Saturday, June 24, 2017

A History Of U.S. Navy Ship Collisions

Popular Mechanics: A Brief History of U.S. Navy Ship Collisions

Collisions involving U.S. ships are more common than you might think.

U.S. Navy ships operate in close proximity to other ships all the time, from steaming in formation with supply ships to sailing in busy sea lanes. Inadvertent contact between ships, no matter how thorough the precautions, is inevitable.

Today's New York Times includes a list of collisions involving U.S. Navy vessels at sea. The list includes the famous USS John F. Kennedy/USS Belknap collision, which resulted in the guided missile cruiser's superstructure being virtually sheared off. It also lists the sinking of the Spanish fishing boat Barcona, which accidentally snagged the attack submarine USS Houston and was dragged underwater.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video accurately represents how tense and confrontational the Cold War really was.

National Geographic Documentary 2016 - Future Fighter Planes (Video)

F-35B To resume Flying After Software Glitches Grounded The Jet For A Day

USNI News: UPDATED: F-35B Operations in Yuma Resume After Temporary Halt Due to Software Update Issues

Flight operations in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 resumed after a temporary one-day suspension to fix a problem related to a software update with the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, the Marine Corps announced.

“Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, Commanding General of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, made the decision to temporarily suspend VMFA-211 flight operations pending fixes to a recent ALIS software upgrade within version 2.0.2 that has presented some anomalies,” 3rd Aircraft Wing spokesman Maj. Kurt Stahl said in a Thursday afternoon statement, noting that those anomalies “are related to maintenance codes not being reflected properly in the system.”

Read more ....

Update: U.S. Marine Corps to Resume F-35 Operations a Day After Suspension at Arizona Base (Reuters)

WNU Editor: For an explanation of the above video and the role that software has in the F-35 program, go here .... Lockheed Made A Three Minute Long Cartoon Just To Explain F-35's ALIS (The Drive).

Chinese Deploys Sub-Hunting Aircraft To The South China Sea

© DigitalGlobe

Defense News: China deploys new anti-submarine aircraft to fringes of South China Sea

MELBOURNE, Australia — China has deployed its newest anti-submarine aircraft and stepped up unmanned aircraft deployments to Hainan island on the fringes of the South China Sea, according to satellite imagery obtained by Defense News.

Satellite photos taken on May 10 and May 20 by commercial satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe showed four Shaanxi Y-8Q turboprop aircraft with its distinctive magnetic anomaly detector boom parked on the ground at Lingshui Air Base in the southeastern part of China’s Hainan island.

Read more ....

Update: Chinese Sub-Hunting Aircraft, Drones Now Patrolling South China Sea (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: Apparently the Chinese are developing some impressive tech on detecting submarines .... Has China developed the world’s most powerful submarine detector? (South China Morning Post)

Russia's Next-Generation Main Battle Tank Can Fire Missiles At Twice The Range Of America's Abrams Tank

T-14 tanks with the Armata Universal Combat Platforms. © SPUTNIK/ EVGENY BIYATOV

Popular Mechanics: Russia's T-14 Tank Can Outshoot America's by Miles

The T-14 Armata will kill tanks from three times as far, but does it matter?

Russia's next-generation main battle tank can fire an anti-tank missile at targets more than seven miles away. That gives the T-14 Armata tank, set to begin testing with the Russian Army in 2019, nearly twice the range of the America's latest version of the venerable Abrams, the M1A2 SEP V3. Whether this extended range is all the useful is another matter.

The T-14 is a formidable-looking beast. Armed with a new 125-millimeter main gun, an unmanned turret, modular armor, and an active protection system designed to shoot down incoming missiles, the vehicle has caused a stir within NATO's tank community. One particularly dangerous feature is the Armata's ability to destroy targets at ranges of up to 12 kilometers, or 7.4 miles.

Read more ....

WNU editor: If the enemy has the ability to fire at you at a range that you cannot .... that never ends well for the one who cannot fire back.

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Has Been Barred From Running In Next Year's Presidential Election

BBC: Alexei Navalny barred from Russia presidential poll

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been formally barred from standing in next year's presidential election.

The Central Electoral Commission has ruled he may not stand because he was found guilty of embezzlement and given a suspended sentence.

Mr Navalny has said the case against him was politically motivated.

The anti-corruption campaigner led mass street protests against Vladimir Putin in the winter of 2011-12.

Mr Putin is eligible to stand again for president next year - it would be his fourth term in office - though he has not yet announced his decision.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: His anti-corruption campaign against Putin and his political party are resonating with the Russian public .... and the Kremlin is worried. But barring him is only going to enhance his support and make his followers more determined.

More News On Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Being Barred From Running In Next Year's Presidential Election

Russia's election commission says Navalny can not run for presidency -- Reuters
Navalny barred from Russia's presidential election -- DW
Russian Commission Rules Navalny Can't Run For President -- RFE
Putin critic Alexei Navalny banned from presidential election -- SKY News
Russian Opposition Figure Navalny Not Entitled to Be Elected - Commission -- Sputnik

An Inside Look At The Secret Lives Of Young Islamic State Fighters

BBC: The secret lives of young IS fighters

Three young IS militants lie dead on the banks of the River Tigris.

They left behind personal photos and documents which reveal the extraordinary story of their private lives.

Warning: Disturbing content

Mohammed is giddy with excitement as he films the discovery of three IS fighters on his mobile phone.

“Shoot him,” he shouts, gesturing at one of them.

His nervousness gives him away as the unit’s cook. He’s unarmed, but his fellow soldiers from the Iraqi police special forces - known as the Emergency Response Division - are armed to the teeth and are not taking any chances.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A look at what life was like for young ISIS fighters. A must read.

Tweet For Today

Are There Any Options For The U.S. And The International Community In Afghanistan?


Bennett Seftel, Cipher Brief: U.S. Running Out of Options in Afghanistan

The U.S. war in Afghanistan has entered into its 16th year with no end in sight. With the battle against the Taliban essentially mired in a stalemate and the Afghan government failing to address endemic corruption and countrywide economic woes, there appear to be no good options for moving forward.

“Today the Trump Administration faces the choice of losing quickly by withdrawing from Afghanistan, losing slowly by staying at the current, clearly inadequate levels of commitment, or not losing by increasing that commitment enough to maintain a stalemate on the battlefield,” says Cipher Brief expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Jim Dobbins.

Read more ....

WNU editor: A sobering analysis .... read it all.

Hat tip to Fred for this link.

Picture Of The Day

Revelers watch the sunrise as they celebrate the pagan festival of Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England on June 21. © AFP 2017/ CHRIS J RATCLIFFE

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures (Sputnik)

Opium Production Continues To Boom In Afghanistan

Afghan men work on a poppy field in Jalalabad province. © Parwiz / Reuters

RT: ‘World fails miserably to stop opium threat’: RT reports from drug factory Afghanistan

Opiate production in Afghanistan has increased markedly since the US-led invasion in 2001, leading addiction rates to skyrocket. Meanwhile, the UN said this week that opioids are the world’s “most harmful drug type.” RT investigated the problem in Kabul.

Though only a tiny fraction of the opiates produced in Afghanistan are used domestically, the effects are devastating the local population. An RT crew found an infamous nest of drug addicts in a dry riverbed right in the middle of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Read more ....

WNU editor: This The biggest victims to this explosion of opium production are becoming the Afghans themselves .... Opium use booms in Afghanistan, creating a ‘silent tsunami’ of addicted women (Washington Post).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Taliban Leader Wants U.S. And NATO Forces Out Of Afghanistan

Photo: Taliban new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is seen in an undated photograph, posted on a Taliban twitter feed on May 25, 2016, and identified separately by several Taliban officials, who declined be named. Social Media/File Photo

DW: Afghanistan: Taliban leader wants US and NATO troops out

The Taliban head in Afghanistan has issued a statement demanding US and NATO troops get out of the country. But he also indicated that constructive diplomatic relations could be possible if his demands were met.

Marking the Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada issued a statement on Friday calling on US and NATO troops to leave Afghanistan.

"The occupation is the main obstacle in the way of peace," he said, reiterating previous similar Taliban messages. "The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify."

Read more ....

More News On The Afghan Taliban Leader Wanting U.S. And NATO Forces Out Of Afghanistan

Taliban Say U.S. Must Quit Afghanistan for Peace -- US News and World report/Reuters
Taliban leader: Afghan war will end only when NATO leaves -- AP
Taliban says foreign troops must go before peace talks as US plans 4,000-strong surge -- RT
Taliban Leader Demands US, NATO Troops Leave Afghanistan -- Sputnik
Taliban Chief: US Troop Surge a 'Mistake' -- VOA

Hezbollah Leader Says Any Future War With Israel Will Draw Hundreds of Thousands Of Fighters From Across The Arab World

People watch Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he appears on a screen during a live broadcast to speak to his supporters at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah

Reuters: Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that a future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon could draw thousands of fighters from countries including Iran and Iraq.

His comments indicated that the same array of Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias - but not countries - currently fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad could take part in any future conflict with Israel.

Tensions have risen between Hezbollah and its longtime foe Israel in recent months since Donald Trump became U.S. president with his tough talk against Iran. Israel's air force chief said his country would use all its strength from the start in any new war with Hezbollah.

Read more ....

More News On Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Saying That Any Future War With Israel Will Draw Hundreds of Thousands Of Fighters From Across The Arab World

Hezbollah says 'thousands' of fighters to respond if Israel attacks -- AFP
Hezbollah's Nasrallah: War With Israel Could Draw Hundreds of Thousands of Fighters From Across Arab World -- Haaretz
Hezbollah chief warns Israel against starting war with Lebanon -- i24
Hezbollah head: 'Hundreds of thousands' of Muslim fighters will respond if Israel attacks -- The Times of Israel

Saudi Security Forces Have Foiled An Attack On The Grand Mosque In Mecca

General view of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Reuters: Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca: state TV

Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported.

Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targetted worshipers at the mosque, it said.

Neither Al Arabiya nor Al-Ekhbariya gave any further details.

Read more ....

More News On Saudi Security Forces Foiling An Attack On The Grand Mosque In Mecca

Five arrested after Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca -- Al Arabiya
Saudis 'foil suicide attack' on Mecca's Grand Mosque -- BBC
Saudi police 'foil Mecca Grand Mosque attack' -- Al Jazeera
Report: Saudis say purported terror attack on Mecca's Grand Mosque foiled -- USA Today
Saudis foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca -- CNN
Saudi security forces foil suicide bomb attack on Mecca's Grand Mosque -- The Telegraph.
Police foil 'terrorist action' in Mecca: state TV -- AFP
Saudi security forces foil Mecca terror plot -- DW
Bomber planning an attack on Grand Mosque blew himself up: Interior Ministry -- Reuters

Tonight's Movie Is 'A Twist Of Sand'

From Wikipedia: A Twist of Sand is a 1968 British adventure film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Richard Johnson, Jeremy Kemp, Honor Blackman and Peter Vaughan[1] based on the novel by Geoffrey Jenkins.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 23, 2017

Patrick Cockburn, The Independent: Isis may be leaderless and facing defeat in Mosul, but the jihadis will fight on

Terror group has always been able to take root and grow out of chaos and war – and will continue to wreak havoc around the world

The blowing up by Isis of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul marks a decisive defeat for the caliphate declared by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the same mosque three years ago. Isis will continue fighting as a guerrilla force, but it will be the end of a state once the size of Great Britain and fielding a military force more powerful than many members of the United Nations. Presumably Isis decided to destroy the ancient mosque and its famous minaret, a symbol of Mosul, to prevent the Iraqi security forces triumphantly raising the Iraqi flag over a place so closely associated with Isis.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 23, 2017

Is ISIS Conceding Defeat? -- Robin Wright, The New Yorker

When the Battle for Mosul Ends, the Fight for Iraq Begins -- Kawa Hassan, National Interest

Satellite Images Reveal Mosul's Cultural Destruction -- Kristin Romey, National Geographic

If Russia Wants the Syria Mess, Let Them Have It -- Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest

Instability and Salman's Nepotistic Power Play -- Paul Pillar, National Interest

Saudi Arabia and the United States Are on a Collision Course With Iran -- Ashish Kumar Sen, RCD/Atlantic Council

How long can Qatar’s economy withstand sanctions? -- Sami Moubayed, Asia Times

Ghost Cities, Demographic Lessons From Japan To China -- Kondo Daisuke, World Crunch

In China's far west the 'perfect police state' is emerging -- Tom Phillips, The Guardian

Here’s Why China’s Supposed Influence Over North Korea Is A Bluff -- Xander Snyder, Maulden Economics

North Korea Is No Place for U.S. Tourists -- Bloomberg editorial

America Is Now a ‘Second Tier’ Country -- Eric Roston, Bloomberg

Key Chavistas Abandon Maduro as Crisis Intensifies -- Andrew Rosati and Fabiola Zerpa, Bloomberg

How Amazon Could Dominate 3 Megatrends of the 21st Century -- Michael Hodin, The Fiscal Time

Where the World’s Wealthiest Spend Their Weekends -- James Tarmy, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- June 23, 2017 (Evening Edition)

Reuters: Arab states issue ultimatum to Qatar: close Jazeera, curb ties with Iran

Four Arab states that imposed a boycott on Qatar have issued an ultimatum to Doha to close Al Jazeera television, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish base and pay reparations, demands so far reaching it would appear to be hard for Doha to comply.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have sent a 13-point list of demands apparently aimed at dismantling their tiny but wealthy neighbor's two decade-old interventionist foreign policy which has incensed them.

Qatar did not immediately comment, but Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani had said on Monday Qatar would not negotiate with the four states until economic, diplomatic and travel ties cut this month were restored.

Read more ....


Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere.

Iraq PM: Mosul liberation to be announced in few days.

Bomber sows death among civilians fleeing Mosul.

Syria hotline for US and Russia still in use: US.

Damascus-allied militia advances into Deir al-Zor province: Syrian Observatory.

Raqqa: The desperate fight for Islamic State group's 'capital'.

Russian warships fire Kalibr cruise missiles, destroy IS arms depots in Syria. Russian warships & sub launch cruise missile attack on ISIS targets in Syria (VIDEO).

Gulf crisis: Qatar's neighbors issue ultimatum, call for Al-Jazeera shutdown.

UAE says will not back down in dispute if Qatar declines to cooperate.

Turkey dismisses demand to close Qatar military base.

White House dubs Gulf crisis 'a family issue'.

Iran nuclear chief urges West to save historic deal.

Yemen cholera cases could jump to 300,000 by September: UN.


Separate blasts kill 40 in Pakistan: police. 40 people killed in bomb, gun attacks in 3 Pakistani cities. Twin blasts kill dozens in Parachinar market. Pakistan bombings kill several in Quetta and Parachinar.

Afghanistan: Taliban leader wants US and NATO troops out.

Australia to send spy planes to help Philippines fight militants.

Philippine army struggles to dislodge Maute fighters from Marawi.

North Korea says U.S. student's death a 'mystery to us as well'.

Moon: South Korea must be able to 'dominate' Pyongyang.

Poll: Most South Koreans support inter-Korean dialogue.

North Korea to discuss co-hosting 2018 Olympic Games.

Japan politician: North Koreans should be 'starved to death' for threats.

Key lawmaker wants US to defriend Pakistan.

Otto Warmbier: North Korea denies mistreating US student.

Former Khmer Rouge leader denies role in Cambodian genocide.


Nigeria sends in troops, police after ethnic clashes.

U.N. begins investigation of Congo killings.

EU states slammed for lack of support to Africa fund.

EU leaders boost support for Libya to halt migrant exodus.

South Sudan forces purged villages in oil region, group says.

Somali pirates target ships in the Indian Ocean.

Congo peacekeepers exit CAR mission after sex abuse charges.

Chagos legal status sent to international court by UN.

Zimbabwe VP pledges 'free and fair' election in 2018.

Food aid dwindling in world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.


EU will restrict visas for states not taking back migrants.

France's Macron, eastern Europeans try to mend fences.

German police brace for violent protests at G20 summit.

Brexit: EU leaders says UK offer could 'worsen situation'. Skepticism in Brussels over Britain's post-Brexit promise for EU citizens.

EU moves to boost military cooperation.

Alexei Navalny barred from Russia presidential poll.

Ukrainian president leaves Washington buoyed by Trump's support.

France's Macron puts national security at heart of foreign policy.

London police consider manslaughter over Grenfell Tower fire.

Sicily's cornered Mafia primed for reversal of fortune.


White House spokesman does not rule out Trump-Putin July meeting in Germany.

Trump casts doubt on Russia investigator Mueller.

Trump suggests he was trying to keep FBI director honest.

US Senate healthcare bill suffers swift blow as four GOP senators voice opposition.

Supreme Court could reveal action on travel ban at any time.

Slain Venezuelan protester's father appeals to 'friend' Maduro.

One killed as Venezuelan troops fire on protesters.

May was Mexico's deadliest month on record with 2,186 homicides.

Mexican president denies spying on journalists, lawyers and activists.

Peru's PM to double as finance minister after no-confidence vote.

Peru's president eyes pardon for Fujimori after political blow.

United States suspends all Brazilian meat imports.


U.S.-led coalition unsure if Islamic State's Baghdadi dead or alive.

Islamic State: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia pledge to thwart penetration of South-East Asia.

If Baghdadi death confirmed, next IS leader likely to be Saddam-era officer.

Hamza bin Laden, Osama's son, is helping Al-Qaeda stage a deadly comeback.


Tech, energy shares lift Wall Street.

Airbus sells 73 planes to two Iranian carriers.

Troubled Toshiba flags deeper losses.

EU promises tough line on U.S., China while pushing for free trade.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates June 23, 2017

Al Jazeera: Iraq PM: Mosul liberation to be announced in a few days

Al-Abadi made the announcement as government troops were pushing into Bab al-Beed neighbourhood in Mosul's Old City.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that the "liberation" of the city of Mosul from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL - also known as ISIS) will be announced in a few days.

"It's a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul," Abadi told reporters on Thursday, according to Baghdad-based Sumaria TV.

The announcement came as Iraqi forces were continuing the fight against ISIL fighters in their last stronghold in western Mosul, the city's old town.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video is a must see.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates June 23, 2017

Iraqi forces battle toward heart of Mosul's Old City -- Reuters
Islamic State make a last stand in Mosul's Old City amid intense fighting -- SKY News
Deep in Mosul, US forces help Iraqis fight the jihadists -- The Australian/AFP
ISIS Holdouts Cut Off in Western Mosul, OIR Spokesman Says -- US Department of Defense
Mosul’s 800-year-old Great Mosque of al-Nuri destroyed as Iraqi troops close in on ISIS -- Yahoo News
Watch: ISIS blows up historic mosque in Mosul -- Washington Examiner
Anger in Mosul as Islamic State destroys historic mosque -- New York Daily News
Bomber sows death among civilians fleeing Mosul -- AFP
Hell on earth: Mosul civilians flee as IS makes last stand -- Middle East Monitor
Iraqi PM: Complete control over Mosul in the coming days -- RUDAW
Mosul to be liberated in a few days, says Iraqi PM -- TRT
After Mosul: The Iraqi towns still under IS control -- BBC