Monday, October 31, 2016

Where Is North Korea's 'First Lady'?

Ri Sol Ju, North Korea’s first lady, has been out of the public spotlight for the last seven months. Ri was not seen with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during recent site visits. File Photo by KCNA

The Independent: North Korea: Fears for Kim Jong-un's wife Ri Sol-ju after she disappears from public for seven months

North Korean leader is not above purging his family members given his 2013 execution of his uncle Jang Sung-taek

The wife of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public for seven months prompting speculation that she is either pregnant or has fallen out of favour.

Experts monitoring the situation in Pyongyang have suggested Ri Sol-ju, who was introduced as First Lady in 2012, may have fallen out with Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who is increasingly regarded as the power behind the throne.

Kim Yo-jong was put in charge of North Korea’s Propaganda and Agitation Department last year and is responsible for building up her brother’s cult of personality

Read more ....

More News On The Disappearance Of North Korea's "First Lady"

Where is Kim Jong-un's wife? Seven-month public absence sparks rumours of rift -- The Telegraph.
Is there an Un in the oven? Rumours circulate that Kim Jong-un's wife is PREGNANT after disappearing from public view for seven months -- Daily Mail
Fears for Kim Jong Un’s wife after she vanishes from public -- New York Post/The Sun
North Korea's first lady missing from public view for 7 months -- UPI
Kim Jong Un's Wife Is Missing: North Korean First Lady Ri Sol-ju Hasn't Been Seen In Public Since March -- IBTimes

Is There A Donald Trump - Kremlin Connection? The FBI Says No



New York Times: Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia

WASHINGTON — For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

Hillary Clinton’s supporters, angry over what they regard as a lack of scrutiny of Mr. Trump by law enforcement officials, pushed for these investigations. In recent days they have also demanded that James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., discuss them publicly, as he did last week when he announced that a new batch of emails possibly connected to Mrs. Clinton had been discovered.

Read more
....

WNU Editor:
If Donald Trump had (or has) ties with the Kremlin .... that story would have broken out months ago via through Russian social media and/or through one of Russia's many news outlets.  But as I had mentioned in this blog at the beginning of this year .... when I brought up Trump's name to my many family members and friends in Russia .... especially to those who would know if there was a Trump business connection to Russia .... no one knew who he was.

Update: They are really stretching it here .... Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia? (Slate). No surprise on the reaction .... Trump camp denies report of Russian bank being tied to Trump Organization (The Guardian).

Poll: Half Of Russians Fear That World War III May Start Because Of Syria


RT: Half of Russians fear Syria standoff could spark WW3, poll shows

Almost half of all respondents in a recent Russian opinion poll said they feared that the aggravation of relations between Russia and the West caused by the ongoing crisis in Syria could develop into a global military conflict.

The share of those who see the probability of World War Three in the near future as high or very high is now at 48 percent and those who appraise it as low or very low comprise 42 percent of society, the privately-owned public opinion research center Levada reported on Monday. The remaining 10 percent of respondents said they couldn’t give a simple answer to the question.

Read more ....

More News On A Poll That Reveals Half Of Russia Fearing A World War Because Of Syria

Poll: Nearly half of Russians fear World War III over Syria -- Russia Beyond The Headlines/Kommersant
Nearly half of Russians fear Syria conflict could lead to World War III, poll finds -- The Independent
One in two Russians fears the Syrian conflict will lead to World War Three, survey finds -- Daily Mail
48 percent of Russians concerned Syria could lead to WWIII -- Daily Sabah/DPA-German Press Agency
Almost Half Of Russians Fear World War Three On Back Of Syria -- Newsweek

U.S. Presidential Election News Updates -- October 31, 2016



Reuters: White House says FBI director not trying to influence election

President Barack Obama believes FBI Director James Comey is a man of integrity and is not trying to influence the U.S. presidential election by announcing scrutiny of additional emails linked to Democrat Hillary Clinton's private server, the White House said on Monday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest also said he has no "independent knowledge" of how Comey had arrived at his decision to make public the FBI email investigation or "what factors were considered" in his decision to discuss the issue publicly.

Read more ....

The FBI Investigation

The Latest: DOJ tells Congress it'll review emails ASAP -- AP
FBI review involves thousands of newly discovered emails -- AP
Warrant to search newly found emails obtained by FBI -- AP
FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe -- WSJ
U.S. attorney general did not order FBI to withhold Clinton-related emails: source -- Reuters
Democrats attack FBI head over Clinton emails, White House stays aloof -- Reuters
Justice Department pledges quick work on renewed Clinton email probe -- Politico
John Podesta's Best Friend At The DOJ Will Be In Charge Of The DOJ's Probe Into Huma Abedin Emails -- Zero hedge

The Democrat Campaign For The Presidency

Clinton challenges FBI, declaring, 'There's no case here' -- AP
Clinton says 'there is no case here' in FBI email investigation -- Reuters
Clinton seeks to use new FBI inquiry as galvanizing force -- AP
In Ohio, Clinton looks past emails to excoriate Trump's temperament -- Politico
Clinton emails: FBI gets warrant as Comey told he may have broken law -- The Guardian
US Democrats: FBI chief may have broken the law -- Al Jazeera
Swing-state Democrats don’t sweat Clinton email review -- Politico
Abedin tells colleagues she's in dark about new email trove -- Politico
Now Huma is just ‘one of my staffers’ after close aide gets left behind on Ohio campaign trip while Hillary keeps up her war on the FBI in defiance of White House backing for Comey -- Daily Mail

The Republican Campaign For The Presidency

With Clinton on defense, Trump campaigns in blue states -- AP
Trump mounts blue-state challenge to Clinton in final sprint -- AFP
Trump mounts bid to turn Clinton controversy to his advantage -- Reuters
Clinton scandals revive Trump's spirits -- Politico
Trump is still Trump as foes plunge into final campaign week -- AP
Trump: I never thought I'd be thanking Anthony Weiner -- The Hill
Trump: Clinton is a 'terrible example' for my son -- Politico
Trump on early debate question: 'Why aren't they firing' Clinton? -- The Hill

General Election News

Voting Early, and in Droves: Over 22 Million Ballots Are Already In -- New York Times
Democrats sue Trump for alleged voter intimidation in four states -- Reuters
Evan McMullin: Political unknown turned anti-Trump symbol -- AP
CNN: Not happy with Brazile's talk about debate questions -- AP
CNN, Brazile part ways amid renewed WikiLeaks controversy -- Reuters
North Carolina Is the Real Bellwether State -- Albert R. Hunt, Bloomberg
GOP seeks boost from FBI down ballot -- The Hill
Writing in your vote for president? It might not get counted -- Steve LeBlamnc, AP
Syrian political opposition says hopes Clinton wins U.S. presidency -- Reuters
Election Day promises to be a marathon5+ -- AP

Polls

Latest polls -- Real Clear Politics
Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 5 nationally -- The Hill
Clinton's lead slips as FBI looks at more emails: poll -- Reuters
Clinton enjoys solid lead in early voting: Reuters/Ipsos poll -- Reuters
Poll: Clinton’s lead unchanged after FBI letter -- The Hill
Clinton’s unfavorable rating hits new high in poll | Trump targets Democratic states in final sprint -- Market Watch
45% say emails worse than Watergate, 61% fear probe to drag into White House -- Washington Examiner

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials

If elected, Clinton faces awkward coexistence with Comey -- AP
Will Hillary Clinton lose the election because of the FBI email investigation? -- Dan Roberts, The Guardian
How the FBI email review might scramble the swing states -- Steven Shepard, Politico
Huma Abedin: has Hillary Clinton's closest ally become her biggest liability? -- Ed Pilkington, The Guardian
Don't Let the FBI's E-Mail Surprise Swing the Election -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg
Factbox - How Carlos Danger got tangled up in the Clinton email scandal -- Reuters

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 31, 2016



Seth Jones, Foreign Policy: Can the Islamic State Lose Mosul and Still Win?

There’s a well-established playbook for pivoting to guerilla warfare.

Mosul was the first major Iraqi city conquered by the Islamic State during its blitzkrieg in the summer of 2014, and its loss would be a serious blow for a group that claims it will create a pan-Islamic caliphate based in the Middle East. But past insurgencies suggest it is far too early to count the Islamic State out. There’s still plenty of time for it to follow in the footsteps of other successful insurgent groups.

This year certainly hasn’t been kind to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s organization. The Islamic State has lost roughly 50 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq, according to U.S. government estimates. In neighboring Syria, the Islamic State has lost roughly a quarter of the territory it once controlled and has been pushed out of key areas along the Syrian-Turkish border, such as Manbij and Jarabulus. The group still retains some territory in Iraq and Syria, particularly along the Euphrates River. But its land is shrinking, its finances are in perilous shape, and its pool of foreign fighters is dwindling and suffering from low morale.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 31, 2016

Unless Baghdad fills the political vacuum in Mosul, Isis will revive -- Hassan Hassan, The Guardian

What ISIL really wants from the battle for Mosul -- Hassan Hassan, The National

How Syria Catapulted Russia from Mideast Pawn to Power Broker -- John Herbst, RCW

In Syria, the U.S. may need more troops to manage shaky alliance -- Andrew Tilghman, Military Times

Why the Maldives Is Sending Terrorists to Syria and Iraq -- Joseph Hammond, National Interest

What is Pakistan's militancy issue all about? -- Shamil Shams & Hans Spross, DW

Will South Korea's president be forced out of office? -- Inside Story/Al Jazeera

Who will lead NK in from cold? -- Stephen Costello, Korea Times

U.S.-Russia relations in Central Asia: Change within -- Marlene Laruelle, Washington Times

U.S.-Philippine Alliance Is Stronger Than You Think -- Greg Poling, War on the Rocks

America's Latest South China Sea FONOP Did More Harm Than Good -- James Holmes, National Interest

Taking the Rohingya Insurgency at Face Value -- Richard Potter, The Diplomat

China is struggling to keep control over its version of the past -- The Economist

What’s next for Russian foreign policy? -- Mikhail Troitskiy, European Leadership Network

Prone to Earthquakes and Volcano Eruptions, Should Italy Prepare for ‘The Big One’? -- Barbie Latza Nadeau, Daily Beast

Trudeau and the millennials: The love-in won’t last -- Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail

World News Briefs -- October 31, 2016 (Evening Edition)



Al Jazeera: Joint Iraqi forces poised to enter Mosul to fight ISIL

Troops reach outskirts of ISIL-held city for first time since offensive began, as PM warns fighters to surrender or die.

Iraqi special forces stood poised to enter Mosul in an offensive to drive out fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group after sweeping into the last village on the city's eastern edge on Monday.

The troops said they fended off suicide car bombs without losing a soldier.

Armored vehicles drew fire from mortars and small arms as they moved on the village of Bazwaya in an assault that began at dawn, while artillery and air strikes hit ISIL, or ISIS, positions. By evening, the fighting had stopped and units took up positions less than a mile from Mosul's eastern border and about 5 miles (8 kilometres) from the centre, two weeks into the offensive to retake Iraq's second-largest city.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraq's 'Mosul Regiment' wants its base and honour back.

Iraqi forces make first push into Mosul as offensive enters third week.

Battle for Mosul: Iraq army resumes anti-ISIL offensive. Anti-'IS' offensive resumes in Iraqi city of Mosul. Iraqi troops to enter Mosul in 'matter of hours'.

Syria: Rebel assault to break Aleppo siege slows.

UN 'appalled' by rebel onslaught on Aleppo, warning it may amount to war crimes.

Three Turkish soldiers, 13 PKK militants killed in clashes: sources.

Erdogan renews putsch purge with targets in media, academia.

UN extends Syria chemical weapons inspection mandate.

UN envoy seeks Yemen peace deal in coming weeks.

Michel Aoun elected president of Lebanon. Lebanon's parliament elects ex-general Michel Aoun president.

Royal order sacks Saudi finance minister.

UNHRC official: ‘Israel’s status at UN depends on ending the occupation’.

Palestinian gunman wounds 3 Israeli soldiers in West Bank.

ASIA

Indian cross-border fire kills four civilians: Pakistan.

South Korea scandal could affect THAAD, Chinese media says.

South Korea scandal: Choi apologises for 'unpardonable crime'. Cult leader's daughter accused of manipulating South Korean president says she 'deserves death' after her shadowy role as an adviser is revealed.

Fears for Kim Jong Un’s wife after she vanishes from public.

Upset at being sidelined in talks, Pakistan warns Taliban.

Pakistan police clash with anti-government protesters ahead of march.

Japan mulls deal to retrieve Russian-held isles by banning U.S. military from using them.

Myanmar's Suu Kyi under pressure as Rohingya crisis deepens.

Diwali fireworks choke Delhi, angering Indians.

China says 'situation' at disputed Scarborough Shoal has not changed.

Ally of China's President Xi made Beijing mayor.

Exclusive: Thailand 'making preparations' for December 1 succession.

AFRICA

Libya crisis talks held in London as economy 'nears collapse'.

Belgium, Congo activists urge probe into Congo corruption claims.

Ethiopia says 2,000 arrested and released in emergency.

African migrants break into Spanish enclave.

Mali Islamist militant leader announces unilateral cease-fire.

Record levels of assault, abduction and torture reported in Zimbabwe.

Boko Haram: Nigerian officials 'sexually abusing' victims.

France ends Sangaris military operation in CAR.

Central African Republic: 20,000 stranded at UN base.

Fishmonger's gruesome death sparks protests in Morocco. Morocco protests: Death of fish seller triggers rare demonstrations.

Without reform Ethiopia risks a deepening crisis.

South Africa drops charges against Pravin Gordhan.

EUROPE

NATO, Russia to hold parallel drills in the Balkans.

Police swoop on Paris migrant camp after Calais Jungle clearout.

Weapons cache tip-off sends Serbian PM into hiding amid security fears.

Moldova faces presidential runoff. Moldova presidential election goes to second round. Pro-Russia candidate ahead in Moldova election.

Putin signs federal law suspending plutonium disposal deal with US.

'Norway will suffer’: Russia makes nuclear threat over US Marines.

Azerbaijan: Armenia violates ceasefire in Karabakh 31 times during last 24 hours.

Italy quake: At least 15,000 in temporary shelters.

Spain's Mariano Rajoy sworn in as PM for second term.

Pirate Party surge falls short as Icelanders back stability.

‘Hard to understand, even harder to accept’: Russians mourn Sinai plane tragedy 1 year on.

Dutch far-right leader Wilders on trial for inciting hatred. Dutch politician Geert Wilders boycotts hate-speech trial.

AMERICAS

Clinton seeks to use new FBI inquiry as galvanizing force.

FBI in internal feud over Hillary Clinton probe.

45% say emails worse than Watergate, 61% fear probe to drag into White House.

US should strike back at cyberattackers: report.

Argentina ex-leader Fernandez in court over corruption case.

Venezuela: Government and opposition hold talks on political crisis. Venezuela's gov't and opposition agree to tone down rhetoric.

El Salvador ex-President Saca arrested on fraud allegations.

As Brazil veers right, evangelical bishop elected Rio mayor.

Brazil youth prison riot leaves seven dead.

Opioid overdose hospitalizations double among young Americans.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

UK has foiled 12 terror plots since June 2013: spy chief.

Hezbollah Brigades hurries troops to Mosul fight.

Islamic State fighters withdraw from captured Somali port town.

Fall of ISIS in Mosul may push terrorists to launch attacks in Europe – German spy chief.

Saudis 'foiled plot to bomb football World Cup qualifier'. Saudi Arabia says it breaks up 2 militant plots.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

How the Dow Jones industrial average fared on Monday. US stocks dip as presidential polls tighten.

Ceta: EU and Canada sign long-delayed free trade deal.

Germany takes aim at China on trade on eve of key visit.

US political uncertainty weighs on global stocks.

Drone Footage Captures The Moment A Missile Streaks Through The Sky And Destroys A Building In Aleppo (Video)



Daily Mail: Incredible drone footage captures the devastating moment that a missile streaks through the sky and slams into buildings in Aleppo as Syrian forces hit back at insurgents

* Heavy fighting has been reported in districts claimed by insurgents during an offensive on Friday
* The images, posted online by the Ahrar al-Sham militant group, purports to show a blast on the ground, apparently the result of an airstrike in Aleppo
* Dramatic video footage, taken by a drone, emerged today after the airstrikes and shows the moment a missile strikes
* It is believed at least 10 people were injured in the airstrikes and ground attacks on Saturday

Dramatic video footage, taken by a drone flying over Aleppo, has caught the moment a missile struck the ground, destroying some of the city's buildings.

The video shows a missile coming toward the ground from the left hand side, quickly finding its target with devastating effect.

At least 10 people were injured, including a young girl, after Syrian government forces launched a fresh attack on rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Saturday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is hard to believe that people are still living in such devastation.

Is Syria/Russia/Hezbollah/And Iranian Forces Preparing For A Major Offensive To Retake Rebel Controlled Aleppo?



The Australian/The Times: Aleppo: Putin set to launch huge attack

Vladimir Putin will launch a full-scale military assault on the Syrian city of Aleppo as early as this week, according to Western intelligence.

The Russian President plans to exploit a political hiatus in Washington during the presidential election and its aftermath to ­secure a decisive victory in the rebel-held east of the city by the middle of January for his ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow’s only aircraft carrier, which is travelling to a strike position in the eastern Mediterranean, will be used to enhance Russian firepower over Aleppo in support of the Syrian regime, ­according to the intelligence ­assessment.

The anticipated onslaught could be devastating for more than 250,000 men, women and children still living in the rebel enclave in Syria’s biggest city.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That A New Offensive Is Being Planned To Retake Rebel Controlled Aleppo

Assad and Putin to launch ‘full scale’ assault to secure victory in Aleppo -- The Independent
Russia readies itself for 'huge offensive' on Aleppo to save Assad say intelligence reports -- IBTimes
Russia preparing for final assault on Aleppo, Western officials warn -- SKY News
Vladimir Putin to launch 'full-scale military attack' on Syria's Aleppo as early as this week -- Mirror
Western Intelligence Considers Russia to Launch Aleppo Operation Soon -- Sputnik

The Battle For The Syrian City Of Aleppo -- News Updates October 31, 2016


Al Jazeera: Syria: Rebel assault to break Aleppo siege slows

Rebel offensive to cross into city's east eases as regime forces fight back, and amid UN concern over civilian deaths.

A rebel assault to break the siege of Syria's Aleppo slowed on Monday amid fierce resistance from regime forces, as the UN said it was "appalled" by opposition fire on civilians.

Rebels launched a major assault on Friday, backed by car bombs and salvos of rockets, to break through government lines and reach the 250,000 people besieged in the city's east.

Aleppo has been hit by some of the worst violence in Syria's five-year conflict, turning the once-bustling economic hub into a divided and bombed-out symbol of the brutal war.

Since Friday, opposition factions have amassed on Aleppo's western outskirts in a bid to end the regime's three-month encirclement of the city's eastern districts.

Read more ....



The Battle For The Syrian City Of Aleppo -- News Updates October 31, 2016

Syria: Dozens dead as rebels try to break Aleppo siege -- Al Jazeera
Scores Dead as Syrian Rebels Battle to Break Aleppo Siege -- VOA
Syrian Rebels Keep Up Offensive Against Western Aleppo -- RFE
Aleppo: Opposition groups step up offensive -- CNN
Syrian military vows to repel Aleppo insurgent attack -- AP
Syrian army says rebel bombardment of Aleppo killed 84 in three days -- Reuters
What it's really like to be in the middle of the battle for Aleppo -- The Independent
Syrian rebels' Aleppo offensive could amount to war crimes, UN envoy warns -- The Guardian/AP
'End unlawful attacks in western Aleppo' – Amnesty Intl to armed opposition groups in Syria -- RT
Aleppo could be 'bombed into smithereens', warns John Kerry -- The Guardian

The New Power Brokers In Iraq Are The Shiite Clerics In The South Of The Country

Iranian pilgrims pray as they gather outside the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas shrines in Kerbala, southwest of Baghdad, September 11, 2016. Alaa Al-Marjani / Reuters

Jack Watling, The Atlantic: The Shia Power Brokers of the New Iraq

As the embattled country wages war on ISIS in the north, its future may be decided by clerics in the south.

KARBALA, Iraq—The inner sanctum of the Imam Hussein Shrine shines day and night, illuminated by jeweled chandeliers. Their light is reflected in the mirrored domes of the roof, and gleams across the gold-framed marble walls. At the center of the shrine, a stream of pilgrims presses against the gilded grating that surrounds the sarcophagus of Hussein, grandson of the prophet Muhammad. In 680 AD, Imam Hussein was killed in the Battle of Karbala fighting the forces of the Umayyad caliph, his death cementing Sunni political dominance across the Islamic world. The battle was the point of no return in the schism between Sunni and Shia Islam, becoming the basis for the Shiites’ distinct rituals and identity, at the center of which is Hussein’s sacrifice.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Iraqi government has failed the Iraqi people .... and in this vacuum comes the clerics. Will these clerics do a better job .... at the moment .... that is something that many Shiite Iraqis are now hoping for.

The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates October 31, 2016



CNN: Battle for Mosul: The Iraqi fighters closing in on ISIS

Bazwaya, Iraq (CNN)It is across the ghostly silence and dense dust of the berms between ISIS' Mosul and advancing Iraqi special forces that the final chapter of ISIS' extinction in Iraq will play out.

Yet at dusk on Saturday, the 2 kilometers between the US-trained Golden Division and the medieval world of the so-called caliphate suddenly were aflame with the loathing and terror of the world's war on ISIS.

Tracer rounds flashed across the horizon; the sparks and thud of countless explosions rocked the tiny village of Bazwaya, split in two by the closing stages of this battle. Ferocious and constant, it came closer and closer to the Iraqi base where we filmed from a rooftop.

By the end of the fearsome exchange -- which fell silent after heavy artillery flew over our heads -- a staggering 14 Iraqi soldiers were dead, some of the worst losses sustained by the unit.

Read more ....

The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates October 31, 2016

Mosul Offensive Day 15: Live Updates -- RUDAW
Iraqi special forces take village, position on Mosul's edge -- AP
Iraqi forces make first push into Mosul -- Reuters
Iraqi forces prepare to break into Mosul in battle against Islamic State -- Washington Post
Mosul: Iraqi forces attempt first push into Islamic State stronghold as offensive enters third week -- ABC News Online
Iraqi troops to enter Mosul in 'matter of hours' -- CNN
Iraqi troops enter Karama, first district inside Mosul - officer -- Reuters
Iraqi troops three miles from Mosul, reports say -- USA Today
Iraqi forces approaching eastern districts of Mosul, reports say -- The Guardian
Iraqi, Kurdish forces put the squeeze on ISIS -- Straits Times
Iraqi Forces Approach Mosul Amid Warning Battle Won't Be 'Picnic' -- NBC
Peshmerga complete advance against ISIS, Iraqi army pushes on to Mosul -- RUDAW
Mosul: Thousands of Shiite militiamen join fight against Islamic State -- ABC News Online
Freed from terror: Scores of terrified women and children ‘human shields’ are rescued as Iraqi forces get within just a few hundred yards from ISIS's Mosul bastion -- Daily Mail
Battle for Mosul: Civilians Caught Between ISIS, Iraq Forces -- NBC
A conversation with the general running the war against ISIS -- CNN
Forces operating in Iraq's Mosul theatre -- AFP

More Border Clashes Between India And Pakistan


The Times Of India: Soldier martyred in Pakistan ceasefire violation; Army retaliates with massive fire assault

POONCH: An army soldier was on Monday killed and two women were injured when Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts and villages using small arms and mortar shells along the Line of Control (LoC) in the twin frontier districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu & Kashmir.

"Ceasefire violations in Rajouri sector are being retaliated with massive fire assault. One army soldier was martyred," a spokesman of the Army's Northern Command said.

Two women have also been injured, one of them seriously, in the firing in Poonch sector.

"Two women have been injured. One of them seriously and has been shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC) Jammu," Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Poonch JS Johar said.

Read more ....

Update: Indian cross-border fire kills four civilians: Pakistan (AFP).

WNU Editor: I have lost count in just the past month on how many ceasefire violations have occurred between Pakistan and India in Kashmir. This dispute is not going away.

A New Purge Is Underway In Turkey

A flag with the picture of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan is seen during the Democracy and Martyrs Rally, organized by him and supported by ruling AK Party (AKP), oppositions Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), to protest against last month's failed military coup attempt, in Istanbul, Turkey, August 7, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Bloomberg: Erdogan Renews Putsch Purge With Targets in Media, Academia

* Turkey detains editor-in-chief of opposition paper Cumhuriyet
* More than 110,000 state employees have been fired or detained

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed efforts to root out opposition to his rule since July’s failed coup, with officials arresting the top editor of a major paper and firing more than 1,200 professors.

Police detained Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 12 other executives, writers and cartoonists at the daily on suspicion of assisting both Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Erdogan accuses of masterminding the attempted overthrow, and the outlawed Kurdish rebel group PKK.

The raids came after the government shut down more than a dozen news outlets, most of them Kurdish, and tightened anti-terrorism laws under emergency powers granted after the botched July 15 putsch. Erdogan told a crowd of supporters in the capital Ankara on Saturday that he’ll sign a law reinstating the death penalty for crimes including treason as soon as parliament passes it. Also on Saturday, the U.S. ordered families of employees at its Istanbul complex to leave, citing increased risk of terrorist attacks.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: On top of everything else, the Turkish President has made it clear that he wants his enemies executed .... Turkish President Erdogan says country's parliament will consider reintroducing death penalty (DW).

More News On Turkey Continuing To Purge And Arrest Members In The Government And Media

Turkey sacks 10,000 more civil servants; arrests newspaper staff in latest crackdown -- ABC News Online
Turkey fires more than 10,000 public officials -- CNN
Over 10,000 civil servants dismissed over Turkey coup -- DW
Turkey sacks 10,000 more civil servants, shuts media in latest crackdown -- Reuters
Turkey detains editor, top staff at opposition newspaper -- Reuters
Journalists and Kurdish leaders arrested as Turkey purge deepens -- Financial Times

Has China Changed Its South China Sea Policiy?

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) is shown the way by Chinese President Xi Jinping before a signing ceremony held in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. Reuters/Ng Han Guan/Pool

Reuters: China says 'situation' at disputed Scarborough Shoal has not changed

China said on Monday the situation at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea "has not changed and will not change", after the Philippines said Chinese vessels that blocked the area for four years had stopped harassing its fishermen.

Philippine security officials on Sunday said China had scaled down its maritime presence at the shoal since President Rodrigo Duterte's return from a visit to Beijing aimed at patching-up ties and courting investment.

The disputed territory is significant not only for fishing, but for the broader balance of power in the South China Sea, and the circumstances behind China's apparent softening of its position are not clear.

Read more ....

Update: China and the Philippines have turned the corner on one of their biggest disputes, but the path ahead is unclear (Business Insider).

WNU Editor: I do not see much of a change. Chinese military ships are still there .... China ships still at disputed shoal, fishermen back (ABS-CBN) .... and the Chinese government is making it very clear that and these Philippine fishing boats are only there because of the goodwill of Beijing .... China confirms Philippine fishermen allowed into Scarborough Shoal (Asian Correspondent).

Update #2: There is a lot of truth to this .... Duterte deal with China over Scarborough Shoal exposes US failure (CNN).

More Media Corruption Of The U.S. Presidenital Election Exposed.

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Business Insider: Hacked email suggests Donna Brazile leaked question to Hillary Clinton campaign ahead of CNN primary debate

Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, appeared to have leaked a question to Hillary Clinton's campaign in advance of a CNN Democratic primary debate in March, hacked emails published by WikiLeaks on Monday suggested.

"One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash," Brazile emailed John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, and Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's communications director.

Brazile added: "Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint."

Read more ....

Update: WikiLeaks email suggests Brazile sent debate question to Clinton camp (The Hill)

WNU Editor: To begin .... Bernie Sanders supporters should be fuming. This U.S. Presidential election is going to be known as the one where corruption within the political process and within the media have finally been exposed. Bottom line .... this has damaged the American political scene .... and I have no idea on how long it is going to take to be repair it. In the meantime .... everyone around the world is watching .... How the world views the US elections, from Israel to North Korea (The Guardian).

World News Briefs -- October 31, 2016


BBC: Mosul battle: Iraqi forces near city's eastern outskirts

Iraqi special forces are now less than 1.5km from the eastern outskirts of Mosul and are preparing to enter the city held by Islamic State fighters.

Hundreds of Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) troops entered Bazwaya, the last village before the city limits, after launching a dawn assault on Monday.

A BBC correspondent travelling with them says there was some resistance, with car bombs targeting the convoy.

Units of the army's ninth division are meanwhile advancing from the south.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi forces make first push into Mosul as offensive enters third week.

Battle for Mosul: Iraq army resumes anti-ISIL offensive. Anti-'IS' offensive resumes in Iraqi city of Mosul. Iraqi troops to enter Mosul in 'matter of hours'.

Syria: Rebel assault to break Aleppo siege slows.

UN 'appalled' by rebel onslaught on Aleppo, warning it may amount to war crimes.

Erdogan renews putsch purge with targets in media, academia.

UN envoy seeks Yemen peace deal in coming weeks.

Michel Aoun elected president of Lebanon. Lebanon's parliament elects ex-general Michel Aoun president.

UNHRC official: ‘Israel’s status at UN depends on ending the occupation’.

ASIA

Upset at being sidelined in talks, Pakistan warns Taliban.

Pakistan police clash with anti-government protesters ahead of march.

Japan mulls deal to retrieve Russian-held isles by banning U.S. military from using them.

South Korea scandal: Choi apologises for 'unpardonable crime'. Cult leader's daughter accused of manipulating South Korean president says she 'deserves death' after her shadowy role as an adviser is revealed.

Diwali fireworks choke Delhi, angering Indians.

Ally of China's President Xi made Beijing mayor.

Exclusive: Thailand 'making preparations' for December 1 succession.

AFRICA

Mali Islamist militant leader announces unilateral cease-fire.

Boko Haram: Nigerian officials 'sexually abusing' victims.

France ends Sangaris military operation in CAR.

Central African Republic: 20,000 stranded at UN base.

Fishmonger's gruesome death sparks protests in Morocco. Morocco protests: Death of fish seller triggers rare demonstrations.

Without reform Ethiopia risks a deepening crisis.

South Africa drops charges against Pravin Gordhan.

EUROPE

Weapons cache tip-off sends Serbian PM into hiding amid security fears.

Moldova faces presidential runoff. Moldova presidential election goes to second round. Pro-Russia candidate ahead in Moldova election.

Putin signs federal law suspending plutonium disposal deal with US.

'Norway will suffer’: Russia makes nuclear threat over US Marines.

Azerbaijan: Armenia violates ceasefire in Karabakh 31 times during last 24 hours.

Italy quake: At least 15,000 in temporary shelters.

Spain's Mariano Rajoy sworn in as PM for second term.

Pirate Party surge falls short as Icelanders back stability.

‘Hard to understand, even harder to accept’: Russians mourn Sinai plane tragedy 1 year on.

Dutch far-right leader Wilders on trial for inciting hatred. Dutch politician Geert Wilders boycotts hate-speech trial.

AMERICAS

Clinton seeks to use new FBI inquiry as galvanizing force.

FBI in internal feud over Hillary Clinton probe.

45% say emails worse than Watergate, 61% fear probe to drag into White House.

Venezuela: Government and opposition hold talks on political crisis. Venezuela's gov't and opposition agree to tone down rhetoric.

El Salvador ex-President Saca arrested on fraud allegations.

As Brazil veers right, evangelical bishop elected Rio mayor.

Brazil youth prison riot leaves seven dead.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Hezbollah Brigades hurries troops to Mosul fight.

Islamic State fighters withdraw from captured Somali port town.

Fall of ISIS in Mosul may push terrorists to launch attacks in Europe – German spy chief.

Saudis 'foiled plot to bomb football World Cup qualifier'. Saudi Arabia says it breaks up 2 militant plots.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Ceta: EU and Canada sign long-delayed free trade deal.

Germany takes aim at China on trade on eve of key visit.

US political uncertainty weighs on global stocks.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 31, 2016

An U.S. Navy picture shows what appears to be a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 attack aircraft flying over the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. U.S. Navy via Reuters

NBC: U.S. Officials: Russian and U.S. Military Aircraft Have Near Weekly Close Calls

MIDDLE EAST— A U.S. military aircraft had a close call with a Russian military fighter jet earlier this month over Syria as tensions between America and Moscow continue to escalate.

According to the general in charge of the air war over Iraq and Syria, Russian military aircraft intercept U.S. military planes nearly every week.

Lieutenant General Jeff Harrigian, the commander of U.S. Air Force Central Command, described the October 17 incident as "middle of the night, probably somewhere around midnight."

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 31, 2016

Pentagon downplays near-collision between U.S., Russian warplanes over Syria -- Defense News

'A Dangerous Situation' As U.S.-Russia Tensions Spill Over To Nuclear Pacts -- NPR

Russian Aerospace Forces receive third shipment of Su-34 aircraft this year -- TASS

Analysis What Can Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier Do in the Mediterranean? -- Haaretz

Russia stakes on intelligent weapons — deputy PM -- TASS

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is preparing an army of robots and drones to take on its enemies, Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin admits -- The SUN

Russia Creates Low-Cost Weapon to Take on Swarms of Mini-Drones -- Sputnik

Military base in Cyprus not on agenda of Russian, Cypriot top diplomats talks -- TASS

China Assembles First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Resembling Soviet Varyag -- Sputnik

South China Sea Conflict: Beijing To Complete Assembly Of First Domestically Made Aircraft Carrier -- IBTimes

Everything We Know About China's New Aircraft Carrier -- National Interest

NATO Combat Aircraft to Continue Drill Flights Over Estonia -- Sputnik

Drone operator job ads suggest US military is flying kill missions from Britain -- RT

Turkey to Order New F-35 Lightning II Jets -- Defense News

U.S. pitches F-35 jet to Ottawa as Liberals aim to replace fleet -- Globe and Mail

The US Navy needs more robot submarines for missions now -- Defense News

Air Force B-2 to Get New Digital Nuclear Weapons & Air-Ground Missiles -- Scout Warrior

Air Force appears to concede that the F-35 can’t (and won’t) replace the A-10 Warthog -- Hot Air

F-35 is off track on units shipped until end of 2017 with repair and supply chain quality issues -- Next Big Future

The F-35 'will absolutely thrive' in the most militarized region on the planet -- Business Insider

Defense chief to create chief innovation officer position -- The Hill

Aging equipment, global threats lift Lockheed outlook -- CNBC

Pentagon won’t use robots that decide on their own when to kill -- McClatchy

Army says two-star general committed suicide -- The Hill

Marines in Pacific Banned from Water Activities After Latest Drowning -- Military.com

Hillary Clinton’s email scandal feeds intense unpopularity within the military -- Military Times

Top Trump Military Advisers Detail GOP Candidate's Defense Plan -- Defense News

Why Trump says the state of US military is a 'disaster' -- Anna Mulrine, CSM

Donald Trump Is All Wrong About the U.S. Military, USAF Secretary Says -- Fortune

5 Reasons A President Trump Might Not Increase Defense Spending -- Loren Thompson, National Interest

Global sprawl of military bases puts US at risk -- Bonnie Kristian, The Hill

The U.S. Military Sure Loves Jack Daniel’s -- Amanda Macias, Slate

U.S. Special Forces Impatient With Their British SAS Counterparts Who Double Check Every Order Due To Fears Of War Crime Charges

© UK MOD

Daily Mail: British SAS soldiers are so worried about being prosecuted for war crimes they are being left behind on key missions by their gung-ho US colleagues

* British forces are going on fewer key missions with American counterparts
* Fear of prosecution means they checking and double checking orders
* Americans are impatient over delays but Brits are too worried after hearing of prosecution against their colleagues over 2003 mission in Iraq

Britain's Special Forces are being left behind by their American counterparts on key missions against Islamic State terrorists, because they are so scared of being prosecuted.

According to the Sunday Express, British forces are feeling increasingly reticent about missions after several SAS officers were told they are being investigated over operations in Iraq.

A source told the Sunday paper: 'The Americans are seeing a reticence that did not exist before. We have always stayed within the box, but we used to work things out as we went along.

Read more ....

Update #1: Elite SAS soldiers ‘ditched by their US counterparts during ISIS strike missions due to fears of trumped up war crimes charges’ (The SUN)
Update #2: US special forces ‘impatient’ with SAS ‘double checking orders’ over war crimes fears (RT).

WNU Editor: I guess there will be no more joint missions between the two.

U.S. Defense Firms See A Bright Future


DoD Buzz: Northrop Sees Good Times Ahead for Big Defense Firms

Northrop Grumman Corp., which won the contract last year to build the new B-21 “Raider” bomber for the Air Force, reported solid sales and profits in its latest quarterly earnings report and predicted more growth opportunities in its defense forecast as the Pentagon rebuilds.

In a report last week and in a conference call with analysts, Northrop CEO and President Wes Bush said the firm would be a major player in the current competition with Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. to build what the Air Force is now calling the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent to replace the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

In the third-quarter, Northrop reported sales of $6.2 billion, a 3-percent increase over third quarter 2015, while earnings rose to $602 million from $516 million, Reuters reported. “Our third quarter results demonstrate that we continue to build a strong foundation for profitable growth over the long term,” Bush said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Lockheed Martin also see a bright future .... Aging equipment, global threats lift Lockheed outlook (CNBC).

The U.S Marines Want A Mega-Drone With The Same Firepower And Sensors Of An F-35

Bell Helicopter's planned V-247 Vigilant unmanned, single-engine armed tiltrotor platform may be a candidate for the Marine Corps' plan for a mega-drone. (Illustration courtesy Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron)

DoD Buzz: Future Marine Mega-Drone May Carry Same Weapons as F-35

The Marine Corps is in the hunt for a mega-drone that can take off and land vertically and deploy aboard ship — all while carrying a serious amount of firepower.

The service is asking a lot as it develops its MUX platform, short for Marine air-ground task force unmanned expeditionary capabilities, with plans to reach initial operational capability by 2026.

The Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon “Dog” Davis, said Wednesday at the Unmanned Systems Defense conference in Arlington, Virginia, that this future platform — a Group 5, the largest class of military drone — will be equipped to fight from sea as well as land.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am willing to bet that such a drone will also be cheaper to build and maintain than an F-35.

The U.S. Air Force Wants To Develop A Next-Generation Tanker Aircraft

Lockheed Martin

Popular Mechanics: Here's the Wing-Body Tanker That Could Refuel the F-35

To refuel the F-22 and F-35 deep in enemy territory, the Air Force is going to need something a little less obvious on a radar screen.

The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command recently announced the "KC-Z" program intended to develop a next-generation tanker aircraft—one that could fly into dangerous airspace to support strike fighters like the F-22 and F-35—by 2035. Lockheed Martin was the first to answer the call for ideas, and that company recently released design information about a hybrid wing-body aircraft with short take-off and landing capabilities, according to Aviation Week.

Although the new tanker wouldn't have a high level of stealth, the low profile of a blended wing-body airframe would naturally produce a smaller radar cross-section than current tankers. (The KC-10 Extender and KC-135 Stratotanker, and even the KC-36 Pegasus that is currently under development, all have large-body designs similar to commercial airliners.) Lockheed is also considering embedding the engines within the airframe to keep the KC-Z as stealthy as possible to avoid radar detection, surface-to-air missiles, and other anti-aircraft weapons.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This tanker program is decades away from being manufactured .... but the positioning is starting now.

China To Unveil Its J-20 Stealth Fighter At The Zuhai Air Show In China This Week



Daily Mail/AFP: China finally unveils its J-20 war plane: The powerful stealth fighter jet is catching up with US military technology

* The latest war plane is swift, stealthy, and armed with long-range missiles
* Stealth plane will make its first public flight demonstration at an air show
* It represents a leap forward in China's ability to project power in Asia
* Beijing is looking to upgrade its military as part of efforts to strengthen its borders and exert more control over disputed territories

The newest addition to China's air force, the J-20 stealth fighter, will make its first public flight this week.

The war plane will take to the skies during the Zhuhai Air Show, its manufacturer announced today, as Beijing flexes its long-range military muscles.

The J-20, 'which military enthusiasts at home and abroad have watched closely', will make its first public flight demonstration, said Tan Ruisong, the president of China's state aerospace company AVIC

Read more ....

More News On China To Unveiling Its J-20 Stealth Fighter At The Zuhai Air Show In China This Week

China to unveil latest J-20 stealth fighter jet in air show -- CCTV
J-20 stealth fighter confirmed for China air show -- China.org.cn
China to showcase J-20 fighter jet at air show -- Xinhua
China to unveil its J-20 stealth fighter at air show -- Reuters
China to show off new J-20 stealth fighter -- CNN
China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter To Be Unveiled at Air Show -- Sputnik
China to display 5th gen J-20 stealth fighter at air show -- RT
China eyes closing gap with US with unveiling of J-20 stealth fighter at Zhuhai Air Show -- International Business Times