Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Head of Army Corps of Engineers Reveals 'Immense' Operation To Build 341 Field Hospitals Across America To Fight The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Lt. General Todd Semonite appeared on Good Morning America to reveal his plan and explain how the army goes about selecting appropriate sites

Daily Mail: Head of Army Corps of Engineers reveals 'immense' operation to build 341 field hospitals across America to battle coronavirus - and US Open Queens Stadium will be among them

* Lt. General Todd Semonite spoke on Tuesday to share his plan for field hospitals across America
* There are already eight sites being built as temporary hospitals and another five will start construction today
* It is unclear if the eight now being built are in New York, or further afield but the Corps is planning nationally
* By the time the operation is complete, he says there will be 341 field hospitals across the country
* The Queens Stadium complex in New York, where the US Open is held, is among them
* 350 beds will go in its indoor training center and the Louis Armstrong Stadium will be used as a commissary to pump out meals for healthcare staff
* The US coronavirus case total is now more than 181,000 and the death toll is more than 3,699
* The US has now surpassed China in both the total number of cases and deaths due to the virus
* The peak is yet to hit anywhere in the country and experts say some states will be suffering until August

The head of the Army Corps of Engineers revealed his plan to build 341 coronavirus field hospitals across the US to battle the pandemic on Tuesday, and one will be the US Open Arena in New York City.

Lt. General Todd Semonite appeared on Good Morning America to reveal his plan and explain how the army goes about selecting appropriate sites.

There are already temporary hospitals being built in New York and Illinois, but contracts are expected to be signed on others throughout the day.

Among the facilities in New York is the Javits Center and Central Park in Manhattan. On Monday, Queens Stadium which hosts the US Open every year announced it was turning its various facilities into a hospital and commissary where meals will be prepared for the city's healthcare workers. The others are the Westchester Civic Center, SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Westbury.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: That is a lot of field hospitals.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Medical News And Information -- March 31, 2020

New York Post: Coronavirus could travel 27 feet, stay in air for hours: MIT researcher

Social-distancing guidelines to stay 6 feet from others may be woefully inadequate, one scientist warns — saying the coronavirus can travel 27 feet and linger for hours.

MIT associate professor Lydia Bourouiba, who has researched the dynamics of coughs and sneezes for years, warns in newly published research that the current guidelines are based on outdated models from the 1930s.

Rather than the assumed safety of 6 feet, Bourouiba warns that “pathogen-bearing droplets of all sizes can travel 23 to 27 feet.”

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Medical News And Information -- March 31, 2020

Can a face mask protect me from coronavirus? Covid-19 myths busted -- The Guardian

Human testing for Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine this fall -- AFP

Johnson & Johnson vows to make 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by 2021 after landing $450 million US government contract - but the firm hasn't even started testing it on people -- Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Rush to develop rapid tests -- DW

‘No evidence’ asymptomatic carriers spread coronavirus, Chinese health official claims -- SCMP

How the AMOUNT of the coronavirus you get infected with could decide whether you suffer mild or severe symptoms -- Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Worldwide genetics race to uncover who is most susceptible to Covid-19 -- SCMP

Coronavirus: 'Nurses prepare for the worst but not this' -- BBC

Coronavirus may still be contagious for up to EIGHT DAYS after symptoms disappear, study of 16 Chinese patients finds -- Daily Mail

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 31, 2020

Natalie Whiting and Erin Handley, ABC News Online: The world's most vulnerable countries could become the next coronavirus hotspots

As coronavirus spreads around the globe, health experts and aid groups fear some of the world's most vulnerable countries could become new hotspots for COVID-19.

Most are concerned about over-crowded refugee camps and countries that are already facing a crisis — whether that be conflict, malnutrition, another epidemic or over-burdened healthcare systems.

Analysis from aid organisation CARE listed 15 "very high risk countries", most of them in the Middle East and Africa — Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Haiti.

Read more

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 31, 2020

Coronavirus: China can’t suppress it, US military can’t kill it. Covid-19 is the real Godzilla -- Cary Huang, SCMP

The great cover-up of China: Beijing punished covid whistleblower, claimed it came from US and 'is STILL lying about death figures' - so what CAN we believe from them? -- Daily Mail

The coronavirus has pushed US-China relations to their worst point since Mao -- Ezra Klein, VOX

Coronavirus in Spain is 'frightening on every level'. So how did things get so bad there? -- Samantha Hawley, ABC News Online

Coronavirus: A ticking time-bomb for the Middle East -- Jonathan Marcus, BBC

Special programme: The impact of coronavirus on the Middle East -- France 24

Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO -- BBC

'We are only at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis,' says economic historian -- Nicolas Martin, DW

The coronavirus crisis has been a huge boon to Israel’s Netanyahu -- Ephrat Livni, Quartz

Wanted: world leaders to answer the coronavirus pandemic alarm -- Simone McCarthy and Shi Jiangtao, SCMP

How will citizens of the world look after the coronavirus crisis ends? -- Joseph Moreno, The Hill

Was the Bay Area successful in flattening the coronavirus curve? -- Anagha Srikanth, The Hill

Outlook for the Global Economy -- OECD

After Oil Crisis, Let's Re-Evaluate Ties to Saudi Arabia -- Gil Barndollar & Sam Long, RCW

World News Briefs -- March 31, 2020 (Evening Edition)

Daily Mail: BREAKING NEWS: 'Prepare for 100,000 to die.' Tony Fauci warns of astonishing death toll and tells areas not on lockdown to take action NOW - as Donald Trump says next two weeks will be 'VERY painful' and White House reveals even worse projections

* Dr. Tony Fauci warned Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus
* 'The answer is yes - as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it'
* The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained
* President Donald Trump said the prediction was 'sobering'
* 'This is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks,' Trump said
* The U.S. death toll stands at 3,669 as of late Tuesday afternoon
* The outbreak hit America two months ago, and has left more than 180,000 sick
* China's official death toll stands at about 3,300
* U.S. cases have now overtaken hard-hit Italy and Spain
* Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and 40,000 died
* Experts have cast doubt on the reliability of China's figures

Dr. Tony Fauci painted a grim picture for Americans on Tuesday, warning that people should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

'The answer is yes - as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,' he said when asked about the six-figure mark during the daily White House press briefing. 'Is it going to be that much? I hope not and I think the more we push on the mitigation the less likely to be that number but, being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that is a possibility that that's what we'll see.'

The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Read more ....


Syria air defences down Israeli missiles over Homs: state media.

Syrian forces retake control of prison after inmates riot.

Saudi Arabia says it struck Yemen missile sites where Iran's military was present. Saudi-UAE coalition carries out air raids on Yemen's Sanaa.

Iran says 'terrorist' attack inside Turkey halts natural gas flow.

U.S. could rethink Iran sanctions in light of coronavirus: Pompeo.

Coronavirus: Fearing 'humanitarian disaster' US Senators call for renewed US aid to Palestine.

Outrage over denial of amnesty for Turkish political prisoners.

Trump, Erdogan stress need for Syria, Libya ceasefires: W.House.


Afghanistan: Taliban team in Kabul for prisoner exchange process.

COVID-19: 'Panic' among India health workers over PPE shortages.

China to begin reporting asymptomatic coronavirus cases in its daily tally.

Turkmenistan has banned use of the word 'coronavirus'.

Myanmar braces for surge in coronavirus cases.

Japan on brink of emergency as coronavirus spreads: government spokesman.

The coronavirus pandemic could push 11 million people in Asia into poverty, World Bank warns.

African swine fever outbreak in Papua New Guinea has Australian biosecurity on high alert.

Huge forest fire kills 18 firefighters and one guide in China.


Malian parliamentary elections marred by kidnappings, attacks.

Security forces use violent tactics to enforce Africa's coronavirus shutdowns.

Ethiopia postpones August elections due to coronavirus.

Somalia closes down madrassas to stop virus.

Tunisia extends lockdown by two weeks, releases prisoners.

EU launches Libya military mission.

Egypt's most famous Giza pyramid lit up with tribute, safety messages.


COVID-19: Spain, France record highest single-day deaths.

Italy reports 837 new coronavirus deaths.

Spain registers overnight death toll of 849, highest so far. As Spain records deadliest day, coronavirus lockdown stirs unrest.

Nationwide lockdown should soon ease coronavirus pandemic in Italy, WHO says.

Coronavirus: France reports record 499 deaths in a day, total death toll of 3,523.

UK coronavirus deaths rise by 381 in 24 hours as 13-year-old boy dies.

Coronavirus: Russia includes jail terms to enforce crackdown.

Hungary’s nationalist leader Viktor Orban is ruling by decree indefinitely amid coronavirus.

Belarusian leader bucks coronavirus 'psychosis,' plays hockey.


U.S. coronavirus death toll eclipses China's as it climbs to 3,669 in nearly two months after the outbreak hit. White House predicts 100,000 to 240,000 will die in US from coronavirus. White House projects grim death toll from coronavirus.

Trump tells Americans to brace for 'very, very painful two weeks'.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo orders Americans to return home 'immediately' due to COVID-19 saying he cannot guarantee charter flights once commercial planes cease to operate.

US offers Venezuela sanctions relief for power-sharing agreement.

Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido accused of attempted coup.

World's busiest border falls quiet with millions of Mexicans barred from U.S..

Mexican president: My rivals will take over country if I self-quarantine.

Ongoing drought in Brazil, Argentina threatens crucial crop harvests.


Dow plunges 400 points as the index finishes its worst first quarter in history while consumer confidence falls to a near three-year low amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus: Stock markets suffer worst quarter since 1987.

Oil price war: Analysts expect prices to drop further.

World Bank forecasts growth to drastically slow amid pandemic.

A food crisis looms as coronavirus forces farms to stay idle and countries hoard supplies.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 31, 2020

Daily Mail: USS Theodore Roosevelt WILL evacuate and quarantine some of its 4,000 crew on Guam after unprecedented plea by captain of the aircraft carrier that sailors could die as coronavirus cases QUADRUPLE on board

* Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Tuesday that the Navy is working to evacuate some of the 4,000 people aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt
* Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the outbreak on board did not yet call for a full evacuation
* The warship was taken out of duty and docked in Guam last week after 25 crew members tested positive for COVID-19
* The Navy is working with the government in Guam to find hotel space or facilities for tents
* Crew who do not have coronavirus must be identified and remain on the ship to ensure that it is defense ready
* Modly's comments came after a plea from the ship's captain Brett Crozier to disembark 90 percent of the crew
* 'We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,' the captain wrote

Sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt will be evacuated from the nuclear warship, according to Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, a week after at least 25 positive cases of coronavirus were identified on board and the ship was forced to dock in Guam.

Modly told CNN Tuesday afternoon that the Navy is working with the captain of the ship, its medical officer and the government in Guam to bring many of the sailors to shore as quickly as possible but there currently not enough beds available.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told CBS News Tuesday evening, however, that the entire crew is not to be evacuated as it will need to remain ready to defend the United States if needed.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 31, 2020

US Defense Secretary: COVID-19-Consumed Navy Carrier Will Not Be Evacuated -- Sputnik

Coronavirus Is Rising Around U.S. Military, Defense Infrastructure, Analysis Shows -- Government Executive

With Coronavirus Already On 97 American Military Bases, the Armed Forces Struggle With Their Many Missions -- Newsweek

Pentagon tells bases not to reveal coronavirus data so that it 'doesn't fall into the hands of our adversaries' as military-linked cases surpass 1,000 -- Daily Mail

Pentagon orders military bases to stop releasing specific COVID-19 numbers -- The Hill

First US service member dies from coronavirus -- The Hill

Pentagon has not yet sent 2,000 ventilators due to lack of shipment location -- The Hill

Coronavirus battle rips up soldiers' playbook: forces Army to forget routines, focus on health -- USA Today

US Army issuing volunteer call up of Individual Ready Reserve members to fight coronavirus -- CNN

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on the U.S. military's fight against coronavirus -- CBS

Military's Plan to Cut 18,000 Medical Staff Should Be Shelved During Pandemic, MOAA Says -- Military.com

Nearly 4 years after commissioning, the US Navy is about to get a fully working stealth destroyer -- Defense News

Lockheed awarded $4.9B for work on F-35s -- UPI

The Air Force’s KC-46 tanker has another serious technical deficiency, and Boeing is stuck paying for it -- Defense News

Boeing nets $1.6B for P-8A Poseidons for Navy, New Zealand, Korea -- UPI

Oshkosh wins contract to modernize US Army’s heavy tactical vehicles -- Defense News

Air Force will transfer 23 missions, 1,840 billets to Space Force -- Air Force Times

'Space Fence' radar operational, tracks objects as small as 10 centimeters -- UPI

Workforce cuts in April could hinder US-South Korea negotiations -- Defense News

Thousands go on unpaid leave as US, South Korea fail to agree on military costs -- Reuters

US Marine Corps Halts 2,500-Troop Deployment to Australia Amid COVID-19 Travel Ban -- Sputnik

No 'greater threat' to Canada than COVID-19, military says, as 24,000 troops activated to help fight it -- National Post

Canadian military has plan to mobilize 24,000 personnel to respond to COVID-19 -- Ottawa Citizen

EU launches new naval mission to police Libya arms embargo -- Defense News/AP

The Coronavirus Pandemic Should Be NATO’s Moment -- Defense One

Su-57 Chief Engineer Explains Why Russian Jet is Superior to US F-22 and F-35 Fighters -- Sputnik

North Korea missile images raise questions about authenticity -- UPI

Taiwan anger over China military drills during virus outbreak -- AFP

China’s version of GPS is almost complete. Here’s what that means. -- Popular Science

Japanese warship, China fishing boat collide in East China Sea -- Al Jazeera

President Trump Accepts Russian President Putin's Offer Of Medical Supplies To Combat Covid-19

A Russian Il-76 transport military aircraft is loaded with medical aid to be sent to Italy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. © Russian Defence Ministry / Alexey Ereshko

RT: Russian Covid-19 aid plane to US: Putin asked Trump if he needed help & he accepted, Kremlin spokesman says

A cargo plane loaded with medical supplies and protection equipment may depart for the US by the end of Tuesday, the Kremlin said, after a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The issue of protective gear was raised during the Monday phone talks, with Putin asking if the US needed help and Trump accepting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

Moscow suggested the aid in anticipation that the US will be able to return the favor if necessary, once its manufacturers of medical and protective equipment catch up with demand, Peskov said.

The current situation “affects everyone without exception and is of a global nature,” he added.

Read more ....

Update #1: Plane With Russian Medical Equipment May Be Sent to US by Day-End to Assist COVID-19 Fight - Kremlin (Sputnik)
Update #2: Russia may send plane with medical equipment to US by end of day (TASS)

WNU Editor: This is a reversal of U.S. policy of not accepting aid from Russia. But President Trump appears to not care about this restriction .... ‘Happily surprised’? Trump says Russia sent US ‘very, very large’ aid package to combat Covid-19 (RT). Not everyone is happy with this aid .... ‘This is NUTS!’ Russiagaters see red over Putin’s planeload of corona-aid for Trump, queue to look gift-horse in mouth (RT). As to what is my take. Take the aid. This is a crisis situation right now.

Russia's Top Coronavirus Doctor Who Met President Putin Last Week Tests Positive For Covid-19

Moscow Times/AFP: Russia's Top Coronavirus Doctor Who Met Putin Tests Positive

The head of Moscow's main coronavirus hospital who met with President Vladimir Putin a week ago has tested positive, he said Tuesday, as the Kremlin announced the Russian leader's health was fine.

Last Tuesday Denis Protsenko met with the Russian leader who inspected the Kommunarka hospital while wearing a bright yellow hazmat suit. But the 67-year-old Putin was also seen talking to Protsenko without any protective gear.

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WNU Editor: The Kremlin is saying that Russian President Putin is now being checked everyday. I am willing to bet that there are a lot of nervous people in the Kremlin right now.

More News On Russia's Top Coronavirus Doctor Who Met President Putin Last Week Being Tested Positive For Covid-19

Head of Russian coronavirus hospital visited by Putin tests positive for Covid-19 -- RT
Head of Russia's Coronavirus Hospital Who Met With Putin Tests Positive for COVID-19 -- Sputnik
Chief physician of Moscow clinic for coronavirus patients diagnosed with COVID-19 -- TASS
Russian doctor who met Putin last week diagnosed with coronavirus -- Reuters
Russian doctor who shook hands with Putin last week has coronavirus -- FOX News

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Are Having Problems Assessing The Pandemic In China, North Korea, And Russia

Reuters: U.S. spies find coronavirus spread in China, North Korea, Russia hard to chart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As U.S. spy agencies seek to assemble a precise picture of the world’s coronavirus outbreaks, they are finding serious gaps in their ability to assess the situation in China, Russia and North Korea, according to five U.S. government sources familiar with the intelligence reporting.

The agencies also have limited insight into the full impact of the pandemic in Iran, although information on infections and deaths among the ruling class and public is becoming more available on official and social media, two sources said.

The four countries are known by U.S. spy agencies as “hard targets” because of the heavy state controls on information and the difficulty, even in normal times, of collecting intelligence from within their closed leadership circles.

An accurate assessment of those countries’ outbreaks would aid U.S. and international efforts to limit the human and economic tolls from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, experts say.

The agencies are not just looking for accurate numbers, but also for any signs of the political ramifications of how the crisis is being handled.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I would add Iran to the list. I can understand why it is hard to understand what is happening in North Korea, and to a lesser extent China. But the Russian stats should not be that hard to figure out.

Update: This is what U.S. intelligence should focus on .... Before this pandemic ends, intel agencies should prepare for a world of threats(David B. Rivkin, Jr. and George S. Beebe, The Hill).

The U.S. Navy Wants To End Shock Trials

The Shock Trial is on the way out U.S. Navy

Forbes: The U.S. Navy Eyes A Shock Trial-Free Future

The U.S. Navy is debating the utility of shock trials. Shock trials test how ships handle undersea explosions, giving sailors a better understanding of how the vessel will hold up in battle. In technical terms, shock trials make the hull vibrate to see how the installed and integrated components respond to ensure the ship can continue to fight. Once a regular feature of naval shipbuilding, the Navy’s enthusiasm for this real-world simulation of battlefield conditions has dwindled over time. Why?

There are a variety of reasons the Navy wants to move away from shock trials. Shock trials are expensive, only taking place under a constrained set of conditions. Weather conditions and environmental concerns make scheduling difficult. Even worse, busy shipyards make it challenging to bring a ship in for timely repairs after the shock trial occurs.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This tells me that the costs and time lost repairing the ship have become unsustainable for the US Navy.

The U.S. Navy Is Unprepared To Handle The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 25, Hospital Corpsmen 1st Class Jonathan Ivey, left, screens Ensign Mackenzie Jones for signs of the coronavirus before allowing him to board the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy Laramore)

Navy Times: An outbreak on a Navy warship — and an ominous sign of a readiness crisis

It started on Monday, March 16, with one chief on board the littoral combat ship Coronado feeling sick and being sent home for a few days.

Ten days later, nine Coronado sailors had tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 30 crew members are having their movements restricted — about half the crew of the small warship currently in port in San Diego.

The ship’s planned underway periods have been postponed until the outbreak is under control, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

“It was a total shit-show,” said a sailor familiar with the outbreak on Coronado. “Everybody started getting sick. I felt like the right thing to do was get everybody off the ship, test everybody whether they were sick or not. Then put the people who were fine on a barge next to the ship, bring on the people in HAZMAT suits and have the ship cleaned professionally.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Giving sailors buckets and bleach and told to wipe down things is not how you disinfect location.

Captain Of The U.S. Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Pleads For Help With 150 To 200 Sailors Infected With Covid-19

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group in formation in the Indo-Pacific region, January 25, 2020. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier

Business Insider: The captain of the aircraft carrier struck by a coronavirus outbreak is begging the Navy for more help

* The commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was forced into port in Guam due to a coronavirus outbreak, wrote a letter to the Navy on Monday warning that the "the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating."
* "Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors," Capt. Brett Crozier, the carrier's CO, wrote in the letter exclusively obtained by The San Francisco Chronicle.
* He called on the Navy to find rooms off-ship to isolate almost the entire crew, a drastic measure the captain feels is necessary to achieve a clean ship.

The commanding officer of a deployed aircraft carrier hit by a coronavirus outbreak is pleading with the US Navy for help, pushing the service to isolate all crew members off of the ship, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

The Navy reported three coronavirus cases aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt last Tuesday. The number of cases spiked to more than 30 by Friday, Fox News reported at the time. The Chronicle reports that there are now over 100 cases aboard the carrier.

The coronavirus forced the ship into port in Guam, where the Navy is testing the entire crew for the virus. The Navy has repeatedly insisted that the ship remains operationally capable.

"The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating," Capt. Brett Crozier, the carrier's commanding officer, wrote in a letter to the Navy exclusively obtained by The Chronicle.

The outlet, citing an anonymous source aboard the ship, said that as many as 150 to 200 sailors have the coronavirus.

Read more ....

More News On The Captain Of The U.S. Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Pleading For Help With 150 To 200 Sailors Infected With The Covid-19 Coronavirus

Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy -- SFChronicle
Captain of Aircraft Carrier Pleads for Help as Virus Cases Increase Onboard -- New York Times
Commander of aircraft carrier hit by coronavirus outbreak asks Navy for more support -- CNN
‘Sailors do not need to die’: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier asks US government for help as coronavirus infects more than 100 on board -- The Independent

Viper Strike Was The First Micro Missile

Image: Creative Commons

Charlie Gao, National Interest: Meet the Viper Strike The First Micro Missile

How dangerous is it?

As Western militaries shift back into a conventional focus after spending more than a decade fighting insurgencies, they are bringing along some tech developed for counterinsurgency that has applications in a peer or near-peer conflict. One important innovation that is looking to change how air-to-ground support can occur is the development of a new class of “micro precision munitions”: guided rockets, bombs, and missiles that weigh around 20 kg or less. The GBU-44/B Viper Strike was one of the first of this new class of weapon. But does it have a future?

Read more ....

WNU Editor:A lot of work to reinvent the Hellfire missile, but with a smaller warhead.

This Is Why The U.S. Marines Are Dumping Their Tanks

A US Marine refuels an Abrams tank. Credit: Lance Cpl. Reine Whitaker.

Dave Makichuk, Asia Times: Why the Marines are dumping their tanks

Armored vehicles have had trouble surviving against the threat of precision strikes and the plethora of drone and recon systems

In late February, Turkish forces launched an operation targeting Syrian regime army troops, decimating more than a hundred tanks and armored vehicles, dozens of artillery pieces and hundreds of Syrian forces.

Posted videos highlighted the mixed role of drones, Paladin artillery systems and aircraft pounding Syrian armor from the skies over the course of several days.

The Syrian army appeared helpless to defend from the onslaught of long range systems. Even tanks camouflaged by buildings and bushes were no match for sensors and thermal imaging watching from the skies.

The lesson was not lost on US Marine Corps officials, who have decided to divest the force of tanks, cut ground cannon artillery and light attack air platforms.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: What the Turks did to the Syrian Army last month was an eye-opener to everyone on what ground combat will look like in the future. It took only a  few days for drones, artillery, and air strikes to halt and destroy the Syrian Army's offensive in Idlib province. Another war-zone that has become a testing ground on what ground combat will look like has been in the Ukraine war. Drones, precision strikes, and artillery devastated the Ukraine Army at the beginning of the conflict. A lesson that the Ukraine Army has learned, now relying on mobile units that can survive these type of attacks, and to respond in kind.

Entire Crew Aboard A Russian Nuclear Submarine Are In Quarantine After Being Exposed To Covid-19

The Barents Observer: Entire crew of nuclear submarine in coronavirus quarantine

A civilian who went onboard the cruise-missile carrier “Orel” had met with a man who tested positive to the coronavirus.

“Orel” (K-266) is an Oscar-II class nuclear-powered submarine sailing for the Northern Fleet. Normally, the submarine has a crew of about 110 sailors.

The civilian that had met with a man infected with the coronavirus was on board “Orel” in a “business matter”, Murmansk-based news-online B-port reports.

Also, the crew of a nearby submarine and the personnel on a floating workshop are placed in quarantine.

The submarine is based in Zapadnaya Litsa, the westernmost bases of the Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula.

Read more ....

Update #1: Entire Crew Of A Russian Nuclear Submarine Is In Quarantine After COVID-19 Exposure (Warzone/The Drive)
Update #2: Another Submarine Quarantined: Nowhere Is Out Of Reach Of Coronavirus (Forbes)

WNU Editor: If you can read Russian, the original report is here .... Экипаж подводного крейсера «Орёл» поместили на карантин (b-port.com).

Israel's 'Doomsday Bunker' Has Been Activated

Warzone/The Drive: This Is Israel's Doomsday Bunker For Top Officials That Has Been Activated For COVID-19

The deep underground facility was built for the Israeli government to safely operate during and manage a crisis. COVID-19 appears to be such an event.

Isreal has activated its National Management Center (NMC), a continuity of government (COG) bunker that looks right out of a science fiction movie. The facility serves as an extremely hardened command and control site for top Israeli officials so that they can continue to run the country during a major crisis. The spinning-up of the National Management Center is a result of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the potential instability and strategic implications that could go along with the outbreak. As The War Zone recently noted the U.S. government has done the same, activating its Cheyenne Mountain underground complex and other hardened installations as the virus spreads through the U.S. population and the United States military.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I suspect that every major country in the world has activated similar facilities that are isolated and in quarantine to handle this crisis in the event that their central government succumbs to this pandemic.

Tweets For Today

Videos For Today

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Picture Of The Day

The USNS Comfort passes the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Inside New York City, epicenter of U.S. coronavirus outbreak (Reuters).

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The Americas -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Al Jazeera: Latin American countries take varying measures to contain virus

In Latin America, countries have been ramping up their containment measures, some more drastically than others.

Strict containment measures such as night-time curfews are in force across several Latin American countries, but other nations are taking a less drastic approach in their fight against the coronavirus.

Honduras has extended its nationwide curfew until at least mid-April.

Venezuela's opposition leader is calling for more humanitarian aid to be allowed into the country, where the outbreak could be particularly devastating.

And cases have been rising in Mexico.

Read more

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The Americas -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Mexican coronavirus cases pass 1,000, health emergency declared -- Reuters
Mexican president ignores coronavirus restrictions to greet El Chapo's mother -- The Guardian
Argentina extends mandatory quarantine until mid April -- Reuters
Bolsonaro polarizes Brazil with lax coronavirus response -- DW
Brazil economy 'can't stop' for coronavirus: Bolsonaro -- France 24
Bolsonaro questions number of Brazil coronavirus deaths -- France 24
Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limb -- BBC
Venezuela's Guaido calls for emergency government to manage impact of coronavirus -- Reuters
Ecuador struggles to collect the dead as coronavirus spreads -- Reuters
Guatemalan deported from US tests positive for COVID-19: Official -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus crisis exposes another pandemic in Honduras: Analysts -- Al Jazeera
Bolivia, Uruguay confirm first coronavirus deaths -- Reuters
Cuba sends doctors worldwide in coronavirus fight -- Al Jazeera

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Africa -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

FOX News: South African crackdown amid coronavirus lockdown called into question as some ignore restrictions

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government’s “brutal and heavy-handed” approach to enforcing the country’s three-week lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak has been called into question amid reports of one man being shot and four children reportedly injured in an alleged altercation with authorities.

Reports out of Vosloorus, located to the immediate east of Johannesburg, said that a police officer and a security official have been arrested for murder following the altercation that left a man dead.

“The allegations are that police were on patrol, enforcing the COVID-19 regulations, and they noticed some males who were drinking liquor,” said Sontaga Seisa of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Africa -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

S.Africa to rollout mass screening for coronavirus: president -- France 24
West African nations hope experience fighting Ebola will help curb spread of coronavirus -- SCMP
Nigeria announces lockdown of major cities to curb coronavirus -- Al Jazeera
Nigeria announces two-week lockdown in main cities -- BBC
Ghana begins coronavirus lockdown -- BBC
Zimbabwe launches 21-day nationwide lockdown -- Zimbabwe
'We'll die of hunger first': Despair as Zimbabwe lockdown begins -- Al Jazeera
'Empty streets on day one of Zimbabwe lockdown' -- BBC
Kings and chiefs fight coronavirus in Ivory Coast -- AFP
Great Pyramid in Egypt lights up in solidarity against virus -- AFP

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Middle East -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Arab News: Worsening coronavirus crisis seen as Turkey’s self-inflicted injury

* Govt. accused of wasting time before taking measures to halt transmission of deadly infection
* Outbreak raises pressure on economy burdened with weak currency and high debt levels

ANKARA: Since January, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections seeped out of China’s borders and into the world at large, many countries were caught napping.

A few among of them chose a policy of denial until the facts could no longer be concealed. Turkey is a tragic case in point.

To be sure, in recent weeks the government has adopted sweeping measures aimed at halting the transmission of the virus.

It has shut restaurants and schools, halted prayers in mosques, suspended sporting activities, restricted intercity bus travel and stopped all international flights to or from Turkey.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Middle East -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Prisoners riot in Iran; Netanyahu goes into self-quarantine -- AP
Iran virus cases top 40,000 -- AFP
Prison riot in southern Iran over coronavirus fears -- Al Jazeera
Syria reports first coronavirus death as fears grow that virus could spread -- France 24
Devastated by war, Syria's Idlib braces for coronavirus -- DW
Most Iraqis coming from Syria carry coronavirus, warns official -- Middle East Monitor
In Iraq, no resting place for coronavirus dead -- AFP
Iraq's healthcare system to be challenged by coronavirus: Doctors -- Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia confirms 154 new coronavirus cases -- Arab News
Saudi king offers to pay for coronavirus patients' treatment -- Al Jazeera
Israel's Netanyahu tests negative for coronavirus, remains in isolation -- France 24

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Asia -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Financial Post/Reuters: Coronavirus epidemic 'far from over' in Asia - WHO official

BEIJING — The coronavirus epidemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region, and the current measures to curb the spread of the virus are merely buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, a WHO official said on Tuesday.

Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues, said Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Preparations for a large-scale transmission must reach everyone, Kasai said at a virtual media briefing.

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Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Asia -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

China reports rise in new coronavirus cases due to imported infections -- Reuters
Will 'silent carriers' trigger a new coronavirus crisis in China? Beijing rushes to screen patients with no symptoms amid fears of a second outbreak -- Daily Mail
‘Responsible and necessary’: China defends temporary travel ban on foreigners during pandemic -- SCMP
China's Wuhan sees return to normal life -- Al Jazeera
Coronavirus: Countries reject Chinese-made equipment -- BBC
India's coronavirus measures prompt beatings and forced push-ups. Travellers say they're scared to leave hotel rooms -- ABC News Online
Coronavirus: India's pandemic lockdown turns into a human tragedy -- BBC
India reels from migrant worker coronavirus exodus -- AFP
Coronavirus cluster emerges at another South Korean church, as others press ahead with Sunday services -- SCMP
Coronavirus: Philippines heath system struggles as cases rise -- Al Jazeera
Japan coronavirus infections top 2,000 cases -- Reuters
Japan is accused of coronavirus cover-up to keep Olympic hopes alive after number of infections shoots up following postponement -- Daily Mail
Japan PM, Deputy PM to avoid same meetings as precaution vs virus infection -- Reuters
Coronavirus: Hong Kong may turn sports and expo centres into temporary hospitals, sources say -- SCMP
Australia's coronavirus infection rate shows sustained slowdown -- Reuters
Australian share index soars as virus infections slow -- AFP

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Europe -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Daily Mail: Spain becomes third country to pass China with more than 85,000 coronavirus infections as number of deaths rises 812 to 7,340

* Spain has reported 6,398 new coronavirus infections taking its total to 85,195
* It is the third country - including the US and Italy - to surpass China's case total
* Spain also recorded 812 deaths, bringing the total number killed to 7,340
* Increase in deaths was marginally lower than the 838 recorded on Sunday

Spain has become the third country to surpass China's coronavirus infection total after the number of cases rose by almost 6,400 overnight.

Health authorities said Monday that they had diagnosed a total of 85,195 cases of the virus, up by 6,398 from 78,797 reported the day before. China has reported more than 82,000 cases.

The US - with more than 140,000 confirmed cases - and Italy - with almost 100,000 - have also surpassed China's figure.

Spain's death toll also increased by 812 overnight from 6,528 to 7,340. Monday's increase was steep, but not as steep as Sunday's total of 838 which marked the country's worst day of the pandemic so far.

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Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Spain -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Coronavirus: Spain's coronavirus outbreak 'slowing' -- BBC
Spanish coronavirus cases surpass China but death rate slows -- SCMP/AFP
Spain overtakes China in coronavirus infections -- Reuters
Spain’s health crisis chief tests positive for coronavirus as infections top China’s -- France 24
Coronavirus in Spain: From tourism hotspot to contagion hotbed -- DW

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Italy -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Coronavirus death toll in Italy's Lombardy rises by around 458 in a day: source -- Reuters
Italy to extend coronavirus lockdown until Easter as new cases fall -- Reuters
'Growth of coronavirus slowing down in Italy's Lombardy,' regional VP tells FRANCE 24 -- France 24
Italy EXTENDS lockdown beyond Easter: Rigorous restrictions appear finally to be working as number of daily coronavirus infections falls to 4,050, the lowest in nearly two weeks -- Daily Mail

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In France -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Coronavirus: France reports record 418 fatalities in 24 hours, death toll surpasses 3000 -- France 24
France sees worst daily death toll as army ferries critical virus patients -- Reuters
Is France being pushed to breaking point? -- The Spectator

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.K. -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

UK coronavirus death toll surpasses 1,400 as Prince Charles leaves isolation -- France 24
Coronavirus lockdown could last 'six months or more', warns UK chief medical officer -- France 24
Is the spread of coronavirus in the UK really slowing down? -- The Guardian
‘ONE IN FOUR’ UK doctors forced off work as Covid-19 pandemic causes severe headache for healthcare system -- RT

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Russia -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Moscow enters lockdown: Streets are empty as Putin closes non-essential shops after Russian capital is hit by more than 1,000 cases -- Daily Mail
Moscow goes into lockdown, urges other regions to take steps to slow coronavirus -- France 24
Moscow comes under citywide lockdown -- TASS
St. Petersburg in self-isolation: Russia’s northern capital put into partial lockdown over coronavirus -- RT
Almost half of new Covid-19 patients in Moscow are between 18 and 40 – disease response team -- RT
Russians seek refuge from coronavirus in dacha country homes -- Reuters

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In Europe -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Germany will test 200,000 people a DAY for coronavirus in bid to replicate South Korea's success in slowing the outbreak -- Daily Mail
Coronavirus: Austria, in a shift, requires mask-wearing in supermarkets to cut pandemic’s spread -- SCMP
'They are leading us to catastrophe': Sweden's coronavirus stoicism begins to jar -- The Guardian
Sweden says no to quarantine – is this the most reckless or the most proportionate Covid-19 response in the West? -- RT
Georgia PM declares curfew starting Tuesday to halt coronavirus spread -- Reuters

The USNS Comfort Arrives In New York City To Assist In The Covid-19 Coronavirus Response

Daily Mail: What happened to lockdown? Disbelief as CROWDS gather to watch 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort arrive in Manhattan to assist with coronavirus outbreak - as Mayor de Blasio warns people may be fined $500 for not staying home

* The USNS Comfort arrived in New York City on Monday morning to care for non-coronavirus patients
* It has 1,000 beds, more than 1,000 medical staff and more than 100 operating rooms on board
* By taking other patients, it frees up the beds in the city's hospitals for the fast multiplying COVID-19 patients
* As of Monday morning, there were more than 36,000 cases of the virus in New York City; 790 have died
* Across the country, 142,000 people have been infected and more than 2,400 people have died
* There are makeshift morgues outside hospitals where bodies are being kept refrigerated in body bags
* There are also field hospitals across the city, including one in Central Park and at luxury hotels
* Another Navy ship, the USNS Mercy, has docked in Los Angeles and is already accepting patients

Crowds gathered to watch the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds for patients, arriving in New York City to alleviate the strain on the city's hospitals as it continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic - despite being warned to stay at home.

The ship arrived at New York Harbor on Monday morning. It will welcome patients who do not have coronavirus but who still need care in order to clear out the city's other hospitals for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

It came as the death toll in New York City hit 790 and more than 36,000 cases were recorded. New York City is the epicenter of the virus in the US.

The USNS Comfort came to New York City after 9/11 to help care for some of the thousands wounded. That was also the last time the city saw as many makeshift morgues in the street to cope with the death toll of the virus.

On Monday, crowds gathered near Pier 90 to watch the Comfort arrive.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The sister ship USNS Mercy has arrived in L.A. .... Navy hospital ship Mercy with 1,000 beds starts taking in coronavirus patients in LA to help the packed hospitals as the Comfort docks in NYC (Daily Mail).

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.S. -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Daily Mail: More than 225 MILLION people - or two-thirds of the population - are now on lockdown: Virginia, Maryland and South Florida and D.C. residents are the latest to be told to stay home to stop the coronavirus spread

* Virginia Gov Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders for residents on Monday
* Northam's order tells state's approximately 8.5 million people they must stay home except for when they need to go out for work, food or medical attention
* 'To date, this has been a suggestion to Virginians. Today, it's an order,' he said
* In Maryland, Gov Larry Hogan issued a statewide stay-at-home directive Monday
* Maryland has had at least 1,413 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 deaths
* Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, DC, has also issued a stay-at-home order
* Meanwhile in Florida, Gov Ron DeSantis refused to issue statewide order and only locked down South Florida until mid-May
* He put Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties on lockdown
* Number of confirmed cases in Florida neared 5,500 on Monday with 62 deaths
* About 60 per cent of the diagnosed cases are in the four South Florida counties

More than 225 million Americans have now been placed on lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus after governors from Virginia, Maryland and Florida issued stay-at-home orders.

Virginia Gov Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov Larry Hogan both announced the directives on Monday, joining at least 25 other states who have done the same since the outbreak began.

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis only issued such an order for South Florida residents, with fears Miami could be one of the next epicenters in the U.S.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also told all residents to not leave their homes unless they are buying food and medication or carrying out an essential task such as going to the doctor.

Read more ....

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.S. -- News Updates March 30 - 31, 2020

Coronavirus US live: New York governor warns 'no American is immune to this virus' -- The Guardian
U.S. coronavirus death toll rises past 3,000 on deadliest day -- Reuters
When will coronavirus peak in YOUR state? Graphs predict New York is just 10 days away before the apex of its outbreak while Florida's won't come for another MONTH -- Daily Mail
America's darkest day: Modelling predicts 2,271 Americans will die from coronavirus on April 15 and the pandemic will stretch past June -- Daily Mail
White House's Dr Birx agrees with Dr Fauci that up to 200,000 people will die in the US 'if we do things perfectly' but warns there could be 2.2 MILLION deaths if the country does nothing to contain the outbreak -- Daily Mail
Michigan state lawmaker, 44, an FDNY ambulance mechanic and college senior, 25, with no underlying health conditions are among the latest victims of coronavirus as US death toll climbs past 2,700 -- Daily Mail
US coronavirus cases near 150,000, with over 2,500 dead -- RT
New York gets hospital ship as coronavirus accelerates in US -- AFP
‘Please come help us’: New York begs for medical workers -- AP
New York's coronavirus pandemic could peak in 10 days: ER visits start to decrease despite rising death toll - and state cases level off - as experts say the city could soon 'turn the corner' and 'mitigation is working' -- Daily Mail
Next US coronavirus epicenters will be hard hit because so many resources are going to New York, doctor warns, as Seattle says its numbers are finally dropping thanks to early social distancing -- Daily Mail
Deaths, intubations swamp New Orleans doctors in coronavirus surge -- Reuters
Spread of coronavirus accelerates in U.S. jails and prisons -- Reuters
Trump defends extending virus guidelines as spread continues -- AP
'I will listen to the experts.' Donald Trump says he WILL take medical advice after abandoning his Easter target to reopen the country as Tony Fauci says he and other doctors 'argued very strongly' with president -- Daily Mail
Trump extends 'social distancing' guidelines until April 30 -- France 24
Coronavirus: Trump extends US guidelines beyond Easter -- BBC
Donald Trump extends coronavirus social-distancing measures as expert warns up to 200,000 lives at risk -- ABC News Online
Trump says US to send medical supplies to Italy, France, Spain -- AFP
Donald Trump brags that the U.S. is sending medical aid to ITALY despite hospitals warning of shortages at home - as he unveils 5-minute coronavirus testing kit on the White House lawn -- Daily Mail
How many coronavirus cases does each US state have? -- Al Jazeera