Sunday, February 1, 2015

Islamic State Murders Japanese Journalist Goto

Daily Mail: 'We have an entire army thirsty for your blood': ISIS releases new video appearing to show Jihadi John beheading second Japanese hostage

* Kenji Goto threatened with beheading in ISIS video released last Saturday
* Terror group was trying to exchange Goto for bomber Sajida al-Rishawi
* In new video fighter tells camera 'we have an entire army thirsty for blood'
* Mr Goto's body is then shown lying on desert floor in rocky gorge
* President Barack Obama has led global condemnation of apparent slaying
* Says US stands in solidarity with Japan against 'barbaric and heinous act'

More News On The Murder Of Japanese Journalist Goto By The Islamic State

Japan outraged at IS 'beheading' of hostage Kenji Goto -- BBC
Japan Mourns Goto as Caring and Courageous Reporter -- NYT/AP
Japan wakes up to bad news about Kenji Goto -- BBC
New video purportedly shows beheading of Japanese journalist by ISIS -- FOX News
‘Inhumane & contemptible’: ISIS beheads Japanese hostage Goto -- RT
Video of Japanese Journalist's Execution Appears to Be Genuine -- Sputnik
Isil militants behead second Japanese hostage -- ITAR-TASS
World leaders condemns IS beheading of Japanese journalist Goto -- Deutsche Welle
Japan outraged at IS 'beheading' of hostage Kenji Goto -- BBC
Islamic State hostage Kenji Goto mourned by family and friends -- Japan Times
Kenji Goto's mother mourns after Isis beheads her son sending shockwaves across Japan -- IBTimes

Pro-Russia Separatists Are Now Claiming That They Have Trapped Thousands Of Ukrainian Government Troops

L.A. Times: Pro-Russia separatists say they've trapped thousands of Ukraine troops

WNU Editor: For the past few days I have been reading reports on social media that a few thousand Ukrainian soldiers have been encircled in the city of Debaltseve .... but there has been no confirmation and/or reporting from independent sources .... that is until now. Victoria Butenko and Sergei L. Loiko from the L.A. Times have been consistently accurate in their reporting on this conflict and if what they are saying is true .... this could result in a shocking defeat for the Ukrainian army.

Ukraine Peace Talks Collapse

Reuters: Ukraine peace talks collapse, Kiev and separatists trade blame

WNU Editor: From what I am hearing and reading .... these talks were a complete disaster. I do not see any future talks happening in the foreseeable future.

More News On Ukraine's Peace Talks Collapsing

Ukraine peace talks collapse over ceasefire as fighting rages -- The Australian/AFP
Ukraine Peace Talks Collapse As Fighting Continues -- NBC
Ukraine, Rebel Talks End Amid Deadly Fighting -- VOA
Ukraine Peace Talks End In 'Failure' -- Radio Free Europe
No breakthrough as Ukraine peace talk parties meet in Minsk amid worsening crisis -- RT
Ukraine Contact Group Fails to Sign Agreement, DPR, LPR Envoys Say -- Sputnik
Ukraine peace talks break down amid acrimony -- Al Jazeera
Latest round of Ukraine peace talks fall through -- Press TV

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Editor's Note

Taking some R&R. Blogging will return tomorrow.

How Russia Uses Deception "Maskirovka" To Outfox Its Enemies

Lucy Ash, BBC News: How Russia outfoxes its enemies

WNU Editor: Lucy Ash focuses on the Russian military's use of deception .... but it also plays a critical part in Russian foreign policy and in state media .... especially now when Moscow is facing the western world by itself. But the real masters at "maskirovka" .... without question .... are the people who work in this building.

A Look At How The Civilians In The Ukraine War Are Coping

PBS: How civilians caught in the Ukraine conflict are coping

WNU Editor: Fortunately .... my relatives in Ukraine are still far away from the fighting .... but the impact of the war is affecting everyone .... including my friends and family. Everyone knows someone who has been killed or wounded, and everyone definitely knows someone who is in the war fighting. But what worries me is that this conflict now has all the ingredients of becoming far worse ... that the current horrific humanitarian crisis can explode with millions of refugees instead of just one million. In short .... the worst case scenario. The above video where Judy Woodruff talks to Shaun Walker from The Guardian on the depressing situation in eastern Ukraine is a must see.

Ukraine War News Updates -- January 31, 2015

Bloomberg: Ukraine Peace Talks Start as Fighting Rages Over Strategic Town

WNU Editor: Peace/truce talks have begun in Minsk .... but I am not optimistic. The fighting in eastern Ukraine is now happening on multiple fronts .... the only thing that is not being used are helicopter gunships and fighter bombers/attack aircraft.

Ukraine War News Updates -- January 31, 2015

Ukraine, rebels hold fresh peace talks as fighting rages in east -- Reuters
Ukraine crisis: 'Dozens killed' in east as Minsk talks open -- BBC
Ukraine peace talks begin in Minsk as fighting continues -- CNN
Ukraine talks to begin amid fierce fighting in Debaltseve -- France 24
Ukraine peace talks participants arrive in Minsk amid worsening crisis -- RT
Officials From Ukraine, Russia, OSCE, And Rebels Arrive In Minsk -- Radio Free Europe
Talks on ending Ukraine fighting begin as death toll continues to rise -- The Guardian
Fresh peace talks in Minsk as fighting rages in eastern Ukraine -- Deutsche Welle
Fighting rages in eastern Ukraine as government forces struggle to hold back pro-Russian offensive -- Euronews
Rebels Suffer Heavy Losses in Battle for Ukraine's Debaltseve -- NBC
15 Ukrainian soldiers killed in past 24 hours -- AFP
Fighting rages in eastern Ukraine, 15 soldiers killed -- Reuters
Fifteen Ukrainian troops killed, 30 injured in Donbas over past 24 hours - Defense Minister -- Interfax Ukraine
Scramble to treat wounded at last Ukraine frontline hospital -- AFP
Ukraine General Says Russia Knew Rebel Offensive Was Coming -- WSJ
Lining Up to Receive Aid in Ukraine, Crowd Is Devastated by a Mortar Attack -- NYT
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies -- AP
Potential conscripts evade draft, flee country amid escalation in E. Ukraine -- RT

U.S. Coalition Air Strike Kills Islamic State Chemical Weapons Expert

A U.S. fighter jet launches from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Gulf in this file photo. (REUTERS)

Daily Mail: Islamic State chemical weapons expert who trained under Saddam killed in airstrike near Mosul, says US central command

* U.S. claims chemical engineer Abu Malik was killed on January 24
* Malik had worked at Muthanna - an Iraqi factory which produced sarin gas
* The long-time jihadist joined Al-Qaeda in 2005 and ISIS more recently
* Fears the militants are trying to expand their chemical weapons capability
* Anonymous defence source says Malik was 'gathering lots of equipment'

WNU Editor: I am sure he was a very high priority target ... if not in the top 5. This is a worrisome post .... ISIS Chemical Weapon Specialist Was ‘Gathering Equipment’ Before He Was Killed (Daily Beast).

More News On The U.S. Coalition Air Strike That Killed The Islamic State's Chemical Weapons Expert

ISIS chemical weapons expert killed in Iraq airstrike -- CBC/AP
Coalition Strike Kills ISIS Chemical-Weapons Expert -- WSJ
Isis weapons engineer killed in airstrike in Iraq, claims US military -- The Guardian
US Air strike kills Isil 'chemical weapons expert' -- The Telegraph
Airstrike kills Islamic State chemical weapons expert -- UPI
ISIS chemical weapons expert killed in airstrike, US officials say -- FOX News
‘ISIS chemical weapons expert’ killed in airstrike – US -- RT
ISIS chemical weapons expert ‘killed’ in airstrike -- Al Arabiya
US military: ISIS chemical weapons expert killed in Iraq -- Rudaw

These Are The Countries Where Foreign Jihadists Are Coming From To Join The Islamic State

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Washington Post: Map: How the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has surged since October

WNU Editor: That is a lot of Jihadists going to a conflict zone ... but my gut is telling me that the numbers are probably higher .... much higher. Al Qaeda was able to attract over 20,000 supporters when they were in Afghanistan before 9/11 .... but the Islamic State has the benefits of controlling a lot of territory, a slick and effective communications network over the internet, and the support of affiliated cells in other countries.They are also located in the center of the Middle East with multiple points of entry to enter their territory .... Al Qaeda was basically in southern Afghanistan near Kandahar where the only way to get to them was through Pakistan.

A Reporter Reflects On His Interview With Syrian President Assad

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) shakes hands with a military personnel during his visit to a military site at Darya area, on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of army day, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on August 1, 2013. REUTERS-SANA-Handout via Reuters

Jonathan Tepperman, Washington Post: I interviewed Bashar al-Assad about Syria’s civil war. He’s still too delusional to end it.

WNU Editor: A depressing read .... because Jonathan Tepperman just validates (what most of us already know) who Syrian President Assad is. Bottom line .... he is someone who is going to stay as long as possible in his "bunker" .... and he will not leave willingly even when his own supporters are telling him to leave or to step aside for someone else.

Islamic State Retreated From Kobane Because Of Constant Coalition Air Strikes

CNN: ISIS fighters say constant airstrikes drove them out of Kobani

WNU Editor: DUH!!!!!

More News On The Civil War In Syria

Syria battle between al Qaeda and Western-backed group spreads -- Reuters
Qaeda group launches assault on Western-backed Syria rebels -- AFP
Nusra Front attacks FSA rebels in Aleppo, kills four -- Daily Star
Jihadists' Rivalries in Syria Result in Violent Executions -- VOA
Western-backed rebels join Aleppo alliance: Syria monitor -- Reuters
Syria rebels overtake strategic base in south -- Al Arabiya/Reuters
Syrian troops kill 50 rebels in Idlib -- Global Post/Xinhua
Syria begins destroying chemical weapons production sites -- Deutsche Welle
Next round of Syria talks in Moscow in a month: delegate -- Daily Star/Reuters
Palestinians in Syria cut off from aid once more - U.N. -- Reuters
Syria raises fuel prices to snuff out black market, soothe unrest -- Reuters
Syria: The world’s most dangerous place for journalists -- Globe and Mail

U.S. Sec. Of Defense Hagel: I Was Pressured By The White House To Release Guantanamo Detainees'

CNN: Hagel: Gitmo transfers caused friction with some at White House

Update: Hagel Says White House Disagreed With His Slow Pace of Releases of Guantanamo Detainees -- ABC News

WNU Editor: He is the U.S. official that must sign-off on their release .... and it looks for some of these released detainees ... especially the Taliban 5 that were released for Bergdahl .... it gave him pause. But the bottom line is that he did sign-off on their release .... instead of resigning on a matter of principle ... and it looks like he now has some doubts.

U.S. Sec. Of Defense Hagel: 'U.S. Command Troops Could Be Needed In Iraq'

Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel walks during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia, January 28, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

Reuters: U.S. ground troops could be needed in Iraq: Chuck Hagel

WNU Editor: No kidding .... White House Acknowledges 'Friction' with Hagel and Pentagon (

More News On U.S. Sec. Of Defense Hagel Remarks That 'U.S. Command Troops Could Be Needed In Iraq'

Hagel Says US May Need to Put Ground Troops in Iraq --
Hagel: U.S. may need ground troops in Iraq -- Al Arabiya
Hagel: Ground troops could be needed in Iraq -- The Hill
US Troops Could Find Themselves Back on Ground in Iraq Fighting IS -- Sputnik
US may send troops to Iraq as spotters, scouts - Hagel -- RT

Lasers On AC-130 Gunships?

"AC-130U training" by Senior Airman Andy M. Kin, USAF

Washington Times: Air Force wants AC-130 gunships armed with laser weapons

Update: A New Approach To Airborne Laser Weapons? -- William Pentland, Forbes

WNU Editor: These gunships are already very lethal .... now lasers?!?!?!

Here Are Some Michael Ramirez Cartoons

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Since She Is Doing The Super Bowl Half-Time Show, Here Is Some Katy Perry

WNU Editor: I am just sucking up to my GF's daughters and my niece who are big Katy Perry fans. :)

Update: VIDEO: Katy Perry Super Bowl Press Conference -- American Power

Unprecedented Security For This Sunday's Super Bowl

Washington Times: Unprecedented security: Even Super Bowl officials took ‘active shooter preparedness’ training

WNU Editor: No nightmare scenarios this Sunday please.

The CIA And Mossad Were Responsible For The 2008 Killing Of Hezbollah's International Operations Chief Imad Mughniyah

Imad Mughniyah. Wikipedia

Washington Post: CIA and Mossad killed senior Hezbollah figure in car bombing

Update #1: CIA helped Israel kill top Hezbollah operative -- The Hill
Update #2: Who was Imad Mughniyah, a senior Hezbollah figure killed in joint CIA-Mossad operation? -- Washington Post

WNU Editor:  Imad Mughniyah has been dead for 7 years .... why is this all becoming public now?

Friday, January 30, 2015

U.S. Rejects Cuban Demands To Return Back Guantanamo Bay

BBC: US rejects Cuba demand to hand back Guantanamo Bay base

More News On The U.S. Rejecting Cuban Demands To Return Guantanamo Bay

White House to Cuba: No Deal on Returning Guantanamo Bay Base -- Bloomberg
W.H.: No, Castro, you can't have Guantanamo back -- CNN
The U.S. Will Not Return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, the White House Says -- Time
Obama says returning Guantanamo to Cuba is not on the table -- FOX News/EFE
White House: Giving Guantanamo Bay Back to Cuba Not on The Table -- WSJ
Cuba Wants Gitmo Back -- Joshua Keating, Slate

Russia Commits To Maintaining An Edge In Its Nuclear Forces Over NATO And The U.S.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and head of the Russian army's main department of combat preparation Ivan Buvaltsev watch military exercises at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region, March 3, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Reuters: Defense chief says Russia to maintain military superiority: Interfax

WNU Editor: So much for future nuclear reduction talks.

More News On Russia Committing To Maintaining An Edge In Its Nuclear Forces Over NATO And The U.S.

Military dominance over Russia impossible, nuclear deterrent top priority – Defense Minister -- RT
Russia says nuclear arms to keep military edge over NATO, United States -- Reuters
Russia boasts it will maintain military superiority over the West until 2020 at least as it continues to add to its nuclear arsenal despite recession -- Daily Mail
Russia to Keep Up With US, NATO Military Capability -- Sputnik
Russia says will strengthen troops in strategic areas: Tass -- Reuters
Russia's top general says fighting new forms of Western aggression: RIA -- Reuters

The Pentagon Has Now Classified 'Top Secret' Afghanistan's Reconstruction Data And Aid To The Afghan Military

The Pentagon is working on force structure plans for continuing to advice and assist Afghan forces well past the 2014 drawdown date previously set between NATO and the Kabul government. US Army. (US Army)

ABC News: US Military Classifies Information About Afghanistan's Troops

WNU Editor: You have to wonder why .... after  all of these years .... they have decided to change their policy.

More News On The Pentagon Classifying 'Top Secret' Afghanistan's Reconstruction Data

U.S. Suddenly Goes Quiet on Effort to Bolster Afghan Forces -- NYT
U.S. military cited for increasing classification of information on Afghan forces -- Washington Post
Top military brass classifies amount of U.S. tax dollars spent on Afghan security -- Washington Times
Top commander moves to classify data used to track Afghan spending -- Washington Times
Key data on Afghan reconstruction funding classified -- CNN
US classifies details of financial aid to Afghanistan -- RT
Suddenly, all Afghan reconstruction data made secret --
Billions in Afghanistan spending is now classified, and that is causing tensions in the Pentagon -- Daniel Rivero, Fusion
Why is more data on Afghanistan war being classified, former US commanders ask -- Anna Mulrine, CSM
Transparency goes on holiday in Afghanistan -- Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post
What the Pentagon is Hiding from Its Auditors -- Brianna Ehley, The Fiscal Times
We No Longer Know What is Happening With the War in Afghanistan -- Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat

The Movie Tonight Is 'The Red Beret' (1953)

From Wikipedia: The Red Beret (retitled Paratrooper for the US release) is a 1953 British war film directed by Terence Young and starring Alan Ladd, Leo Genn and Susan Stephen. It is the fictitious story about an American who enlists in the British Parachute Regiment in 1940, claiming to be a Canadian. It is notable as the first film made by Irving Allen's and Albert R. Broccoli's Warwick Films, with many of the crew later working on various films for Warwick Films and Broccoli's Eon Productions. It is partly based on the 1950 non-fiction book with the same title, about the Parachute Regiment and its first operation, Operation Biting, in February 1942, written by Hilary Saint George Saunders.

The lead character was originally intended to be British, but when Richard Todd, who had been a paratrooper during the war, turned down the role because he felt it was "too far fetched",[2] Albert R. Broccoli offered it to the American Alan Ladd and the story was rewritten by Ladd's personal screenwriter Richard Maibaum to fit him in.