Saturday, September 19, 2020

Tweets For Today

Pictures Of The Day

Supporters, some not wearing masks, gather for an indoor rally with President Trump in Henderson, Nevada, September 13. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Joe Biden speaks about safety in a socially-distanced room of reporters in Pittsburgh, August 31. REUTERS/Alan Freed

WNU Editor: The above pictures came from this photo-gallery .... Crowds vs social distancing: The contrasting campaigns of Trump and Biden (Reuters).

Who Is On President Trump's List To Replace Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg?

Politico: Who's on Trump's not-so-shortlist to replace RBG?

Earlier this month, Trump added 20 names to his list of potential Supreme Court justices, including three Republican senators.

President Donald Trump has added 20 names to his existing list of 25 potential picks to fill a future Supreme Court vacancy, including Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley.

By doing so, Trump reprised a strategy that many credit with bringing skeptical social conservatives into the fold in 2016 and paving the way for his upset victory over Hillary Clinton.

Calling the appointment of Supreme Court justices “the most important decision a president can make,” the president cast the decision to release his potential picks up front as an obligation White House hopefuls have to their voters, though he was the first candidate to do so, in 2016.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I predict President Trump will choose Amy Coney Barrett. The death of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg may now force Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden to release his list of Supreme Court Justice picks .... something that he refused to do only last week.

More News On President Trump's List To Replace Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg?

Who will Trump pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg? The 20 names on the President's Supreme Court shortlist, including Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton - who has promised to overturn Roe v Wade -- Daily Mail
Ginsburg's death turns spotlight on Trump's list of potential successors -- Reuters
Top contenders to fill vacant Supreme Court seat include Coney Barrett, Hardiman -- FOX News
Trump's Supreme Court Nominees List Gets New Scrutiny -- NYT

Democrats React To The Death Of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

FOX News: Biden says the next person elected president should choose Ginsburg’s replacement

'The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice'

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says the winner of November's presidential election should be the person to nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday.

“There is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden emphasized as he spoke to reporters Friday night.

Read more ....

More News On Democrats Reacting To The Death Of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Biden says Ginsburg's replacement should be chosen by election victor -- Reuters
Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 -- The Hill
Joe Biden mourns Ruth Bader Ginsburg and says she shouldn't be replaced until after the election -- CNN
Schumer: Ruth Bader Ginsburg seat should be filled by next president -- The Hill
Democrat Schumer says Ginsburg vacancy should be filled by new president -- Reuters
Pelosi: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death is 'an incalculable loss for our democracy' -- FOX News
Top Judiciary Dem Feinstein: RBG successor should 'under no circumstances' be confirmed before inauguration -- FOX News
Democratic senator calls for eliminating filibuster, expanding Supreme Court if GOP fills vacancy -- The Hill

Friday, September 18, 2020

Republicans React To The Death Of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Daily Mail:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's last wish was NOT to be replaced until 'new president is installed' - setting up extraordinary political crisis as Mitch McConnell vows Donald Trump's nominee 'will receive a vote' in the Senate

* The Supreme Court justice died Friday at the age of 87
* The Bill Clinton nominee served for 27 years
* News set off a political bombshell 45 days before a presidential election
* President Trump has already installed two conservative justices and has spoke about installing several more if he gets reelected
* Ginsburg dictated to her granddaughter a 'most fervent wish' not to be replaced until a new president is installed
* She declined to retire under President Barack Obama
* Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow a hearing on Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland for nearly a year before the 2016 elections
* Obama nominated Garland March 16, 2016
* McConnell said at the time: 'The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president'
* Democratic leader Sen. Charles Schumer quoted McConnell word-for-word in his own statement Friday
* Trump talked up Sen. Ted Cruz as potential nominee at Friday night rally, presumably not knowing the news
* Immediate push by Democrats to vow to expand the size of the court should Republicans jam through a nominee
* Trump already warned this week that the results of the election could be contested

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death at 87 sets in motion a monumental political fight in the final weeks before the elections – amid her dying wish that President Donald Trump not nominate her successor.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell left no doubt Friday night that Trump would act – but did not say when. 'President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,' McConnell said.

News of Ginsburg's death broke Friday night while Trump, who she has sparred with publicly and ruled against repeatedly, was in the midst of a typical campaign rally where he blasted immigration from Somalia, attacked Joe Biden, and heralded the National Guard imposing order on Minneapolis.

Read more ....

More News On Republicans Reaction To The Death Of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

McConnell says Trump's Supreme Court nominee will receive a Senate vote -- Reuters
After Ginsburg: McConnell pledges quick vote on successor -- AP
McConnell vows Senate will hold vote on Ginsburg’s replacement -- Politico
McConnell vows Trump's nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote, setting up historic fight -- CNN
McConnell: Trump's Supreme Court nominee 'will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate' -- FOX News
Cruz: Trump should nominate a Supreme Court justice next week -- The Hill
McSally says current Senate should vote on Trump nominee -- The Hill
Alaska Senator Murkowski said Friday she would not vote for a justice ahead of election -- Alaska Public Media

President Trump Reacts To The Death Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Daily Mail: 'She just died? I didn't know that': Moment Donald Trump finds out about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death after Minnesota rally as Biden says she 'stood for all of us' and tributes pour in for the 'smart and humorous trailblazer'

* The president appeared to learn of the death of Ginsburg from reporters after his Minnesota rally Friday
* 'She just died? Wow. I didn't know that, you're telling me now for the first time,' he said
* On stage - moments after the Supreme Court announced her death - he reeled off his list of potential Supreme Court nominees for if and when a seat became available
* Joe Biden called Ginsburg 'not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure' in an interview on CNN
* Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer at her D.C .home
* The New Yorker was the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice and championed women's rights
* Her death paves the way for Donald Trump to expand his conservative majority on the Supreme Court
* Days earlier she said her 'most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed'
* Tributes poured in from political leaders including ex-presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton
* Hillary Clinton tweeted that Ginsburg 'paved the way for so many women, including me'
* Former president George Bush said 'she inspired more than one generation of women and girls'
* Jimmy Carter also paid tribute to the 'powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality'
* Nancy Pelosi said the flags would be flown at half staff over the capitol in her honor

Donald Trump apparently learned of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from reporters, after leaving a rally in Minnesota.

The president told reporters that he didn't know Ginsburg had died when a reporter asked him for comment after his Minnesota rally Friday evening.

'She just died? Wow. I didn't know that, you're telling me now for the first time,' he said.

'She led an amazing life. She was an amazing woman.'

Ginsburg died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer at her D.C .home.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The President is surprised.

More News On President Trump Reacting To The Death Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

'Titan Of The Law': Trump Reacts To Ginsburg's Death -- NPR
Trump reacts to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, says justice ‘led an amazing life’ -- FOX News
Trump reacts to Ginsburg's death: 'An amazing woman who led an amazing life' -- The Hill
‘She led an amazing life’: Trump pays tribute to Ginsburg -- Politico

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead At 87 From Cancer

Daily Mail: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies with her family around her at home after succumbing to pancreatic cancer at 87 after saying: 'My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed'

* Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer
* She passed away surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C., the Supreme Court announced
* Ginsburg leaves behind two children, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild
* She battled cancer many times after being diagnosed in 2009 and said in July she was having chemotherapy
* The New Yorker was the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice and championed women's rights
* The Democrat was appointed by President Clinton in 1993 and served for 27 years on the highest court
* Her death paves the way for Donald Trump to expand his conservative majority on the Supreme Court
* Days earlier she said her 'most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed'

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died aged 87 after a battle with metastatic pancreas cancer, the Supreme Court has announced.

The Democrat judge, only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, passed away Friday evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. following complications with her illness.

Ginsburg, who served for 27 years on the highest court of the land, had battled several bouts of cancer after first being diagnosed back in 2009.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Her last public disclosure on her battle against cancer was reported two months ago .... Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Cancer Again, Says She Will Remain On The Court (NPR).

More News On U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead At 87

READ: Supreme Court announces Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death -- CNN
The Latest: GOP Sen. McSally wants vote on Trump court pick -- AP
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died: Live Updates -- CNN
Mitch McConnell pledges Senate will vote on Ginsburg's supreme court replacement – live -- The Guardian
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87 -- New York Times
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 -- AP
U.S. Supreme Court's Ginsburg, a liberal dynamo, championed women's rights -- Reuters
Ginsburg, trailblazing leader on Supreme Court, dies at 87 -- The Hill
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 -- Politico
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87 -- CNN
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87 -- FOX News
Justice Ginsburg dies weeks before election -- The Hill
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 -- NBC
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, powerhouse Supreme Court Justice, dies at 87 -- ABC News
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies from pancreatic cancer, age 87 -- France 24
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, supreme court justice, dies aged 87 -- The Guardian
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies aged 87 -- The Guardian
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 -- RT

Tonight's Movie Is 'Memphis Belle'

From Wikipedia: Memphis Belle is a 1990 British-American war drama film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by Monte Merrick. The film features an all-star cast with Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, and Harry Connick Jr. (in his film debut) in leading roles. Memphis Belle is a fictionalization of the 1944 documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress by director William Wyler, about the 25th and last mission of an American Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, the Memphis Belle, based in England during World War II.[1] The 1990 version was co-produced by David Puttnam and Wyler's daughter Catherine and dedicated to her father. The film closes with a dedication to all airmen, friend or foe, who fought in the skies above Europe during World War II.

Read more ....

World News Briefs -- September 18, 2020 (Evening Edition)

SCMP/AFP: Coronavirus cases top 30 million worldwide as WHO warns of ‘alarming’ spread in Europe

* World Health Organisation warns against shortening quarantine periods as region faces September Covid-19 surge
* Governments are battling to contain fresh spike in cases, while wanting to avoid inflicting fresh damage on their economies

Coronavirus infections topped 30 million around the globe on Thursday as the World Health Organisation warned of “alarming rates of transmission” across Europe and cautioned against shortening quarantine periods.

The WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said a September surge “should serve as a wake-up call for all of us” after Europe set a new record last week, with some 54,000 cases recorded in 24 hours.

“Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region,” he told an online news conference from Copenhagen.

Read more ....


US deploys armored vehicles to Syria & steps up air patrols after dust-up with Russian forces.

Yemeni warring sides hold UN-sponsored talks on prisoner swap.

Lebanese negotiations to form govt continue after French deadline expires.

Shiite fears, demands jeopardize French initiative to save Lebanon.

Exclusive: Trump plans executive order to punish arms trade with Iran - sources.

Britain, France, Germany say U.N. sanctions relief for Iran to continue beyond September 20.

Iran appears to be in grip of ‘third wave’ of coronavirus outbreak.

Israel's second coronavirus lockdown sows division. Coronavirus: Israel marks Jewish New Year with second lockdown.

Erdogan willing to meet Greek PM over east Med tensions.


Attacks surge in northwest Pakistan amid Afghan peace effort.

China warns US – 'Those who play with fire are bound to get burned': Beijing sends 18 fighter jets and bombers into Taiwan Strait as America increases support for the island.

China suffered 'far fewer' casualties than India in June clash - Global Times editor.

Clues to scale of Xinjiang labour operation emerge as China defends camps.

Japanese lawmakers call for protection of contested islands.

China responds furiously to consul being named in Australian foreign interference investigation.

Indian army admits wrongdoing in killing three Kashmiris.

South Korea president says he won't quit inter-Korea dialogue.

Japan's new PM Suga to meet with Pompeo in October: NHK.

Thai students ready for rally to demand change.


Somalia: Al-Shabab attacks intensify as election looms.

Somalia names new prime minister, unveils plan for elections.

Libya's Haftar agrees to lift oil blockade with conditions.

UN-backed Libyan PM Sarraj’s mysterious resignation.

Cameroon deploys peacekeeping troops to CAR for election stability.

AU ramps up pressure on Mali junta to restore civilian rule.

Congo, Nigeria are among worst hotspots for hunger.

Uganda-Tanzania oil pipeline threatens ‘disastrous’ environmental consequences.


‘Alarming’: WHO warns Europe over 300,000 COVID-19 cases in week.

‘Pandemic fatigue’ leads to resurgence of coronavirus in Europe where cases hit fresh records in France and Spain.

Madrid region imposes partial lockdown as virus spirals out of control. Emergency tents back as Madrid struggles to curb virus wave.

French cities tighten Covid-19 restrictions as daily infections hit record high.

United Kingdom sees spike in coronavirus cases, second lockdown may be looming.

UK entering second wave of coronavirus, Boris Johnson warns.

The new Iron Curtain? Belarus president says he will close borders with Poland and Lithuania and warns of 'war' after blaming the West for protests.

Belarus: Jailed protest leader Maxim Znak on hunger strike.

Belarus: UN rights council adopts monitoring of protest crackdown.

US President Donald Trump offered to pardon Julian Assange for information on hacked Democratic emails, court hears.

Amal Clooney quits UK envoy role over Brexit deal breach.

No fireworks show in London this New Year's Eve, mayor says.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87.

Trump's team turn their fire on Joe Biden's claim president is responsible for ALL coronavirus deaths calling it 'hyperbolic' and 'outrageous'.

Democrats on edge as Biden readies to go after Trump at debate.

Early voting begins in Minnesota, other states ahead of November elections.

Drone footage reveals the trail of devastation left by Hurricane Sally as it tore through Florida, Alabama and Georgia, killing three people - as new depression forms in the Gulf and sets sights on Texas.

Bolivian interim president Anez withdraws candidacy for October election.

'I will not hide': Peru President defiant in impeachment defense.

Canada extends U.S. border restrictions to Oct. 21.

Canada has abandoned free-trade talks with China, says foreign minister.


Hezbollah 'has explosives stored across Europe' including ammonium nitrate that caused Beirut blast.

After U.S. claims, France says no evidence of Hezbollah explosives stores.

Military names new judge for Guantánamo Bay 9/11 trial.

ISIS leader is a former US intelligence supergrass who ratted out 88 fellow jihadists when he was arrested in 2008, declassified files reveal.


US stocks fall as market decline extends for third week.

US bans WeChat, TikTok from app stores, threatens shutdowns.

Twitter beefs up security for US election candidates.

Facebook will curb internal debate over politics, racial justice and the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to prevent clashes among staff, Mark Zuckerberg reveals.

Rich get richer: US billionaires gained $845 BILLION during the first six months of the pandemic with Jeff Bezos pocketing $73billion and Elon Musk $67billion.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 18, 2020

Emma Court, Bloomberg: U.S. Stands on Verge of Dark New Milestone: 200,000 Virus Deaths

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will top 200,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus in coming days, a devastating milestone that comes eight months after the pathogen was first confirmed on American soil.

The U.S., with 4% of the world’s population, accounts for about 21% of global coronavirus deaths. The disparity underscores America’s failure to contain a virus that blazed through populous states like Texas, Florida and California this summer despite predictions that warmer weather could bring a respite.

With a population of 330 million, the U.S. reached 100,000 Covid-19 deaths on May 27, four months after the first recorded case. It has taken another four months to reach 197,633 as of Thursday evening, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s a number roughly equal to the population of Yonkers, New York, or Huntsville, Alabama. Brazil ranks second in deaths, with almost 135,000 in a nation of 210 million.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 18, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic: Where are the global hotspots? -- BBC

Coronavirus: constantly surprising virus found to be heat tolerant, self-healing and very resilient in lab tests -- Stephen Chen, SCMP

Taiwan: The threat that the world ignores -- Richard Walker, DW

China as a Faltering Contender. -- Andrew A. Latham, RCD

Avoiding Armageddon By Checkmating China -- James Jay Carafano, National Interest

Geopolitics and Geoeconomics Won the Cold War and Can Help Contain China. -- Francis P. Sempa, RCD

If China loses a future war, entropy could be imminent -- Jan Kallberg, Defense News

WAKE UP, AMERICA: China and Russia Are Plotting to Destroy Us -- Douglas Schoen, Medium

Exclusive: In Afghanistan, the Taliban eye their return to centre stage -- Sonia Ghezali, France 24

Mozambique's jihadists and the 'curse' of gas and rubies -- BBC

Turkey's confrontational foreign policy challenges Greece, European Union amid rising maritime tensions -- Chris Massaro, Fox News

Why Sweden Should Join NATO -- John Gustavsson, The Bulwark

US-led wars have displaced 37m people. America should accept responsibility -- David Vine, The Guardian

TikTok: The story of a social media giant -- Joe Tidy & Sophia Smith Galer, BBC News

Is the US about to split the internet? -- James Clayton, BBC

Are we ready for a wave of violence after the election? -- Alan Dershowitz, The Hill

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 18, 2020

USS Gerald R. Ford. US Navy

Peter Suciu, National Interest: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford: Ready for Action?

The ship has been plagued with ongoing technical problems ranging from the Advanced Weapons Elevators to its toilet system.

It was just eleven months ago that warnings were issued that the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) may not be ready to deploy until 2024, six years after the planned 2018 first deployment. The timeline slipped due largely to developmental delays in the new technologies that were included aboard the first-in-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Other delays came about due to the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) decision to undergo full-ship shock drills before its first deployment, USNI News reported last October.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 18, 2020

U.S. Admiral Talks 3rd Chinese Aircraft Carrier: ‘Go Ahead and Build that Big Ship’ -- USNI News

'Go ahead and build' another Chinese aircraft carrier, U.S. admiral says -- UPI

Mark Esper outlines plan for 355-ship Navy, calls for more focus on China -- UPI

Top admiral: 'No condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' -- The Hill

US Air Force may soon be able to update flight software in real time -- UPI

Air Force General Defends Plans for Mixed F-35, F-15 Fleet -- Defense One

Futuristic V-280 Not Advanced Enough to Replace the Osprey: AFSOC Commander --

Head of Missile Defense Agency sexually harassed staffers for 7 years, Pentagon watchdog finds -- UPI

US Defence Companies Lining Up to Replace MQ-9 Reaper Drone -- Sputnik

General Atomics nets $7.4B MQ-9 Reaper contract with U.S. Air Force -- UPI

Cyber Attack Most Likely Space Threat: Maj. Gen. Whiting -- Breaking Defense

Is Earth-moon space the US military's new high ground? -- Leonard David, Live Science

Army backs off idea to submit its own bid in Bradley replacement competition -- Defense News

Military Confirms It Sought Information on Using 'Heat Ray' Against D.C. Protesters -- NPR

2nd US airman this week dies in non-combat incident in Kuwait -- UPI

Trump administration set to approve large arms sale with Taiwan -- The Hill

US hopes to name Qatar as major non-NATO ally: Official -- Al Jazeera

NATO Chiefs of Defence enhance military plans, capabilities and resources -- NATO

NATO's latest tool to counter Russia, the Atlantic Command starts operations -- Stars and Stripes

NATO concludes defense chiefs' conference with praise for military plans -- UPI

German, French defense ministers push for Eurodrone progress -- Defense News

UK Sends Fighter Jets Chasing After Russian Bear Bombers in the North Sea -- Sputnik

Russian military says US flights near Crimea fuel tensions -- Washington Post

China Buzzes Taiwan With Unusually Large Show Of Force Involving 18 Aircraft -- Zero Hedge

Showdown: China's J-31 Stealth Fighter vs. America's F-35 -- National Interest

US Navy build-up plans ‘may cement China’s resolve to modernise’ -- SCMP

U.S., Ugandan military leaders mark end of peacekeeping partnership -- UPI

US Navy May Delay The Decommissioning Of Its Nimitz-Class Carriers

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) conduct a barricade drill on Oct. 28, 2019. US Navy Photo

USNI News: Navy Mulling Extending Service Lives of Nimitz-class Carriers

The Navy is considering an extension of the service lives of the first few aircraft carriers in the Nimitz-class, the head of the service’s carrier program said on Thursday.

The Navy is assessing whether to delay decommissioning timelines for the first few ships in the Nimitz-class, Program Executive Officer for Carriers Rear Adm. James Downey said at a symposium hosted by the American Society for Naval Engineers.

Specifically, the Navy is evaluating the timeline for USS Nimitz (CVN-68), with an eye toward coming to a conclusion about the first-in-class ship within the next one to two years, he said.

“You have 40 more years of Nimitz life, but Nimitz herself is coming up to potentially an end-of-life-cycle at the end of this [future years defense program]. But she has capability beyond that point,” Downey said. “So we’re looking at where that capability sits from a timeframe perspective. It’s — generally the math takes you to the 52 or 55 years, so we have that issue that we’re going through.”

Downey said the Navy is analyzing its upcoming refueling and complex overhauls (RCOH) and docking availabilities as it assesses whether or not to delay Nimitz’s decommissioning.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I say if it is possible, and if it makes economic and military sense, why not.

Did A US Spy Plane Change Its Transponder Signal To Spy On A Chinese Military Exercise? Pacific Air Forces Chief Mum on Reports US Plane Disguised Itself to Spy on China

A top Air Force leader in the Pacific refused to confirm or deny recent reports that a U.S. aircraft disguised itself as a Malaysian plane, allegedly "spoofing" a transponder signal to spy on Chinese military activities. But he said the U.S. didn't break any rules.

Popular Mechanics last week reported that an RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft flying off of China's Hainan island electronically impersonated a Malaysian plane while transiting through the South China Sea.

Speaking to reporters during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber conference Wednesday, Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, head of Pacific Air Forces, objected to the term "spoofing" and claimed the aircraft was following international rules regarding transponders.

"I know we follow the rules for international airspace, and we were following the rules that day," Wilsbach said. He did not offer additional details on what the Rivet Joint did during the flight.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is why civilian airliners are sometimes shot down.

Should U.S. Military Working Dogs Be American-Born?

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Bourgeois, 3rd MWD Detachment military working dog handler, and his dog Olaf, 633rd SFS MWD, participate in a ruck march in honor of National K9 Veterans Day at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, March 13, 2020. (Kaylee Dubois/U.S. Air Force) US Military Working Dogs Should Be American-Born, Senator Says

A Democratic lawmaker wants the Pentagon to buy American when it comes to its Military Working Dog program.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut included an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the U.S. Air Force, which oversees the Pentagon's program, to conduct a business case study on what it would take to purchase dogs from U.S. breeders instead of European sources.

"I was surprised to learn from the Air Force that the vast majority of our working dogs are actually born and bred in Europe, which raises costs and puts us in competition with other countries," Blumenthal said in a statement to on Wednesday. Bloomberg News was first to report the story.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Air Force budgets roughly $5 million annually to buy about 450 dogs each year. This is why most US military dogs are bought from Europe .... It costs about $5,500 to buy a dog from Europe, according to statistics provided by the Air Force. The service pays about $9,000 per dog in the U.S..

Why The Next Shooting War Could 'Accidentally' Go Nuclear

Zack Brown, National Interest: Why the Next Shooting War Could Go Nuclear

Too many dual-use systems could confuse an enemy in wartime who might think a nuclear (not conventional) attack was underway.

Nuclear expert James Acton believes that we are entering into an era of what he calls “nuclear entanglement,” one that promises to be different from anything we’ve seen before. Its main characteristic: an increasingly blurry line between nuclear and conventional weapons.

“During the Cold War, the nuclear and non-nuclear domains were largely distinct,” said Acton in an interview for the podcast, Press The Button. “Most delivery systems were nuclear or they were conventional, but they couldn’t accommodate both types of weapons.” The same goes for the threats facing nuclear weapons themselves. The majority of these, he explained, “came from other nuclear weapons.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: How do you know if an incoming cruise or hyper-sonic missile is nuclear or conventional. You do not until it lands.

Russia's Space Agency Chief Says Venus Is A Russian Planet

As well as Rogozin's claims that Venus is 'Russian', Rocosmos revealed earlier this week that it plans to do its own mission to the planet which will be conducted 'without involving wide international cooperation'

Daily Mail: Venus is a Russian planet, Roscosmos chief declares after study suggests there is life on the planet

* Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said Venus is a Russian planet during speech
* Stated Russiawas the 'first and only one' country to land on the planet Venus
* Added that previous spacecraft information found 'it is like hell over there'
* Russia now plans to conduct its own independent research into life possibility

Roscosmos chief declared Venus is a Russian planet after a study suggested there is life on the planet.

During a speech at the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition, the head of Russia's state space agency Dmitry Rogozin claimed the country was the 'first and only one' to land on the planet, The Moscow Times reports.

His statement comes after experts from the UK said they had found signs of phosphine in Venus' atmosphere — suggesting the planet must support unknown chemical processes, or even life.

Read more ....

Update #1: Venus Is a ‘Russian Planet,’ Roscosmos Chief Says (Moscow Times)
Update #2: Russia's space agency chief declares Venus a "Russian planet" (CBS News)

WNU Editor: Dmitry Rogozin is a reader of this blog when it first started. I learned very quickly that he loves to troll the media.This is an example of it.

US Presidential Candidate Biden Threatens The U.K. That There Will Be No Trade Deal If The Good Friday Agreement Is Not Respected

BBC: Biden says US trade deal hinges on UK 'respect' for Good Friday Agreement

Joe Biden has said he will not allow peace in Northern Ireland to become a "casualty of Brexit" if he is elected US President in November.

The Democratic candidate said any UK-US trade deal had to be "contingent" on respect for the Good Friday Agreement.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been trying to reassure US politicians about the latest Brexit developments during a trip to Washington.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he trusted the UK to "get this right".

But US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was "no chance" of a UK-US trade deal getting through the US Congress if the UK violated international agreements, undermining the Good Friday Agreement.

After a meeting with Mr Raab, the Speaker of the House of Representatives said the UK's exit from the EU could not be allowed to "imperil" peace in Northern Ireland.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: UK politicians are hitting back .... UK lawmaker hits Biden for ‘lectures’ on Brexit after trade deal warning (FOX News). More here .... 'Don't Lecture UK Over Brexit, Worry About Killings, Riots in US,' Ex-Tory Leader Warns Joe Biden (Sputnik).

More News On US Presidential Candidate Biden Threatening The U.K. That There Will Be No Trade Deal If The Good Friday Agreement Is Not Respected

Biden warns UK on Brexit: No trade deal unless you respect Northern Irish peace pact -- Reuters
Joe Biden warns UK: No US trade deal if Irish peace accord becomes 'casualty of Brexit' -- Euronews
Biden warns U.K. that Northern Ireland peace deal cannot become a 'casualty of Brexit' -- NBC
Joe Biden reminds Boris Johnson the world is watching Brexit -- and some are not impressed -- CNN
US-UK trade deal faces potential hurdles from Biden, Congress over Brexit fight -- FOX News

Is Canada About To Be Hit With A Major Hurricane?

"It looks like it's going to intensify to a 4 maybe by the end of the afternoon (Friday), so it's a powerful system. The danger with this system is that it's not tracking over or close to land. When systems do that, the outer bands … when they start to brush up against coastline or land, it weakens the storm system. There's no land around. It's out in the mid-Atlantic and it's just churning and the sea surface temperatures are warmer than normal. So right now, there's nothing to weaken this system," said Day.

Zero Hedge: "Powerful" Hurricane Teddy Strengthens To Cat 4 With Canada In Crosshairs; Tropical Depression 22 Forms In Gulf

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is closely monitoring "powerful" Hurricane Teddy as it continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean and could make landfall in Canada early next week.

As of 0500 ET Friday, Teddy is generating 130 mph winds (Category 4) while moving northwest at 12 mph and located about 900 miles southeast of Bermuda. The system is expected to make landfall near Nova Scotia, Canada, as a Category 2, on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Chief meteorologist Cindy Day of SaltWire Network, a Canadian newspaper, said Teddy "would come into Canadian waters late Monday night, and we'd start to get impacted Tuesday afternoon in Nova Scotia, Wednesday in Newfoundland."

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WNU Editor: This post is for my Canadian readers. It is too early to say where this hurricane is heading. But Canada is not use to being hit with hurricanes, and this will cause significant damage if it continues in its current trajectory.