Monday, November 30, 2020

China Has Provided A Coronavirus Vaccine To Kim Jong-un, His Family, And Members Of The Leadership

19FortyFive: North Korea: Kim Jong Un Given Coronavirus Vaccine 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and “multiple other high-ranking officials within the Kim family and leadership network” have been vaccinated for Coronavirus “within the last two to three weeks” thanks to a vaccine candidate supplied by the Chinese government, according to two Japanese intelligence sources. 

Both officials spoke to 19FortyFive under the condition that their names not be identified. The news comes on the heels of reports in Reuters that North Korea is suspected to have tried to hack into the computer networks of drugmaker AstraZeneca, part of what appears to be a wide-ranging campaign to secure any and all COVID-19 vaccine data it can through illegal cyberattacks. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: People outside of China are not sure if the Chinese coronavirus vaccine shows promise and/or is effective. But if this report is true, it shows once again on how dependent North Korea is on China.

U.S. To Blacklist More Chinese Chinese. Oil Giant CNOOC And Chip Maker SMIC Have Been Added To The List

Reuters: Exclusive: Trump to add China's SMIC and CNOOC to defense blacklist - sources 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration plans to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and oil giant CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, escalating tensions with Beijing before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, according to sources familiar with the matter and a document seen by Reuters.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is poised to designate four more Chinese companies as owned or controlled by the Chinese military, bringing the total number to 35. 

A recent executive order issued by President Donald Trump would prevent U.S. investors from buying securities of the blacklisted firms starting late next year. 

It was not immediately clear when the new additions to the blacklist would be published in the Federal Register, making the move official. 

But the list includes China Construction Technology Co Ltd and China International Engineering Consulting Corp, as well as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), according to the document seen by Reuters and four sources. 

WNU Editor: Will A Biden administration reverse the blacklisting of these Chinese companies? We will know soon enough.

U.S. Navy Will Scrap The Amphibious Assault Ship USS Bonhomme Richard After Major Fire


“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said. 

The Navy has decided to scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard, the amphibious assault ship that caught fire over the summer in San Diego, officials announced Monday. 

Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said the decision was made after officials determined the damage was too extensive and the cost of repair too high to justify salvaging the vessel. 

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Braithwaite said. 

"Following an extensive material assessment in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore her.” 

The fire broke out July 12 and took four days to extinguish. The ship, which works to deploy elements of Marine landing forces, was based at Naval Base San Diego after having spent six years in Japan.

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This hurts. This is a major US Navy warship that will no longer be in the fleet. 

 More News On The U.S. Navy Scrapping The USS Bonhomme Richard 

Will The Biden Administration Cut The Defense Budget?

William D. Hartung and Mandy Smithberger, The Nation: Will a Biden Administration Mean a Smaller Military Budget? 

Preventing future pandemics, and addressing long-standing inequalities, will require cutting our bloated Pentagon budget. 

Now that Joe Biden is slated to take office as the 46th president of the United States, advice on how he should address a wide range of daunting problems is flooding in. Nowhere is there more at stake than when it comes to how he handles this country’s highly militarized foreign policy in general and Pentagon spending in particular. 

Defense spending increased sharply in the Trump years and is now substantially higher than it was during the Korean or Vietnam War eras or during the massive military buildup President Ronald Reagan oversaw in the 1980s. Today, it consumes well over half of the nation’s discretionary budget, which just happens to also pay for a wide array of urgently needed priorities ranging from housing, job training, and alternative energy programs to public health and infrastructure building. At a time when pandemics, high unemployment, racial inequality, and climate change pose the greatest threats to our safety and security, this allocation of resources should be considered unsustainable. Unfortunately, the Pentagon and the arms industry have yet to get that memo. Defense company executives recently assured a Washington Post reporter that they are “unconcerned” about or consider unlikely the possibility that a Biden administration would significantly reduce Pentagon spending. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The above authors are salivating at the prospect that the Biden administration will cut the US defense budget. I think it is too early to have those expectations.

U.S. Hits Chinese Defense Firm CEIEC With Sanctions For Conducting Business With The Venezuelan Government

Reuters: U.S. imposes Venezuela-related sanctions targeting Chinese firm 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on Monday on Chinese firm China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), accusing it of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to undermine democracy. 

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the Chinese company supported the leftist government of Maduro in its “efforts to restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents.” 

“The United States will not hesitate to target anyone helping to suppress the democratic will of the Venezuelan people and others around the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement. 

 More News On U.S. Hits Chinese Defense Firm CEIEC With Sanctions For Conducting Business With The Venezuelan Government 

Moldova's New President Calls For Russian Troops To Withdraw From The Separatist Region Of Transdniester

BBC: Moldova's new president calls for Russian troops to withdraw from territory 

Moldova's incoming president Maia Sandu has called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from a breakaway region at the border with Ukraine. 

In her first news conference as president-elect, Ms Sandu said Russian forces never had permission to be in the separatist area of Trans-Dniester. 

The Kremlin has rejected her comments, saying the move could be destabilising. 

Ms Sandu defeated incumbent president Igor Dodon, who was openly backed by Russia, in a vote earlier this month. 

The 48-year-old is a former World Bank economist who favours closer ties with the European Union.

WNU Editor: Russia has already rebuffed this demand .... Moscow Rebuffs Moldova's Sandu On Troop Withdrawal From Transdniester (RFE). More here .... Russia warns incoming Moldovan president on troops withdrawals in breakaway region (Reuters). As for the people in Transdniester, it appears that they do not care .... Apathetic Voters Snub Election in Moldova’s Breakaway Transnistria (Balkan Insight).

Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- November 30, 2020


ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - The leader of Ethiopia’s rebellious northern forces said on Monday he was still fighting close to the regional capital of Mekelle after it was captured by government troops. 

Debretsion Gebremichael, who heads the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), also told Reuters in a text message that some Eritrean soldiers fighting alongside the Ethiopian federal forces had been taken prisoner by his side. 

Billene Seyoum, the spokeswoman for the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, told Reuters that responding to “delusions of a criminal clique” was not the government’s focus. 

Read more .... 

 Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- November 30, 2020 

China Wants Your DNA

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, centre, wearing a protective face mask, talks to a medical staff member during his visit to the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing. (AP/PTI) 

"We need to further harmonize policies and standards and establish 'fast tracks' to facilitate the orderly flow of personnel," said Chinese ruler Xi Jinping to the virtual G20 Leaders' Summit on November 21. "China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes. We hope more countries will join this mechanism." 

No, this is not a benign proposal to facilitate international travel and trade. On the contrary, this is almost certainly another Chinese initiative to enlarge its collection of the DNA of the world's population. 

And why does China want such sensitive data? Beijing is determined to dominate the biotech industry. Beijing may also be developing biological weapons designed to target certain ethnic groups. 

WNU Editor: Here are more details on what China wants to do .... China Wants The World To Adopt A Passenger Tracking System For Global Travel (November 23, 2020).

Electric Propulsion Makes This French Submarine On Par With A Nuclear Submarine

The SMX31E would measure 262 feet long and could debut between 2040 and 2050.Naval Group

The stealthy SMX31E would be powered by lithium-ion batteries, like a Tesla. 

For those navies that would like to be able to field powerful submarines but cannot afford nuclear-powered vessels, lack the know-how to build one, or have other limitations, France’s Naval Group has an answer: the SMX31E, which can theoretically stay submerged for as long as a nuclear-powered boat without ever having to come up for air. 

This 3,530-ton (that’s the submerged weight), 262-foot-long vessel is still just a concept—a boat that exists only on paper. But the technological components needed to build it “have already matured, are under development, or are expected to mature in the next few years,” program manager Stephan Meunier tells Popular Science. 

WNU Editor: If these specs are true, this French submarine will put it on par with a nuclear submarine. This is also eye-opening .... 60 days is about how long those boats can stay submerged because they cannot carry more than two months of food supplies!

U.S. Army Wants 'Silent' Helicopters

© AFP 2020 / TED ALJIBE 

The US Army is has prioritized the development of a quieter helicopter design that will enable it to operate these vehicles for surveillance and cargo transportation without the noise of traditional helicopters. 

The military has zeroed in on eVTOL tech as its potential solution, meaning future Army helicopters may resemble drones. 

Helicopters are vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles, meaning they rise straight up into the air and descend back down in the same way. 

This design is also used for consumer and many commercial drones, though there’s a very big, obvious difference: the rotors. 

Read more .... 

 More News On The US Army Developing 'Quieter' Helicopters 

North Korea Tightens Its Borders To Build A 'Wall Of Defense' Against Covid-19


(CNN)Kim Jong Un appears to have kicked North Korea's pandemic prevention plan into overdrive, further tightening the country's nearly impassible borders, cutting off nearly all trade with China, and even allegedly executing a customs official for failing to handle imported goods appropriately. 

Beijing exported just $253,000 worth of goods to Pyongyang in October -- a drop of 99% from September to October, according to data published by China's customs administration. 

For context, that's less in terms of dollar value than China exported to Liechtenstein and Monaco during October. 

China is North Korea's biggest trading partner and effectively the Kim regime's economic lifeline -- the country basically doesn't import significantly from anywhere else. 

Before major UN sanctions were put in place as punishment for North Korea's nuclear weapons program in 2016 and 2017, Beijing accounted for more than 90% of Pyongyang's foreign trade. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: It looks like there is no need to enforce sanctions against North Korea. Kim Jong-un is doing it anyway.

 More News On North Korea Tightening Its Borders 

Does A Recent Successful U.S. Missile Intercept Test End The Era of Nuclear Stability?

Andreas Kluth, Bloomberg: A Successful U.S. Missile Intercept Ends the Era of Nuclear Stability

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This month, an intercontinental ballistic missile was fired in the general direction of the Hawaiian islands. During its descent a few minutes later, still outside the earth’s atmosphere, it was struck by another missile that destroyed it. 

With that detonation, the world’s tenuous nuclear balance suddenly threatened to come out of kilter. The danger of atom bombs being used again was already increasing. Now it’s grown once more. 

The ICBM flying over the Pacific was an American dummy designed to test a new kind of interceptor technology. As it flew, satellites spotted it and alerted an Air Force base in Colorado, which in turn communicated with a Navy destroyer positioned northeast of Hawaii. This ship, the USS John Finn, fired its own missile which, in the jargon, hit and killed the incoming one. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: I lived through the Cold War. I have trouble accepting the above author's point of view that because both sides had the capability of destroying each other, this was an era of "nuclear stability". I also do not share his view that developments in anti-missile defenses will now usher in an era of nuclear instability. I see these developments as a God-send against rogue nations like Iran and North Korea. The above author also ignores the inconvenient truth that the US is not the only country developing such systems. Russia is already testing and deploying such systems .... Russia's Military Has Successfully Tested It's Modernized Anti-Ballistic Missile System (November 26, 2020).

President Trump Aide Kushner Heading To Saudi Arabia And Qatar This Week


 * Kushner will visit the Middle East this week to attempt to normalize Israeli relationships with more countries after successes with Bahrain and the UAE 
 * Concerns about Iran's growing influence in the region is seen to be a factor in pushing other Middle Eastern countries toward alignment with Israel 
 * Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, believed to be the architect of Iran's nuclear program, was killed Friday reportedly by an Israeli hit squad as he rode in a car near Tehran 
 * President-Elect Joe Biden has said that he plans for the U.S. to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that Trump left in 2018 if Iran agrees to strict compliance 

Jared Kushner is heading to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week to push more countries to normalize relations with Israel, a trip that comes days after an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed near Tehran in an assassination which has been blamed on Israeli intelligence forces. 

The diplomatic effort by President Trump's son-in-law and adviser is seen as the latest attempt to draw Middle Eastern nations into closer alignment with Israel as Iran's influence grows in the region. 

A senior Trump administration official told Reuters Sunday that Kushner is set to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the city of Neom. 

Read more .... 

 More News On Jared Kushner Heading To Saudi Arabia And Qatar This Week 

The Assassination Of Iran's Top Nuclear Scientist Exposes Its Vulnerabilities To Respond


The raid alone was brazen enough. A team of Israeli commandos with high-powered torches blasted their way into a vault of a heavily guarded warehouse deep in Iran and made off before dawn with 5,000 pages of top secret papers on the country’s nuclear program. 

Then in a television broadcast a few weeks later, in April 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited the contents of the pilfered documents and coyly hinted at equally bold operations that were already being planned. 

“Remember that name,” he said as he singled out the scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as the captain of Iran’s covert attempts to assemble a nuclear weapon. 

Now Mr. Fakhrizadeh has become the latest casualty in an escalating campaign of audacious covert attacks seemingly designed to torment Iranian leaders with reminders of their weakness. The operations are confronting Tehran with an agonizing choice between embracing the demands of hard-liners for swift retaliation, or attempting to make a fresh start with the less implacably hostile administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The Iranian leadership are not the only ones who feel that they are at risk .... Hezbollah chief said to hunker down amid fears he could be targeted by Israel (Times of Israel).

Iran's State News Agency Claims Top Nuclear Scientist Was Assassinated By A Remote-Controlled Machine Gun


 * Iran held funeral for slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran Monday, after he was killed in attack 
 * More details about attack have emerged, including claim that it was carried out using remote-control guns 
 * Sources said three-minute attack used remote-control gun in the back of a truck, which then self-destructed 
 * Hard-liners within Iran called for a strike on Israeli city of Haifa in revenge for attack they blame on Tel Aviv 

Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed using a remote controlled machine gun left inside a car which then blew up, sources within the country have claimed. 

Fakhrizadeh was shot at least three times by the gun, positioned in a Nissan pickup that was parked alongside the road he was travelling on, before it blew up, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported. 

The details emerged as Iran held a funeral for the slain scientist, known as the father of the country's nuclear programme, in Tehran on Monday - where leaders continued to vow revenge for his killing.

Read more .... 

 More News On Iran's State News Agency Claiming Its Top Nuclear Scientist Was Assassinated By A Remote-Controlled Machine Gun 

China's State Media Is Intensifying Its Propaganda Efforts To Place The Origin Of The Virus In Other Countries


Reports in state media signal an intensifying propaganda effort to place the birth of the virus in other countries 

Nearly a year after doctors identified the first cases of a worrying new disease in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the country appears to be stepping up a campaign to question the origins of the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

State media has been reporting intensively on coronavirus discovered on packaging of frozen food imports, not considered a significant vector of infection elsewhere, and research into possible cases of the disease found outside China’s borders before December 2019. 

The official People’s Daily newspaper claimed in a Facebook post last week that “all available evidence suggests that the coronavirus did not start in central China’s Wuhan”. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: China is now blaming India for the Covid-19 pandemic .... China now claims India is original source of Wuhan Coronavirus (Legal Insurrection).

Why The US Presidential Election Numbers Are Troubling

Workers prepare mail-in ballots for counting in Lancaster, Pa., on Wednesday.Julio Cortez / AP 

If only cranks find the tabulations strange, put me down as a crank. 

To say out-loud that you find the results of the 2020 presidential election odd is to invite derision. You must be a crank or a conspiracy theorist. Mark me down as a crank, then. I am a pollster and I find this election to be deeply puzzling. I also think that the Trump campaign is still well within its rights to contest the tabulations. Something very strange happened in America’s democracy in the early hours of Wednesday November 4 and the days that followed. It’s reasonable for a lot of Americans to want to find out exactly what. 

First, consider some facts. President Trump received more votes than any previous incumbent seeking reelection. He got 11 million more votes than in 2016, the third largest rise in support ever for an incumbent. By way of comparison, President Obama was comfortably reelected in 2012 with 3.5 million fewer votes than he received in 2008. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The above post by Patrick Basham is a must read. 

Here is another good take on why the US Presidential election numbers are troubling .... Here Are Some More Troubling Questions About the Election Numbers (Red State) 

As to what is bothering me. Here is a small collection of some of my concerns: 

1) Nevada's third Congressional District that covers the southern third of the state and much of Clark County. I wonder if these people really exist .... 'Historically strange' spike in incomplete Nevada voter files, casinos as ‘home’ (Washington Examiner) 

2) Maricopa county, Arizona has always voted Republican and it voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in 2016 (plus 44,000 votes). Not this year. Biden won Maricopa county by 45,000 votes. The other counties performed as expected. Maricopa was the only exception. 

3) Georgia and missing mail-in ballots and signature matching .... Postal ballots in Georgia: PO boxes, Republican ballots gone astray, and signature matching (NEO). 

4) The expulsion of Republican observers from counties that eventually showed a huge swing to Biden .... Reports Of Election Fraud Keep Piling Up In Michigan. What’s Going On? (Federalist). 

5) The suspension of the count after midnight in cities like Philadelphia and Atlanta. This is how Russia runs some of its local elections. I know because I have seen it first hand. When a preferred candidate is losing there is a suspension in the count. Observers are told to go home. The count resumes a few hours later and presto the preferred candidate catches up and win. Works all the time.

6) I watched the count tally in Pennsylvania and Georgia using Reuters live coverage of the election (link here). This what caught my eye. On November 5th for every vote Trump got in Pennsylvania, Biden got 12. In Georgia it was one vote for Trump, 8 for Biden. 

Some are saying that this discrepancy is because Democrats pushed their supporters to vote by mail and Republicans pushed their supporters to vote on election day, and in the end the mail-in ballots were overwhelmingly for Biden. However the data does not support this position. In most states the mail-in ballots count closely mirrored what people voted on election day. And in the case of New York State. Mail-in ballots actually helped Republican candidates. So why did the five critical and swing states states of Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia break the trend? And in only certain counties. You tell me.

I know Joe Biden will be made President on January 20. But this debate on his legitimacy is going to hang over him for the rest of his term.

CNN Host Explains How President Trump Could Win Re-Election By Pulling Off A ‘Legal And Constitutional’ Win Via Congress


A resurfaced video in which CNN’s Fareed Zakaria explained the “legal and constitutional” way President Trump may be re-elected even after a seeming loss has raised some eyebrows. 

The video, released before the election, showed the columnist for The Washington Post and host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” laying out the case on how Trump can remain the president “without actually winning the vote.” 

Democrats and supporters of Democrat nominee Joe Biden, who still has not been certified as the official winner of the 2020 presidential election, expressed concern on social media as the video got fresh attention this week. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This has "somewhat" happened before in a US Presidential election. I refer to US President Hayes' disputed election of 1876 (link here). But will something like this happen in 2020? My answer is no. Most Republican legislators do not have the will or spine to dispute this election.

Australia Condemns China Over Fake Afghan War Crime Tweet

The Chinese government has attacked Australia over war crimes allegations by posting this falsified image on Twitter 

 * Australia is investigating war crimes allegations against troops in Afghanistan 
 * Chinese official posted a doctored image of Aussie soldier and Afghan child 
 * The soldier is holding a knife to the child's throat and covering face with flag 
 * Scott Morrison slammed the tweet as 'disgusting' and called for removal 

The Chinese government has attacked Australia over war crimes allegations against SAS troops with a fake image showing an Aussie soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. 

China's foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted the computer-generated image on Twitter on Monday, writing:

'Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable.' 

The gruesome image shows a smiling soldier in uniform covering a barefoot child with the Aussie flag as the youngster clutches a lamb. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Twitter has still not pulled down China's foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao​'s tweet (tweet here). China has also responded to Australia's demand to remove the tweet. They are basically saying "take a hike" .... China rejects Australian PM's call to apologise for 'repugnant' tweet with fake image of soldier (The Guardian). 

 More News On Australia Condemning China's Fake Afghan War Crime Tweet 

China Prepares for 'Informationized' War

Austin Bay, Strategy Page: On Point: China Prepares for 'Informationized' War 

In March 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking to the National People's Congress, declared that the Chinese military's most important mission was "to win local wars under Information Age conditions." 

Wen's use of "local wars" drew immediate reaction. 

Given China's territorial claims in Asia, locals such as Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan heard a threat. 

As for the phrase "under Information Age conditions," media took that to mean the internet, interconnected global communications and pervasive information resources -- information's soft power side, to include propaganda to cover a Chinese "gray zone" war. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The Chinese have adopted the concept that soldiers behind keyboards will be far more lethal than soldiers on the front lines. Here is a good study fom the RAND corporation on where China is going .... People's Liberation Army Operational Concepts (RAND).

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Sailors aboard the USS Nimitz wave at U.S. and Indian aircraft during Malabar, an India-led multinational exercise, in the Indian Ocean, Nov. 20. 2020. 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... US Department of Defense.

OPEC+ Fail To Agree On An Oil Policy For 2021

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo 

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC and allies led by Russia have yet to find a consensus on oil output policy for 2021, after an initial round of talks on Sunday and ahead of crucial meetings on Monday and Tuesday, four OPEC+ sources told Reuters. 

OPEC+, a grouping comprising members of the of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, plus Russia and others, had been due to ease production cuts from January 2021, but a second coronavirus wave has reduced demand for fuel around the world. 

OPEC+ is now considering rolling over existing cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day, or around 8% of global demand, into the first months of 2021, sources have said. 

Read more .... 

 More News On OPEC+ Failing To Agree On An Oil Policy For 2021 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.S. -- News Updates November 29, 2020

Daily Mail: Biden's COVID adviser predicts that 'many who spent Thanksgiving with loved ones will be in ICU by Christmas' as post-holiday hospitalizations hit record 93,238 and Fauci warns of 'a surge upon the surge' 

 * US coronavirus hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the last month - reaching 93,238 on Sunday 
 * 16 states reported record seven-day averages for daily new cases on Thursday and Friday 
 * Nationwide 155,596 new cases and 1,189 deaths were reported on Saturday 
 * Cases, deaths and hospitalizations are expected to skyrocket due to Thanksgiving gatherings and travel 
 * Dr Celine Gounder, a member of Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, offered a grave warning Saturday 
 * She said cases will spike in the next two weeks, followed by hospitalizations and deaths in the weeks after 
 * 'Many people who celebrated with family, with friends over Thanksgiving will find themselves in the hospital, in ICUs over Christmas and New Years,' Gounder said 
 * Dr Anthony Fauci also warned that irresponsible Thanksgiving gatherings could lead to 'a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in' on Sunday 

The number of COVID-19 patients currently being treated in hospitals across the United States nearly doubled in the last month, hitting more than 93,000 over the Thanksgiving weekend. 

As of Sunday 93,238 Americans were hospitalized with the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. 

The rate of hospitalizations - now at the highest level since the pandemic began - comes after weeks of rising infection rates nationwide, with 16 states reporting record seven-day averages for daily new cases on Thursday and Friday. 

Read more .... 

 Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic In The U.S. -- News Updates November 29, 2020 

EU Wants A New Post-Trump Alliance With The U.S. To Face China

U.S. and EU flags are pictured during the visit of Vice President Pence to the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. © Reuters/Francois Lenoir 

(Reuters) - The European Union is seeking to forge a new alliance with the United States to bury the tensions of the Trump era and meet the challenges posed by China, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing a draft plan. 

The plan proposes rebuilding ties with common fronts on issues from digital regulation to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the FT said. 

Relations between the United States and Europe have been strained under President Donald Trump. 

The EU and most of the bloc’s states have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden. 

“As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the US agree on the strategic challenge presented by China’s growing international assertiveness, even if we do not always agree on the best way to address this,” the FT cited the draft plan as saying. 

WNU Editor: I am not sure what the EU wants from the U.S.. A continuation of their huge trade surpluses with the U.S. .... The U.S. goods trade deficit with The EU 27 was $184 billion in 2019. An alliance with the U.S. to force China to lower their trade barriers and to block their push to dominate technology and communication markets? Their talk about digital regulation and tackling the COVID-19 pandemic seems lame to me since they are already doing this.

Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- November 29, 2020


Hospitals in the capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region faced an influx of trauma patients, an aid group said Sunday, a day after federal troops claimed control of the city and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said fighting was over. 

Abiy, last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, declared victory on Saturday evening in a three-week military confrontation with leaders of Tigray's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). 

But a communications blackout in Tigray has made it impossible to independently verify whether the regional capital Mekele is completely under federal government control. 

 Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- November 29, 2020 

Breaking News!! Joe Biden Has ‘Hairline Fractures’ In His Foot After He Slipped And Fell

WNU Editor: I hope he recovers quickly. They say he was playing with his dog when he slipped and fell. I do not understand why his hairline fractures are on his foot. Usually when you fall the injury is on the upper body. 

Falling is something that all seniors have to be careful with. I have more than my share on taking care of seniors like my mom who has cognitive problems and difficulty walking .... and falling because of it. She suffered a hairline fracture on her hand when she first fell. It was after that fall that I learned she was starting to have memory/cognitive problems, and took measures to make minimize any chance of that happening again in the future.

Did Joe Biden fall because he has cognitive problems .... I do not know. But how he walks reminds me of people who have these type of health issues, and why they and the people around him need to be careful. 

More News On Joe Biden's Foot Injury

Massacre By Boko Haram Militants Reported In Nigeria


Attack took place in village near Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farmers in rice fields 

At least 110 people have been killed in an attack on a village in north-east Nigeria blamed on the Boko Haram jihadist group, according to the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country. 

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” Edward Kallon said in a statement after initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from the massacre on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram fighters. 

 More News On Saturday's Boko Haram Attack In Nigeria 

China Wants To Have A Permanent Presence In America's Computers

Michael G. McLaughlin William J. Holstein, National Interest: Is China Seeking A Secretive, Permanent Presence in America’s Computers? 

Americans could once rest comfortably in the assumption that they possessed overwhelming technological dominance. But China’s government is working hard to prove them wrong. 

 In the technology battles between the United States and China, the sensational hacks of American information technology systems revealed by the Department of Justice and the controversies over Huawei’s 5G wireless communications technology and TikTok’s video app dominate the headlines. 

But the Chinese government of President Xi Jinping appears to be quietly setting the stage for a more pervasive, ongoing penetration of America’s networks, creating a national security problem that chief executive officers can no longer ignore or minimize. As part of its Digital Silk Road strategy, China is actively pursuing several vectors to achieve outright dominance of the world’s computer systems, including America’s. 

WNU Editor: China will not be dominant in tech if they continue to crack down on the people who made China dominant in tech .... China Clampdown on Big Tech Puts More Billionaires on Notice (Bloomberg).

China's Economic Instability And The Lack Of Powerful And Reliable Allies Is What Is Stopping China From Becoming A Superpower

Strategy Page: China: Submit Or Suffer 

Two things are impeding Chinese efforts to achieve superpower status; economic stability and a network of powerful and reliable allies. 

The problems with economic stability are linked to the more serious problems with establishing stable relationships with other countries. 

Chinese tradition prevents both of these because China traditionally recognizes only enemies and subordinate foreigners. 

China does not do allies in the traditional way.

Current Chinese “allies” include Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran. 

These are not what most countries would consider reliable and useful allies. Turkey and Iran are not reliable or particularly dependable and useful. The other allies, including Russia, are more dependents than traditional allies. 

WNU Editor: The above analysis is correct.

The Barrett M82 Is The U.S. Military’s Most Powerful Sniper Rifle

Cpl. Kaden Prickett, machine gunner and team leader with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, fires a .50 caliber Special Applications Scoped Rifle at a target 1,200 meters away, in the Central Command area of operations, Jan. 6, 2015. Marines and sailors of Golf Company spent time on the range getting acquainted with various weapons systems and cross-training one another in their respective areas of expertise. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carson A. Gramley/Released). 

Fact: The most powerful sniper rifle in the U.S. Military was designed in a garage — and handmade.

The Origins 

The story of the M82 begins with Ronnie Barrett. Barrett, a photographer with no formal gunsmith training or experience, is said to have been inspired to design and build the M82 .50 caliber rifle while photographing a river patrol boat similar to the type used by American forces during the Vietnam war. In one of the resulting photographs, a .50 caliber machine gun is prominently silhouetted. 

WNU Editor: I like the part where this sniper rifle was designed in a garage — and handmade.

The U.S. Army Wants ‘Telepathic’ Soldiers

Soldiers wearing specialized gear. US Army 

The Army is said to be spending millions on neuroscience that could lead to ‘telepathic’ soldiers. 

The goal is to build a system that would allow soldiers to communicate via their brain signals. 

So far, ARO neuroscientists have reportedly been able to decode and put back together behavioral signals from the brain. 

They focused on monkeys for their recent research. ARO program manager Hamid Krim told C4ISRNET: “Here we’re not only measuring signals, but we’re interpreting them.” 

The next stage is to try and decode other types of brain signals. 

WNU Editor: We are still a long way from having such technology deploy.