Monday, October 31, 2022

Leaked Documents Outline US Homeland Security's Plan To Work With Big Tech To Censor Social Media

The Intercept: Truth Cops  

Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation 

The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. 

Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms. 

The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. 

While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Sighhh .... another indication on how powerful the National Security establishment has become in the US..

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tells US Secretary Of State Blinken That The U.S. Should Stop Trying To Suppress China

In this Sept. 23, 2022, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken (left) meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly High Level Week, in New York City. Credit: U.S. State Department photo  

The Diplomat: Blinken, Wang Have First China-US Talks Since 20th Party Congress 

Chinese foreign minister stressed to his U.S. counterpart that Washington should not expect Beijing to change course. 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked on the phone on Monday. It was their first conversation — and the first high-level China-U.S. exchange — since the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concluded on October 22. 

At the party meeting, Wang was elevated to the party’s Politburo. That indicates he is to replace outgoing Yang Jiechi as China’s top diplomat – formally, the director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, the CCP’s foreign policy body. Wang will move out of his foreign minister post along with the promotion. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This meeting did not go well. There is no common ground right now between the two sides. 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tells US Secretary Of State Blinken That The U.S. Should Stop Trying To Suppress China  

U.S. should stop trying to suppress China, says Wang Yi -- Reuters  

Blinken speaks with top China diplomat in call ahead of G20 -- Axios 

US, China discuss relations, war in Ukraine -- CNA/AFP  

Senior Chinese diplomat urges U.S. to end ideological bias - Chinese state media -- Reuters  

China Asks US To Stop Cracking Down On Beijing & Creating New Obstacles To Bilateral Ties -- Republic World 

China Lashes Out At Export Curbs In Blinken Call, Says US "Blinded By Ideology" -- Zero Hedge  

U.S. approach to China needs a course correction -- CGTN

Inflation In Europe Reaches A Record 10.7%. Economic Growth Slows Sharply


CNBC: Euro zone inflation hits record high of 10.7% as growth slows sharply 

* Preliminary data on Monday from Europe’s statistics office showed headline inflation came in at an annual 10.7% this month. 

* This represents the highest ever monthly reading since the euro zone’s formation. The 19-member bloc has faced higher prices, particularly on energy and food, for the past 12 months.

* But the increases have been accentuated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. 

Euro zone inflation rose above the 10% level in the month of October, highlighting the severity of the cost-of-living crisis in the region and adding more pressure on the European Central Bank. 

Preliminary data on Monday from Europe’s statistics office showed headline inflation came in at an annual 10.7% this month. This represents the highest ever monthly reading since the euro zone’s formation. The 19-member bloc has faced higher prices, particularly on energy and food, for the past 12 months. But the increases have been accentuated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: If interest rates are not increased significantly, and soon, inflation in Europe is only going to get worse. And when you factor in inflation, economic growth is actually in the negative. 

This is what you see in an undeveloped country. 

And it is going to get worse. 

On December 5 the EU's embargo on Russian oil comes into effect. The disruption in oil markets and supply chains from this one act alone will result in even higher prices for oil and other energy supplies. 

If you want to industrialize the EU and put the economy into a depression, this is the way to do it. 

Inflation In Europe Reaches A Record 10.7%. Economic Growth Slows Sharply  

Inflation hits new record in Europe, slowing economy -- AP  

Euro-Zone Inflation Soars to New Record as Economy Fades -- Bloomberg  

Euro zone inflation soars past forecasts to new record high -- Eurozone/Reuters  

Inflation in Europe Reaches a Record 10.7% as Officials Face Hard Options -- NYTimes  

Eurozone inflation jumps to record-high 10.7% -- DW  

Cost of living: Eurozone inflation rises far more than expected to hit record 10.7% -- SKY News

U.S. President Biden Accuses Oil Companies Of ‘War Profiteering’. Threatens Windfall Tax


Daily Mail: Biden says oil company profits are 'outrageous' and a 'windfall' from the Ukraine War: President says 'enough is enough' and execs should be paying higher taxes if they don't reduce prices at the pump 

* President Joe Biden will work with Congress on a 'windfall tax' on energy companies 

* 'Oil companies' record profits today are not because they're doing something new or innovative,' Biden said in remarks at the White House 

* 'Their profits are a windfall of war,' he said 

* Such a tax is unlikely to be approved by Congress if Republicans take power in November 

* Last week Exxon Mobil broke records with its profits in the third quarter, raking in $19.66 billion in net income, and Chevron had $11.23 billion in profits 

* A 'windfall profits tax' would fall on the profits of energy firms that are in excess of their typical annual profits 

* Biden trying to lower gas prices ahead of midterm election * Congress would have to approve any new tax 

* Biden making remarks on energy prices at White House Monday afternoon 

President Joe Biden railed against Big Oil's exorbitant profits as he called on Congress to impose a 'windfall tax' on energy companies in a speech Monday.

'Oil companies' record profits today are not because they're doing something new or innovative,' Biden said in remarks at the White House. 'Their profits are a windfall of war. The windfall from the brutal conflict is ravaging Ukraine and hurting tens of millions of people around the globe.' 

Biden announced that he would work with Congress on a tax targeted at what he deems 'excess' profits, but did not lay out the details.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Diesel and home heating oil prices at record highs. Gas prices now rising. President Biden and the Democrats must blame someone for a situation that many Americans are now suffering from. This is most unfortunate. The focus should be on how to increase US oil and energy production, not taxing those who produce it.

U.S. President Biden Accuses Oil Companies Of ‘War Profiteering’. Threatens Windfall Tax  

Biden paints oil firms as war profiteers, talks windfall tax -- AP  

Biden Warns Oil Firms He'll Seek to Tax Their 'Windfall' Profits -- Bloomberg 

Biden threatens higher taxes on oil companies if they do not work to lower gas prices -- CNBC  

Biden bashes oil sector for ‘war profiteering,’ warns of windfall tax on profits -- Politico  

Biden threatens oil companies with ‘higher tax’ if they don’t increase production -- The Hill  

Biden Accuses Oil Companies of ‘War Profiteering’ and Threatens Windfall Tax -- New York Times  

Biden issues a warning as he accuses oil and gas companies of ‘war profiteering’ off Russia’s invasion of Ukraine -- CNN 

Biden, days before midterms, accuses oil companies of 'war profiteering' on gas prices -- ABC News  

Biden floats new taxes while accusing Big Oil of "windfall of war" -- Axios

Ukraine Claims To Have Killed 1,000 Russian Soldeirs On Sunday


Daily Mail: Russia 'suffers deadliest day of invasion yet with nearly a THOUSAND troops killed' as video shows panic-stricken soldiers fleeing on armoured vehicle which flips as it speeds away from Ukrainian attack 

* Ukraine has claimed that 950 Russian soldiers were killed on Sunday as its forces continue to make gains 

* It marks the deadliest day for Vladimir Putin's troops since Russia's the invasion began in back in February 

* Footage has emerged showing panicked soldiers fleeing attack on armoured vehicle - only for it to flip over 

* Comes as Russia tries to round up as many men as possible and push them to the front lines, regardless of skill 

Nearly 1,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in one day in Ukraine, Kyiv has claimed, marking the deadliest day for Vladimir Putin since his troops invaded eight months ago.

Ukrainian forces have been making gains across Russian-occupied areas, with fighting intensifying in the country's east and in the southern city of Kherson. 

 In a blow to Putin's invasion, 950 Russian soldiers were killed on Sunday, pushing the Russian death toll up to at least 71,200, Kyiv has claimed. 

Read more ....  

WNU editor: If you want to follow war reports from the Ukraine Ministry of Defense, the link is here (link here)

I personally follow their reports everyday. But needless to say I am skeptical. And in the past few weeks I have found their reports very hard to believe like the claim that 1,000 Russian soldiers were killed yesterday. But they are a reference tool that all those who are following the war should check out each day. 

As for those who want to follow the Russian Ministry of Defense website. It is unfortunately blocked for outsiders. This may change in the future, so the link is here

Ukraine's Electricity Grid Near Collapse. 80% Of Residents In Kyiv Do Not Have Water


Daily Mail: 80% of Kyiv is left without water as Putin blitzes civilian infrastructure with missiles across Ukraine, cutting off electricity in multiple cities 

* More than 50 cruise missiles fired at Ukraine early on Monday, military said 

* Weapons hit key infrastructure in major cities, including the capital Kyiv 

* 80 per cent of Kyiv is without water and 350,000 homes are without power 

* Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and Cherkasy also suffering power cuts 

Ukraine's capital has been left largely without water and suffering power cuts this morning after Russia unleashed another missile barrage on major cities. 

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said 80 per cent of his city has been left without water and 350,000 homes have no power after Russian cruise missiles hit key infrastructure sites - with witnesses reporting five explosions. 

Kharkiv, in the north, Dnipro and Cherkasy, in central Ukraine, and the southern city of Zaporizhzhia were also hit - causing power cuts.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor:It has been a long day. Spent time talking to a distant cousin and two friends in Kyiv. 

According to my relative water supplies are being quickly restored in Kyiv. But she told me the big fear that everyone now has is what will happen in winter. If the pumping stations are not able to pump water, it would mean pipes are going to freeze and bust. And while she has electricity, much of the city does not. 

A friend of mine who is south of Kyiv believes that it is only a matter of time. A week or two. Before much of the country's electrical grid is completely knocked out. Especially if the intensity of the attacks continue, as was the case today. 

Fortunately. Cell communications are still working. There are problems with the internet, but it is still working. But everyone I know is expecting this to be knocked out next. 

Ukraine's Electricity Grid Near Collapse. 80% Of Residents In Kyiv Do Not Have Water  

Heavy Russian barrage on Ukraine, no water for much of Kyiv -- AP  

Ukraine war: Kyiv locals queue for water after Russian strikes -- BBC

Russian attacks leave many Ukrainians without power or water -- Reuters 

Russian missiles bombard cities across Ukraine, hitting power and water infrastructure -- CNN  

Russian Attacks Leave Ukrainian Cities Without Electricity, Water -- VOA  

80 percent of Kyiv without water after Russian strikes, mayor says -- The Hill  

80% of Kyiv residents without water after Russian barrage targets infrastructure -- Times of Israel 

Russian missile strikes leave most of Kyiv without water -- Axios  

Kyiv reels as ‘massive’ wave of missile strikes hit Ukrainian cities; wheat prices rise as grain deal stalls -- CNBC  

Kyiv in the dark after 3rd week of Russian airstrikes -- NYPost  

Russian assault on Ukraine’s power grid is the strategy of nihilism -- The Guardian

Norway's Military On Raised Alert Level To Protect Energy Links In Response To Ukraine War

DW: Norway raises army alert level in response to Ukraine war 

The Norwegian armed forces will do less training and more active operations, the country's prime minister said. Oslo is concerned about sabotage to its energy infrastructure. 

Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Monday that his country's military would be put on a raised level of alert as part of increased security measures in response to the war in Ukraine. 

"This is the most severe security situation in several decades," Stoere told a press conference "

There are no indications that Russia is expanding its warfare to other countries, but the increased tensions make us more exposed to threats, intelligence operations and influence campaigns." 

The increased alert level would be valid from Tuesday.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am surprised that it has taken Norway this long to raise its alert level. Everyone else in Europe is on high alert. 

Norway's Military On Raised Alert Level To Protect Energy Links In Response To Ukraine War  

Norway Armed Forces Raise Readiness to Protect Energy Links -- Bloomberg  

Norway raises military alert in response to Ukraine war -- Reuters  

Norway puts military on raised alert level in response to Ukraine war -- The Guardian  

Norway raises military alert level after suspicious drone sightings -- Euronews  

Norway puts military on raised alert over Ukraine war fears -- The National  

Norway raises the alert of its Armed Forces for possible attacks on strategic installations -- News 360

Covid Cases And Lockdowns Expanding In China

Chinese cities and provinces ae racing to stamp out sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks as winter nears [File: Reuters]  

Al Jazeera: China locks down millions as COVID cases rise before winter 

Controversial ‘zero COVID’ policy under strain as cases top 2,000 for a second straight day. 

Officials in Chinese cities and provinces across the country are pulling no punches in stamping out sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks as winter nears, quickly closing venues and enforcing longer temporary lockdowns on millions of people. 

Cases in mainland China hit 2,898 on Sunday, topping 2,000 for a second straight day and pressuring the country’s controversial zero-COVID policy, which has hamstrung the economy and exasperated its citizens.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The economic impact from these lock-downs are growing (see below): 

China COVID curbs hit iPhone output, shut Shanghai Disney -- Reuters  

China’s factory activity drops, bogged down by more Covid controls -- CNBC 

Macau reimposes COVID curbs as China loosens visa rules for gambling hub -- Reuters

Chinese President Xi's Push To Consolidate Power Has Resulted In A $6 Trillion Stock Selloff And A Major Decline In The Yuan

President Xi Jinping's successful consolidation of power rattled markets. Tingshu Wang/Reuters  

Insider: Chinese leader Xi Jinping's power grab fueled a $6 trillion stock selloff and the yuan's decline. These 4 charts capture the market meltdown 

* China's President Xi Jinping has tightened his grip on power — and that has rocked markets. 

* Investors dumped Chinese stocks in a $6 trillion blowout as Xi shut reformers out of decision making. 

* These 4 charts show how deep the meltdown in China-linked assets went last week. 

China's leader Xi Jinping has tightened his grip on power, shutting out reformers to effectively take sole charge of the world's second-largest economy — and that has rocked markets. 

President Xi unveiled a new decision-making team stacked with like-minded political allies and publicly disrespected his business-friendly predecessor at the Communist Party congress last week. 

Spooked investors dumped Chinese stocks in a $6 trillion blowout Monday, according to Bloomberg data. Meanwhile, the tightly-managed onshore yuan continued to lose ground to the dollar, having already dropped sharply this year.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The expectation is for more stock market declines .... Rethinking China: Xi's Power Play Could Bring Down Stocks Even More (Barrons). 

More News On China's Stock Market Declines  

Xi's $6 Trillion Rout Shows China Markets Serve the Party First -- Bloomberg

China stocks reel after Xi tightens grip -- Nikkei Asia  

China Stocks in Hong Kong Set for Lowest Since 2005 as Covid Zero Ramps Up -- Bloomberg

EU Considering Listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards As A Terror Group

FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks during a conference of her counterparts from the six Western Balkans countries, plus those from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece and Slovenia, in Berlin, Germany, October 21, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang  

Reuters: EU examines classifying Iran Revolutionary Guards as terrorists - Germany 

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and the European Union are examining whether to classify Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday. 

"I made it clear last week that we will launch another package of sanctions, that we will examine how we can also list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation," Baerbock said in a interview with ARD broadcaster on Sunday. 

Her comments come after the head of the Revolutionary Guards warned protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, in a sign that security forces may intensify their already fierce crackdown on widespread unrest.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: EU considering listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as terror group, says Berlin -- Times Of Israel/AFP  

Update #2: European Union Mulling Move to List Iran's Revolutionary Guards as Terrorists: Report -- News 18  

WNU Editor: Iran is responding to these reports .... Iran summons German ambassador over interference (DW). More here .... Iran Rejects Potential Sanctions Against Revolutionary Guards (VOA), and here .... Iran Raps Germany’s Unconstructive Plan to Blacklist IRGC (Tasnim News Agency from Iran).

Israelis Go To The Polls Tomorrow To Elect A New Government


Jerusalem Post: Israel elections: Politicians enter final preparations as voting day nears 

Labor on Saturday night held a rally in memory of former Labor leader and prime minister Yizhak Rabin, who was assassinated on November 4, 1995. 

Politicians and political candidates began to wrap up their campaigns and preparations over the weekend ahead of Tuesday's election.

 In accordance with Israeli law, no more polls will be published until the exit polls begin at 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening. 

 On Saturday, Meretz and Hadash Ta’al continued their strategy of calling people to vote for them so they won’t fall under the electoral threshold, known colloquially as “gevalt” campaigns. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: Israel election: 4 things that could impact outcome -- AP  

Update #2: Israeli elections 2022: A rundown of Israeli parties and their leaders -- JNS  

WNU Editor: My Israeli readers tell me that there is a very good chance that Netanyahu may return to power after tomorrow's vote .... Israel election: With divisions deepening, Israelis to decide if Netanyahu should return to power (FOX News).

Is Facebook's Monopoly On Social Media About To End?

VICE: Facebook’s Monopoly Is Imploding Before Our Eyes 

Competition, miscalculations, and regulatory scrutiny have all but killed the advertising giant's dreams of diversifying its business and rolling up the digital world into its platform. 

For years, the definition of success for many tech employees has been getting a job at a FAANG company (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google). 

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, meanwhile, are often the five major companies people think of when they think of "big tech." 

But there is evidence that Facebook—once a dominant monopoly rightly blamed for all sorts of societal ills—is on the precipice of dropping out of this group through years of sheer mismanagement, a failure to innovate, setting money on fire in pursuit of a metaverse that seemingly no one wants, a vulnerable business model that Apple is squarely taking aim at, and upstart competitors like TikTok that the company seemingly has no answer for. What seemed impossible just a year or two ago—that Facebook will become just another tech company, more or less—now seems like a very real possibility.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It has been quite a sight to see how quickly this social media platform has lost its influence and reach in the past year. And much of what has happened has been self-inflicted. 

And while I do believe Facebook will be with us for the foreseeable future. Alternative media platforms are now online, and they are providing an environment that does not have the censorship and privacy issues that Facebook has.

Is US President Biden Losing His Patience With Ukraine President Zelensky's Persistent Demands For More Aid?

U.S. President Joe Biden is seen through a window in the Oval Office as he speaks by phone with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House in Washington, December 9, 2021. Leah Millis, Reuters 

CNBC: Biden lost temper with Zelenskyy in June phone call when Ukrainian leader asked for more aid 

It’s become routine since Russia invaded Ukraine: President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speak by phone whenever the U.S. announces a new package of military assistance for Kyiv. 

But a phone call between the two leaders in June played out differently from previous ones, according to four people familiar with the call. Biden had barely finished telling Zelenskyy he’d just greenlighted another $1 billion in U.S. military assistance for Ukraine when Zelenskyy started listing all the additional help he needed and wasn’t getting. Biden lost his temper, the people familiar with the call said. The American people were being quite generous, and his administration and the U.S. military were working hard to help Ukraine, he said, raising his voice, and Zelenskyy could show a little more gratitude.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This phone call was suppose to have happened in June. If true, I can only imagine what the U.S. President is feeling right now.

This war is one black hole for all those who get involved. 

For the people in Ukraine this is a disaster that can only be compared to what happened in the Second World War. 

For Russia it is a black hole in blood and treasure and the end of relations with the West for the next few decades. 

And for the West. I have already lost count on how much military/economic/and financial aid the West has given to Ukraine. I have even lost count on how much aid I have given to strangers, friends and family members from Ukraine who have either fled and/or are still remaining in the country. 

And it is going to get worse.

I project that for every dollar that has been spent in 2022 because of this war, it is going to be 3X in 2023. Maybe more. And that does not include the economic costs from russian sanctions for both Russia and the West.

 Will the West continue to support that type of commitment? 

We shall see.

Russia's Exit From Ukraine Grain Deal Puts World Food Supplies At Risk

FILE PHOTO: The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying Ukrainian grain, is seen in the Black Sea off Kilyos, near Istanbul

Reuters: World food supplies at risk as Russia withdraws from Black Sea deal 

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Russia's weekend backtrack from a U.N.-brokered deal to export Black Sea grains is likely to hit shipments to import-dependent countries, deepening a global food crisis and sparking gains in prices. 

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wheat booked for delivery to Africa and the Middle East are at risk following Russia's withdrawal, while Ukrainian corn exports to Europe will get knocked lower, two Singapore-based traders said. 

Russia on Saturday suspended participation in the U.N. grain deal for an "indefinite term", after what it said was a major Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in Crimea. 

"If I have to replace a vessel which was due to come from Ukraine, what are the options? Not much really," said one Singapore-based grains trader who supplies wheat to buyers in Asia and the Middle East.

Read more ....  

Update #1: The World's Food Security Is at Stake as Russia Exits Grain Deal (Bloomberg)  

Update #2: Food shortage and inflation risks rise after Russia withdraws from Black Sea export deal (SKY News)  

WNU Editor: Not surprising. Global wheat prices are rising .... Wheat prices jump by nearly 6% after Russia withdraws from vital Ukrainian export deal (CNBC). 

This is where Ukraine's grain is being exported to (see tweet below). What is interesting is that most of Ukraine's grain is going to the West. Something tells me that a lot of middle men are making a lot of money right now, and they are probably irked that this revenue stream has now been interrupted.:

Russian Foreign Minister Draws Parallels Between The Ukraine War And The Cuban Missile Crisis

Lavrov says he hopes US President Joe Biden has the wisdom to deal with a global confrontation similar to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, in reference to Moscow's war on Ukraine [File: Evgenia Novozhenina via AFP]  

Al Jazeera: Lavrov draws parallels between Ukraine war, Cuban missile crisis  

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there are ‘similarities’ to the Cuban crisis, mainly because Russia is now threatened by Western weapons in Ukraine. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he hopes US President Joe Biden has the wisdom to deal with a global confrontation similar to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, referencing the war on Ukraine. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered the biggest hostilities between Moscow and the West since the Cuban crisis, when the Soviet Union and United States came close to a nuclear war.  

Read more ....  

Update: Russia's Lavrov needles Biden over Cuban missile crisis and Ukraine (Reuters).  

WNU Editor: I remember my father telling me that during the Cuban missile crisis he was certain that there would be a nuclear war between the USSR and the United States. 

We are not there yet. But the trend lines are very worrisome on where this current conflict is heading.

Picture Of The Day

Ukrainian servicemen load a destroyed Russian tank at a truck in the town of Izium, liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv region, September 24. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich  

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Ukraine's recaptured towns strewn with destroyed, abandoned Russian equipment (Reuters).

U.S. To Deploy Nuclear-Capable B-52 Bombers To Australia's North


ABC News Australia: US Air Force to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia as tensions with China grow 

The United States is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia, a provocative move experts say is aimed squarely at China. 

An investigation by Four Corners can reveal Washington is planning to build dedicated facilities for the giant aircraft at Tindal air base, south of Darwin. 

The US has drawn up detailed plans for what it calls a "squadron operations facility" for use during the Northern Territory dry season, an adjoining maintenance centre and a parking area for "six B-52s".  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is aimed at China, and Beijing has no illusions on what the US is doing.

Update: Yup. A big bullseye .... Why the United States' big plan to deploy huge nuclear bombers to the Northern Territory is going to put a 'bullseye' on Australia as tensions with China rise (Daily Mail). 

U.S. To Deploy Nuclear-Capable B-52 Bombers To Australia's North  

U.S. plans to deploy B-52 bombers to Australia's north -source -- Reuters  

US Building Facility to Base B-52 Bombers in Australia, ABC Says -- Bloomberg  

US to send B-52 bombers to Australia in HUGE move against China -- Yahoo News 

US plans to deploy B-52 bombers to northern Australia: Report -- Al Jazeera

In Her Final Days As UK Prime Minister Liz Truss It Is Reported That She Spent Her Final Days In Office In Fear Of A Russian Nuclear Attack

Liz Truss reportedly spend her final days in office in fear of a nuclear attack. Picture: Alamy  

Daily Mail: Liz Truss's Putin radiation terror: Ex-PM spent final days in No10 'obsessing' with wind charts and weather forecasts as her fears grew that fallout would hit UK if Putin uses nukes in Ukraine, new look inside her doomed tenure reveals 

* Truss was told Putin might explode a weapon in the air above the Black Sea 

* Radiation could pose threat to Europe if weapon blew in the direction 

* Ms Truss became fixated with the weather after hearing about possibility 

When Liz Truss was told, during the dying days of her mayfly Premiership, that the security services were picking up intelligence that Vladimir Putin might use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine it sent a chill down her spine. 

The Prime Minister was still adjusting to getting used to a new mobile phone number, for the first time in over a decade, as a result of a hack suspected to have been backed or orchestrated by the Kremlin, potentially giving Putin access to information about Western support for President Volodymyr Zelensky's regime. 

 In particular, Ms Truss was told that Putin might explode a weapon in the air above the Black Sea, which would show the West what he was capable of without triggering a full-scale nuclear war.  

Read more ....  

Update: Liz Truss 'obsessed with wind charts and weather forecasts because she feared nuclear fallout' in final days in office (LBC).  

WNU Editor: It looks like she blindly trusted her intelligence services. She should have been more skeptical.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Lula da Silva Wins Brazil's Presidency


Daily Mail: Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva calls for 'peace and unity' after beating far-Right rival Jair Bolsonaro in knife-edge election that split the nation after millions cast their votes... but will the 'Trump of the Tropics' concede defeat? 

* Millions of voters in Brazil cast their vote on Sunday to decide whether to keep in far-right Bolsonaro 

* It follows a divisive election campaign between Bolsonaro and former left-wing President Luiz Lula da Silva 

* During the first half of the night's count, Bolsonaro had been leading with results on a knife-edge 

* With 98.8% of the votes tallied, da Silva was guaranteed victory with 50.8% while Bolsonaro had 49.2% 

* US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have both congratulated Mr Da Silva 

Brazil's veteran leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has urged for 'peace and unity' after being elected president on Sunday by a hair's breadth, beating his far-right rival Jair Bolsonaro in a down-to-the-wire poll that split the country in two. 

The former president, who won a third term in office, stood neck and neck with incumbent Bolsonaro throughout a nail-biting count, however he emerged victorious with 50.83 percent of the vote to 49.17 percent for his rival, according to election authorities who declared him the victor. 

All eyes are now on Bolsonaro and whether he will accept the result.  

Read more .... 

Lula da Silva Wins Brazil's Presidency 

Brazil election 2022: live results as Lula beats Bolsonaro to return as president -- The Guardian 

LIVE — World leaders congratulate Lula on election victory -- DW  

Live: Brazil’s Lula defeats incumbent Bolsonaro in presidential runoff -- France 24  

Lula defeats Bolsonaro to again become Brazil’s president -- AP 

Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil's runoff election, pollster Datafolha says, article with video -- Reuters  

Brazil election: Lula wins presidency, defeats Bolsonaro -- DW 

Lula stages astonishing comeback to beat far-right Bolsonaro in Brazil election -- The Guardian  

Brazil’s Bolsonaro loses bid for second term in fiercely contested presidential vote -- CNN  

Jair Bolsonaro defeated in Brazilian presidential runoff -- Politico  

Brazil election: Lula da Silva wins presidency as nation swings left — will Bolsonaro accept the results? -- FOX News

By A 152-5 Vote The UN General Assembly Passes Resolution Telling Israel To Get Rid Of Its Nuclear Arsenal

PRIME MINISTER Yair Lapid addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, last week. (photo credit: Mike Segar/Reuters) 

Jerusalem Post: Israel must get rid of its nuclear weapons, UNGA majority decides 

Israel never admitted to possess nuclear weapons, but nevertheless, the UNGA resolution was aimed at Israel, not Iran.

Israel must dispose of all its nuclear weapons and place its nuclear sites under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s purview, the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee stated in an initial 152-5 vote. 

The five nations that opposed Friday’s resolution on the “risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” were: Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau and the United States. Another 24 countries abstained, including European Union members.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The 5 nations that voted against this resolution were .... Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau and the United States.

Majority Of Americans Say Putin Should Be Overthrown

© Gavriil Grigorov/POOL/TASS  

DNYUZ/Newsweek: Putin Should Be Overthrown, Majority of Americans Say: Poll 

A majority of American voters believe seeking to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin from power is a “reasonable objective,” according to a new survey conducted exclusively for Newsweek. 

On February 24 Putin ordered his army into Ukraine, triggering one of the biggest wars in Europe since the end of World War II. 

After the Russians initially made significant gains, Ukraine has recaptured some territory over the past couple of months, particularly around the northern city of Kharkiv and Kherson in the south. 

According to the Redfield and Wilton poll, conducted for Newsweek, 60 percent of U.S. voters think seeking to “remove Vladimir Putin from power would be a reasonable objective.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: US President Biden has been saying the same thing since the start of the war .... Biden Says War In Ukraine Is A Test For Democracies And That Putin 'Cannot Remain In Power' (RFE). Russian public opinion polls have a different view .... Poll reveals level of Russian public’s confidence in Putin (TASS).

Support For Sanctions Against Russia Remians Strong In The UK

SKY News: Ukraine war: Cost-of-living crisis could erode public support for sanctions against Russia 

An exclusive poll for Sky News found that 32% would oppose sanctions if they caused energy bills to rise further. 

Public support for sanctions on Russia remains overwhelming, but could erode if the cost-of-living crisis worsens, an exclusive poll for Sky News has found. 

The poll by Ipsos suggests that 70% of the public support implementing sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In the UK 70% continue to support sanctions against Russia. That is a strong majority.

A Republican Landslide In The Midterms Next Week?

CBS News: Republicans head into final week with lead in seats, voters feel things are "out of control" — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll 

The election is already underway; millions have voted, and tens of millions more will before Nov. 8. Amid that, eight in 10 likely voters describe things in the country today as "out of control," as opposed to "under control." 

That doesn't bode well for the party in power: Republicans are winning those who say "out of control" right now by more than 20 points, though they're often the ones feeling that way to begin with. So where do things stand?  

Read more ....  

Update #1: The US Senate races appear to be close .... Its a dead heat for the US Senate (FiveThirtyEight).  

Update #2: It looks like some Governor-ships are flipping Republican .... Governor’s Races Enter Final Sprint on a Scrambled, Surprising Map (New York Times).  

WNU Editor: The CBS/YouGov poll does not say how much of their sample size is Democrat/Republican/Independent. 

FiveThirtyEight says it is a dead heat, but when you look at their map projections it looks like the Republicans are going to pick up a minimum of two seats. 

The New York Times assessment on the governor-ships is blunt. A number of Republican pick-ups.

Bottom line. It is going to be a good night if you are a Republican. 

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 30.10.2022


WNU Editor: Heavy fighting reported along most of the front-lines in Ukraine. Significant Russian advances are being reported in the Donbas region.

Russia - Ukraine War Maps -- October 30, 2022 (Click on Images to Enlarge)

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Lula Defeats Bolsonaro To Become Brazil’s President


WNU Editor: It was close. From the AP .... With 98.8% of the votes tallied, da Silva had 50.8% and Bolsonaro 49.2%, and the election authority said da Silva’s victory was a mathematical certainty (link here). 

The count can be viewed here (link here).  

This breaking news story will be updated later this evening.

Elon Musk Deletes Conspiratorial Tweet To Hillary Clinton Suggesting Paul Pelosi's Attacker Was Gay Prostitute

  (Click on Image to Enlarge)

WNU editor: That did not last too long .... Elon Musk DELETES conspiratorial tweet to Hillary Clinton suggesting Paul Pelosi's attacker was gay prostitute: Fake news site behind story once claimed Hillary died and was replaced by body double in 2016 (Daily Mail).

Taiwan Needs US Weapons

In this photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen watches soldiers operate equipment during a visit to a naval station on Penghu, an archipelago of several dozen islands off Taiwan's western coast on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense via AP)  

StraitArrowNews: Taiwan can’t fend off China without US weapons 

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States sent hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weaponry to the Ukrainians. Things like Javelin anti-tank missiles and HIMARS rockets. Now, as China seems poised to launch an invasion of Taiwan, some are concerned that the U.S. might not have enough weapons to help the self-governing island defend itself. 

Defending Taiwan is a vastly different undertaking from U.S. efforts with Ukraine. Unlike in Ukraine, where Russia could assemble troops along the border before invading, the Chinese would have to cross 100 miles of open ocean to launch an assault. There hasn’t been an amphibious assault on such a scale since the Korean War. 

Preventing the Chinese from establishing a beachhead would be critical to defending the island. If the Chinese succeeded in establishing a footing and is able to transport troops and weapons to the island, the battle is probably over.  

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WNU Editor: Fortunately for Taiwan the Chinese military have a 100 mile ocean that they must cross to launch an assault. But the Chinese will succeed if the firepower is not there to stop them. Bottom line. The Taiwanese need weapons if they have any hope to persevere.

The same can be said about the Russia - Ukraine war. If Ukraine was not receiving US military aid, the military would have collapsed a long time ago, and the Zelensky government would have been forced to agree to peace terms dictated by Moscow.

It Is Elon Musk's Twitter Now

From Instapundit .... “Grab the popcorn, baby! It’s on! Maybe a questionable decision this early in his tenure as Chief Twit, but we’re here for the show, and we couldn’t write a better opening episode. This tweet would have gotten flagged for disinformation or taken down by Twitter in the before times. Now it’s out there in all its glory for people to read, debate, criticize, and all the other things that should happen in a free society where ideas are discussed with words INSTEAD of resorting to violence. It’s a new day!” 


If this Santa Monica article is true (link here), it completely changes the narrative behind the Pelosi assault story. This tweet by Elon Musk perfectly illustrates why the political establishment is freaking out over Elon Musk' ownership of Twitter.

Is Washington's Chip Ban Against China A De Facto Declaration Of War?


Asia Times: US chip ban de facto declaration of war on China?  

America’s latest chip war sanctions risk wider conflict in physical and economic spheres.  

The United States has gambled big in its latest across-the-board sanctions on Chinese companies in the semiconductor industry, believing it can kneecap China and retain its global dominance. 

From the slogans of globalization and “free trade” of the neoliberal 1990s, Washington has reverted to the technology-denial regimes that the US and its allies followed during the Cold War. While it might work in the short run to slow down Chinese advances, the cost to the US semiconductor industry of losing China – its biggest market – will have significant consequences in the long run. 

In the process, the semiconductor industries of Taiwan and South Korea and equipment manufacturers in Japan and the European Union are likely to become collateral damage. It reminds us again of what former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger once said: “It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Why Biden's Block on Chips to China Is a Big Deal (The Atlantic)  

Update #2: The US Declares Chip-War on China (PRIO)  

WNU Editor: This is why the US ban on advanced microchips will impact China severely .... Will The U.S. Ban On Chip Development In China Send China Into The Dark Ages? (October 22). And the US is planning even more curbs and bans .... Semiconductor export curbs hitting China to be followed by biotech and AI restrictions: US official (SCMP). 

From Beijing's perspective this is only feeding their belief that the US wants to isolate China and to limit its military/economic growth .... US needs immediate action to bring China relations back to the track of sound development (Global Times). 

And while the recent China Congress did not say it bluntly, if you read between the lines there is a realization that they must prepare for a military conflict .... Analysis: Xi's new generals offer cohesion over possible Taiwan plans (Reuters).

Prominent Haitian Politician Shot Dead As Violent Gangs And Political Turmoil Push The Country To The ‘Edge Of Collapse’


CNN: Haitian politician shot dead, as violent gangs and political turmoil push country to the ‘edge of collapse’ 

A Haitian politician has been shot dead outside his home, authorities have said, as international concerns intensify over the gang violence, political turmoil and humanitarian crises that have seized control of the country. 

Eric Jean Baptiste was killed on Friday night outside his home in the capital Port-au-Prince, local police told CNN.

He was the leader of the Rally of Progressive National Democrats Party (RNDP), a minor political party in Haiti, and launched a longshot presidential bid in 2016. A security guard was also killed in the attack, the police spokesperson said. Baptiste survived an earlier attempt on his life in 2018, escaping with a bullet wound. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: High-profile Haitian politician killed in apparent gang attack, reports say (Reuters)  

Update #2: Haitian political leader Eric Jean Baptiste fatally shot (AP)  

WNU Editor: I personally visited Haiti about 20 years ago to work with a friend of mine who is a Canadian-Haitian and who wanted to provide computer networks to the government and NGOs. It failed. 

Truth be told the gangs have always been in control .... Haitian ambassador warns criminal gangs may overrun country (The Guardian). And sending international troops is certainly not going to solve the problem .... As U.N. mulls sending troops to Haiti, a gang's rise shows how hard that would be (Reuters).

U.S. LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker in the Sea of Japan near Nakhodka, Russia. Vladimir Serebryanskiy/Dreamstime U.S. LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost 

* Europe has relied on U.S. LNG imports to offset the loss of Russian gas, with nearly 70% of U.S. LNG exports heading to Europe in September. 

* In the long term, Europe will have to find other sources of natural gas as its inventories are likely to drain over the upcoming winter. 

* Ultimately, Europe will have to reduce demand for natural gas going forward as there is very little available supply left. 

Europe cannot rely solely on imports of U.S. LNG to offset the pipeline gas supply it will have lost from Russia when it starts rebuilding inventories after the end of this winter, according to BloombergNEF. 

So far this year, American LNG has been crucial in meeting demand in Europe, which is scrambling for gas supply and willing to pay up for spot deliveries, outbidding most of Asia.

The United States is shipping record volumes of LNG to Europe to help EU allies and nearly 70% of all American LNG exports were headed to Europe in September, according to Refinitiv Eikon data cited by Reuters.  

Read more ....  

Update: Europe Can’t Rely on US Gas to Plug Growing Shortfall Next Year (Bloomberg)  

WNU Editor: I am sure the EU is going to be able to get the natural gas that it needs this winter. But it is not going to be cheap, nor reliable. And the bigger problem will be next year, since Russian gas will no longer be available to fill up their reserves unless purchased through middle-men like Turkey or China at exoborant prices. 

And that is the crux of the problem. 

Europe's industrial base is dependent on having access to cheap natural gas. No more now.