Monday, November 20, 2017

There Are 16 Non-Domestic Sexual Assaults Reported Each Day At U.S. Military Bases

McClatchy News: More than 16 sexual assaults are reported each day at military bases

More than 6,150 non-domestic adult sexual assaults were reported to the U.S. military from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, according to a new report by the Department of Defense.

Nearly 400 of them were reported at North Carolina’s major military installations.

There were six North Carolina bases included in the report — Camp Lejeune (169 reported cases), Fort Bragg (146), Marine Corps Air Station New River (32), Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (27), Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (13) and Pope Army Airfield (10).

For context, Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the United States, has a population of about 140,000 soldiers and civilians – outnumbering all but a handful of North Carolina cities.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: With all the public discussions, laws, policies, and actions initiated by the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House over the years .... it is incomprehensible that this is still a crisis. But a crisis it is.

Hat tip to Fred for this link.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Reaction To The Political Crisis In Germany



Andrea Shalal, Reuters: What happens now after collapse of German coalition talks?

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s failure to forge a three-way coalition government has plunged Europe’s largest economy into uncharted waters, raising pressure on the three-term conservative chancellor to maintain stability.

The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) abruptly pulled out after more than four weeks of negotiations with Merkel’s conservative bloc and the ecologist Greens, citing irreconcilable differences.

The euro recovered from a two-month low on Monday as investors brushed off the broader political risks.

But Germany now faces a prolonged period of political wrangling and uncertainty. The path to a new election would be difficult and involve more than one vote in parliament.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It looks like Germany is going to have another election .... Merkel 'prefers new vote' after talks fail (BBC).

Commentaries, Analysis, And Reaction To The Political Crisis In Germany

What next? Germany’s options after coalition talks collapse -- AP
Germany's coalition talks: What are the sticking points? -- Richard Fuchs, DW
What now for Germany after coalition talks fail? -- Christian Walz, DW
Collapse of German coalition talks underlines Merkel's weaknesses -- Philip Oltermann, The Guardian
Germany political crisis: What are the options? -- BBC
Collapse of German coalition talks deals Merkel a blow; new elections likely -- Washington Post
German coalition talks collapse: the press verdict -- DW
German political instability threatens Merkel's leadership -- UPI
Russian expert says political crisis in Germany unlikely to affect European Union -- TASS
German coalition talks collapse is 'bad news for Europe': Dutch minister -- Reuters
Brexit: why German turmoil is cruelly timed for Britain -- Dan Roberts and Jon Henley, The Guardian
UK PM May's spokesman says not aware of Brexit concerns over German political crisis -- Reuters
Macron says not in French interests for German coalition talks to stall -- Reuters
France wants 'strong and stable' Germany, President Macron says -- Reuters
German stocks recoup losses from collapse of coalition talks -- DW
Euro crashes with Angela Merkel’s fourth term as chancellor in doubt -- RT

German Government Coalition Talks Have Collapsed -- News Updates November 20, 2017



The Guardian: German coalition talks collapse after deadlock on migration and energy

Chancellor Angela Merkel left facing prospect of forming minority government – or fresh elections – after FDP quits negotiations

Exploratory talks to form Germany’s next coalition government collapsed shortly before midnight on Sunday when the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of marathon negotiations.

“The four discussion partners have no common vision for modernisation of the country or common basis of trust,” the FDP leader, Christian Lindner, announced after the four parties involved missed several self-prescribed deadlines to resolve differences on migration and energy policy. “It is better not to govern than to govern badly.”

Read more ....

German Government Coalition Talks Have Collapsed -- News Updates November 20, 2017

German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure -- AP
Angela Merkel fourth term in doubt as German coalition talks fail -- ABC News Online
Majority of Germans think Merkel is finished, poll shows: Chancellor battles for political survival after coalition talks collapse leaving country facing snap election -- Daily Mail
German coalition talks fail after FDP walks out -- Al Jazeera
Merkel Moves to Salvage Fourth Term as President Weighs In -- Bloomberg
German president presses parties to form coalition for good of Europe after talks collapse -- Reuters
German president prods parties to break government impasse -- AP
German president calls on party leaders to return to coalition talks -- The Guardian
German coalition talks: Parties must make coalition possible, says President Steinmeier -- DW
German president says country faces situation not seen in decades after coalition talks fail -- RT
Merkel gets strong backing from her party after talks fail -- Reuters
German Social Democrats Not Afraid of New Parliamentary Election - Schulz -- Sputnik
SPD leader says voters must reassess German political situation -- Reuters

Zimbabwe's Ruling Party Says Mugabe Impeachment To Go Ahead -- News Roundup



Daily Mail: Mugabe is 'too old, let his wife usurp government powers and created a 15-year economic tailspin in Zimbabwe': Draft impeachment declares despot is a 'source of instability' as lawmakers claim it will take two days to get rid of him

* Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, 93, clung to power on Sunday night with a rambling speech in Harare
* The dictator vowed to hold a Zanu PF party conference in the coming weeks and said he would preside over it
* Tweets from his opponents suggest he was supposed to deliver a resignation speech, but went off-script
* There are claims Mugabe decided to fight on after intervention from his trusted cleric Father Fidelis Mukonori
* However, he is now said to have drafted a resignation letter having insisted on immunity for him and his wife
* Ruling Zanu PF said in a draft impeachment motion that Mugabe is a 'source of instability'

Robert Mugabe is a 'source of instability', has shown disrespect for the rule of law and is to blame for an economic tailspin over the past 15 years, his ruling party said in a draft impeachment motion today.

The 93-year-old could be thrown out of parliament within two days and is said to have demanded immunity for him and his wife, Grace, 52.

One member of the ruling Zanu PF party said the main charge against Mugabe was 'allowing his wife to usurp government powers' and that 'he is too old and cannot even walk without help'.

Read more ....

More News On The Crisis In Zimbabwe

The Latest: Ruling party says Mugabe impeachment to go ahead -- AP
Zimbabwe crisis: What we know -- AFP
Deadline passes for Mugabe to resign -- BBC
Zimbabwe ruling party: Mugabe could be impeached in 2 days -- AP
Zimbabwe's Mugabe ignores party deadline to quit -- BBC
Noon deadline for defiant Mugabe passes as Zimbabwe crisis deepen -- AFP
Zimbabwe's opposition to decide on Mugabe impeachment Tuesday: chief whip -- Reuters
Zimbabwe: Ruling ZANU-PF party drafts impeachment motion against President Robert Mugabe -- ABC News Online
Zimbabwe: Mugabe ignores deadline to resign, faces impeachment -- UPI
Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF sets Mugabe impeachment ball rolling -- Reuters
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe clings to power as deadline passes -- DW
Robert Mugabe ignores ZANU-PF deadline to resign -- Al Jazeera
You and I have work to do. Thank you and goodnight': Mugabe's rambling 20-minute speech in full, which ended not with a resignation but with a vow to fight on -- Daily Mail
Robert Mugabe swapped speeches, say Zimbabwe war veterans -- The Guardian
Zimbabwean students rage against defiant Mugabe -- AFP
Zimbabwe broadcaster on stand-by for address by military: ZBC workers -- Reuters
Figure known as ‘Crocodile’ could replace Zimbabwe president -- AP
'Strategist' Mugabe's refusal to go a classic tactic -- AFP
Zimbabwe: Social media reacts to Robert Mugabe's speech -- Al Jazeera
'You can't sack our dad!' Robert Mugabe's pampered playboy son posts defiant message on Facebook before his father refuses to step down as Zimbabwe's president -- Daily Mail
Gucci Grace is held by the rebels she threatened to crush: Mugabe’s wife is detained at secret military base -- Daily Mail
Harare's streets are deserted as Zimbabwe stays home to watch Mugabe's speech - but is this the calm before the storm? -- Daily Mail
Zimbabwe opposition wants inclusive political process after military intervention -- Reuters
Zimbabwe’s political drama: What just happened? A timeline -- AP
Zimbabwe takeover: Five things you should know -- BBC

World News Briefs -- November 20, 2017



Reuters: China draws three-stage path for Myanmar, Bangladesh to resolve Rohingya crisis

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - China called for a ceasefire in Myanmar’s Rakhine State so that Rohingya Muslim refugees can return from Bangladesh, proposing a three-stage approach to the crisis as diplomats from 51 mostly Asian and European countries gathered in Myanmar on Monday.

More than 600,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August, driven out by a military clearance operation in Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

Amid a burgeoning humanitarian catastrophe, rights groups have accused the Myanmar military of atrocities, while foreign critics have blasted Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace prize winner who leads a civilian administration that is less than two years old, for failing to speak out more strongly.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Critical week for Syria as parallel talks get under way.

Syria: ISIS militants defeated in final stronghold.

Arab states hold emergency meeting on Iran, Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia seeks to ratchet up pressure against Iran.

'Saudi propaganda': Iran slams Arab League statement lashing out at Tehran, Hezbollah.

Iraq Supreme Court rules Kurdish referendum unconstitutional.

Iraqi authorities clamp down on sectarian hate speech.

Iran earthquake: Khamenei criticises government's response.

Hundreds of rights violations documented in Yemen.

Rafah border crossing to remain open for two more days.

Israel to deport 40,000 African refugees without their consent.

ASIA

Myanmar: EU and Germany see positive signals amid Rohingya crisis.

Suu Kyi blames world conflicts partly on illegal immigration.

North Korea: The US will regret 'letting such a depraved and stupid guy occupy the Oval Office'.

The city on the North Korean border where Chinese come to peer in.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern 'regrets Trump story'.

Bangladesh arrests militant suspect in US blogger killing.

Okinawa car crash sparks US troops alcohol ban in Japan.

AFRICA

Zimbabwe: Ruling ZANU-PF party drafts impeachment motion against President Robert Mugabe.

Boko Haram kills six in NE Nigeria: militia, local.

South Sudan says ex-military chief freed from house arrest.

Kenya Supreme Court upholds Kenyatta election victory. Supreme Court upholds Uhuru Kenyatta's victory.

Two killed in protests after Kenya's top court upholds election.

Angola's Lourenco replaces police and intelligence chiefs.

Deadly plague epidemic in Madagascar that is at 'crisis' point will trigger an outbreak of POLIO because aid workers are now focused only on the 'medieval disease', researcher warns.

EUROPE

Germany's Merkel suffers blow as FDP pulls out of coalition talks.

German government talks collapse; Merkel seeks to reassure.

Michel Barnier warns Theresa May the EU 'will not wait' for a new free trade deal with Britain.

Poland fury over 'attack' by EU's Tusk.

George Soros decries Hungary's PM Orban for anti-Semitic attacks 'reminiscent of the 1930s'.

Putin plan to rejuvenate Russian politics makes slow progress.

France wrestles with the line between seduction, harassment.

AMERICAS

Chile election: Conservative PiƱera to face Socialist Guillier in run-off. Ex-President Pinera leads Chile vote, but faces runoff.

Trump open to dropping healthcare provision in Senate tax bill: aide.

Special counsel sends wide-ranging request for documents to Justice Department.

After border agent is killed and partner injured in Texas, Trump renews call for wall.

U.S. envoy to Russia: visa consultations in consulates may resume soon - TASS.

Argentina navy: Missing sub 'had called to report breakdown'.

Puerto Rico's misery: Thousands without homes, power 2 months after storms.

New groping allegation against US Senator Al Franken. Roy Moore accuser Leigh Corfman shares why she went public in exclusive interview.

Charles Manson dies aged 83 after decades in prison.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

After years of letting captives own their artwork, Pentagon calls it U.S. property. And may burn it.

Understanding al Qaeda through the massive trove of Osama bin Laden’s files.

Lebanon's president rejects terrorism suggestion.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Canada, Mexico to question U.S. auto content demands at NAFTA talks.

Making space for the millionaires: Monaco's £1.5billion plan to reclaim 15 acres of land from the Med so thousands can move to the tax haven in the next decade.

Keystone XL pipeline faces last major regulatory hurdle.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- November 20, 2017

A police officer stands guard near Japan and South Korea national flags at a hotel in Tokyo, June 22, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

SCMP: Friends or ‘frenemies’? South Korea fails to meet obligations of military intelligence sharing deal with Japan

Known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement, the pact was signed in late November 2016 under president at the time, Park Geun-hye

South Korea is failing to meet the terms of an agreement reached last year with Japan to share a wide array of military intelligence, according to a report in Japan’s Asahi newspaper.

An unnamed source in the Japanese armed forces claimed that the only information that Seoul has shared to date relates directly to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes. Data that South Korean has gathered on the activities of the Chinese military in the South China Sea, for example, has not been provided, the source said.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- November 20, 2017

South Korea refuses to share military intelligence with Japan: report -- Korea Herald

Seoul: 2 top North Korean military officers punished -- ABC News/AP

N. Korea conducts rare inspection of key military organ: spy agency -- Korea Herald

South Korea fears further missile advances by North this year in threat to U.S. -- Reuters

South Korea Fears Further Missile Advances by North This Year in Threat to U.S. -- US News and World Report

South Korea Renews Vow to Buy Stealth Fighters, Drones, Missile Systems -- Defense Tech

Countering North Korea: US Congress authorizes major buildup in homeland missile defense -- Defense News

U.S. Plans to Use Weapons of the Future to Take Down North Korean Missiles -- Newsweek

How Do U.S. Military Ships Compare to North Korea's Growing Navy? -- Newsweek

China sends bombers and intelligence-gathering planes through international airspace near Okinawa -- Japan Times

China’s aircraft carrier conundrum: hi-tech launch system for old, heavy fighter jets -- SCMP

Kabul Investigates Reports of Taliban Using Russian-made Night Vision Equipment -- VOA

Iraqi militia publicizes Iranian Qods Force chief by Syrian border town -- Long War Journal

Are Hamas drones really a threat to Israel? -- Shlomi Eldar, Al-Monitor

Russian Military Mounts Missiles Near NATO Borders in Central Kaliningrad -- Newsweek

Russia's Supersonic Bombers: Now Locked and Loaded with New Supersonic Missiles -- National Interest

Not That Invisible: Russian Radars Spot Overhyped French Stealth Frigate -- Sputnik

Russian Navy keeping close eye on French stealth frigate in Black Sea — source -- TASS

Ukraine Fields an Armed Drone for Use Against Pro-Russian Forces -- Defense One

Erdogan's Top Aide Reportedly Calls to Reconsider Turkey's Membership in NATO -- Sputnik

Erdogan’s chief adviser calls for Turkey’s NATO membership to be reconsidered – local media -- RT

Head of NATO tells Canada to gear itself up for Russian cyber threats -- CBC

Argentine navy ramps up hunt for missing German-built submarine with 44 crew -- DW

U.S. military builds up in land of ‘Black Hawk Down’ disaster -- Politico

US troops lack support despite expanding mission in Africa -- Military Times

US service members restricted to base, alcohol prohibited after deadly crash in Okinawa -- ABC News

The Air Force is throwing money at pilots to stay. Fewer and fewer are interested. -- Air Force Times

US Army's next-gen cruise missiles can reach targets over 480km away -- IBTimes

All Navy Carriers to Deploy with Dive Chambers to Treat Sick Pilots -- Defense Tech

The U.S. Military Is Building a Fleet of Star Trek-Inspired 'Shadow' Bombers Invisible to Radar -- Newsweek

West Point cadet makes the list of Rhodes scholars -- AP

Earning it: A complete history of Army berets and who's allowed to wear them -- Army Times

Separate housing for veterans in jail becomes a national trend -- Washington Examiner

False Flag: Investigating Stolen Valor -- Todd Brogowski, Medium

U.S. drafted request to deploy nukes on Honshu in 1960s, documents show -- Japan Times

What’s inside the $700 billion defense budget plan headed to Trump’s desk? -- Military Times

Top U.S. Air Force General: Expect More Bombers Flying Near North Korea

U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber aircraft from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, like the one pictured above, deployed in 2015 to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as a routine deployment providing global strike capability and extended deterrence against potential adversaries in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joel Pfiester/Released)

Defense Tech: More Bombers Likely to Join Pressure Campaign Against North Korea: Goldfein

More bombers could fly to the Pacific — even if for shorter missions — in the U.S. military’s pressure campaign against North Korea, the Air Force’s top general said Thursday.

The B-52 Stratofortress or B-2 Spirit, both nuclear-capable, long-range bombers, could make appearances if top leadership in the Pacific sees fit, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon.

Recently, “We’ve actually had all three rotating through Andersen [Air Force Base, Guam],” he said, alongside Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. Goldfein was referring to the U.S.’ continuous bomber presence mission.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Aside from the training aspects and sending a message to North Korea, this is also being done to reassure U.S. allies.

Hat tip Fred for this link.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Exposes How Difficult It Is For Foreign Companies To Operate In China



Daily Mail: Victoria's Secret Police! Shanghai fashion show is in CHAOS because 'authorities are closely controlling the event with SPIES even combing emails and stalking models to expel regime critics'

* The show is scheduled to begin on Monday, but organizers are scared to send emails due to the police state
* They're trying to get around visa issues for Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima but worry about secret police
* Hadid purportedly made a racist 'Asian' face in February; other models may have made social media remarks
* Katy Perry's performance visa was pulled after authorities found out about a 'pro Taiwan' gig she did in 2015
* The show's executive producer has not denied that Perry and Hadid were blocked, but commended China
* He said that officials had been very helpful when they were putting the show together

China's secret police are usually concerned about undercover foreigners, but right now they're more worried about foreigners that are under barely any cover at all, it has been claimed by Victoria's Secret insiders.

The organizers of Monday's lingerie show in Shanghai are dealing with a string of organizational disasters that have seen top model Gigi Hadid and guest star Katy Perry banned from the country and Adriana Lima's residency - she's currently in China - imperiled.

Victora's Secret is hardly the first Western firm to struggle with the incomprehensible bureaucracy and managerial incompetence that's endemic in China, but things are complicated by fears that they are being spied on.

That's left the China-based team flustered, as they can't call on help from the US headquarters for fear of having their missives intercepted and used against them.

Read more ....

Update: Victoria's Secret Staff Think The Chinese Are Spying On Them (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction .... this will be the last time that a Victoria Secrets show will be held in China. And as for doing business in China .... here is the golden rule. If the Chinese really want what you are selling (or have), they will give you the red-carpet treatment. But if you are selling (or having) something that they do not need .... and it appears that lingerie is not a priority for the Chinese government (God only knows why) .... expect headaches.

Will U.S. Military And CIA Leaders Be Investigated For War Crimes?

Huffington Post: U.S. Military And CIA Leaders May Be Investigated For War Crimes

On November 3, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, ”[T]here is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”

In what Amnesty International’s Solomon Sacco called a “seminal moment for the ICC,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court for authorization to commence an investigation that would focus on US military and CIA leaders, as well as Taliban and Afghan officials.

Bensouda wrote in a November 14, 2016, report that her preliminary examination revealed “a reasonable basis to believe” the “war crimes of torture and ill-treatment” had been committed “by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period, although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  The International Criminal Court will launch an investigation and I will not be surprised if charges are laid against senior U.S. military and intelligence leaders. Will former senior Bush and Obama officials be held accountable .... I doubt it, but we shall see.

Where Is Edward Snowden?

Snowden’s temporary asylum document from August 2013.

Yahoo News: Russian investigative journalist: Snowden is 'a sort of ghost'

Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, who co-wrote the definitive books on the post-Soviet security services and the history of the Russian internet, has kept tabs on National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s ongoing exile.

“He is a sort of ghost,” Soldatov told a recent Lawfare podcast. “It looks like he’s there, but since he’s banned from talking to Russian journalists or Moscow-based foreign journalists, … he speaks only to journalists coming specifically to interview him, so they are all approved [by the Russian government] in advance. So he is almost nowhere.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am not surprised that he still has a security detail around him. He is probably the most wanted man within the U.S. intelligence community (Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is probably number two) .... and he would be a prize if he is brought back to the U.S.. As to the question .... will he come back on his own free will? I doubt it .... spending the next 20 years (or more) in a federal penitentiary is definitely something that he does not want. So living in Russia it is .... whether he likes it or not.

Is Special Counsel Robert Mueller Now Investigating The Justice Department?

CBS News

ABC News: Special Counsel sends wide-ranging request for documents to Justice Department

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel's first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Attorney General Jeff Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the entire Russian inquiry has now put him in the cross-hairs of the Mueller Commission. So much for him thinking that this would not touch him if decided to step away. He either got poor advice when he made the decision to recuse himself .... or he never calculated the consequences of his actions. Bottom line .... Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation, or to put it bluntly .... Attorney General Jeff Sessions now finds himself answerable to Robert Mueller and not the other-way around.

Poll: Merkel, Macron, May Are Less Popular Than Trump

YouTube

Washington Examiner: Europe's Merkel, Macron, May less popular than Trump

President Trump’s approval ratings, often mocked by Democrats and the media, top those of Europe’s biggest three leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain’s Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron.

A new Zogby Analytics survey of people in those countries also finds that the disapproval ratings are sky-high.

“Citizens of France, Germany and U.K. not happy with Macron, Merkel and May,” is the poll headline. “A majority of adults in France and U.K. dislike Macron and May; nearly half of adults in Germany dislike Merkel.”

Trump’s approval ratings range from 38 percent to the mid 40s, and Rasmussen set it at 42 percent this week.

Zogby found the three European leaders below that:

* Merkel approval 40 percent, disapproval 49 percent.
* Macron approval 28 percent, disapproval 52 percent.
* May approval 28 percent, disapproval 61 percent.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here is the kicker on Merkel, Macron, and May's poll numbers .... this is as high as it will get for them. As for Trumps .... who knows .... Strong economy boosts Trump among otherwise skeptical voters (L.A. Times).

Tweets For Today





Cartoon Roundup

Picture Of The Day

Protesters calling for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down take to the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Zimbabwe's ruling party fires Mugabe (Reuters).

Yemen's Civil War Has Brought 7 Million People To The Brink Of Starvation (Update)

People queue to fill containers with water from a tank provided by UNICEF in Sana'a, Yemen. Some 14.5 million people in the country have no access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Photo: UNICEF/Algabal2017

CBS 60 Minutes: When food is used as a weapon

How Yemen's civil war has brought 7 million people, many of them children, to the brink of starvation

This month Saudi Arabia tightened a stranglehold on the neighboring country of Yemen and 7 million people face starvation. The Saudi blockade is an escalation in Yemen's civil war. The United Nations says the war has now become a "man-made catastrophe." You've seen very little of this because the Saudis prevent reporters from reaching the war zone. Recently, we were ordered off a ship headed to Yemen. Days later the Saudis gave us permission to fly there but, after our equipment was loaded and our boarding passes issued, the Saudis closed the airspace so the plane couldn't take off. Even so, we have managed to get pictures out of Yemen to show you what the Saudi government does not want you to see. This will be hard to watch, but 27 million people in Yemen pray you will not turn away.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is a sobering read .... mass starvation but there is food everywhere .... Yemen: Finding near-famine - and lots of food (Clive Myrie BBC)

More News On Reports That Yemen Is On The Brink Of Famine

Famine, cholera, and civilian casualties: The crisis in Yemen -- Axios
Yemen children are dying at a rate of 130 a day while Saudi-led blockade continues -- The Sydney Morning Herald
Yemen: 12 days into the blockade - "We're are running out of fuel, food, and medicines” -- ReliefWeb
Famine may be unfolding 'right now' in Yemen, warns UN relief wing -- UN News Centre
Millions of People May Die If Saudi Arabia Doesn't Allow Aid to Enter Yemen Immediately -- TIME
Saudi Arabia Faces Pressure To End Blockade As Crisis Worsens In Yemen -- NPR
Yemen is on the brink of a horrible famine. Here's how things got so bad. -- Washington Post

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Tensions Continue To Rise Rising On Israel's Northern Border With Syria

Israeli soldiers take part in a mobile artillery exercise near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights on November 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY)

i24 News: For second day, Israel fires warning shots at Syrian army on Golan Heights

Israel says Syrian military personnel violated the ceasefire by entering the separation zone

An Israeli tank fired a warning shot at a Syrian army position on the Golan Heights on Saturday, the second time in two days it has accused Syria of violating the decades-long ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement said that Syria violated the 1974 agreement by "conducting construction work in order to strengthen a military post in the Northern part of the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel."

Read more ....

More News On Israel Firing Warning Shots At The Syrian Army On The Golan Heights

Israel fires 'warning shot' amid Syrian border activity -- AP
IDF again fires at Syrian forces in Golan demilitarized zone -- Times of Israel
Israel fires 'warning shot' into Syria over border construction -- New Arab
Israeli tank fires warning shot at Syrian Golan post: army -- Japan Today
Israeli Tank Fires Warning Shot Toward Syria For a Second Time In 2 Days - IDF -- Sputnik

Israeli Cabinet Minister Admits To Covert Contacts With Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presides over a meeting of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 7, 2017. HANDOUT/REUTERS

Reuters: Israeli minister reveals covert contacts with Saudi Arabia

JERUSALEM/RIYADH (Reuters) - An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior official from either country of long-rumoured secret dealings.

The Saudi government had no immediate response to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s remarks. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also did not respond immediately to a request to comment.

Both Saudi Arabia and Israel view Iran as a main threat to the Middle East and increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fuelled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together.

Saudi Arabia maintains that any relations with Israel hinge on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war, territory Palestinians seek for a future state.

Read more ....

Update: Israel Gives Official Confirmation Of Covert Ties With Saudi Arabia (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor: This is an upgrade from what Israel's top General said 3 days ago .... Israel Military Chief Of Staff: Israel Ready To Share Intelligence Information With Saudi Arabia On Iran (November 16, 2017). Bottom line .... this is a different world .... It’s a new world — where Israel shares intelligence with the Saudis (Jerusalem Post)