Wednesday, June 16, 2021

LIVE: U.S. President Biden Holds Press Conference After Meeting With Russian President Putin

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin made sure that every reporter in the room had a chance to ask him a question. I am curious to see if President Biden will do the same thing, or will his press conference be limited to only a few reporters being permitted to ask him a question. 

Update: No teleprompter.

Update #2: It is a fixed news conference. Only certain selected reporters will be permitted to ask a question.

Update #3: It is too bad that the same selected news reporters are the ones who are permitted to ask questions They are all soft-ball and not at all informative. And in turn President Biden's answers become just one long rambling sentence.

Update #4: President Biden has just brought up Afghanistan, and that Putin will aid the U.S. in maintaining security in that country. No details were offered, but this is big news. A reporter did not bring up this important question. It was President Biden himself who  brought it up.

Update #5: President Biden just said that a Capital officer was killed on January 6. Nope. Six people died on that day, but it was only a protester (Ashli Babbitt) who was killed, and it by a gunshot from a Capital Hill police officer whose identity is still being kept secret.

Update #6: President Biden wants to end the news conference, but all the reporters are jumping in wanting to ask him a question. This is very weird. The President now looks very tired and stained. I am surprised that his aides have not jumped in to end this press conference. And he is now starting to ramble. 

Update #7: WOW!!!! While leaving a reporter yelled at him to ask him if is has lost confidence in changing Putin's behavior, and he actually comes back with a little anger and starts to yell at her. Basically saying she does not know what she is talking about.

Russian President Putin's Summit News Conference -- News Roundup

Biden and Putin sit opposite each other for the boardroom-style meeting at the Villa de la Grange overlooking Lake Geneva  

Daily Mail: 'You don't even get a chance to open your mouth and you're shot dead': Putin tears into US gun violence, says Biden is 'very different' from Trump and compares jailing his political opponents to arresting Capitol rioters 

* Vladimir Putin described Joe Biden as 'very different' from Donald Trump 

* He held a press conference after his nearly-three hour meeting with Biden; Biden speaks next 

* He started off complimentary of Biden but then grew snipping as he was questioned on Russian activities 

* Putin was critical of gun violence in America and deflected questions on dissident Alexi Navalny 

* 'You don't have time to open your mouth and you're shot dead,' he said 

* The two men arrived at the summit within a few minutes of each other: Putin, after a last-minute arrival by air and motorcade; Biden by driving from his nearby hotel, having arrived Tuesday 

* Biden extended his hand first. Putin accepted, and the two proceeded to shake hands and smile for the cameras outside the Villa de La Grange before heading inside 

* During a photo-op in the library, Biden grinned while photographers jostled to capture the historic meeting 

* 'It's always better to meet face to face,' Biden said, flashing a big smile while sitting with his legs crossed 

* The event was set up not to have public comments by either man, and Putin could be seen sitting back in his chair, tapping his hand against his wooden armrest looking bored while they waited 

* Relations between the two sides are at their lowest ebb in decades after Putin's outlandish cyber attacks against the US, election interference, aggression towards Ukraine and intervention in the Middle East 

* Washington has been seeking to lower expectations amid the fanfare and buildup, despite Russian goading 

* Moscow staged naval drills 300 miles off Hawaii at the weekend - its largest Pacific drills since the Cold War 

Vladimir Putin described Joe Biden as 'very different' from Donald Trump and turned any questions on human rights violations in Russia into attacks on violence in America. 

'President Biden is an experienced statesman. He is very different from President Trump,' he said. 

The Russian president appeared to get snappy when questioned on touchy topics, including Biden calling him a 'killer' and on dissident Alexei Navalny. 

Putin spoke first after he and Biden concluded their three hour meeting at an historic 18th century villa by Lake Geneva, giving his early spin on their meeting. 

He walked over to the room he held his press conference, a contrast to Biden who rode over to the building in his presidential car.  

Read more .... 

 Russian President Putin's Summit News Conference -- News Roundup  

Putin hails ‘constructive’ talks with Biden in Geneva, tells press Russian & American ambassadors will soon be returned to posts -- RT  

Russia, US agree to hold consultations on strategic stability — Putin -- TASS  

Putin Says Russia, US Bear Special Responsibility for Strategic Stability as Nuclear Powers -- Sputnik  

Putin says return of ambassadors agreed at talks with Biden -- TASS  

U.S., Russia Agree to Return Ambassadors – Putin -- Moscow Times/AFP 

Putin Says U.S.-Russia Summit 'Constructive' -- Msocow Times/AFP

Swiss And Russian Security Manhandle US Press And Stop Them From Entering The Biden-Putin Summit

 

Daily Mail: Russian security manhandle US press and STOP them entering the Biden-Putin summit: White House aides 'scream' at agents blocking scrum of reporters 

* Biden and Putin summit begins in chaos as members of the press scrambled to get inside the Swiss villa 

* Russian and Swiss security guards manhandled and shoved reporters, then blocked them from entering 

* Some American reporters were left outside, while Biden and Putin sat down for their first photo op 

* Inside, photographers blocked cameras and journalists shouted questions to Biden and Putin 

* It meant members of the media could barely hear what was said as Putin's translator struggled to answer 

President Joe Biden's and Vladimir Putin's summit began in chaos on Wednesday as journalists pushed to get inside to document the historic event with many of them being left outside. 

Part of the small pool of reporters that travel with the president at all times was left outside. 

The reporters were pushed and shoved by security officials and Russian media, according to the pool report of the event. 

'There's an extremely chaotic scene at the door,' the pool reporter traveling with President Biden reported.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Swiss are responsible for security at this summit. That is their security officials kicking out the press.

And as for US press complaints that Russian media was aggressive in getting the best vantage points to film and take pictures of both Putin and Biden. 

Well DUD yeah!!!! 

American journalists are definitely spoiled. This is Europe where reporting and journalism is very aggressive and physical to the point where it is every journalist for him or herself.

LIVE: Russian President Putin Holds Press Conference After Meeting With U.S. President Biden

WNU Editor: The meeting was suppose to last about 5 hours. It looks like it only lasted between three to four hours.

Update: President Biden is suppose to follow Russian President Putin when he is finished his news conference. President Putin's news conference was suppose to have ended a few minutes ago. I am willing to bet that he is going to drag this out as long as possible. How long? I have seen President Putin answer questions for hours, so anything is possible now.

Update #2: This caught my attention. The Wall Street Journal's reporter is black and she just asked in very good Russian a question to President Putin. And in his response, he is filled with praise towards President Biden. He even mentioned President Biden's mother.

Update #3: Russian President Putin is clearly in a very good mood. I do not know what was discussed, but I sense from President Putin's body language and tone of voice that in his mind he was successful in forwarding his point of view towards President Biden.

Russia Conducts Largest Navy Exercise Since Cold War Near Hawaii As Presidents Biden And Putin Meet In Geneva

The Russian navy conducted its largest exercise since the Cold War 300 to 500 miles west of Hawaii. Russia MOD  

Daily Mail: Putin pressures Biden before talks: As the two presidents prepare to face each other in Geneva within hours, US stealth jets launch in response to Russia's biggest naval exercise since end of Cold War 300 miles off Hawaii - and dozens of Chinese warplanes circle Taiwan after American carrier group arrived 

* USAF stealth fighters were scrambled to Hawaii on Sunday as Moscow launched naval exercises in Pacific, while in South China Sea, an American carrier group has steamed in as Beijing's warplanes tear around Taiwan 

* Biden will finally sit down with Putin on Wednesday for their first presidential summit on Lake Geneva - the choice of venue a throwback to the Cold War meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1985 

* Relations between the two sides are similarly cool - at their lowest ebb in decades after Putin's outlandish cyber attacks against the US, aggression towards Ukraine and intervention in the Middle East 

* Two men are set to meet at Villa de la Grange, a stunning chateau ripe for photo-ops and small talk 

* Putin is set to arrive first at the venue, with Biden arriving next in 'the Beast' - both men are staying nearby 

* First they will meet with Swiss President Guy Parmelin before meeting together with respective top aides 

* Biden will get to put his spin on the day with a full press conference later - Putin has not been invited to join 

Russia and China have heaped pressure on Joe Biden with provocative military drills in the Pacific and the South China Sea ahead of the US President's showdown with Vladimir Putin in Geneva today. 

USAF stealth fighters were scrambled to Hawaii on Sunday as Moscow launched its biggest naval exercises in the Pacific since the Cold War, while in the South China Sea, an American carrier group has steamed in as Chinese warplanes tear around Taiwan.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Now we know why F-22s were scrambled out of Hawaii three days ago .... Hawaii-Based F-22s Scrambled On FAA's Request But Nobody Will Say Why (Updated) (Warzone/The Drive). 

This naval exercise is also sending a very clear signal to the Biden administration. 

More News On Russia Conducting Massive Naval Drills 300 To 500 Miles West Of Hawaii  

Russia Conducts Largest Navy Exercise Since Cold War As Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin Meet (Newsweek)  

Russian Navy conducts massive drills in Pacific before Biden-Putin meeting: report (FOX News)  

US scrambles F-22 jets and carrier strike group to face off with Russian war games near Hawaii ahead of Putin summit (The SUN)  

Russia provokes US in largest military exercises since Cold War before Biden-Putin meeting (NYPost)  

Russian Navy ships deployed in the Pacific for drills -- TASS

Biden - Putin Geneva Summit -- Live Updates

 

Biden - Putin Geneva Summit -- Live Updates  

Live: Putin and Biden locked in talks at Geneva summit -- BBC 

The Latest: Biden - Putin Summit In Geneva -- AP  

Biden-Putin summit live: leaders reach second stage of tense talks -- The Guardian

Live updates: Biden meets with Putin in Geneva amid post-Cold War low in U.S.-Russia relations -- Washington Post  

Live Updates: Biden and Putin meet in Geneva -- CNN  

Biden-Putin summit live updates: High-stakes meeting underway -- ABC News  

LIVE UPDATES: Biden meeting with Russia's Putin in Switzerland for high-stakes summit -- FOX News 

Geneva Summit Live Updates: Second Round of Putin-Biden Talks Starts -- Sputnik

President Biden Brings His Flashcards To The Summit

Spuntik: Twitter Buzzes Guessing What’s on the Flashcards Used by Biden at Summit With Putin 

The Russian and US presidents are holding their face-to-face meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, with the summit, the first of its kind since 2018, taking place amid the latest escalation of tensions between the two nuclear superpowers. 

Social media users are buzzing about what to make of the small slips of paper brought by Joe Biden to the open portion of Wednesday’s summit meeting with Vladimir Putin, poking fun at the US president’s expense, or expressing concerns about the bad optics of the situation for the US side.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I have seen President Putin use flashcards at summits, and I would not be surprised if Putin does have a few papers with his notes on it in his pocket.

Update: Yup!

Swiss Fighter Jets Escorted Russian President Putin’s Plane When it Approached Geneva

© REUTERS / Martial Trezzini/Pool 

 Sputnik: Kremlin: Swiss Fighter Jets Escorted Putin’s Plane When it Approached Geneva 

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The plane of the Russian President Vladimir Putin was escorted by Swiss fighter jets when it entered Geneva’s airspace on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. 

"Yes," Peskov said when asked the relevant question. 

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Geneva ahead of his summit with US President Joe Biden.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Here is a review on the security measures being taken for this summit .... REVEALED: Inside Switzerland’s ‘titanic’ security effort for Biden visit (AFP).

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Putin and Biden look awkwardly ahead as photographers swarm around them before their talks inside the Swiss villa

The two leaders were flanked by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov 

WNU Editor: There is a good collection of photos of today's summit at the Daily Mail .... Biden and Putin's showdown starts with a VERY awkward photo op: Joe says 'it's better to meet in person' as face-off begins with little eye contact, few words spoken and aides telling press to 'go away' (Daily Mail). 

These photo's show how awkward the situation is. Take it from this Putin watcher. When I see Russian President Putin "man spreading", I know that is his signal of telling the other person "f___ you". It is a Russian thing.

Biden And Putin's Showdown Begins

Putin looks down at the floor during an awkward first moment with Biden ahead of five hours of gruelling chat to help salvage relations between Moscow and Washington 

 

Daily Mail: Biden and Putin's showdown starts with a VERY awkward photo op: Joe says 'it's better to meet in person' as face-off begins with little eye contact, few words spoken and aides telling press to 'go away' 

* The two men arrived at the summit within a few minutes of each other: Putin, after a last-minute arrival by air and motorcade; Biden by driving from his nearby hotel, having arrived Tuesday 

* Biden extended his hand first. Putin accepted, and the two proceeded to shake hands and smile for the cameras outside the Villa de La Grange before heading inside 

* During a photo-op in the library, Biden grinned while photographers jostled to capture the historic meeting 

* 'It's always better to meet face to face,' Biden said, flashing a big smile while sitting with his legs crossed 

* The event was set up not to have public comments by either man, and Putin could be seen sitting back in his chair, tapping his hand against his wooden armrest looking bored while they waited 

* Relations between the two sides are at their lowest ebb in decades after Putin's outlandish cyber attacks against the US, election interference, aggression towards Ukraine and intervention in the Middle East 

* Washington has been seeking to lower expectations amid the fanfare and buildup, despite Russian goading 

* Moscow staged naval drills 300 miles off Hawaii at the weekend - its largest Pacific drills since the Cold War 

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have begun their summit at a villa on Lake Geneva with a very awkward photo opportunity with stilted chat, minimal eye contact and with aides shooing the press away. 

The two men arrived at the summit within a few minutes of each other: Putin, after a last-minute arrival by air and motorcade; Biden by driving from his nearby hotel, having arrived Tuesday. 

Biden extended his hand first as the pair shook hands - a marked contrast to the elbow bumps at the G7 - and they smiled for the cameras outside the Villa de La Grange before heading inside.  

Read more .... 

More News On Today's Biden - Putin Summit 

‘Two great powers’: Biden, Putin plunge into hours of talks -- AP  

Wide gulf, slim hopes as Putin and Biden begin summit -- Reuters 

High interest but low expectations as Biden, Putin talks kick off -- France 24  

Biden-Putin summit: US and Russian leaders meet for tense Geneva talks -- BBC  

Biden, Putin face off at long-awaited summit -- DW  

Biden and Putin begin high-stakes diplomacy at Geneva summit -- CNBC  

Russian Navy conducts massive drills in Pacific before Biden-Putin meeting: report -- FOX News  

Russia-US summit begins in Geneva as Putin & Biden sit down to start talks; agenda includes Ukraine, hacking, climate & Syria -- RT  

Putin hopes meeting with Biden will be productive -- TASS

Kim Jong Un Attends Ivy League University To Learn New Brainwashing Techniques (Humor)

WNU Editor: This is hilarious. 

Update: Here is another good one .... Biden Announces Putin Meeting Was A Success, Hunter Now Has A Job With Russian Pipeline (Baabylon Bee).

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Is President Biden Ready For This Summit With Putin?

Zero Hedge: An Apparently Confused Biden Goes Silent After Fielding Question About Putin 

More clips have surfaced which highlight Biden's apparent difficulty in handling unscripted back-and-forth discussion during his ongoing foreign policy focused Europe trip. 

As early as the weekend at the G-7 the Associated Press had noticed a "handful of verbal stumbles" the US president made. 

As we also highlighted there would be more to come. 

And then at his big Monday night NATO summit presser, there was the following bizarre moment...  

Vladimir Putin laughed at the suggestion that you had called him a 'killer,'" a CNN reporter asked. "Is that still your belief, sir, that he is a killer?" The reporter followed with a second question, also asking, "Do you believe if he does agree to cooperate, then what kind of a challenge do you find yourself in? How would you ever trust him? And if Ronald Reagan said, 'trust, but verify,' what do you say to Vladimir Putin?" 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There will be a lot of people in the room. They will give cover for President Biden when he goes off track. 

On the Russian side they know that President Biden has his moments. So they will focus most of their attention to President Biden's advisers and the US Secretary of State Blinken.

From what I am picking-up on Russian media. They are expecting a very surreal and weird meeting between the two leaders tomorrow. I think that is an understatement. But I would give anything to be a fly in that room.

Russian Media Reveals Biden-Putin Summit Agenda

(L) © Stephanie Lecocq / Pool via REUTERS; (R) © Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Kremlin via REUTERS 

RT: Biden-Putin summit agenda revealed: Presidents to discuss Covid-19, Ukraine, hacking, climate change & situation in Middle East  

When Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden meet in Geneva on Wednesday for their eagerly awaited summit, they will discuss a wide range of topics, including coronavirus, the war in Donbass, and the fight against cybercrime. 

That’s according to Yury Ushakov, a Russian diplomat and long-time aide of Putin on foreign policy matters, who announced the plan for the summit on Tuesday. 

The two heads of state are due to meet at 1pm local time at Geneva’s grand and historic Villa La Grange. 

The meeting will be the first encounter between the two presidents since Biden ascended to his post earlier this year. 

Alongside the two leaders will be their closest advisers, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The meeting will begin 1:30 PM local time, or 7:30 EST .... White House gives exact time of Putin-Biden meeting (TASS). The meeting will last 4 to 5 hours, and there will be no working meals .... No working meals planned during Putin-Biden summit in Geneva, says senior US official (TASS).

Ceasefire Collapses As Israel Carries Out Airstrikes In Gaza After Militants Launch Firebombs

 

Daily Mail: Huge explosions rock Gaza as Israeli warplanes launch airstrikes in response to Hamas firebomb balloons just three weeks after ceasefire was agreed 

* Aircraft launched a new attack against Hamas armed compounds in Gaza Strip 

* The military said it was a response to firebombs sent to southern Israel 

* Israel said it is 'ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting' 

Israeli aircraft have launched fresh airstrikes against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, bringing an end to the brief ceasefire after the latest devastating conflict in the region. 

Israel's military said the latest explosions were a response to the launching of incendiary balloons that caused fires in fields in southern Israel.

In a statement, the military said that it was 'ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza'.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: These air strikes were ordered by the new government. I am also surprised that the ceasefire lasted this long. I had originally thought that it would last for only one week. 

More News On The Breaking Of The Ceasefire Between Israel And Hamas  

Israeli airstrikes target Gaza sites, first since cease-fire -- AP 

Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza after Palestinians send incendiary balloons -- France 24

Israel launches airstrikes on targets in Gaza -- DW  

Israel strikes in Gaza after arson balloons launched -- BBC

Israel carries out Gaza Strip airstrike after militants release incendiary balloons -- The 0Guardian

Israeli military launches airstrikes in Gaza in response to incendiary balloons launched from the coastal enclave -- CNN  

Gaza unrest: Fire balloons, airstrikes mark a new round of violence in Israel -- FOX News 

Israel launches air raids on Gaza Strip -- Al Jazeera 

Israel strikes Gaza, 1st time under new government & after ceasefire that ended 11-day war (VIDEOS) -- RT

U.S. Covid-19 Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 600,000

On Tuesday, the U.S. hit a grim milestone and surpassed 600,000 coronavirus deaths

Daily Mail: US hits 600,000 COVID-19 death toll milestone even as cases and deaths fall to lowest levels seen in more than a year 

* On Tuesday, the U.S. surpassed 600,000 coronavirus deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University 

* That figure is more than the number of Americans who died during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined 

* The U.S. accounts for 15% of all deaths from COVID-19 at 3.8 million, but just 5% of the global population 

* It took more than four months for the death toll to go from 500,000 to 600,000 after taking just 30 day to hit half a million from 400,000 

* Racial gaps persist with blacks and Latinos between two and three times more likely of COVID-19 than whites 

The United States hit a grim milestone and surpassed 600,000 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

That figure is more than the number of Americans who died during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined - and equal to the yearly cancer toll. 

To put the figure into context, it is about the population of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland; or Albuquerque, Mew Mexico.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This pandemic is far from over .... WHO: COVID-19 spreading faster than vaccine distribution (UPI). 

 More News On The U.S. Covid-19 Coronavirus Death Toll Surpassing 600,000  

US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll -- AP  

US death toll from Covid-19 tops 600,000 as states lift some health restrictions -- France 24  

U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 600,000 in Reminder the Pandemic Isn’t Over -- US News and World Report  

The U.S. Has Hit 600,000 COVID Deaths, More Than Any Other Country -- NPR  

US surpasses 600,000 COVID-19 deaths -- The Hill  

Covid: US death toll passes 600,000 as vaccination rate slows -- BBC  

US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to annual cancer toll -- ABC News (Australia)

US Covid deaths hit 600,000 as ex-Biden adviser says high toll was avoidable -- The Guardian

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 15, 2021

Tom Luongo: A Critical Shift in the War for Oil 

Davos really do think they are too clever by half. 

Despite prognostications to the contrary, negotiations with Iran over a new JCPOA are nearing completion which Biden/Obama will sign off on after putting up a bit more token resistance to lifting sanctions. 

Why do I say this? Nordstream 2. 

Biden backed down on Nordstream 2 and, at The Davos Crowd’s insistence, he will back down on the JCPOA. 

Davos needs cheap energy into Europe. That’s ultimately what the JCPOA was all about. 

The basic framework for the deal is still there. 

While the U.S. will kick and scream a bit about sanctions relief, Iran will be back into the oil market and make it possible for Europe to once again invest in oil/gas projects in Iran.  

Read more .... 

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 15, 2021  

What They Want: Divergent goals for Biden, Putin at summit -- Jonathan Lemire and Vladimir Isachenkov, AP  

How Biden Should Deal With Putin -- Michael McFaul, Foreign Affairs  

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are set to meet after months of trading barbs. Here's what to expect from the Switzerland summit -- Greg Jennett, ABC News (Australia)  

A Pointless U.S.-Russia Summit? -- Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest  

'Biden leads reluctant Europeans into united front against China' -- France 24 

 A U.S.-Russia Alliance Against China? Don't Laugh Just Yet. -- H. Kazianis, 1945

 Concerns grow over China's Taiwan plans -- Rebecca Kheel, The Hill 

 Taiwan triple whammy threatens global chip supply -- Frank Chen, Asia Times

China's reliance on Australian iron ore is a 'strategic weakness' for Xi Jinping, expert says -- Matt Bevan, ABC News (Australia)  

Naftali Bennett: The rise of Israel's new PM -- BBC  

New Israeli government gives people hope -- Sarah Judith Hofmann, DW  

Analysis: Subdued Iran vote will still impact wider Mideast -- Jon Gambrell, AP  

Breaking down the 2021 presidential race in Iran (Video) -- France 24  

Coronavirus: Can countries pay back pandemic debt? -- BBC  

Here’s why cryptocurrency crashes on weekends -- Katie Dore, CNBC

World News Briefs -- June 15, 2021

 

Daily Mail: Biden lands in Geneva for his five-hour Putin summit: White House LOWERS expectations for meeting at Swiss villa where pair will talk with just two top diplomats and translators (and there'll be no food) 

* Biden and Putin hold talks Wednesday amid relations that both men have called a 'low point' 

* Biden arrived Tuesday afternoon after flying from Brussels amid tight security 

* At Monday press conference Biden declined to call Putin a 'killer' and also dubbed him a 'worthy adversary' 

* He plans to raise hacking, election interference, and political prisoners, with potential room for gains on prisoner swaps and nuclear deal 

* The two leaders will meet at Villa de la Grange, an 18th Century villa 

* Each will be accompanied by their nation's top diplomat in one 'small' meeting, accompanied by translators 

* A second meeting will involve five members from each side 

* The White House rejected the idea of a joint press conference, and Biden plans to address the U.S. media solo 

* Putin will arrive first at the villa to meet with the Swiss president, who will then greet Biden 

* Putin aide told reporters in Moscow Tuesday he expects treatment of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny to come up 

* The meetings could run 5 hours – but no meal is planned, according to a senior administration official 

* 'I'm always ready,' Biden said, at the start of his meeting with the Swiss president 

* Reagan and Gorbachev also met in a lakeside villa in Geneva in 1985 in one of many summits that led to arms control agreements 

President Joe Bien landed in Geneva Tuesday hours before he is set to hold summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid tight security and deep fissures in the U.S.-Russia relationship. 

The men are set to meet for up to five hours on Wednesday, joining in a luxurious villa without the luxury of food. 

'No breaking of bread,' a senior administration official told reporters while sketching out the details. 

It was the latest signal that the summit meeting will be all business, without some of the goodwill gestures and pre-planned events that characterize more stable relationships.  

Read more .... 

MIDDLE EAST 

 Israeli ultra-nationalists march through East Jerusalem in key test for new govt. 

Israeli police fire rubber bullets at Palestinians protesting against march

Israel's new PM Naftali Bennett promises to unite nation. 

Biden names Israel ambassador days after new government. 

'Heinous crimes': Iran vote front-runner dismays activists. 

Iran says it has produced 6.5kg of 60% pure uranium as nuclear deal revival talks with US enter final stretch. 

Syria’s last aid crossing in balance as Biden to meet Putin. 

US envoy announces new Syria aid, seeks delivery access.  

IS Badoush prison massacre: Iraq exhumes bodies from mass grave

Lebanese farmers struggle amid toughening economic crisis

ASIA 

Beijing tells Nato to stop hyping up China threat. 

China accuses NATO of maintaining 'Cold War mentality'

China says radiation levels normal at Taishan nuclear plant. 

South Korea defends military exercises near disputed Dokdo Islets. 

North Korea short 860,000 tons of food this year, U.N. agency says. 

Aung San Suu Kyi faces charges in Myanmar as trial begins. 

Myanmar junta's 'show trial' of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi begins. 

Afghanistan: Polio vaccinators killed in 'coordinated attack'. 

Philippines: Duterte will not cooperate with ICC 'war on drugs' probe. 

AFRICA 

 Suicide bomber kills at least 15 at Somalia military site. 

UN Security Council calls for free, fair elections in Mali to go ahead in 2022. 

Tigray in crisis as Ethiopia prepares to vote in regional elections. 

Algeria’s establishment FLN wins parliamentary poll. 

Burkina Faso: Amid growing instability, France signals it will reduce military presence. 

Allied Democratic Forces: The Ugandan rebels working with IS in DR Congo. 

UN experts warn of IED proliferation in DRCongo. 

Ten captives freed by Islamist militants in northeast Nigeria. 

Nigeria bans Twitter after president's tweet deleted. 

EUROPE 

Buoyed by allied summits, Biden ready to take on Putin. 

Biden-Putin summit agenda revealed: Presidents to discuss Covid-19, Ukraine, hacking, climate change & situation in Middle East. 

'Where is the proof?' Putin furiously DENIES 'farcical' claims Russia was behind cyberattacks in the US and says he's 'surprised' he hasn't been blamed for Black Lives Matter along with the list of 'unfounded accusations'

Biden meets EU leaders, thaw in aerospace dispute agreed. 

Moscow releases 2020 mortality stats: Excess death figures show Russia suffered more from Covid-19 than comparable Western nations. 

Coronavirus pandemic worsened corruption in EU: survey. 

Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya says 'harsh' sanctions needed. 

Serbia, Kosovo remain at loggerheads as talks resume. 

Belarus plane: Ryanair boss says pilot had no choice but to land in Minsk

 AMERICAS 

U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 600,000. 

CDC labels highly transmissible delta strain a COVID-19 'variant of concern'. 

Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday. 

Biden administration using surveillance app for asylum seekers. 

WaPo publisher slams 'unprecedented assault' on media by Biden DOJ . 

Trump to hold post-presidential rallies in Ohio, Florida: report

 'So interesting': Trump pitched on idea to run for House, become Speaker.  

CNN panel criticize VP's 'cringeworthy' and unprepared response to questions about when she would visit the border and warn her 'allies' in the White House are losing faith in her. 

Western Hemisphere dominates COVID-19 with 49% of fatalities. 

A divided Peru waits for election results as vote count nears completion. 

Nicaragua: Five more opposition figures detained ahead of election

Thousands of women and children flee Haiti gang violence, Unicef says

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR 

Support for Hamas surges among Palestinians: poll. 

Hamas threatens to resume bombardment unless Israel releases held up Qatari aid, paper claims. 

Analysis: 17 Palestinian militant factions identified in recent Gaza conflict

Biden administration pushes plan to combat domestic terror. 

 ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS 

Wall Street retrenches and awaits Fed while oil surges. 

US, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China. 

Bezos going to space on company's rocket ship. 

Biden pledges to tackle monopolies, supply shortages as prices rise. 

Alibaba's Jack Ma is 'lying low', says co-founder. 

France's Bernard Arnault becomes the world's richest person.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 15, 2021

NATO leaders met in Brussels for a summit on Monday  

DW: NATO must 'stand up' to authoritarian regimes China and Russia, says Stoltenberg 

NATO leaders issued a lengthy communique from their Brussels summit, touching on everything from China to Russia, Iran to Afghanistan, and climate change to outer space. 

NATO allies branded China a security risk to the alliance for the first time, in a final summit statement released on Monday. 

The alliance also singled out its historic foe Russia for "aggressive actions." 

Leaders from the 30 member states were meeting in Brussels to discuss a wide range of international security issues, summarized in a lengthy 79-point joint communique. 

"In the age of global competition Europe and North America must stand up against authoritarian regimes like Russia and China," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a speech, rounding up the summit.

Read more .... 

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 15, 2021 

Joe Biden declares 'rock solid' commitment to defend NATO allies -- UPI  

Biden rallies NATO support ahead of confrontation with Putin -- AP  

As NATO rolls out 2030 agenda, will it find its place in the space race? -- Defense News  

NATO tackling climate change for first time -- The Hill  

NATO says attack in space could trigger mutual defense clause -- Defense News  

NATO training mission for Afghan security forces to move forward after US withdrawal -- The Hill  

Frustration growing as time runs short to evacuate Afghan allies ahead of US withdrawal -- Military Times  

CENTCOM chief: No air support for Afghan forces after U.S. withdrawal -- UPI  

Top general: US won't support Afghan forces with airstrikes after withdrawal -- The Hill 

 Key GOP senator pushes for Biden to leave 1,000 troops behind in Afghanistan as a safety net -- Military Times 

Afghan air force could be grounded after US pullout -- Foreign Policy  

Coast Guard cutters join Navy destroyers in exercises -- UPI  

MDA: U.S. Aircraft Carriers Now at Risk from Hypersonic Missiles -- USNI News 

US military’s elite commando forces look to expand diversity -- AP  

The U.S. Army Will Soon Have a New Way to Shoot the Enemy -- National Interest  

Pentagon announces missile defense review -- UPI  

Space Force 'tactically responsive' launch quickly puts satellite in orbit -- UPI  

Space Force clears SpaceX to launch reused rockets for military missions -- CNBC  

White House backs repeal of 2002 war authorization -- The Hill  

'I Cannot Believe I Just Did That': What Goes on at West Point Cadet Summer Training -- Military.com 

Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' -- The Hill  

High court asked to review men-only draft registration law -- AP 

 At Least 1,900 U.S. Military Guns Were Lost Or Stolen During The Last Decade -- CBS  

Virtual conference prepares for live RIMPAC 2022 naval exercises -- UPI  

Pentagon announces $150M in security assistance to Ukraine -- The Hill 

 S-400 SAMs Knocked Out In Simulated Strikes During Big Army-Led Exercise In Africa -- Warzone/The Drive 

 U.S.-Philippines military agreement extended for six more months -- UPI  

USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group Enters South China Sea – Photos -- Sputnik  

U.S.-Japan conduct security operations in South China Sea -- UPI US military gets 'laser focused' on keeping up with China -- CNN  

NATO leaders declare China a global security challenge -- AP 

 China Denounces NATO Statement, Defends Defense Policy -- Military.com

China delivers 100 military vehicles to Lebanon -- Defense News  

Turkey seeks US support to maintain troops in Afghanistan -- AP 

 South Korea's Moon orders task force in wake of military sexual assault and suicide case. -- UPI  

Ex-President Says Armenia Must Have Own Drones, Develop Electronic Warfare Systems -- Sputnik  

Canadian Submarine Bedeviled By Accidents For A Decade Is Finally Back In The Water -- Warzone/The Drive

UAE-Backed Yemen Leader Says His Troops at Island Air Base -- AP  

US Military Documents Solve Mystery of Pearl Harbor Mastermind's Remains -- Military.com

Peru Still Waiting For Presidential Election Results. Socialist Candidate Leads With 50.14 % Of The Vote

Supporters of presidential candidate Pedro Castillo gather in front of the National Jury of Elections building in Lima, Peru on June 9, 2021. Gian MASKO AFP  

France 24: A divided Peru waits for election results as vote count nears completion 

Peruvians were still waiting on Monday for their next president to be confirmed, more than a week after a polarising run-off vote, with socialist Pedro Castillo clinging to a narrow lead that would tilt the country firmly to the left. 

The election count, which has increased by less than 0.02% since Saturday and stands at 99.953% tallied, showed the former teacher with 50.14% of the vote, fewer than 50,000 votes ahead of right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori.  

Read more ....  

Update: UN rights chief urges ‘calm’ as Peru still waits for vote results (Al Jazeera)  

WNU Editor: I would not be stashing my cash. I would be converting it into foreign currencies and precious metals, and then stashing it .... Stashing cash, Peru's urban elite panics as a socialist looks set to clinch presidency (Reuters).

Nicaragua's Goverment Arrests Key Opposition Presidential Candidates And Political Leaders

 

Miami Herald: Nicaragua spirals deeper into repression as Ortega jails rivals and former allies  

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega stepped up attacks on his political opponents over the weekend by arresting five leading critics, including three former allies who fought alongside him during the Sandinista revolution, as he continues to suppress the opposition ahead of presidential elections in November. 

Defying U.S. demands for the immediate release of four presidential candidates arrested over the past two weeks, Ortega ordered the arrest of Dora María Telléz, 65, a well known revolutionary and former leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, and detained a retired Sandinista general, a former foreign minister and two opposition party leaders. 

Read more .... 

More News On The Government Crackdown On Opposition Parties In Nicaragua  

Nicaragua stages unprecedented roundup of opposition leaders -- NBC/AP  

Nicaragua rounds up president’s critics in sweeping pre-election crackdown -- The Guardian  

Nicaragua: Five more opposition figures detained ahead of election -- The Independent  

Nicaragua detains 5 more Ortega critics ahead of elections -- Axios  

Nicaragua’s government has arrested a dozen opposition leaders. Their relatives don’t know where they are. --- Washington Post

Former CIA Officer Details The Impact That "Havana Syndrome" Has Had On His Life

 

 Daily Mail: CIA officer forced to retire after suffering mysterious Havana Syndrome that has left him with permanent headache says it's an 'act of war' by Russia against the US 

* A former CIA officer was forced into retirement after suffering from 'Havana Syndrome' while on assignment in Russia 

* Marc Polymeropolous was in Moscow in 2017 when he noticed he was being watched by 'guys in black trench coats,' likely Russian intelligence members 

* In his Moscow hotel room one night, the now-retired US intelligence officer told CBS that the debilitating symptoms began to take hold 

* 'I had spent years in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. I put my life on the line. This was the most terrifying experience of my life. I had no control' he said 

* 'Havana Syndrome' is described as a mysterious neurological condition which was first brought to the State Department's attention five years ago in Cuba 

* There have been at least 130 suspected cases of the mysterious illness as of this year, which Polymeropolous describes as 'an act of war against U.S. officials' 

A CIA officer who was forced to take early retirement after suffering from 'Havana Syndrome' feared to have been caused by a secret Russian microwave weapon claims the condition is an 'act of war' against the US. 

Marc Polymeropolous claims he was zapped with the frequency while visiting a Moscow hotel room back in 2017, and blames it for destroying his career, as well as debilitating headaches he continues to suffer from this day. 

Recalling that trip, he said: 'Even in my hotel room, I'd go to the gym, and a guy in a black trench coat comes down and, you know, checks on me down there,' he told CBS News' Catherine Herridge. 'Not unexpected. Part of the job.'  

Read more ....  

Update: Former CIA officer details "Havana Syndrome" he says he suffered in Moscow: "An act of war" -- CBS  

WNU Editor: WNU has been following this story for the past few years. There are too many cases that cannot be ignored. Former CIA officer Marc Polymeropolous' case being one of them.

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Warplanes Conduct A Rehearsal Over Beijing For The CPC 100 Year Anniversary Celebration

 

Global Times: J-20 stealth fighters, new helicopters to perform at CPC centenary celebrations: reports 

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) warplanes are expected to deliver an aerial performance for the celebration activities of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with a large number of the country’s most advanced stealth fighter jets, the J-20, and a type of newly developed helicopter, informally known as the Z-8L, participating, a rehearsal of the event on Sunday indicated. 

A rehearsal was held from 9 pm Saturday to the early hours of Sunday morning in the Tiananmen area, Beijing, with more than 14,000 people involved in the rehearsal and related supporting services, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.  

Read more ....  

Update: Chinese Stealth Fighters Buzz Beijing In Fly Over Rehearsal Ahead Of Centenary Parade (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: China's way of sending a message to the West.

Unlike Former President Trump, This Topic Was Not Brought Up By President Biden At Yesterday's NATO Summit

Zero Hedge: Spot The Odd One Out - NATO 'Defense' Expenditure 

As world leaders descended on Brussels for the first in-person NATO summit since the start of the pandemic, plenty of topics were on the agenda in the Belgian capital but the focus was firmly set to be on President Biden. 

As Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, Biden's most important task was to reassure NATO allies after his predecessor lambasted several members for not paying their fair share on defense, even going as far as threatening to pull the United States out of the alliance.

Biden also had serious discussions with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, with both leaders attempting to repair a growing rift as a result of the White House recognizing the Armenian genocide as well as due to Washington kicking Turkey out of the F-35 program in the wake of Ankara's decision to purchase Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The media narrative is that Europe overwhelming supports President Biden. Of course they do. He is giving them everything that they want, not only defense spending, but on the removal of tariffs .... EU-US ties: Undoing Donald Trump's trade war (DW).

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Blasts President Biden In 'Scorched Earth' Departure Speech

 

Daily Mail: Netanyahu blasts Biden in 'scorched earth' departure speech and says Iran will be 'celebrating' his defeat because Israel will be 'weak' 

* Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal on Sunday 

* He said the agreement 'threatens Israel's existence' in a scathing departure speech after 12 years in office * Vowed 'fight daily' to 'topple' the new coalition government which he branded 'terrible' and 'dangerous' 

* Reiterated the remarks, saying it would be 'sooner than you think', minutes after giving up power on Monday 

* Knesset voted 60-59 for the new coalition government and Naftali Bennett was sworn in as prime minister 

* Bennett will now preside over a diverse and fragile coalition comprised of eight ideologically different parties 

* Will be prime minister until September 2023 before handing power over to Yair Lapid in a power-sharing deal 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted US President Joe Biden in a 'scorched earth' speech on his last day in office before officially handing over power on Monday, warning Iran will be 'celebrating' his defeat because Israel will be 'weak'. 

In a scathing speech that was meant to last 15 minutes but ran for more than half an hour, Netanyahu said the Islamic Republic would celebrate his loss because 'they understand that starting today there will be a weak and unstable government that will align with the dictates of the international community.' 

He then turned on his replacement, and former ally, Naftali Bennett, in the rambling speech, branding the new government 'terrible' and 'dangerous' and vowing he would soon return to the top of Israeli politics.  

Read more ....  

Update: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu blasts Biden on his way out of office (NYPost)  

WNU Editor:  This animosity works both ways. This sums up what the Biden administration feels about Israeli PM Netanyahu .... It took Biden a month to call Netanyahu, two hours to call Bennett (Haaretx).

Canada's Vice-Chief Of Defence Staff Resigns After Playing Golf With Retired Top General Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct

 

CBC: Navy commander apologizes for golfing with former chief of defence staff under military police investigation 

The commander of the Royal Canadian Navy has publicly apologized for golfing with former top soldier, retired general Jonathan Vance, who is under a military police investigation over allegations of inappropriate behaviour with female subordinates. 

Vice-Admiral Craig Baines issued a written statement Sunday night addressed to all military members and national defence public servants saying he was sorry for his conduct.

Baines confirmed he golfed with Vance and military's second-in-command, Lt.-Gen Mike Rouleau, on June 2 in Ottawa. 

"I fully accept responsibility and accountability for not understanding how such a public display of support sends the wrong signal as to my commitment to lead in resolving our systemic cultural and misconduct issues," Baines wrote. "For this, I sincerely apologize."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is why this golf game is a problem, and why this general had to resign .... Senior officer who golfed with Vance has power over military police investigations (Canadian Press). 

More News On Canada's Vice-Chief Of Defence Staff Resigning After Playing Golf With Retired Top General Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct 

Rouleau stepping aside as defence vice-chief following golf game with Vance -- CTV News  

Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau steps aside after controversial golf game with Vance -- Ottawa Citizen 

Liberal cabinet ministers criticize senior military officers who golfed with Vance -- National Post  

Senior military leaders golfing with Vance raises concerns about ‘fairness’ in probes: Freeland -- Global News  

Canada military's second-in-command resigns over golf game -- BBC

China Denounces NATO's ‘China Threat Theory’

Global Times: China fires back at NATO's claims, says it won't sit back in face of systemic challenges 

China fired back on Tuesday over allegations against China from a communiqué released after the conclusion of the NATO summit and warned that it would not sit back if any others pose systemic challenges to it, and it will closely watch NATO's strategic adjustments toward China. 

Responding to NATO leaders' tough stance on China in a communiqué, the Chinese Mission to the European Union (EU) spokesperson said on Tuesday that China will not present "systemic challenges" to others. 

NATO's claims have slandered China's peaceful development, misjudged the international situation and its own role, and continued the Cold War mentality mixed with group politics, said the Mission, firing back at the remarks in the communiqué signed off in Brussels by leaders from the 30 members in the alliance at the urging of the new Biden administration. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Not everyone in Europe is onboard against China .... Biden pushes China threat at G7 and NATO, but European leaders tread carefully (CNN).  More here .... G7 more divided than united on countering China (Asia Times).

More News On China Warning NATO To Stop Exaggerating ‘China Threat Theory’  

China denounces NATO statement, defends defense policy -- AP 

Expect China to be furious at being cast as a threat to the west -- The Guardian  

China tells NATO to stop exaggerating ‘China threat theory’ -- Al Jazeera  

We Won't "Sit Back": NATO's New 'Counter China' Focus Met With Fierce Warning From Beijing -- Zero Hedge