Tuesday, June 18, 2019

U.S. Wants Nations That Import Oil From The Middle East To Partner Up And Protect Oil Tankers Leaving The Persian Gulf

An F/A-18F Super Hornet makes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf of Oman, May 22, 2019. US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matt Herbst/REUTERS

Jack Detsch, Al-Monitor: US lines up partners to protect oil tankers after Gulf attacks

The Donald Trump administration is calling on nations that import the bulk of oil from the Gulf to help protect freedom of navigation in the region after the United States blamed Iran for attacking shipping vessels.

The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Paul Selva, said today that the Pentagon and State Department had approved plans to reach out to China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and other oil importers about a possible response to defend tanker traffic. He did not offer any details about what those nations may be asked to do.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I'm curious to know who will join this U.S. led coalition. China? Europe? Japan?

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 18, 2019

An image the US says shows the Iranian military removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Kokuka Courageous. Photograph: US navy/Reuters

Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian: Method of attack on tankers remains key evidence against Iran

Release of colour images adds more clarity to debate but fails to prove responsibility

The sophistication of the attacks on two shipping tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week had already led most independent analysts to conclude Iran was responsible for the high-profile explosions.

But there has been scepticism from some key countries, including Germany and Japan, after the US initially released a grainy black and white video it said showed Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from one of the two targeted ships. Iran has denied involvement.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 18, 2019

Iran Seems Prepared for Major—But Measured—Escalation in the Gulf -- Farzin Nadimi, Washington Institute

Iran Has Become Trump’s Foreign Policy Nightmare -- Seth J. Frantzman, National Interest

Don’t Blame Trump for Iran’s Aggression -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg

Iran and Trump -- Here's what's really going on -- James Jay Carafano, FOX News

Q&A: A look at the standoff between the US and Iran -- Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee, AP

China's tanks are sure to return with Hong Kong protests -- Dov S. Zakheim, The Hill

Blogger Bilal Khan's murder spotlights fragile free speech in Pakistan -- S. Khan, DW

The Tragedy of Egypt's Mohamed Morsi -- Shadi Hamid, The Atlantic

Ebola: 'WHO between a rock and a hard place' -- Cristina Krippahl, DW

Putin’s Economy Does Not Grow by Decree -- Filipp Sterkin, Moscow Times

Trudeau and the Gang of Six: A PM undone by his own handiwork -- Colby Cosh, National Post

Donald Trump is launching his re-election campaign. A clear path to victory is forming – with a few roadblocks -- James Glenday, ABC News Online

Do Trump's Polls Matter? -- Hunter DeRensis, National Interest

With virtual money, Facebook bets on disrupting the world, again -- AFP

Facebook’s currency Libra faces financial, privacy pushback -- Rachel Lerman, AP

World News Briefs -- June 18, 2019 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: U.S., China rekindle trade talks ahead of Trump-Xi G20 meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China and the United States are rekindling trade talks ahead of a meeting next week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, cheering financial markets with hope that an escalating trade war between the two countries would abate.

Trump said on Tuesday that teams from the two sides would begin preparations for the leaders to sit down at the G20 summit in Osaka. China, which previously declined to say whether the two leaders would meet, confirmed the get-together.

“Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iran claims it dealt 'heavy blow' to US 'spy network'.

US, Iran voice resolve in brinkmanship, say war not sought.

EU fights to keep nuclear deal alive amid US, Iran pressure.

Syria says it doesn't want to fight with Turkey.

UN says Yemen conflict is worsening.

Iran, Russia accuse U.S. of bullying, pushing war.

China asks US to 'alter its extreme pressure methods' on Iran.

US Senators to get new round of closed-door Iran briefings amid growing tensions.

Germany says there is 'strong evidence' Iran behind tanker attacks.

Turkey: Erdogan slams Egypt's 'tyrants' as thousands mourn Morsi.

Turkey orders arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: Anadolu.

ASIA

Trump-Xi meeting planned for G20 raises hope for trade truce.

Xi Jinping's North Korea visit aims to solve 'problems,' Beijing says.

The Trump summit in Hanoi broke down, but Xi’s Pyongyang visit is set to give Kim political capital – and tonnes of food.

Chinese state media accuses US of ‘manufacturing’ idea it poses a strategic threat.

Indian soldier, army major killed in 2 days of clashes with militants in Kashmir.

South Korean officials see momentum in stalled nuclear talks.

New hiking trails in Korean DMZ offer rare access to forbidden areas.

Duterte calls for calm after Philippine boat sinking.

China's Muslim minority seek sanctuary in Kazakhstan.

Man who shared video of New Zealand attacks jailed for 21 months.

AFRICA

38 killed in attacks on Mali villages.

Suspected jihadists kill 15 soldiers at Nigerian army base.

Nigeria villagers in Borno mourn the dead, lament state failures.

Hundreds of thousands flee violence in northeast DR Congo: UN.

Sudan protesters urge night rallies amid impasse with military.

EU: Sudan military responsible for deaths, violence committed against the public.

Those who oppose military are 'enemies of Algeria': army head.

DR Congo's army moves in to dislodge illegal miners.

Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi has been swiftly and secretly buried amid high security — less than 24 hours after his shock death in the middle of an espionage trial.

Porous border could hinder efforts to stem spread of Ebola.

EUROPE

Boris Johnson builds lead in race to be UK prime minister.

Merkel backs Ukraine's Zelenskiy in Russia dispute.

Greece and Cyprus call on EU to punish Turkey in drilling dispute. Cyprus expects 'stronger' EU stand on Turkey's drilling.

US and Russia clash over power grid 'hack attacks'.

West trying to hamper Russian cooperation via hybrid war means — Russian intel chief.

Tory leadership: Counting starts after second Tory leadership ballot closes – live news.

MH17: prosecutors to identify suspects and file first charges.

Macron’s government unveils ‘tough’ reform of unemployment benefits.

AMERICAS

U.S. seizes $1 billion worth of cocaine from ship in Philadelphia.

Shanahan drops bid to lead Pentagon, citing ‘painful’ past.

Trump’s Pentagon pick is Army veteran, defense lobbyist.

Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants.

Trump says attacks on oil tankers 'very minor''.

Trump promises 'wild' campaign launch rally.

Venezuelan President Maduro 'no longer feels safe' and is looking for a safe exit before his army turns on him, Colombian leader claims.

Colombia deports undocumented Venezuelans entering Cucuta.

Quebec bans some public servants from wearing religious clothing, symbols.

Ninth American tourist dies in Dominican Republic.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Spain busts gang that helped finance al-Qaeda in Syria.

Trump says ‘I think I know’ who was behind 9/11 attacks.

Suspected jihadists raid Nigeria military base, town.

Strait of Hormuz: imbalance of forces and guerilla warfare.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street nears record as mood on trade again turns optimistic.

Trump accuses Europe of deliberately weakening the euro against the dollar to hurt the U.S. economy and turns up heat on Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.

Paris Air Show: Airbus secures over 100 new plane orders, Boeing records zero.

Facebook to launch global ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency. Facebook plans its own currency for 2 billion-plus users.

Iran Claims To Have Busted A CIA Spy Network


CNN: Iran claims it dealt 'heavy blow' to US 'spy network'

Tehran (CNN)Iran's Ministry of Intelligence said on Tuesday that the country has managed to "deal a heavy blow against America's international spy network."

In a statement, the ministry said it recently targeted the network, along with its international allies, and succeeded in "preventing American plans from succeeding."

"We have intelligence allies and we exchange information with them. Currently we are engaged in the battle of intelligence with the United States. In this battle we should use ours and our allies capabilities," the statement said.

A US official disputed the ministry's claim that it had recently successfully targeted "a so-called spy network," and dismissed Iran's claim that they dealt a "heavy blow" to it.

Read more ....

More News On Iran Claiming To Have Busted A CIA Spy Network

Intelligence Ministry identifies CIA network in Iran, region -- MEHR
Iran Says It Dismantled a CIA Cyber Spying Network, Brought to Arrest of Agents -- Haaretz/Reuters
Iran says CIA spy network dismantled -- AFP
Iran claims it uncovered spy network run by CIA -- Haaretz
Iran says it dismantled a ‘complicated’ CIA cyber operation in several countries -- IntelNews

Germany, France and Spain Agree To Build Europe's Next-Generation European Fighter Plane


DW: Germany, France and Spain sign deal on European fighter jet

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has described the signing as a "big day for the European defense union." The 'Future Combat Air System' is due to be operational by 2040.

Germany, France and Spain on Monday signed a deal for a next-generation European fighter plane.

The framework was agreed between the defense ministers of each nation with French President Emmanuel Macron in attendance at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, just north of the French capital.

The arrangement will include a joint air combat system that could also control drones and satellites.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said it was a "big day for the European defense union."

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More News On Germany, France and Spain Agreeing To Build Europe's Next-Generation European Fighter Plane

European leaders unveil model of next-gen fighter aircraft at Paris Air Show -- Defense News
Next-generation European fighter jet cooperation ready for take-off -- Euractiv
France, Germany sign European jet fighter deal -- FOX News
Spain joins France and Germany in race to build Europe's next combat jet -- Reuters
France Unveils Next-Generation Fighter Jet -- Popular Mechanics
WATCH: Euro Defense Ministers Reveal Sixth-Gen Future Combat Air System -- Sputnik
Europe’s 5th-generation fighter jet to get stealth missiles — source -- TASS
Europe's next fighter jet: what you need to know -- Euronews

Does German Chancellor Merkel Have A Health Problem?



Daily Mail: Fears for Angela Merkel's health after the 64-year-old is seen violently shaking for a minute while welcoming Ukraine's new president to Berlin

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen visibly shaking in the heat in Berlin
* Concerns for her health after the 'trembling spell' next to new Ukraine president
* Mrs Merkel dismissed incident as dehydration brought on by the 28C (82F) heat
* Chancellor seemed to recover after she drank 'at least three glasses of water'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed concerns about her health after visibly trembling at an official ceremony, saying she was just a bit dehydrated in the heat.

Merkel appeared unsteady and was shaking as she stood in the midday sun in Berlin on Tuesday next to visiting Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky, whom she was welcoming to her office building with military honours.

Mrs Merkel's whole body visibly shook and she pursed her lips as she tried to contain the situation as she stood with Zelenskiy in the 28C (82F) heat while a military band played their national anthems outside the chancellery.

But following the anthems, Mrs Merkel seemed better, walking quickly along the red carpet with Zelenskiy into the building, pausing to greet the military band and taking a salute.

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Update #1: Germany’s Merkel says she’s OK after shaking at ceremony (AP)
Update #2: Angela Merkel Raises Concern as She Trembles During Ceremony With Ukrainian President (VIDEO) (Sputnik)
Update #3: Germany's Angela Merkel 'fine' after seen shaking in heatwave (BBC)

WNU Editor: She says that she was dehydrated .... Angela Merkel blames dehydration for shakes (The Guardian). I have been dehydrated many times, but I never shook like that.

President Trump: 'I Think I Know’ Who Was Behind 9/11 Attacks

© Reuters / Jeff Christensen

The Independent: Trump says ‘I think I know’ who was behind 9/11 attacks

'It was not Iraq. It were other people', says president

Donald Trump has said he knows who was behind the al-Qaeda terror attacks on the US in September 2001 and added that “Iraq did not knock down the World Trade Centre”.

“It was not Iraq,” the president told ABC News. “It were other people. And I think I know who the other people were. And you might also.”

Almost 3,000 people died when 19 terrorists - most of them Saudis - hijacked four passenger planes on 11 September, 2001. Two of the planes were crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Virginia and one was brought down in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back.

The al-Qaeda terror network, led by Osama bin Laden, claimed responsibility for the atrocity.

Read more ....

Update #1: Donald Trump says he knows who was ‘behind’ 9/11 as he attacks Bush - ‘It was NOT Iraq’ (Express)
Update #2: Trump ‘thinks he knows’ who was behind 9/11 (RT)

WNU Editor: He is "bashing" the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack On Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'. But Will Go To War Against Iran Over Nuclear Weapons



Time: Exclusive: President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack on Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'

Facing twin challenges in the Persian Gulf, President Donald Trump said in an interview with TIME Monday that he might take military action to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but cast doubt on going to war to protect international oil supplies.

“I would certainly go over nuclear weapons,” the president said when asked what moves would lead him to consider going to war with Iran, “and I would keep the other a question mark.”

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WNU Editor: It is not a minor event. But is it a reason to go to war .... the answer is no.

More News On President Trump Calling Alleged Iranian Attack On Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'

Trump says he'd consider war with Iran over nuclear weapons but calls tanker attacks 'very minor' despite ordering 1,000 more troops to the Middle East -- Daily Mail
Trump says attacks on oil tankers 'very minor' -- AFP
Trump calls attacks on oil tankers 'very minor,' but says he'd go to war with Iran over nuclear weapons -- The Hill
Trump downplays tanker attacks in contrast to his national security team -- CNN
Trump: Alleged Iranian oil tanker attacks 'very minor' -- USA Today
Trump says tanker attacks aren't worth a fight with Iran as the US military prepares for confrontation -- Business Insider
Trump threatens war with Iran if it tries to get nukes -- NYPost
Trump says he would ‘certainly’ go to war with Iran ‘over nuclear weapons’, but not right now -- RT

Acting U.S. Secretary Of Defense Shanahan Withdraws As Defense Secretary Nominee





Daily Mail: BREAKING NEWS: Trump FIRES acting Pentagon secretary Patrick Shanahan after defense chief revealed to have been accused of hitting wife in drunken row but claimed he was the victim

* President Trump said Patrick Shanahan decided not to go forward with confirmation
* Trump had yet to send the formal nomination of Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan to the Senate
* Both Shanahan and wife Kimblerly told authorities the other had hit them in a dispute in 2010
* The counter claims are described in years of divorce filings
* Trump announced the nomination May 9
* The holdup was revealed amid increased tensions with Iran as the U.S. sends more troops to the region
* 2010 incident in Seattle ended up with the couple on front lawn of their home after police were called after both were drinking

President Donald Trump announced he is pulling the nomination of Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan – following revelations about years-old domestic violence claims involving Shanahan and his former wife.

'Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family,' Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

'I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!' the president wrote.

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WNU Editor: Apparently this family affair involves a domestic violence dispute with his ex-wife which resulted in her arrest .... FBI examining 2010 domestic fight involving acting defense secretary Shanahan; accounts differ on aggressor (USA). Other reports are saying that the children do not want to revisit this dispute, a dispute that since it is now being reported, would have been brought up in the confirmation process and covered non-stop by the media. Sighhhh .... this is not how you want to end your career. I now understand why President Trump has delayed this process, and why he was asking allies a few weeks ago on who would they support as a Defense Secretary.

More News On Acting U.S. Secreary Of Defense Shanahan Withdrawing As Defense Secretary Nominee

Read the full statement from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan about a 2010 domestic case -- USA Today
Shanahan steps down to avoid ‘painful’ family situation -- AP
Shanahan drops out of contention to lead Pentagon, as Trump taps Army secretary -- FOX News
Shanahan withdraws from consideration to be U.S. defense secretary -- Reuters
Shanahan Withdraws as Defense Secretary Nominee -- The New York Times
As Trump’s defense pick withdraws, he addresses violent domestic incidents -- The Washington Post
Shanahan out: Acting defense secretary withdraws his confirmation bid amid family issues -- Military Times
Trump says Shanahan out of confirmation process to be defense secretary -- CNN
Trump says Shanahan out as Defense secretary nominee -- The Hill
Shanahan Steps Down as Acting Defense Secretary After Reports of FBI Investigation -- Military.com
Shanahan's defense secretary nomination collapses, leaving another void in Trump's Cabinet -- Politico
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan steps down, withdraws from Cabinet consideration -- NBC
Patrick Shanahan: Trump says his choice for Pentagon chief is out -- BBC
Trump's pick for Pentagon chief has unexpectedly pulled his name out of the running and stepped down -- Business Insider
Trump announces acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will step down -- Axios

President Trump And President Xi Confirm G20 Meeting And The Restarting Of US-China Trade Talks



SCMP: Donald Trump and Xi Jinping confirm G20 meeting and restarting of US-China trade talks

* Trump tweets that he and Xi will meet at the G20 summit, while Xi is quoted as saying he will meet Trump to ‘exchange opinions’ on Sino-US relations
* The two negotiating teams ‘will begin talks prior to our meeting’, Trump writes

US President Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday that he and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will meet next week at the G20 summit in Japan, while the Chinese president was quoted as saying he was “willing” to meet Trump at the international forum to “exchange opinions” on Sino-US relations.

Meanwhile, the two negotiating teams “will begin talks prior to our meeting”, the US president tweeted.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am not optimistic that these talks will be successful.

More News On President Trump And President Xi Confirming A G20 Meeting And The Restarting Of US-China Trade Talks

U.S., China rekindle trade talks ahead of Trump-Xi G20 meeting -- Reuters
Trump says he’ll talk trade with Xi next week in Japan -- AP
Trump says having 'extended meeting' with Xi at G20 summit -- AFP
Trump to have 'extended meeting' with Chinese leader -- The Hill
will have ‘extended meeting next week’ at G-20 -- CNBC
Trump to meet with China's Xi Jinping at the G20 in make or break trade-war showdown -- Business Insider
Trump Says He’ll Have ‘Extended’ Meeting With Xi at G-20 -- Bloomberg
Trump announces new US-China trade talks ahead of his G20 meeting with Xi -- RT
Trump-Xi meeting at G20 raises hope for trade truce -- AFP

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam Does A Public Apology After Protests. Says Extradition Bill Is 'Unlikely' To Pass



Daily Mail: Beijing-backed Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologises AGAIN and says the extradition bill is 'very unlikely' to pass after two million protesters demand she step down over the proposed law

* Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam apologised today, this time in person
* The Beijing-backed leader said she intends to finish her term as chief executive
* Leader reiterated that the extradition bill is 'very unlikely' to pass after protests
* Apology comes after protesters rejected a brief statement she put out Sunday
* Sunday's mass protest against the extradition bill drew nearly two million people

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam today apologised to the public a second time over a controversial extradition law that sparked some of the city's most violent mass demonstrations.

'I have heard the people loud and clear ... I offer my most sincere apology to each and every Hong Kong citizen,' the chief executive said during a press conference. 'This incident has made me realise that I have to do better.'

The apology came after protesters rejected a brief government statement she put out on Sunday following an unprecedented march, which organisers said drew nearly two million people. The statement failed to pacify many marchers who said they no longer trusted her and doubted her ability to govern.

Read more ....

More News On Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam Publicly Apologizing After Protests

The Latest: Pro-democracy HK lawmakers reject apology -- AP
Hong Kong leader signals end to extradition bill but refuses to quit -- Reuters
Hong Kong protesters slam leader’s apology, demand she quit -- AP
Hong Kong leader apologises for extradition crisis but refuses to step down -- BBC
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologizes after mass protests -- UPI
Hong Kong leader refuses to step down after mass protests -- DW
Hong Kong's leader 'sincerely sorry' after record-breaking protests, but she's not resigning -- CNN

World News Briefs -- June 18, 2019


Reuters: Trump says U.S., Chinese teams to restart trade talks ahead of G20

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping and that the two leaders’ teams would restart trade talks after a long lull in order to prepare for a meeting at the G20 summit later this month.

The United States and China are in the middle of a costly trade war that has pressured financial markets and damaged the world economy. Talks between the two sides to reach a broad deal broke down last month and interaction since then has been limited.

Trump has made no secret that, despite his threat to escalate the dispute with more U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, he would like to meet with Xi at the Group of 20 meeting in Japan next week.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syria says it doesn't want to fight with Turkey.

UN says Yemen conflict is worsening.

Iran, Russia accuse U.S. of bullying, pushing war.

China asks US to 'alter its extreme pressure methods' on Iran.

US Senators to get new round of closed-door Iran briefings amid growing tensions.

Germany says there is 'strong evidence' Iran behind tanker attacks.

Turkey: Erdogan slams Egypt's 'tyrants' as thousands mourn Morsi.

Turkey orders arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: Anadolu.

ASIA

Xi Jinping's North Korea visit aims to solve 'problems,' Beijing says.

The Trump summit in Hanoi broke down, but Xi’s Pyongyang visit is set to give Kim political capital – and tonnes of food.

Chinese state media accuses US of ‘manufacturing’ idea it poses a strategic threat.

Indian soldier, army major killed in 2 days of clashes with militants in Kashmir.

South Korean officials see momentum in stalled nuclear talks.

New hiking trails in Korean DMZ offer rare access to forbidden areas.

Duterte calls for calm after Philippine boat sinking.

China's Muslim minority seek sanctuary in Kazakhstan.

Man who shared video of New Zealand attacks jailed for 21 months.

AFRICA

Nigeria villagers in Borno mourn the dead, lament state failures.

Hundreds of thousands flee violence in northeast DR Congo: UN.

Sudan protesters urge night rallies amid impasse with military.

EU: Sudan military responsible for deaths, violence committed against the public.

Those who oppose military are 'enemies of Algeria': army head.

DR Congo's army moves in to dislodge illegal miners.

Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi has been swiftly and secretly buried amid high security — less than 24 hours after his shock death in the middle of an espionage trial.

EUROPE

Merkel backs Ukraine's Zelenskiy in Russia dispute.

Greece and Cyprus call on EU to punish Turkey in drilling dispute. Cyprus expects 'stronger' EU stand on Turkey's drilling.

US and Russia clash over power grid 'hack attacks'.

West trying to hamper Russian cooperation via hybrid war means — Russian intel chief.

Tory leadership: Counting starts after second Tory leadership ballot closes – live news.

MH17: prosecutors to identify suspects and file first charges.

Macron’s government unveils ‘tough’ reform of unemployment benefits.

AMERICAS

Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants.

Trump says attacks on oil tankers 'very minor''.

Trump promises 'wild' campaign launch rally.

Venezuelan President Maduro 'no longer feels safe' and is looking for a safe exit before his army turns on him, Colombian leader claims.

Colombia deports undocumented Venezuelans entering Cucuta.

Quebec bans some public servants from wearing religious clothing, symbols.

Ninth American tourist dies in Dominican Republic.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

rump says ‘I think I know’ who was behind 9/11 attacks.

Suspected jihadists raid Nigeria military base, town.

Strait of Hormuz: imbalance of forces and guerilla warfare.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Trump accuses Europe of deliberately weakening the euro against the dollar to hurt the U.S. economy and turns up heat on Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.

Paris Air Show: Airbus secures over 100 new plane orders, Boeing records zero.

Facebook to launch global ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 18, 2019



RT: Russian Air Force gets 1st pair of top notch MiG-35 fighters (VIDEO)

The Russian military has received its first pair of new MiG-35 jets. The multi-role fighter aircraft is set to replace the older generation MiG-29 warplanes and may be later shipped overseas, its manufacturer said.

Four more to be delivered this year, the head of the MiG Corporation, Ilya Tarasenko announced on Monday. He added that the jets can be exported overseas, with India being among the possible buyers.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 18, 2019

‘Real Men’ Must Serve in the Army, Majority of Russians Say -- Moscow Times

Russian lawmakers back Putin on withdrawal from nuclear arms treaty -- The Hill

Russia to Start Delivering Be-200 Aircraft to US and Chile - Manufacturer -- Sputnik

Russian missile frigate passes through Panama Canal into the Caribbean -- TASS

Crimean S-400 teams join large-scale Air Force and air defense drills in south Russia -- TASS

Analyst: New Photos Are ‘Smoking Gun’ Proving Iranian Involvement in Tanker Attack -- Sam LaGrone, USNI News

The US military is building a case against Iran with clearer images from the latest tanker attacks -- Business Insider

Trump orders 1,000 MORE troops to the Middle East as Pentagon reveals color 'proof' that Iran's Revolutionary Guards attacked oil tankers in the Gulf -- Daily Mail

Here's the Firepower the U.S. Has Moved into the Gulf Region Amid Iran Threats -- Military.com

Trump Weighs Military Options Against Iran -- Foreign Policy

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: June 17, 2019 -- USNI News

U.S. Commander Says China Tried to Sneak Into American Military Base in Africa -- Newsweek

The Army's Devil Brigade took its Stinger missiles to the Black Sea to practice taking on enemy aircraft -- Business Insider

KC-46 fix months away as more debris found in new refuelers -- UPI

Lockheed WILL Force Down F-35 Flight Costs: Ulmer -- Breaking Defense

Low-cost Valkyrie unmanned aircraft completes second test flight -- UPI

BAE Systems to install vehicle control systems on Boeing's MQ-25 refueling drones -- UPI

US Air Force Successfully Flies its Hypersonic Missile for the 1st Time -- Sputnik

Northrop to build 3D-printed scramjet engine for Raytheon hypersonic weapon -- Defense News

Boeing nabs five-year, $6.5B extension for JDAM guidance kit services -- UPI

Panel Says U.S. Military Recruitment Pool Must Broaden -- USNI News

How the Pentagon competes against Silicon Valley for tech talent -- Yahoo Finance

How Big Tech is helping build the Pentagon’s all-seeing eye-in-the-sky -- Fast Company

US Forces Korea is lifting its curfew for 90 days to see if troops can behave -- Army Times

Air Force landlord falsified records to boost income, documents show -- Reuters

Pentagon announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine -- RT

Critics protest plan for US military to use Galápagos island for anti-drug trafficking flights -- Military Times/AP

US, Turkey remain in dialogue over S-400 dispute: Top NATO general -- Hurriyet Daily News/Reuters

Turkey unveils new stealth-fighter concept as the US prepares to kick its ally out of the F-35 program -- Business Insider

WATCH Polish Landing Ship Suffer Damage to Hull Amid NATO Drills in Baltic Sea -- Sputnik

Under US pressure, Afghan army starts closing checkpoints -- AFP

The Increasingly Dangerous Politicization of the U.S. Military -- David Barno and Nora Bensahel, War On The Rocks

WATCH Su-35, Su-30 Jets’ Refuelling Process From Pilot's Perspective


Sputnik: WATCH Su-35, Su-30 Jets’ Refuelling Process From Pilot's Perspective

Aerial refuelling allows multipurpose jets and strategic aircraft to perform lengthier flights over longer ranges to conduct missions far away from the air bases where they are stationed.

Russian TV channel Zvezda has shown rare footage of Russian Su-35S and Su-30SM jets shot from the pilot's perspective refuelling mid-air. The camera installed in the cockpit, shot the full process of aerial refuelling – the take-off, approach to the Il-78 fuel tanker, connection of the probe to the fuel hose with a drogue and the landing. The whole process happened at an altitude of 5-6 kilometres and at a speed of around 600 kilometres per hour.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is video that the Russian Defense Ministry rarely releases for public consumption.

Chinese Railgun Ship CAught On Video



Sputnik: WATCH Chinese Ship Test Cutting-Edge Railgun

The gun, which uses magnetic force to propel projectiles, is thus expected to have greater range and power than those firing explosive charges.

Footage published this week shows the Haiyang Shan, a Chinese Navy Type 072 landing vessel, equipped with a railgun.

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WNU Editor: It is a short clip, and you only see the gun in the first second. But the rest of the ship to support this rail-gun is revealed.

Has President Trump Already Won The 'Trade War'?

Chinese Presidnet Xi.Reuters

Gordon G. Chang, National Interest: Trump Has Already Won the ‘Trade War’

American companies are now starting to understand that, deal or no deal, the friction between Washington and Beijing will continue.

n Sunday, the Communist Party’s most important journal expounded on Sino-U.S. relations in advance of the anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese ruler Xi Jinping at the end of this month at the Osaka G-20.

A thirteen-thousand-character essay in Qiushi—Seeking Truth—stated that China wants a “win-win agreement” but is prepared to “resolutely struggle to the end.”

Beijing has yet to confirm that Xi will meet Trump in Japan.

Trump has said “it doesn’t matter” whether the two of them sit down, and he is right. As a practical matter, he has already won the so-called “trade war.” Trump prevailed by convincing the world’s manufacturers that they must leave China.

In one sense, the importance of the planned talks is hard to overestimate. As the Washington Post’s editorial board stated in an editorial Saturday, “The United States and China are at a hinge point in the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Gordon G. Chang's analysis is spot on. Supply chains are now looking for alternative locations that are more stable and dependable than China, and as a result this trade war is only going to further the deindustrializae China. What also strikes me about this entire story has been China's unwillingness to compromise and/or keep to their past promises on addressing its massive trade surplus with the U.S.. The golden rule in business is that you never make your number one customer angry with you. The U.S. has been (and still is) China's number one customer for its exports, but China is going out of its way to antagonize this customer, even declaring a people's war against the U.S.. Talk about being arrogant and short-sighted.

Beijing Signals To President Trump that He Has To Work Harder To Meet President Xi At The G20


WSJ: Beijing Slams Washington's Latest "Feeble Attempt" To Set Up Trump-Xi Meeting

With the deadline for arranging a meeting between the two world leaders coming down to the wire, Beijing would apparently like to make it clear to Washington that, if Trump wants a meeting with Xi in Osaka, he's going to need to work a little bit harder.

On an already busy Tuesday morning, Global Times editor Hu Xijin brushed off what he described as a feeble attempt by Washington to ease tensions with China in a tweet, threatening to revive trade fears as markets continue their MTD rebound.

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WNU Editor: They are going to meet. The alternative would be the U.S. raising tariffs even more, a prospect that will cost China dearly.

Report: The World's Nuclear Powers Are Upgrading Their Arsenals

The world's nuclear powers are upgrading their capabilities, while the number of warheads is down.

DW: Nuclear powers upgrade arsenals as numbers fall: SIPRI

Nuclear-weapon powers continue to modernize their arsenals despite an overall reduction in warheads, a report has found. Reductions may slow if a US-Russia treaty is not renewed past 2021.

Nuclear powers are continuing to modernize their arsenals despite an overall decrease in the number of nuclear warheads, a Sweden-based peace research institute said Monday.

Nine nuclear-weapon powers — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — had an estimated 13,865 nuclear weapons at the start of 2019, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported. Deployed warheads and those held in reserve or awaiting dismantlement are included in the estimate.

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WNU Editor: SIPRI's report is here .... Modernization of world nuclear forces continues despite overall decrease in number of warheads: New SIPRI Yearbook out now (SIPRI).

More News On SIPRI's Report That The World Nuclear Powers Are Upgrading Their Nuclear Arsenals

World's nuclear arsenal down but risk of nuclear conflict up: SIPRI -- Euronews
SIPRI: Israel has close to 100 nuclear warheads -- Jerusalem Post
North Korea added at least 10 nukes last year: Report -- Korea JoongAng Daily
Here’s how many nuclear warheads exist, and which countries own them -- Defense News