Thursday, June 30, 2022

China Responds To NATO's Claim That Beijing Poses “Serious Challenges” To Global Stability

The Guardian: Beijing hits out at Nato strategy for ‘malicious attack’ on China  

Western military bloc says China poses ‘serious challenges’ to global stability 

China has issued a strong rebuke at Nato, calling out what it said was “cold war thinking and ideological bias”, after the western military bloc said Beijing posed “serious challenges” to global stability. 

Nato allies agreed for the first time to include challenges and threats posed by China into a strategy blueprint in its latest summit in Madrid this week. 

The alliance’s previous document, issued in 2010, made no mention of China.  

Read more .... 

China Responds To NATO's Claim That Beijing Poses “Serious Challenges” To Global Stability 

China Rails Against NATO as Asian Rivals Attend Summit for First Time -- Newsweek  

Beijing slams NATO over 'completely futile' China warning -- AFP  

China tells UN expansion of Nato into Asia-Pacific will stir up conflict -- SCMP  

NATO cites China as top threat, Beijing cries 'ideological prejudices’ -- FOX News  

NATO vows to guard ‘every inch of territory’ as Russia fumes -- AP  

Europe sees China through a Russian lens, and Beijing is not happy -- CNN

Russian Military Leaves Snake Island


Insider: Ukraine said its strikes forced Russian troops to flee Snake Island by speedboat. Russia says it left as a 'gesture of goodwill.' 

* Ukraine and Russia both said Russian troops withdrew from the strategic Snake Island. 

* Ukraine had been firing missiles to try to reclaim it, and said those efforts drove the Russians away. 

* Russia claimed it left as a "gesture of goodwill" so food could be exported from Ukraine. 

Ukraine said that its missile strikes on Snake Island, the scene of some of the most talked-about fighting in the Russian invasion, drove away Russian troops who were trying to set up a military base there. 

Russia confirmed that its troops had left the Black Sea island, but painted its departure as a "gesture of goodwill." 

The island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, was the scene of one of the most famous exchanges of the invasion after a Ukrainian guard responded to a Russian warship's order to surrender with the phrase "Russian warship, go fuck yourself" in one of the first few days of the invasion.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I prefer Ukraine's explanation on why the Russian military abandoned Snake Island. The island is within the range of Ukraine artillery, and it holds no real military strategic value in this war. It looks like the Russian military made the calculation that it would be a waste of resources to keep a presence on this rock under this regular bombardment, hence the decision to abandon it. 

As for the Ukraine military. They are hailing this as a victory, but I doubt they are going to position military forces there. They would be sitting ducks for the Russian navy.

 Russian Military Leaves Snake Island  

Russia abandons Snake Island in strategic victory for Kyiv, followed by missile killing 10 in Odesa residential building -- ABC News Australia  

Ukraine Takes Control Of Snake Island, Fighting Rages In Lysychansk -- RFE  

Russian forces 'hurriedly evacuated' infamous Snake Island, says Ukrainian military -- FOX News  

Russia abandons Snake Island in strategic victory for Ukraine -- Jerusalem Post

Russia And Ukraine Exchange Exactly 144 Prisoners

© Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine  

Newsweek: Russia, Ukraine Pull Off Humongous Prisoner Swap as Fierce Battles Continue 

The Ukrainian military remained locked in fierce battles with invading forces while the countries exchanged a total of over 280 soldiers in the war's largest prisoner swap. 

The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, also known as HUR, announced that 144 Ukrainian soldiers had been released as part of the exchange on Wednesday. The same number of Russian soldiers were released by Ukraine, according to a post to the Telegram account of Denis Pushilin, the head of the pro-Russian separatist government in Ukraine's Donetsk region.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: According to Russian sources Ukraine gave a list of 15,000 names that they believe are being held as prisoners of war by Russia and the two Donetsk republics. Apparently the real number is higher!!!!! Last month the Russian-backed separatists alone were saying that they had 8,000 prisoners .... Russia-Backed Separatists Claim to Hold 8,000 Ukrainian POWs (Moscow Times). 

No official numbers of Russian prisoners held by Ukraine have been released. According to Ukrainian sources that I trust the number is a few hundred.

Russia And Ukraine Exchange Exactly 144 Prisoners  

Ukraine announces largest exchange of prisoners of war since Russia invaded -- The Guardian  

144 Ukrainian soldiers freed in biggest POW swap of war -- NYPost  

Ukraine secures largest prisoner swap since start of invasion -- The Hill  

Kremlin explains priorities in POW exchange with Ukraine -- RT

Latest Round Of Iran Nuclear Talks Have Collapsed

Axios: Fresh round of Iran nuclear talks ends with no progress 

A new round of indirect nuclear talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal ended Wednesday without any progress, a senior U.S. official said.  

Why it matters: These talks might be the last chance for the parties to reach an agreement before the nuclear deal becomes irrelevant, as Iran has taken steps to advance its nuclear program and limit the work of UN inspectors.  

What they're saying: "The Iranians have not demonstrated any sense of urgency, raised old issues that have been settled for months, and even raised new issues that are unrelated to the 2015 nuclear agreement. A deal has been available for some time," the senior U.S. official said. 

* "If there is a side that needs to take a decision, it’s them — and it’s been them for months," the official added.  

Read more ....  

Update: U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations in Qatar end without breakthrough (NBC News)  

WNU Editor: It looks like these latest talks only hardened everyone's positions .... Iran accused of making ‘maximalist demands’ in nuclear deal talks (The Guardian). The EU is especially pessimistic .... EU Says It May Not Be Possible to Cross Finish Line on Iran Nuclear Deal (Reuters). The Iranians are saying that they are still willing to talk .... Iran says it's ready for new talks with US on nuclear deal (ABC News). More here .... Iran ready for ‘next stage’ of talks with US on nuclear deal (Al Jazeera).

Alarm In Beijing After Officials Announced That The Strict Zero-Covid Policy Could Be In Place For The Next Five Years

A COVID testing site in Beijing  

The Guardian: Alarm in Beijing after announcement zero-Covid policy may last five years 

Communist party official posts notice saying mass mandatory testing and travel curbs will continue Authorities in Beijing have sparked confusion and alarm after announcing the strict zero-Covid policy could be in place for the next five years, including mass mandatory testing and travel restrictions. 

The notice, published on Monday afternoon, was attributed to Cai Qi, the Beijing secretary of the Chinese Communist party. 

The original text said: “In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalisation of epidemic prevention and control.”  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Quote from Beijing official on '5 years' of COVID-19 restrictions causes stir (UPI) 

Update #2: Beijing chief says city to 'maintain zero-COVID policy for next five years' - before time reference removed (SKY News)  

WNU Editor: The Chinese internet censors have been busy .... Chinese censors scrub internet after senior party official gives speech on timeline of zero-Covid in Beijing (CNN).

Chinese President Xi Visits Hong Kong To Mark 25th Anniversary Of Handover


CNBC: China’s Xi arrives in Hong Kong in his first trip off the mainland since the onset of the pandemic 

* Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday in the special administrative region of Hong Kong, state media said. 

* The trip is for the 25th anniversary on Friday of Hong Kong’s handover to China from British colonial rule. 

* The visit marks Xi’s first travel off mainland China since the pandemic began more than two years ago. 

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday in the special administrative region of Hong Kong, state media said. 

The trip is for the 25th anniversary on Friday of Hong Kong’s handover to China from British colonial rule. 

The visit marks Xi’s first travel off mainland China since the pandemic began more than two years ago.  

Read more .... 

Chinese President Xi Visits Hong Kong To Mark 25th Anniversary Of Handover 

China's President Xi rails against Hong Kong pro-democracy activists as he hails 'vitality' of 'one country, two systems' during visit to city to mark 25th anniversary of handover -- Daily Mail  

Xi Jinping arrives in Hong Kong for July 1 celebrations, makes first visit to city since 2017 -- HKFP  

China's president returns to Hong Kong for 25th anniversary of British handover -- ABC News

Russia - Ukraine War Maps -- June 30, 2022

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

President Biden Says High Gas Prices Will Continue 'As Long As It Takes' To Defeat Russia


Daily Mail: Biden says Americans will pay high prices for 'as long as it takes' and again blames Putin for surging food and gas costs: President insists U.S. is NOT going backwards, inflation is 'higher' in every country and 'we have the strongest economy' 

* President Joe Biden said Americans should pay higher gas prices for 'as long as it takes' 

* He doubled down on blaming Vladimir Putin for America's domestic woes 

* The president also argued other countries have a higher rate of inflation, despite data that shows the opposite 

* 'Inflation is higher in almost every other country,' he said President Joe Biden on Thursday said Americans should pay higher gas prices for 'as long as it takes' as he doubled down on blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the United States' domestic woes. 

Biden, in a press conference wrapping up his NATO summit, addressed the high prices Americans are paying at the pump and the record high inflation facing the country even as he argued other nations have even higher prices. 

And he angrily argued American is not going backwards under his presidency.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: It looks like US President Biden is channeling UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson .... British PM Johnson Says The UK Economy Getting Crushed A Price “Worth Paying” For Freedom In Ukraine (June 27, 2022). 

President Biden Says High Gas Prices Will Continue 'As Long As It Takes' To Defeat Russia  

US Will Face High Gas Prices 'as Long as It Takes,' Biden Says -- Bloomberg  

Biden says high gas prices will continue 'as long as it takes' to defeat Russia's invasion of Ukraine -- Business Insider  

Biden: High gas prices to last ‘as long as it takes’ for Ukraine victory -- NYPost  

Biden says Americans will endure high gasoline prices ‘as long as it takes’ -- RT

President Biden Announces $800 Million More In Weapons To Ukraine

United States President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain [File: Susan Walsh/The Associated Press]  

The Hill: Biden says US will send $800 million in more security aid to Ukraine 

President Biden said Thursday that the U.S. plans to send an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including advanced air defense systems and other “offensive” weapons. 

Biden disclosed the plans during a news conference following a NATO summit in Madrid, where he declared the alliance united in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Biden sending more weapons to Ukraine as NATO prepares for long fight (Reuters)  

Update #2: Biden: US to give $800m more in military aid to Ukraine (Al Jazeera)  

WNU Editor: As predicted. Expect these type of announcements from the White House every week or two.

President Biden Says The U.S. Will Support Ukraine 'As Long As It Takes' To Win The War

U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters in Madrid on June 30. 

The Hill: Biden: US will support Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’ to win war 

President Biden on Thursday said the U.S. and its allies would provide support “as long as it takes” for Ukraine to win its war against Russia. 

“We are going to stick with Ukraine, and all of the alliance is going to stick with Ukraine as long as it takes to in fact make sure that they are not defeated … in Ukraine by Russia,” Biden told reporters at a press conference at the NATO summit.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden is only confirming what many are now saying. This is going to be a long war. 

President Biden Says The U.S. Will Support Ukraine 'As Long As It Takes' To Win The War  

Biden: War ‘will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine’ -- Politico

Biden vows U.S., NATO allies will stand with Ukraine 'for as long as it takes' -- USA Today  

Biden: US will support Ukraine 'as long as it takes' to avoid Russian victory -- Washington Examiner  

Biden Pledges Allied Support For Ukraine For 'As Long As It Takes' -- RFE  

Nato will stick with Ukraine as long as it takes, says Joe Biden -- The Guardian

President Biden Holds A News Conference At The NATO Summit In Madrid

This Is What A Country Looks Like When It Runs Out Of Fuel


VICE News: Here’s What Life Looks Like in a Country That’s Run Out of Fuel 

Sri Lanka is telling its citizens to stay home and grow their own food, as a government minister announced that fuel reserves have hit “rock bottom.” 

Jason Anthony has been in a two-kilometre fuel queue for two days now. In the capital city of Colombo, in the crisis-hit South Asian nation of Sri Lanka, the 35-year-old sleeps in his tuktuk when he’s exhausted, or sits on the pavement with other drivers who have been there for several days too. When the fuel station closes for the day, he walks several kilometres back home, only to return the next day to queue up. He showed VICE World News his makeshift home by the road over a video call.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: More bad news for Sri Lanka. There is going to be no short-term relief .... IMF-Sri Lanka bailout talks end without a deal (CNBC). 

Update: Here is a photo-gallery on what Sri Lankans are going through .... Sri Lanka Fuel Shortages (National Review). 

More News On The Crisis In Sri Lanka  

Non-essential petrol sales halted for two weeks in Sri Lanka -- BBC  

Sri Lanka suspends fuel sales for two weeks as economic crisis worsens -- The Guardian/AFP  

Sri Lanka rushes to find fuel as shortages hit schools, workers -- Reuters  

Sri Lanka faces humanitarian crisis and is dependent on aid -- AP  

As Sri Lanka runs out of fuel, doctors and bankers protest ‘impossible situation’ -- CNN  

What are the consequences for Sri Lanka of its economic crisis? -- Al Jazeera

White House Modeling What A $200 Oil "Shock" Will Look Like

Zero Hedge: White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil "Shock" 

While the Biden administration is hoping and praying that someone - anyone - will watch the comical "Jan 6" kangaroo hearsay court taking place in Congress and meant to somehow block Trump from running for president in 2024 while also making hundreds of millions of Americans forget that the current administration could very well be the worst in US history, it is quietly preparing for the worst. 

As none other than pro-Biden propaganda spinmaster CNN reports, when it comes to what really matters (at least according to Gallup), namely the economy, and specifically galloping gasoline prices, the White House is in a historic shambles.  

For an administration that ended last year forecasting a leveling off of 40-year high inflation and eager to tout a historically rapid recovery from the pandemic-driven economic crisis, there is a level of frustration that comes with an acutely perilous moment. Asked by CNN about progress on a seemingly intractable challenge, another senior White House official responded flatly: "Which one?"  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: If we are hitting an oil price around $200/barrel, it is not only the price that is going to impact everyone, but supply. Expect widespread rationing to occur in such a scenario. As for the economy and the cost of living  .... I shudder when I think about that.

Chart Of The Day

WNU Editor: All that it will take will be one bad hurricane.

Another U.S. Hypersonic Missile Test Failure

FILE PHOTO. A common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB) test in March 19, 2020. ©Oscar Sosa, US Navy  

Bloomberg: US Hypersonic Missile Fails in Test in Fresh Setback for Program 

(Bloomberg) -- A flight test of a hypersonic missile system in Hawaii ended in failure due to a problem that took place after ignition, the Department of Defense said, delivering a fresh blow to a program that has suffered stumbles.

It didn’t provide further details of what took place in the Wednesday test, but said in a statement sent by email “the Department remains confident that it is on track to field offensive and defensive hypersonic capabilities on target dates beginning in the early 2020s.” 

“An anomaly occurred following ignition of the test asset,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Lieutenant Commander Tim Gorman said in the statement.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Setback For US Hypersonic Program As Latest Test Ends In Failure; Navy Sets A Deadline To Field Its Mach 5+ Weapon (Eurasian Times)  

Update #2: US hypersonic missile test fails – Bloomberg (RT)  

WNU Editor: Here is some more US hypersonic news .... Raytheon, Northrop advance in competition to develop hypersonic weapons interceptor (Defense News). More here .... Hypersonic missile defense program moves toward 2 prototypes (

Retired U.S. General Blasts Canada For Not Meeting Its Defence Spending Commitments


WNU Editor: Retired U.S. lieutenant-general Ben Hodges also said at the beginning of the Russia - Ukraine war that Ukraine will be victorious in its war against Russia. 

It should be noted that Ret. General Ben Hodges has some skin in the game when it comes to defense spending. He is part of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a think tank that in 2021 counted defense firms BAE Systems, General Dynamics, General Atomics, and Lockheed among its list of contributors (link here).

Britain's National Grid Says It Could Cut Off Supplying Gas To Europe If Hit By Extreme Shortages In The Coming Months

The Guardian: Britain may stop supplying gas to mainland Europe if hit by shortages  

National Grid could cut off pipelines to Netherlands and Belgium amid Russia-Ukraine war pressures 

Britain may stop supplying gas to mainland Europe if the country is hit by extreme shortages in the coming months, it has emerged. 

National Grid could cut off gas pipelines to the Netherlands and Belgium under emergency measures as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts pressure on global energy supplies. 

Shutting off the pipelines – known as interconnectors – would be part of a four-step plan that would include cutting supplies to big industrial users and asking consumers to reduce their household consumption, the Financial Times reported.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The authorities are downplaying this prospect, saying a gas supply emergency was an “extremely unlikely” scenario. If that is the case, why issue the warning in the first place?

Is The Evolving Multipolar World Order Irreversible?

Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts the 14th BRICS Summit via video link on June 23, 2022, Beijing, China. © Global Look Press / Xinhua / Rao Aimin 

TASS: Multipolar world order evolving globally, process irreversible — Putin 

"The position of Russia and many other countries is that this democratic, more just world order should be built on the basis of mutual respect and trust, and, of course, on the generally accepted principles of international law and the UN Charter," the President emphasized 

MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. A multipolar world order is evolving globally now, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

"A multipolar system of international relations has been actively evolving.

The process is irreversible, it has been unfolding in front of our eyes and it is objective in its nature," Putin said, addressing the 10th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPBILF).  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Beijing and Moscow are totally dedicated to making this a success .... China and Russia want to create G7 alternative – media (RT). 

My prediction is that they will succeed. 

As a group they have the resources, manufacturing base, financial structures, and population base to not only compete with the G7, but to also surpass it in the coming years.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg Admits That The Alliance Has Been Preparing For Conflict With Russia Since 2014


Republic World: NATO's Stoltenberg Admits Alliance Has Been Preparing For Conflict With Russia Since 2014 

NATO has been preparing for a war with Russia since 2014, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday following the NATO summit. 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been preparing for a conflict with Russia since 2014, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday. 

Addressing media reporters following the NATO summit in Madrid, he revealed that ever since Russian troops overhauled power in the Crimean Peninsula, the military alliance started beefing up its troops in eastern Europe. He revealed that they have been anticipating a confrontation with Russian troops ever since.  

Read more .... 

Update: NATO prepared for confronting Russia since 2014 — Stoltenberg (TASS).  

WNU Editor: Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's admission that NATO has been preparing for a conflict with Russia since 2014, coupled with former Ukraine President Poroshenko's admission two weeks ago that the Minsk deal and the failure to implement it was only used to buy time (link here), only feeds into the Kremlin narrative and justification on why they had to invade Ukraine .... Senior MP says NATO’s Madrid rhetoric confirms refusal to comply with Minsk deal (TASS). More from the former Russian President and Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev .... Medvedev says Russia in its operation in Ukraine used UN-backed right for self-defense (TASS). 

Bottom line. 

From the Russian perspective these "admissions" will only mean one thing when this war is finally over. It is going to take decades before a Russian leader will trust the West.

Is The U.S. Air Force Regularly Firing At UFOs In War Zones?

FLIR (thermal) images show the object flying over the USS OmahaCredit: Jeremy Corbell  

The SUN: Air Force regularly fires at UFOs in war zones, service member reveals after military’s 11 ‘near misses’ bombshell 

THE US Air Force has fired at UFOs in active war zones, an active duty service member exclusively told The Sun. 

This contradicts what military officials told Congress during May's historic, public hearing about UAPs - unidentified aerial phenomena - and the impacts on national defense. 

"The Air Force routinely observes, and at times, even kinetically engages UAP in operationally sensitive areas around the world to this day," a service member with direct knowledge of recent UAP Air Force engagements said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: If there is an unknown object flying in an active war zone, I am certain that the US Air Force (or any other country's air force) will fire on it.

Will Thousands Of US Army National Guard Troops Be Fired Today Because They Refused To Be Vaccinated Against Covid?

Members of the National Guard gather at the US Capitol. [Erin Scott/Reuters]  

Redstate: 14,000 Army Guard Troops Could Be Axed Thursday for Refusing COVID Vax 

With crime exploding, border crossings at an all-time high, and the nation’s travel system in chaos, what else could you do to make Americans less safe? 

Well, if you’re Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, you could force out up to 14,000 Army National Guard troops who refuse to get the COVID vaccine. 

That very well could happen Thursday, as the deadline for troops to get vaxed hits. The number could go even higher, as the Associated Press reports:  

Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country — or about 13% of the force — have not yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for shots looms, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. 

Guard soldiers have until Thursday to get the vaccine. According to data obtained by The Associated Press, between 20% to 30% of the Guard soldiers in six states are not vaccinated, and more than 10% in 43 other states still need shots.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Army Guard troops risk dismissal as vaccine deadline looms (AP)  

Update #2: Thousands of reservists are unvaccinated as deadline nears (Axios)  

WNU Editor: Some Governors are pushing to postpone this deadline .... Youngkin urges Defense secretary to ‘indefinitely postpone’ Army Guard vaccine mandate (The Hill).

This Interactive Map Details All Of China’s Military Bases And Installations Throughout The Indo-Pacific Region

Taipei Times: University student prefers music study despite mapping China’s military bases 

A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. 

Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” 

Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The map is here (link here).

Picture Of The Day

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Leaders at the NATO Summit. Madrid, June 29, 2022

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

One More Reason Why High Gas Prices And Shortages Will Continue

Hot Air: Oil industry agrees. Refineries likely not coming back online under current conditions 

President Joe Biden and his allies have continued to badger the American oil and gas industry to produce more gasoline in an effort to bring down prices ahead of the midterm elections. At the same time, they have been hurling accusations of “corporate greed” at major industry players and attempting to claim that the high prices are all the fault of the producers. As we’ve discussed here repeatedly, however, those allegations and characterizations of the industry are demonstrably false. What we’re dealing with is a lack of refinery capacity. The United States currently has the lowest number of functioning refineries capable of producing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that we’ve seen since 2016, largely as a result of government policies. Industry analyst S&P Global Commodity Insights reports this week that our existing refineries are running at or very near maximum capacity, and the odds of any of the shuttered refineries coming back online are slim to none.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: When you have the US President and Congress openly saying that their goal is to have the US economy transition out of fossil fuels, no sensible person is going to invest their money in an industry that the government wants to be out of business.

US Vice President Harris Says President Biden 'Intends' To Run For Re-Relection In 2024

A remark by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday created new uncertainty over President Biden's reelection plans. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)  

L.A. Times: Vice President Harris says Biden 'intends' to run for reelection in 2024 

Vice President Kamala Harris created new uncertainty Wednesday about President Biden's intentions to run for reelection in 2024, pulling back from a definitive statement she had made earlier in the week. 

 “The president intends to run and if he does, I will be his ticket mate. We will run together,” Harris told a Times reporter Wednesday as she prepared to depart for California aboard Air Force Two. 

Advisors had told the reporter that Harris wanted to come to the back of the plane to clarify what she told CNN on Monday. In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Harris was asked about speculation that Biden would not run and about her own potential candidacy. 

"Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate," Harris told CNN. "Full stop."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden will not be running for re-election. Running a campaign from his basement home may have worked during the Covid lock-downs in the 2020 Presidential election. But 2024 is going to be different, and he will need to hit the campaign trail and engage with the public. I do not see him having the energy to do it. On second thought .... forget about 2024. He does not have the energy or focus to do it now.

Mystery Crash On The Moon Baffles NASA Scientists

A mysterious rocket crashed into the moon on March 4, leaving behind a 'double crater,' NASA reported. NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University 'Mystery rocket' that crashed into the Moon baffles NASA scientists  

So far, no space exploring nations have claimed responsibility for the rocket. 

NASA has discovered the crash site of a "mystery rocket body" that collided with the Moon's surface earlier this year. The impact left behind a widespread "double crater," meaning it wasn't the average rocket. 

However, since its crash landing, none of Earth's space-exploring nations have claimed responsibility for the mysterious projectile, leaving NASA scientists baffled as to who was behind its launch. New images shared on June 24 by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show the unusual impact site.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I love a good mystery. More from NASA.

Israeli PM Bennett Says He Will Not Seek Re-Election

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett delivers a statement to the media, telling reporters he will not be running in Israel’s next election, at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem. © Reuters/RONEN ZVULUN  

Reuters: With Israel's Knesset set to dissolve, PM Bennett says he will not seek re-election 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel on Wednesday moved closer toward its fifth election in less than four years, plunging it deeper into political uncertainty as it grapples with rising living costs amid renewed international efforts to revive a nuclear deal with Iran. 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced he would not run in the upcoming election but would retain his position as alternate prime minister after his coalition partner Yair Lapid takes over as head of the caretaker government. 

"I leave behind a thriving, strong and secure country," he told reporters on Wednesday. "We proved this year that people with very different opinions can work together," he added, referring to his ideologically diverse coalition.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: He's back .... Israeli Prime Minister Bennett announces retirement from politics, paving the way for Netanyahu’s return (FOX News). 

 Israeli PM Bennett Says He Will Not Seek Re-Election  

Israel’s government collapse — and fifth election in three years — offers a potential comeback for Netanyahu -- CNBC  

With Israel's Knesset set to dissolve, PM Bennett says he will not seek re-election -- Reuters 

Bennett decides to bow out from politics after year in Prime Minister’s Office -- The Times of Israel  

Israel braces for fifth election in less than four years -- The Guardian  

Outgoing Israeli PM Naftali Bennett won't run in upcoming election -- Axios


WNU Editor: And BRICS is growing .... Iran, Argentina apply to join BRICS bloc after recent summit: Report (Business Standard).

Norway Blocks Supplies To Russian Settlements In The Svalbard Islands

RT: Russia warns Norway over conflict in Arctic  

Moscow says the blockade of supplies for miners is “unacceptable”  

Moscow has summoned, on Wednesday, Norway’s charge d’affaires Solveig Rossebo over the “unacceptable” ban on the delivery of supplies to a Russian Arctic mining operation in the Svalbard Islands, the Foreign Ministry has announced. 

Norwegian media outlets had previously cited the authorities as confirming that the Russians on Svalbard were denied an exemption from sanctions that were imposed on Moscow over its conflict with Ukraine.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Svalbard is a group of islands located midway between Norway’s north coast and the North Pole. It is a part of Norway, but Russia has the right to exploit the archipelago’s natural resources under a treaty signed in 1920. A number of the settlements on the archipelago are populated mainly by Russians. 

Norway Blocks Supplies To Russian Settlements In The Svalbard Islands  

Norway did not allow passage of goods to Russian settlements in Svalbard -- TASS  

Russia accuses Norway of Arctic blockade and threatens reprisals -- Euronews/AFP  

Moscow threatens reprisals after accusing Norway of blocking transit to Svalbard -- The Local  

Russia threatens retaliation against Norway over access to Arctic islands -- Reuters  

Russia, Norway holding talks on Spitsbergen cargo dilemma, says diplomat -- TASS  

Russia threatens retaliation over Norway Arctic island goods ban -- Al Jazeera  

Russian senator slams Norway’s blockage of Russian goods to Spitsbergen -- TASS

Ukraine President Zelensky Addresses The NATO Summit


Forbes: ‘Has Ukraine Not Paid Enough?’: Zelensky Urges NATO For Security Guarantees As Sweden And Finland Invited To Join Alliance 

In what appears to be a shift in diplomatic strategy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked NATO on Wednesday whether Ukraine has “not paid enough” to join the alliance—one day after Finland and Sweden reached a deal with Turkey that paves the way for the Scandinavian countries to join NATO. 

* Speaking at NATO’s summit in Madrid Wednesday morning, Zelensky said Ukraine needs “security guarantees” and that NATO needs “to find a place for Ukraine in the common security space.” 

* Zelensky’s comments are a shift from a statement he made in March that he had “cooled down” on talks to join the alliance. 

* The Ukrainian president’s statement follows an agreement between Finland, Sweden and Turkey on Tuesday to allow the two Scandinavian countries into NATO, in return for their cooperation on counter-terrorism initatives in Turkey.

 Read more .... 

Ukraine President Zelensky Addresses The NATO Summit  

Live: Zelensky asks for modern artillery, money in address to NATO -- France 24  

Zelensky pushes NATO for more weapons, pleads for further support -- AP  

NATO summit: Zelenskyy pushes for modern artillery, funds -- Al Jazeera  

Putin Could Attack NATO Next Year, Zelensky Warns -- Daily Beast  

Zelensky addresses NATO summit: Russia must be isolated -- Ukrinform

President Biden Announces New Major US Military Deployments Across Europe


The Guardian: US to increase military forces across Europe, Joe Biden announces 

President says ‘US and its allies are going to step up’ as he arrives for summit of Nato leaders in Madrid 

Joe Biden has announced that the US will increase its military forces across Europe with more land, sea and air deployments, as he gathered with Nato leaders for a two-day summit in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Arriving at the meeting in Madrid, the US president announced the stationing of a brigade of 3,000 combat troops in Romania, two squadrons of F-35 fighters in the UK and two navy destroyers in Spain.  

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WNU Editor: The Kremlin will view these US military deployments as the next step for the U.S. to get directly involved in the Ukraine war. 

President Biden Announces New Major US Military Deployments Across Europe  

US boosting military presence in Europe amid Russia threat -- AP 

Biden dials up US power in NATO expansion -- France 24  

Biden sends more ships, fighter jets and troops to Europe -- Politico  

Biden: US to Bolster European Military Presence -- VOA  

Biden announces plans to bolster US force presence in Europe -- The Hill  

Biden ramps up US military deployments across Europe -- FOX News 

Biden announces new U.S. military deployments in Europe -- Axios  

Biden Vows Putin Will Get 'NATO-ization of Europe' -- Newsweek

NATO Declares Russia Its ‘Most Significant And Direct Threat’


Daily Mail: NATO allies confirm Russia is the biggest threat to their 'safety and security' and warns for the first time that CHINA threatens the international order in direct jab at Beijing 

* NATO allies set out their fears about Russia and China 

* President Biden arrived at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday morning 

* He said the U.S. was changing its 'force posture in Europe' 

* That includes sending two F-35 squadrons and two more destroyers, as well as deploying 5,000 more troops to Romania 

* And the U.S. will establish a permanent military base in Poland, he said 

* He made the announcement as leaders met to consider the threat from Russia 

The 30 NATO allies on Wednesday branded Russia as the biggest threat to their security and for the first time described the challenge posed by the rise of China. 

It came as President Joe Biden said the U.S. was moving more troops and hardware into Europe, including for the first time installing a permanent presence on NATO's eastern flank. 

Twelve years ago, NATO's 'strategic concept' made no mention of China and described Russia as a 'strategic partner.'  

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WNU Editor: The Kremlin has responded .... NATO Summit Proof Alliance Seeks To Contain Russia – Moscow (Moscow Times/AFP).  

Update: NATO's new strategic concept is here .... NATO leaders approve new Strategic Concept (NATO) 

NATO Declares Russia Its ‘Most Significant And Direct Threat’  

NATO calls Russia its ‘most significant and direct threat’ -- AP  

Russia is now ‘main threat’: NATO can adjust its plans and policies accordingly -- France 24  

NATO leaders brand Russia a ‘direct threat’ in new strategy blueprint -- Politico  

NATO declares Russia its 'most direct threat,' offers Finland, Sweden membership -- DW  

NATO deems Russia its 'most significant and direct threat' -- Washington Post

Turkey Demands Finland And Sweden Extradite 33 'Terrorists' After NATO Deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (second from left) has hailed the agreement with Finland and Sweden as a victory [Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Turkish Presidential Press Office/Handout via Reuters]  

Euronews/Reuters: Turkey demands Sweden and Finland extradite 'terrorists' after NATO deal  

Turkey will renew requests for Sweden and Finland to extradite individuals it considers "terrorists" after the countries reached a deal over the Nordic nations' NATO membership bids, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Wednesday.

Turkey had opposed their bids over what it called support for Kurdish militants and others it views as terrorists, as well as over arms embargoes and unfulfilled extradition requests. 

On Tuesday, the three nations signed a deal for Ankara to remove its block, while the candidates pledged not to support the Kurdish militant PKK and YPG groups.  

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WNU editor: I will be very surprised if Finland and Sweden extradites these individuals to Turkey. 

Turkey Demands Finland And Sweden Extradite 33 'Terrorists' After NATO Deal  

Turkey to seek extradition of 33 'terrorists' from Finland, Sweden -- DW  

Turkey seeks extraditions from Finland, Sweden under NATO deal -- AFP  

Turkey to seek extraditions from Finland, Sweden under NATO deal -- Al Jazeera  

NATO deal between Turkey, Sweden and Finland brings home wins for Erdogan — and a possible F-16 breakthrough -- CNBC  

What Turkey won with its NATO leverage -- Atlantic Council  

Swedish and Finnish NATO deal with Turkey triggers fears over Kurdish deportations -- Politico  

EXPLAINER: How was Turkey’s veto of Nordic NATO bid avoided? -- AP

NATO Formally Invites Finland And Sweden To Join The Alliance


Daily Mail: NATO formally invites Finland and Sweden to join the alliance after Biden said Putin is getting 'exactly what he didn't want' in the 'NATO-ization of Europe' and bolstered international US military support 

* NATO on Wednesday formally invited Sweden and Finland to join its alliance 

* President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting 'exactly what he didn't want' - the NATO-zation of Europe 

* Biden praised deal that paved way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO 

* 'Putin was looking for the Finland-ization of Europe and we're gonna get the NATO-zation of Europe,' Biden said 

* Biden added: 'And that's exactly what he didn't want to do - it's exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe' 

* Under deal made Tuesday, Turkey released its objections to Sweden and Finland 

* Biden will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday 

NATO on Wednesday formally invited Sweden and Finland to join its alliance after Turkey dropped its objections. 

 'The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them safer, NATO stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure. 

The security of Finland and Sweden is of direct importance to the Alliance, including during the accession process,' the statement from NATO said. 

The addition of the two Nordic countries, which must be approved by each of NATO's 30 allied parliaments, will be the most extensive expansion of the alliance since the 1990s, when the post Soviet bloc countries were added.  

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NATO Formally Invites Finland And Sweden To Join The Alliance 

Nato summit: Turkey pushes Finland and Sweden on extradition after deal -- BBC 

NATO invites Finland, Sweden to join, says Russia is a 'direct threat' -- Reuters  

NATO formally invites Sweden, Finland to join the alliance -- France 24  

Turkey to seek extradition of 33 'terrorists' from Finland, Sweden -- DW 

NATO formally invites Finland and Sweden to join alliance -- CNN 

NATO invites Sweden, Finland become members in wake of Russia's Ukraine war -- FOX News  

NATO invites Finland, Sweden to join as alliance eyes 'direct threat' from Putin -- NBC

Sweden and Finland formally invited to join NATO as alliance tells Russia to withdraw from Ukraine 'immediately' -- SKY News