Thursday, June 30, 2016

Benghazi Report: U.S. Marines Rescue Was Delayed For 3 Hours Because Washington Could Not Decide On What Uniforms They Should Wear

U.S. Marines and sailors assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response. Africom

Daily Mail: House GOP Benghazi report – Marines' rescue was delayed because no one could decide whether they should wear uniforms or civvies

* On night of 2012 attacks, government officials whether Marines should wear military or civilian uniforms
* Marines had to change FOUR TIMES in three hours
* The U.S. also failed to scramble military assets in time to stop the attack on the U.S. Benghazi compound
* Top official at Hillary Clinton's State Department said he was sensitive to not diminishing security through overt presence

Add to the litany of failures during the Benghazi attack a serious wardrobe malfunction.

As the Sept. 11th, 2012 attack raged, government officials debated whether U.S. Marines being dispatched should don their military uniforms or wear civilian clothing, according to a new report being released by Republicans on the select Benghazi committee.

The report cites one commander who said as forces got ready to deploy, 'during the course of three hours, he and his Marines changed in and out of their uniforms four times,' NBC reported.

Read more ....

Update #1: Marines responding to Benghazi were held up by debate on weapons and uniforms, commander says (Marine Times)
Update #2: State worried about Marine uniforms during attack (Politico)

WNU Editor: The U.S. main stream media has moved on with this story .... too bad .... there are still too many embarrassing details on how the administration reacted during (and after) this crisis that should not be ignored. And while (in hindsight) this Marine rescue detachment would never have arrived in time to save these 4 Americans .... the fact is that during this crisis the priority was on what clothes should they wear .... instead of going there .... should give chills to everyone.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 30, 2016

People leave Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL

Peter Van Buren, Reuters: Washington still gets it wrong on Islamic State

Tuesday’s attacks at Istanbul’s main airport, which appear at this time to be the work of Islamic State, are the latest reminder that the United States should not downplay the group’s rudimentary – yet effective – tactics.

Since the wave of Islamic State suicide bombings in May – killing 522 people inside Baghdad, and 148 people inside Syria – American officials have downplayed the strategy as defensive. Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy in the fight against Islamic State, said the group "returned to suicide bombing" as the area under its control shrank. The American strategy of focusing primarily on the “big picture” recapture of territory seems to push the suicide bombings to the side. “It’s their last card,” stated an Iraqi spokesperson in response to the attacks.

The reality is just the opposite.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 30, 2016

ISIS just passed a major milestone, but the group looks a lot different than it did 2 years ago -- Pamela Engel, Business Insider

Living With the Islamic State -- Stratfor

Islamic State And The Threat Of WMDs -- David Patrikarakos (RFE)

Why Turkey's foreign policy changes won't bring stability -- Fadi Hakura, CNN

Islamic State group: Why is it attacking Turkey? -- Mark Lowen, BBC

Why Istanbul residents blame Erdogan, not ISIS, for instability -- CSM

Turkey paying for 'mistakes' in IS strategy: analysts -- Burak Akinci, AFP

Saudi Arabia: Framed for 9/11, Guilty of Fueling Hate -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg

Russia will countenance an Assad exit in Syria, but not yet -- Andrew Osborn and Christian Lowe, Reuters

The Now and Future US-Philippines Military Alliance -- Eleanor Albert, Defense One

Yards From War, Miles From Peace -- Paul D. Shinkman, US News and World Report

How to avoid Brexit -- The Economist

UK leaders scramble to stop Brexit being Brexit after all - John Lloyd, Reuters

Can outsiders help Venezuela in the midst of crisis, again? -- Jennifer Lynn McCoy, The Conversation

5 Attitude Adjustments America's Foreign-Policy Leaders Need Now -- Daniel L. Davis, National Interest

World News Briefs -- June 30, 2016 (Evening Edition)

Civilians inspect a site hit by an airstrike in the rebel-controlled city of Idlib, Syria June 29, 2016. REUTERS/AMMAR ABDULLAH

Reuters: U.S., Russia discuss Syria cooperation if Assad halts some strikes

The Obama administration is considering a plan to coordinate air strikes on Nusra Front and Islamic State militants in Syria if Syria'a government stops bombing moderate rebels, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The U.S. backs the moderate rebels, who are under pressure from Islamic State and government forces, but the plan depends in part on whether Russia is willing to press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its ally, to stop bombing them, Many U.S. officials and outside experts doubt Moscow is willing to do that.It also would require moderate opposition forces to disentangle themselves from Nusra and move into identifiable areas where they would be vulnerable to government and Russian air attacks.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Istanbul terror attack: Erdogan says Turkey will not be divided.

Turkish authorities identify suicide bombers; death toll 43. Media: Istanbul airport bombers were Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek.

Istanbul airport attack: Turkey blames Isis as new details emerge of assault.

Turkey: 13 held over Istanbul Ataturk Airport attack.

Iraq airstrikes kill scores of IS fighters fleeing Fallujah.

After Fallujah, Iraq gears up to rid Mosul of Islamic State.

At least 70 killed in north of Syria's Aleppo: monitor.

West cooperating secretly with Damascus against militants: Assad.

Syria conflict: Fears for refugees stranded on Jordanian border.

Lebanon foils planned IS attacks.

Turkey makes small step toward EU membership.

Mideast Quartet gives Israel, Palestinians 'wakeup call'.

ASIA

US human trafficking report blacklists Myanmar.

Official: suicide attack on Afghan police convoy kills 37. Dozens of Afghan police recruits dead in Taliban attack.

Afghan Ministry of Interior admits 9 districts under Taliban control.

Pakistan plans talks with Afghanistan, U.N. agency over refugees' return.

Mongolia opposition takes parliament in landslide vote. Mongolia vote landslide stinging rejection of government policy.

Hope and fear as combative president takes over Philippines.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un gets new 'top post' as head of State Affairs Commission.

China says Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over South China Sea case.

AFRICA

Egypt marks new holiday amid violence in Sinai, near Libya.

Ten held in Burkina over West Africa jihadist attacks.

Police: 15 killed as roadside bomb hits minibus in Somalia.

Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 11 in Cameroon.

UN reinforces Mali mission with 2,500 more troops.

South Sudan ceasefire monitors warn of violence.

UN: Famine looms in war-ravaged South Sudan, with millions at risk.

UN extends Darfur mission despite Sudan opposition.


EgyptAir crash: Flight MS804 black box 'confirms smoke'.

EUROPE

S&P cuts EU credit rating after Brexit.

World Bank president expresses concern over Brexit.

Boris Johnson won't run for leadership of Conservative Party.

Brexit: President Francois Hollande rules out holding European Union referendum in France.

Putin expects long traumatic consequences of Brexit.

Bosnia braces for release of much-delayed census data.

Armed police to patrol French beaches amid terrorism fears.

Belgium transfers Paris attacks suspect to France.

Netherlands, Italy to share UN Security Council seat.

Italy lowers toll from 2015 migrant wreck after ship raised.

AMERICAS

Brazil's impeachment trial will end after Rio Olympics.

Argentina corruption cops search properties of ex-leader Fernandez.

Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case.

North America leaders urge against Trump's isolationism.

Brexit: Obama warns on global growth after UK vote.

Majority of Democrats want third term for Obama.

Aide: Clinton opposed private emails accessible to 'anybody'.

Puerto Rico says it will default even with Congressional aid. Amid crisis, support grows for Puerto Rico statehood.

Italy, Colombia, U.S. seize 11 tonnes of cocaine, arrest 33 people.

Congress faults Obama for not being tough with UN over Haiti's cholera crisis.

As refugee crisis grows, U.S. strains under asylum backlog, report says.

Smugglers use Uber-registered drivers to move migrants to U.S. border.

Canada just took a ‘crucial step’ toward legalizing recreational marijuana.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US adds Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, leader to terrorism list.

CIA chief Brennan looks at Turkish attack and sees a warning for Americans.

ISIS on the march: Turkey and France among countries where terror group has 'covert units', fanatics claim hours after 42 are massacred in Istanbul.

Islamic State and the threat of WMDs.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Hershey rejects $23 billion Mondelez takeover offer.

Life at Facebook exposed in new book.

'Hunger Games' studio Lionsgate to buy Starz for $4.4 bn.

Deutsche Bank, Santander fail US stress test.

Oil market sees best quarterly results since 2009.

Biggest diamond in more than century fails to sell in London.

Japan’s High Top Court Approves Blanket Surveillance Of All Muslims

Several dozen mosques in Japan serve the tens of thousands Japanese Muslims. Pictured Tokyo Mosque [Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Newsmakers]

The Independent: Japan's top court has approved blanket surveillance of the country's Muslims

'They made us terrorist suspects, we never did anything wrong,' says Japanese Muslim, Mohammed Fujita

Japan's Supreme Court has upheld the government's blanket surveillance of the country's Muslim community.

The court struck down the second appeal by Japanese Muslim plaintiffs against what they perceive as an unconstitutional invasion of their privacy and freedom of religion.

A 2010 leak of 114 police files revealed nationwide surveillance of Japanese Muslims. The files revealed that Muslim places of worship, halal restaurants and Islam-related organisations across the capital, Tokyo, were being monitored.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: this is just another news story that has been completely ignored the the U.S. main stream media.

More News On Japan’s High Top Court Approving Blanket Surveillance Of All Muslims

Top court green-lights surveillance of Japan's Muslims -- Al Jazeera
Japan's top court approves blanket surveillance of Muslims -- Express Tribune
Japanese Court Rules Blanket Surveillance Of Muslims Is ‘Necessary’ To Stop Terrorism -- Daily Caller
Top court in Japan upholds blanket surveillance of country’s Muslims -- World Tribune
Islamophobia? Japan’s Top Court Approves Surveillance of Muslims -- Sputnik

U.S. Proposes New Military Partnership With Russia In Syria

Sputnik | AFP | Sputnik

Josh Rogin, Washington Post: Obama proposes new military partnership with Russia in Syria

The Obama administration has proposed a new agreement on Syria to the Russian government that would deepen military cooperation between the two countries against some terrorists in exchange for Russia getting the Assad regime to stop bombing U.S.-supported rebels.

The United States transmitted the text of the proposed agreement to the Russian government on Monday after weeks of negotiations and internal Obama administration deliberations, an administration official told me. The crux of the deal is a U.S. promise to join forces with the Russian air force to share targeting and coordinate an expanded bombing campaign against Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, which is primarily fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No comment from the White House on this Russian report .... US Dept. of State Not Commenting on Reported Partnership Proposal With Russia in Syria (Sputnik). What's my take .... CIA Director John Brennan has already indicated what the U.S. position on Syria should be .... ‘No Way Forward’ on Political Front in Syria Without Russia - CIA Director (Sputnik)

More News On The U.S. Proposing A New Military Partnership With Russia In Syria

Barack Obama plans new military alliance with Russia in Syria -- The Independent
Report: U.S. Proposes New Cooperation With Russia In Syria -- RFE
Report: Obama Proposes Pact With Russia to Strength Military Cooperation in Syria -- Washington Free Beacon
Obama Administration Offers Russia Deal on Military Cooperation in Syria -- Sputnik
U.S. Proposes Closer Ties with Russia on Syria -- Moscow Times
Obama Must Really Trust Putin, Because They Just Cut A Secret Deal -- Daily Caller

Syrian President Assad: Western Countries Are Covertly Working With Damascus Against Syrian Rebels



SBS: Exclusive: Syrian President Assad says western countries secretly deal with his government

This Friday, in a world exclusive for SBS, reporter Luke Waters sits down for a one on one interview with the man at the centre of the conflict - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Western nations, including Australia, of doing deals with his country in secret an exclusive interview with SBS News reporter Luke Waters.

The interview, filmed in Damascus after two years of negotiations, will air on Friday night on SBS.

In the interview, President Assad said Western countries had double standards - openly criticising his government, in public, but contining to deal with him in private.

“They attack us politically and then they send officials to deal with us under the table, especially the security, including your [the Australian] government,” he said.

Read more ....

More News On Syrian President Assad Remarks That Western Countries Are Covertly Working With Damascus Against Syrian Rebels

West cooperating secretly with Damascus against militants: Assad -- Reuters
Syrian president hits out at Australia -- 7 News
Western Officials in Secret Talks With Syrian Leadership - Assad -- Sputnik
Assad: West secretly cooperating with Damascus against militants -- Jerusalem Post
President Assad: West Blasts Syria Politically, Seeks Cooperation Secretly -- Al Manar

China Will Reject The Tribunal's Ruling On The South China Sea Boundary Dispute



New York Times: Beijing Rejects South China Sea Case Ahead of July 12 Ruling

BEIJING — The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said on Wednesday that it would announce its rulings in a contentious case between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea on July 12.

The landmark case centers on the Philippine government’s argument that China’s claims over much of the sea, a strategic waterway in the western Pacific, are illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Philippines initiated the case in 2013 after China seized Scarborough Shoal, an atoll that the Philippines administered and that was a favorite fishing ground for Filipino fishermen.

A special five-member tribunal established by the court in 2013 will also decide on the size of maritime zones around rocks and reefs in the Spratly archipelago off the Philippine coast. It will also rule on whether China has caused environmental damage in constructing an artificial island at Mischief Reef.

Read more ....

More News On China Vowing To Reject The Tribunal's Ruling On The South China Sea Boundary Dispute

Beijing slams South China Sea case as court ruling nears -- Reuters
Beijing to reject Hague ruling on South China Sea case -- AFP
Beijing ‘will ignore Hague ruling on South China Sea’ -- The Times
International Court to Rule in July on South China Sea Dispute -- VOA
China Risks 'Outlaw' Status If It Rejects South China Sea Ruling: Lawyer -- Newsweek
After the Big South China Sea Verdict, What Will ASEAN Say? -- The Diplomat

Pentagon Lifts The Ban On Transgender Serving In The Military



L.A. Times: U.S. military to allow transgender men and women to serve openly

In a historic move, the Pentagon on Thursday lifted its ban on allowing transgender men and women to serve openly in the military.

The announcement at the Pentagon by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter follows extensive study by the U.S. military to remove one of the last discriminatory hurdles for military service, treating gender identity on par with race, religion, color, sex or sexual orientation.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” Carter said. “We have to have access to 100% of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified -- and to retain them.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even though there are wars that are now happening around the world where scores of U.S. troops are in danger .... this is the important news from the Pentagon and from the US Defense Secretary today.

More News On The Pentagon Lifting The Ban On Transgenders Serving In The Military

Transgender People Will Be Allowed to Serve Openly in Military -- New York Times
Pentagon ends ban on transgender troops in military -- AP
Ban on transgender servicemembers repealed -- Stars and Stripes
Pentagon ends transgender ban -- CNN
US military lifts ban on transgenders serving openly -- FOX News
Pentagon lifts ban on transgender troops -- USA Today
Pentagon Lifts Ban on Transgender Service Members Serving Openly -- NBC
US military lifts transgender ban -- BBC
US military ends ban on transgender service members -- The Guardian
US military transgender ban lifted immediately after year-long review -- The Independent
Pentagon allows transgender people to serve openly -- Inside Defense
The U.S. Military's Welcome for Transgender Troops -- Marina Koren, The Atlantic
Here are the new rules for transgender troops -- Military Times

Conflicting Polls On The U.S. Presidential Election


Rasmussen Report: White House Watch: Trump 43%, Clinton 39%

The tables have turned in this week’s White House Watch. After trailing Hillary Clinton by five points for the prior two weeks, Donald Trump has now taken a four-point lead.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 43% of the vote, while Clinton earns 39%. Twelve percent (12%) still like another candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

Read more ....


FOX News: Fox News Poll: Clinton up by 6 points, 89 percent say 'hot-headed' describes Trump

(Donald Trump has had a few rocky weeks on the campaign trail, and it shows in the latest Fox News Poll. Just over half of Republicans would rather have someone besides Trump as their nominee, and his support in the presidential ballot test has dropped seven points since May.

Democrat Hillary Clinton is up 44-38 percent over Trump in a head-to-head matchup. Earlier this month, Clinton had a three-point edge (42-39 percent). In May, Trump was up by three (45-42 percent). Clinton’s current lead is just inside the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These polls are meaningless .... two weeks before the election is when they should be taken serious. But for political junkies .... discussing and reading up on these polls is better than opium (or in my case .... Scotch .... correction .... almost as good as Scotch .... almost).

Russia's Defense Ministry Has Purged Its Baltic Fleet Command

Former Commander of the Baltic Fleet Viktor Kravchuk. © Yelena Nagornykh/ITAR-TASS

RT: Russia’s Baltic Fleet command suspended over combat training failures, distorted reporting – MOD

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has suspended the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet commander over shortcomings in organizing sailors’ combat training as well as filing distorted reports to superior command, according to the ministry.

“The commander of the Baltic Fleet, his chief of staff and a number of officers have been suspended by the defense minister [Sergey Shoigu] after an inspection,” read a Defense Ministry statement released on Wednesday. “They are expected to be deposed from their positions and dismissed from the armed forces.”

Shoigu criticized military commanders whose poor performance led to “serious shortcomings in their duties,” the ministry’s press service added.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: 50 high-ranking officers!!!! This is a big purge.

More News On Russia's Defense Ministry Has Purging Its Baltic Fleet Command

Russian Defense Ministry dismisses Baltic Fleet commander, chief of staff -- TASS
Russian defense minister purges Baltic Fleet command -- AP
Russian defense minister sacks Baltic Fleet command: media -- Reuters
Russia dismisses 50 high-ranking officers of Baltic Fleet -- UPI
Russia To Beef Up Western Border; Baltic Fleet Chief Sacked -- RFE

Istanbul Airport Terror Attack -- News Updates June 30, 2016



Reuters: Istanbul bombers were Russian, Uzbek, Kyrgyz nationals: Turkish official

Three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers who killed 42 people in a gun and bomb attack at Istanbul airport this week were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a Turkish government official said on Thursday.

The attack on Europe's third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey this year.

The three bombers opened fire to create panic outside, before two of them got inside the terminal building and blew themselves up. The third detonated his explosives at the entrance. A further 239 people were wounded.

Read more ....



Istanbul Airport Terror Attack -- News Updates June 30, 2016

Turkish authorities identify suicide bombers; death toll 43. -- AP
Istanbul airport attack: Turkey blames Isis as new details emerge of assault -- The Guardian
ISIS leadership involved in Istanbul attack planning, Turkish source says -- CNN
Interior Minister: 1 suicide bomber identified, 19 foreign nationals among 43 dead -- Daily Sabah
43 killed, more than 200 injured in Brussels-style Istanbul Atatürk Airport terror attacks -- Daily Sabah
Arrests as ISIS eyed in Istanbul airport carnage -- CBS
Istanbul airport attackers 'Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz' -- BBC
Official: Turkey bombers from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan -- USA Today
Istanbul attack planner reportedly identified as Chechen ISIS trainer -- FOX News
Media: Istanbul airport bombers were Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek. -- TASS
Istanbul airport attackers identified as Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals -- Washington Post
Who Was Behind the Attack on Istanbul Airport? -- The Atlantic
Turkish police smash 'ISIS cells': More than 20 arrested in terror raids as it is revealed intelligence services warned of attack on Istanbul airport just weeks ago -- Daily Mail
Turkey raids suspected 'Islamic State' cells -- DW
'He looks like a robber, shall we follow him?' How police officers confronted ISIS Istanbul suicide bombers because of their 'suspicious' winter jackets - panicking jihadists into opening fire -- Daily Mail
Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: Eyewitness accounts -- BBC
Turkey defies EU over anti-terrorism laws after Istanbul attack -- Daily Mail/Reuters
Tunisia medic killed in Turkey blast was seeking son in Islamic State: sources -- Reuters
Details of some of the Istanbul airport attack victims -- Washington Times
A son rushing to meet his mother, the couple preparing for their wedding and the hero who tried to stop the bomber: First pictures of Istanbul airport victims emerge -- Daily Mail

World News Briefs -- June 30, 2016



CNN: ISIS leadership involved in Istanbul attack planning, Turkish source says

Istanbul (CNN)Turkish officials have strong evidence that the Istanbul airport attackers came to the country from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria and that ISIS leadership was involved in the planning of the attack, a senior Turkish government source told CNN Thursday.

Officials believe the men -- identified by another Turkish official and state media as being from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan -- entered Turkey about a month ago from Raqqa, bringing along with them the suicide vests and bombs used in the attack, the source said.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkish authorities identify suicide bombers; death toll 43. Media: Istanbul airport bombers were Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek.

Istanbul airport attack: Turkey blames Isis as new details emerge of assault.

Turkey: 13 held over Istanbul Ataturk Airport attack.

Iraq airstrikes kill scores of IS fighters fleeing Fallujah.

After Fallujah, Iraq gears up to rid Mosul of Islamic State.

Syria conflict: Fears for refugees stranded on Jordanian border.

Lebanon foils planned IS attacks.

Turkey makes small step toward EU membership.

ASIA

Official: suicide attack on Afghan police convoy kills 37. Dozens of Afghan police recruits dead in Taliban attack.

Afghan Ministry of Interior admits 9 districts under Taliban control.

Pakistan plans talks with Afghanistan, U.N. agency over refugees' return.

Mongolia opposition takes parliament in landslide vote. Mongolia vote landslide stinging rejection of government policy.

Hope and fear as combative president takes over Philippines.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un gets new 'top post' as head of State Affairs Commission.

China says Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over South China Sea case.

AFRICA

Police: 15 killed as roadside bomb hits minibus in Somalia.

Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 11 in Cameroon.

UN reinforces Mali mission with 2,500 more troops.

South Sudan ceasefire monitors warn of violence.

UN: Famine looms in war-ravaged South Sudan, with millions at risk.

UN extends Darfur mission despite Sudan opposition.


EgyptAir crash: Flight MS804 black box 'confirms smoke'.

EUROPE

Boris Johnson won't run for leadership of Conservative Party.

Brexit: President Francois Hollande rules out holding European Union referendum in France.

Putin expects long traumatic consequences of Brexit.

Bosnia braces for release of much-delayed census data.

Armed police to patrol French beaches amid terrorism fears.

Belgium transfers Paris attacks suspect to France.

Netherlands, Italy to share UN Security Council seat.

Italy lowers toll from 2015 migrant wreck after ship raised.

AMERICAS

North America leaders urge against Trump's isolationism.

Brexit: Obama warns on global growth after UK vote.

Majority of Democrats want third term for Obama.

Aide: Clinton opposed private emails accessible to 'anybody'.

Puerto Rico says it will default even with Congressional aid.

Italy, Colombia, U.S. seize 11 tonnes of cocaine, arrest 33 people.

Congress faults Obama for not being tough with UN over Haiti's cholera crisis.

As refugee crisis grows, U.S. strains under asylum backlog, report says.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

CIA chief Brennan looks at Turkish attack and sees a warning for Americans.

ISIS on the march: Turkey and France among countries where terror group has 'covert units', fanatics claim hours after 42 are massacred in Istanbul.

Islamic State and the threat of WMDs.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

'Hunger Games' studio Lionsgate to buy Starz for $4.4 bn.

Deutsche Bank, Santander fail US stress test.

Oil market sees best quarterly results since 2009.

Biggest diamond in more than century fails to sell in London.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 30, 2016

© Sputnik/ Sergei Guneev

Josh Rogin, Washington Post: Obama proposes new military partnership with Russia in Syria

The Obama administration has proposed a new agreement on Syria to the Russian government that would deepen military cooperation between the two countries against some terrorists in exchange for Russia getting the Assad regime to stop bombing U.S.-supported rebels.

The United States transmitted the text of the proposed agreement to the Russian government on Monday after weeks of negotiations and internal Obama administration deliberations, an administration official told me. The crux of the deal is a U.S. promise to join forces with the Russian air force to share targeting and coordinate an expanded bombing campaign against Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, which is primarily fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 30, 2016

Obama Administration Offers Russia Deal on Military Cooperation in Syria -- Sputnik

Size of ISIS force unclear after Fallujah fight -- Military Times

Russian defense minister promises response to NATO's buildup -- AP

Russia to begin designing advanced aircraft carrier in 2020 — source -- TASS

Putin notes sharp growth in number of NATO drills in Baltic, Black Sea areas -- TASS

Robots on Patrol: Russian Borders to be Guarded by Artificial Intelligence -- Sputnik

Russian Defense Ministry dismisses Baltic Fleet commander, chief of staff -- TASS

Russia Categorically Opposes Plans to Deploy US THAAD Systems in S Korea -- Sputnik

Beijing Urges Seoul to Be Cautious About US Deployment of THAAD System -- Sputnik

Armenia Ratifies Joint Air-Defense With Russia -- RFE

Georgian Defense Minister Under Fire Over Conscription Decree -- RFE

North Korea Creates New Ruling Branch to Reduce Military Role -- WSJ

Iran covertly recruits Afghan soldiers to fight in Syria -- The Guardian

UN reinforces Mali mission with 2,500 more troops -- DW

Germany and Poland Join Forces in Submarines -- Defense News

EU Army on way? EU cannot rely on NATO and needs new defence policy says Brussels chief -- Express

'NATO needs more Canada,' President Obama says in Ottawa -- CTV News

Thanks in no small part to Russia, Hezbollah is now a full-fledged army -- Times of Israel

Israel Unleashes First Torpedo-Firing Unmanned Sea Vessel -- Sputnik

Israel to lease advanced drones to Germany -- YNet news

BAE, Northrop Partner With UK Agency for F-35 Bid -- Defense News

Australian deployments to ramp up for U.S. Navy, Marines -- Marine Times

US Marines to Deploy Amphibious Battle Group to South China Sea -- Sputnik

This is what the U.S. Navy wants its first carrier drone to do -- Joseph Trevithick, War is Boring

Army Testing Foreign Active Protection Systems For US Combat Vehicles -- Defense News

AF introduces first fully built HH-60G Ops Loss Replacement helicopter -- US Air Force

Senate confirms new Air Force chief, AFRICOM commander -- Defense News

Sun's out, guns out: Army approves uniform change -- The Hill

Weapons: The Future of Sniping -- Strategy Page

IBM’s ‘Watson’ Computer to Help Treat 10,000 Veterans with Cancer -- Defense Tech

US officials: Military concerned about transgender timeline -- AP

Should Bill Clinton Have Met Privately With The U.S. Attorney General While His Wife Is Under FBI Investigation?



NPR: Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton Met Amid Email Investigation

An unscheduled meeting between the U.S. attorney general and former President Bill Clinton at an airport in Phoenix on Monday could present some unwanted political problems for both.

The former president, who was waiting to depart the state, boarded Loretta Lynch's government aircraft shortly after she landed in Arizona for a community policing event. Lynch later told reporters there the conversation centered on "his grandchildren."

"It was primarily social and about our travels," including golf he played, Lynch said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is beyond stupid. Even fellow Democrats cannot defend this .... Democrats groan after Bill Clinton meets Loretta Lynch (Politico). If it was not for this ABC affiliate reporting this story .... we (the public) would never have known about it. As to them just talking 30 minutes about their grand-kids and travels .... please .... who are they fooling.

More News On Bill Clinton Meeting Privately With The U.S. Attorney General While His Wife Is Under FBI Investigation

Amid FBI Email Probe, Attorney General Loretta Lynch Meets With Bill Clinton -- ABC News
Bill Clinton, AG Loretta Lynch meet on tarmac in Phoenix -- CBS
Clinton and Lynch met privately at Phoenix airport -- AP
Bill Clinton and AG Loretta Lynch meet privately -- CNN
Loretta Lynch held private talks with Bill Clinton aboard a plane in Phoenix while her department investigates Hillary -- Daily Mail
Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton hold impromptu private meeting at Phoenix airport -- Washington Times
Attorney General Loretta Lynch Met Privately With Bill Clinton -- WSJ

Update:
This is creating a political firestorm .... Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case (The Hill), and Donald Trump has not even waded into this meeting that in any other situation would be treated and reported on as a clear conflict of interest.

Mexico's President Explains Why He Compares Donald Trump To Adolf Hitler

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as they depart a news conference along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) at the North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, Canada June 29, 2016. REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

Reuters: Mexico president explains comparing Trump to Hitler, Mussolini

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has previously likened U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, said on Wednesday he only drew the comparison as a reminder of the devastation wreaked in the past.

Speaking at a press conference alongside U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, who have gathered in Ottawa for the "Three Amigos" summit, Pena Nieto warned of the dangers of populism in a globalized world.

"Hitler, Mussolini, we all know the result," he said when asked to explain the comparison. "It was only a call for reflection and for recognition, so that we bear in mind what we have achieved and the great deal still to achieve."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am getting tired with these ridiculous Hitler comparisons and rationalisations. I heard it when George Bush was President (from my brother of all people), and I am hearing it now. After-all .... it was the Obama administration that limited Iraqi refugee applications to the U.S. in 2011 (see link here) .... does that make President Obama Hitler? It was Canada's NDP Party .... a progressive and labour oriented political party that opposed Nafta and trade deals in the 1980s (see link here) .... is that a reason why they should be linked to Adolf Hitler? Absolutely not!!!! But when Donald Trump pushes the same and/or some version of this agenda .... Hitler comparisons abound. Being one whose entire family was impacted by Hitler and the Nazis .... and who has heard more than his share of what life was like when Germany invaded the Soviet Union .... it does a great disservice to the reality on how evil and utterly destructive Hitler was by making these silly comparisons. But .... I guess .... this is the state of politics today. Sighhh .... I guess I better get use to it.

U.S. Navy Report: U.S. Sailors Captured By Iran 'Talked Too Much'

U.S. sailors are pictured on a boat with their hands on their heads at an unknown location, January 2016. REUTERS/IRINN VIA REUTERS TV

Reuters: U.S. sailors detained by Iran spoke too much under interrogation: Navy

American sailors who were detained by Iran in January gave away too much information to their captors and were seized in the Gulf following a series of missteps by the crew and their superiors, the U.S. Navy said in a report on Thursday.

The report said some of the 10 crew members, detained at gunpoint Jan. 12 by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had revealed sensitive information, such as phone and laptop passwords, to the Iranians.

At the time of their capture, an international incident that rattled nerves days before the implementation of a nuclear accord between Iran and world powers, the sailors were in transit in two vessels from Kuwait to Bahrain.

Iran used the detentions for propaganda purposes that kept the incident in the headlines for weeks afterward.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Name, rank, and serial number. That is what these U.S. sailors should have done.

More News On The U.S. Navy's Report on the U.S. Sailors Captured By Iran

Navy investigation finds US sailors captured in Iran were unprepared, Iran broke the law -- AP
Navy: ‘Poorly led and unprepared’ sailors were detained by Iran after multiple errors -- Washington Post
Navy report: Crews detained by Iran were 'derelict' in their duties -- USA Today
Nine face discipline for errors that led to U.S. sailors' Iranian arrest -- Navy Times
9 in Navy Disciplined Over Iran’s Capture of Sailors -- NYT
US Navy to discipline eight over capture by Iran at sea -- AFP
Navy investigation concludes Iran broke international law by detaining sailors -- The Hill
Navy report: Failure at every level for US ships captured by Iran -- CNN
Naval Commander: US Sailors Detention by Iran ‘Preventable' -- VOA

Andrews Airforce Base On Lockdown After Shooting Reports



Daily Mail: BREAKING NEWS: Joint Base Andrews on lockdown amid reports of an active shooter just before Biden was due there to take off

* Active shooter drill was supposed to start at the Maryland base at 9am
* But at 9am an alert was issued saying there was a 'real world' shooter
* The situation is unfolding at the base's Malcolm Grow Medical Facility
* Security tightened at other nearby army and naval bases
* VP Joe Biden was due to fly out of the base on Thursday morning

Vice President Joe Biden was due to arrive to board a plane.

All personnel were ordered to shelter in place shortly after 9am Eastern Time.

It came at the same time that an active shooter training exercise was due to start at the base.

Vice President Biden was scheduled to fly out of Joint Base Andrews on Thursday morning to give a noon address on cancer treatment and funding in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

He is now waiting at the Naval Observatory for further information.

Officials tweeted that the situation is centered on the base's Malcolm Grow Medical Facility.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is a breaking story. It will be updated when more news becomes available.

More News On Andrews Air-force Base On Lock-Down

U.S. Joint Base Andrews on lockdown after report of gunman on the loose -- Reuters
Andrews Air Force Base on lockdown due to report of active shooter -- NPR
'Gunman' at key US Air Force base -- BBC
Andrews Air Force Base under lockdown due to reported active shooter -- CBS
Joint Base Andrews on lockdown, reports of active shooter -- UPI
Andrews Air Base on lockdown amid 'active shooter' report -- USA Today
Andrews Airforce Base on Lockdown After Shooting Reports -- Sputnik
Joint Base Andrews 'Active Shooter': 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know -- Heavy

Update 11:20 EST: The lock-down has been lifted.

A Look At The World's Stockpile Of Nuclear Weapons

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