Sunday, February 28, 2021

President Biden Had Another Confused Moment Yesterday

Red State: Joe Biden Speaks in Houston, What Follows Should Make You Question Everything 

Earlier today, I wrote on Joe and Jill Biden doing yet another joint interview in which the latter basically asserted herself as the president’s puppet master. Yet, that’s far from the only disturbing episode that Joe Biden has had lately. 

After waiting nearly two weeks to respond, he finally left the bunker and headed down to Texas to do a photo-op in the wake of a massive winter storm. A normal president would have been there meeting with FEMA officials and surveying damage a week prior, but we obviously don’t have a normal president. 

Therefore, instead of getting a public address when it mattered, we get this far too late performance that should leave you questioning everything.

WNU Editor: President Biden reminds me of my mother. When she is tired, she becomes confused. Granted .... President Biden is not as bad as my 94 year old mother, but he is exhibiting the signs that she had 2 - 3 years ago. He looked good when he left Washington to Texas. From what was permitted he looked sharp and active when he landed. But after a short period of time we have the above video. 

Here is an easy prediction. From my experience of knowing people who are going through this type of cognitive decline, President Biden's condition will get worse, and the media will start talking about it openly next year.

This Is How The White House's Jamal Khashoggi Report Could Backfire

Joe Biden campaigning during the 2020 election 

The Biden administration today fulfilled its pledge to release an unclassified version of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on Saudi Arabia’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In many ways, the report’s release is gratuitous: While Saudi officials have repeatedly denied Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s involvement, few inside or outside the Kingdom had any doubt that the crown prince had issued the order. The report concludes that MBS believed Khashoggi was “a threat to the Kingdom.” While the Washington Post and American journalists often frame Khashoggi’s death as an assault on a journalist critical of the ruling order, the Saudi narrative has always been murkier: They see Khashoggi’s death as the outgrowth of a dispute, the genesis of which they do not know, between the intelligence service and someone previously close to the intelligence service. 

WNU Editor: Everything is in play right now. But one thing is certain. U.S. and Saudi relations are at a new low right now. And it is also involving other U.S. Arab allies, where many of them are openly supporting Saudi Arabia .... Gulf states express support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report (Gulf News). 

But what I think will make the relationship go downhill even further, is if this happens .... Exclusive: Biden Team Considering a Halt to 'Offensive' Arms Sales for Saudis (US News and World Report/Reuters).

My prediction. The Saudis are not going to accommodate the Biden administration, and will look for other partners and allies. Hello Russia and China.

President Biden Sends Letter To Congress Explaining Justification For Syria Strike

President Joe Biden arrives at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 26, 2021. Jonathan Ernst, Reuters 

 * President Joe Biden on Saturday told Congress that his orders for airstrikes in Syria were consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.
 * “I directed this military action to protect and defend our personnel and our partners against these attacks and future such attacks,” Biden wrote in a letter to Congress. 
 * Biden’s decision to launch an airstrike Thursday night in Syria was in response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq. 

President Joe Biden on Saturday told Congress that the airstrikes he ordered in Syria this week were consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense, as members of his own party called for more transparency about why military action was taken without congressional authorization. 

“The United States took this action pursuant to the United States’ inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter,” Biden wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President pro tempore of the Senate Patrick Leahy. 

Read more .... 

According to his letter. President Biden says that to protect US forces he had to order the bombing of an installation in Syria because it was used by militias from another country (Iraq) who are backed by another country (Iran).

President Trump At CPAC (Video)


 * Donald Trump made his grand comeback to the political scene by taking the stage at CPAC Sunday
 * The former president assured the crowd of conservatives gathered in Orlando, Florida that he will not be forming his own political party despite rumors he was considering it 
 * 'We're not starting new parties,' he said. 'We have the Republican Party'
 * 'Wouldn't that be brilliant?' he quipped. 'Let's start a new party, let's divide our vote, so you can never win. No we're not interested in that' 
 * Trump also teased he would make a run for the White House again in 2024 as he lamented of voter fraud 
 * 'Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time,' Trump said Donald Trump assured in his grand comeback at CPAC on Sunday that he will not form a new political party because it would further divide the GOP– and the former president previewed another White House run in 2024. 

'Do you miss me yet?' Trump asked the roaring crowd as he took the stage more than one hour later than scheduled. 

The former president repeated his claims of voter fraud at several points during his 90-minute remarks on Sunday, claiming the Supreme Court should be 'ashamed' for refusing to overturn the results in his favor. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: A regular reader of this blog summed it up best. "People better pay attention". 

And I agree. 

If three years from now the economy is in the toilet. The U.S. is waging a few wars and the international situation is tense. And the border in the south of the U.S. is porous. Former President Trump or someone that he supports will be the front runner in the 2024 election. 

 More News On President Trump At CPAC (Video) 


Update: I am not surprised .... News Networks Take Contrasting Approaches To Covering Donald Trump’s CPAC Speech (Deadline).

Is America Back? The World Isn't So Sure

President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Washington. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP 

Anne Gearan and Ashley Parker, SFGate/The Washington Post: Biden tells the world 'America is back.' The world isn't so sure. 

WASHINGTON - For President Joe Biden and his circle, a low point in America's global standing under President Donald Trump came when he blew up a meeting of U.S. allies in 2018, accusing close partners of "robbing" the United States and hurling insults at his Canadian host. 

So it was no accident that Biden's push to reclaim American leadership in recent days has pointedly included a starring role for Canada, as the new administration seeks to woo an array of allies with a message that "America is back." 

But it's increasingly clear that Biden cannot simply sweep up the broken diplomatic china and restore the world order that reigned when he was vice president. There is one simple reason: Allies know Trumpism could always come back, either in a 2024 bid by Trump himself or from another presidential hopeful offering a similar pitch. 

WNU Editor: America is not back just because President Biden says it is back. 

President Biden is in the White House for the next 4 years, and from what I am reading, everyone has adopted a wait and see position.

Israel Has Launched Missile Strikes Against Iranian Targets In Syria "In Response To Iranian Attack" On Israeli Commercial Ship

Times of Israel: Israel said to hit Iranian targets in Syria after Tehran blamed for ship blast 

Syrian state media claims air defenses shot down several missiles; Hebrew media outlets indicate raid a retaliation for explosion that hit Israeli-owned vessel in Gulf of Oman Syrian state media reported Sunday that air defense systems were activated around Damascus due to an Israeli attack. 

A report carried on the official SANA news agency claimed the Syrian military intercepted several Israeli missiles. 

There was no comment on the reported strikes from the Israel Defense Forces, which rarely acknowledges specific attacks. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: I knew that the Israelis were going to respond. But that was fast. 

 More News On Reports That Israel Has Launched Missile Strikes Against Iranian Targets In Syria 

U.S. Air Combat Command General: Must Field The Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) Fighter Before China Does

The Air Force is looking beyond its 'penetrating counterair' concepts unveiled in 2016, and is now moving toward a "family of systems" approach. (Photo: US Air Force) 

Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mark D. Kelly isn’t confident that F-35 operating costs will be tamed to $25,000 per hour by 2025, which is the service’s goal. He’s also concerned China will field advanced fighter technologies like those in the Air Force’s developmental Next-Generation Air Dominance system before the U.S. does. 

“I’m not brimming with confidence” that the $25K by ’25 goal will be met, Kelly said of the F-35. “I haven’t lost confidence,” he told reporters in a press conference during AFA’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium, and that’s why he’s about to hit the road to visit operating locations, the depot, and other facilities, to “have conversations” about how the goal can be reached. The idea is not to “talk about how we feel” but get to a “plan of action and milestones” to achieve the $25K target. 

“But as I sit here today, I’m not overly confident we’ll get there,” Kelly said. 

WNU editor: The F-35 was always promoted as the jet fighter that will give the U.S. military air superiority for decades. Apparently not.

A Singapore-Based Aerospace Company Says It Is Developing A Combat Drone Capable Of Supersonic Speeds

Kelley Aerospace

FuturismThree Words: Supersonic. Combat. Drones. 

SKYNET in the sky basically. 

 A Singapore-based aerospace company has developed a combat drone capable of reaching supersonic speeds. 

Kelley Aerospace unveiled their concept for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the Arrow last week, according to Auto Evolution. The drone’s capable of flying more than 2,600 nautical miles at mach 2.1, or 1,611 miles per hour. That means the drone can fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo in a little over three hours — all while breaking the sound barrier. 

Oh, and: It looks, straight up, like a UFO. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: It is at the concept stage. Let's see if they can develop and build it to fly as advertised.

Here Are Five Global Hotspots Where Food Prices Are Getting People Worried

Bloomberg: The Five Hotspots Where Food Prices Are Getting People Worried 

(Bloomberg) -- The world is racing to vaccinate its way out of the coronavirus pandemic, but another challenge has already emerged for some more vulnerable governments and economies. 

Global food prices are at the highest in more than six years, driven by a jump in the cost of everything from soybeans to palm oil because of demand from China, vulnerable supply chains and adverse weather. 

Some banks warn the world is heading into a commodities “supercycle.” Inflation is putting another squeeze on consumers hurting from pandemic-induced recession and—in some places—falling currencies. 

Since the start of the year, protests have raged in Sudan, while anxieties over securing food contributed to strife in Lebanon and Tunisia, ground zero for the Arab Spring uprisings a decade ago. 

In India, farmers revolted against efforts to bring prices down. Russia and Argentina have restricted crop shipments to suppress prices at home. Even rich countries like the United Arab Emirates are considering possible price caps on some foods. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The five countries that Bloomberg listed are Brazil, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, and India. In the case of Russia I have been told by family and friends that prices have increased, but it is not a worry now. I live in Canada, and there is no question that prices for my favorite foods have increased significantly. 

I would also add a few more countries to Bloomberg's list. China has experienced serious food inflation in the past year. Egypt is another worry. Iran is struggling. 

How Global Health and Wealth Has Changed Over Two Centuries


At the dawn of the 19th century, global life expectancy was only 28.5 years. 

Outbreaks, war, and famine would still kill millions of people at regular intervals. These issues are still stubbornly present in 21st century society, but broadly speaking, the situation around the world has vastly improved. Today, most of humanity lives in countries where the life expectancy is above the typical retirement age of 65. 

At the same time, while inequality remains a hot button topic within countries, income disparity between countries is slowing beginning to narrow. 

This animated visualization, created by James Eagle, tracks the evolution of health and wealth factors in countries around the world. For further exploration, Gapminder also has a fantastic interactive chart that showcases the same dataset. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The above video is a fascinating look at how far we have come from in only two centuries. 

And what is the final conclusion? 

Global environmentalist warnings aside, if current trends continue this is what is expected ....

.... global life expectancy is expected to surpass the 80-year mark by 2100. And, sub-Saharan Africa, which has the lowest life expectancy today, is expected to mostly close the gap, reaching 75 years of age. 

Wealth is also expected to increase nearly across the board, with the biggest gains coming from places like Vietnam, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Some experts are projecting the world economy as a whole to double in size by 2050.

Dominican Republic Announces Plans For A Haiti Border Fence

Dominican Republic announces plans for Haiti border fence 

The president of the Dominican Republic has announced plans to build a fence along its border with Haiti, which extends for about 380km (236 miles). 

Luis Abinader said the barrier would help curb illegal immigration, drugs and the flow of stolen vehicles between the two countries, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. 

Mr Abinader said work on the barrier would start later this year. 

Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. 

Relations between the two neighbours have been historically difficult. 

"In a period of two years, we want to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles," Mr Abinader said in an address to Congress. 

The cost of the project has not been disclosed. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Talk about building a border wall between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has been ongoing for years .... DR government will make a border wall (Dominican Today). But I think the Dominican Republic government means it this time. 

On a personal note. I have visited both countries. There is no comparison. I would stay in the Dominican Republic hands-down.

Amnesty International: Eritrean Forces Are Committing Ethnic Cleansing In The Tigray Region Of Ethiopia


NAIROBI (Reuters) - Amnesty International accused Eritrean forces on Friday of killing hundreds of civilians in northern Ethiopia over 24 hours last year, an incident it described as a potential crime against humanity. 

Eritrea rejected the accusations. But an Ethiopian state human rights body issued a statement that also described such killings, though with fewer details. 

It was a rare official acknowledgment from Ethiopia that Eritrean troops participated in the conflict during the government’s crackdown in the Tigray region last year. 

Amnesty said it had spoken to 41 witnesses who described the mass killings of “many hundreds of civilians” by Eritrean troops in Axum, an ancient city in northern Ethiopia. 

WNU Editor: The Amnesty International report is here .... Ethiopia: Eritrean troops’ massacre of hundreds of Axum civilians may amount to crime against humanity (Amnesty International). A separate US report is also making the same claims .... Ethiopia's War Leads to Ethnic Cleansing in Tigray Region, U.S. Report Says (New York Times) 

 More News On Amnesty International Claims That Eritrean Forces Are Committing Ethnic Cleansing In The Tigray Region Of Ethiopia 

Iran Rejects EU & US Offer To Hold Direct Talks On Reviving 2015 Nuclear Deal. Says The Timing Is Bad

FILE PHOTO: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. © Global Look Press / MFA Russia 

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and European powers to discuss ways to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, insisting that Washington must lift all its unilateral sanctions. 

“Considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries, which was proposed by the EU foreign policy chief,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to Iranian media. 

WNU Editor: Here is the official announcement from Iran's media .... Iran's Foreign Ministry: Time not suitable for unofficial meeting with EU, US officials on JCPOA (Press TV). 

It looks like President Biden's boast last month that American diplomacy is back is a bit premature .... Biden vows to restore U.S. alliances and lead with diplomacy in his first foreign policy address (CNBC). 

 More News On Iran Rejecting The EU & US Offer To Hold Direct Talks On Reviving 2015 Nuclear Deal. 

Israeli Defense Minister Says Iran Responsible For Cargo Ship Explosion

The MV Helios Ray was traveling from the Saudi port of Dammam to Singapore when it was struck by an explosion on February 25. (file photo) 

Top Israeli defense and political leaders are scheduled to meet on February 28 to discuss a response to what Israel's defense minister says was likely an attack by Iran against a an Israeli-owned cargo vessel in the Gulf of Oman. 

Israel's state-owned Kan television quoted unnamed Israeli officials as saying Iran had "crossed a red line" in connection with an explosion on February 25 that struck the MV Helios Ray. 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on February 27 that Iran was probably behind the explosion that struck the Israeli-owned vehicle carrier above the water line as it was traveling from the Saudi port of Dammam to Singapore. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. Israel is going to retaliate. 

 More News On Israel Saying Iran Is Responsible For Cargo Ship Explosion 

First Russian Warship Enters Sudanese Port

Reuters: First Russian warship enters Sudanese port -Ifax 

MOSCOW, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A Russian warship, the Admiral Grigorovich frigate, entered the Sudanese port where Russia plans to set up a naval base, Russia's Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, citing a statement from the Russian fleet.

It was the first Russian warship to enter Port Sudan, the statement said, according to Interfax. 

WNU Editor: The arrival of this Russian warship to a Sudanese port is not a surprise. Both countries have agreed to the installation of a Russian naval base for the next 25 years .... Russia to Establish Navy Base in Sudan for at Least 25 Years ( More here .... Russian MoD Team in Sudan to set up Naval Base (Defense World).

This arrival of a Russian warship coincides with the arrival of a US warship .... US naval ship docks in Sudan for 'Red Sea security' (Anadolu Agency)

Chad Security Forces Raid The Home Of Opposition Presidential Candidate Yaya Dillo. Five Killed And A Number Wounded

An archive photo of former rebel leader Yaya Dillo Djerou 

A former rebel leader said several members of his family, including his mother, were killed. He is planning to participate in the country's presidential election. 

At least two people were killed after security forces attempted to detain Chad's opposition presidential candidate Yaya Dillo on Sunday. 

Dillo, who plans to run in the election in April, told Reuters he was attacked at home by members of the presidential guard on Sunday morning. 

He said that five family members were killed, including his mother. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The timing of this raid by the security forces is telling. On Friday opposition presidential candidate Yaya Dillo filed papers to run for president in April against Deby, who has ruled Chad for over 30 years and is running for a sixth term. And now we have this raid targeting his main opponent. Internet to the country has also been cut.

Unrest In Myanmar -- News Updates February 28, 2021


 * Myanmar has been in chaos since the military ousted country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 
 * The armed forces are now battling to contain a massive street movement demanding that it release Suu Kyi 
 * Eighteen were killed and at least 30 others injured when security forces moved on a rally in the city of Dawei 
 * Police and soldiers had already fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon on protests in recent weeks 

A crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar has left at least 18 people dead and more than 30 wounded, the UN Human Rights Office has revealed. 

It is the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a coup on February 1. 

There were reports of gunfire as police in Yangon, the country's biggest city, fired tear gas and water cannons while trying to clear the streets of demonstrators. 

Read more .... 

 Unrest In Myanmar -- News Updates February 28, 2021 

Fighting Intensifies For The Yemeni City Of Marib


Dozens of fighters from both sides killed in ‘unabated’ fighting since Friday in Yemen’s strategic province of Marib. 

Clashes between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels have intensified in the strategic province of Marib, with military sources saying a senior loyalist commander was among dozens of fighters killed. 

Earlier this month, the Iran-backed Houthis resumed a push to capture Marib city, which lies close to some of Yemen’s richest oil fields in the north of the country. 

Hundreds of fighters from both sides have been killed in fighting since Friday, according to government sources. The Houthis do not usually release casualty tolls. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: I concur with this analysis. What is happening in Yemen is an indicator on what is happening in the region as a whole .... Events in Yemen are an indicator of broader regional dynamics (Jerusalem Post).

Yemen Houthi Rebels Stage Missile-and-Drone Attack On Saudi Capital Of Riyadh


Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Sunday claimed the attempted strikes that targeted neighboring Saudi Arabia overnight and threatened more attacks, as fighting in the grinding civil war escalates. 

Houthi fighters have intensified operations against the kingdom as air strikes by the Saudi-led military coalition pound rebel positions in the north of Yemen, in a bid to stop their offensive to seize the government's last northern stronghold of Marib. 

Years of war have already pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. Saudi Arabia — which has been backing the Yemeni government against the rebels since 2015 — said Saturday it thwarted a Houthi missile that targeted Riyadh. 

Read more .... 

 More News On Yemen Houthi Rebels Launching A Missile-and-Drone Attack On Saudi Capital Of Riyadh 

President Biden Says His Administration Will Make An Announcement On Saudi Arabia On Monday


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Saturday said his administration would make an announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday, following a U.S. intelligence report that found Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

The Biden administration has faced some criticism, notably an editorial in the Washington Post, that the president should have been tougher on the crown prince, who was not sanctioned despite being blamed for approving Khashoggi's murder. 

Asked about punishing the crown prince, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, who is also known as MbS, Biden said: "There will be an announcement on Monday as to what we are going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally." 

Biden did not provide details. But a White House official suggested no new significant steps were expected. 

WNU editor: President Biden on Saturday said that an announcement will be made on Monday on " what we are going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally" (see video above). And now his aides are now suggesting no new significant steps are expected?!?!?!?

In the meantime pressure is building on the White House to punish the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Salman .... Senators hope for more Saudi sanctions in wake of Khashoggi report (Politico). More here .... Ex-CIA director urges Biden to hold MBS ‘accountable’ in Khashoggi’s death (NYPost).

In another sign of a growing split between the White House and its Arab allies in the Middle East, a number of Arab states are expressing their support of Saudi Arabia .... Gulf states express support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report (Gulf News).

Trump-Era Administration Order Allowed Release Of High-Resolution Satellite Imagery Of Israeli Nuclear Facility Possible

A satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. shows construction at the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona, Monday. Credit: AP 

A change to resolution limits of satellite imagery of Israel and the Palestinian territories, under a 1997 regulation enacted to protect Israel's security interests, means more images of Israeli sites may be expected soon. 

High-resolution satellite imagery showing construction of a new compound at Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona published on Thursday was released by virtue a U.S. administrative order that went into effect in July during Former President Donald Trump's tenure and which allowed American companies to sell much clearer and higher resolution images of Israel and the Palestinian territories than they could before. 

A 1997 U.S. regulation, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, named for the two senators who sponsored it, limits commercial satellite imaging systems licensed by the federal government to providing imagery of Israel that is “no more detailed or precise than satellite imagery of Israel that is available from commercial sources.” Intended to protect Israel’s security facilities, the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment applies specifically to Israel alone and is the reason why for years, satellite maps of Israel in Google Earth had been much lower than in most other countries. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Mu gut tells me that the Israeli government is pushing the Biden administration to reinstate resolution limits of satellite imagery of Israel and the Palestinian territories for security reasons.

Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines Is Making Her Presence felt

Avril Haines, the new director of national intelligence, released a declassified report Friday that says Saudi Arabia's crown prince was responsible for a 2018 killing of a prominent journalist. Haines spoke to NPR in her first interview since taking office last month. Claire Harbage/NPR 

As the top U.S. intelligence official for just over a month, Avril Haines has an overflowing inbox. 

A massive computer hack blamed on Russia is still under investigation. President Biden has raised the possibility of rejoining a nuclear agreement with Iran. And right before Haines sat down Friday with a team from NPR, for her first interview in office, aides handed out a report she'd just declassified: it said Saudi Arabia's crown prince was responsible for the brutal 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Haines has taken over after a turbulent time. Former President Donald Trump was frequently at odds with his handpicked national security team when its assessments did not fit his preferred narrative. During his one-term presidency, he had five directors of national intelligence. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: She is making her presence felt. The release of the report implicating Saudi Arabia's crown prince as being the person responsible for the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The bombing of an Iranian-backed militia in Syria a few days ago. Assessing the national security situation when it comes to China and Russia. 

For more details on Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril D. Haines, go here .... Who’s Who in Defense: Avril D. Haines, Director of National Intelligence (Breaking Defense).

Here Is Everything We Know About Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works' Secretive 'Speed Racer' Program


The design is primarily intended to validate new digital engineering tools and techniques, but that could be just the beginning. 

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works advanced projects bureau has officially revealed the design of its secretive Speed Racer air vehicle. The missile-shaped unmanned system is ostensibly intended to serve as an experiment in digital engineering techniques, but has the potential to be the basis for future swarming drones and low-cost cruise missiles. 

Steve Trimble, Aviation Week's defense editor and friend of The War Zone, was first to report on the new information about Speed Racer. He was also able to confirm that a computer-generated segment in a video Lockheed Martin had released ahead of the Air Force Associations' 2021 Virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium, which wrapped up yesterday, did indeed depict this air vehicle. The company similarly acknowledged that a rendering it released last year was also of Speed Racer. 

U.S. 'Greenlights' Steps Toward An International Digital Tax Deal

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told G20 officials that the Biden administration will drop Donald Trump's objections to new global digital tax rules 

 * German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz described the U.S. move as a major breakthrough that could pave the way for a broader deal. 
 * French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire echoed his praise, saying an agreement on the overhaul of cross-border corporate tax rules was now within reach by a summer deadline. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told G-20 officials that Washington had dropped the Trump administration’s proposal to let some companies opt out of new global digital tax rules, U.S. and European officials said on Friday, raising hopes for an agreement by summer. 

“Secretary Yellen announced that we will engage robustly to address both Pillars of the OECD project, and that the United States is no longer advocating for ‘safe harbor’ implementation of Pillar 1,” a U.S. Treasury official said.

WNU Editor: Former President Trump objected to this new tax to protect US tech companies. In hindsight, he did not get the support from tech companies that he had hoped for, and the tax is now probably going to be imposed in the next year or two. 

 More News On U.S. 'Greenlighting' Steps Toward An International Digital Tax Deal 

FBI 'Aware' Of American Airlines Flight 2292 Close Encounter With A 'Fast-Moving Cylindrical Object' Over New Mexico At 36,000 Feet


 * The FBI said it was 'aware' of the incident, but would not confirm or deny whether they were investigating 
 * The encounter happened on Sunday as AA Flight 2292 passed over a remote stretch of northeast New Mexico, west of Des Monies, en-route to Phoenix 
 * The flight was travelling at around 460 miles per hour at 36,000 feet 
 * Blogger Steve Douglass said he intercepted a radio transmission from the flight in which the pilot can be heard reporting the encounter to air traffic control
 * The pilot says the object was a 'long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile' and had passed over the top of the plane at speed
 * The flight went on to land safely in Phoenix without any further incidents 
 * The state of New Mexico is no stranger to strange encounters, with the city of Roswell reporting one of the nation's most infamous UFO sightings in 1947 

The FBI has confirmed it is 'aware' of an American Airlines flight which had a close encounter a fast-moving, 'long cylindrical object' on a trip from Cincinnati to Phoenix on Sunday. 

The encounter, which occurred at 36,000 feet above the remote northeast corner of New Mexico, west of Des Moines on Sunday, involved AA Flight 2292, an Airbus A320, according to The Drive. 

The FBI has since been notified of the incident, although they did not say if they were launching an investigation. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The FAA has issued the following statement .... FAA Releases Statement On Airliner's Encounter With Unidentified Object Over New Mexico (Warzone/The Drive).

US President Biden Says US Will ‘Never’ Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea

U.S. President Joe Biden Radio Free Europe: Biden Says U.S. Stands With Ukraine, Will Never Recognize Crimea Annexation 

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States will continue to back Ukraine against Russian aggression and will never recognize the Kremlin’s annexation of its neighbor’s territory. 

Biden made the comments of support on February 26 as Ukrainians mark the seventh anniversary of Moscow’s steps to seize Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

"The United States does not, and will never, recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts. We will continue to work to hold Russia accountable for its abuses and aggression in Ukraine," Biden said.

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: There is zero chance that Crimea will ever go back to Ukraine. 

More News On US President Biden Saying US Will ‘Never’ Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea 

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

People walk under red lanterns as China celebrates Lunar New Year of the Ox following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). © SPUTNIK / MIGUEL СANDЕLA 

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... China Raises Red Lanterns to Celebrate First Full Moon of Lunar Year (Sputnik).

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Royal Navy Warship Shadows Russian Attack Submarine After It’s Spotted Sailing In The North Sea

Royal Navy warship HMS Mersey (pictured, gun onboard vessel) was monitoring Russian attack submarine RFS Rostov Na Donu (pictured) 

 * A Russian submarine has been tracked by Royal Navy warship HMS Mersey 
 * The attack submarine RFS Rostov Na Donu was travelling through The Channel 
 * Kilo-class sub was moving from the Baltic to the Mediterranean via the North Sea 

A Royal Navy warship has monitored a Russian attack submarine as the vessel travelled through British waters. 

Portsmouth-based patrol ship HMS Mersey tracked the surfaced submarine, RFS Rostov Na Donu, as it moved through the North Sea and the English Channel. 

The Kilo-class diesel powered attack submarine was moving through on its journey from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean. 

WNU Editor: This Russian attack submarine is probably heading to the coast of Syria

U.S. And Canada To Modernize Missile-Surveillance System In The Arctic

The U.S. and Canada move to modernize a missile-surveillance system in the Arctic that officials say is outdated 

TORONTO—The U.S. and Canada plan to modernize a network of defense satellites and radar in the Arctic, in a bid to counter a growing military presence in the north from Russia and China. 

President Biden asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ramp up Canada’s spending on defense, including an upgrade of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, commonly known as Norad, during a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on Tuesday, according to an official familiar with the discussions. 

Norad was a central part of the U.S. and Canadian military’s Cold War deterrence strategy against the former Soviet Union. Consisting of satellites, ground-based radar, and air-force bases located mostly in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, the surveillance system was designed to give the military allies notice of any impending attack from the north.

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WNU Editor: This modernization of NORAD is long overdue.