Friday, September 4, 2015

Armed Battles Between Police And Islamists In Tajikistan Kill 17



New York Times: Clashes in Tajikistan Between Police and Islamists Kill 17

MOSCOW — Long-simmering unrest and infighting in the leadership in Tajikistan flared on Friday when the government accused a deputy defense minister of siding with Islamists in clashes with the police that killed 17 people.

Tajikistan has not been fully at peace since a civil war in the 1990s. It borders Afghanistan, and for years, the Afghan war has threatened to spill over into the country as the United States winds down its military presence in the region.

The government is wobbly, divided between an authoritarian president and an Islamist opposition group composed of former militants, in a power-sharing arrangement put in place under a 1997 peace accord that never really stuck.

More News On Armed Battles Between Police And Islamists In Tajikistan

Police Clash With Gunmen in Tajikistan, 17 Dead -- AP
Outbreak of Violence in Tajikistan Leaves 17 Dead -- WSJ
17 people killed in armed attacks organized by Tajikistan’s deputy defense minister -- RT
Tajik policemen killed in attacks on state buildings -- Al Jazeera

President Obama And King Salman Of Saudi Arabia Met At The White House On Friday



New York Times: Obama and Saudi King Sidestep Dispute Over Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON — President Obama and King Salman of Saudi Arabia met at the White House on Friday in hopes of moving past their differences four months after the king refused the president’s invitation to visit amid concerns over American negotiations with Iran.

During brief public remarks at the beginning of their meetings, neither of the leaders directly addressed the disagreement that has driven a wedge between their countries, namely the deal to lift sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Instead, they stressed a long history of cooperation and friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

More News On Today's Meeting Between President Obama And King Salman Of Saudi Arabia

Saudi king meets with Obama amid Gulf concerns over Iran deal -- Reuters
Obama reassures Saudi Arabia over Iran -- USA Today
Riyadh 'satisfied' with US assurances on Iran deal -- Al Jazeera
Obama: US Shares Saudi Concerns About Yemen, Syria -- VOA
Hosting King Salman, Obama says US shares Saudi desire for functioning government in Yemen -- AP
Washington rolls out red carpet for Saudi king to discuss bloody Yemen war, Iran, Syria -- RT
"Longstanding friendship" hailed as King meets Obama -- AFP

Tonight's Movie Is 'Men in War' (1957)



From YouTube: In Korea, on 6 September 1950, Lieutenant Benson's platoon finds itself isolated in enemy-held territory after a retreat. Soon they are joined by Sergeant Montana, whose overriding concern is caring for his catatonic colonel. Benson and Montana can't stand each other, but together they must get the survivors to Hill 465, where they hope the division is waiting. It's a long, harrowing march, fraught with all the dangers the elusive enemy can summon. Who will survive?

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 4, 2015



Anne Applebaum, Slate: Europe’s Deadly Denial

The refugee crisis is the consequence of Europe’s refusal to confront the wars on its borders.

LONDON—Picking apart the layers of irony and hypocrisy that surround the European refugee crisis is like peeling an onion without a knife. At a train station in southern Moravia, Czech Republic, police pulled 200 refugees off a train and marked numbers on their arms. On its eastern border, Hungary is building a barbed-wire fence to keep out refugees, remarkably like the barbed-wire “iron curtain” that once marked its western border. Choose whatever image you want—ships full of Jews being sent back to Nazi Europe, refugees furtively negotiating with smugglers at a bar in Casablanca—and it now has a modern twist.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 4, 2015

Europe's policy did not kill Aylan Kurdi -- Crispian Cuss, Al Jazeera

Orbán and Juncker to face off on migration -- Jacopo Barigazzi and Jan Cienski, Politico

Why Don't Gulf States Accept More Refugees? -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Amid challenges in Middle East, US and Saudi Arabia share goals -- AP

The Last Kings: Succession in the Persian Gulf -- Dana El Baltaji, Bloomberg

The horrific results of Obama’s failure in Syria -- Michael Ggerson, Washington Post

Despite Protests, Collective Self-Defence and Abe Remain -- Malcolm Cook, Lowy Institute

6 Reasons China Would Invade Taiwan -- Shannon Tiezzi, The Diplomat

If China had to choose, it would be South Korea -- Andrei Lankov, Al Jazeera

The U.S.-South Korea Military Alliance Isn't Working -- Doug Bandow, National Interest

Chechen Jihadis Leave Syria, Join the Fight in Ukraine -- Anna Nemtsova, Daily Beast

What’s Happening in Guatemala? -- Greg Grandin, The Nation

There’s No Contest. Russia and ISIS Are Most Threatening -- New York Times

The Hardest Places in the World to Visit -- Albert Podell, The Atlantic

World News Briefs -- September 4, 2015 (Evening Edition)

At least 22 soldiers fighting with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen were killed Friday. Above, people enter a damaged mosque from a hole in its wall, at the site of a car bomb attack in Yemen's capital Sanaa June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Al Jazeera: Scores of Gulf troops killed in Yemen conflict

Deadliest day for Gulf forces since Yemen conflict began kills 45 Emirati troops and five Bahraini soldiers.

Forty-five soldiers from the United Arab Emirates' military and five troops from Bahrain have been killed while taking part in a Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels, in the deadliest day for Gulf forces since the conflict began.

Pro-government Yemeni security officials said the UAE troops were killed on Friday when a Houthi missile hit a weapons storage depot near their position in the province of Marib, about 120km east of the capital Sanaa.

The UAE state news agency WAM initially put the death toll at 22 but updated it to 45 late on Friday.

MIDDLE EAST

Riyadh 'satisfied' with US assurances on Iran deal.

Hosting King Salman, Obama says US shares Saudi desire for functioning government in Yemen.

U.A.E.: 45 of its soldiers killed in Yemen.

Yemen fighting intensifies, fear of sectarian conflict grows.

Prominent anti-Assad cleric killed in Syria bombing.

Islamic State 'blows up Palmyra funerary towers'.

Putin says Syria’s president is ready for elections, compromise with rebels.

Unpaid Kurdish fighters sign of economic woes.

Turkey extends mandate enabling military operations in Syria, Iraq.

Turkish calls for Syria safe zone went unheard, Davutoglu says.

Ankara angry over refugee crisis.

Iran hints prisoner swap may be way to free jailed American journalist.

Thousands rally in Beirut over politician's presidential election call.

ASIA

Clashes in Tajikistan between police and Islamists kill 17. Eight policemen killed in Tajikistan, U.S. embassy shut.

Chinese ships headed home after Bering Sea sighting: U.S. Navy.

Philippines still leery of China despite peace promises.

China’s economic woes provide India with ‘great opportunity.

Scandal-hit Malaysian PM Najib drops speech at anti-corruption conference.

Bangkok's Erawan Shrine bomb: Main suspect 'still free'.

Thai junta hits royal critics with record jail time.

India among few bright spots in global economy, says IMF.

AFRICA

CAR warlords must face justice, UN Rights Chief says.

ICC ruling divides Kenya's ruling coalition.

Boko Haram attacks leave over 2.1 million displaced in Nigeria.

Four U.S. troops, two international peacekeepers wounded in Sinai blasts.

Twin suicide bombings kill 20 in Cameroon.

South Sudan rebels commit to new peace deal.

UN launches new round of Libya peace talks.

Lack of policy hurts Nigeria's economy as Buhari marks 100 days.

Moroccans vote in local election test for ruling Islamists.

Sierra Leone village in quarantine after Ebola death.

EUROPE

Hungary says to bus migrants to Austrian border.

Refugees break through police cordon in Hungary, run West. Drowned migrant boys buried as Hungary warns of 'mass inflow' of refugees.

France and Germany call for 'mandatory' intake of migrants.

David Cameron: UK to accept 'thousands' more Syrian refugees.

Support for Merkel drops over handling of refugee crisis.

Three-day-old ceasefire in Ukraine broken as fighting resumes in some areas.

Ahead of Greek election, Syriza's 'lost generation' deserts Tsipras.

Portugal political risk rises with election race in dead heat.

AMERICAS

Brazil, Argentina seek to resolve Colombia-Venezuela border spat.

US under new pressure to absorb Syrian refugees as Europe faces crisis.

Clinton says 'sorry' for email confusion, says she wasn't thinking.

State Department seeks to consolidate Hillary Clinton email cases in court.

Edward Snowden says Hillary Clinton 'ridiculous' to think emails were secure.

Iran deal losing support with public even as White House gains Senate votes.

Guatemala judge orders jail for ex-president Perez Molina.

Mexican probe into possible massacre of 43 students deeply flawed.

US economy adds 173,000 jobs in August.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Putin: Russia wants international anti-terror coalition.

ISIS attacks on ancient relics and religious temples branded a war crime.

The American veterans who fight ISIS.

Number of detainees ‘re-engaging’ in terrorism after Guantánamo is down.

A surprising chart of terrorist threats to America, as ranked by law enforcement.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Stocks drop about 3% for week; China, Fed eyed.

Canada's top court says Ecuadoreans can sue Chevron in Ontario.

Migrant smuggling in Europe is now worth ‘billions’.

Russia will not cut oil production: Deputy PM.

G20 promises transparency on rate moves as global economy disappoints.

The Arab World’s Wealthiest Nations Are Not Welcoming Syria’s Refugees



Washington Post: The Arab world’s wealthiest nations are doing next to nothing for Syria’s refugees

The world has been transfixed in recent weeks by the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe, an influx of migrants unprecedented since World War II. Their plight was chillingly highlighted on Wednesday in the image of a drowned Syrian toddler, his lifeless body lying alone on a Turkish beach.

A fair amount of attention has fallen on the failure of many Western governments to adequately address the burden on Syria's neighboring countries, which are struggling to host the brunt of the roughly 4 million Syrians forced out of the country by its civil war.

WNU Editor: It makes you wonder on what do these Arab nations know that we do not. But while they are doing nothing .... more to the point .... these refugees do not want to go to places like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt, Algeria, etc.. And while Lebanon and Jordan have done a lot to assist these refugees .... staying in a refugee camp is not exactly what everyone wants to find themselves living in. Before the EU migration crisis exploded a Moroccan friend told me why he immigrated to Canada 2 years ago. The Canadian government pays him to have children (that was his family's number one reason to come to Canada .... and which totally flabbergasted me), easy to start a business (he has started a cleaning and maintenance business), a social welfare system that is unheard of in the Arab world, an excellent educational system, and a proper legal system. I suspect that many of these refugees in Europe are fleeing for these same economic and family reasons .... and while security is an issue .... it is secondary to wanting to have a better life. Unfortunately .... as I tell my friends in Russia and Ukraine who do want to immigrate to Canada .... it is not as easy and simple as you like to think it is.

The Business Of Smuggling Migrants To Europe Is Now Worth 'Billions'



New York Times: Migrant Smuggling in Europe Is Now Worth ‘Billions’

BUDAPEST — With thousands of migrants pouring out of Afghanistan and the Middle East, the business of smuggling them across the Balkans into the European Union has grown even larger than the illicit trade in drugs and weapons, law enforcement officials said.

In Greece alone, there are 200 such smuggling rings, said Col. Gerald Tatzgern, head of the Austrian police service fighting human trafficking.

“It has developed into a business worth billions,” said Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the interior minister of Austria. Smugglers have spread out through the region, in Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, she added.

Their presence is evident at Budapest’s Keleti train station, where thousands have had their route to the West cut off by Hungarian officials. The smugglers’ agents roam the crowd, quietly offering rides to Austria for hundreds of dollars.

WNU Editor: If I was living in a hell-hole like Somalia or Eritrea .... and if a smuggler promised me safe passage to Canada and the start of a new life .... I would give him everything that I have. This is exactly what many of these refugees are doing .... paying thousands of dollars for a new life and living in a system that will take care of them. But here is an easy prediction .... if they are fleeing because of economic reasons (which is what many of these migrants are doing) and the hope for a better life .... they are going to be disappointed.

Are Iranian Forces Being 'Stretched' Because Of Their Involvement In Multiple Conflicts


Scott Peterson, CSM: Iran's elite military is entangled in regional wars. Mission creep?

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps projects Iranian military power across the Middle East, to the alarm of critics of the nuclear deal. But it has become entangled in protracted conflicts that are testing its limits.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY — President Obama appears to have the votes to ensure congressional approval of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, a key plank of which is an easing of economic sanctions. And one of the beneficiaries will be Iran’s primary tool for projecting power – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and especially its elite Qods Force, which handles operations abroad.

But are Iran’s wizened generals, who mostly cut their military teeth in the 1980s as teenage volunteers during the brutal Iran-Iraq War, already in danger of overreach?

For decades, American military planners aimed to be capable of simultaneously fighting – and winning – two full-blown wars in different regions. It was a challenge, even for a superpower. Today, on a much smaller scale and with a sliver of the military means, Iran is attempting the same thing in the Middle East: It is deeply engaged in Syria and Iraq; waving the flag in Yemen; and very influential in Lebanon.

WNU Editor: I do not think the Iranian leadership cares if their forces or the economy are being stretched .... their focus is on winning in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen while supporting Hamas and Hezbollah  ... and they will do what it takes to succeed.

Is China Sending A Military Message To The U.S.?



WNU Editor: Duh!!!!!

The White House Is Monitoring Reports That Russia Has Begun Military Operations In Syria,

With reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, the White House is monitoring suggestions that Russia has targeted ISIS. (AFP)

IBTimes: White House Investigating Reports That Russia Has Begun Military Operations In Syria

The White House is closely monitoring reports that Russia has begun military operations in Syria, according to a tweet from Agence France-Presse's White House reporter, Andrew Beatty. While there is no indication about who or what Russia is targeting in its alleged military operation, it's likely to be against the Islamic State group, given that the terror group openly admitted attacking a Russian military base in Dagestan on Wednesday.

Russia also shares a close diplomatic relationship with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus, which counts the Islamic State group as an enemy. This means that any operation against government-run Syria is unlikely.

Update #1: White House 'Monitoring' Reports Of Russian Military In Syria -- Radio Free Europe
Update #2: White House 'monitoring' reports Russian military is in Syria -- Middle East Online

WNU Editor: Russian President Puitin's response to these reports is interesting .... Premature to talk about Russian military action against IS: Putin (AFP). When Russians say "premature", what they actually mean is "not now" .... translating .... "they are making plans to escalate their involvement in the Syrian conflict".

U.S. To Assist Military And Diplomatic Families To Leave Turkey



Wall Street Journal: U.S. Will Help Military, Diplomatic Families Leave Turkey

Cautionary move follows start of operations at Incirlik Air Base against Islamic State

WASHINGTON—The U.S. has offered to help relatives of American military and diplomatic personnel stationed at Incirlik Air Base and a consulate in nearby Adana to leave Turkey, a cautionary move following the start of military operations at the base in August directed against the Islamic State extremist group.

Relatives aren’t being required to leave, but the U.S. government will pay for their travel if they choose to depart, officials said. Family members were notified Thursday morning eastern time at a town-hall meeting at Incirlik air base. About 350 people attended and a small number indicated they would leave the country, a military official said.

WNU Editor: I guess the terror threats and warnings are spiking.

More News On The U.S. Urging Diplomatic And Military Family Dependants To Leave Turkey

U.S. to offer families option of leaving Turkey base, consulate -- Reuters
Military, diplomatic families can leave Incirlik area, as security threat grows in Turkey -- FOX News/AP
U.S. to help military, diplomatic families leave Turkey with increased security threat -- UPI
Hundreds of military families urged to leave Turkey -- Military Times
Pentagon to help military families leave Turkey amid safety concerns -- The Hill
Pentagon Offers Evacuation to 900 US Military Dependents in Turkey -- Military.com
US Offers Americans Help in Leaving Turkey -- VOA
US Offers Families of Military Staff, Diplomats to Leave Incirlik -- Sputnik

China's Military Parade Showcased The Technology That They Have 'Stolen'



VOA: Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

BEIJING — The massive military parade in Beijing this week showcased China’s latest weapons, unveiling many to the public for the first time. But weapons experts say the systems on display showed hallmarks of China’s reputation for stealing technology and adapting it to its requirements.

The show involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft. The Chinese government said that all the equipment had been made indigenously, attesting to the success of the country’s military industrial capability and the estimated $145 billion spent on the military in 2015.

“The parade was a bazaar of stolen intellectual property,” said Michael Raska, senior fellow at the Singapore-based Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.

WNU Editor: China is denying these claims .... but no one is believing them.

Chinese Warships Reportedly Came Within 12 Nautical Miles Of US Coast


FOX News: Chinese warships spotted off Alaska coast reportedly passed through US waters

Five Chinese warships that were operating off the Alaska coast earlier this week reportedly entered U.S. territorial waters and came within 12 nautical miles of the coast, Pentagon officials told the Wall Street Journal early Friday.

China’s Defense Ministry also confirmed to the paper that its naval ships had sailed to the Bering Sea for training after a joint military exercise with Russia in late August. Officials in Beijing insisted that the activity was routine and not aimed at any particular country.

Navy Commander Bill Urban, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed to Fox News Wednesday that three surface warfare ships, one amphibious assault ship and one supply vessel from the People's Liberation Army Navy had been sighted in the Bering Sea. It was the first time that Chinese ships had been seen in the body of water separating Alaska and Russia.

Update: Chinese Navy Ships Came Within 12 Nautical Miles of U.S. Coast -- WSJ

WNU Editor: The Chinese have made their point .... they are now leaving .... Chinese ships headed home after Bering Sea sighting: U.S. Navy (Reuters).

World News Briefs -- September 4, 2015



VOA: UN Calls for Mass Migrant Relocation Program

GENEVA — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has called on the European Union to admit up to 200,000 refugees for a "mass relocation program" to ease the flood of migrants appearing at EU borders looking for shelter.

Antonio Guterres released a statement Friday asking the EU to implement a program that would require participation of all European Union states to help refugees with a valid need for protection.

MIDDLE EAST

UAE, Bahrain say 27 soldiers killed in Yemen fighting. United Arab Emirates says 22 of its troops killed in Yemen as part of Saudi-led coalition.

Islamic State 'blows up Palmyra funerary towers'.

Putin says Syria’s president is ready for elections, compromise with rebels.

Unpaid Kurdish fighters sign of economic woes.

Turkey extends mandate enabling military operations in Syria, Iraq.

Turkish calls for Syria safe zone went unheard, Davutoglu says.

Ankara angry over refugee crisis.

Saudi king to meet with Obama amid Gulf concerns over Iran deal.

ASIA

Eight policemen killed in Tajikistan, U.S. embassy shut.

Chinese ships headed home after Bering Sea sighting: U.S. Navy.

Philippines still leery of China despite peace promises.

China’s economic woes provide India with ‘great opportunity.

Scandal-hit Malaysian PM Najib drops speech at anti-corruption conference.

Bangkok's Erawan Shrine bomb: Main suspect 'still free'.

Thai junta hits royal critics with record jail time.

AFRICA

Four U.S. troops, two international peacekeepers wounded in Sinai blasts.

Twin suicide bombings kill 20 in Cameroon.

South Sudan rebels commit to new peace deal.

UN launches new round of Libya peace talks.

Lack of policy hurts Nigeria's economy as Buhari marks 100 days.

Moroccans vote in local election test for ruling Islamists.

Sierra Leone village in quarantine after Ebola death.

EUROPE

Refugees break through police cordon in Hungary, run West. Drowned migrant boys buried as Hungary warns of 'mass inflow' of refugees.

France and Germany call for 'mandatory' intake of migrants.

David Cameron: UK to accept 'thousands' more Syrian refugees.

Support for Merkel drops over handling of refugee crisis.

Three-day-old ceasefire in Ukraine broken as fighting resumes in some areas.

Ahead of Greek election, Syriza's 'lost generation' deserts Tsipras.

Portugal political risk rises with election race in dead heat.

AMERICAS

US under new pressure to absorb Syrian refugees as Europe faces crisis.

State Department seeks to consolidate Hillary Clinton email cases in court.

Edward Snowden says Hillary Clinton 'ridiculous' to think emails were secure.

Iran deal losing support with public even as White House gains Senate votes.

Guatemala judge orders jail for ex-president Perez Molina.

Mexican probe into possible massacre of 43 students deeply flawed.

US economy adds 173,000 jobs in August.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

The American veterans who fight ISIS.

Number of detainees ‘re-engaging’ in terrorism after Guantánamo is down.

A surprising chart of terrorist threats to America, as ranked by law enforcement.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Migrant smuggling in Europe is now worth ‘billions’.

Russia will not cut oil production: Deputy PM.

G20 promises transparency on rate moves as global economy disappoints.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 4, 2015


Defense Tech: China Debuts ‘Carrier Killer’ Missiles in Military March

China’s military parade on Thursday in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender during World War II was notable not only for its massive troop formations, but also its missiles.

As expected, the People’s Liberation Army featured several types of missiles from the Dongfeng (“East Wind”) family, including the DF-10 anti-ship missile, DF-15B short-range ballistic missile, DF-16 and DF-21D medium-range ballistic missiles, DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile, and the DF-5B and DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles — a handful of which made their public debut.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 4, 2015

China Reveals Two New 'Carrier-Killer' Ballistic Missiles -- War Is Boring

How Russia Is Helping China Develop its Naval Power -- Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat

After troop cuts, China military warns reforms will be hard -- Reuters

Revealed: This Is How China Plans to Modernize Its Military -- Lauren Dickey, National Interest

Is China sending a military message to the U.S.? -- CNN

Malaysia and U.S. in Talks to Ramp Up China Spying -- Bloomberg

Taiwanese President Discredits Beijing’s Lavish Military Celebration -- Time

India’s nuclear outlook focused towards China: Report -- Pakistan Today

White House Investigating Reports That Russia Has Begun Military Operations In Syria -- IBTimes

World's Largest Sub Leaves Port for Arctic War Games -- Sputnik

Russia’s Deadliest Sub Is Heading to the Pacific -- The Diplomat

Russian Strategic Missile Forces start military drills — Defense Ministry -- Tass

Tokyo’s First Major Military Export Will Be a Seaplane -- War Is Boring

Taiwan to launch homegrown submarine plan with initial T$3 billion budget -- Today

Indonesia plans to buy 16 Russian Su-35 fighter jets — media -- TASS

UAE Confirms Interest in Mistral Ship -- Defense News

NATO Funding Shortfalls Likely to Continue -- National Defense

Opening ceremony for Nato command units in Eastern Europe -- BBC

Pentagon closely watching Russian ‘spying’ vessel off US coast – reports -- RT

US military ordering troops in Iraq to dust off chemical weapon suits -- FOX News

F-35B Declared Combat Ready, but More Development Remains -- National Defense

Pentagon to help military families leave Turkey amid safety concerns -- The Hill

Lawmakers Offer A Way Out of US Navy Minehunting Mess -- Defense News

Ash Carter: Iran deal features defense backstop -- Defense News

Ex-Pentagon budget chief warns of potential nightmare scenario -- The Hill

VA’s record of waste, fraud and abuse keeps piling up -- Washington Times

Pentagon discloses new problems in widening anthrax investigation -- Washington Post

Pentagon halts work with bioterror germs at 9 labs -- USA Today

US submarine force in the Pacific gets new commander -- AP

The number of child abuse cases in the military hits a decade high -- Washington Post

More obstacles crumble for women in the military -- Jena McGregor, Washington Post

Taiwan Intelligence: China Is Building Two Aircraft Carriers

China's first aircraft carrier, a retrofitted Soviet-era aircraft carrier that China bought in 1998, is seen docked at Dalian Port, in Liaoning province, on Sept. 22, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Reuters: China building two aircraft carriers: Taiwan defense ministry report

China is building two aircraft carriers that will be the same size as its sole carrier, a 60,000-tonne refurbished Soviet-era ship, according to a new Taiwanese Defence Ministry report on the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Little is known about China's aircraft carrier program, which is a state secret, although Chinese state media have hinted new vessels are being built. The Pentagon, in a report earlier this year, said Beijing could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.

One of the new vessels is being built in Shanghai and the other in the northeastern city of Dalian, said the Taiwanese report, which was obtained by Reuters.

It gave no estimate for when construction would be finished.

Update: China Building Two Aircraft Carriers, According to Taiwanese Intelligence -- Sputnik

WNU Editor: Details are sparse, but China has in the past indicated that their long term plans are to build two or more aircraft carriers.

22 U.A.E. Soldiers Killed While Serving With Saudi-Led Coalition Forces In Yemen

BBC

Wall Street Journal: U.A.E. Says 22 Military Personnel Killed Since Joining Saudi-led Coalition

Men died as part of bid to defeat Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, military officials said

The United Arab Emirates has lost 22 military personnel since it joined a Saudi Arabia-led coalition to defeat Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, military officials said Friday, as the battle widens from an air campaign to fighting on the ground.

The men died while “performing their national duty,” officials from the U.A.E.’s military headquarters said, in a statement on state-controlled news agency WAM. It didn’t disclose how the soldiers had died; nor when or where the deaths occurred.

More News On Reports That 22 U.A.E. Soldiers Were Killed While Serving With Saudi-Led Coalition Forces In Yemen

UAE says 22 soldiers killed in Yemen - WAM -- Reuters
Yemen crisis: UAE soldiers 'killed by blasts at camp' -- BBC
UAE says 22 Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen -- Al Jazeera
22 Emirati Troops in Saudi-Led Coalition Killed in Yemen -- AP
Yemen Conflict: 22 Emirati Soldiers Killed While Serving With Saudi-Led Coalition Forces -- IBTimes
22 UAE servicemen die in Yemen -- The National
U.A.E. Says 22 Troops Fighting for Coalition Killed in Yemen -- Bloomberg

Islamic State Video Footage Shows Missile Hitting Egyptian Navy Ship In The Mediterranean


Mirror: Astonishing ISIS footage shows heart-stopping moment missile hits navy ship in Mediterranean 

The militants fired a deadly rocket salvo at the Egyptian patrol boat which burst into flames as it patrolled the Mediterranean off northern Sinai. 

ISIS forces have released an astonishing video showing a dramatic rocket attack on a navy ship.

Jihadis loyal to the terror group fired a deadly rocket salvo at the Egyptian patrol boat which burst into flames as it patrolled the Mediterranean off northern Sinai in July.

A coastguard vessel just two miles out to sea had earlier opened fire on militants on the coast of northern Sinai, which borders Israel and Gaza. When heavily armed fighters fired back they opened up with suspected rocket propelled grenades which smashed into the boat’s side, exploding on impact.

WNU Editor: The Islamic State in Sinai also released video footage showing how well armed they have become .... Watch: New video shows ISIS in Sinai likely has advanced Russian weapons (Jerusalem Post). More here .... Daesh affiliate in Sinai shows off advanced weaponry in new video (Al Bawaba).

4 U.S. Soldiers And 2 Other Peacekeepers Injured In Sinai IED Attack


FOX News/AP: 6 peacekeepers, including 4 US soldiers, injured in Sinai explosions, Pentagon announces

The Defense Department announced late Thursday that four U.S. soldiers and two Multinational Force and Observers' peacekeepers were injured by improvised explosive devices in the northeast Sinai region of Egypt.

The Pentagon said the injured soldiers were airlifted to a medical facility, where they were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The department did not identify the wounded personnel.

Capt. Jeff Davis, Director of Press Operations, said in a statement "the safety and security of U.S. forces remains our top priority and we are committed to taking necessary steps for their protection."

More News On Today's Sinai IED Attack That Injured 6 Peacekeepers

Four U.S. troops, two international peacekeepers wounded in Sinai blasts -- Washington Post
Sinai blasts injure six peacekeepers, including four Americans: Pentagon -- reuters
Four American troops injured in IED attacks in Sinai -- Army Times

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Has Trouble Explaining Why There Is No Political Consensus For The Iranian Nuclear Deal



National Journal: John Kerry, Avoiding Iran Deal Victory Lap, Stays on Defense

In a speech Wednesday after the administration secured a crucial Senate vote, the secretary of State continued to decry a now-unlikely rejection.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion just got what it needed to en­sure the health of the Ir­an nuc­le­ar deal, but John Kerry isn’t tak­ing a vic­tory lap.

In a hour-long speech Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Kerry be­trayed none of the con­fid­ence the ad­min­is­tra­tion was likely feel­ing after se­cur­ing its cru­cial 34th Sen­ate vote in sup­port of the agree­ment.

Call­ing Con­gress’s up­com­ing vote on the deal one of the most im­port­ant for­eign policy de­cisions in re­cent his­tory, Kerry said any re­jec­tion of this agree­ment would show a lack of strength on the part of the Amer­ic­an people.

WNU Editor: There is no Republican support for this treaty, and even many Democrats are reluctant to support it. As I have mentioned in previous posts .... this is the first time that I have seen an important piece of U.S. legislation pertaining to a very important and critical foreign policy issue be implemented even though it is supported by only a minority in Congress .... and only from one party.

U.S. Troops In Iraq Warned To Be Prepare For A Chemical Attack From The Islamic State

July 20, 2015: U.S. Army soldiers look at a F-16 fighter jet during an official ceremony to receive four of these aircrafts from the U.S., at a military base in Balad, Iraq. (Reuters)

FOX News: US military ordering troops in Iraq to dust off chemical weapon suits

The U.S. military has ordered its nearly 3,500 troops stationed in Iraq to reacquaint themselves with their chemical weapons suits due to evidence that the Islamic State has obtained chemical weapons and used them on multiple occasions.

“It is a precautionary measure,” a defense official told Fox News, acknowledging the order.

During a briefing Thursday, the Pentagon would not publicly confirm the order but reassured reporters that the military is prepared to handle a chemical attack by ISIS.

WNU Editor: These warnings are prudent. ISIS has used chemical weapons in the past .... a chemical attack on a U.S. base in Iraq would be (in their eyes) a huge propaganda win.

The Case On Hillary Clinton's Emails Has Just Gotten Interesting

WHAT EMAILS? The Obama administration could have procured an unspecified cache of Hillary Clinton's emails durign the summer but its agents found their hands were tied

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: Hillary's emails WERE for sale on the open market but the Obama administration didn't go after them, says US intelligence official

* A US intel agency knew during the summer that someone was marketing a tranche of Hillary Clinton's private emails
* But the Obama adinistration never cleared its spooks to obtain them
* 'Opportunities were missed,' an intelligence official told DailyMail.com
* Revelation is separate from debunked claims that a hacker had put Clinton's entire email collection on the market for $500,000

A U.S. intelligence agency was aware during the summer that a collection of Hillary Clinton's emails was available for sale, but never gave its agents permission to obtain them, DailyMail.com can reveal.

A well-placed official inside the agency told DailyMail.com about the U.S. government's interactions with an eastern European man who put them on the market, and said the U.S. could have obtained them.

That discussion was spurred by a dubious claim from the gossip website Radar Online that 32,000 messages from Hillary Clinton's now infamous private email account were for sale with an alleged asking price of $500,000.

Update: Hacker Threatens To Sell Hillary Clinton’s ENTIRE UNRELEASED Private Emails For $500K -- Radar Online

WNU Editor: It is hard to very any of these stories .... but if true it tells me that it is only a matter of time before most (if no all) of these emails will end up in the public domain.