Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The F-22 May Be The Best Fighter In The World, But The French Were Able To Shoot One Down (In A Training Exercise Of Course)


National Interest: America's F-22 Raptor Is the Best Fighter In the World (But France 'Shot' One Down)

Eight times during a two-week war game in Alaska, individual German Typhoons flew against single F-22s in basic fighter maneuvers meant to simulate close-range dogfights. “We were evenly matched,” German Maj. Marc Gruene told Combat Aircraft.

Past evidence seems to confirms that a French fighter pilot once “killed” an American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter in mock combat.

Although not unprecedented, the simulated shoot-down is still a big deal for a couple reasons.

For one, the Lockheed Martin-made F-22 is supposed to be the most fearsome warplane in history, a quarter-billion-dollar-per-plane technological marvel that flies higher and faster than its opponents while avoiding detection by radar. The Pentagon is counting on a tiny number of the pricey Raptors — slightly more than 180 — to ward off potentially much larger numbers of enemy planes for the foreseeable future. Every mock dogfight the F-22 loses undermines the Pentagon’s plans for air dominance.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: They probably blamed the F-22 pilot.

West Point ‘Commie Officer’ Gets Other-Than-Honorable Discharge From US Military



Washington Times: 'Communism will win' officer receives 'other than honorable' discharge from Army

Spenser Rapone, the former second lieutenant whose “Communism will win” photos went viral in 2017, has received an “other than honorable” discharge from the Army.

The former West Point cadet who called himself “Commie Beebop” on Twitter rejoined civilian life without an honorable discharge. Mr. Rapone used the social media platform on Wednesday to promote an upcoming Socialism 2018 talk in Chicago titled “War Resister in the Ranks.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He should never have joined the U.S. military.

More News On The US Soldier Who Said ‘Communism Will Win’ And Wore Che Guevara T-Shirt To Graduation Has Been Kicked Out O The U.S. Army

US Army boots West Point officer who touted communist revolution during graduation ceremony -- USA Today/AP
Army’s ‘Commie Cadet’ Disciplined; Masses Fail To Rise Up -- Task & Purpose
Update: Communist Ranger and West Pointer receives an Other Than Honorable discharge -- SOFREP
‘Commie Cadet’ Gets Other-Than-Honorable Discharge from US Military -- Sputnik
'Commie cadet' who wore Che Guevara T-shirt kicked out of US army -- The Guardian
'Commie Cadet' quits the army: Officer who wore a Che Guevara T-shirt under his uniform and scrawled 'communism will win' on his hat at his West Point graduation goes with 'one final salute' -- Daily Mail
US soldier who said ‘communism will win’ and wore Che Guevara T-shirt to graduation kicked out of army -- The Independent

Update: Aside from giving the finger to the U.S. military .... ‘Commie Cadet’ sends vulgar message on his way out of the Army (Army Times), he still believes in his "cause" (see below) .....


U.S. Officials Expect North Korea Will Be Transferring Remains Of U.S. Troops Soon

FILE PHOTO: A member of the U.S. military is seen through the trees walking with the Korean War Veterans Memorial in the foreground in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Reuters: North Korea expected to begin transferring remains of U.S. troops soon: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea could start the process of handing over the remains of troops, including Americans, missing from the Korean War within the next few days, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea would hand over the remains to United Nations Command in South Korea, and they would then be transferred to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

One official said “a sizable number” of remains were expected to be handed over, but declined to give a specific number given the unpredictability of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It could take months or even years before the remains are positively identified, the officials added.

U.S. President Donald Trump met with Kim at a historic summit last week in Singapore.

Read more ....

Update: US expecting North Korea to return troop remains in coming days (CNN)

WNU Editor: Identifying these remains is going to take a long time .... but at least the process is about to begin.

Former FBI Head Of Counter-Intelligence Escorted Out Of The FBI Building



The Hill: FBI agent Peter Strzok escorted from building amid internal review

FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok was escorted from the building amid an internal review of his conduct, his lawyer confirmed Tuesday.

Strzok, who had a central role in the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State, was reportedly escorted from the FBI building on Friday amid an internal review of his conduct.

"Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks," his attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement Tuesday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No one else is covering this story .... IG confirms he is reviewing whether Strzok's anti-Trump bias impacted launch of Russia probe (FOX News).

More News On Former FBI Head Of Counter-Intelligence Being Escort Out Of The FBI Building

Lawyer: Agent booted off Mueller team escorted from FBI HQ -- AP
FBI agent who said 'we'll stop' Trump from becoming president escorted from building, though he remains a bureau employee -- Washington Post
Embattled agent Peter Strzok escorted from FBI headquarters -- Politico
FBI Agent Peter Strzok, author of anti-Trump text messages, escorted out of bureau headquarters but still employed: Lawyer -- CNBC
FBI agent Peter Strzok ‘escorted’ from FBI building, lawyer confirms -- FOX News
FBI lover Peter Strzok is escorted OUT of the agency but still in a job after his 'Stop Trump' message was revealed -- Daily Mail

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 19, 2018

President Donald Trump, with Yun Hyang Lee at his side, speaks to North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their expanded bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Jonathan Ernst—Reuters.

Joseph R. DeTrani, The Hill: The Singapore summit — the beginning of an important journey

One year ago, possible conflict on the Korean Peninsula was a widespread concern. Today, there’s hope that agreements reached at the Singapore summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un will bring peace to the peninsula. Peace for the 75 million people living in South and North Korea. Peace that translates into significant economic and humanitarian advances in the North, and the removal of the cloud of potential conflict that has threatened the South for 65 years.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 19, 2018

Kim arrives in Beijing on third China trip in three months -- Andrew Salmon, Asia Times

The US and South Korea have canceled a key military exercise—just as China wanted -- Steve Mollman, Quartz

The Real North Korea Nightmare Isn't Nuclear War (Think Collapse Instead) -- Jamie Metzl, National Interest

It's All Up To Moon Now -- Robert Kelly, Lowy Institute/The Interpreter

A Trump Foreign Policy -- Dimitri K. Simes, Foreign Policy

Trump holds the clock on North Korea while Putin plans his moves -- M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times

Trump Turns Tide on Chinese Theft by Trade -- Christian Whiton, National Interest

The Shape of Sino-American Conflict -- Minxin Pei, Project Syndicate

As Pakistani Rupee falls, a balance of payments crisis looms -- Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, Asia Times

I Fought Against al-Sadr. Now He's Iraq's Best Hope. -- Michael Sullivan, Foreign Policy

The Wrong Way to Fix Libya: Early Elections Would Be a Disaster -- Frederic Wehrey and Wolfram Lacher, Foreign Affairs

Italy’s Quadruple Threat to Europe -- Michael J. Boskin, Project Syndicate

Migration Is Down, Crime Is Low, but Merkel Is in Trouble -- Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic

France and Germany Far Apart on EU Reform -- Spiegel Online

Thinking About the Balkans -- George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures

UN chief: Highest number of conflicts globally in 30 years -- Jan M. Olsen, AP

World News Briefs -- June 19, 2018 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: U.S. withdraws from United Nations human rights body

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday accusing it of a “chronic bias against Israel,” a move that activists warned would make advancing human rights globally even more difficult.

Standing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council. She also criticized countries which shared U.S. values and encouraged Washington to remain but “were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo.”

The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the main U.N. rights body and the Trump administration had long threatened to quit if the 47-member Geneva-based body was not overhauled.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian army drops leaflets over southern region amid tension.

Yemeni officials say fighting rages around Hodeida airport.

Yemen war: Pro-government forces 'storm Hudaydah airport'.

Yemen crisis: Saudi coalition demands Houthis' unconditional withdrawal.

Hopes dim for cease-fire in Yemen.

Ex-President Saleh’s last video address to Yemeni people emerges.

Syria constitution: Turkey, Russia and Iran start Geneva talks.

UN Palestinian refugee agency to pare down operations in Gaza.

UN chief Antonio Guterres: Gaza 'on brink of war'.

Most French firms 'won't be able to stay' in Iran: minister.

Iran rebuffs Trump’s call for OPEC to increase oil output.

Saudi entertainment chief sacked after conservative backlash.

ASIA

North Korea expected to begin transferring remains of U.S. troops soon: officials.

China's Xi praises North Korea's Kim for Trump summit, promises support.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says US, North Korea must build on Singapore summit, as Kim Jong-un returns to Beijing.

Two Koreas to hold basketball game, march together at Asian Games.

Report: Kim Jong Un confiscated officials' phones ahead of summit.

Afghan Taliban resume fighting after 3-day cease-fire ends.

Jammu & Kashmir gov't collapses as India’s ruling party BJP withdraws support.

State of emergency declared in Papua New Guinea after riots.

Chinese ambassador calls on Australia to drop 'cold war mentality'.

Malaysia seeks to lay multiple charges against ex-PM Najib Razak over 1MDB scandal.

AFRICA

Mali admits soldiers implicated in deaths during security sweep.

South Sudan's Kiir, Machar to meet on Wednesday in Addis Ababa. South Sudan's warring leaders to meet for talks in Ethiopia.

UN relief chief: 'Rampant' sexual abuse, violence in South Sudan.

Libya suffers 'catastrophic damage' to key oil port facility.

Oil crescent fighting will lose Libya billions in oil revenues: NOC.

EU to consider plans for migrant processing centres in north Africa.

Shadow of jihadists falls on Cameroon's cattle farmers.

Ethiopia PM: Security agencies committed 'terrorist acts'.

EUROPE

Kremlin says no plans for Putin-Trump meeting before Nato summit - Interfax.

Nato chief warns over future of transatlantic relationship.

Italian populist Salvini sparks row over counting Roma.

EU rallies to save Merkel: Bloc tells members to crack down on asylum seekers moving through Europe as German chancellor faces revolt over migrants.

Sharp fall in number of people seeking asylum in EU.

Merkel and Macron mold plans for EU reform.

Hungary legislature to vote on 'Stop Soros' bill, despite EU warning.

'Call me Mr President’: Emmanuel Macron scolds teenager.

AMERICAS

Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council.

Trump doubles down on family separations as border crisis rages.

No more 'internment camps': U.S. Democrats disrupt congressional hearing.

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy.

Trump: Dems want illegal immigrants to 'infest our country'.

20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises.

Nicaragua crisis talks stall after mediators walk out.

Doubts loom over Colombia peace deal with hawk’s election.

In Mexico, longtime foes ‘AMLO’ and elite getting pragmatic.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

London man 'plotted to kill PM in suicide attack'

7 shepherds killed as IS 'danger' grips Iraqi desert.

US-led coalition destroys Islamic State narcotics cache — including 300,000 so-called ‘Jihadi pills’.

Dutch police use DNA evidence to arrest 3 men with suspected links to Islamic State.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Dow posts 6th loss in row on trade spat; small cos. rally.

US slaps anti-dumping duties on Chinese alloy aluminum sheet.

Russia, Saudi push for big hike in oil output despite Iran opposition.

Trump tariffs: Markets fall as trade war fears mount.

Chinese envoy proposes joint action by India, China to counter US protectionism.

Papua New Guinea Has Declared A Nine-Month State Of Emergency

Protesters in Mendi call for prime minister Peter O’Neill to resign Photograph: Supplied

CNN: Papua New Guinea declares 9-month state of emergency due to riots

(CNN)The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has declared a nine-month state of emergency in the country's rugged Southern Highlands province in response to several days of riots.

The small resource-rich Pacific nation, which is due to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in November, has long struggled with violence and lawlessness.

The latest outbreak of unrest comes amid ongoing reconstruction efforts following a devastating 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the island's interior in February this year.

Protestors took to the streets in Mendi, the capital of the Southern Highlands province, following a court ruling on Thursday that upheld the election of the regional governor William Powi, amid accusations of vote rigging, according to local media.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are now growing fears of a civil war .... 'Pushing for civil war': fears riots could turn into widespread conflict in PNG (Kate Lyons, The Guardian).

More News On Papua New Guinea Declaring A Nine-Month State Of Emergency

State of emergency declared in Papua New Guinea after riots -- The Guardian/Reuters
State of emergency: Rioters torch plane at island airport (PHOTOS) -- RT
State of Emergency Declared in Papua New Guinea -- VOA
Armed protesters block access, burn equipment at PNG's biggest resources project -- ABC News Online
Plane, governor’s house torched in PNG violence -- Punch

Peace Talks Have Collapsed In Nicaragua

Anti-government protesters have been using homemade mortars

Reuters: Violence flares up in Nicaragua after suspension of peace talks

MASAYA, Nicaragua (Reuters) - Nicaraguan police and masked gunmen clashed with anti-government protesters on Tuesday, leaving at least two dead following the suspension of peace talks to quell two months of deadly demonstrations, a human rights group said.

Youths armed with homemade mortars and slings fired off projectiles from behind brick barricades in the southern city of Masaya, video footage taken by Reuters showed. Protesters there have kept a police station under siege for over two weeks in defiance of President Daniel Ortega.

Nicaragua has been convulsed by unrest since Ortega in April proposed cutting pension benefits to cover a social security shortfall. The plan, later dropped, triggered demonstrations that turned fatal and led to demands for his resignation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is going from bad to worse.

More News On The Crisis In Nicaragua

Nicaragua crisis talks stall after mediators walk out -- BBC
Barricades and Empty Streets: Nicaragua's Leader Loses Control -- The Wall Street Journal
Nicaraguans try to topple a dictator — again -- Today Nicaragua
Nicaragua: Today’s Wi-Fi Is Yesterday’s Paving Stones -- Today Nicaragua
‘We are victims who assist victims': Documenting human rights violations in Nicaragua -- Global Voices

Report: 1,000 People Injured, Killed in Terrorist Attacks In Europe By Refugees In The Past 4 Years

French police officers patrol around the Eiffel Tower in Paris on December 24, 2015. DOMINIQUE FAGET (AFP)

Washington Free Beacon: Almost 1,000 People Injured, Killed in Terrorist Attacks By Refugees

One-in-three chance Germany will be target country in future plots.

Nearly 1,000 people were injured or killed in terrorist attacks involving refugees over a four-year span, with Germany facing the highest number of terror plots, according to a new Heritage Foundation report published Monday.

Data collected from the 194 terrorist plots detected across Europe between January 2014 and December 2017 point to a more than one-in-three chance that Germany will be the country targeted in future terror schemes, with civilians being the primary bullseye.

Though only 32, or 16 percent, of those terrorist plots involved refugees or asylum seekers, 41 percent of all plots occurred in Germany. France was the second most targeted country, with Belgium and the United Kingdom trailing closely behind.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I was skeptical of this number until I read the report .... I am definitely not skeptical now. The report is here .... The Asylum–Terror Nexus: How Europe Should Respond (Heritage Foundation). I also have to wonder on how many serious crimes have been committed .... murder, assault, etc.. by refugees in Europe in the past 4 years. No government in Europe wants to go there, but I suspect that this is a number will shock us even more.

What Can China Do If Its Trade War With The U.S. Worsens, And What Will The Cost Be?

Staff members set up Chinese and U.S. flags for a meeting between Chinese Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at the Ministry of Transport of China in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool/File Photo

Ryan Woo, Reuters: What can Beijing do if China-U.S. trade row worsens?

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States sank into a deepening trade conflict that roiled financial markets Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of starting a trade war.

Trump said Monday his threat was retaliation for China’s decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods over the weekend, a move that itself was in response to additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese products announced Friday.

The sheer size of Trump’s latest threat makes it impossible for an in-kind response from China since the value of the goods involved exceeds by $70 billion the total value of U.S. imports to China last year, U.S. data shows.

China could be prompted to react in other ways. Here are some possible scenarios.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These are the numbers ....

.... China imported $129.89 billion of U.S. goods last year, compared with U.S. purchases of $505.47 billion of Chinese products, according to U.S. data. The figures differ from those provided by Chinese customs, which showed China imported $153.9 billion of U.S. goods and the U.S. purchased $429.8 billion of Chinese products.

What this tells me is that China is enjoying a massive trade surplus with the U.S. .... and one where they can lose a great deal if tariffs and trade restrictions are implemented to the extreme. But their lost will not only be limited to losing a trading partner. China's growth projections are based on the expectation that they will having greater and freer access to U.S. markets, and to earn even greater trade surpluses in the future (yes .... they actually believe this). And while some are saying that China will compensate in a trade war with the U.S. by finding other trading partners .... the problem is that China's other trading partners are just as restrictive as China is when it comes to imports (and in some cases even more so), and/or they cannot afford the products that China is selling. But the real long term damage will come in the evaporation of U.S. investments into China. Why invest in a country that is in a trade war with your country .... you will look for other options, and quite frankly .... there are now better options than China on the world scene. This investment of American capital and expertise ... and its lost .... cannot be underestimated. As one who has dealt with China for the past 35 years, I have seen that country grow and I have seen in many cases first hand the role that U.S. companies had in making that growth possible. A U.S. departure is going to hurt U.S. business interests and profits, but it is going to cripple China's growth prospects and development. And while I do understand why many do not want this trade war to occur .... one must also understand that  President Trump was elected on the promise that he was going to bring U.S. capital and industry back to the U.S. .... and on this issue he is going to make sure that he delivers. My prediction .... he is going to deliver .... and the collateral damage is going to be far  more severe on the other side, than on the U.S. side.

U.S. Says Israel Behind Airstrike In Syria That Targeted Pro-Regime Forces

CNN: Israel behind airstrike in Syria, US official says

Washington (CNN)An airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border Sunday was carried out by Israel, and not by the US or the coalition fighting ISIS, a US official tells CNN.

Syrian state TV blamed the strike that targeted pro-regime forces and caused multiple casualties on the US-led coalition combating the terrorist group, but a spokesman for the coalition said there were no coalition strikes in the area near Abu Kamal.

The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the strike, per its normal policy.

US officials have said that many pro-regime militias that are also aligned with Iran operate in the border area between Syria and Iraq.

The area is some distance from Israel and Israeli jets would have had to overcome significant logistical hurdles to strike that area.

Israel has repeatedly warned that it would target Iranian-linked groups in Syria.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Israel is saying nothing .... Israel mum on US claims it hit Iraq militia in Syria (AFP). But if Israel did launch this airstrike .... they are far away from home.

More News On The U.S. Saying That It Is Israel Behind An Airstrike In Syria That Targeted Pro-Regime Forces

US says Israel responsible for Syria air strike that killed dozens of pro-Assad fighters -- The Independent
Iraq Blasts Alleged Israeli Air Strike in Syria on Forces 'Fighting ISIS' -- Haaretz/Reuters
American official says Israel behind Syria air strike -- Arutz Sheva
US official says Israel behind overnight airstrike in Syria -- YNet News
US has 'reasons to believe' Israel behind air strike on pro-Syria fighters -- Middle East Eye
Israel Did That! US Official Blames Syria Strike on IDF -- Sputnik
Deadly strike on Syria-Iraq border: What we know -- AFP

Report: China Now Has 280 Nuclear Warheads


SCMP: China adds to nuclear arsenal amid military modernisation drive

Country now has 280 warheads, according to think tank, which calls nuclear states’ renewed focus on deterrence and capacity ‘a very worrying trend’

China is pushing ahead with modernising its nuclear weapon delivery systems and has added to its arsenal as it boosts military expenditure, according to a report released by an independent think tank on Monday.

As of January, the country had 280 warheads, up from 270 a year earlier, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in an annual report.

But it said none of the nuclear warheads were deployed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces. They were instead classified as “other warheads” – meaning they are being stored or have been retired.

Read more ....

More News On China's Nuclear Weapons Program

China Expands Nuclear Warhead Stockpile -- Sputnik
China pushing new generation of nuclear weapons: report -- The Hill
China's Nuclear Weapons: Everything You Always Wanted to Know -- National Interest

UN Refugee Agency Report: 68.5 Million Were Displaced In 2017

Syrians forced to flee Raqqa city carry their belongings as they leave a camp in Ain Issa. The country accounts for 6.3 million refugees. Photograph: Rodi Said/Reuters

The Guardian: Record 68.5 million people fleeing war or persecution worldwide

As data shows one in every 110 people is displaced, UN special envoy Angelina Jolie warns of ‘terrible human consequences’ of Syria’s aid shortfall

The number of people forced to flee their homes rose to a record high in 2017, with 16.2 million people newly displaced around the world. The figure includes people who have been displaced for the first time, and those who have been forced from their homes multiple times.

The figure of 68.5 million displaced people – 3 million higher than the total population of the UK – includes 25.4 million refugees, 40 million internally displaced and 3.1 million asylum seekers.

The increase came despite the return of more than 5 million displaced people to their countries of origins.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That 68.5 Million Were Displaced In 2017

UN refugee agency: Record 68.5 million displaced in 2017 -- AP
A record 68.5 MILLION people - nearly one percent of the world's population - have been forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution, UN report reveals -- Daily Mail
UN refugee agency: Record 68.5 million displaced worldwide -- Al Jazeera
A Record 68.5 Million People in the World Were Forcibly Displaced by the End of 2017, U.N. Says -- Time
New refugee figures: Three countries protect half world's new refugees -- Relief Web