Monday, April 12, 2021

India Has Become The Second-Worst Country To Be Hit With The Covid-19 Coronavirus

CNBC: India overtakes Brazil to become the second-worst hit country as Covid cases soar 

* India reported more than 168,000 new cases over a 24-hour period on Monday, according to health ministry data. 

 * Around 83% of the new infections were reported in 10 states, including the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai. 

* Since the beginning of April, India has reported more than 1.37 million cases, bringing the country’s total number of infections to over 13.5 million. 

India overtook Brazil as the second worst-infected country behind the United States after data showed that Covid-19 cases continued to surge. 

The South Asian nation reported more than 168,000 new cases over a 24-hour period on Monday, according to health ministry data. 

Around 83% of the new infections were reported in 10 states, including the western state of Maharashtra, which is home to India’s financial capital Mumbai.  

Read more .... 

More News On The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In India 

India's Daily Virus Infections Are World's Highest but Crowds Gather for Festival -- US News and World Report  

India’s Covid Outbreak Is Now The World’s Worst As It Lags In Vaccinations -- Forbes  

India records another surge in COVID-19 cases -- AP  

India’s second Covid wave risks overwhelming economic recovery -- Financial Times  

India hits 100 million vaccinations as Covid-19 cases surge to record numbers -- CNN  

Russia's Sputnik V Vaccine Gets Approval for Emergency Use in India -- Bloomberg  

India Covid-19 Crisis Deepened by Missteps and Complacency -- NYTimes  

Why is India seeing Covid-19 second wave? AIIMS chief Randeep Guleria explains -- Hindustan Times

WHO Says Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Is Growing ‘Exponentially’ At More Than 4.4 Million New Cases A Week

CNBC: WHO says Covid pandemic is growing ‘exponentially’ at more than 4.4 million new cases a week 

 * The WHO said the trajectory of the pandemic is now “growing exponentially” at more than 4.4 million new Covid-19 cases.

 * Maria Van Kerkhove, the agency’s technical lead for Covid-19, said “we’re in a critical point of the pandemic.” 

 * “This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic where we have proven control measures,” she said. 

The World Health Organization said Monday the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic is now “growing exponentially,” with more than 4.4 million new Covid-19 cases reported over the last week. 

Maria Van Kerkhove, the agency’s technical lead for Covid-19, said “we’re in a critical point of the pandemic,” as some countries ease restrictions even as new cases per week are more than eight times higher than a year ago. 

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic where we have proven control measures. It is the time right now where everyone has to take stock and have a reality check of what we need to be doing,” she said during a press briefing. “Vaccines and vaccinations are coming online, but they aren’t here yet in every part of the world.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: We are far from beating this pandemic. The lack of vaccines is definitely not helping to stop the spread of this disease .... Coronavirus: WHO chief criticises 'shocking' global vaccine divide (BBC).

Satellite Photos Shows Iranian Ship In The Red Sea Hasn’t Moved Since Alleged Israeli Strike

Iranian ship the Saviz in the Red Sea on April 11, 2021. (ImageSat International)  

Times of Israel: Satellite photo shows Iranian ship hasn’t moved since alleged Israeli hit  

Image shows the MV Saviz, alleged control center for Revolutionary Guard forces, has remained stationary since it was apparently damaged in a blast, which Tehran blames on Israel 

A private Israeli intelligence firm released a satellite photograph on Sunday of an Iranian ship said to have been hit by Israel last week, showing that the vessel has not moved since the alleged attack and remains anchored in the Red Sea, between Yemen and Eritrea. 

The picture released by ImageSat International appeared to show the MV Saviz, the Iranian cargo ship said to serve as a floating base for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces off the coast of Yemen that was struck by an explosion last Tuesday, likely from a limpet mine.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Israeli government is not happy that what happened to this Iranian ship was leaked to the public .... Amid leaks, Gantz orders probe into ‘chatter’ on alleged Israeli strikes on Iran (Times of Israel). More here .... After Mossad report, Gantz calls for investigation into security leaks (Jerusalem Post).

Report: Natanz Nuclear Plant Attack ‘Will Set Back Iran’s Programme By Nine Months’


The Guardian: Natanz nuclear plant attack ‘will set back Iran’s programme by nine months’ 

US intelligence sources believe Israel was behind Saturday’s cyber-attack on heavily guarded facility 

The cyber-attack on the heavily guarded Natanz plant in Iran will set back Tehran’s nuclear programme by nine months, US intelligence sources have claimed. 

Iran’s foreign ministry has blamed Israel for the attack, and although Israel has not confirmed responsibility its officials have done little to dispel the notion. 

US intelligence sources told the New York Times the attack on Saturday led to an explosion that destroyed the independently protected power supply to advanced centrifuges that create enriched uranium, and that it could take at least nine months to restore production. 

The sources said they believed Israel was responsible. 

Read more .... 

More News On Sunday's Natanz Nuclear Plant Attack 

Iran accuses Israel of 'terrorism' over nuclear sabotage, says has identified suspect -- Middle East Eye  

Blaming Israel, Iran Vows Revenge for Blackout at Nuclear Site -- NYTimes  

Iran's top diplomat accuses Israel of attacking Natanz nuclear facility -- USA Today  

Netanyahu says will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons -- Arab News

Israeli army chief appears to hint at possible role in Iran nuclear site incident -- CNN  

IDF chief hints at Israeli involvement in recent alleged attacks on Iran -- Times of Israel  

U.S. distances itself from explosion at Iranian nuclear site -- Axios

Russia - Ukraine Border Tensions Continue


 CNN: Ukraine's President heads to the trenches as Russia masses its troops 

On the front lines in eastern Ukraine 

(CNN)Ankle-deep in thick black sludge, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moves stealthily with his troops in single file through the warren of trenches and tunnels that form the tense front lines in the east of his country. 

It feels more like the early 20th century than a modern conflict, with tired, nervous soldiers gripping their rifles around him as they reach open ground, scanning the area for movement across no-mans-land. 

They know snipers, likely trained by Russians, say Ukrainian officials are looking for a chance to fire. More than 20 of their comrades have been gunned down already this year.

It's eerily quiet with an occasional crack of a gunshot in the distance shattering the calm, keeping everybody on edge.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Ukraine says it has offered to have talks with the Kremlin. The Kremlin is saying that they have not received any requests for talks .... Ukraine claims Russia ignoring call for crunch talks to avert all-out war in Donbass, but Moscow says it never received an invite (RT). In the meantime border skirmishes continue .... Ukrainian soldier reportedly killed in artillery fire from Russia-backed troops (The Guardian). 


More News On Russia - Ukraine Border Tensions  

Ukraine says Putin won't talk to Zelenskiy about Russian troop build-up despite request -- Reuters  

Ukraine leader's request to talk to Putin ignored: official -- The Independent 

Ukraine accuses Russia of blocking talks to ease military tensions -- Financial Times  

Ukraine Says Russia Ignoring Calls For Dialogue Amid Rising Tensions -- RFE  

Russia denies moving towards war with Ukraine -- DW  

Moscow committed to protecting interests of Russian speakers in Donbass, Kremlin says -- TASS  

Kremlin: some conditions must be met for further peace talks on eastern Ukraine -- Reuters

China Now Using Cruise Missile Carrying Catamarans To Chase Away Ships In The South China Sea

A PLAN Type 022 fast-attack missile craft during previous maneuvers in the East China Sea.  

Warzone/The Drive: Now China Has Cruise Missile Carrying Catamarans Chasing Away Ships In The South China Sea 

The appearance of the Chinese catamaran fast-attack missile craft adds a significant new player to these disputed waters. 

Chinese stealthy catamaran fast-attack missile craft have reportedly been involved in an incident with a boat chartered by a Philippine media company in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea. According to an account citing ABS-CBN reporter Chiara Zambrano, the Type 022 Houbei class vessels appeared today in the Second Thomas Shoal, a submerged reef located in the disputed Spratly Islands. The missile craft then apparently aggressively chased away the boat operated on behalf of the ABS-CBN news crew, which had been sailing in the area to monitor the movements of other Chinese vessels. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: China deploys fast-attack missile catamarans in SCS (Asia Times)  

Update #2: Chinese Navy Chases Philippines' News Crew in Disputed Sea (Bloomberg)  

WNU Editor: It looks like they are intimidating enough to do their job .... Chinese Assault Boats Armed With Cruise Missiles Threaten News Crew In Philippine Waters — Reports (EurAsian Times)

Recent US Air Force War Game Shows What The Service Needs To Win Against China In 2030

Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Sean Carnes/U.S. Air Force  

Defense News: A US Air Force war game shows what the service needs to hold off — or win against — China in 2030 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force repelled a Chinese invasion of Taiwan during a massive war game last fall by relying on drones acting as a sensing grid, an advanced sixth-generation fighter jet able to penetrate the most contested environments, cargo planes dropping pallets of guided munitions and other novel technologies yet unseen on the modern battlefield. 

But the service’s success was ultimately pyrrhic. After much loss of life and equipment, the U.S. military was able to prevent a total takeover of Taiwan by confining Chinese forces to a single area. 

Furthermore, the air force that fought in the simulated conflict isn’t one that exists today, nor is it one the service is seemingly on a path to realize. While legacy planes like the B-52 bomber and newer ones like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter played a role, many key technologies featured during the exercise are not in production or even planned for development by the service. 

Still, the outcome was a marked improvement to similar war games held over the last two years, which ended in catastrophic losses. The Air Force’s performance this fall offers a clearer vision of what mix of aircraft, drones, networks and other weapons systems it will need in the next decade if it hopes to beat China in a potential war. Some of those items could influence fiscal 2023 budget deliberations. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: They won this simulation with weapon systems that they do not even have right now, and against a Chinese force that I predict will be radically different and far more advanced in 2030 than what I guess was used in this 2020 simulation.

Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe Says The Intelligence Community Has Been Severely Compromised


WNU Editor: I personally believe the U.S. intelligence community has always been compromised. The only difference is that the Trump administration was successful in disclosing all of this.

Russia Does Not Want A Cold War 2.0

Russia's security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev waits for the start of a military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II at Red Square in Moscow on June 24, 2020. Photo: AFP/Pavel Golovkin

Pepe Escobar, Zero Hedge/Asia Times: Russia ‘would really not want’ Cold War 2.0  

The Triple Yoda, Nikolai Patrushev, hopes cooler heads can avoid sanctions such as the SWIFT 'nuclear option' 

 The Beltway was always fond of describing the late Andrew Marshall – who identified emerging or future threats for the Pentagon and whose proteges included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz – as Yoda. 

Well, if that’s the case, then Chinese national security supremo Yang Jiechi – who recently made shark fin’s soup out of Tony Blinken in Alaska – is Double Yoda. 

And Nikolai Patrushev – Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation – is Triple Yoda. 

Amid current ice-cold US-Russia relations – plunged into their worst state since the end of the Cold War – Triple Yoda, discreet, diplomatic and always sharp as a dagger, remains a soothing voice of reason, as demonstrated in a stunning interview by Kommersant daily.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Another must read post from Pepe Escobar. 

As to what is my take. 

Russians are focused on recovering from the pandemic, economic growth, a better standard of living, and being at peace with its neighbors. A Cold War 2.0 is the last thing that anyone wants.

Virtue Signalling From The U.S. Navy

Gun Free Zone: The US Navy falls to virtue signaling 

This is from the official Twitter account of the US Navy: 

They put a mask on the eagle. A fucking mask on the Eagle of the United States. 

The same US Navy that once got sunk at Pearl Harbor, turned around, rebuilt the fleet, then put the entire Tojo navy on the bottom of the ocean in four years. The same Navy that braved the Nazi U-Boats of the Atlantic to supply the war effort in Europe. The US Navy that prepared at a moment’s notice to rain thermonuclear death onto the Soviet Union from the cold, pressing, silence of the deep.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This is not your grand-father's navy.