Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tweet For Today


Washington Post: President Trump Asked Intelligence Chiefs To Push Back Against FBI Collusion Probe



Washington Post: Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: More anonymous leaks .... and repeating the same story that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in last years Presidential campaign but with a twist .... apparently President Trump asked two top intelligence officials to (and I am quoting the Washington Post) "publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 campaign". I love how the Washington post writes this story .... the Washington post implies that there is evidence of collusion without presenting any evidence that there is. I also love how the media is now using the term "former officials" instead of saying "former Obama officials", thereby not tainting their sources as biased. This news story also tells me that the media narrative has now change .... the focus is on building a case that President Trump obstructed justice .... so I will not be surprised if in the coming days more anonymous leaks will be coming out to validate this claim. But the big story is not these anonymous leaks .... the big story is that I am now seeing for the first time some Democrats distancing themselves away from this entire affair .... with even Senator Feinstein admitting that there is no evidence of collusion .... Feinstein: No Evidence Of Russian Collusion With Trump Campaign, But There Are Rumors (RCP). My prediction .... the only person who I see who has a problem is Michael Flynn and his failure to disclose his earnings from foreign states .... but aside from him .... I do not see any evidence of a crime being committed .... just the usual talk, rumours, and anonymous sources. For Russia-Gate to move forward .... anonymous sources must become public, and the crimes that are being rumoured must be made specific and backed by evidence. When that will happen (or not) is something that I do not know. But then again .... if you can get the President on an obstruction of justice charge .... even when no crime was committed that deserved to be obstructed .... and having the President himself say repeatedly and publicly that no collusion or crime was ever committed .... is that where this investigation will eventually lead? I guess we will find out in the coming weeks.

More News On The Washington Post Report That President Trump Asked Intelligence Chiefs To Push Back Against FBI Collusion Probe

Trump asked DNI, NSA to deny evidence of Russia collusion -- CNN
Report: Trump asked top intel officials to defend him on Russia claims -- CBS
Trump asked Coats, Rogers to publicly deny Russian collusion allegations: Report -- Washington Examiner
Report: Trump Asked Intel Heads To Push Back On FBI Russia Probe -- NPR

Islamic State Supporters Celebrate Manchester Attack

Police escort an injured woman outside Manchester Arena after the explosion. Goodman/LNP/Rex/Shutterstock

Reuters: Islamic State supporters celebrate Manchester attack

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media on Tuesday after a blast at a concert venue in the north of England killed at least 19 people, although the militant Islamist group has not formally claimed responsibility.

British police have said they are treating the blast at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande as a "terrorist incident". More than 50 people were wounded.

Twitter accounts affiliated to Islamic State have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.

Some messages described the attack as an act of revenge in response to air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No confirmation yet on who was responsible for tonight's terror attack .... but all eye are on this group .... Around 3,500 suspected terrorists in UK - but powers to monitor used LESS than in 2015 (Express).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Terror Attack At Manchester. 19 Killed And Over 50 Wounded -- News Updates May 22, 2017





Daily Mail: 'Suicide bomber' strikes at Manchester Arena: Nineteen people are killed and 50 injured in terrorist attack as 'nail bomb near the exit' explodes, ripping into teens leaving packed Ariana Grande gig

* Nineteen people killed after explosions rang out at the end of an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester Arena
* Video footage showed thousands fleeing in tears from the venue, many covered in blood, when gig ended
* Armed officers surrounded venue and bloodied concertgoers pictured being helped by emergency services
* Horrifying footage showed petrified children leaping over chairs and barriers as they tried to escape
* At 3am chief constable of Greater Manchester Police said they were treating it as a 'terrorist incident'

At least 19 people are dead and 50 more injured after a suspected suicide bomber targeted children leaving a packed pop concert at Manchester Arena last night.

Witnesses told of nuts and bolts tearing into young concert-goers when the blast was detonated in the foyer area between the arena and the next-door Victoria station just after the Ariana Grande gig ended.

Horrifying footage showed petrified children leaping over chairs and barriers as they desperately tried to escape the 21,000-seat venue, which led to a stampede. Two US officials have said it was a suspected suicide bomber.

Read more ....

LIVE UPDATES

Terror attack in Manchester: Live Coverage -- BBC
Manchester Arena: 19 dead after explosion at Ariana Grande concert – latest updates -- The Guardian
Live Manchester Arena explosion: 19 killed in 'terror attack by suicide bomber' at Ariana Grande concert -- The Telegraph
Live: At least 19 killed in Manchester concert blast -- France 24
Ariana Grande concert incident: Live updates -- CNN
Police treating Manchester concert blast as 'terrorist incident' -- ABC News Online
Manchester Arena explosion Live updates -- RT

Terror Attack At Manchester. 19 Killed And Over 50 Wounded -- News Updates May 22, 2017

Manchester Arena blast: 19 dead and about 50 hurt -- BBC
At least 19 killed in suspected suicide attack at concert in British arena -- Reuters
Blast at Ariana Grande concert in England kills 19 people -- AP
Fatalities in suspected terror attack at concert in UK's Manchester -- France 24
At least 19 people die in explosion at Manchester Arena -- The Guardian
Manchester explosion: 19 confirmed dead and 59 injured following Ariana Grande concert -- The Independent
British police: At least 19 dead after 'possible' terrorist incident at Ariana Grande concert -- UPI
19 Killed in ‘Appalling Suicide Attack’ After Ariana Grande Concert in U.K. -- NBC
At least 19 people dead following ‘terrorist incident’ at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester -- Washington Post
Ariana Grande concert attack: At least 19 killed, 59 hurt in 'terrorist incident' -- FOX News
‘Terrorist incident’: 19 dead, 50 injured in Manchester Arena explosion -- RT
Manchester police confirm 'fatalities' after blast reports -- DW
Manchester Arena 'terror attack': At least 19 dead, dozens injured after Ariana Grande concert explosion -- ABC News Online
Ariana Grande concert: Blast a 'terrorist incident' -- Al Jazeera
Moment of deadly Manchester Arena blast caught on dashcam (VIDEO) -- RT
Islamic State supporters celebrate Manchester attack online, no official claim -- Reuters
"Pls help me...": Frantic parents hunt for missing kids after UK concert blast -- Reuters
'Pls help me...': Frantic parents hunt for missing kids after Manchester concert blast -- The Telegraph
'There was blood and bodies everywhere': witnesses describe aftermath of Manchester explosion -- The Telegraph
Concert-goers describe huge panic as fans fled arena `explosion´ -- Press Association
Manchester 'terror attack': Witnesses describe mayhem after concert explosion -- ABC News Online
Manchester Arena attack: what we know so far -- The Guardian
Ariana Grande says she's 'broken' after Manchester concert attack -- BBC
Ariana Grande on fatal Manchester incident: 'I don't have words' -- CNN
Manchester Arena concert 'terror incident' in pictures -- ABC News Online
Manchester Arena explosion: emergency services react – in pictures -- The Guardian
In pictures: 19 people killed after 'terror attack' explosion at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester -- The Telegraph

Editor's Note

I was at a concert tonight with the GF, and while watching the performance people started texting me on what had happened in Manchester. Just arrived home and I am in front of my computer. Will be updating this story within the next 30 minutes.

Is The U.S. Strategy To Defeat The Islamic State Working?


Next Big Future: Delegate and Annihilate is working against ISIS

But less than four months after Trump took office, Mattis said the operational and tactical difference has been clear.

Two significant changes resulted from President Trump’s review of our findings.
1. he delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities.
2. he directed a tactical shift”: surround ISIS fighters, instead of just pushing them out of a given territory.

The changes can be described as effective delegation and annihilation.

There has been no change to our continued extraordinary efforts to avoid innocent civilian casualties, despite needing to go into populated areas,” he said. And American troops are still under instruction to halt at the last point of cover and concealment, letting local forces go in for the direct assault.

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) surged in northwest Mosul in a bid to clear the city prior to Ramadan, anticipated to begin on May 26. Emergency Response Division (ERD) and Federal Police (FP) units joined 9th and 15th Iraqi Army Division units in northwest Mosul on April 28. The combined forces recaptured the neighborhoods of Mushairfa and 30 Tamouz, and are fighting to seize the denser neighborhoods of Harmat, 17 Tamouz, and Hawi Kanisa as of May 11, 2017.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The trend is clearly favouring those who want to destroy the Islamic State. But others have a different point of view on what is unfolding in the Middle East .... Trump’s Simplistic Strategy on Jihadism (Robin Wright, The New Yorker)

Video Said To Show Houti Forces in Yemen Firing A Missile At A Saudi F-15 (Video)



Al Masdarnews: Yemeni air defense forces target Saudi F-15 fighter jet (VIDEO)

SANA’A, YEMEN (8:50 P.M.) – On Saturday morning, Yemeni Air Defense officials announced their forces had shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter jet over Saadeh province in northern Yemen.

Today Al-Sahat TV, a satellite channel broadcasting from Beirut, published a video supposedly showing the moment when the warplane was hit by a surface-to-air missile:

Read more ....

Hat Tip Alert 5

A Day In The Life Of One American Soldier In Kabul

Major Jared Auchey (Hollie McKay/Fox News)

FOX News: US soldier in Afghanistan: A day in the life of one American fighter

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Jared Auchey, Virginia-born and raised on a sequence of Air Force bases, was just 18 years old when he joined the U.S Army Reserve in 1999. Five years later, after graduating from Penn State University, his first assignment with the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion was as an active duty soldier in Afghanistan.

Little did he know then that at age 36 and now with the rank of major, Afghanistan would still be the mainstay of his military career, or that the war against terrorism in that country would be far from over. Auchey spent his first deployment in the western province of Herat, then a relative sanctuary of stability compared to the southern and eastern provinces. Today Auchey works out of Kabul and is now six months into his third deployment in the conflict-torn country.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: My gut is telling me that things are going to be picking up for the U.S. in Afghanistan very soon.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud walks with U.S. President Donald Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Michael Leiter, The Atlantic: Trump Changed His Tone on Islam—Will He Change Strategy?

The president’s speech in Riyadh represented a welcome shift from his former rhetoric. The question is what actions will follow.

To say that candidate Donald Trump adopted a sharply critical and un-nuanced tone on Islam would be the grossest of understatements. Campaigner-in-Chief Trump proclaimed the need to adopt specific language (“radical Islamic terrorism”), proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States, and bemoaned that “Islam hates us.” The president’s remarkable reversal in tone (and potentially substance) in Riyadh—combined with the region’s clear optimism for a post-Obama American approach to the region—offers opportunities for progress even if they’re unlikely to produce significant improvement in the root causes of the region’s broader economic, demographic, and political challenges.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 22, 2017

What Trump gets wrong about the Middle East -- Mohamad Bazzi, Reuters

Trump’s Statesmanlike Speech in Riyadh -- Elliot Abrams, NRO

Trump Turns Politically Correct in Saudi Arabia -- Peter Beinart, The Atlantic

Syria: Why Trump Must Learn the Art of Stalemate Diplomacy -- Raymond Tanter & Edward Stafford, National Interest

Yemen Foreign Minister: 'Our Enemies Want to Starve Us' (An Interview) -- Spiegel Online

The real test for an Arab Nato will come the day after Raqqa falls -- Faisal Al Yafai, The National

North Korea says world looks beautiful from a ballistic missile -- Asia Times/Reuters

The Birth of a Multipolar Asia? -- Chietigj Bajpaee, Lowy Institute

China's Belt and Road to Nowhere -- Christopher Whalen, National Interest

Asean powers continue to arm-wrestle over China’s nine-dash line and its potential abundance of resources, including the seaweed -- David Dodwell, South China Morning Post

Peace process in pieces in Myanmar -- Bertil Lintner, Asia Times

The Eruption of Moscow’s Housing Estates -- Nina L. Khrushcheva, Project Syndicate

Why Poland doesn’t want refugees -- Jan Cienski, Politico

Legendary U.S. General Edward L. Rowny looks forward and back at the Korean conflict -- Lima Charlie News

Why Center-Left Parties Choose to Go Radical -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- May 22, 2017 (Evening Edition)

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks before a dinner at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem May 22, 2017. REUTERSAriel Schalit/Pool

Reuters: Trump says concerns about Iran driving Israel, Arab states closer

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of "terrorists and militias".

In stressing threats from Iran, Trump echoed a theme laid out during weekend meetings in Saudi Arabia with Muslim leaders from around the world, many wary of the Islamic Republic's growing regional influence and financial muscle.

Trump has vowed to do whatever necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, dubbing a peace accord "the ultimate deal". But ahead of his Holy Land visit, he gave little indication of how he could revive talks that collapsed in 2014.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Trump's visit to Saudi a 'turning point': King Salman.

Israel in rare overture to Palestinians 'at Trump request'.

Trump warns of Iranian nuclear threat on visit to Israel.

Donald Trump accused of 'Iranophobia' as he lands in Israel. US stirring up ‘Iranophobia’ to boost arms sales to Arab nations – Tehran.

Trump in Jerusalem to explore Palestinian-Israeli talks. Trump arrives in Israel, says 'great opportunity' for peace.

Syria conflict: Government regains full control of Homs.

Jordan has 'hit limit' hosting Syrian refugees.

Iraqi forces begin manhunt inside ISIS pockets of Anbar.

Rouhani says regional stability impossible without Iran.

Iran reformists sweep Tehran municipal council election.

Turkey crowd taunts coup suspects at mass trial near Ankara. Turkey opens trial of suspected military coup plotters.

Palestinian basic rights 'not on the agenda' for Trump.

Yemen protesters call for southern secession.

Yemen war: Major cholera epidemic feared, says charity. Cholera kills 315 in Yemen in less than month: WHO.

ASIA

U.N.'s North Korea sanctions monitors hit by 'sustained' cyber attack.

UN calls on North Korea to stop missile tests.

Report: Xi Jinping asked for '100-day grace period' on North Korea.

Kashmir conflict shifts with top militant vowing fight is for an Islamic state.

Beijing and Manila end talks as ‘war’ threat recalled.

Thai military hospital bomb blast injures more than 20. 3 years after coup, Thailand sees sporadic, unnerving unrest.

Kabul probes 'terrorist' attack on foreign guest house.

Philippines' Duterte heads to Russia in blow to US.

China sidesteps Duterte claim of war threat over sea row.

China to host global meeting of Antarctic Treaty.

AFRICA

Leader of Nigeria's ruling APC party warns of coup threat.

Gambian authorities seize ex-president Jammeh's bank accounts.

Tunisia protester death raises fears of more unrest.

Cape Town region declares drought disaster.

South Sudan's Kiir declares unilateral ceasefire, prisoner release.

Nigerian troops battle Boko Haram in Lake Chad area.

Tunisian forces clash with protesters at oil fields.

Italy inks deal with Libya neighbours to block migrants.

Zambia considers treason charge against opposition leader Hichilema.

Angolan apartheid troops battle to survive in S.Africa.

Quality of life on rise for many Africans, report says.

EUROPE

Belarus backsliding badly on human rights: U.N. report.

Putin to meet Macron during visit to Paris on May 29 – Kremlin. Putin, Macron to discuss Syria and Ukraine at May 29 meeting: Kremlin.

EU nations set tough negotiating mandate for Brexit talks. EU's Barnier refuses to imagine UK Brexit talks walkout.

Rattled UK PM May forced into 'dementia tax' U-turn after poll lead halves.

Germany, France pledge new efforts to strengthen eurozone.

German foreign minister calls for Greek debt relief.

Germany urges Iran to stop supporting militants in Syria and Iraq.

Spanish Socialists re-elect Pedro Sánchez to lead party.

AMERICAS

Trump says he didn’t mention Israel in meeting with Russians. Trump: 'Never mentioned' Israel in Russia meeting.

Trump becomes first sitting US president to visit Western Wall.

Source says Flynn to invoke 5th Amendment. Flynn cites 'public frenzy' in refusal to comply with subpoena: report.

More Puerto Rico agencies enter bankruptcy.

Turkey slams US over ‘aggressive’ acts against bodyguards.

Venezuela prosecutor decries Maduro's new congress plan.

Death toll rises as protests continue in Venezuela.

Venezuela: Thousands cross bridge into Colombia for better opportunities.

Brazil's President Michel Temer wins time in corruption crisis. Brazil President Temer says 'I won't resign, oust me if you want'.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

ISIS wants to attack the West's food supply, practiced by poisoning prisoners in Iraq.

ISIS fanatics are plotting to blow up British ports by planting bombs on UK-bound fuel tankers.

Trump tells Middle East to 'drive out' Islamist extremists.

West Africa hit with spate of suicide bombings.

Japan protests against U.N. expert's queries on bill to fight terrorism.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street ends up; defense, tech stocks a boost.

Iraq agrees to nine-month extension of OPEC production cut: minister.

Apple is nearly 40% more valuable than the city of Chicago.

Boeing expands business ties with Saudis.

China, Russia launch long-haul challenge to Boeing, Airbus.

EU to conclude Google antitrust cases in next few months.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates May 22, 2017



CBS News: Iraqi forces face toughest battle in Mosul offensive

Iraqi military officials say they are closing in on the last remaining neighborhoods under ISIS control in the nation's second-largest city of Mosul, but as they prepare to mount a final assault on the Old City, they face their toughest battle yet in the seven-month offensive to liberate the city.

We joined the Iraqi federal police on the front lines in that fight, in the tight, congested neighborhoods bordering the Old City, and we were shown a hint of what is to come.

It is a warren of narrow streets and blind alleyways. Soldiers, now engaged in guerrilla warfare, are changing tactics on the fly.

They had strung up blankets and bedsheets across the alleyways so they could duck beneath them in order to stay out of an ISIS sniper's line of sight.

One soldier was using an ordinary household mirror in order to peek around corners to make sure ISIS gunmen weren't sneaking up to attack.

Read more ....

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates May 22, 2017

Final stages of Mosul battle will be ‘extremely violent,’ U.S. commander says -- Washington Post
Iraqi forces pound Mosul's Old City ahead of ground op -- Anadolu Agency
Iraqi forces retake western Mosul’s al-Najjar district, move closer to last IS haven -- Iraqi News
Iraqi forces recapture Najjar district in western Mosul -- Al Arabiya
IS Fighters Cornered After Losing Territory in Western Mosul, Local Reports Say -- Yahoo News
IS members burn civilian vehicles in Mosul’s al-Shifa, evacuate to Old City -- Iraqi News
Seven militants killed in western Mosul airstrike, bridge installed for civilians evacuation -- Iraqi News

Turkey Blames The US For Being Aggressive Against President Erdogan's Body Guards When They Attacked Demonstrators Protesting Outside The Turkish Embassy



Washington Post: Turkey condemns U.S. over ‘aggressive’ acts against its bodyguards during Erdogan’s visit to D.C.

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest Monday with the U.S. ambassador over “aggressive” actions by American security personnel during violence between Turkish guards and protesters as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington earlier this month.

The summoning of the ambassador to Ankara, John Bass, sharply escalated a diplomatic rift between Turkey and the United States after the violence. Footage of the brawl that was widely circulated on social media prompted outrage in the United States, calls for the prosecution of the Turkish guards and even the expulsion of Turkey’s ambassador to Washington.

American and Turkish officials have provided directly contrasting versions of how the violence unfolded. Local police said the Turkish guards savagely attacked a peaceful protest outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence as Erdogan was visiting. The footage of the melee showed what appeared to be Turkish security guards kicking and choking protesters as police struggled to contain the unrest. It also showed Erdogan watching, from a distance, as the fighting raged.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The New York Times has the best video on what happened (the link is here). What's my take .... as I explained in this post .... New Video Emerges Showing Turkish President Erdogan Observing Clashes in DC (May 19, 2017) .... it started when President Erdogan talked to his bodyguard and within 20 seconds his security detail began attacking the demonstrators. Diplomatically speaking .... there has to be consequences for this. Expelling Turkish officials that were present when this happened .... and curtailing Turkish diplomatic activity is a must. Will the U.S. State Department do anything about this .... they should but I suspect that they will not.

Turkey Blames The US For Being Aggressive Against President Erdogan's Body Guards When They Attacked Demonstrators Protesting Outside The Turkish Embassy

Turkey Chides U.S. Envoy Over Handling of Brawl at Washington Protest -- NYT
Turkey accuses US of 'aggressive actions' over embassy brawl -- BBC
Turkey condemns U.S. over ‘aggressive’ acts against its bodyguards during Erdogan’s visit to D.C. -- Washington post
Turkey Angry at US For Stopping Erdogan's Goons From Beating Up DC Protesters -- Foreign Policy
The violence of Erdoğan’s bodyguards in Washington DC is Turkey's new normal -- Ahmet A Sabancı, The Guardian

Is President Trump's 'Aggressive Approach' Towards Iran Coming At A Worse Time?

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) waits for the start of an event with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (2-R) and Gulf Cooperation Council leaders at their summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

David A. Andelman, CNN: Trump's anti-Iran aggression couldn't come at a worse time

At first glance, it appears that there are only two clear paths that the US can take when dealing with the Middle East: the Sunni path of Saudi Arabia and the bulk of its Gulf allies, on the one hand; or the Shiite path represented by Iran.

There is the path of dictators -- like Egypt's autocratic Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the blinkered and aging royal family of Saudi Arabia, and the corrupt and helpless rulers of Iraq -- all Sunnis.

By contrast, there is the young and desperately eager majority of Iranians, all Shiites, seeking to drag their nation out from under the yoke of a medieval clerical oppression.

The Trump administration, seduced by an effusive Saudi welcome -- in sharp contrast to anything provided his predecessor, Barack Obama -- may be taking the wrong road.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Obama pursued a policy of engagement with Iran .... and while Iran's nuclear program appears to be on hold .... the jury is still out on how successful that engagement was. In the meantime .... the conflict between Iran and its Shiite allies versus Sunni governments and their Sunni allies is intensifying. As for President Trump .... I can understand why he is not "open" to Iran .... decades of "Death to America" demonstrations coupled with a policy that calls for the destruction of Israel is not a country that you want to be close to. But I must also admit that Saudi Arabia and its support of  the supremacy of Islam is also something that I do not feel comfortable with .... the worst terrorism against the West occurred because of the blind eye that Saudi Arabia had with these groups .... and that support is still there. The war in Yemen is also a unmitigated disaster and quagmire, and I am sure the Saudis are hoping that the U.S. will bail them out on that one. Anyway .... for the moment .... President Trump is communicating that he will work with Saudi Arabia and that U.S. ties with Israel are strong .... how this will translate into tangible policy is yet to be seen. A massive arms agreement that has been in the works for years has been finalised between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia .... what comes after that is something that we will have to wait and see. And as for Iran .... enough is enough .... if they want change .... so do it. But as long as the clergy rule that country .... I sincerely doubt that change will happen in that country.

Iran Accuses President Trump Of 'Iranophobia'





ABC News Online: Donald Trump accused of 'Iranophobia' as he lands in Israel

Iran has accused the United States of selling arms to "dangerous terrorists" in the Middle East and of spreading "Iranophobia", following US President Donald Trump's visit to Tehran's arch-foe Saudi Arabia as part of his maiden overseas trip as President.

Mr Trump signed arms deals worth almost $US110 billion during his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia. He has since arrived in Israel, for separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Sending a tough message to Tehran shortly after pragmatist Hassan Rouhani was re-elected president, Mr Trump had urged Arab and Islamic leaders to unite to defeat Islamist militants, and said Iran had for decades "fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terrors".

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Trump's remarks are already being used by Iranian hardliners as ammo against the just elected President Rhouhani .... Iran's Hardliners Use Trump's Speech on Islam as Excuse to Hammer Rouhani (Time).

More News On Iran Accusing The United States Of Selling Arms To "Dangerous Terrorists" And Of Spreading "Iranophobia"

Iran accused the US of spreading 'Iranophobia' and arming 'dangerous terrorists' -- Reuters
Iran laughably rips Trump for spreading ‘Iranophobia’ -- Washington Times
Iran’s President Mocks Trump’s Visit to Saudi Arabia as ‘Just a Show’ -- NYT
US stirring up ‘Iranophobia’ to boost arms sales to Arab nations – Tehran -- RT
Iran President Hassan Rouhani blasts Trump's Saudi summit -- DW
Rouhani dismisses Trump warning over Iran 'threat' -- BBC
Iran calls Trump's Saudi visit 'theatrical' -- CNN
Iran's Rouhani: We will not wait for US's permission to test ballistic missiles -- FOX News
Rouhani says regional stability impossible without Iran -- Reuters
Iranian president calls US relations 'a curvy road' -- AP

U.S. President Trump: Iran Must Stop Funding And Training 'Terrorists And Militias' Immediately





Reuters: Trump says Iran must stop funding and training 'terrorists and militias' immediately

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that Iran must immediately stop its financial and military support for "terrorists and militias" and he reiterated that it never be permitted to possess atomic arms.

"Most importantly, the United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon - never, ever - and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias, and it must cease immediately," Trump said in public remarks at a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

The United States brands Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism". It says Tehran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war, Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war and the Hezbollah Shi'ite political party and militia in Lebanon have helped destabilize the Middle East.

Read more ....

More News On President Trump's Remarks On Iran

Trump Assails Iranian Aggression During Israel Visit -- Voice of America
Donald Trump focuses fire on Iran's support for 'terrorists and militias' -- The Guardian
Trump says concerns about Iran driving Israel, Arab states closer -- Reuters
Trump urges all countries to work together to isolate Iran -- Straits Times
Trump, Netanyahu focus on Iran as common enemy -- Washington Times
Trump tells Israelis: Arab neighbors in ‘common cause with you’ against Iran -- FOX News
Trump tells Israel Iran will never have nuclear weapons -- BBC
Trump in Israel: Iran can 'never, ever' have nuclear weapons -- Washington Examiner
Trump tells Israel that 'Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon' -- CBC/AP

Wall Street Journal: A Dozen High Level Cuban Military Officers And Thousands Of Intelligence Agents Are Now In Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, right, and Cuba's President Raul Castro attend an ALBA alliance summit in Caracas, March 17, 2015.REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

WNU Editor: The Wall Street Journal article is unfortunately under a paywall .... Cuba’s Proxy War in Venezuela (Mary Anastasia O’Grady, WSJ). Summarising .... there are more than a dozen high-ranking Cuban officers in Venezuela, along with thousands of Cuban intelligence agents. Apparently their job is to keep the Venezuelan army officers under constant surveillance to prevent any mutiny. Am I surprised by this report .... no. Cuban - Venezuelan government ties have been tight for almost 20 years .... and they do need each other for their survival as predicted by this analysis from last year .... After Fidel Castro's death, Cuba and Venezuela may turn to each other for political survival (Christopher Woody, Business Insider).

I will post Mary Anastasia O’Grady column when it becomes available (without a paywall) on another news website.

Hat tip to Publius for this link.

Report: Chinese President Xi Asked For A '100-Day Grace Period' On North Korea



UPI: Report: Xi Jinping asked for '100-day grace period' on North Korea

Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to implement sanctions against Chinese firms enabling North Korea during his first summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, but also asked Trump for a "100-day grace period."

Multiple officials from the United States and Japan told the Asahi Shimbun the two leaders agreed to cooperate on North Korea, but Xi asked for more time.

According to the Japanese newspaper's sources, Trump said the United States would impose unilateral sanctions against "several Chinese companies, including major financial institutions that deal with North Korea," unless China agreed to work with Washington.

Read more
....

WNU Editor: This report makes sense .... US Secretary of State Tillerson hinted over the weekend that the diplomacy on what to do with North Korea was only starting .... Tillerson says US pressure on North Korea in 'early stages' (AFP). More here .... Chat Between Top Diplomats Signals China, US Are Moving Closer on North Korea (Sputnik). This also follows up on their agreement that after 100 days would pass for China and the U.S. to discuss trade .... US, China agree to first trade steps under 100-day plan (Reuters).

More News On A Japanese News Report Stating That Chinese President Xi Asked For A '100-Day Grace Period' On North Korea

China's Xi asks Trump for 100 days to strengthen N. Korea sanctions: report -- Arirang
China Asked US for 100-Day Delay to Prepare Sanctions Against North Korea -- Sputnik
Push for Pressure? Why Beijing Asked US for 100-Day Delay on N Korea Sanctions -- Sputnik

Philippine Foreign Minister Says Talk Of China Threatening War Not Serious

Chinese structures are pictured at the disputed Spratlys in South China Sea April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro/File Photo

Reuters: Philippines, China play down Duterte's talk of war in disputed sea

The Philippines and China played down on Monday a warning by President Rodrigo Duterte that China would go to war if the Philippines drilled for oil in the disputed South China Sea.

The outspoken Philippine president has been facing criticism at home for being what some people see as too soft on China over a long-running territorial dispute.

Duterte met China's President Xi Jinping for talks in Beijing last week and later said Xi had warned him there would be war if the Philippines tried to explore for oil in a disputed stretch of sea.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said their meeting was frank and friendly, and the discussion was largely about preventing conflict, not threatening it.

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WNU Editor: The Chinese are shrugging off this threat of war .... South China Sea dispute: Xi Jinping govt sidesteps Philippines' president Duterte's claims of war threat (First POst/AFP).

More News On The Philippine Foreign Minister Saying Talk Of China Threatening War Is Not Serious

Beijing and Manila end talks as ‘war’ threat recalled -- South China Morning Post
Philippine official downplays alleged China war threats -- Washington Post/AP
China War Talk Not Serious, Philippine Foreign Minister Says -- Bloomberg
The Philippines is starting damage control after Duterte claims China threatened war -- Business Insider/Reuters
China's Threat Of War Against Philippines Is Baseless Scare Tactic -- Anders Corr, Forbes

Chinese News Media Celebrates The Killing Of CIA Spies In China



The Guardian: Chinese newspaper applauds reported 'anti-espionage' killing of CIA sources

Global Times, controlled by the Communist Party, says reports of breaking of spy ring, if true, were a ‘victory for China’

An influential state-run newspaper has applauded China’s anti-espionage efforts after the New York Times said China had killed or imprisoned up to 20 CIA sources, hobbling US spying operations in a massive intelligence breach.

The Chinese killed at least a dozen people providing information to the US Central Intelligence Agency between 2010 and 2012, dismantling a network that was years in the making, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

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WNU Editor: The Chinese are contradicting themselves on this report .... Mission Implausible: China media claims 'victory' over US spy killings, but ridicules report (The Telegraph).

Update: Spy report claiming China Killed or jailed 18-20 CIA sources ‘won’t harm Sino-US ties’ (South China Morning Post).

More News On Chinese News Media Celebrating The Killing Of CIA Spies In China

Chinese paper applauds anti-spy efforts after report CIA sources killed -- Reuters
China’s state-run media declares reports that the government killed CIA sources as ‘a sweeping victory’ -- Daily Mail
Chinese paper cheers NYT report that U.S. spies were killed -- USA Today
China’s Global Times Applauds ‘Victory’ After CIA Sources Reportedly Killed -- NBC
Report claims Beijing destroyed CIA spy ring, Chinese state-run newspaper commends effort -- NYDaily News

World News Briefs -- May 22, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump (C) sits next to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israel'sPresident Reuven Rivlin during a welcoming ceremony to welcome Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

DW: Trump, Israeli leaders pledge Middle East cooperation

US President Donald Trump has landed in Israel as part of his first foreign trip since taking office. Trump arrived fresh from inking a 12-figure arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

President Reuven Rivlin told his US counterpart, Donald Trump, that Israel was honored on Monday to welcome a partner in both business and peace.

"We created a miracle, a technological miracle, a human miracle, and, even during our most difficult times, we never gave up," Rivlin said, describing Israel's seven-decade expansion. However, he said, "we have not yet achieved our mission of living in peace with our neighbors: the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world."

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Trump warns of Iranian nuclear threat on visit to Israel.

Donald Trump accused of 'Iranophobia' as he lands in Israel. US stirring up ‘Iranophobia’ to boost arms sales to Arab nations – Tehran.

Trump in Jerusalem to explore Palestinian-Israeli talks. Trump arrives in Israel, says 'great opportunity' for peace.

Syria conflict: Government regains full control of Homs.

Iran reformists sweep Tehran municipal council election.

Turkey crowd taunts coup suspects at mass trial near Ankara. Turkey opens trial of suspected military coup plotters.

Palestinian basic rights 'not on the agenda' for Trump.

Yemen protesters call for southern secession.

Yemen war: Major cholera epidemic feared, says charity. Cholera kills 315 in Yemen in less than month: WHO.

ASIA

Report: Xi Jinping asked for '100-day grace period' on North Korea.

Kashmir conflict shifts with top militant vowing fight is for an Islamic state.

Beijing and Manila end talks as ‘war’ threat recalled.

Thai military hospital bomb blast injures more than 20. 3 years after coup, Thailand sees sporadic, unnerving unrest.

Kabul probes 'terrorist' attack on foreign guest house.

Philippines' Duterte heads to Russia in blow to US.

China sidesteps Duterte claim of war threat over sea row.

China to host global meeting of Antarctic Treaty.

AFRICA

South Sudan's Kiir declares unilateral ceasefire, prisoner release.

Nigerian troops battle Boko Haram in Lake Chad area.

Tunisian forces clash with protesters at oil fields.

Italy inks deal with Libya neighbours to block migrants.

Zambia considers treason charge against opposition leader Hichilema.

Angolan apartheid troops battle to survive in S.Africa.

Quality of life on rise for many Africans, report says.

EUROPE

Putin to meet Macron during visit to Paris on May 29 – Kremlin. Putin, Macron to discuss Syria and Ukraine at May 29 meeting: Kremlin.

EU nations set tough negotiating mandate for Brexit talks. EU's Barnier refuses to imagine UK Brexit talks walkout.

Rattled UK PM May forced into 'dementia tax' U-turn after poll lead halves.

Germany, France pledge new efforts to strengthen eurozone.

German foreign minister calls for Greek debt relief.

Germany urges Iran to stop supporting militants in Syria and Iraq.

Spanish Socialists re-elect Pedro Sánchez to lead party.

AMERICAS

Trump becomes first sitting US president to visit Western Wall.

Source says Flynn to invoke 5th Amendment.

More Puerto Rico agencies enter bankruptcy.

Turkey slams US over ‘aggressive’ acts against bodyguards.

Death toll rises as protests continue in Venezuela.

Venezuela: Thousands cross bridge into Colombia for better opportunities.

Brazil's President Michel Temer wins time in corruption crisis. Brazil President Temer says 'I won't resign, oust me if you want'.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Trump tells Middle East to 'drive out' Islamist extremists.

West Africa hit with spate of suicide bombings.

Japan protests against U.N. expert's queries on bill to fight terrorism.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Boeing expands business ties with Saudis.

China, Russia launch long-haul challenge to Boeing, Airbus.

EU to conclude Google antitrust cases in next few months.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 22, 2017

Kim Jong-un has approved North Korea's intermediate-range ballistic missile for deployment. (Reuters/KCNA)

ABC News Online: North Korea: Kim Jong-un says ballistic missile ready for 'action' after test

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says the intermediate-range ballistic missile that was tested yesterday is ready for "action", according to the reclusive state's news agency.

The test was reported by South Korea yesterday, and the KCNA news agency today released a statement claiming the launch was a success.

The launch verified the reliability and accuracy of the solid-fuel engine's operation and stage separation and the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead which was recorded by a device mounted on the warhead, KCNA said.

Mr Kim supervised the launch of the Pukguksong-2 missile and was pleased with the results, KCNA said.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 22, 2017

North Korea: Medium-range missile ready for deployment -- Al Jazeera

North Korea says missile meets all specifications, ready for mass-production -- Reuters

Primary U.S. targets for North Korean ICBMs -- Alert 5

2 US Aircraft Carriers May Join Joint Drill in East Sea -- KBS World

Why China still can’t beat US to become the world’s most powerful navy -- South China Morning Post

Eye in the Sky: China Rolls Out Advanced Radar for Jet Fighters -- Sputnik

Chinese newspaper applauds reported 'anti-espionage' killing of CIA sources -- The Guardian

Spy report claiming China Killed or jailed 18-20 CIA sources ‘won’t harm Sino-US ties’ -- South China Morning Post

Chinese Industrial Spies Cast a Wider Net -- Levi Maxey, Cipher Brief

Pakistan Investigating Social Media Users for Anti-Army Posts: Official -- US News and Review/Reuters

New Zealand navy paid $700,000 to firm mired in ‘Fat Leonard’ sex and bribery scandal -- The Guardian

Nicaragua insists Russian satellite station 'not for spying' -- Defense News

South Sudan's Army may have Committed War Crimes: UN -- Newsweek

Germany Is Quietly Building a European Army Under Its Command -- Foreign Policy

NATO chief in talks with Germany, Turkey over Incirlik dispute -- DW

Nato to welcome Montenegro to the defence alliance in first expansion of membership in eight years -- The Independent

NATO Laying Groundwork to Send More Troops To Iraq, Afghanistan - Defense One

Argentina purchased several refurbished Mirages and engines for Pucaras -- Merco Press

Buying 3 carriers at once could save $1.5 billion, cut 2 years off production, shipyard says -- Virginia Pilot

Russia tried to take over Pentagon Twitter accounts: report -- The Hill

Better Than Boots on the Ground: Pentagon's Tiny Drones Score ‘High Value’ Kills -- Sputnik

The Army Is Testing A Microwave Weapon System In The Mountains Of New Mexico -- Task & Purpose

These gourmet-style meals were created from military MREs -- Military Times

Lawmakers Rap Littoral Combat Ship, New Handgun, Intel System -- Defense Tech

Report: SOCOM Has More Troops In Africa Than Anywhere Except The Middle East -- Task & Purpose

Trump budget to cut Foreign Military Financing, with loan option looming -- Defense News

No More Money for Nothing: Trump’s Budget Proposal May Frustrate Ukraine, Others -- Sputnik

Trump’s Military Budget Proposal Gives Defense Hawks the Political Upper Hand -- Sandra Erwin, RCD

US Services required to report plans to accept new transgender troops -- USA Today

Amphibious Warfare Experts Emphasize the Need to Adopt New Concepts -- James Peterson, SeaPower

Gallery: War aircraft through the lens of a US Army training manual -- Ars Technica

The Pentagon Is Almost Ready for Its Close-Up -- Russell Berman, The Atlantic

Laying Down The Rules On How War In Space Will Be Fought

There is an Outer Space Treaty which acts as international space law, but with the pact celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, legislators are working on an updated model to produce a future-proof version called Milamos - the manual on international law applicable to military uses of outer space

Daily Mail: Laying down the law for the real-life Star Wars: Scientists and lawyers draft the first legal manual for space warfare including rules on firing lasers and attacking satellites

* An existing treaty states that outer space is to be used for 'peaceful purposes'
* No country can lay claim to celestial territory such as the moon or Mars, it says
* But treaty has specific failings in the modern era which experts are addressing
* They include hacking satellites for gain in conflict and taking astronauts hostage

A group of scientists and lawyers are drafting the first legal manual for space warfare including rules on firing lasers and attacking satellites.

The document, being drawn up by leading experts in the field from the US, the UK and Australia , will address the grey areas in legislating what happens miles above the earth.

There is an Outer Space Treaty which acts as international space law, but with the pact celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, legislators are working on an updated model to produce a future-proof version.

It is understood part of the reason for the revamp is the threat of using space in modern warfare to stop the likes of Star Wars and Star Trek becoming a reality.

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WNU Editor:  They are hoping that this will be an update on the current 50 year old Outer Space Treaty.

Who Will Replace the A-10 Warthog?

TEXTRON'S SCORPION JET COMES LOADED FOR BEAR. IMAGE SOURCE: TEXTRON.

Motley Fool: Who Will Replace the A-10 Warthog? Textron Has a 2-in-3 Chance

Textron's secret weapon: The only jet fighter in this competition.

Few aircraft in the U.S. Air Force's arsenal attract as much support as the A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog.

In a fit of martial poetry, Mother Jones describes the A-10 as "an unstoppable commercial Learjet with a full-automatic cannon in its nose and an iron bathtub surrounding the cockpit." More laconic, Foxtrotalpha simply states that the A-10 is "the best CAS [close air support] platform mankind has ever designed."

Good as the A-10 is, however, even its supporters acknowledge that it must one day be retired. In anticipation of that day, the Air Force has been spooling up a "capability assessment" preparatory to acquiring a new ground attack aircraft that could, possibly, fit the bill. It's call the OA-X competition, and one year after it was announced, OA-X could finally be entering its final innings.

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WNU Editor: It looks like the fix is in.

Are Venezuela's 5,000 Russian Surface-To-Air MANPADS Missiles Secured?

A Venezuelan soldier practises on an anti-aircraft artillery simulator as part of a defensive military exercise in conjunction with the general public in Caracas March 14, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File photo


Reuters: Exclusive: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles

Venezuela possesses 5,000 Russian-made MANPADS surface-to-air weapons, according to a military document reviewed by Reuters, the largest known stockpile in Latin America and a source of concern for U.S. officials amid the country's mounting turmoil.

Venezuela's socialist government has long used the threat of an "imperialist" invasion by the United States to justify an arms buildup. Much of that arsenal was obtained from Russia by Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, whose tenure lasted from 1999 until his death in 2013.

The missiles, which are shoulder-mounted and can be operated by one person, pose a serious threat to commercial and military aircraft. Weapons experts said there have long been fears that the weapons could be stolen, sold or somehow channeled to the wrong hands, concerns exacerbated by the current civil unrest in Venezuela and the economic crisis roiling the oil-producing nation.

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WNU Editor: 5,000 MANPADS?!?!?!?! I have a bad feeling about this.