Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Report: President Trump To Sign Executive Order To Detain Migrant Families Together Instead Of Being Separated

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a Cabinet meeting, where he discussed immigration policy at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Milllis

FOX News: Trump plans executive action to prevent family separations at border

President Trump is planning to sign an executive order to allow children to stay with parents caught crossing the border illegally -- a step that could avoid the family separations that have triggered a national outcry and political crisis for Republicans.

The action under consideration would allow children to stay in detention with parents for an extended period of time, Fox News has learned. This comes as congressional Republicans scramble to draft legislation to address the same issue, but face challenges mustering the votes.

Trump previewed the new measure, while holding out hope for legislation, during remarks to reporters during a meeting Wednesday with lawmakers.

Read more ....

Update #1: Trump says he’ll be ‘signing something’ on detained children (AP)
Update #2: Trump to sign order on family separations at U.S. border (Reuters)

WNU Editor: From what I understand ... these kids are now going to be detained with their parents in these detention centers instead of being separated. Here is an easy prediction .... when the press and the open borders crowd figure this one out .... they are going to go into an even greater meltdown because they do not want these migrants to be detained in the first place.

U.S. Officials Are Expecting North Korea To Send The Remains Of Up To 200 American Service Members

Kim Jong Un's North Korea is expected to transfer up to 200 sets of US servicemen's remains. (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP, File)

FOX News: North Korea to send US remains of up to 200 American service members, officials say

Up to 200 sets of remains belonging to American servicemen are expected to be transferred from North Korea to the U.N. command in South Korea in the next few days, two U.S. defense officials confirmed to Fox News.

The officials say the returned remains will be shipped to Hawaii, where they will be examined by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for identification purposes. The number of remains expected to be transferred was first reported by CNN.

Word of the transfer comes one day after the Pentagon announced it was suspending joint military exercises with South Korea before the next major war game, Ulchi Freedom Guardian involving some 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean forces scheduled for August.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  I read somewhere that there are 5,500 U.S. servicemen missing in North Korea.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Returns To Pyongyang After Spending Two Days In China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju walk upon arriving in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released June 20, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS

Reuters: North Korea, China discuss 'true peace', denuclearization: KCNA

SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues discussed at a summit of the two leaders, including denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the North’s state media said on Wednesday.

Kim and Xi assessed the historic meeting Kim had with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last week and exchanged opinions on ways to resolve the issue of denuclearization, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The North Korean leader also promised during a meeting with Xi in Beijing to cooperate with Chinese officials to secure “true peace” in the process of “opening a new future” on the Korean peninsula, it said.

Xi told Kim the neighbors’ joint efforts could definitely ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, China’s official Xinhua news agency said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  A lot of praise from both sides .... but no real changes happening on the ground (for now).

With Worries On An Escalating Trade War, China Cuts U.S. Investments By 92%

© Lucas Jackson / Reuters

RT: China cuts US investments by 92% amid escalating trade war

The US market saw a significant plunge in investment from China in the first five months of the year amid a growing trade row between the world's two largest economies.

Chinese investments totaled $1.8 billion from January through May, representing a 92-percent drop against the same period a year ago. That’s the lowest level in seven years, according to the latest report by Rhodium Group, a research provider that tracks Chinese foreign investment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  I suspect the same can be said about U.S. investments in China.

Ethiopia And Eritrea Move Forward On Peace Talks



Al Jazeera: Eritrea to send delegation to Ethiopia for talks

Move by Asmara comes after Addis Ababa said it will comply with peace deal and withdraw from contested border regions.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki said the East African country will dispatch a delegation to Addis Ababa to "gauge current developments" in the region following peace overtures from Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

"We will send a delegation to [Addis Ababa] to gauge current developments directly and in depth as well as to chart out a plan for continuous future action," Isaias said on Wednesday during a speech in Eritrea.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Finally there is hope in the Horn of Africa.

More News On Ethiopia And Eritrea Moving Forward On Peace Talks

Eritrea sending delegation to rival Ethiopia for peace talks -- AP
Eritrea welcomes Ethiopia PM's olive branch, raising hopes of breakthrough -- Reuters
Hope in the Horn as Eritrea-Ethiopia thaw takes shape -- AFP
Eritrea’s Isaias Accepts Ethiopia’s Offer for Peace Talks -- Ethiopia Observer
Eritrea to send 'peace' delegation to Ethiopia: diplomat -- Africa News

World News Briefs -- June 20, 2018


The Guardian: Saudi-backed Yemeni forces capture Hodeidah airport

Military advance comes after UN envoy fails to broker ceasefire with Houthi rebels

Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces have captured the airport at Hodeidah and have started preparations for the more complex task of capturing the city and its port nine miles (15km) to the north. The port is critical to the supply of aid to the rest of the famine-struck country.

Confirmation that the airport on the southern outskirts of the city had been seized after three days of fighting came from both TV pictures and eyewitness accounts. At least 40 Houthi fighters who had held the airport were killed, but most retreated into the city, preparing to fight a potentially intense street-by-street campaign that could endanger tens of thousands of civilians.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Saudi, UAE coalition enters airport compound of Yemen's Hudaida.

No breakthrough in Turkey-Iran-Russia talks on Syria constitution.

Syrian army steps up attacks in southwest, Jordan concerned.

Biggest Iraqi tribe calls for arms to defend against IS.

Gaza rocket barrage triggers Israeli air strikes. Israeli jets carry out strikes in Gaza. Gaza fires 30 rockets into Israeli territory.

'Kite war' as Palestinians use new weapon to burn farmland, forest in conflict with Israel.

Saudi, Iran face off ahead of tense OPEC meet.

ASIA

Taliban kill dozens of soldiers despite government ceasefire.

US forces preparing for North Korea to hand over war dead.

Philippines: Thousands flee as army hits ISIL-linked Maute group.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill visits Beijing to sign One Belt, One Road trade deal.

India Kashmir: Direct rule imposed after BJP quits alliance.

Top Philippines court rules against recovery of Marcos' $1B loot.

Indonesia raises number of ferry sinking missing to 180 as search for survivors continues. Divers join search for 192 missing in Indonesia mishap.

Donald Trump a 'critical threat' to Australia's interests as trust in US hits record low, Lowy survey reveals.

AFRICA

Clashes at Libya oil ports cut output by nearly half.

South Sudan rebel chief in Ethiopia for talks with President Kiir.

Eritrea to send delegation to Ethiopia for talks.

Hope in the Horn as Eritrea-Ethiopia thaw takes shape.

Mali says troops implicated in killings after mass graves found.

Power woes hit Nigeria's football fans.

Tunisia commission proposes sweeping liberal reforms.

EUROPE

Europe is facing a migrant 'catastrophe' to rival the 2015 crisis, Austria warns - and blames Merkel for forcing countries to reinstate border controls.

EU to launch counter-tariffs against US on Friday.

Key EU states to hold mini-summit on migration Sunday.

Migrant deadlock: Just 18% of Germans say Merkel will find EU-wide solution, poll reveals.

Hungary set to criminalise aiding migrants with 'Stop Soros' bill.

Far-right Italy minister vows 'action' to expel thousands of Roma.

At least 60 dead after migrant boat sinks: survivors.

Merkel, Macron announce plans for new eurozone budget.

UK Commons set for Brexit vote showdown.

Russia warns against Trump's 'alarming' plans for US space domination.


AMERICAS

For migrant families in Mexico, threat of separation puts plans in doubt.

Mexico condemns Trump's 'inhuman' border policy.

House GOP gets little direction from Trump on immigration.

Protesters heckle DHS secretary at Mexican restaurant.

US top asylum-seekers' destination in OECD in 2017.

Nicaragua peace talks put on hold amid violence.

Canada legalizes recreational marijuana use. Canada becomes second nation in the world to legalize marijuana.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Germany foiled bio attack with Tunisian arrest: police.

US need to ‘squeeze out’ safe havens from Pakistan, says Pentagon Commander.

Blue is the new orange as Guantánamo preps for new prisoners, maybe ISIS fighters.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

China cuts US investments by 92% amid escalating trade war.

General Electric booted from Dow after 110 years.

Stock markets roiled as US-China trade dispute escalates.

U.S. economy less exposed to oil price shocks.

Wealth of world's millionaires tops $70 trillion for first time.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 20, 2018

Wikimedia Commons

Popular Mechanics: The U.S. and Russia Are Shrinking Their Nuclear Arsenals—But China Isn't

And then, of course, there’s North Korea to think about.

The number of nuclear weapons worldwide dipped slightly in 2017, with the world’s nine nuclear powers collectively downsizing by 500 weapons.

The United States and Russia entered 2018 with fewer weapons, while China, India, and Pakistan gave their modest arsenals a slight boost. The world’s newest nuclear power, North Korea, is still a mystery with an unknown quantity of nuclear weapons.

The nonprofit Stockholm International Peace Research Institute tracks the arms trade, current conflicts, and the number of worldwide nuclear weapons through its annual yearbook. The 2018 yearbook, just released, has some interesting figures on the state of nukes.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 20, 2018

Which nations increased the size of their nuclear arsenal in 2017? -- Defense News

Despite 17 years of war, next US commander in Afghanistan sees progress -- Military Times

Seoul expects 'reciprocal' act from North to military drill suspension -- UPI

If the US military withdraws from Korea, China will be a big loser -- Michael Heng, SCMP

The US is trying to boost its military ties with India, but Russian weapons are getting in the way -- Business Insider

Philippines' Duterte approves $5.6-billion military upgrade -- Euronews/Reuters

Pakistan Army team wins military drill competition in Sandhurst, UK -- Geo TV

Iran says no plans to increase missile range, rejects talks with Trump -- Reuters

China warns Trump about dangers of new Space Force -- Washington Examiner

The Rise of Russia's Military -- National Interest

France, Germany kick off race for ‘quantum leaps’ in aircraft and tank tech -- Defense News

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg wants fewer tensions, improved relationship with Russia -- DW

German arms sales drop almost 10 percent -- DW

Costs of hearing-related health claims on the rise in Canadian military -- CBC

Thanks To NATO Infighting, the Future of the F-35 Is Shrinking -- Defense One

Air Force reveals risks, bravery behind B-1 emergency landing and blown hatch -- Air Force Times

V-22 Ospreys to receive ballistic protection panels -- UPI

BAE wins Marine Corps contract to build new amphibious combat vehicle -- Defense News

Navy contracts for LCS mission module support -- UPI

U.S. military budget inches closer to $1 trillion mark, as concerns over federal deficit grow -- Washington Post

US Chamber of Commerce wants Trump to put America’s defense industry first -- Defense News

The U.S. Army is Buying Pepper Spray Paintball Guns -- Popular Mechanics

Fleet Cyber Command has a new leader -- Fifth Domain

The U.S. Military Has Been in Space From the Beginning -- Smithsonian

Robert Reich: Trump Increased Military Spending By Over $200 Billion. Here's How That Money Could Be Spent -- Robert Reich, Newsweek

Twins killed together during World War II finally reunited after 74 years -- CBS

Do Service Dogs Help Military Veterans with PTSD? -- Psychology Today

Can A Cyber Attack Bring Down A Fighter Jet?

An Air Force F-22 Raptor (left) flies with an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter over Florida. USAF Photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock

Reuters: Israel's Netanyahu warns of cyber risks that can down fighter jets

TEL AVIV, June 20 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on governments worldwide on Wednesday to join forces to defend against cyber threats that he said could even bring down military and civilian aircraft.

Cybersecurity also represents an enormous business opportunity, Netanyahu told a cyber conference at Tel Aviv University, adding that Israel receives about 20 percent of global investment in the sector.

"We cannot go back to the world of levers, pulleys and couriers. Since we are going forward, we are absolutely vulnerable. Our airlines can be brought down, our fighter planes can be brought down," he said.

While Israel monitors attacks at its cybersecurity centre in the southern city of Beersheba, Netanyahu said there was "no silver bullet".

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Software does play a critical role in aviation .... and I can see certain dangers for passenger jets. But are modern fighter jets that vulnerable to a cyber attack? I have my doubts.

EU Parliament Committee Approves Copyright Law That Will Change The Internet As We Know It


Reuters: EU Parliament committee votes for tougher EU copyright rules to rein in tech giants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and other tech giants could face more curbs on their market power after a European Parliament committee voted in favor of tougher copyright rules on Wednesday.

The copyright rules, proposed by the European Commission two years ago, are designed to take account of the growing role of online platforms, forcing them to share revenues with publishers and bear liability for copyright infringement on the internet.

The vote by the Legal Affairs Committee is likely to be the Parliament’s official stance as it heads into negotiations with EU countries on a common position, unless dissenting lawmakers force a vote at the general assembly next month.

Read more ....

Update #1: 'Disastrous' copyright bill vote approved (BBC)
Update #2: EU takes first step in passing controversial copyright law that could ‘censor the internet’ (Verge)
Update #3: EU committee approves new rules that could 'destroy the internet as we know it' (The Independent)

WNU Editor: This EU vote is a disaster, and it is going to severely limit the information that EU customers can get on the internet. I am not sure how this will impact this blog .... because I do aggregate the news .... but my preliminary reading of the bill is that it is going to severely limit (if not ban) my use of news sources from Europe. And here is the kicker .... before the final vote of this bill by the EU parliament that is expected in 6 months .... all discussions will now be done behind closed doors.

Nicaragua's Political Unrest And Violence Hits 2 Months





BBC: More deaths in Nicaragua violence as talks collapse

At least three people were killed and many injured as government forces in Nicaragua launched an operation to regain control of the city of Masaya.

Residents say security forces and militias used disproportionate force to clear barricades on Tuesday.

The operation was launched a day after the collapse of talks between President Daniel Ortega's government and the opposition.

More than 180 people have died in two months of anti-government protests.

Residents in Masaya say militias loyal to Mr Ortega were responsible for most of the violence.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A tipping has now been reached .... and past. I do not see Ortega family relinquishing power, and I do not see the protestors giving up. Here is an easy prediction .... this is going to get worse.

More News On Nicaragua's Political Unrest And Violence Hitting 2 Months

Violence flares up in Nicaragua after suspension of peace talks -- Reuters
Nicaragua's political unrest hits 2 months -- FOX News
Nicaraguan city Masaya vows to govern itself, break from president amid crisis -- Toronto Star/Washington Post
My Nicaragua Motorcycle Diary: Racing Through a Revolution -- Joe Tustin, Daily Beast
What is Happening in Nicaragua? At Least 170 Killed in Crackdown on Protests Against Ortega's Government -- Newsweek

30 Afghan Soldiers Killed In Major Attack By The Taliban

Reuters: Taliban kill 30 Afghan soldiers in first major attack since ceasefire

KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban militants killed 30 Afghan soldiers and captured a military base in the western province of Badghis on Wednesday, the provincial governor said, their first major attack since a ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The three-day Taliban ceasefire ended on Sunday.

Provincial governor Abdul Ghafoor Malikzai said the Taliban attacked two security posts in the early hours. Abdul Aziz Bek, head of the Badghis provincial council, said one military base was targeted, in the district of Balamerghab.

“Large numbers of Taliban came from several directions,” Bek said. “After hours of heavy fighting 30 Afghan security forces were killed and the Taliban captured the base.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Apparently this was a slaughter. I am also reading reports that the ceasefire .... in the eyes of the Taliban .... have convinced them that the majority of the people in Afghanistan are now supporting their cause. My prediction .... the Taliban are now going to escalate their attacks across the country, and this attack and seizing of an Afghan base is only going to be one of many operations throughout the country.

More News On 30 Afghan Soldiers Being Killed In Major Attack By The Taliban

Taliban resumes deadly assault after rejecting truce extension -- CBS/AP
Taliban kill 30 Afghan security personnel days after ceasefire -- SKY News
Afghan conflict: Taliban in first major attack since Eid truce -- BBC
Taliban kill dozens of soldiers despite government ceasefire -- Al Jazeera

Former Driver Of Osama Bin Laden And Guantanamo Prisoner Captured In Libya After The Defeat Of His Islamist Militia Group

Abu Sufian Bin Qumu has reportedly been captured in Libya where he established Islamist faction Ansar al-Sharia

Daily Mail: Osama Bin Laden’s driver who was linked to 2012 Benghazi attack that killed a US diplomat ‘is captured in Libya’, 11 years after he was released from Guantanamo

* Reports: Libya National Army have captured a 'high-ranking al-Qaeda' operative
* Suspect found in Derna is named as Ansar al-Sharia leader Abu Sufian Bin Qumu
* Bin Qumu was once personal driver to al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden
* He has links to the diplomatic compound attack by gunmen that killed US envoy Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi in 2012

Reports have emerged that the Libyan army has arrested Abu Sufian Bin Qumu, a leader of an Islamist militia group and former driver of Osama Bin Laden.

He was reportedly captured in raids in 'one of the last strongholds' of extremist groups in Derna.

Bin Qumu had purported links to attacks in Benghazi that killed US diplomat Chris Stevens in 2012.

Read more ....

Update: Libyan army arrests former bin Laden driver Abu Sufian bin Qumu in Derna (Al Arabiya)

WNU editor: I think years from now .... when the final analysis of Guantanamo Bay has been done .... we will find out that a good number of these detainees when they were released eventually went back into the fight.

Russia's Tank Drone Has Performed Poorly In Syria


Popular Mechanics: Russia’s Tank Drone Performed Poorly in Syria

The Uran-9 lost contact with its controllers, maneuvered badly on broken terrain.

The results are in on the Russia’s Uran-9 combat drone and its baptism of fire, and it isn’t good. Uran-9, bristling with guns and missiles, may look impressive but it has trouble with the fundamentals not only of armored warfare but warfare by remote control. The remote controlled combat vehicle lost contact with ground control stations, suffered from an unreliable gun and suspension system, and could not target enemies while on the move.

The problems were brought to light at a Russian security conference, “Actual Problems of Protection and Security” at the N.G. Kuznetsov Naval Academy in St. Petersberg. A.P. Anisimov, Senior Research Officer, the 3rd Central Research Institute of the Russian Defence Ministry, reported on Russia’s recent deployment of the Uran-9 unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to Syria, where it had its combat debut. The results were summarized online at Defence Blog.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am sure the engineers are going to take their experience in Syria as a positive .... correct the mistakes .... and try again.

Israel and Palestinians Exchange Rocket Fire On The Gaza Border

Missiles from the Iron Dome air defense system fired from a position in the southern Israeli area seen from Gaza City on June 20, 2018. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP

Haaretz: Thirty Rockets Fired at Israel From Gaza; IDF Strikes Hamas Targets

Seven rockets intercepted as sirens blare throughout the night in communities near the Gaza border; military strikes total of 25 targets.

At least thirty rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel and seven were intercepted by the Iron Dome system late Tuesday and early Wednesday, the Israeli military said. The IDF struck a total of 25 Hamas targets in Gaza, three targeted before the rocket fire in response to the continued launching of incendiary kites.

Eshkol Regional Council announced that three projectiles fell inside populated communities, with one causing damage to buildings and vehicles.

Sources in Gaza said two people were lightly wounded by the IDF strikes. "The sounds and explosions reminded us of the nights of summer of 2014," a Gaza resident told Haaretz, referring to the last time Israel and Hamas waged a major conflict. According to a medical source in Gaza, the small number of wounded was the result of the strikes being focused on empty sites, including some already struck by the IDF in recent weeks.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Exchange Of Rocket Fire Between Israel And Hamas On The Gaza Border

Gaza tensions flare: IDF strikes 8 more Hamas targets as rockets barrage south -- Times of Israel
Thirty rockets launched from Gaza Strip, IDF strikes 25 Hamas targets -- Jerusalem Post
IAF Hits 3 Hamas Targets in Response to Continuing Arson Balloon Launches -- Sputnik

Tweets For Today






After Launching Laser Attacks Against U.S. Air Forces In Djibouti, Chinese Nationals Are Now Starting To Do The Same Thing In The Pacific


Popular Mechanics: Laser Attacks Against U.S. Forces Spread to the Pacific

The laser strikes follow reported incidents in Djibouti by Chinese military personnel.

Laser attacks against U.S. forces have spread out of Africa into the Pacific. U.S. personnel operating in the East China Sea area have been the victim of blinding laser attacks similar to those that took place earlier this year in Djibouti. The attacks, conducted with nonlethal lasers were reportedly carried out by Chinese nationals.

Earlier this year the Pentagon issued a NOTAM, or “Notice to Airmen” warning U.S. pilots of “unauthorized laser activity” resulting in injury to an unspecified number of U.S. personnel in the skies over Djibouti. The lasers originated on or very near China’s first overseas military base, just 8.3 miles from the American base, and according to U.S. officials, Chinese nationals were involved. The U.S. issued a formal complaint to China, which denied the accusations.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If this continues an accident is just waiting to happen.

Picture Of The Day

CH-47 Chinook helicopters drop off M777A2 155mm howitzers during sling-load operation, part of Exercise Saber Strike 18 at a military training area near Rukla, Lithuania, June 13, 2018. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ricardo Hernandez-Arocho

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Soldiers Transport Howitzers During Exercise Saber Strike 18 (US Department of Defense).

The U.S. Air Force's B-1s Will Be Flying Again This Week, But They Still Do Not Know What Is Wrong With The Ejection Seats

Ground crews prepare the B-1 bombers of the 77th Bomber squadron at RAF Fairford airbase. Reuters

Business Insider: Air Force Global Strike Command says B-1 bombers are good to fly, but is still trying to figure out what's wrong with ejection seats

* Air Force Global Strike Command says a safety stand down for its B-1 bombers will end this week.
* The stand down was prompted by a B-1 making an emergency landing in Texas in May.
* An investigation is ongoing, but the Air Force says the bombers can return to normal operations.

Air Force Global Strike Command said on Tuesday that its B-1 bombers would return to flight operations this week, after the bomber fleet was ordered to take a safety stand down on June 7.

The command, which oversees the entire Air Force bomber fleet, said at the time that it had found "an issue with ejection seat components" after a B-1 made an emergency landing in Midland, Texas, at the beginning of May.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  This will provide no comfort for the crews who will have to fly the planes.