Saturday, August 31, 2019

Turkish President Erdogan: 'Turkey In ‘Talks’ On Buying Russian Su-57 Jet Fighters

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey inspects a Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet at the MAKS-2019 show in Zhukovsky, Russia. © Sputnik/Sergey Guneev

Hurriyet Daily News: Ankara, Moscow to hold talks over Su-57 fighter jets

Turkey and Russia will commence talks on cooperation in the aviation industry in a bid to strengthen bilateral talks, including the Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jets, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s one-day visit to Moscow, according to a senior Russian official.

“We will continue to talk about topics on the agenda and of course address the S-400s. We will talk about how we can go through a more advanced phase on the Su-35 and the possible procurement of Su-57,” Dmitry Shugayev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, told reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS-2019.

Turkey has been showing interest in Russian fighter jets as the former was removed from the U.S. F-35 program, according to Shugayev.

Read more ....

More News On Turkey And Russia Holding Talks Over Su-57 Fighter Jets

Erdogan Says Ankara in Talks With Moscow Over Delivery of Su-57 Fighters to Turkey -- Sputnik
Turkey in ‘talks’ on buying Russian Su-57 jet fighters -- RT
Turkish President Says Russian Fighter-Jet Purchase Under Consideration -- RFE
Turkey starts talks to buy Russian fighter jets after U.S. ban -- UPI

Pentagon Confirms Carrying Out A Massive Airstrike Against al-Qaeda-Linked Terrorists In Idlib, Syria

Long War Journal: Airstrike targeted Al Qaeda leadership in Syria, U.S. military says

The American military conducted an airstrike against al Qaeda in Syria (AQ-S) “leadership at a facility north of Idlib, Syria” earlier today, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). It is the second time the U.S. has struck al Qaeda operatives in Syria since late June.

The “operation targeted AQ-S leaders responsible for attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.” CENTCOM adds that the “removal of this facility will further degrade their ability to conduct future attacks and destabilize the region.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. military/intelligence must have seen an opportunity that was just too good to not ignore.

More News On Reports That The U.S. Carried Out A Massive Airstrike Against al-Qaeda-Linked Terrorists In Idlib, Syria

US strikes jihadists in Syria, monitor says 40 killed -- AFP
Syria war: US missile strike on 'al-Qaeda leaders' in Idlib -- BBC
US Conducts Strike vs Al-Qaida at Facility Near Idlib, Syria -- Bloomberg
Syria's war: US 'targets al-Qaeda leaders' in rebel-held Idlib -- Al Jazeera
Pentagon Confirms Carrying Out Strike on al-Qaeda-Linked Terrorists in Idlib, Syria -- Sputnik
Reported US Airstrikes On Idlib Target Meeting Of Top Al-Qaeda Commanders -- Zero Hedge

80 Years Ago Today Germany Invaded Poland That Started The Second World War

DW: Poland, Germany and the shadow of World War II

To this day, German-Polish ties are haunted by the events of World War II. The invasion of Poland cast a long shadow, as demonstrated by current demands for reparations and plans to erect a memorial to Polish victims.

Poland wasn't just the first country invaded by Germany in World War II. It also suffered the largest number of casualties as a proportion of its total population, in addition to the systematic, wholesale destruction of Polish towns, cities and cultural assets.

These days, however, 80 years after the invasion of Poland, few Germans realize the full extent of the damage wreaked upon their neighbor. Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, admitted as much on a recent visit to the country.

Read more ....

Update: WWII: A memory battleground on the 80th anniversary (AP)

WNU Editor: Every Saturday night we light a candle in my home to remember someone who has passed on and/or a historical event. Tonight we are remembering the German invasion of Poland and the start of the Second World War.

Shock Polls Show U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson And The Conservatives Would Win A Majority If A Snap Election Was Called Today

Daily Mail: You're too scared of an election to bring down Boris Johnson next week, Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Remainer rabble - as poll shows Tories would win a 24 seat majority over 'unpopular' Jeremy Corbyn

* Mail on Sunday poll says Prime Minster would win majority of 28 seats in Election
* Jacob Rees-Mogg says MPs too frightened to call vote of no confidence in PM
* Plotters including Philip Hammond hope to seize control of Commons agenda
* But Mr Rees-Mogg has described such 'politicking' as being 'unconstitutional'

The Minister at the centre of Boris Johnson's shock move to suspend Parliament today dares his opponents to bring down the Government – then watch the Prime Minister sweep to a thumping Election victory.

Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses 'deceitful' and 'underhand' MPs planning a last-ditch Commons move to block No Deal Brexit of being too frightened to call a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson because it would lead to a crushing defeat of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a snap poll.

Mr Rees-Mogg, who went to Balmoral to gain the Queen's approval for the dramatic suspension last week, lays down the gauntlet as an exclusive Mail on Sunday poll predicts Mr Johnson would win a majority of 28 seats in an Election – rising to 84 if Nigel Farage's Brexit Party stands aside.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The international and U.K. media were overwhelmingly focused on today's nationwide protests against Boris Johnson's plan to suspend parliament. But it looks like they are missing (or avoiding) an even bigger story which is that new polls are showing a massive increase in popular support for Boris Johnson and the conservatives after they had made their announcement that they were going to prorogue Parliament. Bottom line. If these polls are accurate, it is going to kill any rebellion in the Tory ranks against Boris Johnson, and make it even more likely for a hard Brexit to happen on October 31.

Thousands Protest Across The U.K. Against Boris Johnson's Decision To Prorogue Parliament

Euronews: Brexit: Protests across the UK after government closes down parliament ahead of EU exit deadline

Protesters have hit the streets across the UK to show their opposition to government moves to close parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline on October 31.

The demonstrations in London and elsewhere are against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament — a move that increases the chances of Britain leaving the European Union without agreement.

With only 61 days until the October 31 deadline for Britain’s withdrawal, anti-Brexit politicians and campaigners are running out of time to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which business leaders say will disrupt Britain’s economy and could even lead to shortages of food or medicine.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Protests In The U.K.

Parliament suspension: Thousands protest across the UK -- BBC
From Bodmin to Berlin, crowds vent their fury at Boris Johnson’s ‘coup’ -- The Guardian
Rabble Army assembles: Diane Abbott joins London protesters as thousands of Corbyn-backed activists bring chaos to the cities in fury over PM's suspension of Parliament -- Daily Mail
'Stop the coup!': Thousands protest Boris Johnson's suspension of UK parliament -- France 24

Thousands Protest In Moscow Demanding Independent Candidates To Run In Upcoming City Council Elections

RFE: Thousands March In Moscow Protest Defying Authorities

Thousands of Russians defied authorities and marched in central Moscow, ignoring officials' warnings and pressing demands to let independent candidates run in upcoming city council elections.

Police did not interfere with the August 31 protest, which was markedly smaller than previous ones.

However, camouflaged officers linked arms to keep marchers out of the road when demonstrators arrived at Pushkin Square -- a symbolically important public park closer to the Kremlin. A heavy presence of detention buses and water-cannon trucks were visible on nearby side streets.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The authorities were surprised by this demonstration. They did not expect it, and are now saying that only a few hundred showed up. But from what I see, the real number is many times that. My advice to the Kremlin is watch out. From what I am hearing, people are angry, especially those under the age of 30. And they are using the protest movement in Hong Kong as a template to now organize their protests in Russia.

More News On Today's Protests In Moscow

Trying to Maintain Momentum as Election Approaches, Moscow Protests Again -- Moscow Times
Opposition supporters defy ban, march on Moscow -- AFP
Russians demand free elections in Moscow, defying protest ban -- Reuters
Russians demand free elections in Moscow, defying protest ban -- Al Jazeera
Protests in Russia may show more than what we're ready to see -- Marc Behrendt and Sofya Orlosky, The Hill

How Much Has The Afghan War Cost America?

BBC: Afghanistan: Has the war cost America $500bn?

The US military has spent billions of dollars since 2001 fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

But the end may finally be in sight for America's military presence in the country if the current talks taking place in Doha between the United States and the Taliban reach a successful conclusion.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said the war has "cost the United States government and society $500bn".

How accurate is this figure and how might it have been reached?

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This was not a war of choice. So maybe the question should be .... should the U.S. have put a limit on their engagement in Afghanistan after the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies were driven out. In hindsight .... they should have left right after that happened instead of being engaged in nation building. That decision alone would not have cost the hundreds in billions that were eventually spent.

U.S. Now Saying That Iranian Oil Tanker Is Heading To Syria

The Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, is carrying a supply of Iranian crude worth about $130m [File: Jon Nazca/Reuters]

Al Jazeera: US blacklists Iranian oil tanker 'headed to Syria'

Adrian Darya 1 on its way to Syrian port of Tartus in contravention of EU sanctions, Secretary of State Pompeo says.

The United States blacklisted an Iranian tanker at the centre of a major diplomatic dispute with Tehran, saying it had "reliable information" the ship was transporting oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

In a statement issued on Friday, the US Treasury Department said the Adrian Darya 1 was "blocked property" and "anyone providing support" to the vessel risked being sanctioned.

The ship's captain, Akhilesh Kumar, was also blacklisted under the order.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is zero doubt in my mind that the oil in this tanker is heading to Syria.

More News On The Iranian Oil Tanker In The Mediterranean

U.S. says Iranian oil tanker headed toward Syria -- Reuters
Iran tanker row: US blacklists vessel 'bound for Syria' -- BBC
US blacklists Iranian tanker in Mediterranean -- AFP
Destination remains obscure for Iran oil tanker sought by US -- AP
Iranian Tanker Still Bound For Syria; US Working To "Disrupt" Oil Transfer: Report -- Zero Hedge

U.S. Officials Now Having Misgivings Over Any Deal With The Taliban In Afghanistan

U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during a debate at Tolo TV channel in Kabul, Afghanistan April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo

Reuters: In Trump's team, misgivings emerge over any deal with Taliban in Afghanistan: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As negotiators work to nail down an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, misgivings have grown among some Trump administration officials and lawmakers that it will erode the United States’ ability to thwart attacks from there, U.S. officials said.

Their concerns collide with U.S. President Donald Trump’s impatience to secure a deal to draw down 14,000 troops and end America’s longest war, allowing him to claim a foreign policy victory as he campaigns for re-election in 2020.

On Thursday, Trump appeared to reflect some of his aides' caution, telling Fox News Radio that U.S. troops would initially be reduced here to 8,600, and "then we make a determination from there as to what happens."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When Taliban commanders are saying this .... Taliban Say They Will Continue To Wage War Against The Afghan Government Even After A U.S. Withdrawal (August 26, 2019). Or when Taliban officials are saying this .... Taliban's Head Spokesman Says There Is No Proof Al Qaeda Was Responsible For 9/11 Attacks (August 23, 2019). Any same person will have misgivings. 

Taliban Have Launched A 'Massive Attack' On The Afghan City Of Kunduz

Reuters: Taliban, Afghan forces clash in northern Afghan city amid peace talks with U.S.

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban forces attacked the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, setting off hours of gun battles, even as U.S. negotiators move closer to finalizing a deal with the insurgents for the withdrawal of American troops from the country.

Heavy fighting has gone on in Kunduz since the early hours of the morning after Taliban fighters attacked from several directions, forcing Afghan forces to rush in reinforcements to prevent the insurgents from gaining control of the city.

Electricity and most telephone services were cut, and residents were sheltering in their houses, making it difficult to gain a complete picture of the fighting.

Read more ....

More News On The Battle For The Afghan City Of Kunduz

Taliban launch ‘massive attack’ on Afghan city of Kunduz -- AP
Afghanistan conflict: Taliban launch major assault on Kunduz -- BBC
Taliban launch 'massive attack' on key Afghan city amid peace talks -- France 24
Taliban Insurgents Assault Key Afghan City as Peace Talks Continue -- VOA
Taliban launches major attack on Afghan city, as talks with US go on in Doha -- CNN
Afghan forces 'repel' Taliban attack on Kunduz, says Ashraf Ghani -- Al Jazeera
Afghan forces claim upper hand after Taliban attack Kunduz city -- AFP
Afghan air and ground forces effectively responding to Taliban attack in Kunduz city: Pamir Corps -- Khaama Press
Afghanistan: Taliban take hostages in attempt to seize Kunduz -- DW
Taliban launch massive attack on Kunduz as peace talks with US continue -- RT

Are Trade Talks Restraining China From Acting Forcefully On Hong Kong?

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that “if it weren’t for the trade talks, Hong Kong would be in much bigger trouble”. Photo: Reuters

SCMP: Donald Trump says trade talks with Beijing are ‘keeping down the temperature in Hong Kong’

* American president says Beijing’s response to anti-government protests has been restrained because it doesn’t want to jeopardise negotiations
* He also confirms new US tariffs on Chinese imports will take effect on Sunday

US President Donald Trump says Beijing’s response to anti-government protests in Hong Kong has been restrained because it does not want to jeopardise ongoing trade talks with Washington.

He also confirmed that new US tariffs on Chinese imports would take effect on Sunday.

“If it weren’t for the trade talks, Hong Kong would be in much bigger trouble. I think it would’ve be much more violent,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday.

“I really believe China wants to make a deal, and they know it puts us in a very bad position if there’s not a humane way of handling the problems.

Read more ....

Update #1: Trump says trade talks with China have helped limit violence in Hong Kong (The Hill)
Update #2: China response to Hong Kong would be ‘much more violent’ without US trade talks - Trump (RT)

WNU Editor: It is not only talks with the U.S. that is restraining China, but also how the EU would respond if China should decide to use force to stop the Hong Kong protests. Hence this explains the reactions of Chinese officials like this one .... China rebukes EU, US politicians for interfering on Hong Kong (Straits Times/Bloomberg).

Hong Kong Rocked By Riots -- News Updates August 31, 2019

Daily Mail: Hong Kong streets are ablaze as anti-China activists torch barricades in bid to drive back police blasting tear gas and water cannons at determined masses

* Thousands of protesters took the streets in the 13th weekend of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong
* Riot police in heavy armour fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters close to the army headquarters
* Protesters, ducking beneath umbrellas, hurled petrol bombs, bricks and fired laser pointers back at the police
* Earlier on Saturday a 'prayer for sinners' Christian march peacefully moved through the city

Chaos engulfed Hong Kong's financial heart on Saturday night as police fired tear gas and water cannon at petrol bomb-throwing protesters, who defied a ban on rallying - and mounting threats from China - to take to the streets for a 13th straight weekend.

Police had banned the demonstration on security grounds and on Friday arrested several key activists and legislators in a dragnet on pro-democracy figures.

But Saturday afternoon, large crowds - many in their signature black T-shirts and under a colourful canopy of umbrellas - defied the order to snake through Hong Kong island, blocking roads and chanting 'reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times'.

Read more ....

Hong Kong Rocked By Riots -- News Updates August 31, 2019

Police fire live round in Victoria Park as Hong Kong's protests worsen: Live Updates -- SCMP
Hong Kong protests: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Tear Gas, Petrol Bombs and Barricade Bonfires: Hong Kong Update -- Bloomberg
Hong Kong protests turn to chaos amid tear gas and petrol bombs -- Reuters
Hong Kong protesters set fires, then retreat before arrest -- AP
Thousands in Hong Kong defy ban for 13th straight weekend of protests -- France 24
Fire, tear gas and petrol bombs as Hong Kong engulfed by chaos -- AFP
Hong Kong protests: demonstrators build fire near police headquarters -- The Guardian
Hong Kong protesters in fresh standoff with police -- DW
Hong Kong protesters tear-gassed after clashes with police -- Al Jazeera
Hong Kong protests: Demonstrators defy ban on march -- BBC
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong protesters defy ban -- UPI
Hong Kong police turn to water cannon as protesters hurl petrol bombs & bricks (PHOTO, VIDEO) -- RT
Hong Kong Police Fire Live Rounds To Quell Protesters As Chaos Rules Streets -- Zero Hedge
How we got here: Hong Kong's fiery 13th weekend of unrest -- CNN

What Was The Payload On The Iran Rocket That Exploded This Week?

Iran's Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted this image of himself standing next to the Nahid-1

Daily Mail: 'Good Morning Donald Trump!' Iran 's IT minister taunts the president by tweeting a photo of himself next to the intact satellite linked to the explosion at a rocket test site

* Iran's Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted 'Good Morning' at President Trump Saturday
* Jahromi included a picture of himself standing next to the Nahid-1 satellite
* Trump on Friday tweeted what appeared to be a U.S. spy photo of the damage at the launch pad and said the US had nothing to do with the explosion
* Analysts had linked the explosion to Iran's planned launch of the Nahid-1

An Iranian official has tweeted at President Donald Trump over an apparent rocket failure, showing an image of him standing next to a satellite that was supposed to be launched.

Iran's Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted the image Saturday of himself with the Nahid-1 satellite.

'Me & Nahid I right now, Good Morning Donald Trump!' Jahromi wrote in the tweet accompanying the picture.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Twitter is banned in Iran .... except for those who work for the Iranian government. So this tweet by this Iranian minister should be treated with the skepticism that it deserves. But if it was not the Nahid-1 satellite on the rocket that exploded, what was it carrying?

Pentagon Orders The Immediate Evacuation Of Warships And Aircraft Ahead Of Hurricane Dorian

FOX News: Florida military bases move warships, aircraft ahead of Hurricane Dorian

The Navy has ordered dozens of warships and aircraft to evacuate two bases in northeast Florida ahead of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Dorian.

On Thursday, the Navy's Fourth Fleet declared "Sortie Condition Alpha" for ships homeported at Mayport Naval Station at the mouth of the St. Johns River east of Jacksonville. “Sortie Condition Alpha" means units must prepare to dispatch or deploy because destructive weather is expected within 24 hours.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It looks like the hurricane is going to bypass Florida .... Category 4 Dorian bears down on Bahamas, may skirt Florida (AP).

Is Venezuela And Cuba Behind The Announcement That FARC Will Resume The War?

Prominent members of Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, including Ivan Marquez (center) say they are relaunching the group that demobilized after a 2016 peace deal Screen Grab Courtesy

Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Colombia’s armed rebels are back, with Venezuela’s help. This could trigger regional conflict

Many see the announcement by a dissident group of Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) rebels that they will break a 3-year-old peace deal and resume armed struggle as a domestic problem. But, more likely, it will become a Colombia-Venezuela dispute — and perhaps escalate into a regional conflict.

Colombian President Ivan Duque already has pinned the blame on Venezuela. Hours after the FARC’s Aug. 29 announcement, he said that the leftist rebels are “a narco-terrorist criminal gang that counts on the safe harbor and support of (Venezuelan) dictator Nicolás Maduro.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Venezuela is providing a safe haven for this dissident FARC group and for the ELN. If that is not helping and assisting the fermentation of this war, I then do not know what is. And yes .... this involvement by Venezuela and Cuba will escalate into a regional conflict. Both the Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Cuban government need to deflect the focus of their failed policies and economic mismanagement to something else.

The Trial For Khalid Shaikh Mohammed And Four Other Men Responsible For 9/11 Is Set For January 11, 2021

Colonel W. Shane Cohen of the Air Force announced on Friday that the trial for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other men is set for January 11, 2021

Daily Mail: Death penalty trial date for men accused of planning 9/11 is finally set: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accomplices charged with plotting attacks that killed 2,976 people will be held at Guantanamo Bay in January 2021

* Colonel W. Shane Cohen of the Air Force announced on Friday that the trial is set for January 11, 2021
* The case will take place at Camp Justice at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba
* Date announcement was included in a 10-page trial scheduling order that also said that prosecutors had until October 1 to get material to defense teams
* Cohen's announcement marks the first time that a trial judge in the case actually established a date
* Prosecutors had tried to get the ball rolling with two previous judges after the 2012 arraignment of the five men

A 2021 date has been established for the death-penalty trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged as the masterminds behind the September 11 attack in New York City.

Colonel W. Shane Cohen of the Air Force announced on Friday that the trial is set for January 11, 2021. The case will take place at Camp Justice at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

Khalid Sheikh (also spelled as Shaikh) Mohammed is said to be the architect behind the plot that killed 2,976 in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Cohen set the date so that a military jury could be selected, the New York Times reports. The selection process is said to take months, with various military personnel having to be flown in by groups to the base.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is so long overdue.

Tweets For Today

Picture Of The Day

A couple poses for a selfie with giant salvaged busts of former US Presidents August 25, 2019, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Howard Hankins rescued the giant busts of former US Presidents from the closed Presidents Park in Colonial Williamsburg when he was commissioned to destroy them.

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures: 24 - 30 August (Sputnik).

Friday, August 30, 2019

Poland And The U.S. Have Agreed On Six Locations For New U.S. Troops To Be Stationed

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak attends the signing ceremony for a deal to buy High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, during US Vice President Mike Pence's visit in Warsaw, Poland, February 13, 2019. © Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Zero Hedge: Poland And US Agree On Locations For New American Troops

Poland and the United States have agreed on six locations for new US troops to be stationed throughout the European nation, according to a Friday statement by Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

The military deal, signed in June, will add 1,000 non-permanent US troops to the currently stationed 4,500 on rotation as part of NATO forces.

Read more ....

Update #1: Poland, U.S. agree on six locations for U.S. troops in Poland - minister -- Reuters
Update #2: Warsaw, Washington agree on 6 locations for US troops in Poland – defense minister (RT)

WNU Editor: This is a major shift of U.S. forces in eastern Europe, and it is being noticed by everyone in the region.

Did President Trump Disclose U.S. Surveillance Secrets In His Tweet On Iran's Rocket Failure?

Reuters: Trump Iran photo tweet raises worries about disclosure of U.S. surveillance secrets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday posted on Twitter a photo of what appeared to be the site of a failed Iranian satellite launch, raising questions about whether he had disclosed U.S. surveillance secrets.

The black-and-white photo showed the fire-blasted launch site at a space center in northern Iran including a damaged gantry service tower and a downed mobile erector launcher.

Trump, in his tweet, cited the specific location of the site, saying the United States was not involved in the “catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House later on Friday, Trump defended his posting of the photo and reiterated that the United States had nothing to do with the incident.

“We had a photo. I released it, which I have the absolute right to do,” Trump said.

He said the Iranians “were going to set off a big missile and it didn’t work out too well. Had nothing to do with us.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Over the years I have posted many satellite photos from the U.S. government. And while they are not like this one, they were close. Everyone also knows that the resolution from U.S. spy satellites are incredible, which this picture. Bottom line, there are no U.S. surveillance secrets being disclosed. Like it or not, President Trump is also right about this .... Trump: I have the absolute right to release Iran photo (CNN).

More News On President Trump's Tweet On An Iranian Rocket Failure

Trump may have revealed US military secrets by tweeting a photo to taunt Iran -- Business Insider
Trump appears to taunt Iran with tweet that raises concerns he disclosed classified information -- CNN
Trump Denies U.S. Responsibility in Iranian Missile Base Explosion -- The New York Times
President Trump tweets picture of sensitive satellite photo of Iranian launch site -- Ars Technica
President Trump Tweets Sensitive Surveillance Image of Iran -- NPR
US official confirms that Trump tweeted out a picture from a classified intelligence briefing -- Business Insider

How A Few Islands In The South China Sea Are Raising Tensions Between China And vietnam

CNN: The tiny islands that could explode the China-Vietnam relationship

Da Nang, Vietnam (CNN)"The Paracel Islands!" the teacher shouts.

"Belong to Vietnam!" call back about 30 schoolchildren, even louder. Their chant echoes through the three-story Paracel Islands Museum in Da Nang, which officials say cost the Vietnamese government $1.8 million to build.

Since opening in 2018, about half of its 40,000 visitors have been schoolchildren, who can explore exhibits, including documents, maps and photographs, all curated to hammer home one point.

The Paracel Islands belong to Vietnam. Not to China.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Both sides have no interest in compromising.

Tonight's Movie Is 'Beachhead'

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 30, 2019

DW: US-Taliban talks: DW reporters' firsthand account from Doha

Journalists are eagerly awaiting a breakthrough in the US-Taliban talks in Doha, Qatar as the two sides continue to iron out details of a deal. But reporters are faced with difficult conditions in getting the truth out.

In Qatar, foreign reporters are required to comply with a number of rules and regulations that limit their journalistic coverage. Although DW managed to get permission to cover the ongoing US-Taliban talks in the capital Doha, we were not allowed to relay anything live from the city — apart from a pre-recorded Skype report presented as live — partly because the paperwork takes a long time.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 30, 2019

Afghanistan Is Not Iraq -- Lawrence J. Korb, National Interest

To Beijing, the Hong Kong protest unrest is now a threat on a national level -- Bernard Chan, SCMP

A Reckoning over Hong Kong Is Coming and It Will Take China's Economy with It -- Carlos Roa, National Interest

Hong Kong is irreplaceable for China. That’s why the PLA hasn’t rolled in yet -- Richard Harris, SCMP

China's geopolitical ambitions extend to both Pakistan and Indian Kashmir -- Neelima Choahan and Sean Mantesso, ABC News Online

How Timor-Leste's fight for independence shaped the lives of three generations in Australia -- Anthony Stewart and Erwin Renaldi, ABC News Online

What Follows New Cambodia-Laos Border Tensions? -- P. Parameswaran, The Diplomat

Major clashes in Eastern Med unlikely -- Henri J Barkey, Asia Times

The EU Now Knows Johnson Means Business -- Iain Martin, Times of London

Mexico’s new drug war may be worse than old one -- Mark Stevenson, AP

The historic hurricanes that made landfall on Florida’s east coast -- Tom McCarthy, The Guardian

Hypersonic missiles are a deadly threat to US -- Stephen Bryen, Asia Times

The Pentagon’s New Missile Drive Is Bringing Armageddon Closer -- Michael T. Klare, Slate

Tesla's Elon Musk and Alibaba’s Jack Ma debate -- Clifford Coonan, DW

World News Briefs -- August 30, 2019 (Evening Edition)

A Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier guards the entrance to the PLA Hong Kong Garrison headquarters in the Central Business District in Hong Kong, China, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Reuters: Exclusive: Amid crisis, China rejected Hong Kong plan to appease protesters - sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Earlier this summer, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, submitted a report to Beijing that assessed protesters’ five key demands and found that withdrawing a contentious extradition bill could help defuse the mounting political crisis in the territory.

The Chinese central government rejected Lam’s proposal to withdraw the extradition bill and ordered her not to yield to any of the protesters’ other demands at that time, three individuals with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

China’s role in directing how Hong Kong handles the protests has been widely assumed, supported by stern statements in state media about the country’s sovereignty and protesters’ “radical” goals.

Read more ....


Syrian troops to start unilateral cease-fire in Idlib.

Russia announces ceasefire in Syria's Idlib from Saturday.

Syria, Russia step up assault on rebel stronghold: opposition, residents.

Turkish guards fire in air, stop protesting Syrians crossing border: AFP.

UAE: 'Terrorist militias' targeted as fractures with Saudi grow.

Iraq probes find Israel behind 'some' base attacks: MP.

Germany urges US to talk with Iran.

Confusion over Iranian tanker's destination after weeks of ordeal.

UN atomic watchdog: Iran still in violation of nuclear deal.

Satellite photos show burning Iran space center launch pad.

Lebanon's Hezbollah hands two crashed drones to Lebanese army.


Adopting softer stance, Kazakhstan allows small-scale protests.

China-U.S. trade talk teams keeping 'effective communication': China.

Hong Kong activists released on bail as protests called off.

Xi to deliver speech as pressure builds at home and abroad.

Beijing to Duterte: South China Sea position not up for talks.

Kashmir: Pakistan's Khan warns of 'genocide of Muslims'.

Pakistan PM leads demonstration on Kashmir in bid to win over world opinion.

North Korean constitution makes Kim Jong Un's power 'monolithic.

China’s foreign minister to visit North Korea ahead of possible fifth trip to Beijing by Kim Jong-un in October.

China forces out Wall Street Journal reporter Chun Han Wong after report on Xi Jinping’s cousin.


Six countries block UN sanctions against Somalia's Al-Shabaab.

Ebola deaths in east DRC outbreak top 2,000.

Egypt proposes long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas - report.

UN chief Guterres fears eruption of 'full civil war' in Libya.

Severe hunger threatens millions in Somalia as climate emergency deepens.

Sudan protests: Dozens missing since June crackdown.

Zimbabwe 'has never been this bad' as crackdown silences resistance.


Italy’s 5-Star chief inflexible in dealing for new coalition.

Poland, US agree on 6 sites for more US troops, debating 7th.

UK, EU ramp up Brexit talks as Parliament suspension backlash grows.

Legal challenge to stop suspension of UK Parliament delayed in Scottish court.

Brexit: PM Johnson faces mounting legal, political, diplomatic challenges.

Salvini urges far-right supporters to march on Rome after bid to force election backfires.

Ukraine denies Russia prisoner swap finalized.

Sweden ends sweeping ‘automatic asylum’ policy for Syrians.

Extreme weather to blame as France’s wine output set to fall by 12%.


Colombian rebels’ rearming ups pressure for Maduro.

Nine Colombian rebel dissidents killed in bombing raid, president says.

Hurricane Dorian gains fury but could end up sparing Florida.

Hurricane Dorian: Florida braces for what may be biggest storm on east coast since 1992.

Donald Trump demands Federal Reserve interest rate cuts AGAIN and defends his trade war as clock ticks down to his next set of tariffs going into place on China on Sunday.

Trump says Comey decision proves Barr is 'fair and reasonable'.

Joe Biden unapologetic after reportedly mistelling military story.

Amazon fires 'extraordinarily concerning', warns UN biodiversity chief.


Islamic State claims suicide bomb attack on separatist fighters in Yemen's Aden: Amaq.

Israel says Iran boosting bid to set up Hezbollah precision-missile plants in Lebanon.

Israel, Egypt, Hamas against global jihad.

'Executioner of Raqqa': ISIS killer who received UK housing benefits for years finally captured.


Wall Street stalls to end weak August as China tariffs loom ahead of U.S. holiday.

Exclusive: Saudi Aramco board sees too many risks for New York IPO - sources.

Elon Musk and Jack Ma disagree about AI's threat.

Google says hackers have put ‘monitoring implants’ in iPhones for years.

Russian telecom giant & China’s Huawei launch 5G zones in Russian cities.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Tweets That She Is 'Rooting' For Hurricane Dorian To Hit Trump's Mar-a-Lago

Time: Former Canadian Prime Minister Tweets That She Is 'Rooting' for Hurricane Dorian to Hit Trump's Mar-a-Lago

Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell is getting attention after she tweeted that she is “rooting” for Hurricane Dorian to make a “a direct hit” on President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

Campbell, Canada’s first and only female prime minster, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “I’m rooting for a direct hit on Mar a Lago!” in response to a tweet saying that Florida is at risk and should prepare for the hurricane approaching.

Campbell continued with another tweet on Thursday, in which she said “we will see if Mrs. Post’s design can stand up to the assault!”––referring to Marjorie Merriweather Post, the businesswoman and philanthropist who first built Mar-a-Lago in 1923 as a place to entertain her guests.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She has since apologized .... Ex-Canadian PM apologizes after saying she hoped Hurricane Dorian would hit Mar-a-Lago (FOX News), but I do not think it is sincere. Her hatred for President Trump is well known (see below tweet). So why all the attention? If she was a citizen, this story would be going no where. But she is a former Canadian Prime Minister, and she currently chairs a committee that selects Canada's next supreme court justice. What she says does have an impact, and in my opinion disqualifies her from staying on such a committee.

Europe's Migrant Crisis Continues

A Greek police officer attends the beach after 547 people arrived last night, most of them from Syria and Afghanistan

Daily Mail: Europe's migrant crisis continues unabated as 500 arrive on Lesbos in flotilla of 16 boats and 100 more scale barbed wire fences to reach Spanish enclave

* More than 500 migrants - including 246 children - landed on the Greek island of Lesbos overnight
* They arrived in the fishing village of Skala Sikamia and most are believed to come from Syria and Afghanistan
* Many were taken to a UN camp where more than 10,000 are being held in a facility designed to hold 3,000
* Meanwhile 155 sub-Saharan Africans jumped over barbed wire fences into Ceuta from Morocco today
* Several migrants clung to the tops of the 20ft fences and had to be hauled off by officers in cherry pickers

Europe's migrant crisis continued today with over 100 scaling a 20ft barbed wire fence into a Spanish enclave and more than 500 arriving on boats at a beach in Greece overnight.

Police in Ceuta said 155 sub-Saharan Africans made their way into the Spanish territory after climbing fences that separate it from Morocco on Friday.

Meanwhile on the island of Lesbos 16 rubber dinghies packed with 547 migrants - more than 240 of them children - landed at the fishing village of Skala Sikamia overnight.

They arrived within the space of around an hour while another 32 people in different vessel were rescued at sea and transported to land.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Sweden is now saying enough .... Sweden ends sweeping ‘automatic asylum’ policy for Syrians. (BBC).

U.S. Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

© Reuters / Scott Olson / Pool

FOX News: U.S. service member becomes 15th to be killed in Afghanistan this year

A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said, bringing the total number of combat deaths there this year to 15 – and making this the deadliest year since the Pentagon announced the end of combat operations in 2014.

The 2019 death toll in Afghanistan has already surpassed the 13 troops killed there last year.

The service member killed Thursday was not immediately identified, in keeping with U.S. Department of Defense policy withholding the names until 24 hours after notification of next of kin.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is the third soldier killed in Afghanistan this week .... Third U.S. Soldier Dies in Afghanistan in Just Over a Week (New York Times).

More News On Reports That A U.S. Soldier Was Killed In Afghanistan

Special Forces soldier dies during combat ops in Afghanistan
-- Army Times
Special Forces soldier dies during combat ops in Afghanistan -- Military Times
US service member killed in Afghanistan: NATO -- AFP
US service member killed in Afghanistan -- CNN
Third US Service Member in Nine Days Killed in Afghanistan --

Pakistan Stops For 30 Minutes To Show Solidarity With Kashmir

CNN: Pakistan brought to a standstill for 'Kashmir hour' demonstrations

(CNN)Pakistanis brought the nation to a standstill at midday Friday as they gathered for "Kashmir hour" to show their solidarity with the disputed region, after India stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy and reclassified it as a union territory earlier this month.

India's move was highly contentious and one that will give the government in New Delhi greater authority over the disputed Muslim-majority region.

The national anthems of both Pakistan and Kashmir blared across TV and radio stations on Friday, according to Reuters, and traffic and trains were brought to a halt as people gathered between 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. local time.

Read more ....

Update: In pictures: Tens of thousands of Pakistanis come out on streets to show solidarity with occupied Kashmir (DAWN)

WNU Editor: Pakistan is also showing its military capabilities .... Pakistan tested a ballistic missile amid ongoing tensions with India (CNN).

Japan's Military Requests A $50.3 Billion Defense Budget

Reuters: Japan's military seek eighth straight annual hike in defense spending

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s military has asked for an eighth straight annual increase in defense spending to help pay for U.S.-made interceptor missiles, stealth fighters, and other equipment it wants to counter threats from North Korea and China.

The Ministry of Defence budget proposal released Friday calls for spending to increase 1.2 percent to a record 5.32 trillion yen ($50.48 billion) in the year starting April 1. Finance ministry officials will scrutinize the request before it is approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet.

Already one of the world’s biggest military spenders despite a constitution that forbids the possession of weapons to attack other countries, Japan has increased military outlays by a tenth over the past seven years. That growth is being driven by alarm over military build ups by its neighbors.

Read more ....

More News On Japan's Military Requesting A $50.3 Billion Defense Budget

Japan's Defense Ministry requests record ¥5.32 trillion budget -- Japan Times
Japan defense costs swell on greater role, purchases from US -- AP
Japan defence ministry seeks record budget -- AFP
Japan sets sights on record $50.3 billion defense budget -- UPI
Here’s what Japan’s Defense Ministry wants to do with $50.5 billion -- Defense News

Chinese President Xi Jinping To Deliver Major Speech On October 1

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year speech on the eve of the year 2019 in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

Bloomberg: Xi to Deliver Speech as Pressure Builds at Home and Abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a major speech to mark 70 years since the official founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government announced on Thursday.

The speech on Oct. 1 will be accompanied by a national day parade showcasing China’s advances in military technology, Wang Xiaohui, executive vice minister for the Communist Party’s Publicity Department, said at a press briefing in Beijing. “The purpose is to motivate and mobilize the whole party, the whole military, and all of the people to unite closely around the CCP Central Committee with Xi at the core,” Wang said.

The speech will be closely watched for hints on China’s policy direction, especially with the nation facing pressure on multiple fronts, from the trade war with the U.S. to protests in Hong Kong to a slowing domestic economy. Xi is expected to review the nation’s achievements over the past 70 years and also talk about China’s future.

He used a speech marking the anniversary of China’s May Fourth movement earlier this year to urge the country’s young people to stay loyal to the Communist Party.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is going to be a major speech, and will be watched by many on what direction China will be following.

China To Showcase It's New Weapons In Beijing Parade On October 1

Asia Times: China to showcase new weapons at Beijing parade

Equipment likely to include the DF-41 mobile ballistic missile and the JL-2 sub-launched ballistic missile

China will showcase some domestically produced, advanced military equipment at an upcoming parade, authorities announced Thursday.

The parade, to be held Oct. 1 in the capital Beijing, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China following the communist victory of nationalist forces in 1949, Defense News reported.

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, the parade will be bigger than those that commemorated the 50th and 60th founding anniversaries, as well as the military parade in 2015 that commemorated the Allied defeat of imperial Japan in 1945.

Read more ....

More News On China Showcasing Its Newest Weapons On October 1

Military parade to demonstrate China’s rising capability -- Global Times
China to hold largest military parade in two decades to celebrate 70th anniversary of PRC's founding -- Global Times
China unveils plan for huge anniversary military parade -- AFP
Here are the advanced weapons we might see at China’s military parade -- Defense News

Prominent Hong Kong Activists And Lawmakers Arrested In Police Crackdown

SCMP: Prominent activists and lawmakers arrested in Hong Kong police crackdown, fuelling tensions as protesters vow to defy march ban over the weekend

* Among those arrested are activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Andy Chan; lawmakers Cheng Chung-tai, Au Nok-hin and Jeremy Tam also held
* Pan-democrats slam arrests, saying timing is meant to suppress protest movement but will backfire and fuel greater anger

Tensions mounted in Hong Kong on Friday as police arrested prominent pro-democracy activists and at least three lawmakers in a crackdown ahead of a banned mass march as the city braced for the 13th straight weekend of anti-government protests.

Among those arrested were young activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, both from the political party Demosisto, Andy Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the now-outlawed Hong Kong National Party, and three pro-democracy lawmakers, Cheng Chung-tai, Au Nok-hin and Jeremy Tam Man-ho.

Read more ....

More News On Prominent Hong Kong Activists And Lawmakers Being Arrested In Police Crackdown

The Latest: Police urge Hong Kong residents not to protest -- AP
Hong Kong activists released on bail as protests called off -- France 24
Hong Kong protests: Joshua Wong and other pro-democracy figures arrested -- The Guardian
Hong Kong activists arrested: Joshua Wong and others charged -- BBC
Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong released on bail after arrest -- DW
Hong Kong's activist Joshua Wong arrested ahead of planned weekend protests -- ABC News Online
Hong Kong police arrest prominent activists ahead of mass rally -- Al Jazeera
Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy activists -- UPI
EU: Hong Kong developments are 'extremely worrying' -- DW
Who are the arrested Hong Kong activists? -- The Guardian