Thursday, October 21, 2021

China's COVID-19 Outbreaks Continue

Medical worker collects a swab from a resident at a nucleic acid testing site in Lanzhou. © Reuters/STRINGER  

Reuters: China's COVID-19 outbreak grows as cities race to trace infections 

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - China reported a fourth day of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in a handful of cities across China, prompting alarmed local governments to double down on efforts to track potential carriers amid the country's zero-tolerance policy. 

A total of 17 new local cases were reported for Oct. 19, up from nine a day earlier, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Wednesday. The new cases were reported in eight cities and administrative divisions, more than four for Oct. 18, the bulk of which were in northern and northwestern China. 

Three separate cases were also reported in recent days in the south and southwest of China. Among the cases was one in the capital city Beijing, which is busy gearing up for its hosting of the 2022 Winter Games in February, where officials vowed stringent efforts against the virus. 

 Read more ....  

Update: Parts of northern China brace for more COVID-19 lockdowns and curbs (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: The numbers that are being reported from China are still incredibly low. But the fear in Beijing is that if restrictions are lifted, these outbreaks will explode. 

My friends in China are telling me that this policy of having zero Covid cases is not sustainable and that it will need to change. It is damaging the country's economy and disrupting social peace. Their prediction is that after the Beijing Olympics are over (February 2022), Beijing will loosen restrictions, and will try to live with the disease.

WHO Warns Covid-19 Pandemic Will Drag On Deep Into 2022

BBC: Covid: WHO warns pandemic will drag on deep into 2022 

The Covid pandemic will "go on for a year longer than it needs to" because poorer countries are not getting the vaccines they need, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. Dr Bruce Aylward, senior leader at the WHO, said it meant the Covid crisis could "easily drag on deep into 2022". 

Less than 5% of Africa's population have been vaccinated, compared to 40% on most other continents. The UK has delivered more than 10 million vaccines to countries in need. It has pledged a total of 100 million.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The WHO's rational behind this warning is that vaccines are not reaching populations that need it the most .... Only 14% of promised Covid vaccine doses reach poorest nations (The Guardian).

U.S. Business Pundits Are Acknowledging That Inflation Is Now A Major Problem


Mediaite: Jim Cramer Says ‘Astounding’ Inflation ‘Much Worse’ Than Thought: ‘Just Unbelievable’ 

CNBC on Wednesday spoke with hedge fund manager and Robin Hood Foundation founder Paul Tudor Jones, who said that inflation is “much worse than we fear.” A short time later on Squawk Box, CNBC’s Jim Cramer agreed with Jones’ assessment, and added a few more dire words to the mix. 

Host Rebecca Quick asked Cramer about inflation, a major topic of the day in finance. 

“Let’s talk about inflation and where things stand right now,” she said. “Let’s talk about the questions that investors are kind of wondering right now. If you’re worried about inflation, it’s a huge, huge issue.” 

Cramer agreed it’s a huge issue. He also brought up Jones talking about it earlier in the day and agreed with that, too. 

 “Yeah. I mean, look, I think Paul Tudor Jones, as always, is right about inflation. It’s much worse than we thought,” he said. “I keep hoping that the capacity will come on and make it so that it’s not as bad, but it just can’t seem to come on as fast enough.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Inflation is not a U.S. problem. Canada's inflation was reported this week, and it is the worse in 18 years. My friends in Europe are all telling me the same thing .... prices are waaaayyyy up. Same thing in Russia. Same thing throughout Asia. Talk from government officials and much of the media that this is all going to be transitory does not match what is happening on the ground.

More Word Salad From President Biden

Washington Examiner: Biden serves up word salad, appearing to say he rode Amtrak as vice president for 36 years 

President Joe Biden fumbled his words during a Wednesday speech, appearing to say he commuted on Amtrak for 36 years as vice president. 

His latest word salad came as Biden delivered an address in Scranton, Pennsylvania. "I commuted [on Amtrak] every single day for 36 years as vice president of the United States after my wife and daughter were killed, I went home to see my family, never stopped," Biden said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Sad to say I have become use to President Biden being incomprehensible when he goes off his script, and it is now happening in every speech that he gives. 

What I am more focused on is his administration's message and vision of the future (see below):

In Defense Of Funding Our Defense

Thought For Today

WNU editor: This is what lack of leadership looks like.

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

A new submarine-launched ballistic missile is seen during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on October 19, 2021. KCNA via REUTERS 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... In pictures: North Korea's missiles (Reuters).

NATO Defense Ministers Agree To A Master Plan To Deter Russia

Flags of Alliance members flap in the wind outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)  

Reuters: NATO to agree master plan to deter growing Russian threat, diplomats say 

BRUSSELS -- NATO defense ministers are set to agree a new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reasserting a bid to deter Moscow despite the alliance's new focus on China, diplomats and officials said. 

The strategy, which is confidential, goes beyond existing regional defense plans and aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, possibly including nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks or from space. 

Officials and diplomats say no such attack is imminent. Russia denies any war-like intentions and says it is NATO that risks destabilizing Europe with such preparations. 

But U.S. officials, NATO diplomats and former officials say the "Concept for Deterrence and Defence in the Euro-Atlantic Area" - and its strategic implementation plan - is needed as Russia develops advanced weapon systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to allied borders.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: NATO is looking for a mission.

Little Is Known About Mossad's New Boss

David Barnea Spy Talk: Mossad’s New Boss is a Gadget-Loving Killing Machine  

David Barnea warned Iran the “long arm of Mossad” isn’t finished with it.  

David Barnea is going to walk softly and carry a big stick—or so he’s been saying to Mossad’s workforce and alumni. 

The new head of Israel’s storied foreign intelligence agency recently sent a stern directive to its former senior intelligence officials: Keep your mouths shut until I say you can open them. 

According to Yossi Melman, a veteran intelligence reporter for the independent Israeli daily Haaretz, Barnea warned former senior Mossad officials that he would punish anyone who speaks to the media, either on or off the record, about current or past Israeli spy operations without his prior permission. 

“Which he probably won’t grant,” Melman told SpyTalk.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There is very little information on Mossad chief David Barnea. He has been at the job for five months, and he is still a mystery.

Lebanon Braces For More Violence


 Startfor: After a Bloody Day in Beirut, Lebanon Braces for More Violence 

In the Lebanese capital of Beirut, a deadly gun battle between militias has raised the risk of future violence. On Oct. 14, unidentified assailants opened fire on Hezbollah and allied al Amal protesters who were marching to Lebanon's Palace of Justice to demand the removal of the judge investigating the August 2020 Beirut port explosion. The shooting reportedly started when the mostly Muslim demonstrators marched through a largely Christian neighborhood in the Lebanese capital, leaving at least six people dead, including members of al Amal and Hezbollah. The attack then triggered hours of intense sectarian clashes in downtown Beirut, marking the worst day of sectarian violence in the city in more than a decade. The military eventually moved in to make arrests and secure the area. But while it appears this latest round of violence has ended, there are a number of possible triggers that could easily incite the next flare-up.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Violence accelerates Lebanon’s descent into state failure (Financial Times)  

Update #2: Lebanon quickly sinking in more ways than one (Gwynne Dyer, Bangkok Post)  

WNU Editor: The last thing that Lebanon needs right now is another civil war. But Lebanon is almost a failed state, and like all failed states, they always descend into some form of conflict.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

How Much Does China Spend On Its Military?

Alex Hollings, Sandboxx: How does China’s defense spending really stack up against the US? 

The Chinese military’s rapid expansion and modernization efforts in recent years are certainly expensive, but somehow, China claims to devote less than a third of America’s defense budget to their own military endeavors. 

In 2020, China’s Defense budget was a claimed 1.268 trillion yuan, or about $196 billion. America’s, on the other hand, was a hearty $778 billion. 

Despite this significant disparity in spending, over the past two decades or so, China has managed to field the largest naval force on the high seas, maintain the largest standing army on the planet, close the gap in stealth aircraft technology, and field hypersonic weapons America has yet to match.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A good review on China's real military spending. 

The U.S. also omits certain funding from its defense budget. The US intelligence community has its own budget. Department of Energy handles nuclear programs. Etc..

Facebook Admits It Doesn't Ban Information That Helps Illegal Immigration And Smuggling


Daily Mail: Facebook admits users can share information on illegal immigration and being smuggled: Arizona Attorney General calls for investigation into tech giant for 'facilitating human and sex trafficking' 

* Facebook admitted allowing such content in a response to AZ's Mark Brnovich 

* Brnovich wrote to Facebook following a report into advertisements of trafficking 

* Facebook said it does not allow adverts, but it does allow information about how to enter illegally or request information about how to be smuggled 

* Brnovich passed the response on to Merrick Garland, calling for federal action 

Facebook has admitted that it allows users to share information about how to enter countries illegally, along with how to be smuggled, on its social media platforms.

In a letter responding to the Arizona Attorney General, the company said that while offers to provide or facilitate people smuggling are banned on the platform, Facebook does allow information to be shared freely between users about how to enter the US illegally, and request information about people smuggling.   

Read more .... 

 Update #1: Facebook says users can share advice on immigrant smuggling -- Washington Times  

Update #2: Facebook Admits It Doesn't Ban Info Facilitating Illegal Immigration, Smuggling -- Sputnik  

WNU Editor: I am willing to bet that Facebook also does not prohibit information that helps illegal immigration and smuggling in Africa/Europe/and else where.

US President Biden Says He's Concerned About Recent Chinese Hypersonic Missile

President Biden said that he is concerned about the China's reported test of a hypersonic missile. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 

NYPost: Biden concerned over China missile, after Psaki welcomed ‘competition’ 

President Biden said Wednesday that he’s concerned about a possible Chinese hypersonic missile test — after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki turned heads saying the US was “concerned” but that “we welcome stiff competition.” 

Biden was asked under the wing of Air Force One if he was concerned about the rocket that reportedly circled the globe before narrowly missing its target, which would be a big advance for China’s nuclear weapon capabilities. 

“Yes,” Biden said, according to a pool report, as he headed to Scranton, Pa., to deliver a speech on his stalled social spending legislation.  

Read more ....  

Update: Biden says he's concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: So much for welcoming the competition (see below):

Drone Attack Targets US Troops At US base In Syria

FILE PHOTO: American and Syrian rebel forces on a joint patrol near Al-Tanf, on April 29, 2020. © Wikipedia / US Army photo / Staff Sgt. William Howard

Daily Mail: US base in Syria used to train opposition forces is hit by drone strike and ‘ground fire’ in ‘coordinated attack’ – but officials say no troops were injured or killed 

* The US base in Al-Tanf, Syria, was hit by a coordinated attack on Wednesday 

* The attacked reportedly involved a drone strike and possible groundfire 

* No US troops were injured and it is not clear who carried out the attack 

* The base is used to train local Syrian forces against the Islamic State 

A military outpost in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack on Wednesday, but a US official said no American troops stationed there were injured or killed. 

The official said the attack appeared to include at least one drone strike and possibly groundfire at the base in Al-Tanf, Syria. 

It was not yet clear who carried out the attack.  

Read more .... 

 More News On Today's Drone Attack Targeting US Troops At A US base In Syria 

Attack hits Syria base that houses US troops; no US injuries -- AP 

Drone attack targets US troops at US base in Syria, initial assessment suggests no US injuries -- CNN  

Blast at U.S. outpost in Syria, no American injuries -U.S. officials -- Reuters 

US Official: Drone Strikes Hit Positions Near US Base in Syria -- Newsweek  

US At-Tanf Base in Syria Attacked With Missiles by 'Iran-Backed Militias', CENTCOM Says -- Sputnik

‘Suicide drone attack’ targets US military base Al-Tanf in Syria’s Homs – reports -- RT

Growing Military Ties Between Russia And Iran

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri talks to reporters after his meeting with Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vice-Admiral Vladimir Lvovich Kasatonov on October 20, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)  

The Defense Post: Russia and Iran to Hold Military Cooperation Meeting in Tehran 

Iran’s military chief has announced that a joint Russian-Iranian meeting on military-technical cooperation will take place in Tehran in three months, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Mohammad Bagheri of the Iranian General Staff pushed for stronger military ties between the two nations as he met his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimovis in Moscow this week. 

Read more .... 

More News On The Growing Military Ties Between Russia And Iran 

Russia-Iran arms deals to bolster bilateral relations, says Iranian military chief -- TASS  

Iran Military Chief Says Ties With Russia Have 'Great Significance' For Khamenei -- Iran International  

Top Iranian cmdr.: Iran, Russia agree on expanding naval cooperation -- Press TV

Commander Of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Rejoices At US ‘Defeats’

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami  

Al-Monitor: Iran commander rejoices at US ‘defeats’ 

The IRGC commander was enumerating US failures in the region only hours after reports that Israel was allocating a special budget for a military strike on Iran. 

The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said the United States has “fled” Afghanistan and is currently counting its “last months” in Iraq as well. Underlining Washington’s regional “defeats,” Hossein Salami added that US “plots” in Lebanon and Syria have also failed. The Iranian general, known for his ferocious anti-West rhetoric, was speaking at a “martyrs' graveyard” in the southeastern city of Kerman, where his former colleague, slain commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani,i s also buried. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Iranian government knows that the US defeat in Afghanistan has made President Biden vulnerable in the Middle East. They are not going to let this go to waste. I predict Iran will be intensifying its efforts on having the US presence in Iraq removed, and to win the war in Yemen. 

As to what is the US policy in the Middle east? 

We saw a glimpse today via through National Security Advisor Sullivan and his futile efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia .... Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Someone should tell the White house National Security adviser that Saudi Arabia's priority is not Israel, it is Iran, its nuclear program, and its efforts in Iraq and Yemen.

CIA's Iran Desk Being Absorbed By Its Middle East Desk After The CIA's 'Legendary' Iran Chief Is Forced To Retire

Yahoo News: 'The grim reaper for the enemy': CIA's 'legendary' Iran chief forced to retire 

The CIA’s Iran chief, described by his colleagues as “legendary,” is being forced to retire as the center he oversees is folded back into the agency’s larger Middle East division, according to former CIA officials. 

The official, Mike D’Andrea — nicknamed the “Dark Lord” or “Prince of Darkness” and known by the undercover name "Roger"— had been granted waivers that allowed him to continue working at the CIA past the mandatory retirement age, according to former agency officials. 

But the agency declined his most recent retirement exception, according to these officials. D’Andrea’s retirement was first reported by the New York Times. 

“They decided not to extend him again,” said a former senior CIA official. “It was basically, ‘Look, you’re not going to go any higher, we need new thinking, we need new people,’ and so they eased him out. He didn’t volunteer.”  

Read more ....  

Update: Is the CIA Determined to Look Away from Iran? (Elliott Abrams, National Review)  

WNU Editor: Forced to retire is a polite way of saying he was fired. The Biden administration is signaling to everyone once again that they are going to adopt a "softer" approach towards Iran.

Taliban Gives Families of Suicide Bombers Who Attacked Coalition Soldiers $112 And Promises Land


Insider: The Taliban says it's rewarding the families of suicide bombers who attacked US and Afghan troops with money, clothes, and land 

* The Taliban is rewarding the families of those who attacked US troops from 2001 to 2021. 

* A Taliban official called the fighters "martyrs." 

* The families were given money and clothes, and promised a plot of land each, the official said. 

The Taliban has said it is rewarding the families of suicide bombers who attacked US and Afghan troops during 20-year US presence, with sums of cash, clothing, and a plot of land. 

At a Monday gathering at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, the Taliban's acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, called fighters who died in the suicide bombings "martyrs" and "heroes of Islam and the country," according to a tweet from Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosty.

Khosty also tweeted photos of Haqqani, whose face was blurred out, speaking to the relatives in a packed conference room. 

Haqqani also distributed 10,000 afghanis ($112) per family, gave them clothes, and promised them a plot of land each, Kohsty said.

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Taliban have just made the case on why they should not be given aid. They will just give it to their supporters. 

In the meantime more reports of Taliban atrocities continue to filter out of Afghanistan .... Monster Taliban militants ‘BEHEAD women’s volleyball player and post photos of her head on social media’ (The SUN). 

More News On The Taliban Giving Families of Suicide Bombers Who Attacked Coalition Soldiers Money And Promises Of Land 

Taliban give money reward, pledge land to suicide bombers’ families -- Khaama Press  

US-Wanted Taliban Leader Praises Suicide Bombers, Doles Out Rewards to Heirs -- VOA  

Taliban to reward suicide bombers' families with cash, land -- FOX News  

Taliban Gives Families of Suicide Bombers Who Attacked U.S. Soldiers $112, Promises Land -- Newsweek  

Taliban promise cash, land to families of suicide bombers who attacked US and Afghan soldiers -- The Hill

China's Growing Clout In Latin America And The Caribbean

China's state banks have loaned some $140billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries since 2005, which is thought to be just a fraction of the money that has flowed to the region when private deals are taken into account. Beijing is also involved in major infrastructure and energy projects in most countries, including transport networks and power stations  

Daily Mail: China's take-over in America's back yard: How Beijing has spent $140BILLION on ports, roads, and power plants in Latin America and the Caribbean as Cuba signs a new energy deal while US influence fades 

* Cuba has agreed a new deal with China to upgrade its power grid, inviting Chinese firms to invest and build 

* It is just the latest of Beijing's loans, building projects, and investments to Latin America and the Caribbean 

* China has also rapidly increased trade with the region which rose from $12bn in 2000 to $315bn in 2020 

* America has been muscled out of its own back yard, as diplomats warn the US is 'giving up without a fight' 

On the face of it, America has little to fear from China's new deal to upgrade Cuba's power grid. 

The countries are already firm allies via their Communist leaders, Havana is under a diplomatic and economic embargo from Washington, and all efforts to mend ties between the two ended when Obama left office. 

But scratch the surface and what emerges is a picture of Chinese economic dominance in America's backyard that would be enough give any president sleepless nights. 

In fact, the deal with Cuba - signed this week as part of China's trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative - is just the latest in a long line of loans, trade deals, construction projects and other investments in Latin American and the Caribbean that has seen Beijing flex its growing economic muscle while America's strength wanes. 

 Read more ....  

WNU Editor: China has to recycle the hundreds of billions that it gets each year from its export surpluses to the U.S. and the rest of the Americas. This is one of the ways that it accomplishes this. 

But I think this type of investment is about to end.

China's real estate and bond markets have collapsed in the past two months, and it will be needing this money to solve its liquidity crisis. 

This money in Latin America and the Caribbean is also not free. 

Much of it is in the from of loans with interest rates that are in my opinion very steep. Good luck on collecting that type of money from countries like Venezuela, Argentina, and Cuba .... countries with a long history of defaulting on loans.

Jailed Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Wins The Sakharov Prize, The EU's Top Human Rights Prize


DW: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny wins 2021 Sakharov Prize 

The jailed Russian opposition leader has been awarded the European Parliament's rights prize for his efforts to challenge President Vladimir Putin's grip on power. 

The European Parliament on Wednesday announced it awarded the European Union's top human rights prize to the imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

"He has fought tirelessly against the corruption of Vladimir Putin's regime. This cost him his liberty and nearly his life. Today's prize recognises his immense bravery and we reiterate our call for his immediate release," European Parliament President David Sassoli said on Twitter.  

Read more .... 

More News On Jailed Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Winning The Sakharov Prize  

Jailed Russian opposition leader Navalny wins top EU prize -- AP  

Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny wins Sakharov Prize, EU's top human rights award -- France 24  

Russia’s Alexei Navalny wins EU’s Sakharov Prize --  

Alexei Navalny wins Sakharov Prize, the EU's highest award for human rights work -- Euronews  

Jailed Russian opposition leader Navalny wins EU's top human rights prize amid renewed calls for his release -- ABC News Australia

Is U.S. Senator Joe Manchin About to Leave The Democrat Party To Become An Independent And Cripple President Biden's Domestic Agenda?


David Cron, Mother Jones: SCOOP: Manchin Tells Associates He’s Considering Leaving the Democratic Party and Has an Exit Plan 

He could pull the trigger if he doesn’t get his way on the Build Back Better bill. 

In recent days, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has told associates that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill do not agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, according to people who have heard Manchin discuss this. Manchin has said that if this were to happen, he would declare himself an “American Independent.” And he has devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I have doubts that he will leave. Especially where negotiations are right now between the different Democrat factions and President Biden's willingness to compromise. But we shall see. 

Update: As soon as I posted the above story, Senator Manchin is now denying reports that he is leaving the Democrat Party .... "Bull*hit!": Manchin Denies Rumor He's Leaving Democratic Party (Zero Hedge).

Latvia Imposes A Month-Long Lockdown As COVID Spreads

The Guardian: Latvia is first country to reimpose lockdown in Europe’s new Covid wave 

Baltic state once seen as coronavirus success story announces month of restrictions including curfew 

Latvia has announced a month-long Covid-19 lockdown after an unprecedented surge in infections, becoming the first country in Europe to reimpose far-reaching restrictions amid a new wave of cases in countries across the continent. 

The Baltic country has one of the highest rates of new Covid cases relative to population in the world, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after successfully keeping the virus at bay for months. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Latvia declared this month lock-down yesterday. Russia declared today a week-off for workers to minimize the spread of Covid-19. Bottom line. I would not be surprised if more European countries declare lock-downs in the coming weeks. 

 More News On Latvia Imposing A Month-Long Lockdown As COVID Spreads 

Latvia to impose nearly monthlong lockdown as COVID spreads -- AP  

Latvia announces four weeks of lockdown as COVID-19 cases spike -- Reuters  

Latvia to go into strict four-week lockdown as of Thursday -- Baltic Times  

Latvia orders lockdown as PM decries low Covid-19 vaccine uptake and far-right MP blames Russian ‘colonists’ reluctant to get jab -- RT

Ethiopia Continues Air Raids On Tigray's Capital


DW: Ethiopia: New airstrike hits Tigray's capital  

Separatists accused the government of killing civilians in the strike that Adis Ababa said was targeting arms depots. Amid the turmoil, the UN announced withdrawing half of its staff from the country. 

Ethiopia launched fresh airstrikes on Mekele, the capital of its Tigray region on Wednesday. 

At the same time, the United Nations said it was withdrawing half of its workers from the country amidst a deepening humanitarian crisis that the Ethiopian government and the separatist Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) blame each other for.  

Read more .... 

More News On The Ethiopian Civil War  

New airstrikes hit capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region -- AP 

Air strike hits capital of Ethiopia's Tigray for third time this week -- Reuters  

Fresh airstrikes hit capital of Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region -- CNN  

New air strike on Tigray capital Mekele -- Africa News 

Ethiopia's Tigray region capital Mekelle hit by airstrike for second time in week -- New Arab  

Renewed Ethiopia air raids on capital of embattled Tigray region -- Al Jazeera

Former US Air Force Chiefs Go On The Record Claiming US Nuclear Missile Bases Were ‘Targeted By UFOs’ During The Cold War


The SUN: Secret US nuclear missile bases ‘targeted by UFOs’ revealed in new map as Pentagon told to ‘come clean’ 

UFOs have reportedly tampered with nuclear bases and missile test facilities across the United States - and this is where the mysterious craft targeted, according to whistleblower military veterans. 

The Sun Online has mapped the alleged extraterrestrial meddling with Earth's doomsday weapons that apparently occurred during the height of the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Former US Air Force chiefs went on the record yesterday, claiming aliens have tampered with US weapons systems undergoing tests and disabled secret ballistic missile silos. 

The veterans are calling on the US Congress to investigate and hold public hearings into reports UFOs meddled with, or knocked out, nuclear weapons at their hidden underground launch sites. 

All the alleged witnesses claim they were gagged after their astonishing UFO experiences.  

Read more ....  

Update: Air Force Veterans Who Are UFO True Believers Return to Newly Attentive Washington (  

WNU Editor: These reports are not getting the coverage that they deserve.

Russia Posts Video Of Its Fighter Jets Heading Off American Warplanes Near The Country’s Airspace


RT: Russia scrambles fighter jets to head off American warplanes near country’s airspace, days after warship intercepted near borders  

The Russian Air Force has escorted two US bombers over the Black Sea, after radar operators identified the planes flying close to the border, just days after an American warship was tailed as it moved toward the country’s waters. 

 On Wednesday, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense said that a pair of the country’s Su-30 fighter planes took off and followed two US B-1B strategic bombers over southeastern Europe, after the foreign aircraft were detected in the region. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There has been a lot of activity on Russia's borders .... NATO steps up military aircraft flights near Russian borders by 30%, says defense chief (TASS).

U.S. Navy Probe Says Repeated Failures Fueled The Arson Fire That Destroyed The USS Bonhomme Richard


Daily Mail: Navy probe finds 'sweeping failures' by commanders and crew that allowed USS Bonhomme Richard to burn for DAYS on end after July 2020 arson attack 

* A report has concluded there were 'sweeping failures' by commanders, crew members and others that fueled the July 2020 fire that destroyed the Navy ship 

* The fire that destroyed the amphibious assault ship last year was allowed to burn for days on end due to a slew of individual and systemic failures, the report says 

* The sprawling investigation declared that the ship's crew that was 'inadequately prepared' to battle the blaze, which burned for five days 

* The new report, which is set to be released to the public Wednesday, identifies 36 sailors - including five admirals - as having contributed to the loss of the ship 

* The findings detailed widespread lapses in training, coordination, preparedness, communication, equipment maintenance, and overall command and control 

* One sailor, Seaman Apprentice Ryan Sawyer Mays, 20, has been charged with setting the fire, telling investigators he was dumped by another crew member 

A Navy report has concluded there were 'sweeping failures' by commanders, crew members and others that fueled the July 2020 arson fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard, labeling the massive five-day blaze in San Diego preventable and unacceptable. 

While one sailor has been charged with setting the fire, the more than 400-page report lists three dozen officers and sailors whose failings either directly led to the ship's loss or contributed to it. 

The findings detailed widespread lapses in training, coordination, communication, fire preparedness, equipment maintenance and overall command and control. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A good summary of the report is here .... Long Chain of Failures Left Sailors Unprepared to Fight USS Bonhomme Richard Fire, Investigation Finds (USNI News). 

The complete report is here .... Navy Investigation into USS Bonhomme Richard Fire, Major Fires Review (USNI News). 

 More News On The U.S. Navy Probe On The Arson Fire That Destroyed The USS Bonhomme Richard  

USS Bonhomme Richard fire spread wildly due to ‘repeated failures,’ investigation finds -- Navy Times  

Navy probe reveals failures that fueled arson fire and destroyed USS Bonhomme Richard -- FOX News/AP  

Ship's destruction after fire caused by repeated failures, Navy says -- CBS News  

Navy report blames crew for devastating fire on the Bonhomme Richard -- BBC  

Navy report on USS Bonhomme Richard fire finds sweeping failures -- The Hill  

Report: Failed Firefighting Response Led to Loss of $1.2B Amphib -- Maritime Executive  

Lack of ‘basic firefighting knowledge,’ failed drills & poor leadership blamed for loss of US Navy warship to five-day fire -- RT  

Navy Probe Finds Major Failures in Fire that Destroyed Ship -- Manufacturing Business Technology  

Navy report finds major ‘failures’ led to loss of USS Bonhomme Richard -- NYPost

Kremlin Says Putin-Biden Meeting Possible This Year In 'One Format Or Another'

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Mikhail Metzel/TASS  

TASS: Putin-Biden meeting possible this year in 'one format or another', says Kremlin 

Dmitry Peskov stressed that the Kremlin would inform about the meeting once the decision on the format and dates would be made 

MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. A meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Joe Biden of the United States is possible in ‘one format or another’ by the end of the year, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. 

Speaking at a news conference, Peskov said that Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, at their recent meeting, discussed "various options and certain understandings were reached." 

"We will inform you once they are finalized in terms of a format and dates," he said.  

Read more ....  

Update: Kremlin Says Putin-Biden Meeting This Year Is Possible (Reuters)  

WNU editor: Putin is not going to the G20 summit in Rome later this month, and he is not going to attend the Climate conference in Glasgow. Definitely not with the Covid crisis out of control in Russia right now. 

So when will Putin and Biden meet? 

It will not be a face-to-face meeting with only interpreters in the room. It will be a video-conference link where everything will be cue-carded and scripted.

With Covid Now Out Of Control In Russia, The Kremlin Will Order The Closure Of All Non-Essential Business Nationwide For One Week Starting On October 30

Resuscitation of a temporary hospital for patients with COVID-19 in the 75th pavilion of VDNH. © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev  

RT: Russia announces fresh national ‘non-working week’ as country reports record number of deaths from Covid-19 since pandemic began 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed plans to give workers across the country a week off, as the government proposes an 11pm curfew on hospitality in a bid to halt a sharp spike in the number of deaths from coronavirus. 

At a meeting of government officials on Wednesday, Putin gave the go-ahead for preparations to extend a two-day planned national holiday and keep many employees at home, with pay, for a full week. 

Under the plans, proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, offices will be closed between October 30 and November 7.  

Read more .... 

More News On The Covid-19 Pandemic In Russia  

Putin Approves Non-Working Week to Stem Virus Spread -- Moscow Times  

Russia's Daily COVID Deaths Set New Record, Again -- RFE  

Russia records over 34,000 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours -- TASS  

Russia Sets Another Coronavirus Fatality Record -- Moscow Times  

Moscow orders unvaccinated over-60s to stay home for 4 months as Russia's Covid-19 crisis deepens -- CNN 

Moscow’s coronavirus situation deteriorating, says deputy mayor -- Moscow Times

Who Is Winning The Hypersonic Missile Race?

China's testing of a 25,000mph hypersonic nuclear-capable missile has indicated that Beijing's missile programme is more advanced than previously thought, amid an intensifying race for the next generation of long-rang weapons that are harder to detect and intercept  

Daily Mail: Who is winning the hypersonic missile race? Beijing's 21,000mph weapon has the biggest range of any known system - but US and Russia both have their own top secret programs in new global arms contest 

* Experts have warned that the US will lose a new Cold War arms race to China within the next decade 

* US and Russia have spent decades working on their own hypersonic systems and the two countries have conducted tests on the weapons in recent months 

* But China's testing of a nuclear-sonic weapon took analysists by surprise and indicated their missile programme is more advanced than previously thought 

The global hypersonic arms race is heating up worldwide after China tested a top secret weapon that can circle the globe at 21,000mph and descend from space to strike anywhere on Earth in minutes. 

The missile is designed to travel in low orbit to dodge missile detection and defence systems, allowing China to strike virtually anywhere on the planet with little or no warning. 

It comes amid warnings from experts that America will lose a new Cold War arms race to China within the next decade unless it takes a tougher stance against Beijing.  

Read more ....  

Update: Explainer-China joins heated race for new missiles, vies with U.S., Russia (Reuters).  

WNU Editor: It is hard to know who is leading in this new missile race. But what is known is that Russia will be soon deploying medium range hypersonic missiles. The US is still in the developmental and testing stage, and China just successfully launched a hypersonic missile that can circle the globe and strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.

The Kremlin Says It Is Not Worried On Rumors Of A Chinese ‘Hypersonic Missile Test’

A model of HD-1 land-based supersonic cruise missile system is displayed at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, or Airshow China, in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China September 29, 2021. © REUTERS / Aly Song  

RT: Rumors of Chinese ‘hypersonic missile test’ don’t worry Russia given ‘allied relations,’ Moscow says, as US warns of global threat 

The first purported test of a Chinese missile that can fly faster than the speed of sound might be causing consternation in the West but, as a close partner of Beijing, Russia has no reason to be concerned, the Kremlin has said. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said recent reports the advanced nuclear-capable weapon had been test-fired in August were nothing for Moscow to worry about. 

Asked whether Russian officials see such a development as a threat, the Kremlin official said that “no, it isn’t being seen that way.” 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Kremlin was boasting only a month ago that Russia was the world leader in hypersonic weapons .... Russia to Retain Superiority in Hypersonic Weapons: Deputy PM (The Defense Post). They cannot make that claim anymore.

Here Are Some Of The US Soldiers Who May Be Discharged From The Military For Not Taking the Covid Vaccine (Video)

Tweets Of The day

Picture Of The Day

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Chile's government on the second anniversary of the protests and riots that rocked the capital in 2019, in Santiago, Chile. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado  

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

A Close Look At Tartus, Russia’s Naval Base In Syria (Video)

North Korea Confirms Submarine Launch Of A New Ballistic Missile


Daily Mail: North Korea test-fires two 'submarine-launched ballistic missiles' into the sea - hours after China's 'hypersonic nuclear missile' test was revealed 

* North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile at 10.17am local time, South Korea says 

* Launch took place near Sinpo, the North's main submarine-building shipyard 

* Analysts believe Kim Jong Un was likely testing a submarine-launched missile 

* If the launch took place from a submarine, it would be the first time the North has managed the feat and would add a deadly new weapon to Kim's arsenal 

North Korea has test-fired what is believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile which landed in the ocean off its east coast. 

The launch took place at 10.17am local time close to Sinpo, North Korea's main submarine-building shipyard, according to South Korea's military. 

Two 'ballistic missiles' were launched, the South said, flying 280 miles at a maximum height of 40 miles before crashing down in the East Sea.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: N.Korea confirms submarine launch of new ballistic missile (Reuters)  

Update #2: North Korea Launches SLBM, Amid Fears of Korean Arms Race (VOA)  

WNU Editor: China wants to get involved .... China Says Korea Tensions At 'Critical Stage' as North Korea Conducts Another Missile Test (Newsweek).

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

China’s Military Training Nurses To Conduct Night Island Landings

Military nurses are undergoing training to prepare them for an island landing combat situation. Photo: PLA Daily  

SCMP: China’s military tests nurses in nighttime island landing simulation 

* More than 300 nurses took part in training on a boat simulator, administering intravenous medication in near-complete darkness with waves of 2 metres 

* PLA is also developing a new digital health monitor for troops to wear that uses AI to decide who gets treated first and guide the nearest medic to them 

The People’s Liberation Army is training military nurses using a boat simulator to prepare them for a combat situation involving an island landing. 

More than 300 nurses from an unspecified military hospital took part in the first round of training from July 2020 to February this year – the first time the PLA has conducted this type of simulation exercise for nurses. 

Its Joint Logistics Support Force said the nurses had to administer medication via an intravenous line in near-complete darkness in a simulation of a nighttime combat scenario at sea, with waves of 2 metres (6.5ft).  

Read more ....  

Update: China tested nurses during simulated night landing exercise: Report (WION)  

WNU Editor: Using 300 nurses in a nighttime landing simulation?!?!?!? Developing a new digital health monitor for troops to wear that uses AI to decide who gets treated first and guide the nearest medic to them?!?!?!

I do not think there is any military in the world today doing the same thing at this scale.

Bad U.S. Polling Numbers Continue For President Biden And Congress. But The World Approves His Presidency

Washingtopn Examiner: Biden approval slips again, Congress fares even worse: Poll 

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Joe Biden's approval numbers continuing to slip through his first year in office, stuck in the upper 30s. 

Respondents gave Biden a negative 37% job approval rating, with 52% disapproving and 12% not offering an opinion. That's down a single percentage point from his 38% to 53% approval rating on Oct. 6. 

Additionally, 38% said they hold an overall "favorable opinion" of Biden, down significantly from May, when he was still fresh in office, with 49% rating him favorably. 

Biden's numbers may be sinking like a ship, but members of Congress are faring even worse. Per the Quinnipiac poll, respondents gave congressional Democrats a negative 30% approval rating to 60% disapproval. For congressional Republicans, it was 23% to 65%.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden's poll numbers may be underwater in the U.S., even lower than former President Trump at this point in his Presidency (link here). 

But according to Gallup, the world loves President Biden's leadership .... The United States' global standing rebounds under Biden (MSNBC). 

So who is right?

Food Shortages Are The Next Supply-Chain Crunch

Bloomberg: ‘People Are Hoarding’: Food Shortages Are The Next Supply-Chain Crunch 

(Bloomberg) -- In Denver, public-school children are facing shortages of milk. In Chicago, a local market is running short of canned goods and boxed items. 

But there’s plenty of food. There just isn’t always enough processing and transportation capacity to meet rising demand as the economy revs up. 

More than a year and a half after the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life, the supply of basic goods at U.S. grocery stores and restaurants is once again falling victim to intermittent shortages and delays. 

 “I never imagined that we’d be here in October 2021 talking about supply-chain problems, but it’s a reality,” said Vivek Sankaran, chief executive officer of Albertsons Cos., who echoed the laments of other retailers. “Any given day, you’re going to have something missing in our stores, and it’s across categories.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: At the start of the pandemic a number of people asked me on what they should invest in. 

I said precious metals, products that preppers like to have, essential household products, and on the top of my list .... food. 

18 months later I am still doing the same thing, and I have no regrets.

Should Americans Rant About Short-Staffed Stores And Supply Chain Woes?

WNU Editor: The above tweet reminds me of an experience that my father told me that he had during the Ukraine famine of 1932-1933 .... a famine where millions died from starvation. 

He was 11 at the time, and everyone in the classroom was hungry. But at the start of every school day, they all had to stand up and give thanks and praise to Stalin for all the food and health that he was giving to them and to their families. 

This message was also reinforced in all the news broadcasts and newspapers.

Sighhh ....

The people, time, society, and location may be different, but the messaging from the government is always the same.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's Reaction To Amess’s Murder Versus George Floyd’s Demise Is Telling

WNU Editor: Blogger "Small Dead Animals" says it bluntly .... they don’t do this by accident.

Will President Biden Serve His Entire 4 Year Term?

Steve Feinstein, American Thinker: Why I’m Betting Biden Goes the 4-Year Distance 

Barring infirmity, Joe Biden is likely to serve out his four-year term. For political reasons, despite the manifest failure of his presidency and his party’s terror of what lies ahead, he has a winning hand. 

Sure, the country is in one heckuva pickle right now. Everyone will agree to that. There is not one single aspect of daily life in America that is better under “President” Biden than it was under President Trump. In every meaningful, measurable, tangible way, the quality of life in this country has deteriorated precipitously.  


Inflation is out of control, we’ve gone from energy independent to begging OPEC for oil, crime is running rampant, the country is up in arms over the arbitrary un-Constitutional mask and vaccine mandates, the Afghanistan exit was a tragic debacle (and Americans are still trapped there, in spite of the liberal media trying to cover that up), illegal immigration is actually being welcomed by the administration in order to change the country’s voting demographics and scores of container ships are unable to offload in California, so store shelves are becoming empty.

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am sure that President Biden and his staff want to serve the full four years. A President Harris will bring in her own people and will probably dismiss or demote much of the current White House staff. So the push to keep and protect President Biden in the Oval Office will continue.

But it is going to be very hard for President Biden to serve his entire term. 

Dementia is a terrible disease, and one that I have learned a great deal about from my mother who is suffering from this disease, and from others who are in the same situation.

From what I have seen in the past two years, my guess is that President Biden is in the 3rd stage, and will be entering the fourth stage in the last year of his Presidency. 

But before that happens everyday is going to be a struggle. 

It is going to be taxing for him, his wife and family, and those who take care of him and try their best to insulate him from the press and public. 

So far they have done an excellent job. But there is only so much that anyone can do when it comes to handling dementia, and all that I can say is heaven help the United States if a major crisis or war breaks out where the President must be front and forward to handle it without rest or sleep for days.

See here .... The Seven Stages Of Dementia ( 

My mother is currently at stage 5.