Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tweets For Today











Picture Of The Day

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin and his wife Sara casts their votes during Israel's parliamentary election at a polling station in Jerusalem September 17, 2019. Netanyahu faced a battle for political survival in a closely fought election that could end his 10-year domination of national politics. Opinion polls put former armed forces chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party neck-and-neck with Netanyahu's right-wing Likud, and suggest the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party could emerge as kingmaker in coalition talks. Heidi Levine/Pool via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Israel's Netanyahu fights for record fifth term (Reuters).

U.S. Military Still Buying Chinese-Made Drones

FILE - A DJI Mavic 2 Zoom flies in a netted area during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 9, 2019.

VOA: US Military Still Buying Chinese-Made Drones Despite Spying Concerns

PENTAGON - The Air Force and the Navy bought Chinese-manufactured drones for elite forces months after the Pentagon prohibited their use due to cybersecurity concerns, according to government documents.

In each case, the services used special exemptions granted by the Pentagon's acquisition and sustainment office "on a case by case basis, to support urgent needs," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told VOA.

The Department of Defense issued a ban on the purchase and use of all commercial off-the-shelf drones, citing "cybersecurity vulnerabilities," in a memo from then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan dated May 23, 2018.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Chinese drones are cheap and very reliable. I have friends in Europe who use these drones, and they love them.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

China's Top-Secret Supersonic Spy Drone Is Unveiled For The First Time

The Sharp Sword stealth drone is seen at the National Day military parade rehearsal in Beijing on Saturday. Photo: Handout

SCMP: China unveils supersonic spy drone during National Day military parade rehearsal

* Expect ‘exciting new weaponry on show’ during event marking 70th anniversary of founding of People’s Republic, analyst says
* At least two types of advanced unmanned aerial vehicle likely to take part

China’s supersonic spy drone was unveiled for the first time during a weekend rehearsal
for the National Day military parade on October 1, according to photographs circulating on social media.

The photos, which have prompted discussion among military enthusiasts, show at least two types of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – identified as the DR-8 or Wuzhen 8, and the Sharp Sword stealth attack drone.

The DR-8 would be expected to play a key role should there be a conflict with US aircraft carrier strike groups in the South China Sea or Western Pacific.

Read more ....

More News On China's Top-Secret Supersonic Spy Drone Being Unveiled For The First Time

China readies for massive display of new weaponry, with 'supersonic spy drone' spotted in Beijing parade rehearsal -- ABC News Online
China to deploy Sharp Sword stealth drone for new Type 001A aircraft carrier -- SCMP
China's top-secret supersonic spy drone 'which can reach the US territory is unveiled for the first time' -- Daily Mail
Photos: China’s Sharp Sword Carrier-Based Stealth Drone to Enter Service by End of Year -- Sputnik

U.S. Justice Department Sues Edward Snowden Over The Publication Of New Memoir



Reuters: U.S. wants to seize all money Edward Snowden makes from new book

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked secret documents about U.S. telephone and internet surveillance in 2013, saying his new book violates non-disclosure agreements.

The Justice Department said Snowden published his memoir, "Permanent Record," without submitting it to intelligence agencies for review, adding that speeches given by Snowden also violated nondisclosure agreements. In 2013, Snowden wrote "Everything You Know about the Constitution is Wrong."

The United States is seeking all proceeds earned by Snowden for the book, the Justice Department said. The lawsuit also names the "corporate entities" behind the book's publication as nominal defendants.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Justice Department Suing Edward Snowden Over The Publication Of His New Memoir

Justice Department sues Edward Snowden over publication of new memoir -- NBC
DOJ files civil suit against Edward Snowden over new memoir -- FOX News
US sues Edward Snowden for failing to submit book to government for clearance -- CNBC
U.S. Tries to Seize Edward Snowden’s Proceeds From New Memoir -- The New York Times
Justice Department Sues Edward Snowden, Seeking Profits From His Book -- NPR
The U.S. is suing Snowden over the publication of his autobiography -- Yahoo News

A Nuclear War Between Russia And The U.S. Would Kill 34 Million In Hours



Daily Mail: How a war between Russia and the US would kill 34MILLION in hours: Horrific simulation shows countries obliterated by carpet of atomic bombs

* Researchers based the simulation on realistic data on current nuclear war plans
* The war would start with tactical strikes but end up with attacks on key cities
* It predicts that 90 million people would be killed or injured before fallout effects
* The team hopes that the model will highlight the consequences of nuclear war

Researchers have developed a terrifying simulation that shows how an escalating nuclear war between the United States/NATO and Russia would play out.

The model — based on realistic data on nuclear force postures, targets and causality estimates — predicts that 34.1 million people would die within hours.

The catastrophic conflict would leave another 55.9 million injured — figures which do not include subsequent deaths from nuclear fallout and other effects.

In the first three hours alone, Europe would be devastated and an estimated 2.6 million people would be either killed or injured.

Read more ....

More News On How A Nuclear War Between Russia And The U.S. Would Kill 34 Million In Hours

Horror simulation reveals nuclear war between US and Russia ‘killing 34 million immediately’ -- News.com.au
US-Russia nuclear war would kill 34 million people within hours and is increasingly likely, Princeton study concludes -- The Independent
This is how a nuclear war would play out, according to a Princeton University simulation -- NYDaily News
Even 'Limited' Nuclear War Could Cause 90 Million Casualties in a Few Hours -- VICE

How Were Low-Tech Drones Able To Pierce Saudi Arabian Security?

The relatively low-tech attack managed to pierce the Arab kingdom's air defences despite the country spending $65billion on arms last year alone (pictured, the refinery burns)

Daily Mail: How were low-tech drones able to pierce Saudi Arabian security? Defence system called into question despite country spending $65bn on arms last year including US radar and Patriot missiles - as mocking Putin says they should have bought Russian

* Abqaiq refinery and Khurais oil field were blown up in suspected drone attack, crippling Saudi Arabia's oil exports and cutting off 5 per cent of global supply
* Experts question how low-tech drones were able to pierce Saudi's air security
* Country bought $65bn of arms last year, including US radar and Patriot missiles
* Vladimir Putin said Saudi should have bought his S-400 air defences instead

Drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil fields exposes just how vulnerable the kingdom is to assaults using low-cost technology despite being the world's largest importer of arms, experts say.

Saudi Arabia spent an estimated $65 billion on military hardware last year alone, most of which was imported from the United States, including the latest radars, F-15 fighter jets, and Patriot missile defence systems.

But on Saturday an attack using what appears to have been explosive-laden drones managed to pierce that defensive shield and knock out half of the kingdom's oil output, or 5 per cent of global supply.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: U.S. intelligence is saying that cruise missiles were used .... U.S. intel shows cruise missiles fired at Saudi oil facility came from Iran, officials say (NBC).

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 17, 2019



Times of Israel: On an election night of drama and confusion, we don’t know who next PM will be

What we do know: The electorate wasn’t indifferent after all, the president is determined to avoid a third round of voting, and Netanyahu’s immunity prospects are dwindling

On a night of political drama, with exit polls showing no clear election winner, and actual results set to flow in over the coming hours, we don’t know who Israel’s next prime minister will be. Here are some of the things we do know as of 2:00 a.m.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 17, 2019

Saudi attacks could be the start of the endgame -- Norman A. Bailey, Asia Times

AP Analysis: Saudi oil attack part of dangerous new pattern -- Jon Gambrell, AP

Danger in the Gulf: What the Attack on Saudi Arabian Oil Means for America -- Alireza Ahmadi, Natinoal Interest

Trump’s Iranian trap: There is no support for a frontal attack on Iran but there are other options -- Stephen Bryen, Asia Times

Even if Iran attacked Saudi Arabia's oil field, Trump's responsible for the fallout -- Brett Bruen, NBC

Donald Trump hesitates on Iran attack — with good reason -- Peter Philipp, DW

Trump strains to balance diplomacy, military threat to Iran -- Robert Burns, AP

The Last Time the United States Sought to Withdraw from South Korea -- Robert E. Kelly, National Interest

Plan B for the trade war with China -- Peter Morici, The Hill

Beijing’s Maritime Aggression Is a Warning to Taiwan -- David Santoro, Foreign Policy

Why the Kremlin launched Stalinist-style mass raids -- Roman Dobrokhotov, Al Jazeera

Putin Loses Approval-Rating Crown to Zelenskiy -- Andrew Langley, Bloomberg

Canada election: Is Justin Trudeau in trouble? -- Jessica Murphy BBC News

Cyber War as an Intelligence Contest -- Joshua Rovner, War On The Rocks

World News Briefs -- September 17, 2019 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensions

WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East.

Three officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the attacks involved both cruise missiles and drones, indicating that they involved a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.

Read more
....

MIDDLE EAST

Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensions.

Exit polls signal setback for Israel’s Netanyahu in election. Israeli election too close to call, Netanyahu weakened: exit polls.

Israel election: Netanyahu in tough fight in this year's second vote. Netanyahu’s career on the line as Israel votes.

Turkey, Russia, Iran agree steps to ease tensions in Syria's Idlib despite lingering differences.

Russia's Putin: foreign troops should be pulled out from Syria eventually.

Iraq says U.S. does not believe Iraqi territory used to launch attack on Saudi.

Iran leader Khamenei won't talk to U.S. without 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran charges three Australians with espionage.

10 Iran-backed fighters reportedly killed in Syria attack.

ASIA

Taiwan loses biggest Pacific ally as Solomons embraces China.

UN expert: Suu Kyi’s role in Rohingya abuses still unclear.

Taliban bombs election rally and Kabul square. Taliban attacks kill 48, Afghan leader unhurt as bomber targets rally.

Taliban delegation visits Iran to 'discuss latest developments'.

China signals veto in standoff with U.S. over Afghan U.N. mission: diplomats. U.N. Security Council overcomes Chinese veto threat to renew Afghanistan mission.

North Korea slams Japan for 'trespassing' in EEZ.

Report: Trump, Moon U.N. summit tentatively set for Monday.

Hindus fear for their lives after Pakistan blasphemy riots.

Hong Kong protests fail to slow city’s role as foreign investment gateway to China, government data shows.

Indonesia shuts down plantations linked to illegal forest fires.

South Korea culls pigs after confirming African swine fever.

AFRICA

AU urges creativity to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.

UAE drones target airport in Tripoli, Libya: Gov't.

Algerians protest against planned presidential vote.

Tunisia election: Political outsiders reach runoff.

Egypt still at odds with Ethiopia over giant Nile dam.

South Africa apologises to Nigeria over xenophobic attacks.

Former minister arrested over alleged mismanagement of Congo Ebola funds.

EUROPE

Spain to hold fresh elections in November.

Britain's Supreme Court enters Brexit drama with hearings on suspension of parliament.

Luxembourg PM's treatment of Johnson 'may harm Brexit talks'.

Vigilantes in Slovenia patrol borders to keep out migrants.

French police begin to clear migrants sheltered at Dunkirk gym.

Spain braces for fourth election in as many years as deadline looms.

Italy's Matteo Renzi to form new party after exiting Democratic Party.

US, Belarus to restore envoys after 10-year freeze.

France gives more people iodine pills in case of nuclear accident.

EU Parliament backs France's Lagarde as next ECB chief.

Paul Whelan: Former US marine alleges set-up in Russia spy case.

AMERICAS

Pence upbeat that Congress will pass USMCA trade deal this year.

Ex-campaign chief defends Trump, defies Democrats at impeachment hearing.

House Judiciary Committee to hold 1st impeachment hearing.

Senate set for floor showdown over Trump border wall.

US government sues Edward Snowden over book disclosures – live.

Canada’s intelligence service: theft of information is 'potentially devastating'. Trudeau reassures allies amid alleged spying case.

Venezuela opposition: Norway-mediated talks with Maduro are over.

Massive blackout hits four countries in Central America.

Haiti fuel shortage: Protesters call for president's resignation.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Jihad, history link Taliban to al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

Iraq launches anti-ISIS operation near Saudi border.

London police and Facebook move to stop live streaming of terror attacks.

Man reportedly shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ after stabbing Italian soldier.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

US stock indexes edge up as oil gives up half of its spurt.

Recession fears among fund managers rise to highest level in a decade.

Apple slams EU as epic court battle over tax bill begins.

U.S., Japan reach initial trade agreement, Trump says.

Five Options For A U.S. Military Response To Iran

Is a U.S. attack on Iran imminent? DOD

Mark Cancian, Forbes: Five Options For A U.S. Military Response To Iran

The United States is “locked and loaded” to attack Iran in response to its alleged attacks on Saudi oil facilities last week, according to President Trump. How might the United States carry out such an attack? Here are five options that range from defensive to an extended air campaign. These options come from actions presidents have taken in similar situations in the past. Of course, diplomats are working to find a solution, and the president is saying that “he does not like war.” Nevertheless, at some point, I believe Iran will go too far, and the U.S. will launch a military response.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: All five will result in an escalation.

Iran Will Never Hold Talks With The U.S. 'At Any Level', Says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei



CNBC: Iran ‘will never talk to America,’ supreme leader says ahead of UN General Assembly meetings

* Previous U.S. offers of talks without preconditions were sharply rescinded in the wake of Saturday’s attacks on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities.
* Khamenei’s words come ahead of the high level meetings at the UNGA scheduled for next week, and effectively kill any chance of talks between U.S. and Iranian leaders.
* Washington’s sanctions on Iran have crippled its oil exports and much of its economy, sending inflation as high as 50% this year.

DUBAI — Iran will never hold talks with America, the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on state television Tuesday morning, effectively killing chances for a rapprochement some had anticipated between leaders of both countries during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings taking place this week and next.

“Iranian officials will never talk to America .... this is part of their (U.S.) policy to put pressure on Iran ... their policy of maximum pressure will fail,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei’s words come ahead of the high level meetings at the UNGA scheduled for next week, and amid fresh acrimony between Washington and Tehran following major attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure that U.S. officials have blamed on Iran. The attacks on Saudi Aramco’s massive Abqaiq and Khurais plants, which was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, forced the state oil giant to shut down half of its production, sending oil prices up by double digits.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Never is a very long time.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence: U.S. Weighing Best Response To Saudi Oil Attacks



Reuters: U.S. weighing best response to Saudi oil attacks: Pence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday the United States was reviewing evidence that suggests Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi oil facilities and stands ready to defend its interests and allies in the Middle East.

“We’re evaluating all the evidence. We’re consulting with our allies. And the president will determine the best course of action in the days ahead,” Pence said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

President Donald Trump had warned that the United States was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attacks, but has emphasized he does not want a war.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was traveling to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss the response to the attacks, Pence said.

Read more ....

Update #1: Pence says US is 'locked and loaded' to defend allies (The Hill)
Update #2: Pence says attacks against allies, global energy supply will fail (Al Jazeera)

WNU Editor:There are no good options on what to do.

President Trump On Iran: ‘We’d Certainly Like to Avoid War'



VOA: Trump: ‘We’d Certainly Like to Avoid’ War With Iran

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Donald Trump says any American military attack on Iran would be proportionate to the attacks carried out on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn on Monday afternoon, Trump, asked about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly blaming Iran for the attack on the Saudi installations, replied: “I think we're the same. I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see.”

The president added that it would be known who is responsible “for certain over the next pretty short period.”

Read more ....

More News On President Trump's Remarks On Iran

‘Looks like’ Iran was to blame for Saudi attack, says Trump -- France 24
Trump: It looks like Iran hit Saudis, no military option yet -- Military Times/AP
Trump says he does not want war after attack on Saudi oil facilities -- Reuters
Trump says he would 'certainly like to avoid' war with Iran -- Al Jazeera
Trump says he'd 'prefer' not to meet with Iran's leader -- The Hill

U.S. Intelligence: Attack On Saudi Oil Facilities Was Launched From Iranian Base Near Iraq



US officials believe missiles and drones were launched from an Iranian air base near the border with Iraq (possible launch site centre), flew over southern Iran and Kuwait to avoid powerful radar in the Persian Gulf, then hit targets at Khurais and Abqaiq (right). If the image is of the missile wreckage is genuine, then it is likely a Quds-1 missile, a Houthi weapon with an estimated range of 435 miles, based on similar Iranian designs. Experts say this shows it could not have been fired from Houthi territory in Yemen (bottom)

Daily Mail: Attack on Saudi oil plant WAS launched from Iranian base near Iraq, US investigators conclude – as experts study images of missile wreckage and video of 'drones flying south towards their target'

* Saudi Arabian oil supply blown up in what Yemen's Houthis called a drone attack
* US investigators have concluded that drones and missiles were fired from an Iranian air base near the border with Iraq, source said
* Officials believe the missiles flew over southern Iraq and Kuwaiti airspace to avoid powerful radar in Persian Gulf, before striking their targets
* Experts are studying video from Kuwait which seems to record sound of missiles overhead, and image of what appears to be missile wreck in Saudi desert
* Analysts say the missile appears to be a Quds-1, which would rule out Yemen as a launch site and strongly suggest Iraq, Iran or a boat in the Persian Gulf
* Saudi has also blamed Iran, and says it is ready to 'forcefully respond' to attack
* Iran's foreign minister said that Washington was 'in denial' by blaming Tehran

America has concluded that weekend attacks on two Saudi oil facilities were launched from Iranian soil and cruise missiles were involved, an official said today.

The official, who declined to be identified, said the United States was gathering evidence about the attack to present to the international community, notably European allies, at the UN General Assembly next week.

Another source, who spoke to CNN, said the attack involved a mixture of drones and missiles launched from an Iranian base near Iraq, flying at low altitude through Iraqi and Kuwaiti airspace to avoid radar detection, before striking the Abqaiq refinery and Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Apparently the Saudis are skeptical .... Saudis aren't 'totally convinced' oil strikes were carried out by Iran: Gen. Jack Keane (FOX News).

More News On U.S. Intelligence Saying That The Attack On Saudi's Oil Facilities This Weekend Was Launched From An Iranian Base Near Iraq

Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensions -- Reuters
U.S. intel shows cruise missiles fired at Saudi oil facility came from Iran, officials say -- NBC
Source: 'High probability' Saudi attack launched from Iranian base near Iraq -- CNN
U.S. tells Saudi Arabia oil attacks were launched from Iran -- Wall Street Journal
Could this missile wreckage prove Iran was behind oil plant attack? Rocket COULD NOT have been launched from Yemen, experts claim, as Saudi Arabia warns it will 'forcefully respond' to strike -- Daily Mail

Saudi Arabia Assesses The Damage From Saturday's Attack On Its Oil Facilities



CNBC: Detailed satellite photos show extent of ‘surgical’ attack damage to Saudi Aramco oil facilities

* The attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil plants were “extremely surgical,” says Samir Madani, co-founder of satellite tracking firm TankerTrackers.com.
* Damage to the top OPEC producer’s oil facilities ignited fears of energy supply disruption around the world and sent crude prices soaring by double digits.

DUBAI — Satellite photos released by the U.S. government and DigitalGlobe reveal the surgical precision with which Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities were struck in attacks early Saturday.

The strikes, which unidentified U.S. officials have said involved at least 20 drones and several cruise missiles, forced Saudi Arabia to shut down half its oil production capacity, or 5.7 million barrels per day of crude — 5% of the world’s global daily oil production.

The images, first obtained by The Associated Press, show that at least 19 strikes were launched and 17 actually hit targets.

Read more ....

More News On Saudi Arabia Assessing The Damage From Saturday's Attack On Its Oil Facilities

The latest on the Saudi oil attacks: Live Updates -- CNN
Saudi oil attacks: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
US intel indicates S. Arabia oil attacks staged from Iran: report -- AFP
Saudi kingdom stands firm after oil attack -- DW
Riyadh to Invite Int'l Experts to Join Investigation Into Attacks on Oil Facilities -- Sputnik
Saudi oil attacks: Images show detail of damage -- BBC
Half of lost Saudi oil to remain offline for a month: S&P -- AFP
Battered Saudi oil output to recover in two or three weeks: sources -- Reuters
Oil output will be fully back online by end of September, Aramco IPO on track, Saudis say -- CNBC
Saudi Aramco attacks: What we know so far -- Reuters

Israelis Go To The Polls Today





The Guardian: Israel election: voters head to the polls for second time this year

Netanyahu campaign has demonised Israel’s Arab minority and vowed to annex much of Palestinian territories

Israelis are going to the polls in the country’s second election this year, following a campaign dominated by Benjamin Netanyahu and his vows to implement a far-right, ultranationalist agenda in exchange for a record fifth term as leader.

Facing the prospect of criminal corruption indictments and hoping to extend his unmatched stint in the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu has promised to declare up to a third of the occupied Palestinian territories as part of Israel if he is re-elected.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Israeli Elections

Benjamin Netanyahu fights for future in do-over election: Live Updates -- CNN
Netanyahu’s career on the line as Israel votes -- AP
Israel votes with Netanyahu's political survival at stake -- France 24
Warning of election 'disaster', Israel's Netanyahu battles for survival -- Reuters
Israel election: Netanyahu in tough fight in this year's second vote -- BBC
Netanyahu, Gantz square off again as Israel reruns election -- UPI
Israel elections: Polls in rerun vote open -- Al Jazeera
Israel election: Voting under way in second poll in five months -- Al Jazeera
Analysis: Will Benjamin Netanyahu be re-elected? -- Al Jazeera

Taliban Claim Credit For Today's Two Suicide Bomb Attacks That Killed 48 Ahead Of Afghan Elections





Daily Mail: Taliban kill at least 48 people and injure 80 in a day of bloodshed ahead of the Afghan elections as president’s rally is targeted

* At least 48 people killed and 80 wounded in attacks at a checkpoint and in Kabul
* Both attacks came in one day and designed to take place in lead up to elections
* Suicide bomb went off at checkpoint leading to a rally for President Ashraf Ghani
* Taliban set off a device in central Kabul just over an hour later near US embassy

Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts today.

One attack was at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul - with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections.

The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where President Ashraf Ghani was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42.

Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy.

Read more ....

More News On The Taliban Claiming Credit For Today's Two Suicide Bomb Attacks That Killed 48 Ahead Of Afghan Elections

The Latest: Official says at least 22 killed in Kabul attack -- AP
Taliban attacks kill 48, Afghan leader unhurt as bomber targets rally -- Reuters
Blast kills dozens at election rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani -- France 24
Two Separate Suicide Bombings Kill At Least 48 In Afghanistan -- RFE
Taliban bombs election rally and Kabul square -- BBC
Taliban kill at least 48 in bloody day ahead of Afghan polls -- AFP
Suicide bomber kills at least 26 near Ghani speech in Afghanistan -- UPI
Taliban claims deadly strike near rally for Afghan President Ghani -- DW
Twin suicide bombings target Afghanistan president's rally, Kabul downtown; 48 dead -- FOX News
At least 48 people killed in two separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan -- CNN
Afghan President Ghani 'unhurt' as blast kills dozens at rally -- Al Jazeera

World News Briefs -- September 17, 2019



NPR: Israelis Go To Polls As Netanyahu Aims To Hold Power Amid Corruption Scandals

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party are facing voters for the second time in just five months in an unprecedented contest that has the potential to end Netanyahu's decade-long grip on power.

Months of political limbo followed the previous election in April that saw Likud and the centrist Blue and White party each win 35 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel's parliament.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Israel election: Netanyahu in tough fight in this year's second vote. Netanyahu’s career on the line as Israel votes.

Turkey, Russia, Iran agree steps to ease tensions in Syria's Idlib despite lingering differences.

Russia's Putin: foreign troops should be pulled out from Syria eventually.

Iraq says U.S. does not believe Iraqi territory used to launch attack on Saudi.

Iran leader Khamenei won't talk to U.S. without 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran charges three Australians with espionage.

10 Iran-backed fighters reportedly killed in Syria attack.

ASIA

Taliban bombs election rally and Kabul square. Taliban attacks kill 48, Afghan leader unhurt as bomber targets rally.

Taliban delegation visits Iran to 'discuss latest developments'.

China signals veto in standoff with U.S. over Afghan U.N. mission: diplomats. U.N. Security Council overcomes Chinese veto threat to renew Afghanistan mission.

North Korea slams Japan for 'trespassing' in EEZ.

Report: Trump, Moon U.N. summit tentatively set for Monday.

Hindus fear for their lives after Pakistan blasphemy riots.

Hong Kong protests fail to slow city’s role as foreign investment gateway to China, government data shows.

Indonesia shuts down plantations linked to illegal forest fires.

AFRICA

AU urges creativity to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.

UAE drones target airport in Tripoli, Libya: Gov't.

Algerians protest against planned presidential vote.

Tunisia election: Political outsiders reach runoff.

Egypt still at odds with Ethiopia over giant Nile dam.

South Africa apologises to Nigeria over xenophobic attacks.

Former minister arrested over alleged mismanagement of Congo Ebola funds.

EUROPE

Britain's Supreme Court enters Brexit drama with hearings on suspension of parliament.

Luxembourg PM's treatment of Johnson 'may harm Brexit talks'.

Vigilantes in Slovenia patrol borders to keep out migrants.

French police begin to clear migrants sheltered at Dunkirk gym.

Spain braces for fourth election in as many years as deadline looms.

Italy's Matteo Renzi to form new party after exiting Democratic Party.

US, Belarus to restore envoys after 10-year freeze.

France gives more people iodine pills in case of nuclear accident.

EU Parliament backs France's Lagarde as next ECB chief.

Paul Whelan: Former US marine alleges set-up in Russia spy case.

AMERICAS

House Judiciary Committee to hold 1st impeachment hearing.

Senate set for floor showdown over Trump border wall.

US government sues Edward Snowden over book disclosures – live.

Canada’s intelligence service: theft of information is 'potentially devastating'. Trudeau reassures allies amid alleged spying case.

Venezuela opposition: Norway-mediated talks with Maduro are over.

Massive blackout hits four countries in Central America.

Haiti fuel shortage: Protesters call for president's resignation.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Iraq launches anti-ISIS operation near Saudi border.

London police and Facebook move to stop live streaming of terror attacks.

Man reportedly shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ after stabbing Italian soldier.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Recession fears among fund managers rise to highest level in a decade.

Apple slams EU as epic court battle over tax bill begins.

U.S., Japan reach initial trade agreement, Trump says.