Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Chinese President Xi Hails 'New World' As China Marks Communist Party Centenary


CNBC: Xi at Communist Party anniversary: China won’t accept ‘sanctimonious preaching’ from others 

 * Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Thursday about China’s firm resolve to stand up to foreign pressure while laying out national aspirations at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of China’s ruling Communist Party. 

* He said Beijing would never allow any foreign force to bully it, and anyone attempting to do so would “find themselves on a collision with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion people.” 

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Thursday about China’s firm resolve to stand up to foreign pressure while laying out national aspirations at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of China’s ruling Communist Party. 

China will not accept “sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us,” Xi said, according to an official translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. 

He did not name a specific country, amid growing tensions with the U.S. 

Xi said China would never allow any foreign force to bully it, and anyone attempting to do so would “find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion people.”  

Read more .... 

More News On Chinese President Xi Hailing A 'New World' As China Marks Communist Party Centenary  

Firmly in control, China’s Communist Party marks centenary -- AP  

Xi hails 'irreversible' rise of China at 100th birthday of Communist Party -- AFP  

Xi hails 'new world' as China marks Communist Party centenary -- Reuters  

CCP 100: Xi warns China will not be 'oppressed' in anniversary speech -- BBC  

Xi Jinping warns China won’t be bullied as it marks 100-year anniversary of CCP -- The Guardian  

China: Xi Jinping says Beijing will no longer be bullied during CCP 100 year anniversary -- DW  

Xi says no more 'bullying' China at celebration for centenary of Communist Party -- France 24  

Xi Warns China's Foes Will Break Heads on 'Steel Great Wall' -- Bloomberg

China Facing Its Worst Power Shortage In A Decade

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, water is released from the dam of Baihetan hydropower station in Ningnan county, in southwestern China's Sichuan province on June 27, 2021. The Chinese government says it has turned on the first two generating units of the world's second-biggest hydroelectric dam. (Jiang Wenyao/Xinhua)  

CNN: China is facing its worst power shortage in a decade. That's a problem for the whole world 

Hong Kong (CNN Business) - China is in the middle of a huge power crunch as extreme weather, surging demand for energy and strict limits on coal usage deliver a triple blow to the nation's electricity grid. It's a problem that could last for months, straining the country's economic recovery and weighing on global trade. 

 Several Chinese provinces have said they are facing a power crunch in recent weeks, including some of the country's most important engines for economic growth. 

Guangdong province — a manufacturing center responsible for $1.7 trillion, or more than 10%, of China's annual economic output and a bigger share of its foreign trade — has been rationing power for over a month. The restrictions have forced companies across the province to shut down for a few days per week. Some local authorities are warning that power rationing could last through the end of the year.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Having a stable source of power has always been one of China's "Achilles Heel. But they are moving forward .... China turns on world’s second-biggest hydropower dam (AP).

Former President Trump Calls For Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley To Resign For Caving To The 'Woke Mob'

Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley (right) to resign so he can be replaced by 'someone actually willing to defend our military'  

Daily Mail: Trump calls for Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley RESIGN and be replaced by someone who is 'actually willing to defend our military' and doesn't fear 'upsetting the woke mob' 

* Trump ramped up his criticism of Milley in a statement on Wednesday 

* He said the top US general should resign for caving to the 'woke mob' 

* The former president mocked Milley for being a 'fool' during BLM protests 

* Claimed he 'begged' him not to send in the military to deal with rioters 

* Also said Milley is determined to 'shove critical race theory down the throats of our soldiers' 

Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley to resign so he can be replaced by 'someone actually willing to defend our military'. 

The president said Milley's greatest fear is 'upsetting the woke mob' and slammed him for 'begging me not to send in the military' when 'Black Lives Matters rioters were threatening to destroy Washington D.C.'. 

Trump also attacked him for 'making up' a story that Milley yelled at him in the Situation Room when he asked him to take charge of dealing with the protesters. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: General Milley has his supporters .... Esper defends Milley after Trump attacks (The Hill). But moving forward Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley has a problem. Former President Trump has a lot of supporters, and many of them are in Congress. They are not going to make life easy for the General. 

More News On Former President Trump Calling For Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley To Resign  

Trump attacks Milley over critical race theory, calls for resignation -- The Hill  

Trump calls ‘fake news’ on Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Milley, says he should resign -- NYPost  

Trump urges Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley to resign -- Washington Examiner  

Milley was one of Trump’s favorite generals. Now he’s a villain of the right. -- Politico

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher Will Not Be Prosecuted After Admitting In A Podcast He Intended To Kill An ISIS Detainee In Iraq


Daily Mail: US Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will NOT be prosecuted after he admitted he did mean to kill ISIS detainee despite being acquitted of war crimes in 2017 as he tells Sean Hannity he was 'demonized' for doing his job 

 * U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will not be prosecuted after admitting in a podcast he intended to kill a teenage ISIS detainee in 2017 

* In the interview earlier this year, he said his intention was to kill the 17-year-old and said his fellow Navy SEALs tortured him until he died 

* He described how he cut 'an airway' in the boy's throat and said he was going to die regardless, as the SEALs were not planning to take any prisoners 

* But an assistant chief of information for the Navy told his comments 'were not corroborated and no substantive information was found 

The military will not prosecute Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher after he admitted he meant to kill an ISIS detainee, despite being acquitted of war crimes in 2017, when he posed with an Islamic terrorist's corpse. 

In a statement to, Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, assistant chief of information for the United States Navy, said: 'The Navy reviewed the matter and will not pursue further action.'  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Former U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher does not want to fade away. 

More News On Former U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher Not Being Prosecuted After Admitting In A Podcast He Intended To Kill An ISIS Detainee  

Navy won’t investigate Eddie Gallagher’s podcast comments about Islamic State detainee’s death -- Navy Times 

Navy says no further action against Eddie Gallagher for recent remarks -- Business Insider  

Navy won't take further action against ex-SEAL over 'killed' captive comments -- The Hill  

Navy Won't Investigate Eddie Gallagher Further, Claims Statements 'Not Corroborated' --

Navy will not pursue action against Gallagher after comments on murdered captive -- Politico  

Navy will not take action against ex-SEAL Eddie Gallagher after he admits to killing Iraqi prisoner on podcast -- RT

U.S. Congressional Democrats Want To Spend More On Defense

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain joints the Royal Australian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in the South China Sea for a multinational exercise on Oct. 19, 2020. (U.S. Navy)  

Defense News: Democratic appropriators want to spend more on weapons procurement than Biden 

WASHINGTON ― Tweaking President Joe Biden’s Pentagon spending request for next year, House appropriators have proposed $1.7 billion more for weapons procurement and $1.6 billion less for development and testing of cutting-edge technologies meant to deter China. 

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday morning released its fiscal 2022 Pentagon-funding bill, which proposes $706 billion in defense spending, or roughly $10 billion above the amount enacted for the current fiscal year. 

When added to the $11 billion for military construction appropriators are seeking separately, that sets it about even with Biden’s $716 billion request. 

The legislation, crafted by Democrats, includes $134.3 billion for procurement, which is $2.2 billion less than the current year’s budget. For research funding, appropriators are proposing $110.4 billion, which is $3.2 billion above the current year’s budget.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: House panel releases $706B Pentagon spending bill (The Hill)  

Update #2: House Approps Restores 2nd Destroyer; Cuts Sea-Launched Nuke Cruise Missile (Breaking Defense)  

WNU Editor: This is a surprise. I expected the US Senate would be the ones to increase the proposed US defense budget, not the House of Representatives.

Why The U.S. Can't Just Start Building F-22s Again


Sandboxx: Why can’t America build any new F-22 Raptors? 

The U.S Air Force has two air superiority fighters in their stable in the F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle, but when looking to bolster the fleet with purchases of a new (old) jet for the job, it was the Eagle, not the famed Raptor, to get a second lease on life. 

That really begs the question: if America can buy new F-15s, a design that’s nearly 50 years old, why isn’t it looking to build new F-22s instead? 

By most accounting, the F-22 Raptor remains the most capable air superiority fighter on the planet, with its competition in China’s J-20B beginning to shape up and Russia’s Su-57 still lagging a bit behind. 

The F-22 really is still at the top of its game… but that doesn’t mean building more actually makes good sense.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There are currently 183 F-22s in service.

U.S. Intelligence Community Pressuring The Biden Administration To Assist The former Saudi Intel Chief

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and Muhammad bin Nayef. The Saudi cousins pictured at a GCC meeting in Riyadh in December 2015 (AFP)  

NBC: Saudi intel chief who saved U.S. lives was detained, allegedly mistreated by Saudi government  

"The Trump White House did nothing — absolutely nothing — to help him," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer. 

TEL AVIV — The Biden administration is under increasing pressure to help a former Saudi intelligence chief credited with saving American lives who was initially detained by the Saudi government during the Trump administration. Two sources familiar with the matter allege he was physically abused to the point he is unable to walk unassisted. 

Mohammed bin Nayef, 61, was Saudi Arabia's interior minister and a close partner of American intelligence agencies in the fight against al Qaeda after 9/11. Having survived four assassination attempts by terrorists, he was arrested in March 2020 by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman as the de facto Saudi leader, also known as MBS, moved to consolidate power and sideline rivals. 

Former U.S. intelligence officials who worked with bin Nayef are furious that the Trump administration did not appear to come to his aid, and they say President Joe Biden should be doing more.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman's sees Muhammad bin Nayef as a threat. Salman is not going to make life easy for his cousin.

Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- June 30, 2021


DW: Ethiopia: Uncertainty in Tigray after rebels take control of restive north  

The rebel Tigray Defense Forces claimed Mekele and Shire were under their control. 

Experts warn of a precarious situation after Ethiopia's federal government called a unilateral ceasefire. 

The former ruling party in Tigray said it took back control of the regional capital Mekele on Monday after Ethiopia's federal government troops controlled the city for eight months. 

The Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) is "in control of Mekele and people are now dancing in the streets," said Million Haileselassie, a DW correspondent based in the city. 

The TDF is the military wing of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) party, which ruled Tigray until they were ousted by the federal government in November 2020. 

"Residents are celebrating in different parts of the city. Fireworks were seen in the sky, cars and motorcycles honking. I saw people in the streets waving regional Tigray flags, dancing, chanting, and singing," Haileselassie told DW.  

Read more ....


 Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- June 30, 2021  

Ethiopia Leader, Stung by World Condemnation, Denies Troops Were Defeated -- NYT  

Ethiopia Tigray conflict: Rebels build on capture of capital -- BBC  

Tigray Leaders Vow to Take the Fight Into Eritrea From Ethiopia -- NYTimes  

Ethiopia's Tigray conflict: Rebels push military out of towns and cities after government declares ceasefire -- SKY News  

Ethiopia's Tigray 'extremely fluid' as cease-fire in doubt -- Canadian Press 

Ethiopian officials threaten to send troops back into Tigray -- The Guardian 

Ethiopia PM says army quit Tigray as no longer 'centre' of conflict -- Reuters  

Hospitals barely functioning, famine still looming in Ethiopia’s Tigray region -- UN News  

World Awaits Clarity on Tigray Cease-fire -- VOA  

Ethiopia is at war with itself. Here's what you need to know about the conflict -- CNN

CNN And ABC News Give Glowing Coverage Of The Chinese Communist Party's 100th Anniversary

NYPost: CNN ripped for glowing coverage of Chinese Communists’ 100th anniversary  

CNN is being mocked for glowing coverage of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary and “star” leader Xi Jinping — with critics dubbing it the “Communist News Network” and even “Xi-N-N.” 

“The Chinese Communist Party is about to turn 100 but Xi will be the real star,” CNN International tweeted early Wednesday advertising an article with the same headline. 

The centenary “is an opportunity for the party to reaffirm its credentials, while ensuring loyalty,” the network’s Ben Westcott wrote, hailing how the party had remained an “ever-present fixture … even as communist parties elsewhere collapse or fade from view.”  

Read more ....  

Update #1: CNN roasted for glowing coverage of Chinese Communist Party’s anniversary: 'This is Xi-N-N' (FOX News)  

Update #2: ABC News bashed for publishing 'glowing profile' by AP of Chinese Communist Party: 'Repulsive' (FOX News) 

 WNU Editor: CNN in their post on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party did mention in passing the following .... “some of the darkest chapters of the last century,” including “the brutal repression of student protestors in Tiananmen Square” as well as “millions who starved to death” under CCP economic policies. But on cable TV CNN has been giving glowing coverage 99% of the time. 

As for ABC News (owned by Disney), they have chosen to completely ignore the Chinese Communist Party's bloody past (as of the time of this post).

A Chinese-Built Highway In Montenegro Has Bankrupted The Country

An aerial view shows part of a highway near Podgorica, the capital of Montenegros. The highway project, constructed by a large Chinese state-owned company, risks derailing Montenegro's economy. Savo Prelevic/AFP  

NPR: How A Chinese-Built Highway Drove Montenegro Deep Into Debt 

PODGORICA, Montenegro — The section of highway that threatens to cripple Montenegro's economy begins in the foothills outside the capital Podgorica, where scaffolding lines a multi-lane expressway closed off to the public. The highway ends, for now, in the remote mountainous terrain east of the city. 

The Chinese state-owned company hasn't finished construction yet, so cars are using the old road underneath it. The highway hasn't been paid for yet, either. The first installment of the $1 billion loan from a Chinese state bank is due in July, and it's unclear whether Montenegro, whose debt has climbed to more than a 100% of its gross domestic product due to this project, will be able to afford it. What's worse, says the country's former Justice Minister Dragan Soc, once completed, the road won't lead anywhere anyway. "We make a joke: It is a highway from nothing to nothing," he says.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: What is particularly galling about this situation is that Montenegro now wants Europe to pay-off their unsustainable Chinese debt .... Montenegro in 'final phase' of talks with Europe to cut China debt (Reuters), while at the same time pushing for EU membership .... Montenegro aims to become EU member in 2024 (BNE). 

My advice to the EU is to take your time. The culture of corruption in the Balkans is deeply rooted, and you need to give them the time to undertake the necessary anti-corruption measures and legal reforms before admission.

China Expands Its Landbased Nuclear Forces

Researchers using commercial satellite images spotted 119 construction sites where they say China is building silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles. © Planet/Center for Nonproliferation Studies  

Washington Post: China is building more than 100 new missile silos in its western desert, analysts say  

China has begun construction of what independent experts say are more than 100 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles in a desert near the northwestern city of Yumen, a building spree that could a signal a major expansion of Beijing’s nuclear capabilities. 

Commercial satellite images obtained by researchers at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., show work underway at scores of sites across a grid covering hundreds of square miles of arid terrain in China’s Gansu province. The 119 nearly identical construction sites contain features that mirror those seen at existing launch facilities for China’s arsenal of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. 

The acquisition of more than 100 new missile silos, if completed, would represent a historic shift for China, a country that is believed to possess a relatively modest stockpile of between 250 and 350 nuclear weapons. The actual number of new missiles intended for those silos is unknown but could be much smaller. China has deployed decoy silos in the past.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: China's push to expand its nuclear forces has been ongoing for a long time. Check out this South China Morning Post story three months ago .... China is building more underground silos for its ballistic missiles (SCMP).

Final US Soldiers Pack Up And Prepare To Leave Bagram Air Base After Defending It For 20 Years Against The Taliban


Daily Mail: Final US soldiers pack up and prepare to leave Bagram Air Base after defending it for 20 years as Taliban sweep across Afghanistan where 2,312 American died and US military spent $816bn 

* Nearly 20 years ago, Bagram Airfield became the heart of American military power in Afghanistan 

* The base, a mini-city behind blast walls, was initially a symbol of the US drive to avenge the 9/11 attacks 

* Now, in just a matter of days, the last US soldiers will have departed Bagram - leaving behind what many consider a strained legacy 

* US Central Command said last week it is well past 50 per cent packing up Bagram 

* The Afghan military will then take over Bagram as part of its continuing fight against the Taliban - and against what many in the country fear will be a new eruption of chaos 

* As the withdrawal date for the US troops approaches, thousands of Afghan translators now face being left stranded because they haven't yet been accepted for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) into America 

* The base has been the subject of a number of deadly Taliban attacks over the last two decades with at least 15 American soldiers killed in varying incidents at, or just outside, the base 

* In total, approximately 2,312 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001 

For close to 20 years, Bagram Airfield was the heart of American military power in Afghanistan, a sprawling mini-city behind fences and blast walls just an hour's drive north of Kabul. 

It was initially a symbol of the US drive to avenge the 9/11 attacks and then of its struggle for a way through the ensuing war with the Taliban. 

Now, in just a matter of days, the last US soldiers will have departed Bagram.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Europeans have already mostly left .... Most European troops exit Afghanistan quietly after 20 years (AP).

Bill Cosby Released After PA Supreme Court Overturns His Sexual Assault Conviction


Daily Mail: Bill Cosby, 83, returns to his Pennsylvania mansion after PA Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction and freed him from prison two years into 10-year sentence because prosecutor promised in 2005 that he wouldn't be charged 

* Cosby was released from SCI Phoenix in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, two years into his 10 year sentence 

* He was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania estate 

* Dozens of other women accused him of sexual assault but none have had their claims prosecuted because they fell outside the statute of limitations 

* Cosby appealed his conviction on two counts; he said in 2005, the then Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor made a 'deal' with him not to prosecute 

* The deal wasn't written down anywhere - it comes from Castor announcing that he wasn't going to bring charges after Constand reported her claims 

* Cosby also said it wasn't fair that the jury heard from 5 other women at his trial who said he'd assaulted them 

* Those women all claimed he'd attacked them in the 1980s after giving them drugs 

* The PA Supreme Court didn't rule on whether or not their testimony was fair and only focused on Castor 

* They ruled that by making his promise, Castor led Cosby to deliberately believe he wouldn't be charged 

 * As a result, Cosby made remarks in a 2005 deposition that were self-incriminating, and he was later charged 

Bill Cosby flashed a peace sign to news crews on Wednesday as he arrived home after being released from prison in Pennsylvania, hours after the state's Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction because a former prosecutor promised him that he wouldn't be charged in 2005 and lulled him into incriminating himself - a decision that has 'shocked and disgusted' the disgraced comedian's accusers. 

Cosby was jailed in 2018 for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, who had reported her claims to the police in 2005. 

The murky legal explanation for why Cosby was released hinges on a statement made in 2005 by former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, who decided not to charge Cosby because he thought there wasn't enough corroborating evidence to back up Constand's claims.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Bill Cosby freed from prison, his sex conviction overturned (AP)  

Update #2: Bill Cosby released from prison after Pa. Supreme Court overturns sexual assault conviction (Philadelphia Inquirer)  

WNU Editor: I know this post has nothing to do with defense/military/wars/and national security. But I have always been fascinated with American law and culture, and this is an incredible case. It is not over yet. And yes, there are going to be a lot of angry people with the release of Bill Cosby.

Former U.S. Secretary Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Dies At 88


Daily Mail: Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies aged 88: Architect of the Iraq war who served under Bush and Ford passes away 'surrounded by family in New Mexico' 

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has died at the age of 88. Rumsfeld served as Defense Secretary under Gerald Ford and George Bush and was central to the plans involving the invasion into Iraq and Afghanistan. 

He died in Taos, New Mexico, according to his family. 

The Princeton-educated Rumsfeld drew global attention for his televised briefings during the Iraq War, as when he spoke about weapons of mass destruction in 2002. 

'As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns,' he pontificated.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: He was in the public eye for six decades and served under four presidents. To say that he had a storied and controversial career is an understatement. 

More News On Former U.S. Secretary Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Dying At The Age Of 88  

Family: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88 -- AP

Donald Rumsfeld, former defense secretary at helm of 2 wars, dead at 88 -- FOX News  

Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense, dies at 88 -- CNN  

Former U.S. defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld dead at 88 -- Reuters  

Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88. The former Defense secretary oversaw Iraq, Afghanistan wars -- USA Today  

Former Secretary Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Has Died -- NPR

News Reports Say The Trump Organization And It's CFO Will Be Charged For 'Not Paying Taxes On Employee Bonuses'

Former President Donald Trump leaves his New York Trump Tower building Tuesday afternoon, amid reports that prosecutors in New York are preparing potential charges against executives or the Trump Organization  

Daily Mail: Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg are 'expected to be charged TOMORROW' with crimes related to President's firm 'not paying taxes on employee benefits including cash bonuses' 

* Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization are expected to be charged on Thursday, according to sources * On Wednesday it emerged prosecutors are looking at cash bonuses as they examine whether employee benefits were properly declared 

* Donald Trump won't be personally charged in the Manhattan district attorney's case against the former president's business organization in first indictment 

* The former president called the DA's investigation 'a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time,' in a lengthy, rambling statement 

* Charges relate to alleged failures to pay taxes on corporate benefits and perks 

* They are not related to 'hush money' payments to porn star Stormy Daniels 

* Trump Organization has denied any charges of wrong doing 

* Charges likely in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded to Weisselberg, who prosecutors were hoping might flip 

* Weisselberg first started working for the company under Fred Trump in the 1970s

* He was spotted Tuesday leaving his Manhattan apartment and heading to work 

Prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization are expected to bring their first indictments on Thursday, according to people familiar with the probe, charging the company and its chief financial office Allen Weisselberg with tax-related crimes. 

It would mark the first criminal charges brought against the former president's company since the Manhattan district attorney's office began its investigation three years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

It reported that the defendants including Weisselberg are expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon.  

Read more .... 

Update: Charges expected Thursday for Trump’s company, top executive (AP)  

WNU Editor: Are you kidding me?!?!?!? After three years of investigations this is the best that they can come up with? The CFO not declaring his cash bonus and some of his perks on his income tax?!?!?!? 

Too bad for CFO Allen Weisselberg who is now probably going to be forced to pay a steep financial penalty. 

But in regards to former President Trump. If they had something on the former President it would have been leaked days ago followed with headlines and wall to wall coverage from all the major networks. 

Bottom line. Like the Mueller investigation and report. They have nothing.

Russian President Putin Says The Time Will Come When He Would Name His Possible Successor

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an annual televised phone-in with the country's citizens "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" at the Moscow's World Trade Center studio in Moscow, Russia, 30.06.2021. © Sputnik  

Reuters: Putin says the time will come when he names his possible successor 

MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin told Russians on Wednesday that the time would come when he would name his possible successor in the Kremlin, but said the choice would ultimately lie with voters. 

Putin, 68, has been in power as president or prime minister since the turn of the century. 

His current six-year term in the Kremlin is due to end in 2024 and his remarks are being closely parsed for clues as to whether he plans to extend his rule. 

Russia changed its constitution last year at Putin's behest allowing him to run for two more six-year terms in the Kremlin, and potentially remain president until 2036.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: My gut tells me that on his list of priorities. Naming his replacement is not even on the list.

Russian President Putin: Even If Russia Had Sunk British Warship, It Wouldn’t Have Started WW3 Because US & UK Know They Can't Win Such A Conflict


RT: Even if Russia had sunk British warship, it wouldn’t have started WW3 because US & UK know they can't win such a conflict - Putin 

 President Vladimir Putin has slammed the violation of Russian territorial waters by British warship HMS Defender as a "provocation," He also claimed that London's American allies had a hand in last week's incident, near Crimea. 

However, apparently casting doubt on NATO’s Article V collective defense pact, the Russian leader claimed that even if Moscow had sunk the vessel, it wouldn’t have led to World War III. 

President Vladimir Putin has slammed the violation of Russian territorial waters by British warship HMS Defender as a “provocation.” He also claimed that London’s American allies had a hand in last week’s incident near Crimea. 

However, apparently casting doubt on NATO’s ‘Article V’ collective defense pact, the Russian leader claimed that, even if Moscow had sunk the vessel, it wouldn’t have led to World War III, because the “provocateurs” know they wouldn’t be able to win. 

 Read more ....  

Update: Putin: Russia could sink United Kingdom warship without triggering 'world war' (Washington Examiner)  

WNU Editor: Would NATO declare war against Russia if the British warship HMS Defender was sunk within the territorial waters of Crimea? 

In this situation I doubt it. 

But the NATO response will be complete economic sanctions and the expulsion of most (if not all) Russian diplomats from NATO countries. And may I also add .... one huge arms buildup.

Russian President Putin Says The US And The UK Were Behind Last Week's Black Sea ‘Provocation’


BBC: HMS Defender: Russia's Putin accuses UK and US of military provocation 

Russia's Vladimir Putin has accused the UK and US military of staging a "complex provocation," after British warship HMS Defender sailed near the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea. 

While there was no risk of starting World War Three, he said, he believed it was part of an attempt to set up military bases in or near Ukraine. 

President Putin alleged a US spy plane was part of the operation too. The Royal Navy rejected the Russian account of what happened on 23 June.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is what I said last week .... Russia is also busy chasing away US spy planes .... Russian Su-30SM fighter intercepts US spy plane over Okhotsk Sea (TASS). Sounds like this was a coordinated U.S. - U.K. - NATO operation.  

More News On Russian President Putin Saying The US And The UK Were Behind Last Week's Black Sea ‘Provocation’  

Putin says US and UK were behind Black Sea ‘provocation’ -- AP  

Vladimir Putin Accuses US Of Involvement In UK Warship Incident -- AFP 

Vladimir Putin Claims U.S. Aircraft Followed British Warship to See How Russia Would React -- Newsweek  

Putin says US reconnaissance aircraft was involved in warning shot incident with UK -- The Hill  

Putin slams incident with British warship off Crimea as a provocation -- TASS  

Putin: HMS Defender Incident in Black Sea is a Complex Provocation Plotted by UK and US -- Sputnik

Russian President Vladimir Putin Holds His Traditional Direct Line Q&A Session In Moscow


WNU Editor: It starts at the 31:00 mark. Not the same as previous years when there was a large audience in attendance. The questions were also more "softball" than usual.  

For a summary check the links below.

Live Blog: Putin's Annual Call-In Show (RFE)  

Key remarks from Russian President Putin's annual phone-in (Reuters)

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Says The Pandemic Has Caused A 'Great Crisis'


The Guardian: North Korea Covid-19 outbreak fears after Kim Jong-un warns of ‘huge crisis’ in ‘antivirus fight’ 

Leader speaks of a grave incident and sacks officials for neglecting duties in fighting ‘global health crisis’ 

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has sacked several senior party officials over a “grave” coronavirus incident that had threatened public safety, fuelling speculation that the coronavirus has breached the country’s defences. 

“In neglecting important decisions by the party that called for organisational, material and science and technological measures to support prolonged anti-epidemic work in face of a global health crisis, the officials in charge have caused a grave incident that created a huge crisis for the safety of the country and its people,” the state-run KCNA news agency quoted Kim as telling a meeting of the ruling party’s politburo.

KCNA did not explain the nature of the transgressions, but analysts believe Kim’s outburst indicate North Korea is no longer free of Covid-19.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This admission from Kim Jong-un tells me that the situation in North Korea must be at a crisis point. 

More News On North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Saying The Pandemic Has Caused A 'Great Crisis'  

NK leader says 'grave incident' has happened due to lapses in anti-epidemic efforts -- Korea Herald/Yonhap  

Kim Jong Un scolds officials for pandemic lapse -- Reuters 

Kim Jong Un warns of 'grave consequences' and fires top officials after Covid-19 incident -- CNN  

Kim Jong-un: North Korea sees 'grave incident’ after Covid lapses -- BBC  

Kim Jong Un says pandemic has caused 'great crisis' in North Korea -- NBC

The Economic Collapse Of Lebanon Continues


Middle East Eye: 'We're really in hell': Lebanese citizens share struggles online as crisis deepens 

Lebanon has been riddled with problems in recent weeks, with many citizens venting their anger online 

Lebanese people have taken to social media in despair to vent their frustrations with deteriorating living conditions in the country as the economic crisis worsens. 

Lebanon's economic collapse has had a devastating knock-on effect on fuel, electricity and banks operating in the country. 

 Lebanon's currency has lost over 90 percent of its value since October 2019, leaving many people unable to afford basic necessities. 

Many people have detailed their daily experiences and the difficulty of doing simple tasks or obtaining essentials.  

Read more .... 

 More News On Lebanon's Economic Crisis 

Economic crisis, severe shortages make Lebanon ‘unlivable’ -- AP 

Lebanon raises fuel prices by more than a third in bid to ease shortages -- France 24  

Lebanon hikes fuel prices by more than a third as consumers reel -- Al Jazeera  

‘Catastrophe’ warning as Lebanon's fuel crisis hits hospitals -- Arab News 

Lebanon banks close in solidarity after assault on staff -- BBC  

Lebanon's banking crisis keeps students from going abroad -- UPI  

Empty fridges as Lebanon economic crisis bites -- AFP  

Animals starve in Lebanon’s zoos as economy crumbles -- Gulf News

Port Gaston Is A Major U.S. Test Site For Drone And Anti-Drone Technologies


Warzone/The Drive: DoE's Extreme-Security Nevada Test Site Touts The "Ultimate Playground" For Drone Tests  

Video posted on YouTube shows off the unique drone and anti-drone testing facility known as Port Gaston located deep within restricted airspace. 

A video has appeared on the official YouTube channel of the Department of Energy's Nevada National Security Site, or NNSS, that highlights the unique counter-unmanned aerial systems, C-UAS, research being conducted in the remote Nevada desert inside highly secure airspace. It says that the site is the most capable and secure testing facility for UAS and C-UAS platforms, largely through being so isolated. It’s essentially a “blank canvas” in the desert where one can operate and test a wide variety of drone and anti-drone technologies outside of the kinds of oversight applied to other test facilities or areas.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am sure a lot of cool stuff is happening at this site.

Israel Deploys Armed Robots To The Gaza Border

The Jaguar traversing through the land. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)  

Jerusalem Post: New semi-autonomous robot to be deployed to Gaza border 

The Jaguar is equipped with dozens of sensors, an automated driving system and advanced fire capabilities. 

The IDF’s Gaza division will soon deploy a new semi-autonomous robotic ground vehicle called the Jaguar along the border with the Gaza Strip, replacing soldiers along the border where they could be targets by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. 

Developed over the past year and half by Israel Aerospace Industries in close cooperation with the technological department of the IDF’s Ground Forces Command, it is currently being integrated into the Gaza division. 

The Jaguar is equipped with dozens of sensors, an automated driving system, and advanced fire capabilities. Based on a six-wheeled chassis, it is equipped with a 7.62mm MAG machine gun that can be operated remotely against suspicious objects or people, both while stationary or on the move.  

Read more ....  

Update: IDF Forces Deploy New Semi-Autonomous Robots To Gaza Border (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: The IDF is showing what the future of warfare is going to look like ....

 ..... During Operation Guardian of the Walls, last month, the IDF relied heavily on robots and machine learning, calling the fighting the first “Artificial Intelligence War.” 

“For the first time, artificial intelligence was a key component and power multiplier in fighting the enemy,” a senior IDF officer told reporters in May. “This is a first-of-its-kind campaign for the IDF – we implemented new methods of operation and used technological developments that were a force multiplier for the entire IDF.”

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Armed men who are against Taliban uprising stand at their check post, at the Ghorband District, Parwan Province, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani  

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

America's Undeclared War Against Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq And Syria Escalates Again


Reuters: Undeclared conflict? America's battles with Iran-backed militia escalate, again 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's latest strikes against Iran-backed militia in Syria and Iraq were not the first nor likely the last of his young presidency. 

For some of Biden's fellow Democrats, the crucial question is: does the pattern of attacks and counter-attacks amount to an undeclared conflict? 

 If it does, they say, there is a risk that the United States could stumble into a direct war with Iran without the involvement of Congress, an issue that is becoming more politically fraught after two decades of "forever wars." 

"It's hard to argue, given the pace of attacks against U.S. troops and, now, the increasing frequency of our responses, this isn't war," Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat who leads a key Senate foreign relations subcommittee, told Reuters. 

"What we always worry about is that the United States slips into war without the American public actually being able to weigh in."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I doubt this is going to last long .... EXCLUSIVE: Iran-backed groups agree to suspend attacks on US forces in Iraq (Middle East Eye).

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

ESwatini: A Country You Have Never Heard Of Is Facing Massive Anti-Government Protests


The Guardian: Armed forces open fire in crackdown on anti-monarchy protests in Eswatini 

Teargas used against protesters in African kingdom with an overnight curfew imposed 

Government forces in the southern African kingdom of Eswatini fired gunshots and teargas on Tuesday to break up protests calling for reforms to its system of absolute monarchy, witnesses said. A dusk-till-dawn curfew was also imposed. 

The acting prime minister, Themba Masuku, denied media reports that King Mswati III had fled the violence to neighbouring South Africa. 

“His Majesty … is in the country and continues to advance the kingdom’s goals,” Masuku said in a statement. “We appeal for calm, restraint and peace.” 

Protests are rare in Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy. Political parties are banned, but violent anti-monarchy demonstrations have erupted in parts of the country.  

Read more .... 


More News On The Unrest In The African Country Of ESwantini  

Violent protests in eSwatini after government bans demonstrations amid calls for King's removal -- News24  

Anti-monarchy protests in African kingdom eSwatini turn violent -- Reuters  

Eswatini: Anti-monarchy protests rock African kingdom -- DW  

Eswatini imposes curfew to quell pro-democracy protests -- Al Jazeera  

King Maswati not fled Eswatini's violent protests - PM -- BBC  

Officials deny King of Eswatini -- Africa's lone absolute monarch -- has fled -- CNN  

A country you’ve never heard of is burning: eSwatini’s anti-monarchy protests turn violent, but king has not fled (VIDEO) -- RT

New York City Mayor's Race "Plunges Into Chaos"

Zero Hedge: New York City Mayor's Race "Plunges Into Chaos" As 130,000 'Test-Run' Votes Lead To Unprecedented "Discrepancy"  

Update (2220ET): Wtih the New York City Mayoral race "plunged into chaos" (as the NYT puts it), journalist Bob Hardt now reports that the Board of Elections counted 130,000 'test-run' votes, which would account for most of the 'discrepancy' reported earlier. Hardt added that the BoE will now head 'back to the drawing board' to produce corrected ranked-choice numbers tomorrow. Presumably by then the outcome of the election will have been decided and things can go smoother then... 

Hours after the New York City's Board of Elections released an updated ranked voting tally for the Democratic Primary which showed front-runner Eric Adams' lead shrinking considerably, BOE officials acknowledged a 'discrepancy' in the ballot count.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: New York Mayor’s Race in Chaos after Elections Board Pulls Back Results (NYT)  

Update #2: NYC mayoral primary race thrown into chaos as BOE appears to botch vote count (NYPost)  

WNU Editor: I cannot help but smile. The way the New York media is covering this election train wreck is in sharp contrast to how they covered President Trump's protests on how the 2020 Presidential election was run. 

All that I can say is that until the U.S. decides to change how it runs its elections .... or more to the point .... adopt the way elections are run in places like Canada, Europe, Japan, and every other democratic country in the Western world (paper ballots, election observers from all political parties present, voter ID, etc.), the U.S. will forever be in chaos when they have a major election.

China's Communist Party Turns 100 On July 1


Daily Mail: Xi Jinping warms up to celebrate 100 years of China's Communist Party with behind-closed-doors show boasting that the country has beaten Covid (without mentioning that they gave it to the world in the first place) 

 * China is preparing to celebrate 100th anniversary of country's Communist Party which takes place on July 1 

* Spectacular event featured prominent celebration of country's Covid response where virus has been quashed 

* Coronavirus first emerged in Chinese city of Wuhan before spreading across the World and killing four million 

 * President Xi Jinping reframed pandemic as victory for party organisation and Chinese resilience under watch 

President Xi Jinping launched preparations for a celebration of 100 years of China's Communist Party behind closed doors, boasting that the country has beaten Covid while ignoring the fact it was the source of the virus. 

The coronavirus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan before it spread across the world and has resulted in the deaths of nearly four million people but has now been virtually quashed in China. 

Jinping led the applause at Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium late on Monday for a celebration of Party history, with China's rebound from the coronavirus given special treatment during the spectacle.  

Read more ....  

Update: At 100, China’s Communist Party looks to cement its future -- AP  

WNU Editor: July 1 is the 100th anniversary date.

Tigray Fighters In Ethiopia Reject Cease-Fire As ‘Sick Joke’. Says Ethiopian Government Forces Are On The Run


CNN: Rebels in Tigray reject calls for ceasefire after Ethiopian government forces withdraw from regional capital 

(CNN)Rebel forces in the war-torn Ethiopian region of Tigray have rejected a ceasefire offer from the central government, raising fears of further violence a day after the fighters retook the regional capital Mekelle. 

The recapture of the city by Tigrayan fighters and the retreat of Ethiopian government troops on Monday marked a stunning about-turn in the country's devastating eight-month civil war. 

In the wake of Mekelle's capture, the Ethiopian government announced a unilateral ceasefire for several months. But on Tuesday, Tigrayan forces categorically ruled out a truce, with a spokesman for the region's ruling party saying their forces would not rest until the Ethiopian military and its allied forces had left the entire region.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: It looks like the Ethiopian army has collapsed.

More News On The Ethiopia - Tigray War 

Tigray fighters in Ethiopia reject cease-fire as ‘sick joke’ -- AP  

Ethiopian rebels vow to drive out ‘enemies’ in push for more territory -- France 24  

Tigray Rebels in Ethiopia Celebrate a Victory -- NYT  

Ethiopia's Tigray conflict: Street celebrations as rebels seize capital -- BBC  

Tigray rebels vow to drive out ‘enemies’ after retaking Mekelle -- Al Jazeera

Russia Records Highest Official Covid-19 Death Toll Since Start Of Pandemic

Denis Grishkin / Moskva News Agency  

RFE: With Record Daily COVID Deaths, Kremlin Says Vaccination Campaign Not Meeting Targets  

Russia has reported another daily record for COVID-19 deaths as the country struggles with a jump in cases triggered by the highly contagious delta variant first identified in India and a sluggish vaccination rollout. 

According to the official government tally on June 29, 652 coronavirus deaths were recorded in Russia over the past 24 hours, topping the record set in December 2020, while nationwide infections grew by 20,616, bringing Russia's caseload to nearly 5.5 million. 

In another dose of bad news, the Kremlin announced on June 29 that the vaccination target set by authorities for the fall will not be met.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is effective .... Russia's Sputnik V shot around 90% effective against Delta variant, developers say (Reuters). The problem in that Russians are not taking it .... As cases, deaths soar in Russia, why are vaccination rates low? (Al Jazeera). 

More News On The Covid-19 Pandemic In Russia  

Russia records highest official Covid-19 death toll since start of pandemic, as nation fights sharp rise in cases of Delta variant -- RT  

Russia documents 20,616 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours -- TASS  

Russia Breaks Daily Coronavirus Fatality Record -- Moscow Times  

Russia Won't Hit 60% Vaccination Target By Autumn, Kremlin Says as Virus Surges -- TASS 

Russia on the back foot as third Covid wave surges -- Financial Times

Top US General In Afghanistan Warns Taliban To Stop Their Afghan Offensive Or Face Air Strikes

General Austin Scott Miller, the United States' top general in Afghanistan, speaks to journalists at the Resolute Support headquarters, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. AP  

France 24: US commmander warns Taliban to stop Afghan offensive or face air strikes 

The top US commander in Afghanistan Tuesday did not rule out conducting air strikes against the Taliban if they pressed on with their campaign of capturing new territory across the violence-wracked country. 

Fighting has surged across the rugged countryside since early May when the US military began its final withdrawal of troops, with the Taliban claiming to have recently captured more than 100 of the over 400 districts across Afghanistan. 

"What I like to see is no air strikes, but to get to no air strikes, you stop all violence," General Scott Miller told reporters in Kabul on Tuesday, according to video footage obtained by AFP from US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Taliban now have the momentum to seize much of the country in the coming months .... Taliban doubles number of controlled Afghan districts since May 1 (Long War Journal). They are not going to listen to a US General that will be out of the country in the next two months.

Top U.S. General In Afghanistan Says After Troop Withdrawal The Country May Collapse In Civil War

U.S. Army Gen. Austin S. Miller, the U.S.'s top general in Afghanistan, speaks to journalists at the Resolute Support headquarters, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Miller on Tuesday gave a sobering assessment of the country's deteriorating security situation as America winds down its so-called “forever war.” He pointed to the rapid loss of districts around the country — several with significant strategic value — and said he fears the militias deployed to help the security forces could lead the country into civil war. (AP Photo/Ahmad Seir)  

MSN/Washington Post: U.S. military commander in Afghanistan warns of possible civil war 

KABUL— The top American military commander here expressed deep concern Tuesday that the country could slide into civil war and face "very hard times" unless its fractious civilian leadership unites and the haphazard array of armed groups joining the anti-Taliban fight are controlled and made "accountable" for their actions in battle. 

The comments by Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, who met with a group of journalists, came as Taliban forces continued their rapid advance across northern provinces and expanded into other rural regions. The insurgents also began circling closer to the capital city. 

In the past 48 hours, officials and Afghan media reported, Taliban fighters have overrun parts of two provinces just north and south of Kabul, and attacked security posts in a third that hugs the city’s western border.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The General says the country may collapse into civil war?!?!?!? The country is already collapsing and is in the middle of a civil war .... Taliban fighters launch attack on Ghazni, clash with Afghan troops (Reuters). 

More News On General Miller's Remarks That After The U.S. Troop Withdrawal Afghanistan May Collapse Into Civil War  

Top US general says security in Afghanistan deteriorating -- AP  

Multi-Sided Civil War Could Grip Afghanistan, U.S. General Warns -- City News/NYT  

General directing Afghanistan withdrawal warns of possible Taliban push for power -- The Hill  

General Austin Miller Worried Afghanistan Will Dissolve into Civil War After U.S. Leaves -- MSN/Newsweek  

Top US Afghanistan commander: ‘The security situation, it's not good’ -- Washington Examiner  

Afghanistan May Collapse in Civil War After Troop Withdrawal, Top US General Says -- Sputnik

Another NATO Ship In The Black Sea Intercepted By Russian Military Forces When It Changed Course Towards Russian Waters


RT: WATCH: Dutch navy ship intercepted by jets after turn towards Russian waters, Moscow says – Amsterdam blasts ‘dangerous’ flyover  

Fighter planes and bomber jets were dispatched to follow a Dutch naval vessel only after it changed direction towards Russian waters, defense officials in Moscow said on Tuesday, amid a growing diplomatic spat over the incident. 

The frigate Evertsen was on course to violate the Russian border in the Black Sea, but was prevented from doing so by Russian jets flying at a safe distance from the vessel, Moscow claimed, in response to Amsterdam’s complaints. 

The incident occurred on June 24, just a day after the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender violated Russian territorial waters off Crimea’s Cape Fiolent and was warned off by jets and a coast guard vessel.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: According to the Russian Ministry of Defense .... While sailing in neutral waters, the HNLMS Evertsen “changed its course and began to move in the direction of the Kerch Strait.” 

The bridge that straddles the Kerch Strait is Crimea's lifeline to Russia and is considered by Moscow to be strategic asset to be protected at all costs. If this Dutch frigate had ignored Russian warnings and had decided to enter Russian waters and continue with its course to the Strait, I am 100% certain that the Kremlin would have ordered its forces to fire on this ship. 

More News On Another NATO Ship In The Black Sea Being Intercepted By Russian Military Forces When It Changed Course Towards Russian Waters  

Russia scrambled military planes to prevent border violation by Dutch frigate -- TASS  

Russian Jets Armed With Anti-Ship Missiles “Harassed” Dutch Frigate In The Black Sea -- Warzone/The Drive  

Dutch Say Russian Jets Buzzed Warship in Black Sea -- Moscow Times/AFP  

Russian fighter jets harassed a Dutch frigate in the Black Sea for hours and carried out mock attacks, defense ministry says -- Business Insider