on Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will meet with their national security team on Friday at Camp David to discuss U.S. strategy in South Asia, a White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The administration has been working to develop a new strategy for the long-running conflict in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border region as it decides whether to deploy additional troops to combat recent Taliban advances.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am not getting a good feeling on this.

More News On President Trump At Camp David On Friday To Discuss Afghanistan Strategy

Trump at Camp David on Friday for Afghanistan talks -- AFP
Trump to tackle Afghanistan strategy at Camp David -- The Hill
Trump says close to decision on Afghanistan -- Reuters
Trump to travel to Camp David for national security meeting -- Washington Examiner

U.S. Soldier Killed In Afghanistan. Others Wounded

The Hill: US service member killed in Afghanistan — 11th this year

A U.S. service member died Wednesday after suffering fatal wounds during an operation against the Afghanistan branch of ISIS, according to a U.S. Forces-Afghanistan statement.

It is the 11th death of a U.S. service member in the country in 2017.

The incident took place during a partnered operation with U.S. and Afghan Forces in Eastern Afghanistan.

Several U.S and Afghan forces were injured during the operation which was “aimed at further reducing Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan presence in Afghanistan,” according to the statement.

Read more ....

More News On A U.S. Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

American Service Member Killed and Others Wounded in Afghanistan Raid -- NYT
1 US soldier killed in combat in Afghan; others wounded -- Washington Post/AP
US Service Member Killed in Eastern Afghanistan, Pentagon Says -- Military.com
US Service Member Killed in Eastern Afghanistan -- VOA
US service member killed, others injured in Afghanistan -- Washington Examiner
US Service Member Killed, Others Wounded In Eastern Afghanistan -- Task & Purpose

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 11, 2017



Jason Wilson, The Guardian: Why is the US still fighting the civil war?

Confederate symbols have become a crucible of racial tension in the US. White nationalists claim they are important monuments – but are they just a way to rewrite an ugly history and revive the battles of the past?

In St Paul’s memorial church in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Friday, just up the street from where white supremacists were gathering for a torchlight rally, Cornel West explained why African Americans saw the removal of Confederate monuments as so important.

On hearing that hundreds of white supremacists were gathered in a nearby park, the civil rights leader said, with a hint of weariness: “These are chickens coming home to roost. We should have eliminated these statues a long time ago.

“The idea that the American family has to embrace figures like [Confederate general] Robert E Lee, or Stonewall Jackson, who were fundamentally committed to enslaving black people in perpetuity … These people are not heroes.”

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 11, 2017

8 million dead - what nuclear war with North Korea could look like -- Harry J. Kazianis, FOX News

Where did North Korea get its missile technology? -- Roman Goncharenko, DW

Why didn't sanctions stop North Korea’s missile program? -- Daniel Salisbury, Defense News

New sanctions seeing impact, setting off a diplomatic row between China, North Korea -- Justin Hastings, Channel News Asia

Is China being left behind in US-N.Korea sparring? -- AFP

China, and North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions -- Peter Huessy, RCD

Between old foe and aggressive ally, no honeymoon for South Korea's Moon -- Ju-min Park and Heekyong Yang, Reuters

A new strategy for Afghanistan: change course, quit the fight -- Daniel L. Davis, Washington Times

The US Is Headed Toward Another Cuban Missile Crisis -- John A. Tures, Observer

Sectarian War Is Looming Over Afghanistan -- Rustam Ali Seerat, The Diplomat

How to Destroy Afghanistan: Establish a Private Contractor Army -- Molly Dunigan, National Interest

What Does Victory Look Like in Afghanistan? -- Adam Wunische, RCD/The Bridge

To ‘Win’ in Afghanistan, Devise a Strategy and Do Not Quit -- Robert Cassidy, RCD

The specter of civil war in Venezuela -- Washington Post editorial

Why is the US still fighting the civil war? -- Jason Wilson, The Guardian

World News Briefs -- August 16, 2017


Washington Post: Trump’s generals condemn Charlottesville racism — while trying not to offend the president

One by one, the U.S. military’s most senior leaders have publicly — and bluntly — repudiated the racist violence that plunged Charlottesville into chaos Saturday, declaring the nation’s armed forces as being unequivocally against hatred.

By midmorning Wednesday, the military’s four service chiefs had issued firm, forceful statements that stand apart from remarks made by President Trump, who faces deepening criticism for his repeated attempts to evenly distribute blame for clashes between white nationalists and the anti-fascist protesters who showed up to oppose them. One woman died and 19 were injured when a car, which police said was driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio, slammed into people demonstrating along a crowded, narrow street near the University of Virginia.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi jets bomb Islamic State stronghold ahead of ground assault.

Arab fighters struggle to assert role in Raqqa assault.

US-led strikes kill 17 in Syria's Raqa: monitor.

Syrian army comes closer to encircling Islamic State in central Syria desert.

Rebels say they shoot down Syrian military jet, army confirms crash.

South Yemen leader vows to continue fight against 'rebels' in north.

In Iran, Islamic State seeks to fan militancy among minorities.

Iran threatens to back out of nuclear deal over Trump sanctions.

Turkey warns Iraqi Kurdish referendum risks 'civil war'.

Turkey asks Germany for extradition of top coup suspect.

Saudi Arabia: new details of dissident princes' abductions emerge.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq look to reopen border after 27 years. With a wary eye on Iran, Saudi and Iraqi leaders draw closer.

ASIA

Trump at Camp David on Friday for Afghanistan talks. Trump to discuss Afghan strategy with security team on Friday.

Taliban 'open letter' to Trump urges US to leave Afghanistan.

Chinese troops armed with iron bars and rocks brawl with Indian soldiers near border, New Delhi source says. Indian and Chinese troops clash in disputed Himalayan border region.

Modi says India will fight foreign threats in Independence Day speech that sends warning to China.

Abe and Trump reaffirm importance of halting North Korean missile launches.

South Korean President Moon: We will prevent war 'at all cost'.

Tillerson: U.S. still interested in talks with N. Korea.

China’s energy exports to North Korea plummet – but it’s not because of sanctions.

Report: North Korea cracks down on Pyongyang population growth.

Report: Considerable drop in militancy in Pakistan’s restive tribal areas.

Philippine police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte’s war on drugs.

Young Afghans see opportunities dwindle as security worsens.

AFRICA

Jihadists strike across West Africa.

U.N. inquiry finds Congolese militia likely killed U.N. monitors.

'War crimes': ICC issues arrest warrant for Libyan commander.

Libyan marine rescue zone aims to 'organise' NGOs: navy.

More than 300 dead, 700 missing after Sierra Leone mudslide. Floods kill more than 300, fears rise for 600 missing.

Nigeria must protect refugee camps, NGO says after bombings.

Burkina restaurant attackers 'came from Mali': security source.

Mauritania's president approves law abolishing senate.

Grace Mugabe 'back in Zimbabwe' after alleged assault in South Africa. South Africa debates immunity for Zimbabwe first lady.

Kenya's Odinga to take poll dispute to top court. Kenyan opposition leader to challenge election result in court.

Anger boils five years after S.African massacre of miners.

EUROPE

Ukraine president orders probe into 'groundless' alleged links to North Korea missiles.

Russian-Germans in focus amid fears of Moscow propaganda.

Angela Merkel attacks SPD rival over Germany’s Nato budget pledge.

Disarmament experts urge Europe to help halt 'Cold War 2.0': German minister.

Britain seeks Brexit without borders for Northern Ireland.

Ex-Russian minister Ulyukayev faces bribery charges, pins blame on Rosneft head and Putin ally.

Swiss hotel tells 'Jewish guests' to shower before swimming.

AMERICAS

Confederate monuments removed in Baltimore, other cities.

Trump's stance on Virginia violence shocks America's allies.

US military leaders condemn racism after deadly protests.

FBI has 'reopened' case on search for Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting records.

US urges LatAm powers to isolate N.Korea.

In South America, Pence discusses trade and Venezuela crisis with U.S. allies.

Venezuela's Maduro makes surprise visit to Cuba. Venezuelan president, in Cuba, pays homage to Fidel Castro.

Venezuela mulls 'law against intolerance,' aimed at dissenters.

Maduro orders Venezuelan military drills.

FARC's final weapons removed 'in last breath' of Colombia conflict.

Cuba: Diplomats being deafened by 'covert sonic devices', finger pointed at Government.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al Qaeda publishes blueprint for attacks on key U.S. transportation systems.

Former Al-Shabab No. 2 quits militant group.

ISIS poses one of the biggest threats to religious freedom, State report says.

US names Hizbul Mujahideen as 'terrorist' group.

Khaled Sharrouf, Australian terrorist, believed to have been killed in air strike in Syria.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

US stocks edge higher as retailers rally; oil companies fall.

US can 'be patient' in raising rates, Fed members say.

Trump abruptly ends manufacturing council after CEOs disband strategy and policy forum.

IMF warns China over 'dangerous' growth in debt.

Trump renews attack on Amazon, claiming 'jobs lost'.