Thursday, February 25, 2021

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi touches one of the two coffins containing the bodies of Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio and his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci as they arrive back at Rome's Ciampino airport following a deadly attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Rome, Italy, February 23. Ministero della Esteri/Handout via REUTERS 

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

Report Says The Cost To Build 15 New Warships For The Canadian Navy Will Be $77 Billion!!!

An artist's rendering of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. PHOTO BY IMAGE PROVIDED /Lockheed Martin Canada 


The controversial surface combatant project has faced delays and significant increases in cost as the price tag has climbed from an original $14-billion 

The cost of Canada’s proposed fleet of warships has jumped to an estimated $77 billion, according to a new report from the parliamentary budget officer. 

The report, released Wednesday by Yves Giroux, outlined how the price tag of the Canadian Surface Combatant fleet increased by $7.3 billion in less than two years. 

The controversial project, which would see Canada purchase 15 Type 26 warships from Lockheed Martin and BAE, has already faced delays and significant cost increases — and a contract has not yet been signed. 

The vessels are meant to replace the current Halifax-class frigate fleet and are to be built for the Royal Canadian Navy at Irving Shipbuilding on the east coast. 



WNU Editor: cheaper alternatives are now being offered .... PBO says mixed frigate fleet and other designs offer cheaper options to navy program (CBC)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Are These the High-Tech Combat Drones Of The Future?

Warzone/The Drive: Check Out The Mystery Drone Model On The Desk Of This General Atomics Executive 

This model, and another we could identify, provide a tantalizing glimpse into the company’s work on high-tech combat drones. 

When it comes to unmanned aircraft, there is seemingly no shortage of new and cutting-edge projects and programs. As well as actual drones that are being built or tested, there are reams of studies, works in progress, and more hypothetical concepts in this game-changing arena. That said, once in a while, an artist’s study or model crops up which takes us somewhat by surprise. Case in point, a pair of desktop models in the office of a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems executive that Steve Trimble, Aviation Week’s Defense Editor and a friend of The War Zone, spotted today. The company later confirmed they show an undisclosed prototype combat drone and a precursor to the Sparrowhawk — a weapon-carrying air-launched drone, itself designed for launch from drones. 


WNU Editor: Cannot tell much from the picture. But the drone model on the left looks interesting.

Details of Bombardier’s jet used for Saab’s GlobalEye surveillance system posted on dark web

The SAAB GlobalEye spy plane, pictured, uses the body of a Bombardier Global 6000 business jet for its base 


 * Details from the hack appear to have been released on the darkweb site CL0P^_- LEAKS 
 * Forensic analysis revealed that personal and other confidential information relating to employees, customers and suppliers was compromised 
 * The Clop site was launched in March 2020 to publish data stolen from non-paying victims held hostage using the ransomware
 * Companies that recently appeared to fall victim to Clop ransomware include the law firm Jones Day, which represents former President Donald Trump 
 * Financial cyber-crime gang FIN11 is believed to be behind the series of recent Clop ransom campaigns 
 * Some of the documents leaked appear to show specifications for the GlobalEye radar and mission system 

Details for a military spy plane appear to been leaked on the dark web by hackers as it is believed manufacturer Bombardier refused to pay a ransom.

Canadian business jet manufacturer Bombardier, whose Global 6000 jet is used for Saab's GlobalEye spy plane system, announced on Tuesday that it recently suffered 'a limited cybersecurity breach.' 

The leak, posted to the darkweb site CL0P^_- LEAKS, appears to show specifications and mechanics for the GlobalEye airborne early warning and control platform developed by the Swedish defense company Saab. 

Read more .... 


WNU Editor: Bombardier is saying that this was a 'limited cyber security breach'. I am not sure about that. It looks like these hackers had access to a lot of stuff. Who knows what else they may have taken.

Entire US Federal Reserve Payment System Crashes For Three Hours Due To 'Operational Error' Freezing $3Trillion In Daily Transactions

 


 * All Federal Reserve settlement services suffered disruptions on Wednesday 
 * The key banking systems were offline for more than three hours 
 * Fed says that the massive outage was caused by an 'operational error' 
 * Systems affected form the backbone of US banking and financial sector 
 * Fedwire is used by banks to transfer an average of $3.3 trillion every day 
 * FedACH handles smaller transactions such as paychecks and tax refunds 

The Federal Reserve payment systems used to settle transactions between U.S. financial institutions has suffered a massive disruption due to an 'operational error'. 

The system used by U.S. banks to execute some $3 trillion in transactions daily began suffering outages at around 11.15am Eastern time on Wednesday, and remained down for more than three hours. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Imagine what would happen if this outage was not repaired. 

 More News On The Entire US Federal Reserve Payment System Crashes For Three Hours 

U.S. Intelligence Report Will Name Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince As 'Approving' The Killing Of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

 


 * President Joe Biden plans to call the king of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday 
 * His administration will name Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the man who approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi 
 * Information will be in forthcoming declassified intelligence report
 * White House said last week Biden would recalibrate American relations with Saudi Arabia and will communicate through King Salman rather than with MBS 
 * That marks a change in policy from Trump administration who dealt with MBS * Khashoggi wrote columns critical of Saudi government
 * He was killed in October 2018 when he visited Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork necessary for his marriage to a Turkish citizen

President Joe Biden's administration will name Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the man who approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi when it releases an intelligence report on the journalist's murder. 

Four U.S. officials told Reuters the forthcoming declassified U.S. intelligence report - to which the CIA was the main contributor - assesses that the crown prince approved and likely ordered the murder of Khashoggi. 

Biden plans to call the king of Saudi Arabia ahead of the public release of the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - which could come out as soon as Thursday. 

Read more .... 

More News On The U.S. Intelligence Report Naming Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince As 'Approving' The Killing Of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi 








Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 24, 2021

Image: Flickr 


The Biden team should consider completing the withdrawal of U.S. troops and resources from Afghanistan and helping U.S. diplomatic and military institutions learn the limitations of their abilities as revealed by this and similar wars. 

The Biden team is considering putting a pause on Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from America’s longest war in response to Taliban failures to meet the terms of their agreement with the former president. 

Whether or not the Taliban has met its end of the bargain, a new administration gives the United States the opportunity to reevaluate its position and the value of continued blood and treasure spent on Afghanistan. 

Given that Afghan insurgents have managed to keep pace in tactical and technological adaptation with U.S. forces, and given that the United States’ reputation has been tarnished by the war, a clear-eyed review of the dynamics of this war would justify unconditional withdrawal. 


 Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 24, 2021 


Afghanistan: Will Biden Cave to the Forever War Party? -- Cheryl Benard, National Interest 


Afghanistan: To leave or not to leave -- Syed Fazl-E-Haider, The Interpreter 



The Real Regional Problem With the Iran Deal -- Trita Parsi, foreign Affairs 

How to rethink Russia sanctions -- Anders Aslund, The Hill 







World News Briefs -- February 24, 2021 (Evening Edition)

Israel has vaccinated the highest proportion of its population against the virus in the world. The authorities there are hoping this will enable them to get back to business as usual quicker 


 * UK is already dishing out 358,340 doses a day on average, a report by German company Statista says  
 * This is 46 per cent more jabs than the country needs to achieve herd immunity by December 31 this year 
 * France, Germany and Italy, however, will need to more than double the pace of their rollouts they said Britain and the US may be on the cusp of herd immunity by the end of 2021 thanks to their speedy Covid vaccine roll-outs, data suggested today. 

But forecasters analysing the current pace of the global inoculation drive have warned Germany, France and Italy must rapidly speed up to reach the same threshold. 

Herd immunity is when an infectious disease stops naturally spreading in a population because enough people are protected against the disease. 

Read more .... 

 MIDDLE EAST 










 ASIA 








Virus-weary Australia hails prospect of Brisbane Olympics

Australia passes landmark law requiring Facebook, Google to pay for news. 

 AFRICA 


Niger opposition leader claims election win despite results. 

Nigeria's Boko Haram crisis: Maiduguri rocket attack kills 10. 







 EUROPE 











 AMERICAS 











 TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR 




 ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS 





Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 24, 2021

 


Countering China “is the biggest geopolitical test that we face,” the veteran diplomat told senators. CIA Director nominee William Burns said on Wednesday that, if confirmed by the Senate, competing with China and countering a “formidable authoritarian adversary” in Beijing would be the central focus of his tenure. 

"Out-competing China will be key to our national security in the days ahead," Burns testified at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“That will require a long-term clear-eyed bipartisan strategy underpinned by domestic renewal and solid intelligence.” 

Read more .... 

 Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 24, 2021 
































Three Dozen House Democrats Want President Biden To Renounce His Sole Authority To Launch Nuclear Weapons

A military aide carries the nuclear football. Photograph: Joshua Roberts / Reuters 


'Vesting 1 person with this authority entails real risks,' the letter reads 

About three dozen House Democrats have signed a letter asking President Biden to renounce his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, according to reports. 

A promise from the president to give up his nuclear capabilities as commander in chief could take the same power away from future presidents.

"Vesting one person with this authority entails real risks," the letter from Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and obtained by Politico reads. 

"Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment."

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Not going to happen.

World Health Organization: Coronavirus Deaths Worldwide Fell By 20% Last Week


Forbes:
Coronavirus Deaths Worldwide Fell By 20% Last Week, WHO Says 

The number of coronavirus-related deaths decreased by 20% worldwide last week compared to the week before, according to an analysis by the World Health Organization, which coincides with a drop in cases and deaths in the United States as well, as it appears the course of both the global and domestic outbreaks of the virus may finally be slowing. 

KEY FACTS 

 * Slightly fewer than 66,000 fatalities worldwide were reported last week—the third consecutive week the fatality rate has decreased. 
 * The WHO also announced the total number of new cases fell to 2.4 million for the week of Feb. 15 through Feb. 21, representing an 11% dip from the prior week, which marks the sixth consecutive week the global case count has declined. 
 * The U.S. has averaged 68,038 new cases per day over the past seven days, a decrease of nearly 40% compared to the average earlier this month. 
 * On Tuesday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the U.S. dropped below 56,000 for the first time since early November. 

Read more .... 


WNU Editor: Covid-19 deaths worldwide may have fallen by 20% last week, but I would not be surprised if the total global death toll number reaches 2,500,000 tomorrow.

New Finish COVID Variant May Evade Tests

Daily Mail: Now scientists spot ANOTHER Covid variant: Finland detects strain that 'shares mutations with South African version' that makes vaccines slightly less effective

* Only one case of variant temporarily named Fin-796H has been spotted so far 
 * Finnish experts who detected variant called combination of mutations 'unique' 
 * British scientists today told MailOnline there was no reason to panic yet 

Finnish scientists claim to have found another coronavirus variant which shares some of the same mutations as other troublesome strains. 

Only one case of the virus — temporarily named Fin-796H — has been spotted so far but experts have admitted they are unsure how widespread it is. 

Finland said was unlikely the variant emerged there, given the country's low infection rate. The Scandinavian nation has recorded just 51,000 cases and 700 deaths since the pandemic took off. 

Read more .... 


WNU Editor: The good news is that only one case has been detected so far. The bad news is that  Finland is not experiencing a drop in cases that most Western countries are experiencing (see top graph).

California's COVID-19 Variant Appears To Be More Contagious AND Deadlier

 


A coronavirus variant that probably emerged in May and surged to become the dominant strain in California not only spreads more readily than its predecessors but also evades antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines or prior infection and is associated with severe illness and death, researchers said. 

In a study that helps explain the state’s dramatic holiday surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths — and portends further trouble ahead — scientists at UC San Francisco said the cluster of mutations that characterizes the homegrown strain should mark it as a “variant of concern” on par with those from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

Read more .... 


WNU Editor: Almost 50,000 have died in California from Covid-19 so far .... Coronavirus: As US passes 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, California nears 50,000 (Record-Bee).

Update #3: A lot of details on California's Covid-19 variant is here .... 'The devil is already here': Scientists say homegrown California COVID variant will account for 90% of the state's cases by the end of March and has a viral load twice as HIGH as earlier strains and a higher resistance to vaccines (Daily Mail).

Taliban Accuse Kabul And Washington For Not Respecting The Doha Deal

Last week, the Taliban issued an 'open letter' calling on Washington to pull out the troops [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera] 


Taliban accuses the Afghan government and the US of not fully honouring the agreement signed last year. 

Doha, Qatar – The Taliban has blamed the Afghan government and its Western allies for not living up to the agreement signed last year despite months of negotiations, including the release of prisoners and withdrawal of foreign forces. 

A senior member of the Taliban’s political office in Doha told Al Jazeera all Taliban prisoners were to be released three months after the initiation of intra-Afghan dialogue in the Qatari capital. 

“It’s been [more than] five months and they haven’t released a single prisoner,” said the Taliban official, who did not wish to be named, blaming the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani for the delay. 

The comments came as the Afghan armed group resumed talks with the Afghan government in Doha on Tuesday after weeks of delays and a change in US leadership.



WNU Editor: The Germans are preparing to stay .... Germany prepares way for its troops to stay in Afghanistan (AP). Here are the Biden administration's options .... Biden has only bad options as Afghanistan withdrawal deadline nears (Axios).

The Iran - Venezuela Oil And Gas Partnership

An oil tanker is docked while oil is pumped into it at the ships terminal of PDVSA's Jose Antonio Anzoategui industrial complex in the state of Anzoategui April 15, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo 


CARACAS/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Venezuela is shipping jet fuel to Iran in return for vital gasoline imports for the South American nation as part of a swap deal agreed by the two state-run oil firms, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. 

Iran has ramped up assistance to Venezuela since last year as the United States tightened sanctions on both countries, hitting oil exports by state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela and National Iranian oil Company (NIOC). 

Iran has sent flotillas of state-operated tankers carrying gasoline and feedstock for motor fuel to Venezuela, as well as equipment and spare parts to help the once-prosperous OPEC nation restart its dilapidated refineries. But the countries have provided few details on what Iran is getting from Venezuela in return. 


WNU Editor: China is also benefitting from this sanction-busting trade .... China is still brimming with Iranian oil (Atlantic Council).

A Hypothetical Sino-American War Scenario Of 2025

The Sino-American Littoral War, September 9-28, 2025 

Michael R. Auslin, Spectator: The Sino-American War of 2025 

A future history 

The reasons why the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) avoided total war, let alone a nuclear exchange, during their armed conflict in the autumn of 2025 remain a source of dispute. What is clearer is why the Sino-American Littoral War broke out, and what course it took. The United States lost part of its position in Asia, while China found its gains an unexpected burden. The resulting cold war between the United States and China became the defining feature of geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific in the middle of the 21st century. To understand what happened and why, we must start with the political environment between Washington and Beijing in the years leading up to the war, look at their military assets and assess the balance of power in the western Pacific at the outset of hostilities. Only then will analysts be able to interpret the political and military decisions taken by both sides. 


WNU Editor: A doubt that a hypothetical U.S.-Sino war would be limited to three weeks. Especially if a US aircraft carrier has been seriously damaged or sunk with great loss of life. If a US carrier is sunk I can easily see this conflict escalate into full engagements within a few days that would encompass much of eastern Asia.

U.S. Strategy Paper On China Does Not impress Beijing

Flags of U.S. and China are displayed at American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC)’s booth during China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, May 28, 2019. Jason Lee, Reuters 


 * “The Longer Telegram” released in late January laid out a detailed proposal for how the new U.S. administration should deal with a rising China under its Communist Party government. 
 * The anonymous author is a “former senior U.S. government official,” according to the D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council that published the lengthy paper. 
 * So far in Beijing, major Chinese state media have not discussed the paper much, while the foreign ministry said such comments against the ruling Communist Party were “a collection of rumors and conspiracy theories” 

BEIJING — A recent U.S. strategy paper on China that’s widely read in Washington, D.C., has drawn only a passing response in Beijing where limited public discussion has focused on one point: The author got China wrong.

“The Longer Telegram” released in late January proposed how the new U.S. administration should deal with a rising China by laying out a detailed critique of the Communist Party government under President Xi Jinping. 

An effective U.S. approach on China requires the “same disciplined approach it applied to the defeat of the Soviet Union,” the paper said. “US strategy must remain laser focused on Xi, his inner circle, and the Chinese political context in which they rule.” 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council's strategy paper on China is here .... Toward a new American China strategy (Atlantic Council). This is a must read for all China watchers.

Japan's Military Performed 25 Missions In 2020 In Defense Of US Ships Or Planes

About 55,000 US military personnel are stationed in Japan, including the US Navy's Seventh Fleet [Reuters] 


Hong Kong (CNN)Japan's military performed 25 missions in 2020 in defense of US ships or planes, a sign of the growing integration of two of Asia's most powerful armed forces. 

The number of what Japan calls "asset protection" missions was up from 14 in 2019 amid a "severe security environment," according to an announcement from Japan's Ministry of Defense. 

The Japanese military said the 25 missions involved Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) protecting US Navy ships on four occasions while those ships were gathering information on ballistic missiles or other warning or surveillance activities. In 21 instances, the missions involved protecting US aircraft that were in joint training with their Japanese counterparts. 


WNU Editor: More signs of U.S. and Japan military cooperation .... U.S., Japan Begin Joint Military Drills after China Enters Japanese Waters (Newsweek), and this .... Japan, US extend agreement on military base payments (Al Jazeera).

Biden Administration Prepares To Impose Sanctions On Russia

 


Washington (CNN)The Biden administration is preparing to impose sanctions on Russia in the coming weeks over the poisoning and jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the SolarWinds hack, according to two administration officials familiar with the Navalny plans and a US official familiar with the hack response discussions. 

Discussions about the response to the devastating security breach of at least nine federal agencies and dozens of private businesses are still ongoing but could come within a matter of weeks, the US official said, noting that the package will likely include sanctions and a cyber component, as well as other options that make clear just how serious the Biden administration views Russia's actions more broadly. 



WNU Editor: The Biden administration promises to act sooner rather than later .... Biden administration to respond to Russian hacking, poisoning in 'weeks not months' (The Hill).

US Senator Mitt Romney Says Trump Would Win GOP Presidential Nomination 'In A Landslide' In 2024

 


Romney was among seven Republican senators who joined Democrats in voting in favor of convicting Trump in his second impeachment trial. 

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who voted in favor of convicting former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, said Tuesday that Trump would likely beat the GOP field if he decides to run in the 2024 presidential election. 

“I don't know if he'll run in 2024 or not, but if he does, I'm pretty sure he will win the nomination,” Romney said in an interview with the New York Times DealBook DC Policy Project.

Pressed on the prediction, Romney said, “I think he’d win the nomination if he runs. I mean a lot can happen between now and 2024.” 

“I look at the polls, and the polls show that among the names being floated as potential contenders in 2024, if you put President Trump in there among Republicans, he wins in a landslide,” he added. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: A lot can happen between now and 2024. But if it was held today, former President Trump would probably win with a margin over 80%.

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies inspect the vehicle of golfer Tiger Woods, who was rushed to hospital with severe leg injuries suffered when his car veered off a road and rolled down a steep hillside in Los Angeles, California, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Gene Blevins 

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Tiger Woods suffers serious leg injuries in car wreck (Reuters).

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The U.S. Air Force Wants To Replace Hundreds Of F-16s

Image: Flickr


The U.S. Air Force’s top officer wants the service to develop an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters. 

The result would be a high-low mix of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets, explained Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. 


WNU Editor: F-35s are very expensive fighter jets to fly and maintain. In an age of budget austerity, in certain situations a cheaper fighter jet will probably be more practical to have instead of the F-22 or F-35.

Biden Administration Rejects China’s Calls for Better Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang) 


China's foreign minister called for a repair to bilateral relations 

In the wake of the Trump administration, US-China relations are at their lowest point in decades. For weeks now, Chinese officials have been calling for better relations, and on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi continued the call.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the US side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems,” Wang said. He also called on the US to lift trade restrictions and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs. The US responded sharply to Wang’s remarks. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: In all fairness to the Biden administration's decision to reject China's call for better relations. China had conditions for better relations, and they were/are not realistic .... China's Foreign Minister Calls For Reset In Sino-U.S. Relations By Demanding The U.S. Meets China's Conditions (February 22, 2021).

Here Is The Case On Why "Life Will Not Return to Normal"

Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream: If You Believe Life Will “Return To Normal”, You Have A Fundamental Misunderstanding Of The Times In Which We Live 

Despite all of the craziness that is going on out there, many pundits are trying to convince us that life will soon “return to normal” and that great days are just around the corner. 

They are telling us this despite the fact that the state of Texas has been in a state of collapse this week, the real economy continues to implode, the unemployment numbers are going up, civil unrest continues to rage in our streets on a nightly basis, and our entire planet continues to become even more unstable. 

Those that believe that happy days are here again have a fundamental misunderstanding of the times in which we live. This isn’t a period of time when America is going to “build back better”. Rather, this is a time when America is going to go even deeper into “the perfect storm”.


WNU Editor: Things always return to "normal". The pandemic will end like all pandemics have done in the past. Unfortunately, my gut is telling me that "returning to normal economically " is going to take a long time.

Most Americans Believe The Worst Of The Pandemic Is Behind Them

Ballotpedia: Most Americans Believe The Worst Of The Pandemic Is Behind Them 

February 23, 2021: Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters now believe the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. 

A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 31% disagree and believe the worst is still to come. 

Rasmussen has been tracking this question throughout the pandemic, and this is the first time ever that a plurality offered a positive view. As recently as late November, 68% believed that the worst was still to come. At that time, only 18% believed the worst was behind us. 

However, the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines dramatically decreased the levels of pessimism. By late January, 33% of voters believed the worst of the pandemic was behind us, while 40% believed the worst was still to come.

Read more .... 

WNU editor: Too early to say if the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Almost 2,000 Americans have died in the past 24 hours because of Covid-19. And while case numbers are going down, the impact that some of these variants may have in the coming weeks are still unknown.

The Rise Of The 'Digital-Intelligence Complex'

Eric Felten, RealClearInvestigations: 60 Years After Eisenhower's Warning, Distinct Signs of a 'Digital-Intelligence Complex' 

In June 2019, Susan Gordon stood on a stage at the Washington Convention Center. 

Behind her loomed three giant letters, “AWS,” the abbreviation for Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division of the giant Internet retailer. 

After three decades at the Central Intelligence Agency, Gordon had risen to one of the top jobs in the cloak-and-dagger world: principal deputy director of national intelligence. From that perch she publicly extolled the virtues of Amazon Web Services and the cloud services the tech giant provides the CIA. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Read the whole thing. 

On a personal note. I am involved in a few web projects. We do not use Amazon's cloud services for the reasons outlined in the above post. Bottom line .... I do not feel comfortable that Amazon would respect our privacy.  Also, after what happened to Parler when Amazon decided to quickly end their hosting services, I do not trust them to be even remotely involved in that.