Tuesday, March 3, 2015

North Korea Warns The U.S. That They Will Launch A Pre-Emptive Strike 'If Necessary'

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong (R) arrives with North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations So Se Pyong for his address to the Conference on Disarmament at the U.N. in Geneva March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Reuters: North Korea warns U.S. about pre-emptive strike 'if necessary'

(Reuters) - North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong said on Tuesday that his country had the power to deter an "ever-increasing nuclear threat" by the United States with a pre-emptive strike if necessary.

His rare speech at the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament drew a rebuke from U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood, who urged Pyongyang to stop making threats and rid itself of nuclear weapons.

Ri said joint military exercises currently being staged by South Korea and the United States were "unprecedentedly provocative in nature and have an especially high possibility of sparking off a war."

WNU Editor: Just a small reminder on how dangerous North Korea is.

More News On North Korean Warnings To The U.S. That They Will Launch A Pre-Emptive Strike 'If Necessary'

N. Korea: Joint Drills Could Spark War -- VOA
North Korean envoy: Regime can launch preemptive strikes -- UPI
North Korea says it could make "pre-emptive strike" on US -- Deutsche Welle
North Korea Warns Can Conduct 'Strike' on US, Denies Rights Violations -- Defense News/AFP
Kim Jong Un reportedly tells North Korean army to 'prepare for war' with US -- FOX News

NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden Wants To Return Return Home



Reuters: Fugitive ex-NSA contractor Snowden seeks to come home: lawyer

(Reuters) - A Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden said on Tuesday the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government's mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home.

In Washington, U.S. officials said they would welcome Snowden's return to the United States but he would have to face criminal charges which have been filed against him.

Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin, was speaking at a news conference to present a book he has written about his client. Moscow granted Snowden asylum in 2013, straining already tense ties with Washington.


WNU Editor: When it became clear to everyone that Edward Snowden was going to stay in Russia over a year ago, I said in this blog that I did not envy him .... because I knew that he would miss his home country. Regular readers of this blog know that my nationality is Russian, but I am now a Canadian citizen living in Canada. Whenever I feel "homesick" or I miss the old country .... it is very easy for me to just arrange a flight .... and in a few days find myself in Moscow having a meal at my favorite restaurant. Edward Snowden does not have that luxury .... and I doubt that he will have it for a very long time ... if not forever. If he should decide to go back to the U.S. .... what will happen to him is easy to predict. A trial, a conviction, and about 20 years in a federal penitentiary. Is 20 years in jail worth not having a meal at your favorite restaurant .... I guess it all depends on the person.

More News On Reports That NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden Wants To Return Return Home

Lawyer: NSA leaker Edward Snowden wants to return home -- AP
Edward Snowden 'ready to return to States' -- AFP
Edward Snowden may finally stand trial as Russian lawyer for the NSA leaker reveals they are working with the United States on his return home -- Daily Mail
Snowden's Legal Team Pushing for His Return to America -- Moscow Times
Lawyer: Snowden ready to return to United States -- CNN
Snowden Ready to Return to U.S. if Promised Fair Trial, Lawyer Says -- Newsweek
Edward Snowden in talks to return to United States from Russian exile: lawyer -- New York Daily News
Edward Snowden Is Ready to Return to the United States—if ... -- Slate
Lawyer: Snowden willing to return to U.S. for trial -- USA Today

Update: Apparently the story has being overblown by Moscow .... Reports Snowden Is in Talks to Return Home Are “Much Ado About Nothing,” Says U.S. Lawyer (Vanity Fair).

Shots Fired At NSA Headquarters Building

Photo courtesy NSA

Washington Post: Gunshots hit building at National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade

Gunshots struck a building at the National Security Agency campus on Tuesday, a U.S. Park Police spokeswoman said.

The Park Police said no injuries were reported, and police had no information about who might have fired at the building in Fort Meade, Md.

A National Security Agency spokeswoman declined to comment immediately on the incident.

More News On Shots Being Fired At The NSA Headquarters Building In Maryland

Police investigate report of shots near U.S. spy agency headquarters -- Reuters
Shots Fired Near NSA Headquarters, Building Damaged by Gunfire -- NBC
Shots reported near NSA HQ -- The Hill
NSA Headquarters Hit by Gunfire, No Injuries -- Sputnik

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 3, 2015



David Usborne, The Independent: Benjamin Netanyahu's nuclear war of words provokes Washington fall out

Iran will be 'guaranteed lots of nuclear weapons' under Obama's arms enforcement deal, the Israeli Prime Minister told the US Congress

An unbridled Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minster of Israel, last night accused the United States and its allies, including Britain, of pursuing an arms enforcement deal with Iran so weak that it would all but ensure that it acquires nuclear weapons, catapulting the world into a “nuclear nightmare”.

“That deal would not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it would guarantee it – lots of them,” Mr Netanyahu said in a highly anticipated speech to a joint meeting of Congress that sounded like the diplomatic equivalent of a blunderbuss being fired at the nation that has sponsored Israel’s survival.


Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 3, 2015

Netanyahu on Iran: Tough, Fair, Unconstructive -- Bloomberg editorial

Bibi’s Triumph Puts Obama on the Defensive -- Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

Netanyahu Can Slow Obama's Rush to Peace -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg

A History of U.S.-Israel Breakups and Makeups -- Gil Troy, Daily Beast

US on sidelines of key Iraqi battle against IS -- Vivian Salama, AP

Exposed: ISIS’ Somali-American Terrorist Pipeline -- National Interest

ISIL and the history of destroying history -- Lana Asfour & Matthew Scott, Al Jazeera

Israel's Critical Opportunity to Enhance Regional Security -- Seth Cropsey, RCS

Why Pakistan would welcome delayed US withdrawal from Afghanistan -- Howard LaFranchi, CSM

Doomsday: Preparing for China's Collapse -- Peter Mattis, National Interest

Ukraine's Next Battle Zone Is Its Economy -- Bloomberg Editorial

Nemtsov and the Road Russia Never Took -- Andrew Kuchins, RCW

For Russia's opposition, loss of Nemtsov is about more than the man -- Fred Weir, CSM

Hillary Email ‘Scandal’? Not So Fast -- Micahel Tomasky, Daily Beast

Petraeus Mistress Got Black Books Full of Code Words, Spy Names, and Obama Briefings -- Justin Miller & Nancy A, Youssef, Daily Beast

Got $1,000,000,000,000? The world’s first trillionaire already in the making -- Jennifer Harper, Washington Times

World News Briefs -- March 3, 2015 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Israel's Netanyahu draws rebuke from Obama over Iran speech to Congress

(Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States on Tuesday that it was negotiating a bad deal with Iran that paved the way to a "nuclear nightmare," drawing a rebuke from President Barack Obama and exposing the depth of a U.S.-Israeli rift.

MIDDLE EAST

Netanyahu warns US 'bad deal' would put Iran on nuclear path. Netanyahu urges global unity against Iran's 'terror'.

Fierce clashes outside Iraq's Tikrit after new offensive.

Iraqi army 'kills ISIS second-in-command in Tikrit' as military begins to force militants from the strategic city.

As Iraqis advance on Tikrit, threat of car bombs, mines loom.

IS says US suicide bomber carried out Iraq attack.

U.S.-led coalition launches 14 air strikes against Islamic State: task force.

Syrian rebels reject U.N. envoy's ceasefire plan.

Tehran plans no concessions to US at talks on nuclear program — foreign minister. Iran calls Obama's 10-year nuclear demand 'unacceptable'.

ASIA

Afghan army suffers heavy combat losses: US.

Many killed in Afghan explosion.

U.S. military says tensions are up on DMZ in Koreas.

North Korea warns U.S. about pre-emptive strike 'if necessary'. N.Korea warns can conduct 'strike' on US, denies rights violations.

Pakistani diplomat: Slowing Afghan drawdown would viewed 'positively.

Pakistan arrests parents for refusing polio vaccination.

U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation.

China invites world leaders to military parade to mark WWII.

Exclusive: China investigates second top officer for graft - sources.

Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution: media.

AFRICA

Hundreds killed as Chad forces seize northeast Nigerian town.

5,000 foreign fighters flock to Libya as ISIS call for Jihadists.

Nigeria's Boko Haram releases beheading video echoing Islamic State.

UN Security Council OKs sanctions regime for South Sudan.

Russia, Egypt to sign protocol on military cooperation — Russian defense minister.

Report: As Ebola wanes, other countries remain vulnerable. Ebola: Liberia's Johnson Sirleaf urges 'Marshall Plan'.

Influential Mozambican lawyer Cistac gunned down in taxi.

Tunisia blogger gets 6 months for defaming army.

EUROPE

Some 12,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine supporting rebels: U.S. commander.

Ukraine says return of Crimea a must for mending ties with Russia.

Three dead as Kiev accuses Ukraine rebels of shelling.

Ukraine crisis: OSCE monitors 'to be sent to truce violation areas'.

Obama holding video talk with European leaders on Ukraine. Obama, European leaders to discuss Ukraine, global security.

Mourners view body of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Crowds of mourners pay respect to slain opposition leader Nemtsov. Russians bid farewell to murdered politician Nemtsov.

Turkey withdraws planned military exercise in Aegean, Greece says.

Greece may free jailed Golden Dawn leaders.

Greece faces cash crunch as IMF payments come due.

AMERICAS

Central America proposes security initiatives on Biden trip.

Congress sends Homeland bill to Obama without conditions.

Americans open to U.S. troops for fighting Islamic State.

US pushes back on Venezuela's order to slash embassy staff. Venezuela initiates visa requirement for U.S. travelers.

Britain laughs off Argentine Falklands banknote as 'a stunt'.

Villarrica volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee.

Fugitive ex-U.S. spy Snowden in talks on returning home: lawyer.

US considers banning type of popular rifle ammunition.

Report: More than half of children in U.S. expected to be minorities by 2020.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Islamic State plot suspect to be transferred to NY.

Syrian war refugees seen by US as terror recruiting targets.

'Attractive jihadists can lure UK girls to extremism'.

Westerners head to Iraq to fight as Christian warriors against Islamic State.

'Europe will face a 9/11 within two years’ – Colonel Gaddafi’s cousin.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

US running out of room to store oil; price collapse next?

Macao's casinos see record revenue fall.

Apple edges out Samsung in global smartphone sales: Gartner.

Exxon's Russia exposure surges as it takes the long view.

Murdered Russian Politician Boris Nemtsov Is Buried. The Investigation Into His Killing Is Still Ongoing



BBC: Russians bid farewell to murdered politician Nemtsov

Thousands of Russians have bid farewell to murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov as his funeral took place in the capital Moscow.

They queued patiently to view his coffin before it began its solemn journey to a city cemetery.

Several EU politicians and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were barred from attending the funeral.

Hours later, Mr Navalny accused the Russian authorities of responsibility for the murder.


WNU Editor: This is a sad day for Russian democracy. My prayers are with his family and loved ones .... and for those who will continue to fight for a better Russia. As for the investigation into Boris Nemtsov's murder .... Investigators Fail to Produce Answers as Thousands Pay Last Respects to Nemtsov (Moscow Times). And as for the only witness to the murder .... Anna Duritskaya, only known witness to Nemtsov’s murder, flies to Kyiv (Euronews).



More News On The Burial Of Murdered Russian Politician Boris Nemtsov

Thousands of Russian dignitaries, mourners flock to funeral for Putin critic Boris Nemtsov after shocking Moscow assassination -- AP
Russians stand in line to mourn by coffin of slain Nemtsov -- Reuters
Thousands Honor Boris Nemtsov, Putin Critic Killed in Russia -- New York Times
Mourners bid farewell to Boris Nemtsov, but fear their hopes have died with him -- The Guardian
Boris Nemtsov: Thousands Gather for Funeral -- ABC News
Boris Nemtsov Death: Future Of Russian Opposition Is Unclear After Leader's Murder -- IBTimes
Russian opposition in despair after Nemtsov killing -- Henry Meyer, Bloomberg News
Thousands of Russians Queue Up to Say Goodbye to Murdered Opposition Leader Boris Nemstov -- Vice News
Plot thickens in Nemtsov murder (Video) -- CNN
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: What we know and what we may never find out about his murder -- The Independent

Top U.S. Spy Chief: Returning Jihadists Pose No Threat To Americans



The Hill: Spy chief: No threat from Americans who aided militants in Syria

The few dozen Americans who have gone to join militant groups fighting in Syria and then come back home don’t pose a threat to the U.S., according to the nation’s top intelligence official.

About “40 or so” Americans have left to fight with the groups and then come home, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said during an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday.

While the U.S. is concerned about people leaving to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), none of those who have returned have shown “nefarious” intentions, he claimed.

WNU Editor: After Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made the above remark .... the wire services posted this story .... IS says US suicide bomber carried out Iraq attack (AFP). If U.S. citizens are willing to launch suicide attacks in Iraq .... it dos not take much of a stretch to realize that they may also decide to launch such attacks on the homeland .... after-all .... quoting former U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton .... what difference does it make.

The U.S. - Israel Split On How To Deal With Iran's Nuclear Program Is Enormous

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Obama at the White House in October. Credit Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

David Sanger, New York Times: For Netanyahu and Obama, Difference Over Iran Widened Into Chasm

WASHINGTON — Over six years of bitter disagreements about how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel kept running into one central problem: The two leaders never described their ultimate goal in quite the same way.

Mr. Obama has repeated a seemingly simple vow: On his watch, the United States would do whatever it took to “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Mr. Netanyahu has used a different set of stock phrases. Iran had to be stopped from getting the “capability” to manufacture a weapon, he said, and Israel could never tolerate an Iran that was a “threshold nuclear state.”

WNU Editor: Both leaders do not see eye to eye on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program .... if there was any doubts on that it was put to bed today. What is my take on this entire affair .... it has been the same since day one .... Iran made the strategic decision years ago to put into place the basic ingredients necessary for a nuclear weapons program, and if in the future they should then decide to assemble such a weapon, to have the means to produce the necessary fissionable material .... and to do so fast. Their rational for developing such a program is the same rational the that Soviet Union used, the British and French used, the Chinese used, India and Pakistan used, and one can even say that Israel used .... we need such a weapons program because it is necessary for the defense and national security of our country. President Obama has come to accept this Iranian point of view .... Israeli PM Netanyahu has not, and he has made it very clear he is willing to exercise force to make sure that it does not happen.

Reaction To Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech To The U.S. Congress



NBC: Obama: 'Nothing New' in Netanyahu Speech

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered "nothing new" in his much-anticipated speech to Congress, suggesting that the Israeli leader failed to articulate an alternative strategy to halt Iran's attempts to make a nuclear bomb.

"On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous ... the prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives," he told reporters during an appearance with new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Reaction To Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech To The U.S. Congress

Benjamin Netanyahu didn't offer 'viable alternatives' during Iran speech: Obama -- CBC/AP
Barack Obama: 'nothing new' in Benjamin Netanyahu's Iran speech -- The Telegraph
Obama: 'Nothing New' in Netanyahu Speech -- NBC
Netanyahu offered no ‘viable alternative’ to Iran nuclear deal - Obama -- RT
Netanyahu Congress Speech Reaction Ranges From Applause To 'Political Theater Worthy Of An Oscar' -- IBTimes
Praise, Criticism For Netanyahu's Speech -- NPR
Reaction to Netanyahu Speech Divides Along Partisan Lines -- Alex Rogers, Time
Netanyahu offers 'no concrete action plan' on Iran: senior U.S. official -- Reuters
Pelosi, Democrats Furious Over Netanyahu 'Condescension' -- NYT/AP
Pelosi: 'I Was Near Tears Throughout the Prime Minister’s Speech' -- Weekly Standard
Netanyahu Speech International Reaction: What Israeli, Arab, European Media Are Saying About The Controversial Address -- IBTimes
Israel, Iran react to Netanyahu speech -- CNN
Netanyahu's speech to US Congress gets mixed reception in Israel -- Reuters
How Israel reacted to Netanyahu’s speech to Congress -- Washington Post

Israel 's Netanyahu Warns The U.S. Congress On The Danger Of A Nuclear Deal With Iran



Daily Mail: 'A farewell to arms control': Netanyahu warns Congress Iran deal will make Middle East a 'nuclear tinderbox' and feed its 'tentacles of terror'

* 'The greatest threat against the world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons,' he warned
* It 'could happen if the deal that is being negotiated is accepted by Iran'
* Netanyahu interrupted by applause 41 times, but no member of the Obama administration attended the event
* John Kerry, the US secretary of state, is negotiating that deal in Switzerland
* 'Iran has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted,' Netanyahu insisted
* Susan Rice admitted Monday that 'some' Israel backers won't get behind an agreement with Iran that doesn't require it to cease its enrichment program
* 'As desirable as that would be, it is neither realistic nor achievable,' she said

More News On Israeli PM Netanyahu's Speech To The U.S. Congress

Complete text of Netanyahu's address to Congress -- YNet News
Israel's Netanyahu warns U.S. against Iran nuclear deal -- Reuters
Netanyahu assails Iran-nuclear talks in Congress address -- AP
Netanyahu warns US Congress of Iran’s ‘march of terror’ -- France 24
Netanyahu, in Speech to Congress, Criticizes 'Bad Deal' With Iran -- NYT
Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Congress to Block ‘Bad Deal’ With Iran -- WSJ
Israel's Netanyahu warns US against 'paving way to Iran bomb' -- BBC
'It's a very bad deal': Benjamin Netanyahu rips possible U.S. nuclear deal with Iran during speech to Congress -- New York Daily News
Netanyahu: Iran Engaged in Deadly 'Game of Thrones' -- ABC News
Netanyahu: Nuclear Deal ‘Paves Iran’s Path To The Bomb’ -- CBS
Netanyahu Tells Congress Iran Deal ‘Paves Path To A Bomb’ -- Time
Netanyahu warns Congress: Deal will lead to Iranian nuclear bomb -- CNN
Netanyahu: Stop Iran's 'march of conquest' -- USA Today
Israeli PM: Iran Nuclear Talks Are 'Very Bad Deal' -- VOA
Netanyahu to Congress: 'We Are Better Off' Without the Emerging U.S. Deal With Iran -- National Journal
Netanyahu warns Obama nuclear deal would pave Iran’s ‘path to bomb’ -- Al Jazeera

Arab Nations Are Said To Be Deeply Worried On An Iranian Nuclear Deal

President Obama shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at the start of a bilateral meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh January 27, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Wall Street Journal: Obama Parries Questions on Iran Deal From Arabs as Well as Israelis

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, others worry about regional arms race; new talk of extending U.S. ‘umbrella’

WASHINGTON—Arab governments are privately expressing their concern to Washington about the emerging terms of a potential deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program, according to Arab and U.S. officials involved in the deliberations.

The direction of U.S. diplomacy with Tehran has added fuel to fears in some Arab states of a nuclear-arms race in the region, as well as reviving talk about possibly extending a U.S. nuclear umbrella to Middle East allies to counter any Iranian threat.


Update #1: Arab nations said deeply worried by Iran nuke deal -- Times of Israel
Update #2: Arab Nations Concerned Over "Bad Deal" with Iran -- Breaking Israel News

WNU Editor: I do not know what is in the mind of the Saudi leadership .... but my gut is telling me that if Iran gets the deal that the Saudis think they will get .... I expect the Saudi Arabian government to start pursuing their own nuclear program .... and nuclear nonproliferation .... as we know it .... will be over.

Iran Rejects President Obama's Demand For A Ten Year Nuclear Freeze



BBC: Iran rejects Obama nuclear call before Netanyahu speech

Iran has rejected as "excessive and illogical" a demand by US President Barack Obama that it freeze sensitive nuclear activity for at least 10 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted saying Mr Obama spoke in "unacceptable and threatening" terms.

Mr Zarif said talks on Iran's nuclear programme, which are nearing a critical 31 March deadline, would continue.

WNU Editor: There has been no comment from the White House with the exception of stating that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are meeting for a second day in Switzerland to discuss the status of Tehran’s nuclear program.

More News On Iran Rejecting President Obama's Demand For A 10 Year Nuclear Freeze

Obama's remarks unacceptable: Iran foreign minister -- Press TV (Iran)
Iran calls Obama's 10-year nuclear demand 'unacceptable' -- Reuters
Iran Rejects Obama's 'Excessive And Illogical' Demand To Freeze Nuclear Program -- IBTimes
Obama comments on nuke deal ‘unacceptable,’ Iran’s Zarif says -- Times of Israel
Iran Calls Obama’s 10-Year Nuclear Demand ‘Unacceptable’ -- Washington Free Beacon/Reuters
Obama’s 10-year nuclear freeze rejected by Iran: ‘Unacceptable’ -- Washington Times
Tehran plans no concessions to US at talks on nuclear program — foreign minister. -- ITAR-TASS

Former CIA Director Petraeus Will Plead Guilty To Federal Charges

Former CIA director and retired general David Petraeus gives the sign for ''fight on'', the motto of the University of Southern California, speaks as the keynote speaker at the university's annual dinner for veterans and ROTC students, in Los Angeles, California March 26, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Alex Gallardo/Files

New York Times: Petraeus Reaches Plea Deal Over Giving Classified Data to Lover

WASHINGTON — David H. Petraeus, the best-known military commander of his generation, has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department that will allow him to avoid an embarrassing trial over whether he provided classified information to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A.

Mr. Petraeus will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Mr. Petraeus has signed the agreement, said Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman.

WNU Editor: I will be shocked if he has to serve time .... but if it was anyone else .... yes .... prison time would probably be the result. Considering what he did .... he is getting off light.

More News On Former CIA Director Petraeus Pleading Guilty To Federal Charges

DOJ: Ex-CIA chief admits mishandling classified information -- Washington Post/AP
Former CIA director Petraeus pleads guilty to federal charge -- Reuters
David Petraeus to Plead Guilty to Classified-Information Charge -- Bloomberg
Petraeus reaches deal to plead guilty to misdemeanor but will likely not face prison time -- Washington Post
Ex-CIA chief in federal charge plea -- BBC
David Petraeus pleads guilty in deal over passing classified information to lover -- The Guardian
Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus to plead guilty to sharing classified info with mistress -- UPI
Ex-CIA Director Petraeus to Plead Guilty to Misdemeanor Over Mishandling Classified Information -- WSJ
David Petraeus to plead guilty to removing classified information -- Washington Times
Gen. Petraeus expected to plead guilty to federal charges -- CNN
Petraeus pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge in plea agreement over claims he leaked classified info to mistress -- FOX News
Ex-CIA boss Petraeus pleads guilty over giving secret information to lover -- Deutsche Welle
Petraeus to plead guilty for mishandling classified information -- The Hill
Petraeus reaches plea deal with Justice Dept. -- USA Today
Former CIA Director Petraeus Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges -- Sputnik
Disgraced CIA chief David Petraeus signs plea deal admitting to giving classified information to his mistress biographer -- Daily Mail

World News Briefs -- March 3, 2015



Al Jazeera: Iraqi forces ramp up offensive to recapture Tikrit

Al Jazeera reporter says troops have seized towns and villages along the way to Tikrit, capital of Salahuddin province.

Iraqi forces have continued their offensive to retake the city of Tikrit, seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last June, with troops claiming "gains" in the fighting, security forces told Al Jazeera's correspondent.

Citing state media and security sources, Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said an ISIL leader for south Tikrit had been killed and that other ISIL officials had retreated through Huweijah and on into the Hamreen mountains.


MIDDLE EAST

Fierce clashes outside Iraq's Tikrit after new offensive.

Iraqi army 'kills ISIS second-in-command in Tikrit' as military begins to force militants from the strategic city.

As Iraqis advance on Tikrit, threat of car bombs, mines loom.

IS says US suicide bomber carried out Iraq attack.

U.S.-led coalition launches 14 air strikes against Islamic State: task force.

Syrian rebels reject U.N. envoy's ceasefire plan.

Tehran plans no concessions to US at talks on nuclear program — foreign minister.

ASIA

U.S. military says tensions are up on DMZ in Koreas.

North Korea warns U.S. about pre-emptive strike 'if necessary'.

Many killed in Afghan explosion.

Pakistani diplomat: Slowing Afghan drawdown would viewed 'positively.

Pakistan arrests parents for refusing polio vaccination.

U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation.

China invites world leaders to military parade to mark WWII.

Exclusive: China investigates second top officer for graft - sources.

AFRICA

5,000 foreign fighters flock to Libya as ISIS call for Jihadists.

Nigeria's Boko Haram releases beheading video echoing Islamic State.

UN Security Council OKs sanctions regime for South Sudan.

Russia, Egypt to sign protocol on military cooperation — Russian defense minister.

Report: As Ebola wanes, other countries remain vulnerable. Ebola: Liberia's Johnson Sirleaf urges 'Marshall Plan'.

Influential Mozambican lawyer Cistac gunned down in taxi.

Tunisia blogger gets 6 months for defaming army.

EUROPE

Ukraine says return of Crimea a must for mending ties with Russia.

Three dead as Kiev accuses Ukraine rebels of shelling.

Ukraine crisis: OSCE monitors 'to be sent to truce violation areas'.

Obama holding video talk with European leaders on Ukraine. Obama, European leaders to discuss Ukraine, global security.

Mourners view body of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Crowds of mourners pay respect to slain opposition leader Nemtsov. Russians bid farewell to murdered politician Nemtsov.

Turkey withdraws planned military exercise in Aegean, Greece says.

Greece faces cash crunch as IMF payments come due.

AMERICAS

GOP congressman: 'Clean' DHS funding bill 'probably' arrives in House Wednesday. U.S. House to vote on security bill without immigration provisions.

Americans open to U.S. troops for fighting Islamic State.

Venezuela initiates visa requirement for U.S. travelers.

Britain laughs off Argentine Falklands banknote as 'a stunt'.

Villarrica volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee.

Fugitive ex-U.S. spy Snowden in talks on returning home: lawyer.

US considers banning type of popular rifle ammunition.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Syrian war refugees seen by US as terror recruiting targets.

'Attractive jihadists can lure UK girls to extremism'.

Westerners head to Iraq to fight as Christian warriors against Islamic State.

'Europe will face a 9/11 within two years’ – Colonel Gaddafi’s cousin.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Macao's casinos see record revenue fall.

Apple edges out Samsung in global smartphone sales: Gartner.

Exxon's Russia exposure surges as it takes the long view.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 3, 2015



Nancy A. Youssef, Daily Beast: Iraq’s Attack Against ISIS Catches U.S. ‘By Surprise’

The biggest offensive against ISIS so far happened without American help—but with plenty of assistance from Iran.

The Iraqi military launched a major campaign to take back a key city from the self-proclaimed Islamic State over the weekend—a move that caught the U.S. “by surprise,” in the words of one American government official.

The U.S.-led coalition forces that have conducted seven months of airstrikes on Iraq’s behalf did not participate in the attack, defense officials told The Daily Beast, and the American military has no plans to chip in.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 3, 2015

U.S. fears Iran military influence growing in Iraq -- USA Today

US intelligence official: Iran involved in fight against IS -- Stars and Stripes/AP

Lloyd Austin, CENTCOM commander: ‘We are making progress’ in Islamic State fight -- Washington Times

General: ISIS campaign has killed 8,500 fighters -- The Hill

Australia to Send More Troops to Train Iraqi Military -- WSJ

Around 70% of Russian strategic aviation to be modernized by 2020 — defense minister -- ITAR-TASS

Major Artillery Drills Begin in Russian Far East – Defense Ministry -- Sputnik

Defense minister: Russian Navy will receive two Borei-class submarines this year -- ITAR-TASS

Does Russia Really Need a Second Aircraft Carrier? -- Ankit Panda, The Diplomat

Russian Black Sea Fleet to get 3 surface ships, two submarines in 2015 — –°aptain -- ITAR-TASS

Second Mistral ship intended for Russia to undergo first sea trials mid-March -- ITAR-TASS

Russia may sanction French companies over Mistral non-delivery – media -- RT

Russia, Egypt to Hold Joint Naval Drills in the Mediterranean in 2015 -- Sputnik

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption purge takes aim at China’s military -- Financial Times

Red red army: To be a good soldier in China is to be a good Communist -- The Economist

Is India's Defense Budget Adequate? -- Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat

Slovakia Seeks to Ditch Russian Equipment in Army Modernization Plan -- Sputnik

Turkey: Notice on Military Maneuvers in Aegean Was a Mistake -- ABC News

Japan leaders in talks over broadening troops' weapons use overseas -- Stars and Stripes/The Yomiuri Shimbun

US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine -- RT

White House denies threat to shoot down Israeli jets -- The Hill

Next-gen stealth bomber is secret, but debate over cost is on the radar -- Stars and Stripes/Washington Post

Air Force to move A-10 jets into backup status despite congressional opposition -- Washington Post

Senators say A-10 moves amount to backdoor retirement -- Stars and Stripes

Navy Deploys Drones Under Arctic Ice Ahead of Increased Ship Presence -- DoD Buzz

Army National Guard stands up cyber protection teams -- Army Times

Is The Military Prepared to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance? -- Armed With Science

The U.S. Army Almost Adopted a German Machine Gun -- Joseph Trevithick, War Is Boring

Secret tactics of successful Army recruiters -- Army Times

Reporting Sexual Abuse in the Military Is "Inherently Unfair." Here's Why. -- Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Jones

Russia Tops China as Principal Cyber Threat to US -- Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat

Snowden ready to go to US if he gets fair trial - whistleblower's lawyer -- RT

LIVE: Israeli Prime Minister To Deliver Speech At A Joint Session Of The US Congress

White House Warns Israeli PM Netanyahu To Not Disclose Any Secrets On The Iran Nuclear Talks

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, March 2, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

CNN: White House warns Netanyahu not to reveal Iran details

Washington (CNN)The Obama administration is bracing for Benjamin Netanyahu to spill secret details of Iran nuclear talks, as both camps traded last-minute political jabs ahead of the Israeli prime minister's controversial address to Congress at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday.

The White House is uncertain what precise details may come out but aides spent Monday frantically mobilizing after Israeli officials said that the prime minister planned to disclose sensitive details of an agreement taking shape in talks between six world powers and Iran, which has entered a delicate final stage.


Update: Israel's Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran, faces partial boycott -- Reuters

WNU Editor: Or else?

The Afghan Army Is Being Decimated

Newly trained Afghan army recruits (Wikimedia Commons)

New York Times: Figures From U.S.-Led Coalition Show Heavy 2014 Losses for Afghan Army

WASHINGTON — The Afghan Army lost more than 20,000 fighters and others last year largely because of desertions, discharges and deaths in combat, according to figures to be released Tuesday, casting further doubt on Afghanistan’s ability to maintain security without help from United States-led coalition forces.

The nearly 11 percent decline from January to November 2014, to roughly 169,000 uniformed and civilian members from 190,000, is now an issue of deep concern among some in the American military. For example, the former No. 2 American commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, called the rate of combat deaths unsustainable before he departed at the end of last year.


Update: Afghan National Army decimated by dwindling personnel -- Washington Times

WNU Editor: This is how you lose wars. What also does not help the situation is that apparently the Afghan Army numbers are inflated .... Report: Afghan National Army Numbers Inflated (UN Tribune). Do I smell corruption .... the U.S. has spent $50 billion in building up the Afghan Army .... and this is the end result?!?!?!

IN an ominous development, guess who is going to make up for this shortfall .... U.S. Army announces new Afghanistan deployments (Army Times).

Update: This is what is wrong with Afghanistan .... these police chiefs were sacked for corruption, but were then given jobs elsewhere .... Afghan President Ghani sacks Kabul police chiefs (BBC).

Former Commander Of U.S. Special Operations In Yemen: 'Counterterrorism Strategy In Yemen A Fantasy'


The Hill: Navy SEAL: Light counterterrorism strategy in Yemen 'a fantasy'

A Navy SEAL captain and former commander of a special operations team in Yemen said in a recent interview that a U.S. counterterrorism approach there reliant on drone strikes and special operations raids is a "fantasy."

"The solution that some people champion where the main or whole effort is drone strikes and special operations raids — is a fantasy," said Capt. Robert Newson in a Feb. 27 piece in the CTC Sentinel, published by the U.S. Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center.


WNU Editor: The full transcript of this interview is here. What is my take .... Yemen is a significant U.S. counter-terrorism strategy failure .... and no one in the government is acknowledging it.

Hillary Clinton Violated The Law By A Using Personal Email Account For All Government Business When U.S. Secretary of State



New York Times: Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.


Update #1: Experts: Hillary Broke the Law -- Weekly Standard

WNU Editor: She is trouble. This is a serious violation of the law (see the above video) .... now the question is .... will she be held accountable for it. It also makes me wonder on who else has secret email accounts in the Obama administration .... and what are in those emails. On a side note .... General and former CIA Director Petraeus is being investigated by the US Justice Department for doing exactly the same thing. Politically .... in the Democrat field there is probably a growing realization that maybe she is not a lock for the nomination .... so do not be surprised if in the next few weeks we are going to see movement there.

Update #2: There appears to be a Russian connection .... Hillary Clinton's 'hacked' Benghazi emails: FULL RELEASE (RT)

Update #3: The Clinton spokespeople are trying to defend this .... Clinton defends use of personal e-mail at State -- USA Today



More News On Reports That Hillary Clinton Violated The Law By Using A Personal Email Account For All Government Business When U.S. Secretary of State

Clinton had no official State Dept. email address -- CNN
Hillary Clinton used personal email for all government business, says report -- The Guardian
Hillary Clinton may have broken federal record-keeping laws: NY Times -- Reuters
Hillary Clinton's Personal Email Use May Have Violated Federal Requirements: Report -- ABC News
Hillary Clinton Used Only Personal Email Account as Secretary of State: Report -- NBC
Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account for State Department Business -- WSJ
Hillary Clinton's use of private email address while secretary of state draws scrutiny -- FOX News
In email, Clinton office enlists allies to defend foundation -- Politico
New York Times drops bombshell on Hillary Clinton’s use of private email at State Department -- Salon
'Secretary Clinton May Have Jeopardized Preservation of a Full and Accurate Historical Record' -- Adam Chandler, The Atlantic
Hillary Clinton's personal email account looks bad now. But it was even worse at the time. -- VOX News
Hillary Clinton reportedly violated rules by using personal email as Secretary of State -- The Verge
Hillary Clinton's Contempt for Transparency -- Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

U.S. Allies Are Voicing Concerns That The U.S. Is No Longer Sharing Intelligence Details

Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon: U.S. Allies Left in the Dark

Ukraine, Syrian rebels, Israel complain about lack of U.S. intelligence sharing, aid

U.S. allies are raising concerns about what they say is unwillingness on the part of the Obama administration to share vital intelligence that could prove decisive in conflicts in Europe and the Middle East.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that U.S. officials degrade satellite images of the positions of Russian-backed separatists before delivering them to Ukrainian forces, delaying their arrival and making them less effective for combating the rebels. The United States also provided the Ukrainian military with short-range counter-artillery radar systems but omitted crucial components that would have enabled the Ukrainians to immediately respond to separatist attacks.


WNU Editor: These are the countries and organizations that are voicing their concerns, it would not surprise me if there are others who are also impacted but are still keeping quiet.

Bunkers & Bunker Busting Bombs (Video)