Tuesday, November 30, 2021

South Africa Facing Explosion In covid Cases. WHO Recommends Over-60s 'Postpone Travel' Due To Omicron Fears

Coronavirus cases in South Africa have soared by 92 per cent in 24 hours, just days after the country's scientists sounded the alarm about the Omicron variant  

Daily Mail: Covid cases in South Africa SOAR 403% in a week after scientists raised alarm about Omicron variant as top doctor calls the TEN PERCENT positivity rate 'scary' - but 87% of those hospitalised are unvaccinated 

* Leading virologist Tulio de Oliveira urged public to get vaccinated amid the 'scary' surge in infections 

* The Omicron variant has sent South Africa from a period of low transmission to a rapid growth of new confirmed cases 

* South Africa recorded 4,473 new cases on Tuesday, a 92 per cent increase from the day earlier and a massive 403 per cent increase compared to the 868 cases recorded last Tuesday 

Coronavirus cases in South Africa have soared by 403 per cent in a week, after the country's scientists sounded the alarm about the Omicron variant. 

Leading virologist Tulio de Oliveira described the surge in infections as 'scary' as he urged the public to get vaccinated and use face masks. 

In the space of two weeks, the Omicron variant has sent South Africa from a period of low transmission to rapid growth of new confirmed cases.  

Read more .... 


WHO Recommends Over-60s 'Postpone Travel' Due To Omicron Fears  

Map: More than 30 countries institute omicron-related travel restrictions -- NBC  

WHO recommends over-60s 'postpone travel' due to Omicron fears as CDC director says US is increasing COVID testing at four US airports in effort to stop spread -- Daily Mail  

WHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron -- Axios  

The World Health Organization is advising people over 60 not to travel amid spread of Omicron variant -- Business Insider

Space Force Commander Says Russia And China Are Attacking US Satellites 'Every Single Day' With Lasers, Radio Jammers And Cyber Attacks

Antisatellite weaponry, such as the missiles shown in this artist's rendition, could spark a new arms race in outer space. Credit: Kenn Brown, Mondolithic Studios  

Daily Mail: Russia and China are attacking US satellites 'every single day' with lasers, radio jammers and cyber attacks in a shadow space war, Space Force commander claims 

* Space Force General David Thompson said that the US's space capability is still the best in the world but that China is 'catching up quickly' 

* Thompson said it’s 'an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time' 

* China is reportedly working on a global network of satellites to survey the world 

* In 2019 a Russian satellite came so close to an American one during a weapons test that the US military feared it was the beginning of an attack 

American satellites far outside the Earth's orbit are facing a near-constant barrage of threats from Russian and Chinese technology, and it's only getting worse, a top Space Force officer is warning. 

An arms race in space between the US, Russia and China has been steadily heating up in recent years even as officials in Washington warn that such a build-up is dangerous.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: If A Russia or Chinese warship attacks a US warship it would be treated as an act of war. But apparently in space a different set of rules apply. 

Space Force Commander Says Russia And China Are Attacking US Satellites 'Every Single Day' 

Space Force General: China and Russia attacking U.S. space assets 'every day' -- Washington Post  

Space Force General Says China and Russia Are Attacking US Satellites “Every Single Day” -- Futurism 

Space Force official: Satellites in orbit have become pawns in geopolitical chess games -- Space News

US Air Force Chief Says US-China Hypersonic Weapons ‘Arms Race’ Is Underway

The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop the most lethal hypersonic weapons, U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall (left) told Reuters Tuesday  

Daily Mail: US and China are in a new 'arms race' to develop the most 'lethal' hypersonic missiles, Air Force Secretary says - while Space Force commander confirms Beijing has rocket that can STAY in orbit 

* The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop the most lethal hypersonic weapons, the U.S. Air Force secretary said Tuesday 

* 'There is an arms race, not necessarily for increased numbers, but for increased quality,' Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told Reuters 

* In October, the top U.S. military officer, General Mark Milley, confirmed a Chinese hypersonic weapons test 

* And on Monday, Space Force Lieutenant General Chance Saltzman said that China's new hypersonic weapon system might be able to stay in space 

* This year the Pentagon has held several hypersonic weapons tests with mixed success 

* In October, the Navy successfully tested a booster rocket motor that would be used to power a launch vehicle carrying a hypersonic weapon aloft 

* Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,853 miles per hour 

The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop the most lethal hypersonic weapons, the U.S. Air Force secretary said on Tuesday, as Beijing and Washington build and test more and more of the high-speed next-generation arms. 

'There is an arms race, not necessarily for increased numbers, but for increased quality,' Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told Reuters during an interview in his Pentagon offices. 

'It's an arms race that has been going on for quite some time. The Chinese have been at it very aggressively.'  

Read more ....  

Update #1: US in Hypersonic Weapon 'Arms Race' With China -Air Force Secretary (Newsmax/Reuters)  

Update #2: US-China hypersonic weapons ‘arms race’ is underway, Air Force chief says (FOX News)  

WNU Editor: A race that this Space Force general is saying the US is losing .... U.S. ‘not as advanced’ as China and Russia on hypersonic tech, Space Force general warns (Politico).

Top Space Force General Says China's Hypersonic Weapon Can Stay In Orbit For A Prolonged Period Of Time

China’s DF-17 missile can reach Low Earth Orbit (Chinese Ministry of Defense)  

Warzone/The Drive: China's Mysterious Hypersonic Weapon Can Stay In Orbit According To Space Force General 

The ability to keep a nuclear-armed hypersonic glide vehicle in orbit for a prolonged period of time makes for a far more unpredictable threat. 

A senior U.S. Space Force officer has stressed that China's new hypersonic weapon system is indeed orbital in nature and could be able to stay in space for an extended period of time. This is the latest piece of official information about this novel system that reportedly uses some kind of hypersonic glider, which may be capable of launching its own projectiles to actually execute a strike. 

Space Force Lieutenant General Chance Saltzman, the Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, responded to questions about this new Chinese strategic weapon during an online event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute earlier today. Saltzman, who transitioned from the Air Force to the Space Force last year, "has overall responsibility for Operations, Intelligence, Sustainment, Cyber, and Nuclear Operations of the United States Space Force," according to the service's website.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Space Force Lieutenant General Chance Saltzman​ appears to be adding details to this intel report .... China’s Missile Program Far Exceeds The Capability Demonstrated By US, Russia So Far – US Intelligence Report (EurAsian Times). 

Update: China views this focus on its hypersonic missile program as overblown .... China says its an 'imaginary enemy' of US, claims hypersonic missile test was 'routine' (FOX News).

 Top Space Force General Says China's Hypersonic Weapon Can Stay In Orbit For A Prolonged Period Of Time  

China's Hypersonic Vehicle Can 'Park' In Orbit, Warns a Space Force Official -- Interesting Engineering  

US Space Force Raises Alarm Over China's 'Orbital Hypersonic Weapons America Can't Combat' -- Sputnik 

It’s a FOBS, Space Force’s Saltzman confirms amid Chinese weapons test confusion -- Breaking Defense

Commander Of The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet Wants More Aircraft Carriers In The Pacific To Dissuade China And Russia

The aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and USS Nimitz and their strike groups conducting operations in international waters as part of a three-carrier strike-force exercise. US Navy photo by Lt. j.g. James Griffin  

The Hill: US Navy commander calls for more aircraft carriers in Pacific to dissuade China, Russia from conflict 

The commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet has called for more aircraft carriers in the Pacific to dissuade China and Russia from conflict. 

Vice Adm. Karl Thomas made the comment after the U.S. concluded a 10-day naval exercise with Japan, Australia, Canada and Germany, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

Thomas, when asked about the threat from China and Russia, said it was important to show a united front to “other nations that might be more aggressive and authoritarian,” the newspaper reported.  

Read more ....  

Update: U.S. Commander Calls for More Aircraft Carriers in Pacific to Deter China (WSJ)  

WNU Editor: Aircraft carriers have played a critical role in this year's navy exercises in the Pacific .... Washington caps year of drills to deter China with ten-day military exercise (Reuters).

Former Head Of Israeli Military Intelligence Believes Former Iranian President Rouhani Was Sincere In Reaching An Agreement That Would Limit Iran's Nuclear Program

Israel Military Intelligence representative in Washington Danny Citrinowicz at the US Air Force Base in Pensacola, Florida in 2018. (Courtesy)  

Times of Israel: He led IDF intel gathering on Iran, was ignored and fears Israel is now paying price  

Danny Citrinowicz, ex-head of Military Intelligence research, says politicians’ inability to adopt a nuanced approach led to ‘colossal’ policy failure, sped up Tehran’s nuke effort. 

WASHINGTON — Several months after the 2013 election of former Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, Aviv Kohavi submitted a position paper to then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he pointed to a significant, strategic shift underway in the Islamic Republic. 

Kohavi, who currently serves as IDF chief of staff, was the head of the Military Intelligence unit at the time, and he relayed his assessment that Iran was becoming more moderate and willing to negotiate an agreement with world powers that would enshrine restrictions on its nuclear program. 

Days after receiving the report, Netanyahu went to New York for his annual speech before the UN General Assembly. There, he appeared to dismiss Kohavi’s stance, declaring that “when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: [Rouhani’s hardline predecessor Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing and Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.” 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Former Iranian president Hassan Rouhani may have been interested and willing to negotiate an agreement with world powers that would enshrine restrictions on his country's nuclear program, but the country is ruled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and an entrenched theocracy, and their views on destroying Israel and not ending the country's nuclear program have not changed for as long as I can remember.

US-Led Task Force Fighting ISIS Is Getting A New Name

A US Army 5th Special Forces Group soldier watches as a Jordanian 101st Special Force Brigade soldier moves through a combat marksmanship drill during a Joint Combined Exchange Training in Jordan, November 9, 2021. US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Nina Ramon 

Insider: After 7 years, a US-led task force fighting ISIS is getting a new name and taking a new approach to its mission 

* The US-led special-operations task force that led the way against ISIS is getting a new name. 

* Formed in 2015, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve is now Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant. 

* With the name change comes expanded authority, as the task force broadens its focus on new and old threats. 

The special-operations task force that led the way in the war against ISIS has been renamed as major combat operations against the terrorist group wind down. 

Since 2015, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, or SOJTF-OIR, has been the tip of the spear in the multinational coalition that came together to fight ISIS. 

After almost seven years, the Pentagon has renamed the unit. Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant, or SOJTF-Levant, now has expanded authority in the region.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The name and approach to the mission may change but the focus will continue albeit with an expanded scope.

Over 7,000 Marines Unvaccinated As COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Deadline End

Marines stationed on Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, receive their COVID-19 vaccination Feb. 16, 2021. (Lance Cpl John Hall/Marine Corps)  

Marine Times: 5% of active duty Marines still completely unvaccinated as deadline passes 

The Marine Corps’ active duty deadline to be fully vaccinated passed on Sunday, with 5% of active duty Marines still completely unvaccinated ― putting their future Marine careers into question. 

An administrative message released by the Marine Corps in October said in no uncertain terms that any Marine who fails to be vaccinated or receive an exemption by the Nov. 28, deadline would be administratively separated from the Marine Corps. 

However, in November Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said that Marines who refused to be vaccinated by the deadline would be given one more chance to change their mind. 

In total 95% of active-duty Marines have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a Marine Corps press release said on Monday.  

Read more .... 

 Update: Over 7,000 Marines Unvaccinated As COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Deadline Hits (Epoch Times)  

WNU Editor: This is what is being implemented now .... Weekly Testing Mandated for US Sailors Who Haven't Been Immunized Against Coronavirus (Stars and Stripes)

The War Continues In Eastern Ukraine


Newsweek: Ukraine Condemns Ceasefire Violations by Russia-Backed Troops as Invasion Fears Rise 

Kyiv says two of its servicemen were injured by shelling in the Donbas region from Moscow-backed forces it accuses of repeated ceasefire breaches, as international concerns grow about a Russian military buildup by Ukraine's border. 

The latest hostilities come as Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Russia had amassed 115,000 troops by its frontier, and warned that if Moscow "decides to undertake a military operation, things will happen in literally the blink of an eye." 

NATO is set to meet Tuesday to discuss its response to Russia's build-up. Ukraine's foreign ministry said, according to a translation, that Monday's incidents took place in Svitlodarsk, 40 miles north-east of Donetsk and Starognativk, 30 miles south of Donetsk.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: On Ukraine’s front lines, Europe’s forgotten war grinds on (Al Jazeera).  

Update #2: Russian-controlled forces in Donbass raise combat readiness - Ukraine (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: While the Ukraine government is expecting a Russian invasion, the Kremlin is expecting a Ukraine offensive in the Donbass in the near future .... Russia doesn’t exclude Kiev getting involved in military venture in Donbass, Lavrov says (TASS).

Keep An Eye Out For This Russian Radar Vehicle If Russia Is Serious On Invading Ukraine

A SNAR-10M1 appeared in eastern Ukraine in late 2014. Via Twitter user @JosephHDempsey 

Forbes: As War Fears Rise In Ukraine, Keep An Eye Out For This Russian Radar Vehicle 

Seven years ago, a critical piece of equipment signaled Russia’s escalating involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine. Look for the same hardware again to appear in or around Ukraine’s contested Donbas region as Moscow builds up forces for a possible invasion in coming months. 

The SNAR-10M1 is the latest version of a self-propelled radar that first entered service in the early 1970s. Adapted from the MT-LB tracked armored vehicle, the four-person SNAR-10 boasts a radar whose main function is to detect enemy artillery fire and provide targeting coordinates for counterbattery barrages.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: If Russia was serious on invading Ukraine, there would be numerous signs before it would happen. Russian social media would be abuzz with numerous reports. Media/internet/cell phone blackouts near the Ukraine border. Travel restrictions. Reserves called up. Leaves cancelled. Massive military deployments. Military hospital units activated and deployed.The would would know in days if not weeks in advance.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Says Russian Sanctions Over 'Troop Build-up Near Ukraine' Would Be Appropriate


Sputnik: US Treasury Secretary: Anti-Russia Sanctions Over 'Troop Build-up Near Ukraine' Would Be Appropriate 

Speculation over alleged Russian plans to "invade" neighbouring Ukraine has been circulating in the western media in recent weeks. 

Moscow has strongly rejected the allegations as "absurd". US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that it would be "appropriate" to impose economic sanctions on Russia over its alleged military build-up on the border with Ukraine. 

"Agreed, that’s appropriate," Yellen said in her testimony, when asked by a lawmaker whether it would be right to bring "significant, biting financial pressure" on the Kremlin to deter the Russian alleged troop buildup.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Is she speaking for herself or for the administration? If she is speaking for the administration .... that sanctions will be imposed on Russia over how they deploy their military forces within their own country .... this will only escalate the already bad relations between Moscow and Washington.  

Update: Putin is speaking Janet Yellen's language .... US policy undermines dollar’s position as reserve currency — Putin (TASS).

US Warns Russia There Will Be 'Serious Consequences' If They Invade Ukraine


Daily Mail: Blinken warns Russia there will be 'serious consequences' if they invade Ukraine and criticizes Putin's 'belligerent rhetoric' ahead of meeting with NATO allies while Moscow builds up troops along the border 

* Blinken warned Russia against taking any 'escalatory actions' with Ukraine, threatening 'serious consequences' for doing so 

* His remarks come amid growing concerns Russia could mount another invasion of Ukraine as they build up forces along the border 

* 'Its increasingly belligerent rhetoric, its recent buildup of forces. Its unusual troop movements along Ukraine's border,' Blinken said of Russia 

* Vladimir Putin has sent some 94,000 troops to the Ukrainian frontier and the White House has warned Europe to brace for an invasion 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Russia on Tuesday against taking any 'escalatory actions' with Ukraine, threatening 'serious consequences' for doing so, as more than 90,000 of Putin's troops amassed on the border. 

His remarks, made at a joint press conference with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in Riga, come amid growing concerns Russia could mount another invasion of Ukraine as they build up forces along the border. 

Concerns about the Russian buildup will be discussed at meetings of NATO ministers over Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin has responded .... Putin hopes common sense prevails in the West, red lines will not be crossed (TASS). 

More News On The U.S. And NATO Allies Warning Russia On Ukraine  

Blinken warns Russia that 'renewed aggression' toward Ukraine 'can trigger serious consequences' -- Insider  

NATO Allies Warn Russia Against Any New 'Aggression' Against Ukraine -- RFE 

Blinken Warns Russia Against ‘Renewed Aggression’ in Ukraine -- VOA 

US warns Russia of 'serious consequences' in response to troop movements -- The Hill  

U.S. warns renewed Russian aggression in Ukraine will trigger "serious consequences" -- CBS  

US, NATO warn Russia over new aggression in Ukraine -- Euractiv  

NATO warns Russia any move on Ukraine would be costly mistake -- The Hill  

NATO warns Russia of ‘high price’ for any attack on Ukraine -- Politico  

NATO warns Russia against Ukraine 'aggression' -- DW  

U.S., Allies Weigh Response to Russian Military Buildup -- WSJ

Russian Foreign Minister Says NATO Shipping Weaponry To Russian Border

FILE PHOTO. © Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry  

RT: NATO shipping weaponry to Russian border – Moscow  

Alarming quantities of weapons are being shuttled by NATO towards the border with Russia, Moscow's top diplomat has warned, adding that Western states are engaging in provocations that could lead to an actual armed conflict. 

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that “significant units and armaments from NATO countries, including American and British, are being moved closer to our borders.” 

He said that, in neighboring Ukraine, “more and more forces and equipment are being accumulated on the line of contact in the Donbas, supported by an increasing number of Western instructors.”  

Read more .... 

More News On Russian Foreign Minister Saying NATO Is Shipping Weaponry To Russian Border 

Lavrov Says NATO Military Equipment Being Moved to Russian Border -- Sputnik  

NATO tests Russia’s strength by sending ships, planes to its borders — Foreign Ministry -- TASS  

Russia says NATO deploying 'significant' hardware near its borders -- Reuters  

Moscow Says West, Ukraine Threaten Russia Security -- Moscow Times/AFP

Russian President Putin Warns West That Russia Has A 'Red Line" On Ukraine

© Mikhail Metzel/POOL/TASS  

PA Media: Putin warns West: Russia has ‘red line’ over Ukraine  

Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned Nato against deploying troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying this represents a red line for Moscow and would trigger a strong response. 

Commenting on Western concerns about Russia’s alleged intention to invade Ukraine, he said that Moscow is equally worried about Nato drills near its borders. 

Speaking to participants of an online investment forum, the Russian president said that Nato’s eastward expansion has threatened Moscow’s core security interests.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I do not think the West is listening .... NATO warns Russia to avoid costly mistake in Ukraine (ABC News/AP). 

More News On Russian President Putin Warning The West That Russia Has A 'Red Line" On Ukraine  

Putin warns West: Moscow has ‘red line’ about Ukraine, NATO -- AP  

Moscow Says West, Ukraine Threaten Russia Security -- Moscow Times/AFP 

Putin Warns on Ukraine ‘Red Line’ as U.S., U.K. Pledge Response -- Bloomberg

Russia Carries Out Another Successful Hypersonic Missile Test


Daily Mail: Russia reveals 'successful' test of its 6,670mph hypersonic Zircon missile from warship - as Belarus dictator Lukashenko vows to join forces with Moscow in the event of war in Europe 

* The missile was launched from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea 

* Described as 'unstoppable', it was able to hit a target some 250 miles away 

* Test came after Russia announced it had started serial production of the missile Russia has revealed a 'successful' test of its 6,670mph hypersonic Zircon missile fired from a warship in the White Sea. 

The 'unstoppable' weapon hit a target some 250 miles away from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, the Moscow defence ministry said on Monday. 

At the weekend Russia announced it has started serial production of the deadly missile amid acute tensions with the West.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin is now claiming that new hypersonic missiles are in the pipeline .... Russia set to unveil new hypersonic weapons – Putin (RT). More here .... Russia to have sea-based hypersonic weapons as of 2022 — Putin (TASS). 

Russia Carries Out Another Successful Hypersonic Missile Test  

Russian Navy warship test-launches Tsirkon hypersonic missile to over 400 km range -- TASS  

Russia announces successful test of hypersonic missile (VIDEO) -- RT  

Russian navy test-fires hypersonic missile in the White Sea -- AP  

Russia says Zircon hypersonic missile hit target in latest test -- Reuters 

Russia Says Latest Zircon Hypersonic Missile Test Successful -- VOA/AFP  

Russia says Zircon hypersonic missile hit target in latest test -- CNN  

Russian military says it test-fired hypersonic missile -- The Hill

Former UK Admiral Warns Russia And West ‘One Mistake’ From Nuclear Conflict In Most Dangerous Moment Since Cold War

Lord West told The Sun Online that 'one mistake' could lead to conflictCredit: PA:Press Association  

The SUN: MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT Russia and West ‘one mistake’ from nuclear conflict in most dangerous moment since Cold War, warns UK admiral 

THE world is "one mistake" from all-out nuclear war thanks to Vladimir Putin's "dangerous games" in Eastern Europe, warns an ex-Navy chief. 

Moscow is amassing 100,000 troops on its Ukrainian border and is also supporting Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko as he "weaponises" migrants against the EU. 

And after accusing the US of conducting nuclear bomber drills 20km from its border, the Kremlin said its nuke forces were "on alert" and it had stepped up its military partnership with China. 

Admiral Lord West told The Sun Online the situation "is extremely dangerous and risky" with Putin playing "games in the area of grey warfare - things short of war." 

He continued: "In terms of the nuclear clock, I think we are closer to midnight than we've been certainly since the 1960s probably.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Sending a UK warship near Crimea is one way to provoke a conflict .... Was The UK Navy's Black Sea Antics Stupid? (June 27, 2021).

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

Christmas wreaths hang from the facade of the White House in Washington, November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts  

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Deck the White House halls (Reuters).

Israeli Military Readying A 'Plan B' If The Iran Nuclear Talks Fail

IDF soldiers are seen taking part in military drills in Israel's North to simulate a war with Hezbollah. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)  

Jerusalem Post: Israeli military readying for 'Plan B' if Iran nuclear talks fail 

Military drills with troops from other countries could help the IDF be ready to fight as part of a military coalition in the future, Col. Aviran Lerer said. 

Israel’s military is continuing to develop its ability to conduct a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program should circumstances demand it. 

After a five-month hiatus, indirect talks between the United States and Iran are set to resume on Monday, with the other parties to the nuclear deal mediating in hope of reestablishing an agreement to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. 

The defense establishment does not see a war breaking out with Iran or its proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, but the IDF has been keeping an eye on the North and on the South.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Israeli military better get ready. No one is optimistic that this week's nuclear talks will get anywhere .... Iran nuclear talks resume with little cause for optimism after months-long hiatus (CNBC).

Monday, November 29, 2021

Pentagon Announces Completion of Global Posture Review

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transits the Philippine Sea to Guam for a port visit on Nov. 11, 2021. US Navy Photo  

USNI News: Pentagon Announces Completion of Global Posture Review 

The Department of Defense on Monday announced the completion of its Global Posture Review, which offers few changes in force lay down and includes a series of previously announced troop movements.

In a press briefing Monday afternoon, Mara Karlin, who is performing the duties of the deputy under secretary of defense for policy, shared highlights of the review, which will not be released for the public, she said, citing classification for security reasons and to protect the confidentiality of consultations the country did with allies and partner countries. 

The review will be “internalized” by the Department of Defense, as it will be used to guide the National Defense Strategy, she said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden has accepted these recommendations .... Biden Approves Global Posture Review Recommendations (US Department of Defense). 

More News On The Pentagon Announcing The Completion Of Its Global Posture Review  

Pentagon: Few Changes to U.S. Overseas Military 'Footprint' -- AP 

Biden Military Review Leaves Troops Where They Are, for Now -- New York Times  

Pentagon plans stronger US posture toward China, Russia -- AFP  

Pentagon releases few details after months-long review on global posture -- Reuters 

US Needs Indo-Pacific Force ‘Enhancements,’ Global Posture Review Finds -- Defense One  

Pentagon’s Global Posture Review emphasizes China, but lacks major strategic changes -- Breaking Defense  

Pentagon’s military presence review done, but details lacking on new deployments, troop plus-ups or home-port shifts -- Military Times  

Pentagon Global Posture Review Strengthens Deterrence Against Russia, China -- Sputnik

Pentagon Announces Plans To Bulk Up Bases In Guam And Australia To Confront China's Growing Threat

Guam is home to closest U.S. military base to the Chinese mainland 

Daily Mail: Pentagon announces plans to bulk up bases in Guam and Australia to confront China's growing threat but won't shuffle troops around the world 

* The Pentagon revealed details of its review of global military posture on Monday 

* Officials said they were deploying fighter and bomber planes to Australia 

* And they announced that the base on Guam would be upgraded 

* The island of Guam is the closest U.S. base to mainland China 

* It is part of an effort to focus the U.S. military on the threat from Beijing 

The Pentagon plans to improve its bases in Guam and Australia to counter the growing threat from China, officials announced on Monday, after a nine-month review of military resources around the world. 

But they said that no major changes to the global U.S. military posture were needed and that they would not publish the overall findings. 

The nine-month review was designed to coordinate the nation's massive military capabilities with the Biden administration’s strategic priorities, most notably responding to China’s growing assertiveness and its buildup of forces.  

Read more .... 

More News On The Pentagon Announcing Plans To Bulk Up Bases In Guam And Australia  

Pentagon to build up US bases in Guam and Australia to meet China challenge -- CNN  

US military plans for greater presence in Australia as it confronts China's power -- ABC News Australia  

US to increase presence in Australia, Indo-Pacific region to deter 'potential military aggression' from China -- SKY News  

Improvements planned for US military bases in Guam, Australia to counter China -- The Hill  

Pentagon to improve military airfields in Guam, Australia to counter China, leave other global positions as is -- FOX News

U.S. Senate Republicans Stall Defense Budget Over Amendments And A Lack Of Debate


 Politico: Republicans stall defense bill over amendment dispute 

Democrats needed to muster 60 votes to advance the bill, but Republicans are digging in over Nord Stream 2 sanctions. 

Must-pass defense policy legislation hit a fresh snag in the Senate on Monday as Republicans blocked the bill from advancing, with no clear path to resolving a partisan dispute over amendment votes. 

An effort to cut off debate on the Senate version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act resulted in a 45-51 vote, well short of the 60 votes needed to move the legislation forward.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The votes are simply not there for the Senate Democrats to advance their defense bill.  

More News On The US Defense Bill Stalled In The US Senate  

U.S. Senate blocks annual defense bill amid Republican objections -- Reuters  

Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo -- The Hill 

Republicans delay votes on defense bill -- Roll Call  

US Senate Fails to Advance Defense Budget Bill, Lawmakers Mull Adding Anti-Russia Measures -- Sputnik

US, UK, And Japanese Aircraft Carriers Are Training Together In The Pacific

USS Carl Vinson, HMS Queen Elizabeth, and JS Kaga lead US, Australian, Japanese, and British ships and aircraft during an exercise in the Bay of Bengal on October 17. US Navy/MCS2 Haydn N. Smith  

Insider: US, UK, and Japanese aircraft carriers are training together in the Pacific. Here's how their 'big decks' stack up 

* In recent weeks, US Navy ships have worked with other navies during exercises in the Pacific. 

* The exercises have seen US aircraft carriers sail with their British and Japanese counterparts. 

* Their drills are part of an effort to develop interoperability — and a demonstration to China. 

It's been a busy two months for the American, British, and Japanese navies — especially their carriers. 

In early October, they were part of a massive exercise that saw the US Navy's USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson, the UK's HMS Queen Elizabeth, and Japan's JS Ise operating together in the Western Pacific. 

A few weeks later, USS Carl Vinson, HMS Queen Elizabeth, and one of Japan's Izumo-class helicopter carriers, JS Kaga, trained with Royal Australian Navy ships in the eastern Indian Ocean. 

In early November, JS Ise and USS America, an amphibious assault ship, trained off of southern Japan, while and USS Carl Vinson and JS Kaga conducted exercises in the South China Sea.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It looks like these exercises are becoming the new normal.

World Health Organization Warns Of Very High Risk Posed By The Omicron Variant


BBC: Omicron: WHO warns of 'high infection risk' around globe 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Omicron coronavirus variant poses a high risk of infection surges around the globe.

The variant could lead to severe consequences in some regions, the WHO said on Monday. The head of the organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, renewed a call for a global push to get vaccines to poorer nations. 

Covid-19 is "not done with us" yet he warned.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Two days ago the WHO was calling this variant a"variant of concern". Now they are calling it "high risk". What will they call it at the end of this week? 

World Health Organization Warns Of Very High Risk Posed By The Omicron Variant  

WHO warns that new virus variant poses ‘very high’ risk -- AP  

Omicron: More cases emerge in Europe as WHO warns of 'very high' global risk: LIVE UPDATES -- FOX News  

Covid omicron variant poses ‘very high’ global risk and is likely to spread, WHO warns -- CNBC  

World Health Organization warns of very high risk posed by the omicron variant -- NPR 

WHO: Omicron poses 'very high' global risk -- The Hill  

WHO warns Omicron variant poses ‘very high’ risk of infection worldwide -- NYPost

South Africa Province Where The Omicron COVID-19 Variant Was First Detected Sees A Massive Increase In Hospitalizations

Daily Mail: South Africa province where the Omicron COVID-19 variant was first detected sees 330% surge in hospitalizations in the past two weeks 

* Hospitalizations in Gauteng, South Africa, have increased by 330% over the past two weeks, according to official data 

* Gauteng, the most populous province in the nation, was where the Omicron variant was first sequenced last week 

* Despite the recent surge, South African health officials say that cases of Omicron are relatively mild compared to others 

* Gauteng is one of the least vaccinated provinces in the nation, with less than 40% of the population having received their shots 

* Some experts fear that the variant can evade protection provided by vaccines due to the amount of mutations it has 

The South African province where the Omicron COVID-19 variant was first detected has suffered a more than 300 percent increase in virus related hospitalizations this week. 

Gauteng, which includes the city of Johannesburg, recorded 580 hospitalizations because of the virus this week, per official data - a 330 percent jump from 135 two weeks ago. 

Just under 40 percent of the provinces 12 million residents have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine - third-lowest of the nation's 12 provinces.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This new data contradicts what the South African authorities are saying .... Top South African Doctor Confirms No Evidence Omicron Variant More Harmful Than Delta As G-7 Pushes "Urgent Action" (Zero Hedge) See below:

President Biden Delivers Remarks On Omicron Variant Of Covid


Daily Mail: Biden says 'OMNICRON' will come to U.S. but is a 'cause for concern, not panic': President says lockdowns and travel bans won't be necessary if Americans get booster shots and wear masks (after mispronouncing variant's name) 

* Biden encouraged Americans to get vaccines and booster shots 

* 80 million Americans over age 5 have yet to be vaccinated 

* It will take two weeks to determine Omicron's impact on hospitalizations and deaths, experts warned today 

* But scientists in South Africa said patients infected with the variant are young and have mild symptoms 

* Doctors say symptoms include tiredness, a sore head and muscle aches and patients recover within days 

* German health expert said it would be an 'early Christmas gift' if the new strain causes mild illness * Scientists have warned Covid is unlikely to ever be eradicated, but will transition into a milder cold-like virus 

* But WHO warned variant could change the 'trajectory of the pandemic' and the 'consequences may be severe' 

* Canada's health minister said the Sunday the variant had been detected there 

President Joe Biden on Monday urged Americans to get vaccinated or get their booster shots amid warnings about the spread of the Omicron variant – but insisted that the infectious new variant was not a cause for 'panic' and said no new restrictions were needed. 

'We'll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion,' Biden said at the White House. 

But even amid the pressing nature of the new variant, Biden misstated the name of the variant. 'It's called the Omnicron,' he said, inserting an extra 'n' – an error his coronavirus advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was standing in the background, also committed on Sunday. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In today's remarks President Biden revealed what the "new normal" will be (see below):

President Biden Delivers Remarks On Omicron Variant Of Covid  

New variant cause for concern, not panic, Biden tells US -- AP 

Biden told it will take two weeks to have definitive data on Omicron variant -- Reuters  

Omicron variant is 'cause for concern, not a cause for panic,' Biden says -- FOX News  

Biden: Omicron coronavirus variant 'cause for concern, not a cause for panic' -- The Hill  

Biden says he will direct FDA, CDC to use ‘fastest process available’ to clear Covid vaccines targeting omicron -- CNBC  

COVID-19: Omicron variant is a 'cause for concern, not for panic', says US President Joe Biden -- SKY News 

Biden: We won't fight Omicron with lockdowns -- Yahoo News

NATO Threatens Russia With ‘Consequences’

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg © Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / via REUTERS  

RT: NATO threatens Russia with ‘consequences’  

The head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has hit Russia with a stark warning against exerting force on neighboring Ukraine amid a series of unsubstantiated Western-driven claims that Moscow is massing its troops at their shared border. 

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Lithuania to discuss the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the EU’s frontier with Belarus, the US-led bloc’s secretary general took the opportunity to call on the Kremlin “to be transparent, reduce tensions, and de-escalate” the situation on the demarcation line with Ukraine.  

Read more ....  

Update: Meeting near Russian border, NATO weighs response to Moscow's military maneuvers (DW)  

WNU Editor: Moscow’s top diplomat in Washington Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has given the Russian response .... Russia warns it won't back down in NATO standoff (RT). Here is more from the Russian Ambassador .... US dangerously misguided in believing Russia won’t respond to NATO threat — ambassador (TASS).

Update #2: All is not doom and gloom .... Chances exist for better Russia-NATO relations, says Russian senior diplomat (TASS).

Ukraine Demands 'Swift' Action To 'Deter' Russia From Invading

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Photo by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine  

Daily Mail: Ukraine demands 'swift' action to 'deter' Russia from invading and warns Moscow could launch a military operation 'in the blink of an eye' 

* Ukraine Foreign Minister said at media briefing: 'It's better to act now' 

* Fears Russia could invade Ukraine after reported military activity in area 

* President Volodymyr Zelensky held November 26 conference about situation 

* Country has said it is 'ready' to take on Russia if troops move across border 

Ukraine has today demanded 'swift' action to 'deter' Russia from invading and warned Moscow could launch a military operation 'in the blink of an eye.' 

The alarm was raised earlier this month by Western countries over reported Russian military activity near Ukraine. 

And the United States said it has 'real concerns' about the new troop build-up on the border.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Ukraine warns Russia could attack in ‘blink of an eye’ (EFE)  

Update #2: Ukraine on High Alert as Threat of Russia-Backed Coup Looms (US News and World Report)  

WNU Editor: The Kremlin has responded .... Ukraine demands 'swift' action to 'deter' Russia from invading (TASS).

Iran's Former Nuclear Chief Hints That Tehran's Nuclear Program Was Focused On Nuclear Weapons

Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the ex-head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, has hinted that Tehran's nuclear programme was geared towards creating a nuclear bomb  

Daily Mail: Iranian nuclear chief hints Tehran's atomic programme WAS geared towards building a nuclear bomb 

* Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani has admitted a nuclear 'system' was in place in Iran 

* He said the programme encompassed 'satellites, missiles and nuclear weapons' 

* Leaders have always claimed the nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes 

* It comes as talks on Iran's nuclear capabilities reopened today after five months 

A former Iranian nuclear chief has hinted that top scientists in Tehran have been secretly building nuclear bombs despite decades of denials. 

Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the ex-head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, admitted a 'system' existed with military capabilities. 

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had even issued a fatwa against developing and using nuclear weaponry and leaders repeatedly claimed its nuclear sites were only ever intended for peaceful purposes.  

Read more ....  

Update: Former Iranian nuclear head hints Fakhrizadeh worked on nuclear weapons (Jerusalem Post)  

WNU Editor: This is who Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is, and why his remarks are important .... Who is Fereydoon Abbasi Davani? (NCRI).

Chinese Spy Ship Has Spent The Past Three Weeks Off The Coast Of Australia Observing Military Bases

A Chinese spy ship was spotted lurking off the Australian coast for three weeks and passing several major military bases (pictured, surveillance ship used by China to monitor the military exercises between Australia and the United States)  

Daily Mail: Chinese SPY SHIP spends three weeks in secretive mission off the coast of Australia - passing critical military bases after entering exclusive economic zone near Darwin 

* A Chinese spy ship was spotted lurking off Australian coast for three weeks 

* Ship entered economic zone off coast of Darwin and travelled southwards 

* The vessel passed Queensland and Sydney before turning towards New Zealand 

A Chinese spy ship was spotted lurking off the Australian coast for three weeks and passing several major military bases. 

The Dongdiao-class spy ship entered the 200km exclusive economic zone off the coast of Darwin in August. 

The ships are equipped with sophisticated antennas and radar technology that allows them to monitor defences. China has used them to spy on Taiwan. Read more .... 

WNU Editor: No kidding .... Australia says China's 'alarming' actions at odds with peaceful rhetoric (Reuters). 


Chinese Spy Ship Has Spent The Past Three Weeks Off The Coast Of Australia Observing Military Bases  

Chinese spy ship spotted off Australia’s coast, federal government confirms -- 7 News

'We were keeping an eye on them': PM confirms China spy ship outside Australian waters -- SBS News  

Australia Kept 'Close Eye' on China Spy Ship, Morrison Says -- Bloomberg 

Australia ‘alarmed’ by Chinese spy ship -- RT  

Chinese Spy Ship Stayed 3 Weeks Off Australia's Coast, Observing Military Bases -- Zero Hedge  

Government will not complain about Chinese navy ship near Australian waters -- ABC News Australia

Iran Nuclear Talks Resume In Vienna


France 24: Nuclear talks resume in Vienna as West asks whether Iran is serious or stalling 

World powers and Iran will gather in Vienna on Monday to try to salvage their 2015 nuclear deal, but with Tehran sticking to its tough stance and Western powers increasingly frustrated, hopes of a breakthrough appear slim. 

Diplomats say time is running low to resurrect the pact, which then-US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, angering Iran and dismaying the other powers involved – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. 

Six rounds of indirect talks were held between April and June. The new round begins after a hiatus triggered by the election of a new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric.  

Read more .... 

Iran Nuclear Talks Resume In Vienna  

Iran nuclear talks resume with little cause for optimism after months-long hiatus -- CNBC  

Iran and world powers resume Vienna talks to restore nuclear deal -- Al Jazeera  

Iran, world powers resume nuclear talks in Vienna -- Al-Monitor

Iran says no way to return to 2015 deal without lifting of all sanctions -- Reuters  

Progress in Iran nuclear talks as Tehran agrees to discuss compliance -- The Guardian 

EU, Russia, Iran upbeat as nuclear talks resume amid scepticism -- Reuters  

As talks set to restart, Iran says it is ‘firmly determined’ to salvage nuclear deal -- Times of Israel  

Much has changed for the Iran nuclear deal. These are 4 things to know as talks resume -- NPR

Leaked Video Emerges Of The Moment £100m F-35 Fighter Jet Topples Off The End Of HMS Queen Elizabeth


Daily Mail: Going, going… GONE! Footage emerges of the moment £100m F-35 fighter jet topples off the end of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s runway with pilot ejecting as the plane sinks into the depths of the Mediterranean 

* Footage shows the moment the £100million F-35B fighter jet crashed this month 

* The £100m Jet is seen leaving the runway on flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth 

* It then disappears before parts of flaming wreckage can be seen landing in sea 

* An investigation and recovery of the plane is still ongoing in the Mediterranean 

New footage has emerged of the moment a £100million F-35 fighter jet crashed into into the Mediterranean while taking off. 

The pilot was able to eject safely from the jet, part of 617 squadron, before it crashed during the operation on the HMS Queen Elizabeth on November 17. 

The video shows the pilot eject as the high-tech jet topples over the runway onboard the aircraft carrier before it disappears and the pilot's parachute can be seen floating toward the sea seconds later.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Dramatic Footage Supposedly Of The Moment An F-35 Crashed Off A British Carrier Emerges (Warzone/The Dive)  

Update #2: Leaked footage shows moment British F35 jet crashes into Mediterranean during HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier take-off (SKY News)  

WNU Editor: You cannot tell much from the video. But it is clear that the speed was not there. The pilot is lucky to be alive.