Thursday, May 31, 2018

Google Lists “Nazism” As The Ideology Of The California Republican Party.



VICE: Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party

Less than a week before the California primary, Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican Party.

In the “knowledge panel” that provides easy access to information next to search results, Google was showing “Nazism” as an “ideology” of the party as of Thursday morning. The word “Nazism” was hyperlinked to a secondary page that shows “Nazism” alongside other “ideologies” of California Republicans like “Conservatism,” "Market liberalism,” “Fiscal conservatism,” and “Green conservatism."

California voters have been casting their absentee ballots for weeks ahead of Tuesday’s statewide primary elections, which will help determine the majority in the House of Representative and the potential next governor of the world’s fifth-largest economy.

Read more ....

WNU editor:  The reason why Google is valuable is because people trust its results. When they stop trusting it ....

China Says Its Carrier Group Has Reached 'Initial' Combat Capability

China's aircraft carrier Liaoning (C) takes part in a military drill of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the western Pacific Ocean, April 18, 2018. (REUTERS)

Daily Mail: China says its carrier group has reached 'initial' combat readiness as tensions rise between Beijing and Washington over South China Sea

* The carrier group is led by China's first aircraft carrier, called the Liaoning
* A spokesperson said today that it had reached 'initial' combat readiness
* Also today, China called U.S. claims of it militarising South China Sea 'ridiculous'
* U.S. previously said it would confront China's actions in the disputed waterways

China's carrier group led by the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has reached 'initial' combat readiness, the defence ministry said today.

Also today, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson called the U.S. assertions of China militarising the South China Sea 'ridiculous'.

The statements were made by China's defence ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang and China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying during separate press briefings.

Read more ....

Update: China says carrier group reaches 'initial' combat capability (FOX News)

WNU Editor: The Chinese PLA Navy Marine Corps is also progressing .... China’s amphibious ambitions emerge in South China Sea (Asia Times).

U.S. Lt. Gen. McKenzie Warns China That The U.S. Military Is Very Good At 'Taking Down Small Islands' In Pacific

Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White and Joint Staff director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie brief the media at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2017. (DOD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

CNN: US warns of ability to take down Chinese artificial islands

Washington (CNN)The Pentagon on Thursday ratcheted up rhetoric about China's militarization of islands in the South China Sea, even as the Trump administration presses China for cooperation on North Korea.

When asked by a reporter about the ability of the US to "blow apart" one of China's controversial man-made islands, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, told reporters, "I would just tell you that the United States military has had a lot of experience in the Western Pacific taking down small islands."

His comments come amid growing tension in the hotly contested region, as the US ramps up freedom of navigation operations in response to China's steady militarization of its artificial islands.

The US Navy sailed two warships within 12 nautical miles of the disputed Paracel Islands in the past week, the first time it has used more than one vessel in the operations, which are meant to demonstrate the right of free passage in international waters.

Read more ....

Update #1: Pentagon: US military has a lot of experience 'taking down small islands' in Pacific (The Hill)
Update #2: US Good at 'Taking Down' Small Islands, General Hints to China (Military.com)
Update #3: ‘Taking Down’ Islands in Western Pacific is a ‘Core Competency’ - US General (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: No comment is necessary.

Militants Wore US Military Uniforms In Attack On The Afghan Interior Ministry


The Hill: Afghan security forces repel attack from gunmen dressed as US soldiers

Several militants dressed in U.S. military uniforms opened fire outside the Afghan Interior Ministry on Wednesday, before being fatally shot by security forces, the top U.S. commander in the country said.

The attack began as 10 militants, traveling in armored vehicles, gathered outside the interior ministry in Kabul, according to The Associated Press. Two militants then detonated suicide bombs, allowing the others to pass through a gate at the ministry.

The militants traded fire with security forces before they were killed within minutes. One police officer was killed and five others were wounded in the attack, the AP reported.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This could have ended up real bad. As it turned out .... all ten militants were killed.

More News On Militants Wearing US Military Uniforms In An Attack On The Afghan Interior Ministry

Militants wore US military uniforms in attack in Afghanistan’s capital (Military Times/AP)
ISIS fighters wearing US Army uniforms attacked the Afghan interior ministry (Business Insider)
Islamic State releases photo of 10-man team responsible for Kabul raid (Long War Journal)

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 1, 2018

A TV report in the South Korean capital of Seoul broadcasts news about the dismantling of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Philip W. Yun, Reuters: Trump's best option for denuclearizing North Korea

The head-spinning ups and downs of the “on-off-and-now-maybe” summit between Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is diverting attention from the real choice facing the U.S. president: if he remains inflexibly committed to eliminating Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile program by the end of his first term, he will fail.

Contrary to the sky-high expectations being set, rollback of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs will not happen anytime soon because – after investing so much blood, sweat, and treasure to develop operational nuclear weapons over the past 25 years – the North will not give them up quickly or easily.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 1, 2018

Would The U.S. Withdraw Troops From South Korea? -- Tom Bowman, NPR

North Korea and US ramp up talks in three locations -- Andrew Salmon, Asia Times

China’s amphibious ambitions emerge in South China Sea -- Kerry K Gershaneck, Asia Times

Lessons learned from the U.S. experience in Afghanistan -- John F. Sopko, Brookings

Is Israel driving a wedge between Russia and Iran? -- Jonathan Marcus, BBC

Muqtada al-Sadr, Shia cleric, calls U.S. an 'invader country' in Iraq -- Guy Taylor and Carlo Muñoz, The Washington Times

Dissident journalist Arkady Babchenko's staged assassination delivers propaganda bonanza to Moscow -- Anne Barker, ABC News Online

Ukraine's cynical Arkady Babchenko deception -- Bernd Johann, ABC News Online

Oil and gas geopolitics: no shelter from the storm -- Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

What Do Steel Tariffs Have to Do With Iran? Plenty -- Melvyn Krauss, Bloomberg View

Is the US-China trade war back on? -- Karishma Vaswani, BBC

World News Briefs -- May 31, 2018 (Evening Edition)



NBC: U.S. hits E.U., Canada and Mexico with steel, aluminum tariffs, sparking trade war

"This is not about the American people. We have to believe that at some point their common sense will prevail," said Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.

The Trump administration on Thursday slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, prompting outrage from America’s closest allies and major trading partners and setting off a trade war that could see U.S. consumers pay more for everything from canned soup to cars.

The move to implement tariffs under the guise of national security measures triggered strong response across the globe, including a firm reproach from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who denounced the punitive tariffs as "totally unacceptable" and "an affront," saying that the very idea "Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable."

Read more
....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian leader praises Russia, pans U.S. and Trump in rare interview.

Syria's Assad vows to retake areas held by US-backed Kurds.

Israeli Defense Minister praises Russia's understanding of its needs in Syria.

Erdogan hosts Putin's Syria envoy as cooperation tightens.

UN agencies appeal for funds for Syrian refugees to avoid cuts.

Iraq's election commission annuls thousands of votes.

Several wounded after gunmen attack Saudi military base in Taif.

New US sanctions target Iran for human rights abuses, censorship.

Israel approves more than 2,000 settlement units in West Bank.

Gaza violence: Red Cross sends surgeons 'to help health crisis'.

United Arab Emirates jails activist for 10 years 'for defaming nation'.

ASIA

US admiral says China is Asia's biggest long-term threat.

Taliban officials 'in talks with Afghan government', US says. Top Afghanistan general: Some Taliban involved in 'secret' talks to end war.

11 dead after militants attack Afghan interior ministry.

Kim Jong Un complains of US ‘hegemonism’ as summit nears.

Mike Pompeo tweets 'great opportunity' for North Korea after steak dinner.

Trump pick for South Korea ambassador: North Korea 'most imminent threat'.

North Koreans get a taste of Facebook in Pyongyang.

China rejects US accusations it seeks hegemony in Asia.

Senators seek stronger action on China in S. China Sea.

China shares hot seat with North Korea for the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue.

China criticizes 'uncooperative' U.S. policy on visas.

India's annual growth slows to 6.7%, Q4 picks up.

AFRICA

Neighborhoods hit and supplies cut in Libya's Derna, U.N. says.

Libya's December election goal faces political, legal, security hurdles.

US wants UN deadline for South Sudan to end fighting.

Biafra sit-at-home protest shuts down southeast Nigerian cities.

Growing anger over South Africa's stalled land reform.

Algeria seizes 700kg of cocaine on container ship.

Uganda imposes WhatsApp and Facebook tax 'to stop gossip'. Uganda slaps tax on social media users to curb 'gossip'.

EUROPE

EU to impose measures against 'unacceptable' U.S. tariffs: Juncker.

Spain PM Mariano Rajoy faces defeat in Friday no-confidence vote.

Italy's populist parties reach new deal to form a government.

Azerbaijani military advances on tense Nakhchivan-Armenia border.

NATO-Russia Council meets for first time since Skripal poisoning.

SNP report outlines new prospectus for Scottish independence.

Germany warns against 'protectionism getting upper hand'.

Arkady Babchenko: Ukraine condemned for faking journalist's murder.

Protesters meet US military convoys streaming through Europe ‘preparing for war’.

Macedonian PM says name change to be put to a public vote.

Denmark bans full-face veils in public.

AMERICAS

Nicaragua: peace talks with Ortega abandoned after 11 killed at protest.

Nicaraguans block roads across country, want Ortega out. More Nicaragua protesters killed in Mother's Day march.

Canada slaps sanctions on Maduro's wife and 13 other Venezuelans.

Trump plays down chances of quick North Korea breakthrough, talks wrap up.

Trump revises Comey firing, Giuliani blasts ‘lynching mob’.

Trump to pardon Dinesh D’Souza.

Colombia presidential candidate alleges voter fraud before runoff.

Brazil oil workers walk out as truckers' strike eases.

UN says people disappearing in northern Mexico border city.

U.N. says Mexican security forces are likely behind disappearances in border city.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US military says it killed dozens of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.

European court: Lithuania, Romania permitted CIA to torture militants.

Landmines made by Isis undo progress made by Princess Diana campaign.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall St. slips on renewed trade-war worries but posts monthly gains.

U.S. allies hit back at Washington's steel, aluminum tariffs.

EU-US: Two months of escalating trade tensions.

China lowers tariffs, rejects US trade war escalation.

Amazon blocks Australia from global sites over tax.

North Korean Delegation To Meet President Trump On Friday



Daily Mail: Trump will 'hopefully' still meet with Kim Jong-un on June 12 and expects to get a letter from the North Korean dictator – but resolving nuke standoff could take 'a second and third' summit

* President said before boarding Air Force One that he might have to meet more than once with Kim Jong-un
* Scheduled summit will 'hopefully' still happen June 12 according to Trump
* Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a working dinner on Wednesday in New York City with top North Korean aide Kim Yong Chol
* Trump said he expects to receive a formal letter on Friday from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, carried by a delegation sent to Washington

President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday that he still expects to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore, saying he's 'hopeful' that the summit will happen as scheduled.

But he warned at the same time that just one sit-down with the communist country may not be enough to ensure it doesn't pose a nuclear threat.

The two leaders are expected to sit down to negotiate the terms of North Korea's withdrawal from an effort to build a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.

Trump tweeted that the U.S. had been engaging in 'very good meetings with North Korea.'

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Today's meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol ended earlier than expected. When that happens .... one of two things happen .... if the talks were successful the negotiators will keep to themselves. If the talks broke down .... they would go to the microphone and condemn the other party. Since the negotiators kept to themselves, and they will now meet President Trump at the White House .... these talks must have been a success .... or at least on some of the key points.

More News On The Current Talks Between North Korea And The U.S.

The Latest: Pompeo says Kim letter to be delivered to Trump -- AP
Trump says North Korea talks positive, expects Kim letter -- Reuters
North Koreans to meet Trump; ‘good progress’ toward summit -- AP
U.S., North Korea talks end early after making good progress: U.S. officials -- Reuters
Trump says North Koreans may come to deliver letter from Kim Jong Un -- CBS News
Exclusive: Trump - nuclear deal may take more than one meeting with North Korea's Kim -- Reuters
Trump-Kim summit still uncertain after meetings with North Korea -- Politico

Anti-Government Protests On Nicaragua's Mother's Day Leaves 15 Killed





CNN: Protests on Nicaragua's Mother's Day turn deadly

(CNN)A march honoring Nicaraguans killed in violence surrounding recent anti-government demonstrations also ended in bloodshed Wednesday -- the country's Mother's Day.

"We've received grave claims of deaths and serious injuries that resulted from today's violence in Nicaragua," Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Executive Secretary Paulo Abrao tweeted Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights released a statement saying 11 people had been killed and 79 injured during the clashes. The march had been promoted as a peaceful demonstration by organizers.

Rights group Amnesty International, which had a delegation accompanying the march, said it "witnessed the chaos caused by the detonation of firearms," and accused police and pro-government groups, known as "Sandinista mobs," of carrying out attacks.

Read more ....

More News On The Recent Protests In Nicaragua

Police: Nicaragua violence leaves 15 dead -- ABC News/AP
Eleven killed in Nicaragua protests, including attack on Mother's Day march -- Reuters
Nicaragua: Violent attack on mass Mother’s Day march in Managua -- Amnesty International
Nicaraguans block roads across country, want Ortega out -- UPI
Violence continues at political protests in Nicaragua, in pictures -- The Telegraph
Nicaragua protests: What you should know -- Al Jazeera

Photo of Israeli Jet Over Beirut Draws Lebanese Anger

The picture of the F-35 in action – before even the US military has claimed to use it – was interpreted as a show of strength for Israel's enemies ( Screenshot via Hadashot News )

Newsweek: ‘Psychological War’: Photo of Israeli Jet Over Beirut Draws Lebanese Anger

A photo of an Israeli fighter jet flying over Beirut has drawn angry reactions and criticism within Lebanon.

"This is Israel playing a psychological side of the war,” General Mouawad Tannous, a former Lebanese military intelligence officer and former defense attaché with Lebanon's Embassy in Washington D.C. told The Independent. “Israel is flaunting its power, and showing to all its high military superiority.”

Israeli air force commander Major General Amikam Norkin showed the high-quality photo of a U.S.-made F-35 hovering over Beirut during a presentation at an international security conference last week. During the presentation, he said he believed Israel is "the first to attack with the F-35 in the Middle East."

Read more ....

Update: Israel criticised for sharing picture of new F-35 stealth jet flying over Beirut, flouting international law (The Independent)

WNU Editor: When I posted this story on War News Update's social media accounts a few days ago .... the reaction I got from Arabs in the Middle East was universal anger. So yes .... the Lebanese are "not happy".

Is Iran And Hezbollah Preparing To Pull Out Of Southern Syria?

FILE PHOTO: Israeli soldiers sit atop a tank as they watch the border with Syria near the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria, July 3, 2013. REUTERS

Jerusalem Post/AP: Iran, Hezbollah 'Prepping to Withdraw' From Southern Syria Near Israel Border

Iranian advisers and Hezbollah fighters will be withdrawing from the southern regions of Daraa and Quneitra near the Golan Heights, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says .

A Syrian war monitor says Iranian troops and fighters of Lebanon's Hezbollah group are getting ready to withdraw from southern Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday Iranian advisers and Hezbollah fighters will be withdrawing from the southern regions of Daraa and Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

A Syria-based official with the Iran-led axis of resistance denied the report saying it is "untrue." The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, gave no further details.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A deal must be in the works otherwise the Israeli Defense Minister would not be in Moscow today .... Israeli official flies to Russia amid reports of deal on Iran's role in Syria (NBC).

More News On Reports That Iran And Hezbollah Are Preparing To Pull Out Of Southern Syria

Assad May Limit Iran’s Access to Syria’s South to Restore Territorial Integrity -- Sputnik
Monitor claims Iran, Hezbollah preparing to pull out of southern Syria -- TOI/AP
Is Iran and Russia’s Ad Hoc Alliance in Syria Unraveling? -- Frida Ghitis, WPR
Is Israel driving a wedge between Russia and Iran? -- Jonathan Marcus, BBC
Israeli Defense Minister Praises Russia's Understanding of Its Needs in Syria -- Sputnik

According To Syrian President Assad, U.S. and Russia Military Came ‘Close’ to Fighting Each Other In Syria





RT: ‘We were close to direct conflict between Russia & US inside Syria’ – Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad says Moscow deterred the West from launching a devastating country-wide air strike last month, and believes that Damascus has nearly won the seven-year war, despite continued US “interference.”

“With every move forward for the Syrian Army, and for the political process, and for the whole situation, our enemies and our opponents, mainly the West led by the United States and their puppets in Europe and in our region, they try to make it farther – either by supporting more terrorism, bringing more terrorists to Syria, or by hindering the political process,” Assad told RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev, during a sit-down interview in Damascus, noting that without outside funding his opponents inside the country could be subdued “within a year.”

Read more ....

More News On Today's RT Interview With Syrian President Bashar Assad

U.S. and Russia Military Came ‘Close’ to Fighting Each Other in Syria, Assad Says -- Newsweek
Assad raises prospect of clashes with U.S. forces in Syria -- Reuters
Syria’s Assad threatens to attack area under US-backed Kurds -- AP
Syria's Assad threatens force against US-backed Kurds -- AFP
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad hits back at Donald Trump, raises prospect of US clash in Syria -- ABC News Online
Assad says US must leave Syria, vows to use force if negotiations with SDF fail -- Daily Sabah
Assad tells US to leave Syria -- CNN
Syria's Assad: Improving Air Defenses to Stop Israeli Strikes, Ready to Confront U.S. Troops -- Haaretz/Reuters
Syria's Assad vows to retake areas held by US-backed Kurds -- Al Jazeera

European Rights Court Condemns Lithuania, Romania Over Secret CIA Prisons



Daily Mail: Human rights of two al-Qaeda suspects tortured by the CIA were 'violated' by Lithuania and Romania for allowing the 'black sites' in their countries, European court rules

* Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri captured after September 11 attack
* They were sent to black sites in Romania and Lithuania between 2004 and 2006
* CIA subjected them to 'enhanced interrogation' including waterboarding
* European Court of Human Rights ruled both countries violated European law
* They were admonished by the court and ordered to pay each man €100,000

Romania and Lithuania violated EU anti-torture rules by allowing the CIA to interrogate terror suspects at secret black sites, a court ruled.

Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were captured after the September 11 attacks and sent to the sites for 'enhanced interrogation' in 2004-06.

There they suffered 'inhuman treatment' and 'an extremely harsh detention regime', the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday.

Read more ....

More News On The EU Rights Court Condemning Lithuania And Romania Over Secret CIA Prisons

Romania and Lithuania knowingly hosted secret CIA jails, European court rules -- Reuters
European court: Romania, Lithuania hosted CIA secret jails -- AP
Lithuania, Romania complicit in secret CIA prisons: European court -- AFP
Lithuania, Romania aided CIA torture by hosting secret detention sites, court rules -- DW
Lithuania and Romania complicit in CIA torture - European court -- BBC
Lithuania and Romania Complicit in C.I.A. Renditions, European Court Says -- The New York Times
European rights court condemns Lithuania, Romania over secret CIA prisons -- Expatica France

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy Is Expected To Be Defeated In A No-Confidence Vote On Friday. Socialists Prepare For Power





Daily Mail: Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy 'will be forced from office' on FRIDAY in humiliating no-confidence motion sparked by corruption scandal

* Vote called after Rajoy's party was caught taking bribes over public contracts
* Pedro Sanchez, leader of the opposition, warned Prime Minister 'your time is up'
* It now appears Sanchez has secured more than 176 votes needed to unseat Rajoy
* Fatal blow came when Basque Nationalist Party turned on its former ally

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is expected to be kicked out of office when a no-confidence vote takes place on Friday.

Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Socialist opposition, called the vote after Rajoy's conservative party was caught taking kickbacks in return for awarding public contracts.

A Basque nationalist party's decisive announcement on Thursday that it would vote in favour of the no-confidence motion has spelled the almost certain end of Prime Minister Rajoy's eight-year rule.

The Basque party's support gives Sanchez 180 votes in parliament to become prime minister, more than the absolute majority of 176 votes he needs to unseat Rajoy.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The corruption scandal engulfing Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy's party has finally caught up to all of them. Expect a new Spanish government in the coming days.

More News On Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy Facing A No-Confidence Vote On Friday

Spain’s gov’t poised to fall, Socialists prepare for power -- AP
Spanish PM looks set to go as Basque party says will vote against him -- Reuters
Spain PM Mariano Rajoy faces defeat in Friday no-confidence vote -- BBC
Rajoy likely to be forced out as Spain PM as Basque party turns against him -- The Guardian
Opposition secures enough votes to topple Spain's Rajoy -- Reuters
Spain no-confidence vote: Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sanchez trade barbs in parliament -- DW
Rajoy to be ousted as Spain’s prime minister -- Politico.eu
Basque nationalists 'set to vote against' Spanish PM Rajoy and force him out -- Euronews
AP Explains: ‘Zombies’ vs ‘Frankenstein’ in Spanish politics -- AP

U.S. To Impose Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum Imports From The EU, Mexico And Canada



BBC: US tariffs: Steel and aluminium levies slapped on key allies

The US is to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from allies in Europe and North America.

The US said a 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada will start at midnight.

The move immediately triggered vows of retaliation from Mexico and the EU, which called the tariffs "protectionism, pure and simple".

The UK said it was "deeply disappointed" by the US decision, which followed weeks of negotiations.

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said it was a "bad day for world trade", while European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the move was "totally unacceptable.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I cannot say that I am surprised. There has been no progress on trade issues, and the U.S. President is now implementing what he promised last year on what he would do if there was no progress. My prediction for the future .... expect a lot of tit-for-tat moves in the coming weeks.

More News On The U.S. Imposing Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum Imports From The EU, Mexico And Canada

The Latest: Trade dispute hits stock prices for US companies -- AP
Specter of trade war after US tariffs on EU, Mexico, Canada -- AP
US to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico -- AFP
US hits allies with steel tariffs to spark trade war with EU, Canada and Mexico -- The Guardian
Trump slaps steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico -- The Hill
US slaps steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU -- DW
Trump hits allies with metal tariffs; Mexico and EU vow to retaliate -- CNN
US hits EU, Mexico and Canada with steel, aluminium tariffs -- Al Jazeera
European stocks close lower after US says it will impose steel and aluminum tariffs on EU -- CNBC
US slaps Europe, Canada & Mexico with steel, aluminum tariffs -- RT

World News Briefs -- May 31, 2018



The Guardian: US presses North Korea for 'historic' plan to disarm as Pompeo meets Kim aide

State department says regime must map out denuclearisation steps it is willing to take if summit is to go ahead

The North Koreans will have to lay out a disarmament plan in the next few days if a planned summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is to go ahead on schedule in two weeks’ time, a senior US state department official said on Wednesday.

The official was speaking in New York as the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and a top North Korean official, Kim Yong-chol, met over a dinner ahead of a day of talks on Thursday aimed at defining negotiating positions and narrowing differences before the summit.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian leader praises Russia, pans U.S. and Trump in rare interview.

Syria's Assad vows to retake areas held by US-backed Kurds.

Israeli Defense Minister praises Russia's understanding of its needs in Syria.

Erdogan hosts Putin's Syria envoy as cooperation tightens.

UN agencies appeal for funds for Syrian refugees to avoid cuts.

Iraq's election commission annuls thousands of votes.

Several wounded after gunmen attack Saudi military base in Taif.

New US sanctions target Iran for human rights abuses, censorship.

Israel approves more than 2,000 settlement units in West Bank.

United Arab Emirates jails activist for 10 years 'for defaming nation'.

ASIA

Taliban officials 'in talks with Afghan government', US says. Top Afghanistan general: Some Taliban involved in 'secret' talks to end war.

11 dead after militants attack Afghan interior ministry.

Kim Jong Un complains of US ‘hegemonism’ as summit nears.

Mike Pompeo tweets 'great opportunity' for North Korea after steak dinner.

Trump pick for South Korea ambassador: North Korea 'most imminent threat'.

North Koreans get a taste of Facebook in Pyongyang.

China rejects US accusations it seeks hegemony in Asia.

Senators seek stronger action on China in S. China Sea.

China shares hot seat with North Korea for the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue.

China criticizes 'uncooperative' U.S. policy on visas.

India's annual growth slows to 6.7%, Q4 picks up.

AFRICA

Libya's December election goal faces political, legal, security hurdles.

US wants UN deadline for South Sudan to end fighting.

Biafra sit-at-home protest shuts down southeast Nigerian cities.

Growing anger over South Africa's stalled land reform.

Algeria seizes 700kg of cocaine on container ship.

Uganda imposes WhatsApp and Facebook tax 'to stop gossip'. Uganda slaps tax on social media users to curb 'gossip'.

EUROPE

Azerbaijani military advances on tense Nakhchivan-Armenia border.

NATO-Russia Council meets for first time since Skripal poisoning.

SNP report outlines new prospectus for Scottish independence.

Germany warns against 'protectionism getting upper hand'.

Arkady Babchenko: Ukraine condemned for faking journalist's murder.

Protesters meet US military convoys streaming through Europe ‘preparing for war’.

Macedonian PM says name change to be put to a public vote.

Denmark bans full-face veils in public.

AMERICAS

Trump plays down chances of quick North Korea breakthrough, talks wrap up.

Trump revises Comey firing, Giuliani blasts ‘lynching mob’.

Trump to pardon Dinesh D’Souza.

Nicaraguans block roads across country, want Ortega out. More Nicaragua protesters killed in Mother's Day march.

Colombia presidential candidate alleges voter fraud before runoff.

Brazil oil workers walk out as truckers' strike eases.

UN says people disappearing in northern Mexico border city.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US military says it killed dozens of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.

European court: Lithuania, Romania permitted CIA to torture militants.

Landmines made by Isis undo progress made by Princess Diana campaign.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

EU-US: Two months of escalating trade tensions.

China lowers tariffs, rejects US trade war escalation.

Amazon blocks Australia from global sites over tax.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 31, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam November 10, 2017. Xi and Putin have become closer as President Donald Trump attempts to isolate them with sanctions. /Konstantin Zavrazhin/Kremlin/Sputnik/Reuters

Newsweek: Russia and China Declare Closer Military Ties in 'New Stage' As They Resist U.S.

Russia and China—the two leading rivals of the U.S. military—vowed in their latest meeting to pursue new defense ties as they faced heightened pressure from Washington in the form of military dominance and economic sanctions.

In recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have invested heavily in building up their own armed forces and enhancing bilateral military cooperation. Major General Shao Yuanming, deputy chief of staff of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, and Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian military's general staff, co-hosted the 20th round of strategic consultation between the two nations Wednesday in Beijing.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 31, 2018

China, Russia hold 20th round of strategic consultation in Beijing -- China Military Online

China pushing new generation of nuclear weapons: report -- The Hill

Japan buys radar warning receivers that adapt to new threats -- Defense News

U.S. Military Will Leave Syria Base in Deal With Russia, Reports Say -- Newsweek

Trump’s New Army? Saudi Arabia in Talks to Build Syria Arab Force, Report Says -- Newsweek

Ex-Mossad chief: In 2011 Netanyahu ordered military to ready Iran strike -- Times of Israel

Pentagon set to enhance Jordan’s counterterror troops -- Al-Monitor

Germans protest US military movements outside Berlin -- DW

NATO is welcoming its latest 'global partner' — the first one from Latin America -- Business Insider/Reuters

Berlin nears its first-ever combat drone – minus the weapons -- Defense News

In Military Name Change, U.S. Pacific Command Becomes U.S. Indo-Pacific Command -- NPR

US rebrands Pacific Command amid tensions with China -- CNN

We spent 3 days on a top contender for the Navy’s future frigate. Here’s what you need to know. -- Defense News

Navy Seeks Acceleration of First Nuclear-Armed Columbia Ballistic Missile Sub -- Warrior Maven

The Military Still Wants a Belly Gun for the V-22 Osprey -- Defense Tech

Air Force Releases Proposal for A-10 Warthog Re-Winging Program -- DoD Buzz

Congress on target for dogfight over military aircraft -- Defense News

Trump bragged about classified Syria skirmish at fundraiser -- Politico

Army Updates Functions Check, Malfunction Drill After M4A1 Mishap -- Kit Up!/Military.com

The US Military Has a New Tool to Connect Its Far-Flung African Bases -- Defense One

Pentagon Still Lacks Accurate Property Inventory, Says Watchdog -- Government Executive

One-third of US military injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan weren't from battle -- CNN

This Performance Bar Could Keep Recruits from Breaking Bones in Basic -- Defense Tech

Pentagon to Test Combat Rations Specially Designed for Infantry Troops -- Kit Up!/Military.com

Google promises ethical principles to guide development of military AI -- The Verge

Pentagon Will Expand AI Project Prompting Protests at Google -- Wired

How a Pentagon contract became an identity crisis for Google -- CNBC

Here are the results of the latest Hack the Pentagon -- Fifth Domain

Army sergeant sues military for discrimination over 'outdated' HIV policy -- NBC

Is The CIA Trying To Torpedo The U.S. - North Korean Summit?

Elizabeth Lea Vos, Zero Hedge/Disobedient Media: CIA Undermines North Korea Summit By Leaking Report To Media Asset

Just as it was reported that the summit between the United States and North Korea was back on and that Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea was on his way to New York to meet with officials in preparation for the June 12 summit, the CIA leaked an intelligence assessment concluding that “North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon.” The timing of this leak is striking, as it seems to be an effort to undermine negotiations between the two nations and comes just days after ranking members of the Democratic Party and Republican hardliners attacked President Donald Trump over his efforts to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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WNU Editor: When I read this leaked CIA report to NBC yesterday my alarm bells started ringing .... CIA report says North Korea won't denuclearize, but might open a burger joint (NBC). Why leak it now .... on the eve of talks between US Secretary of State Pompeo and high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong Chol? We all know that there has been a problem between President Trump and some in the intelligence community since he was elected. It looks like those problems are still there.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Meets North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un





TASS: Kim Jong-un: North Korea highly values Russia's course for opposing US dominance

Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Pyongyang shows that Moscow pays much attention to the development of relations with Pyongyang, the North Korean leader said

PYONGYANG, May 31. /TASS/. North Korea highly values the Russian government’s course, in particular that of President Vladimir Putin, for countering the US’ dominance, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday. The footage of the meeting was published on YouTube.

"The situation on the Korean Peninsula is changing in accordance with the requirements of the interests of the two countries’ [North and South Korea] nations. I highly value the fact that Putin’s administration strictly opposes the US’ dominance," Kim Jong-un stressed. "You strictly oppose, and we are always ready to conduct negotiations and a profound exchange of opinions with the Russian side on this issue."

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WNU Editor: The Kremlin is out of the loop on what is happening on the Korean peninsula. This Lavrov - Kin Jong-un meeting should have happened two or three months ago.

More News On Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Meeting North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un

Lavrov to Kim: Russia Ready to Assist in Implementation of Koreas' Agreements -- Sputnik
Russia Sends Top Diplomat to Meet North Korea as Trump Meeting Uncertain -- Newsweek
Russia invites Kim Jong-Un to visit as talks to get North Korea's summit with US back on track continue -- Mirror
Russia foreign minister arrives for talks in North Korea -- FOX News/AP
Lavrov meets Kim in Pyongyang, gifts him ‘box for secrets’ (PHOTO, VIDEO) -- RT

Korean Media: South Korean President Moon Jae-in May Travel To Singapore To Declare An End To The Korean War With President Trump And North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un

Yonhap

Korea Herald: Moon may travel to Singapore for three-way summit to declare end of Korean War

South Korean President Moon Jae-in may travel to Singapore next month to hold a three-way summit with his US and North Korean counterparts, Seoul officials noted Thursday, possibly suggesting that Washington and Pyongyang may currently be considering a formal end to the Korean War as an incentive to the North for its denuclearization.

An official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said nothing has yet been decided when asked if President Moon planned to visit Singapore for a three-way summit with US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who are expected to hold a bilateral summit there on June 12.

However, the official said the president will make a trip if there is an invitation from the US and North Korea.

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WNU Editor: Not going to happen ..... three is always a crowd. This is going to be a U.S. - North Korean summit exclusively.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo And North Korean Official Kim Yong Chol Will Be Continuing Their Talks Today On The Singapore Summit





Reuters U.S., North Korea to hold second day of nuclear talks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong Chol enter a second day of meetings in New York on Thursday as they try to settle nuclear weapons disagreements and set the stage for an historic summit between their leaders.

The two men left a 90-minute private dinner at a New York apartment on Wednesday night without providing details about their conversation. Another round of talks is due on Thursday.

The United States has been demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program amid reports that it is close to being able to launch a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States.

Pyongyang has long argued that it needed nuclear weapons for its security.

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WNU Editor: What is remarkable about this meeting is that this is the first time for the Trump administration that they are dealing with the Kim regime unfiltered by mediators like South Korea. On another note .... no leaks from Pompeo's office on what was discussed.



More News On U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo And North Korean Official Kim Yong Chol Meeting Today For A Second Day Of Talks

Top North Korean official meets American counterpart, shrouded in secrecy -- Washington Post
US sizes up Kim ahead of possible nuclear summit -- CNN
Mike Pompeo ate filet mignon with a hardline North Korean official, and tried to save the Trump peace summit -- Business Insider
US presses North Korea for 'historic' plan to disarm as Pompeo meets Kim aide -- The Guardian

Why Are UFOs Suddenly A Serious News Story

SCREEN GRAB

Stars and Stripes/Washington Post: UFOs are suddenly a serious news story — you can thank the guy from Blink-182 for that

At the turn of the millennium, Blink-182 was everywhere. On the cover of the pop-punk band's smash album, "Enema of the State," a busty nurse with a lustful grin snapped on a latex glove. At MTV beach concerts, sunburned masses moshed to the No. 1 hit "All the Small Things." But frontman Tom DeLonge — the one with the angsty, adolescent singing voice — had been nurturing an offstage hobby that was decidedly out of the mainstream.

With his first record-deal payout as a fledgling teenage rock star, DeLonge had bought a computer to research the prospect of intelligent life beyond Earth. And after Blink-182 made him a fortune, he further indulged his fascination with the paranormal.

He co-wrote a 700-page novel about UFOs.

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WNU Editor: The above article is trying to give credit to one person for this sudden interest in UFOs. But truth be told .... interest in UFOs have been around for as long as I can remember. And as much as there may be a lot of interest in the U.S. right now on the subject .... I know in Russia this is a subject that that has been discussed for decades. On a personal note .... my heart likes to believe, but my brain makes me skeptical that these are extraterrestrial beings visiting earth. I more inclined to believe that they are advanced defense projects .... and they show up once in a while surprising everyone .... including the military who have been kept out of the loop on what is being developed/researched.

Japan's Navy Will Soon Be Carrying Fighter Jets

The Izumo and the Kaga, Japan’s Helicopter carriers Newsline

Popular Mechanics: Japan’s Ships May Carry Fighter Jets, But Don’t Call Them Carriers

The ships would be called “multi-purpose operational mother ships.”


The Japanese government is considering a bold plan: converting its largest ships to carry the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in order to shore up a key defense vulnerability. The country’s use of aircraft carriers during World War II, however, has made loathe to actually use the phrase “aircraft carrier,” instead preferring the term “multi-purpose operational mother ship”.

In the early years of World War II, Japan had the largest and most power aircraft carrier fleet in the world. An island nation bereft of natural resources, Japan needed to procure them abroad, making a powerful navy vitally important. Japan’s carrier force swept across the Pacific, bombing China, attacking Australia, and infamously the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

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WNU Editor: They can call it want they want .... but everyone knows that these will be mini-carriers.

Watch This C-17 Dive Down Into A Canyon Like A Fighter Jet (Video)



Warzone/The Drive: This C-17 Rocketed Through Star Wars Canyon Like A Fighter Jet

The big cargo hauler executed a knife edge turn and dived down into the canyon in a way that would make an F-16 blush.

Star Wars Canyon, also known as the Jedi Transition or Rainbow Canyon, and the aviation photographers that trek there, have offered up some of the most stunning and interesting images and footage of military aircraft over the last half-decade. The variety of aircraft that blast through the chasm is one of the locale's biggest attractions. Like fishing in some bizarre intercoastal waterway you truly never know what you might catch. In the case of pro photog Eric Larson, he recently caught a whale with one hell of an attitude.

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WNU Editor: Now that is one big plane.

During World War II 16 Soldiers Survived Parachuteless Falls



Strange History: The Gannet Club: Parachuteless in WW2

Jumping out of a plane without a parachute is never a good idea. But it is striking that some individuals walk away, or more likely are carried away, with a few token broken bones and a story to dine out on for the rest of their lives. Most modern examples are of parachutists who have had chute problems, particularly while messing around with free fall. But ‘the golden age’ of parachuteless falls was, of course, WW2, when hundreds of thousands of young men took to the skies to fight for their countries and many found themselves (i) without a parachute, (ii) without a serviceable parachute, (ii) out of reach of a parachute, or (ii) otherwise indisposed (e.g. unconscious) when the time came to leap. These men were all ineligible for the caterpillar club (a club for those who have survived thanks to a parachute: another post another day). We nominate them, instead, for membership of the gannet club: named after the rapid diver that plunges vertically from great heights after fish.

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WNU Editor: They are those who are lucky. And then there are those who are beyond lucky.

Tweets For Today






Russian Nuclear Sub's Newest Tech Has Been Leaked Online


Sputnik: Alleged PHOTO of Russian Nuclear Sub's Newest Tech Leaked Online

The BS-64 was until recently a missile submarine, but has now been redesigned into a scientific one, capable of operating with mini-submarines used for oceanographic research.

Alleged photographs of the Russian BS-64 nuclear-powered submarine equipped with payload cradle were published on the Russian social network VK. While the veracity of the images couldn't be independently verified, the photos were deleted several hours after their publication on social media. According to the maritime news oriented outlet Covert Shores, the payload cradle looks similar to the one designed for the Project 18270 Bester deep sea rescue vehicle, a Russian development registered in 2016 and allegedly used as a part of the Iceberg arctic seabed research project.

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WNU Editor: This is a scientific submarine? I have my doubts.