Thursday, December 31, 2020

F-15 Takes Out A Target With A Sidewinder Missile At Very Close Range (Video)


We don’t often get the chance to see such a close-quarters aerial engagement with live weapons. 

The U.S. Air Force has released video and photos of an F-15C Eagle fighter jet destroying a towed target at very close range with one of its Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, during a mission flown off the coast of the United Kingdom. It’s relatively rare imagery showing one of the air superiority fighters doing just what it was designed to do — being “the baddest guy in the air,” in the words of three-time MiG-killer and retired Eagle pilot Cesar “Rico” Rodriguez. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: You don't see videos like that everyday.

US Braces For Super-COVID Tsunami From Mutant Strain

The UK on Wednesday recorded its deadliest day since April with 981 COVID fatalities and 50,000 more cases, as another 20million people were plunged into the toughest restrictions in a desperate attempt to control the spiraling second wave 

 * Britain is seeing infections and death rates soar as hospitalizations climb to their highest levels on record 
 * The country on Wednesday recorded its deadliest day since April with 981 COVID fatalities and 50,000 cases 
 * Now the US must try to curb the same mutant strain which researchers estimate is up to 70% more contagious 
 * California became the second state on Wednesday to report finding the new strain of the virus after Colorado 
 * Fauci on Thursday said it is 'inevitable' the new COVID-19 strain will spread across the US, warning: 'You'll be hearing reports from other states and more cases in the state that is already reported' 

A mutant variant of the coronavirus has been found in both California and Colorado this week sparking fears the more contagious strain will wreak the same havoc in the United States as it has the United Kingdom. 

Britain is seeing infections soar and hospitalizations climb to their highest levels on record. London and southeast England were placed under strict lockdown measures earlier this month and dozens of countries banned flights from the country. France also briefly barred trucks from Britain. 

The UK on Wednesday recorded its deadliest day since April with 981 COVID fatalities and 50,000 more cases, as another 20million people were plunged into the toughest restrictions in a desperate attempt to control the spiralling second wave. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Just when you think it cannot get worse. It does.

U.S. Falls Short Of Vaccinating 20 Million People Against Covid-19 By The End OF 2020


 * With only a few days left before the new year, the United States will likely fall short of its goal to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of 2020. 
 * The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said just more than 11.4 million doses had been distributed but only about 2.1 million had been administered as of the latest figures released Monday. 
 * The CDC cited data reporting lags and the pending launch of the federal government’s partnership with pharmacy chains as reasons for the gap between delivered and administered doses. 

With only a few days to go, the United States will likely fall short of its goal to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the year’s end as the nation embarks on what will be a historic campaign to inoculate hundreds of millions of people against the coronavirus by the middle of next year. 

Two Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have now been given emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, paving the way for the first handful of front-line health-care workers and vulnerable long-term care residents to be inoculated against the virus. 

WNU Editor: More than 14m vaccine doses had been distributed in the US, but only 2.1 million people have been vaccinated. So much for the goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans by now. More resources will definitely need to be committed .... Fauci calls for extra resources as US misses Covid vaccination target (The Guardian). My brother who is in the biotech field told me this afternoon that the military should be employed.

US Orders The Nimitz Carrier Group To Leave The Mideast And Return Home

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), center, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) sail in formation during a scheduled transit of the Strait of Hormuz, Nov. 9, 2020. (MC3 Anthony Collier/Navy) 

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and its carrier strike group will begin transiting from Africa to their West Coast homeports after the acting defense secretary announced today their deployment would be coming to a close. 

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego, Calif., in May for a deployment to the Middle East that began in June. The strike group left the Middle East in November for a quick exercise with the Indian Navy and then returned back to U.S. 5th Fleet. 

WNU Editor: If threats from Iran are real, why send the aircraft carrier back home? .... Bracing for a possible Iranian-linked attack in Iraq, U.S. officials warn ‘the threat streams are very real’ (Washington Post). 

More News On The US Ordering The Nimitz Carrier Group To Leave The Mideast And Return Home

Biden's Transition Team Demands Change In The Secret Service Presidential Detail Due To Concerns Over Trump Loyalists

US Secret Service agents open the door to Joe Biden's vehicle before he boards his campaign plane. ©REUTERS / Tom Brenner 

The Secret Service is planning to add a number of agents that previously worked with President-elect Joe Biden when he served as vice president to his presidential detail in the coming weeks, The Washington Post reported. 

While it’s not unusual for staffing changes to be made to the presidential detail when a new administration assumes office, the moves come as allies of the incoming president have expressed concerns about how some agents may align with President Trump, the Post noted. 

WNU Editor: Everyone has biases. But in my experience a professional will not let his/her biases or prejudices compromise the work. When I look at the Secret Service. The agents who make up the Presidential detail have always struck me as people who are professional to the extreme and will take a bullet for the President. 

Speaking of President Trumps' Secret Service detail. Many have requested to be on his detail when he leaves for Florida at the end of his term. 

 More News On Biden's Transition Team Demanding Changes In The Secret Service Presidential Detail Due To Concerns Over Trump Loyalists 

Russian President Putin Signs Laws That Target U.S. Social Media, Leaks, And Public Protests

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a joint meeting of the country's State Council and the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects via a video conference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia December 23, 2020. SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/KREMLIN 

MOSCOW, Dec 30 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin signed an array of laws on Wednesday handing Russia new powers to restrict U.S. social media giants, label individuals "foreign agents", and to crack down on the disclosure of its security officers' personal data. 

The laws, which also introduce new restrictions for protests, cap a year of constitutional reforms allowing Putin, 68, to stand for two more six-year terms in the Kremlin instead of stepping down in 2024 as he had been legally required to do. 

Other reforms such as one granting former presidents lifelong immunity from prosecution have kept analysts guessing about his plans as Moscow's ties with the West have come under new strain over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: In Putin's mind the law that gives him lifelong immunity from prosecution is the important one. That law is also an indication that Putin is already thinking of retirement. Not surprising. He has already admitted that the past year has been a tough one .... Outgoing year was difficult, its burden was several years’ worth, says Putin (TASS). 

 More News On New Laws In Russia 

Trump Administration Taking Steps To Designate Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism

FOX News: State Department considers designating Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, source says 

Currently, the state sponsors of terrorism list includes just three countries 

The government of Cuba could be added to the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism, if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signs on to a State Department proposal as the Trump administration winds down. 

A source familiar with the discussions confirms senior State Department officials are considering the designation, which, days ahead of the next administration, would move the U.S. even further from the Obama-era reconciliation with Havana. 

A designation would trigger automatic sanctions against Cuba’s government and add it to a list including North Korea, Iran and Syria as the only nations the U.S. has designated as state sponsors of terrorism.

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The Cuban government has responded .... Cuba Warns US Against New Terror Designation (VOA/AFP) 

 More News On The U.S. Taking Steps To Designate Cuba A State Sponsor Of Terrorism 

China Amends Its National Defense Law To Clarify Its Role In International Situations

PLA Photo:VCG 

Global Times: New national defense law to protect China’s development interests

China's newly amended national defense law will come into effect on January 1, 2021. It was approved at a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on Saturday, according to the Xinhua News Agency. 

There are several reasons why the national defense law was amended at this time. After the fresh round of military reforms, the capability of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been remarkably improved. It is necessary for the PLA to undertake more work to defend national security, sovereignty and development interests. Furthermore, the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. In this respect, the national defense law should adjust according to the new international situation and China's strategic changes. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This is a blunt warning from China that they will use their military in international situations that they deem are vital to their strategic interests.

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Tercio Galdino, 66, and his wife Aliceia, 65, wear their protective 'space suits' as they walk on the sidewalk of Copacabana Beach amid the coronavirus outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 11, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Our oddest photos from 2020 (Reuters).

COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes Provision To Have The Pentagon And U.S. Intel Agencies To Reveal All UFO Information

Daily Mail: Donald Trump signing coronavirus bill kicked off 180-day countdown for Pentagon and spy agencies to reveal to Intelligence Committee EVERYTHING they know about UFOs 

 * Several measures snuck their way into the $2.3 trillion coroanvirus relief and government funding joint package 
 * One is a requirement that the Pentagon and spy agencies report to the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees everything they know about UFOs 
 * It gives the relevant agencies 180 days from the time of President Donald Trump's signature on Sunday to share the information 
 * The measure flew under that radar as it was included as a comment from the Intelligence Committee, chaired by Florida Senator Marco Rubio 
 * The push for more transparency on unidentified flying objects comes after the Pentagon's published in April three Navy videos showing proof of such sightings 

A lot of measures made their way into the $2.3 trillion COVID relief and government funding bill, including setting a timeline for the Defense Department and spy agencies to reveal all they know about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). 

The provision flew under the radar as it was included as a 'committee comment' from Senate Intelligence Committee Acting Chairman Marco Rubio rolled into the annual intelligence authorization act rather than in the text of the 5,593-page massive funding and relief legislation. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: All of this is in a Covid-19 relief bill?!?!?!?! 

 More News On The COVID-19 Relief Bill Including A Provision To Have The Pentagon And U.S. Intel Agencies To Reveal All UFO Information 

Why Does Russia Continue To Maintain A Large Arsenal Of Tactical Nuclear Weapons?


Mark Episkopos, National Interest: Russia Has the Most Tactical Nuclear Weapons on Earth

The question we should all ask is pretty simple: why does Moscow need them? 

The Russian Federation is widely believed to possess around 3,000 to 6,000 tactical nuclear warheads; that number is significantly down from its Soviet predecessor, which owned at least 13,000 and as many as 22,000 tactical warheads by the end of the Cold War in 1991. 

But Russia continues to have the most tactical nuclear warheads in the world, and there are no signs that this will change anytime soon. 

WNU Editor: I am more worried about this .... Why are Russia’s Nuclear ICBM Launchers on Combat Alert? (Peter Sucio, National Interest).

New Low-Yield Nuclear Warheads Have All Been Delivered To The U.S. Navy

Personnel at the Pantex plant in Texas load a Mk 4A reentry vehicle containing a W76-1 warhead into a container for transport. The W76-2 warhead fits inside the same reentry vehicle. YouTube capture

Biden has opposed the Trump Administration's deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads on the Navy's Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles. 

Anew report says that the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration has finished the planned production run of controversial low-yield W76-2 nuclear warheads for the U.S. Navy's Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and delivered all of them to that service. This revelation comes just weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office. Biden has said that fielding this weapon, which some experts say worryingly increases the chances of the U.S. government using nuclear weapons in a crisis, is a "bad idea." 

WNU Editor: I would not be surprised if the incoming Biden administration pulls back from this deployment of low-yield nuclear weapons .... Biden to Review U.S. Nuclear-Weapons Programs, With Eye Toward Cuts (WSJ).

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

This Is How China Buys Favor With All Major Western Media Outlets

National Pulse: STUNNING: All Major Western Media Outlets Take ‘Private Dinners’, ‘Sponsored Trips’ From Chinese Communist Propaganda Front

A host of corporate media outlets including CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and MSNBC have participated in private dinners and sponsored trips with the China-United States Exchange Foundation, a Chinese Communist Party-funded group seeking to garner “favorable coverage” and “disseminate positive messages” regarding China, The National Pulse can reveal.

Other outlets involved in the propaganda operation include Forbes, the Financial Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Reuters, ABC News, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, AFP, TIME magazine, LA Times, The Hill, BBC, and The Atlantic. 

The relationship is revealed in the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings, which reveal a relationship spanning over a decade between establishment media outlets and the China–United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). 

WNU Editor: A must read.

U.S. Intelligence Briefed President Trump That China Sought To Pay Non-State Actors To Attack U.S. Forces In Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers scan terrain and provide security during an operation in Kapisa Province in Afghanistan. (file photo) 

The Trump administration is declassifying as-yet uncorroborated intelligence, recently briefed to President Trump, that indicates China offered to pay non-state actors in Afghanistan to attack American soldiers, two senior administration officials tell Axios. 

The big picture: 

The disclosure of this unconfirmed intelligence comes 21 days before the end of Trump's presidency, after he has vowed to ratchet up pressure on China, and months after news reports indicated that the Russians had secretly offered bounties for Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. 

 * The Chinese embassy in D.C. did not respond to a request for comment. Trump is not believed to have discussed the matter with President Xi Jinping.
 * It was not immediately clear whether any members of Congress or President-elect Joe Biden have been briefed, though Biden now has access to the President's Daily Brief (PDB). 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The media coverage of this story is completely opposite to how they covered the Russian bounty story that has since been discredited .... Intel on China bounties called ‘less' credible than Russia payments (Politico). 

 More News On U.S. Intelligence Briefing President Trump That China Sought To Pay Non-State Actors To Attack U.S. Forces In Afghanistan 

In A Message To Iran US Flies B-52 Bombers Over The Persian Gulf


 * Bomber mission on Wednesday came days ahead of Solemani anniversary 
 * US drone strike killed Iranian Quds Force general on January 3, 2020 
 * Military officials warn that Iran is plotting 'complex' revenge scenarios 
 * Flight of the nuclear-capable bombers was intended to deter Iranian aggression 
 * It follows rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad last week 
 * Trump warned: 'If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible' 

The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf on Wednesday for the second time this month, a show of force meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East. 

It came after a senior U.S. military official warned that Iran is planning 'complex' revenge scenarios to avenge the killing of General Qasem Solemani, who died last January 3. 

Read more .... 

 More News On The US Flying B-52 Bombers Over The Persian Gulf 

Iran Says It Will Allocate $150,000 To The Families For Each Victim Of Ukraine Plane Crash


Iran says it has allocated $150,000 for the families of each of the 176 victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was downed in Iranian airspace nearly a year ago. 

The Iranian government said in statement on December 30 that it had approved the payment of “$150,000 or the equivalent in euros as soon as possible to the families and survivors of each of the victims” of the crash. 

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s main airport on January 8, killing all on board, including many Canadian citizens and permanent residents. 

WNU Editor: Chump change. 

More News On Iran Saying It Will Allocate $150,000 To The Families For Each Victim Of Ukraine Plane Crash 

Attack At Aden Airport As Government Plane Arrives Kills 27


 * Terrorist attack occurred as new government flew in from Riyadh 
 * Prime minister, Saudi ambassador taken to safety in presidential palace 

AL-MUKALLA: Terrorists declared war on Yemen’s fledgling democratic government on Wednesday with a deadly attack on Aden airport as members of the new administration flew in from Riyadh.

At least 27 people were killed and 40 injured in a series of explosions just outside the airport’s main hall while the aircraft’s passengers were disembarking. 

A local security source said the building was hit by three mortar shells, and Yemen's information minister Muammar Al-Eryani accused Iran-backed Houthi militias of carrying out the attack. 

Read more .... 

 More News On Today's Attack At Aden Airport 

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- December 30, 2020


Health experts worry that the public could balk if offered a shot that's only moderately effective. 

The nation’s first two coronavirus vaccines smashed scientists’ and health officials’ expectations with roughly 95 percent efficacy and no major safety concerns. 

But there aren’t enough doses to go around — and if the next vaccines in the pipeline are merely good instead of great, they could be a hard sell to a skeptical public. 

 Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- December 30, 2020

Why Turkey is upgrading its ties with Israel -- MK Bhadrakumar, Asia Times 

Why America Should Not Be Involved in Yemen -- Fiona Harrigan, National Interest 

Syrian Kurds face betrayal again -- Nikola Mikovic, Asia Times 

The Factories in Xinjiang's Forced Labor Camps -- A. Killing & M. Rajagopalan, Buzz Feed

The Coming Global Backlash against China -- Helen Raleigh, National Review 

World News Briefs -- December 30, 2020

Daily Mail:
WHO says coronavirus is not necessarily 'the big one' and a more deadly pandemic could sweep the globe 

 * Dr Mike Ryan said the pandemic was a 'wake-up call' that the planet is fragile
 * He said it had shown science, logistics, training and government needed to improve to manage future global health crises better 
 * Experts from the WHO spoke at the year's final press briefing on Tuesday
 * Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised progress made so far but noted new variants of Covid-19 and pandemic fatigue as challenges ahead

The World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is 'not necessarily the big one' and that a more deadly virus could yet sweep the globe. 

Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme, said on Tuesday that the pandemic was a 'wake-up call'.

'This pandemic has been very severe… it has affected every corner of this planet. But this is not necessarily the big one,' he told a media briefing. 





Only 40% of French population say they want to take coronavirus vaccine as deaths soar across Europe including 1,000 a day in Germany and a new high of 205 in Sweden. 

Russia’s ultimatum to Navalny: Return immediately or face jail. 


Record 3,700 people die in a single day from COVID as new high of 124,000 are hospitalized as mutant strain is found in Colorado. 

BREAKING NEWS: Republican Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, 41, dies from COVID-19 just over ten days after testing positive for the virus. 


US-backed forces raid ISIS cells in Syria. 


'Invincible' tech titans face growing scrutiny from Governments and users around fake news, tax avoidance and unfair competition as the coronavirus pandemic tightens their grip on lives. 

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- December 30, 2020


The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Monday to override President Donald Trump's veto of a $740 billion defense policy bill, in a rebuke to the president that underscored deep divisions in the Republican Party during his final weeks in office. 

The 322-87 House vote, in which 109 Republicans voted to override Trump's veto, leaves the measure's fate to the Republican-led Senate, where a final vote is expected this week. 

If the Senate seconds the House action, it would be the first veto override of Trump's presidency.

 Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- December 30, 2020 

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

A woman tries to take a picture of the full moon known as Cold Moon as it rises behind One World Trade Center, viewed from Jersey City, New Jersey. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Top Photos of the Day (Reuters).

Israel Has Vaccinated 500,000 People In Just Nine Days

Israel is leading the global vaccine race after handing out vaccines to more than seven per cent of its population in nine days, with Bahrain second in the per-capita league table
The US has delivered more doses than any other country, but president-elect Joe Biden has criticised delays in the rollout. The UK has handed out the most in Europe so far 

More Israelis have now been vaccinated than have caught the virus. 

Israel is just nine days into its Covid-19 vaccination drive and already it has inoculated 5.7 per cent of its population – about five times the 1.2 per cent reached in Britain. 

More Israelis have now been vaccinated than have caught the virus and that includes over 25 per cent of those aged 60 and above. 

It is predicted that the proportion of over-60s among the critically ill will drop from 70 per cent to just 20 per cent by mid-January. 

WNU Editor: At this rate the entire country should be vaccinated by February. 

 More News On Israel's Covid-19 Vaccination Program