Monday, June 14, 2021

President Biden Repeatedly Mixes Up Syria And Libya While Discussing Ways Of Working With Russia

 

Daily Mail: Joe Biden repeatedly mixes up Syria and Libya while discussing ways of working with Russia in latest press conference blunder ahead of meeting with Putin 

* Biden, 78, was discussing cooperation with Russia at the G7 summit on Sunday 

* He gave vivid details on the suffering of the people of Libya - but he meant Syria 

* White House later clarified he meant the Middle Eastern country not the African 

* Comes ahead of meeting with Putin at a Swiss chateau overlooking Lake Geneva 

Joe Biden repeatedly confused Syria with Libya while discussing ways of working with Russia during a press conference at the G7 on Sunday. 

The 78-year-old gaffe machine spoke of working with Vladimir Putin to provide economic assistance to the people of Libya, prompting some confused glances from the press pack at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England. 

 'I'm hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in — for example, in — in Libya,' the president said, mentioning the north African country for the third time instead of Syria, which is in the Middle East.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Joe Biden would never have made these type of mistakes/blunders ten years ago.

The ’Butcher of Kabul’ Says The US Has Left The Afghan Government With No Hope Of Beating The Taliban

Critic: Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar  

Independent.ie: US has left us no hope of beating Taliban, warns ’Butcher of Kabul’ 

He gained the nickname “the Butcher of Kabul” by raining down rockets on the Afghan capital in the early Nineties. 

But Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a notorious warlord who has twice served as prime minister, is now warning that the “irresponsible” American withdrawal is leaving behind a government unable to fight off the Taliban. 

In an interview at his office near the Afghan parliament, he said: “The Americans are withdrawing with an urgency, and I might add irresponsibly, and they are leaving behind a coming war as well.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: He sees an Afghan government/military collapse, and all-out civil war. He is probably correct.

Do NATO Members Support The Unconditional U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan?

 

CNN: NATO leaders at summit back Biden's decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan 

Brussels (CNN)NATO leaders meeting in Brussels on Monday largely backed President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, according to a senior administration official present for the talks, as the US President made his first trip to the alliance's headquarters since taking office. 

Biden arrived at the gathering with a vow to reaffirm the United States' commitment to a military alliance his predecessor viewed with disdain. 

He placed enhanced attention on Russia and China, along with the cyber-threats emanating from both countries. 

A final communiqué issued by the group highlighted the "threat" presented by Russia and the "challenges" posed by China following the meeting on Monday. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: CNN is saying that a Biden administration official told them that NATO supports President Biden's decision to leave Afghanistan unconditionally. I am not sure about that as noted by Politico .... Biden heads to NATO amid friction over Afghanistan withdrawal (Politico). 

In the meantime NATO Is committing itself to train Afghan forces .... NATO commits to training Afghan forces after U.S. withdrawal (Politico). More here .... NATO training mission for Afghan security forces to move forward after US withdrawal (The Hill). 

The problem with this commitment is that they do not even have a base to train these forces .... EXCLUSIVE NATO approaches Qatar to seek training base for Afghan forces after withdrawal (Reuters).

Taliban Say Security Of Airports And Embassies Will Be An Afghan Responsibility

Taliban says security of airports, embassies to be Afghan responsibility  

AFP News/Dunya News: Taliban says security of airports, embassies to be Afghan responsibility 

KABUL (AFP) - Foreign forces should hold no hope of keeping a military presence in Afghanistan after the US and NATO withdraw troops, the Taliban said Saturday, warning the security of embassies and airports would be the responsibility of Afghans. 

It comes as western diplomats and military officials scramble to work out how to provide security for any future civilian presence they keep in the country. 

Turkey has reportedly said it is prepared to keep troops in Afghanistan to protect Kabul airport, the main exit route for western diplomats and humanitarian workers.

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: If the Taliban are the ones protecting embassies and airports, this is what will happen .... Embassies in Kabul reportedly to be closed (MEHR News Agency).

Head Of CENTCOM Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces With Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., U.S. Central Command commander, right, meets with U.S. Army Gen. Austin Scott Miller, Resolute Support Mission commander, left, during his visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, April, 5 2019. (U.S. Central Command/Sgt. Franklin Moore) 

VOA: VOA Exclusive: CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces with Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal 

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT - The United States is not planning to support Afghan forces with air strikes after the U.S. troops withdrawal is complete, and counter-terrorism strikes in Afghanistan will be limited to instances when attack plans have been discovered to strike the U.S. homeland or the homelands of our allies, according to the top U.S. commander in the Middle East. 

“That would be the reason for any strikes that we do in Afghanistan after we leave, (it) would have to be that we’ve uncovered someone who wants to attack the homeland of the United States, one of our allies and partners,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told VOA in an exclusive interview as he traveled toward the region aboard a U.S. military plane.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Top general: US won't support Afghan forces with airstrikes after withdrawal (The Hill) Update #2: CENTCOM Chief Says US Won't Use Airstrikes to Support Afghan Forces After Withdrawal: Report (Military.com) 

WNU Editor: Talk about being abandoned.

U.S. Democrats Exploring The Introduction Of A One Time 'Patriot Tax' On The Wealth Of Multimillionaires

The Hill: Exclusive: Democrat exploring 'patriot tax' on multimillionaires' wealth 

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said that he’s exploring the idea of a one-time tax on the wealth of the richest Americans as Democrats seek to increase taxes on the rich in order to pay for spending priorities. 

In an interview with The Hill on Friday, Suozzi said he’s in the early stages of looking at what he called a “patriot tax.” 

This would be a one-time surcharge of 2.5 percent on wealth between $50 million and $100 million and a 5 percent tax on wealth above $100 million. 

Wealthy people would be able to pay the tax over five years. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Here are the four golden rules of taxes. 

(1) They are never temporary. Never. (2) They never stay at the top bracket. 

(2) These taxes always trickle down to everyone else. 

(3) At a certain point raising taxes will result in lower revenues. The U.S. is already at that point (check out Laffer Curve). 

(4) Economic growth decreases.

UK Extends Covid Lockdowns For 4 Weeks Over Fears About The "Delta" Mutant

In the UK, the variant now makes up 90% of cases, and nearly one-third of the 42 Britons who have died from the mutant had received two vaccine doses

CNBC: Boris Johnson extends current lockdown rules in England due to concerns over Delta Covid variant 

 * Restrictions were due to be lifted on June 21. 

 * New figures from Public Health England indicate that 42,323 cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus have now been confirmed across the U.K., an increase of 240% from last week. 

* Until now, all previous relaxations of stringent nationwide lock-down measures have gone ahead as planned. 

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a delay of four weeks to the next phase of England’s lock-down reopening, amid a surge in the Delta variant of Covid-19 first discovered in India. 

Rules on the use of face masks, limiting the number of people who can meet indoors and out, and shutting nightclubs and similar venues were due to be lifted June 21, but that has now been pushed back to July 19. 

At the moment, gatherings are limited to six people indoors and 30 outdoors. 

Johnson said at a news conference Monday evening that he thought it was sensible to wait just a little longer.  

Read more .... 

More News On The UK Extending Covid Lockdowns For 4 Weeks Over Fears About The "Delta" Mutant  

Boris Johnson extends lockdown for 4 weeks due to Delta COVID-19 variant -- Reuters 

Boris Johnson extends England's long pandemic restrictions as variant stunts vaccine rollout -- CNN 

UK to face ‘substantial third wave’ of coronavirus as Delta variant spreads, expert says -- FOX News 

UK Extends COVID Lockdown By 4 Weeks Over Fears About "Delta" Mutant -- Zero Hedge

Will The Covid-19 Delta Variant Wreak Havoc In The US?

Former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb warned on Sunday (above) that Delta is likely to become dominant in the U.S. and warned of a potential epidemic in the fall  

Daily Mail: Will dangerous Delta variant wreak havoc in the US? CDC STILL hasn't classified Indian mutant as a 'variant of concern' as the former FDA commissioner warns of a 'new epidemic' in the fall 

* The Delta variant, which first originated in India, currently makes up about 10% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. 

* However, the CDC has still not classified the strain as a 'variant of concern' and merely refers to it as a 'variant of interest' 

* In the UK, the variant now makes up 90% of cases, and nearly one-third of the 42 Britons who have died from the mutant had received two vaccine doses 

* Former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb warned that Delta is likely to become dominant in the U.S. and warned of a potential epidemic in the fall 

* Indian authorities have referred to it as a 'double mutant' because it has two mutations on parts of the virus that help it hook onto our cells 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still has not classified the Delta coronavirus strain as a 'variant of concern' even as it spreads across the U.S. 

The variant, which was first identified in India and is known as B.1.617.2, currently makes up about 10 percent of all COVID-19 infections in America, up from six percent last week. 

Despite evidence that it is highly transmissible as it ravages the UK, the CDC continues to call the mutant simply a 'variant of interest,' which means it is only 'suspected' to be more contagious rather than confirmed to be so.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: If the Chinese are worried, so should we .... Chinese doctors say Delta variant's symptoms different, more dangerous (The Hill).

 More News On The Rise Of The Delta Covid Variant In The U.S.

Gottlieb says Delta virus variant likely to become dominant U.S. strain -- CBS  

Delta COVID-19 variant 'probably going to become' dominant strain in US, Gottlieb says -- FOX News 

A new coronavirus variant is on the rise. Here's why experts are concerned -- CNN

Is China About To Start A 'Grey Zone' War With Australia?

Beijing has had increasingly mocked Australia's defiance towards China since relations soured after Canberra called for an inquiry into the origins of the Coronavirus pandemic  

Daily Mail: How China is on the verge of starting a 'grey zone' war with Scott Morrison by sending a flotilla of unmarked, fully armed militia ships into Australian waters - as experts warn a conflict with the communist giant is edging ever closer 

* Taiwan's Foreign Minister expects China to begin covertly bullying Australia 

* Joseph Wu said a maritime militia is used to harass opponents in their waters 

* These ships could include civilian vessels such as large armed fishing boats 

China is set to wage a campaign of harassment against Australia by sending a militia of armed and unmarked fishing boats into its waters, the Taiwanese government has warned. 

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said China was likely to launch what is known as a 'grey-zone' war in Australian waters by sending civilian vessels commandeered by the communist nation's navy. 

The risk of war with China in the Indo-Pacific region is growing and the world is facing uncertainty not seen since the 1930s, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: IMHO. You are already in a "grey zone" conflict when Chinese state media is warning you that that you may be bombed .... Chinese State Media Say Australia Will Be Bombed If They Support US Military Action Defending Taiwan (May 9, 2021).

SIPRI Says Russia, U.S. Boosted Nuclear Arsenals In 2020

DW: SIPRI warns of trend reversal in nuclear weapons decline 

World powers such as the US, Russia and China are rapidly modernizing their nuclear arsenals, researchers from SIPRI said in a new report. 

Although the world's overall stockpile of nuclear weapons has decreased since last year, the number of operationally deployable weapons is on the rise, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its Yearbook report published on Monday.  

What did the report say? 

At the beginning of 2021, the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea possessed a total of 13,080 nuclear warheads, a decrease of 320 from the previous year. 

These figures include retired warheads which are set to be dismantled. Without those retired warheads, the total global arsenal rose from 9,380 to 9,620 from 2020 to 2021. 

At the same time, the report says the number of deployable weapons increased from 3,720 to 3,825 over the previous year. These weapons are either mounted on missiles or located on active bases.  

Read more .... 

More News On SIPRI Saying Russia And The U.S. Boosted Nuclear Arsenals In 2020 

Nuclear arms decline stalls as nations modernise arsenals -- AFP  

Nuclear arms decline stalls as nations modernize arsenals, warns think tank -- Times of Israel  

China ‘growing nuclear arms stockpile in 2021, but US and Russia still ahead’ -- SCMP  

China, India, Pakistan expanding nuclear arsenal, says Swedish think tank -- The Hindu  

Russia, U.S. Boosted Nuclear Arsenals in 2020 Amid Global Decrease – Think Tank -- Moscow Times 

Fewer nukes stockpiled in 2021, but more of them primed for launch, as US and Russia upgrade arsenals, arms watchdog reports -- RT