Thursday, January 18, 2018

NATO's Top General Warns That Russia Is 'Closing The Gap'

Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, speaks to members of U.S. European Command about his four command priorities at Patch Barracks, Germany, Sept. 20, 2017. MARTIN GREESON/U.S. ARMY

Stars and Stripes: Russia closing gap with NATO, top US general in Europe warns

STUTTGART Germany — NATO’s military edge over Russia could soon be threatened if allies fail to keep adapting, the alliance’s top general warned on Wednesday.

U.S. Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said Russia’s military modernization efforts are challenging allies in a range of areas such as cybersecurity.

“Because of the modernization they’ve made, while we are dominant, we will not be in five years ... if we are not adapting,” Scaparrotti said during a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Scaparrotti, who also serves as head of U.S. European Command, said he and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, have agreed to meet soon in an effort to improve communication and reduce the risks miscalculation. The meeting would be the first face-to-face encounter between the top NATO and Russian commanders since Moscow’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  The U.S. and NATO spend 50x what Russia spends on defense .... Russia will not close the gap with NATO.

Tweets For Today







Fifty-Two Years Ago The U.S. Air Force Lost Four Hydrogen Bombs Over Spain

The casings of two B28 nuclear bombs involved in the Palomares incident are on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Business Insider: The US Air Force lost 4 nuclear bombs in Spain 52 years ago — and the disaster is still being felt now

* A crash involving a B-52 Stratofortress bomber over Spain in 1966 resulted in four nuclear bombs being lost for 81 days.
* The bombs were not armed, meaning there was no chance of a nuclear detonation.
* The US personnel involved in the search and Spaniards in the area have lived with the legacy of the accident in the half-century since.

Early on the morning of January 16, 1966, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber took off from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina.

The bomber headed toward Europe, where it would patrol near the borders of the Soviet Union with four nuclear weapons, part of Operation Chrome Dome, a Cold War program to provide 24-hour rapid-response capabilities in case of war.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Another near disaster averted .... but not for some who were involved in the search.

Picture Of The Day

A fox walks past 10 Downing Street in London. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

WNU Editor: The above picture comes from this photo-gallery .... Editor's Choice Pictures (Reuters).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

B-52 Bombers, B-2s, And B-1s Have Been Deployed To Guam For The Second Time In History

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
B-1s, B-2s and B-52s at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam on Aug. 10, 2016. Air Force photo

Military Times: B-52 bombers join B-2s, B-1s in Guam for second time in history

About a week after the Air Force deployed three B-2 Spirit stealth bombers to Guam, six B-52H Stratofortress bombers joined them on the island Tuesday.

The B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana deployed to Andersen Air Force Base along with about 300 airmen. The aircraft and personnel will support the U.S. Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence mission, replacing six B-1B Lancer bombers, which are scheduled to return home to Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, at the end of this month.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This does not happen everyday .... but this is a sign that in the future this may be happening everyday.

U.S. Democratic Lawmakers: No 'Illusions' About N. Korea's Nuclear Work Amid Olympics Talks

© KCNA / Reuters

The Hill: Dems after Asia trip: No 'illusions' about N. Korea's nuclear work amid Olympics talks

North Korea continues to work on its nuclear and missile programs as talks with South Korea about the Winter Olympics progress, a pair of Democratic lawmakers told reporters Wednesday after returning from a trip to Japan and South Korea.

“It is a positive sign that the North Koreans are participating in the Olympics, but also very clearly from our military leaders … they’re not refraining from continuing to move forward with their efforts to solve the final problems with being able to nuclearize an intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit the American homeland,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said.

“So while they’re doing this, they’re still continuing to pursue their nuclear development, and that was not something that anybody that we talked to had any illusions about, whether it was civilian or military," she added.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: You have to wonder where were these lawmakers a few years ago when North Korea's nuclear program was known to be on a trajectory to develop deliverable nuclear weapons .... U.S. Intelligence Agencies Knew In 2013 That North Korea Was Capable Of Miniaturising Nuclear Weapons (August 10, 2017)

After One Year Has President Trump's Foreign Policy Been A Triumph?


Nile Gardiner, National Post: It's time to admit that Trump's foreign policy has been a triumph

The president may lack the eloquence of JFK or the ideological drive of Reagan, but he ensures the U.S. continues to lead as the world's superpower.

When Donald Trump was elected America’s 45th president in November 2016 the world took a collective deep breath. This was a man derided by his critics as an isolationist, woefully out of his depth on foreign policy matters, and imbued with a supposedly dangerous and reckless nationalism. European leaders queued up to condemn the new leader of the free world in the court of international opinion. But a year into his presidency Trump’s actual record has been far more effective than his detractors predicted. “America First” has not resulted in a U.S. withdrawal from the world. Far from it.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I do not share Nile Gardiner's enthusiasm that President Trump's foreign policy has been a triumph. The Islamic State may have been defeated under his watch, but the other wars continue to grind on, terrorism is still a threat, and our relations with many countries are still the same.

Some U.S. Lawmakers Want Former U.S. Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper Prosecuted For Lying To Congress



Washington Examiner: Lawmakers want James Clapper prosecuted for surveillance testimony before statute of limitations runs out

Some lawmakers would like to see the Justice Department prosecute former spy chief James Clapper for inaccurate testimony to Congress about domestic surveillance before it's too late.

Privacy-conscious critics say looming five-year statutes of limitation for perjury and making false statements — establishing a March 12 deadline for charges — make an urgent case for action, and that nonprosecution would set a dangerous precedent that impedes oversight and executive-branch accountability.

Read more ....

Previous Post: Should The U.S. Director Of National Intelligence Be Fired For Lying To Congress? (January 29, 2014).

WNU Editor: He should be held accountable for "lying" to Congress .... but he will not be.

World News Briefs -- January 17, 2018

The flag of North Korea is seen in Geneva, Switzerland, June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

Reuters: North Korea rejects sanctions talk, ready for 'successful' Olympics: diplomat

GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea rejects as a “provocation” a U.S.-led meeting in Vancouver that discussed tougher sanctions that Pyongyang will fight, a senior North Korean diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday.

Twenty nations agreed on Tuesday to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Pyongyang that it could trigger a military response if it did not choose negotiations.

Choe Myong Nam, North Korea’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said the Vancouver meeting was “harmful and dangerous.”

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. signals open-ended presence in Syria, seeks patience on Assad's removal.

Turkey says will respond immediately to any threats from Western Syria.

Turkey sees betrayal as US backs Syrian Kurds.

Nearly 4 years on, much of Syrian rebel ‘capital’ abandoned.

US military: No 'support' for Kurdish YPG in Afrin.

Iran's supreme leader: Saudis betrayed Muslim world.

Iran says Trump has thrown Airbus deals into doubt.

Saudi to inject $2bn in Yemen to halt currency collapse. Saudi Arabia gives Yemen $2 billion to stave off hunger and prop up currency.

Palestinian leader Abbas calls for Arab solidarity against Trump's Jerusalem decision.

After $65M U.S. aid cut, UNRWA launches global fundraising effort. Global NGOs criticise drastic US cuts of UNRWA funding.

Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year.

Jailed head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish party acquitted of insulting minister.

ASIA

Taliban leader approved Islamabad meeting on Afghan peace talks: sources.

Days after oil tanker sinks, large slicks observed in East China Sea.

Tillerson says evidence sanctions 'really starting to hurt' North Korea.

BREAKING NEWS: North and South Korea agree to form their first joint Olympic team and march together in opening ceremony.

Korean War allies consider further sanctions against North Korea. Nations to consider more North Korea sanctions, U.S. warns on military option.

North Korea scoffs at Trump's 'nuclear button' tweet.

Myanmar police opens fire on demonstrators killing many. Seven ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police fire on riot.

Philippines orders further probes into news site that angered Duterte.

UN must step up pressure on Pakistan: US.

China bans Muslim children from Quran classes.

Worker who accidentally sent out warning of imminent North Korean missile strike in Japan meant to send a different news flash, says broadcaster.

AFRICA

Italy approves military mission in Niger, more troops to North Africa.

Uganda's Museveni accuses U.N. of "preserving terrorism" in eastern Congo.

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12, injure 48.

Kidnappers abduct American, Canadian in Nigeria, two police killed: police official.

Sudan police fire tear gas as protesters march against price rises. Sudan holds communist leader after bread price demo: party.

Ethiopian PM arrives in Egypt for talks on sharing Nile.

Congo armed groups uniting against President Kabila: U.N..

Seven years since revolt, Tunisia struggles with economic woes.

Ethiopia releases top opposition figure from prison.

E. Guinea leader denies opposition death in custody claims.

Drought-stricken Cape Town, South Africa, could run out of water by April's 'day zero'.

EUROPE

Swedish PM does not rule out use of army to end gang violence.

Romanian president picks Dancila as new PM, graft in spotlight.

Farage backs off second Brexit referendum talk as EU says UK still welcome.

Embattled Schulz tries to sell coalition deal to sceptical SPD.

In challenge to Madrid, Catalan assembly elects separatist speaker.

Catalonia's new parliament meets following failed independence bid. Catalan MPs meet for first time since referendum bid.

Barred from election, Navalny vows to fight 'emperor' Putin.

Dialogue with US on nuclear-missile weapons is Russia’s priority task, says expert.

Czech government resigns as PM fights corruption allegations.

Italy: Some 1,400 refugees rescued at sea.

May and Macron to sign new Calais border treaty.

Russian watchdog Memorial hit by arson attack near Chechnya.

Britain appoints minister for loneliness to continue work of murdered politician Jo Cox.

German prosecutors reject clemency for 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz'.

Even the eyelashes freeze: Russia sees minus 88.6 degrees F.

AMERICAS

Mexico leftist leads presidency race, PRI hopeful struggles: poll.

Trump's not letting up on attack the media but ethics experts warn White House officials will break rules if they take part in 'fake news awards'.

Republican senator slams Trump for Stalin-like attacks on media.

WH directed Bannon silence in House interview. Trump's ex-aide Bannon strikes deal to avoid grand jury testimony: CNN.

Lawmakers want James Clapper prosecuted for surveillance testimony before statute of limitations runs out.

Trump's medical sparks online 'girther' movement.

Wave of looting shutters stores, spreads fear in Venezuela.

'Rambo' police pilot Oscar Perez, who hijacked helicopter, killed in operation in Venezuela.

Argentines try to understand why the pope won’t return home.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

White House: 73% of convicted terrorists since 9/11 were non-citizens.

US drone strike inside Pakistan targets ‘Afghan extremist’.

French jihadist wives press charges over Syria detention.

ISIS wanted to blow up the Statue of Liberty with pressure cooker bombs.

Is Turkey aligned with al-Qaeda affiliate in Idlib?

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Dow ends above 26,000 for first time on earnings optimism.

The antitrust case against Facebook, Google and Amazon.

$260 billion ‘cryptocalypse’ as cryptos plunge 30 per cent amid fresh China, South Korea fears. Bitcoin crashes below $10,000, losing over half its value since last month’s record.

Apple supplier workers describe noxious hazards at China factory.

YouTube toughens advert payment rules.

Apple To Repatriate $350 Billion From Overseas Back To The U.S. Economy

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the iPhone maker's repatriated profits will result in a $38 billion US tax payment and generate $350 billion in economic activity

CNBC: Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash, says it will contribute $350 billion to the US economy over the next 5 years

* Apple says the new tax law will help it will contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years.
* It says it will create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.
* Apple expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States.

Apple on Wednesday made a slew of announcements about its investment in and contribution to the U.S. economy in part because of the new tax law.

The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion "contribution" to the U.S. economy over the next five years, although it's unclear exactly how the company came to that number.

The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.

It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.

Read more ....

Update: Apple says will pay $38 bn in taxes on repatriated profits (AFP)

WNU Editor: Apple is already the largest taxpayer in the U.S.. One can only imagine the enormous economic benefits that such a transfer of wealth from overseas to the U.S. economy will bring .... and I am willing to bet that Apple will not be the only company doing this. The global economic and geopolitical impacts from changes in U.S. tax and regulatory should never be underestimated .... and Apple is a perfect example of this point.

There Are Wide Spread Reports That The Taliban Have Entered Into Peace Talks On Afghanistan

A photo circulated by the Taliban of leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada.

Reuters: Taliban leader approved Islamabad meeting on Afghan peace talks: sources

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A delegation approved by the Taliban’s supreme leader visited the Pakistani capital this week for exploratory talks on restarting peace negotiations to end Afghanistan’s 16-year war, two senior officials in the movement said.

It was unclear if any progress was made in the unofficial meetings with a representative of a prominent Afghan politician. Many previous attempts have failed to revive direct talks that ended nearly as soon as they started in 2015.

The Islamabad talks on Monday followed another back-channel meeting over the weekend in Turkey between individuals with Taliban connections and representatives of Hizb-i-Islami, the party of a former Taliban-allied commander who last year laid down arms to join Afghan politics.

A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday he was not aware of the Islamabad talks, while the Taliban did not respond to queries. Both sides on Monday denied participating in the Turkey talks.

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WNU Editor: This is not the first time that there have been reports of peace talks to end the Afghan war, but what is interesting about this story is that there is a Taliban delegation visiting Pakistan right now .... Three-member Taliban delegation visits Pakistan (Express Tribune).

Update: Afghans Say Talks With Taliban Are Underway; Insurgents Deny It (New York Times).

President Trump: Russia Is Helping North Korea Skirt Sanctions

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Reuters: Exclusive: Trump says Russia helping North Korea skirt sanctions; Pyongyang getting close on missile

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Russia is helping North Korea get supplies in violation of international sanctions and that Pyongyang is getting “closer every day” to being able to deliver a long-range missile to the United States.

“Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump said during an Oval Office interview with Reuters. “What China is helping us with, Russia is denting. In other words, Russia is making up for some of what China is doing.”

China and Russia both signed onto the latest rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea imposed last year. There was no immediate comment from the Russian embassy in Washington on Trump’s remarks.

Read more
....

WNU Editor: I do not know if Russia is breaking sanctions against North Korea, but there are a lot of North Koreans working on construction sites in Russia .... Russia's hidden world of North Korean labor(CNN). On a side note, this is interesting (behind WSJ paywall) .... Tillerson Refuses to Say if Trump, Kim Jong Un Have Spoken (WSJ).

US Navy Brings Negligent Homicide Charges Against The Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs



USNI News: Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs Face Negligent Homicide, Dereliction of Duty Charges Over Fatal Collisions

The commanders of the two guided-missile destroyers that were involved in fatal collisions with merchant ships in 2017 will face military criminal charges that include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide, USNI News has learned.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson, former commander of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), along with three Fitzgerald junior officers, face a mix charges that include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide related to the June 17 collision between the ship and ACX Crystal that resulted in the death of seven sailors, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy provided to USNI News.

Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez, former commander of USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), faces similar dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide charges for the Aug. 21 collision between the guided-missile destroyer and a chemical tanker off the coast of Singapore that resulted in the death of 10 sailors.

Read more ....

More News On The US Navy Bringing Negligent Homicide Charges Against The Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs

Ex-U.S. Navy Officers Face Negligent Homicide Charges Over Ship Collisions -- Reuters
Navy files criminal charges in connection with deadly ship collisions, including negligent homicide -- Washington Post
US Navy Warship Commanders Facing Criminal Charges in Deadly Collisions -- Voice of America
US Navy To Charge Ex-Destroyer Commanders With Negligent Homicide Over Deadly Collisions (Updated) -- The Warzone
Navy says it will file homicide charges against FIVE officers over two deadly ship disasters last year -- Daily Mail
US Navy collisions: Ex-commanders charged with negligent homicide -- BBC
Here are the details of the 2 deadly crashes that led to negligent homicide charges for US Navy officers -- Business Insider
What Is Negligent Homicide? US Navy Commanders Charged in Deaths of 17 Sailors -- Newsweek
US Navy surface boss expected to step down under pressure in latest collision fallout -- Defense News
US military crashes, collisions in the Pacific -- FOX News

Facebook, Google And Twitter Tell Congress On How They Are Taking Down Extremist Content

CNBC: Facebook, Google tell Congress they're fighting extremist content with counterpropaganda

* Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress Wednesday that they've gone beyond screening and removing extremist content from their services and are creating more anti-terror propaganda.
* Executives from the three largest social media companies shared their latest methods of fighting extremism during testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee.

Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress Wednesday that they've gone beyond screening and removing extremist content and are creating more anti-terror propaganda to pre-empt violent messages at the source.

Representatives from the three companies told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that they are, among other things, targeting people likely to be swayed by extremist messages and pushing content aimed at countering that message. Several senators criticized their past efforts as not going far enough.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am skeptical that Facebook, Google And Twitter are great at counter-propaganda, but if they can delete extremist content quickly and within the public parameters on what extremism is .... I will be satisfied with that.

More News On Facebook, Google And Twitter Telling Congress On How They Are Taking Down Extremist Content

Twitter, YouTube, Facebook describe battle against 'terrorist content' to Congress -- Washington Examiner
Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were grilled by lawmakers about terrorist content on social media -- The Verge
Why Can't Facebook Take Down All Terrorist Content? -- Newsweek

These Countries Are Extremely Dangerous For Americans

Newsweek: Visit These Countries and You Will Probably Die, Says U.S. Government

An American passport is one of the most powerful in the world, offering visa-free admission to up to 158 countries. Although this may be fewer than many European states, it is still more than most of the rest of the world.

But the State Department has warned U.S. citizens that they should be careful when exercising their diplomatic dispensation, urging them to consider crime, disease and terrorism when deciding where to go.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I would add a few more countries .... Pakistan, parts of Africa, etc. , come to mind.

China's Aircraft Carrier And Other Navy Ships Sail By Taiwan As Tensions Grow

China's aircraft carrier Liaoning sails into Hong Kong. Thomson Reuters

Business Insider: China sails its aircraft carrier past Taiwan in marked increase of hostilities

* China sailed it's aircraft carrier and other navy ships through the Taiwan Strait that separates self-ruled Taiwan from mainland China.
* China has been increasingly hostile towards Taiwan, which it fears as an existential threat.
* China has bumped up military drills and exercises around Taiwan.

TAIPEI (Reuters) - A Chinese carrier group has sailed through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the self-ruled island from its giant neighbor but no unusual activity was detected, Taiwan said on Wednesday, amid heightened tension with Beijing.

Beijing has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Taiwan since the election two years ago of President Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

China suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, though she has said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.

Read more ....

Update #1: China's aircraft carrier sails by Taiwan as tensions grow -- AFP
Update #2: Chinese Military Aircraft Carrier Near Taiwan Sparks Fear of Hostile Takeover -- Newsweek

WNU Editor: This is not only intimidation being directed at Taiwan .... but an exercise to see how the countries in the region will react .... as well as how the U.S. will react.

North And South Korea Agree To March Under Single 'United' Flag In Olympic Games



Daily Mail: North and South Korea agree to form their first joint Olympic team and march together in opening ceremony

* The two Koreas have agreed to form a combined women's ice hockey team
* Their athletes will march together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony
* Both sides held rare talks on Wednesday amid a thaw in inter-Korean ties

North and South Korea have agreed to form their first joint Olympic team and will march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony, South Korea has announced.

The two Koreas agreed to form a combined women's ice hockey team to take part in next month's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in the South next month.

Seoul's Unification Ministry says the agreement was during talks on Wednesday at the border village of Panmunjom.

Read more ....

More News On North And South Korea Agreeing To March Under A Single 'United' Flag In Olympic Games

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team -- AP
Two Koreas agree to march together at Winter Olympics opening -- AFP
Koreas to march under single 'united' flag in Olympic Games -- BBC
North and South Korea to march under one flag at Winter Olympics 'peace games' -- The Guardian
North and South Korea to march under unified flag at Winter Olympics -- DW
Pyeongchang 2018: North and South Korea to march under 'unification flag' at Winter Olympics -- ABC News Online
North & South Korea to form 1st joint Olympic team, march at opening together under unified flag -- RT
North and South Korea to field joint ice hockey team -- Al Jazeera
Violinists and cheering squads: North Korea’s Olympic lineup -- AP
North Korea's 'army of beauties' will be under close scrutiny at Winter Olympics -- The Guardian

World News Briefs -- January 17, 2018



Reuters: Koreas to form unified ice hockey team, march together in Olympics

SEOUL (Reuters) - The two Koreas will field a combined women’s ice hockey team and march together under one flag at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul said on Wednesday, after a new round of talks amid a thaw in cross-border ties.

North and South Korea have been talking since last week - for the first time in more than two years - about the Olympics, offering a respite from a months-long standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, although Japan urged caution over the North’s “charm offensive”.

The two Koreas will compete as a unified team in the Olympics for the first time, though they have joined forces at other international sports events before.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Nearly 4 years on, much of Syrian rebel ‘capital’ abandoned.

US military: No 'support' for Kurdish YPG in Afrin.

Iran's supreme leader: Saudis betrayed Muslim world.

Iran says Trump has thrown Airbus deals into doubt.

Saudi to inject $2bn in Yemen to halt currency collapse. Saudi Arabia gives Yemen $2 billion to stave off hunger and prop up currency.

Palestinian leader Abbas calls for Arab solidarity against Trump's Jerusalem decision.

After $65M U.S. aid cut, UNRWA launches global fundraising effort. Global NGOs criticise drastic US cuts of UNRWA funding.

Jailed head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish party acquitted of insulting minister.

ASIA

BREAKING NEWS: North and South Korea agree to form their first joint Olympic team and march together in opening ceremony.

Korean War allies consider further sanctions against North Korea. Nations to consider more North Korea sanctions, U.S. warns on military option.

North Korea scoffs at Trump's 'nuclear button' tweet.

Myanmar police opens fire on demonstrators killing many. Seven ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police fire on riot.

Philippines orders further probes into news site that angered Duterte.

UN must step up pressure on Pakistan: US.

China bans Muslim children from Quran classes.

AFRICA

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12, injure 48.

Kidnappers abduct American, Canadian in Nigeria, two police killed: police official.

Sudan police fire tear gas as protesters march against price rises. Sudan holds communist leader after bread price demo: party.

Ethiopian PM arrives in Egypt for talks on sharing Nile.

Congo armed groups uniting against President Kabila: U.N..

Seven years since revolt, Tunisia struggles with economic woes.

Ethiopia releases top opposition figure from prison.

E. Guinea leader denies opposition death in custody claims.

EUROPE

Embattled Schulz tries to sell coalition deal to sceptical SPD.

Catalonia's new parliament meets following failed independence bid. Catalan MPs meet for first time since referendum bid.

Barred from election, Navalny vows to fight 'emperor' Putin.

Dialogue with US on nuclear-missile weapons is Russia’s priority task, says expert.

Czech government resigns as PM fights corruption allegations.

Italy: Some 1,400 refugees rescued at sea.

May and Macron to sign new Calais border treaty.

Russian watchdog Memorial hit by arson attack near Chechnya.

Britain appoints minister for loneliness to continue work of murdered politician Jo Cox.

German prosecutors reject clemency for 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz'.

AMERICAS

Republican senator slams Trump for Stalin-like attacks on media.

WH directed Bannon silence in House interview. Trump's ex-aide Bannon strikes deal to avoid grand jury testimony: CNN.

Lawmakers want James Clapper prosecuted for surveillance testimony before statute of limitations runs out.

Trump's medical sparks online 'girther' movement.

Wave of looting shutters stores, spreads fear in Venezuela.

'Rambo' police pilot Oscar Perez, who hijacked helicopter, killed in operation in Venezuela.

Argentines try to understand why the pope won’t return home.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

French jihadist wives press charges over Syria detention.

ISIS wanted to blow up the Statue of Liberty with pressure cooker bombs.

Is Turkey aligned with al-Qaeda affiliate in Idlib?

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

The antitrust case against Facebook, Google and Amazon.

$260 billion ‘cryptocalypse’ as cryptos plunge 30 per cent amid fresh China, South Korea fears. Bitcoin crashes below $10,000, losing over half its value since last month’s record.

Apple supplier workers describe noxious hazards at China factory.

YouTube toughens advert payment rules.