Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Editor's Note

I have to take care of a lot of personal stuff today .... with the need to file my income tax at the top of the list (in Canada it has to be done before the end of April). I should be back to blogging around 15:00 EST Tuesday.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Nuclear Submarine USS Michigan Set To Join USS Carl Vinson Near S. Korea

SEALs and divers from SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team (SDVT) 1 swim back to the guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) during an exercise for certification on SEAL delivery vehicle operations in the southern Pacific Ocean. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Kirsop

FOX News: North Korea tensions: USS Michigan submarine to enter South Korean port

The USS Michigan, a nuclear powered Ohio class submarine will pull into the South Korean port of Busan for a hull check in the coming hours, military sources confirmed Monday to Fox News.

The Ohio class submarine will later join the USS Vinson aircraft carrier strike group for exercises in the Sea of Japan.

According to senior U.S. defense officials, the USS Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is near the Tokara Strait having just left the Philippine Sea and is joined by two Japanese destroyers.

When asked about the USS Michigan, Lieutenant commander Matt Knight with U.S. Pacific Fleet told Fox News in a statement the submarine was on "routine deployment."

Read more ....

More News On The Nuclear Submarine USS Michigan Joining The USS Carl Vinson Near S. Korea

Report: Nuclear-powered USS Michigan to arrive in South Korea -- UPI
USS Michigan nuclear sub heads to South Korea -- CNN
Missile submarine joining US naval 'armada' bound for Korean Peninsula -- Defense News
A nuclear-powered submarine is joining the USS Carl Vinson near North Korea as tensions flare -- Business Insider
USS submarine set to join USS Carl Vinson in drills near S. Korea -- Yonhap News

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 24, 2017



Mark Deen and John Follain, Bloomberg: France Braces for Runoff Between Nationalism and Globalism

* Le Pen needs to overcome voter dislike of National Front
* Emmanuel Macron’s challenge is his past, plus globalization

In the coming two weeks of the French campaign, Marine Le Pen’s challenge is to break through a wall of voter antipathy that she inherited from her father. Emmanuel Macron’s task is to persuade the French he has the gravitas and experience to be president.

The far-right Le Pen and centrist Macron both took just under a quarter of the vote in a contest with 11 candidates. Now they must convince the rest of the population that they have what it takes to lead the country after the May 7 runoff.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 24, 2017

Analysis: A Le Pen wins more acceptance than ever in France -- John leicester, AP

The Fall of the French Left -- Samuel Earle, The Atlantic

From France to the U.S., why 'self-made' politicians are winning -- John Lloyd, Reuters

China’s Power Projection -- David Shinn, RCW/Jamestown

Why China's New Aircraft Carrier Should Worry India -- Mihir Sharma, Bloomberg

The Changing Geopolitics of the South Pacific -- Joanne Wallis, The Strategist

U.S. considers deploying troops to Afghanistan in wake of deadly Taliban attack -- Tim Hume, VICE

US carrot and stick approach to North Korea is clumsy but significant -- Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

Why Mattis Versus Kim Jong-Un Will End Badly For All Of Us -- Van Jackson, War On The Rocks

Does Erdogan expect Trump to ditch Syrian Kurds? -- Al-Monitor

Erdogan Leads His Country into the Abyss -- Onur Bur├žak Belli and Maximilian Popp, Spiegel

How Venezuela’s Revolutionary Dream Descended Into Chaos -- Ryan Brading, The Conversation

Trump's Unnecessary Trade War with China -- Yukon Huang & David Stack. National Interest

President Trump To Host Unusual Meeting With UN Security Council -- Andrea Mitchell, NBC

World News Briefs -- April 24, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Trump calls for new U.N. sanctions against North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea as concerns mount that it may test a sixth nuclear bomb as early as Tuesday.

"The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable," Trump told a meeting with the 15 U.N. Security Council ambassadors, including China and Russia, at the White House. "The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs."

"This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem and it's a problem that we have to finally solve," he said. “People put blindfolds on for decades and now it’s time to solve the problem.”

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US-backed forces enter major jihadist-held Syria town.

US blacklists 271 Syrian chemists, other experts over sarin attack. U.S. sanctions hundreds of employees of Syrian research center.

Syrian government forces advance against rebels north of Hama.

Hundreds of Iraqis flee heavy fighting in Mosul.

Western Iraq ambush on military convoy kills 10.

Gulf states must donate to avert famine in Yemen: U.N..

Saudi Arabia restores perks to state employees, boosting markets.

Egypt's Sisi visits Saudi Arabia as tensions ease.

Yemen missile seriously wounds AFP photographer.

Israel PM issues Holocaust day warning. Siren wails as Israel marks annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Anzac Day: Turkey boosts security for Gallipoli ceremony after warnings about potential attack.

Freed Kuwait opposition leader calls for reconciliation.

ASIA

'Their sacrifice will not be in vain': PM Modi condemns 'cowardly attack' in Chhattisgarh by suspected Maoist rebels which killed 24 police jawans.

Trump: UN should consider 'stronger sanctions' on N.Korea.

US blasts 'unconscionable' Taliban attack in Afghanistan.

Afghan army chief, defense minister resign following attack. Furious Afghans call for resignations after Taliban base attack.

Torture use by Afghan officials on the rise: UN.

Pentagon chief Mattis visits Afghanistan after Taliban attack.

College confirms N. Korea detains US citizen amid tension.

South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act.

Xi urges restraint on North Korea in phone call with Trump.

China, Philippines spar over military visit to island.

Abu Sayyaf beheads kidnapped Philippine soldier.

Philippine lawyer accuses Duterte of 'mass murder' at ICC.


AFRICA

Angola to hold election on August 23.

Libya's warring sides reach diplomatic breakthrough in Rome.

Somalia drought fuelling piracy - US Africa command head. Famine fuels resurgence of Somali piracy: US general.

Mali extends state of emergency as jihadist attacks persist.

Hope as C. Africa holds disarmanent talks.

Suicide bombers kill four in Northeast Nigeria: vigilantes.

Zambian opposition denies arson, says government plotting against it.

3 African countries chosen to test 1st malaria vaccine.

Cameroon jails RFI journalist for 10 years.

EUROPE

Hollande urges French to reject Le Pen in presidential run-off vote.

French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to fight for presidency.

Gloves off in French election as Le Pen aide slams Macron. Le Pen camp attacks front-runner Macron as oligarchs’ candidate.

Tight, tense French presidential vote echoes around world.

EU's Mogherini, on Moscow visit, says bloc's Russia sanctions to stay.

Ukraine roadside bomb kills OSCE worker. American member of watchdog OSCE killed in Ukraine.

Greece: Death toll from migrant boat sinking reaches 16, with 9 bodies recovered in Greece, 7 in Turkey.

Italy prosecutor claims NGOs working with human smugglers.

Sweden arrests second suspect over deadly truck attack.

AMERICAS

Congress aims to avoid shutdown, while Trump presses for 100-day wins.

Trump at 100 days: 'It's a different kind of presidency'.

As budget deadline looms, Trump pushes border wall funding.

Venezuelans protest for elections, unrest enters fourth week.

Venezuela protest death toll rises as injured woman dies.

Colombia's ELN loses kidnap victim in jungle escape.

At least 35 killed in drug violence across Mexico: officials.

Haiti leader expected to plead guilty in US drug case.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al-Qaida leader tells fighters to prepare for long Syria war.

US counting on French anti-terror ops in Africa: Mattis.

ISIS moves its capital in Syria.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

French election results catapult Wall Street higher; Nasdaq sets record.

US Supreme Court blocks GM appeal on defective ignitions.

China clamps down on excess steel as Japan decries Trump 'protectionism'.

Jimmy Choo seeks well-heeled buyer.

Russia and Saudi Arabia could face economic and political consequences if the oil-production deal isn't extended.

Unrest In Venezuela -- News Updates April 24, 2017



Reuters: Venezuelans protest for elections, unrest enters fourth week

Venezuelans erected barricades with garbage and even bathtubs on Monday and snarled traffic with mass "sit-ins" along major thoroughfares to press their demand for early elections as anti-government protests entered a fourth week.

Ten people have been killed during clashes this month between security forces armed with rubber bullets and tear gas and protesters sometimes throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

At least 10 people have also died during night-time looting.

President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government accuses foes of seeking a violent coup with U.S. connivance, while the opposition says he is a dictator repressing peaceful protest.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is ominous on how violent and bloody the situation may soon become .... Amid Venezuela unrest, experts worry that criminals will acquire military’s weapons (Miami Herald).

Unrest In Venezuela -- News Updates April 24, 2017

Venezuela protest death toll rises as injured woman dies -- BBC
Venezuela's unrest claims 21st victim as new protests loom -- FOX News/AP
Violence flares in Venezuela as anti-government protestors in gas masks hurl stones at passing police in Caracas demos which have already cost 20 lives -- Daily Mail
Faced With More Protests, Venezuela's President Seeks Fresh Talks With the Opposition -- TIME
Venezuela's President Maduro calls for talks with opposition -- BBC
Venezuela's Maduro calls for talks with opposition, local elections -- UPI
General Motors fires 2,700 in Venezuela after plant closure -workers -- Nasdaq/Reuters
Venezuela’s asset seizures raises concerns for other sectors -- CNBC

President Obama Makes His First Public Event Since Leaving The White House



New York Times: Obama Steps Back Into Public Life, Trying to Avoid One Word: Trump

CHICAGO — Former President Barack Obama studiously avoided any mention of President Trump or the assault on his own legacy as he returned to his adoptive home on Monday for his first public event since leaving the White House.

What might have been a moment for Mr. Obama to challenge Mr. Trump’s wiretapping accusations, or to assail the Republican agenda, instead became a college seminar on how to engage with a new generation of young people — and urge them to participate in political life.

“The single most important thing I can do,” the former president told an audience of students, is to “help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.”

Avoiding Mr. Trump was no accident.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The press is all excited .... but his avoidance on discussing President Trump was probably a "downer" for them.

More Details Emerge On President Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal

Josh Meyer, Politico: Obama’s hidden Iran deal giveaway

By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials — and undermined its own counterproliferation task forces.

When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.

Read more ....

Update #1: The Iran deal: The full picture: A snapshot of those involved in the deal, including the key players Obama didn't mention. (Josh Meyer, Politico)
Update #2: Obama hid security threat of released prisoners in Iran deal (New York Post)
Update #3: Revealed: Obama sealed Iran nuclear deal by dropping charges against arms smuggler who helped kill HUNDREDS of U.S. troops in Iraq (Daily Mail)

WNU Editor: As I have said since the Iran nuclear deal agreement was signed ..... with each passing day/week/month .... more is being learned about this deal .... and none of it is appealing. On a side note, the Iranians have their own "beefs" .... Iranian candidate says nuclear deal failed to lift sanctions (ABC News/AP).

Libya's Two Main Warring Sides Have Reached An Agreement To End Years of Fighting


The Guardian: Libya's warring sides reach diplomatic breakthrough in Rome

Compromise is brokered between presidents of house of representatives and state council after years of fighting

Rome has brokered a diplomatic breakthrough in Libya that has the potential to bring the two main warring sides together in a new political agreement after years of division, fighting and economic misery.

The scale of the breakthrough will be tested later this week, but Italy is hailing a compromise brokered between the presidents of the house of representatives, Ageela Saleh, and the state council, Abdulrahman Sewehli.

The meeting was overseen by the Italian foreign minister, Angelino Alfano, and the Italian ambassador to Libya.

Read more ....

Update: Libya's rival governments agree path to peace: Reports (Middle East Eye).

WNU Editor: I have to see it to believe it.

Maoist Rebels In Central India Kill 24 Paramilitary Soldiers



Reuters: Maoist rebels kill 24 police in central India

Maoist guerrillas ambushed a paramilitary patrol in central India on Monday, killing at least 24 policemen and wounding six in one of the deadliest attacks this year, senior officials said.

The attack was the second in as many months in remote Sukma district in the forests of Chhattisgarh state, about 400 kms (250 miles) from state capital Raipur.

Maoists seeking to overthrow the government have operated for decades across a wide swathe of central and eastern India. Security experts say the insurgency is India's biggest internal security challenge.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attack on the patrol party of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was cowardly. "The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain," he said.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Maoist Rebel Attack In Central India That Killed 24 Paramilitary Soldiers

India Maoist rebels kill 24 CRPF policemen in Chhattisgarh -- BBC
Maoist rebels kill at least 25 Indian paramilitary soldiers -- AP
Suspected Maoist rebels kill 24 troops in Chhattisgarh -- Al Jazeera
Sukma Attack: 26 CRPF Personnel Dead In Encounter With Maoists -- NDTV
25 CRPF personnel killed in Maoist encounter in Chhattisgarh, PM Modi calls attack ‘cowardly, deplorable’ -- Hindustan Times
Maoist Rebels Gun Down Dozens of Paramilitary Policemen in Central India -- Sputnik
Maoist rebels kill 24 paramilitary soldiers in central India -- TRT World
Deadliest Maoist attacks in the last decade -- Hindustan Times

Top U.S. General In Afghanistan Is Accusing Russia Of Providing Support To The Taliban

Defense Secretary James Mattis (right) and Army Gen. John Nicholson (left), commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, hold a news conference at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 24. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Daily Star/Reuters: Top US general says 'not refuting' reports Russia supplying Taliban

KABUL: The head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan said Monday he was "not refuting" reports that Russia was providing support, including weapons, to the Taliban.

Gen. John Nicholson was speaking in Kabul during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Asked about reports that Russia was providing a range of help including weapons to the Taliban, who control large areas of Afghanistan, he replied: "Oh no I'm not refuting that."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Accuse Russia .... but provide no evidence. Am I surprised .... no. Everyone is now in CYA mode because everyone knows that this is going to be tough year .... Afghan defense chief quits over attack; U.S. warns of 'another tough year' (Reuters).

More News On The Top U.S. General In Afghanistan Accusing Russia Of Providing Support To The Taliban

US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban -- Washington Post/AP
Defense chief, top general: US needs to confront Russia in Afghanistan -- The Hill
Is Russia Supplying the Taliban With Arms? -- Idrees Ali, US News and World Report/Reuters

Taliban Target CIA - Special Forces Base In Afghanistan


Reuters: Bomb attack hits U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan

Suspected Taliban insurgents on Monday attacked a U.S.-operated base in Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost, officials said, but gave few immediate details of an assault that coincided with a visit to Kabul by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The attackers had detonated a car bomb at an entrance to Camp Chapman, a secretive facility manned by U.S. forces and private military contractors, said Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

But he had little immediate information on any damage or casualties.

"I am aware of a car bomb attack at one of the gates in the U.S. base, but we are not allowed there to get more details," the spokesman said.

Read more ....

Update #1: Taliban attacks U.S. base as Mattis flies into Afghanistan -- CBS/AP
Update #2: Bomb attack hits US base in Afghanistan as Defense Sec Mattis visits Kabul, casualties reported -- RT

WNU Editor: The main casualties were the Afghan security guards .... 4 security guards killed in suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan ( FOX News). This is the same base where 7 CIA officers were killed in 2009 (link is here).

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Arrives In Afghanistan As The Country's Top Military Officials Resign



Reuters: Afghan defense chief quits over attack, as Mattis flies in

Afghanistan's defence minister and army chief of staff resigned on Monday after the deadliest ever Taliban attack on a military base, threatening to overshadow a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as Washington looks to craft a new strategy for the country.

Mattis was expected to meet Afghan officials and U.S. commanders who are pushing for more troops. But his arrival in Kabul came amid the fall-out from Friday's Taliban assault on a base in the north of the country in which more than 140 Afghan soldiers were killed.

"Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect," the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced in a post on its Twitter account.

Read more ....

More News On U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Arriving In Afghanistan As The Country's Top Military Officials Resign

U.S. defense chief arrives in Kabul as his Afghan counterpart resigns in disgrace -- Washington Post
2 Top Military Officials in Afghanistan Resign After Taliban Attack -- New York Times
Afghan Defense Minister and Army Chief Resign Over Deadly Attack -- VOA
Afghan Defense Chiefs Resign Over Bloody Taliban Attack That Killed More Than 100 Soldiers -- TIME
Afghan defence chiefs resign over deadly Taliban attack -- BBC
Taliban Massacre of Soldiers Spurs Afghan Minister to Resign -- Bloomberg
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrives in Afghanistan -- USA Today
Pentagon chief arrives in Afghanistan -- The Hill
Mattis in Afghanistan amid calls for troop increase -- Military Times
US Defense Sec'y Mattis in Afghanistan to discuss war needs -- FOX News
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Makes Unannounced Trip to Afghanistan -- NBC
US Defense Secretary Mattis visits Afghanistan -- CNN

World News Briefs -- April 24, 2017

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the South China Sea while conducting flight operations on April 9, 2017. Z.A. Landers/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters: U.S. carrier group heads for Korean waters, China calls for restraint

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for all sides to exercise restraint on Monday in a telephone call about North Korea with U.S. President Donald Trump, as Japan conducted exercises with a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group headed for Korean waters.

Trump sent the carrier group for exercises in waters off the Korean peninsula as a warning, amid growing fears North Korea could conduct another nuclear test in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

Angered by the approach of the USS Carl Vinson carrier group, a defiant North Korea said on Monday the deployment was "an extremely dangerous act by those who plan a nuclear war to invade".

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian government forces advance against rebels north of Hama.

Hundreds of Iraqis flee heavy fighting in Mosul.

Western Iraq ambush on military convoy kills 10.

Saudi Arabia restores perks to state employees, boosting markets.
Egypt's Sisi visits Saudi Arabia as tensions ease.

Yemen missile seriously wounds AFP photographer.

Israel PM issues Holocaust day warning. Siren wails as Israel marks annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Anzac Day: Turkey boosts security for Gallipoli ceremony after warnings about potential attack.

ASIA

Afghan army chief, defense minister resign following attack. Furious Afghans call for resignations after Taliban base attack.

Torture use by Afghan officials on the rise: UN.

Pentagon chief Mattis visits Afghanistan after Taliban attack.

College confirms N. Korea detains US citizen amid tension.

South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act.

Xi urges restraint on North Korea in phone call with Trump.

China, Philippines spar over military visit to island.

Abu Sayyaf beheads kidnapped Philippine soldier.

Philippine lawyer accuses Duterte of 'mass murder' at ICC.


AFRICA

Libya's warring sides reach diplomatic breakthrough in Rome.

Somalia drought fuelling piracy - US Africa command head. Famine fuels resurgence of Somali piracy: US general.

Mali extends state of emergency as jihadist attacks persist.

Hope as C. Africa holds disarmanent talks.

Suicide bombers kill four in Northeast Nigeria: vigilantes.

Zambian opposition denies arson, says government plotting against it.

3 African countries chosen to test 1st malaria vaccine.

EUROPE

French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to fight for presidency.

Gloves off in French election as Le Pen aide slams Macron.

Tight, tense French presidential vote echoes around world.

EU's Mogherini, on Moscow visit, says bloc's Russia sanctions to stay.

Ukraine roadside bomb kills OSCE worker. American member of watchdog OSCE killed in Ukraine.

Greece: Death toll from migrant boat sinking reaches 16, with 9 bodies recovered in Greece, 7 in Turkey.

Italy prosecutor claims NGOs working with human smugglers.

Sweden arrests second suspect over deadly truck attack.

AMERICAS

Congress aims to avoid shutdown, while Trump presses for 100-day wins.

Trump at 100 days: 'It's a different kind of presidency'.

As budget deadline looms, Trump pushes border wall funding.

Venezuela protest death toll rises as injured woman dies.

Colombia's ELN loses kidnap victim in jungle escape.

At least 35 killed in drug violence across Mexico: officials.

Haiti leader expected to plead guilty in US drug case.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al-Qaida leader tells fighters to prepare for long Syria war.

US counting on French anti-terror ops in Africa: Mattis.

ISIS moves its capital in Syria.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

China clamps down on excess steel as Japan decries Trump 'protectionism'.

Jimmy Choo seeks well-heeled buyer.

Russia and Saudi Arabia could face economic and political consequences if the oil-production deal isn't extended.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- April 24, 2017


Dave Majumdar, National Interest: Should the World Fear North Korea's Air Force?

The Korean People's Army Air Force is perhaps the least threatening branch of Pyongyang’s military forces.

However, while technologically backwards and often lacking the level of proficiency of Western air forces (with pilots often receiving fewer than 20 annual flight hours), the KPAAF does have a few strong points. As with many North Korean facilities, most KPAAF air bases are hardened to withstand air attacks and the country has a large number of aircraft available.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- April 24, 2017

North Korea threatens to sink US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might -- The Independent

North Korea 'ready to strike' US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson as it heads for Korean peninsula -- ABC News Online

Pyongyang’s Third Failed Missile Test: What Now? -- Liang Tuang Nah, The Diplomat

South Korea develops missile with flight path-changing capability -- Defense News

China trying to hack South Korea missile defence efforts, researchers claim -- Ars Technica

This is What China's 1st Domestically-Built Aircraft Carrier Means for its Navy -- Sputnik

Congressional Request For Proposal Solicits Expert Report on Chinese Weapons -- Scout Warrior

Global defense spending increases -- DW

Russia Is Deploying Special Anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Arctic -- National Interest

Russia pushes for Iranian membership in NATO counterweight group -- Washington Examiner

WATCH: New F-35 Joint Strike Fighters Touch Down in Israel -- Sputnik

German Intelligence Spying on Interpol Since 2000 -- Sputnik

Belarus plans to deepen dialogue with NATO -- TASS

Russia hacked Danish defense for two years, minister tells newspaper -- Reuters

NATO builds up military forces in Baltic region -- Euronews

Italy's Gentiloni Vows to Meet Trump NATO Spending Demand Slowly -- Bloomberg

U.S., Philippines scale back next month's military drills, no more 'war games' -- Reuters

US counting on French anti-terror ops in Africa: Mattis -- AFP

US Defense Sec'y Mattis in Afghanistan to discuss war needs -- AP

Army looking for experienced soldiers who want to help train foreign forces -- Army Times

The Air Force Is Preparing To Test A Laser Cannon On Its ‘Ultimate Battle Plane’ -- Task & Purpose

Navy Scientists Transform World War II-era Test Tunnel to Develop Laser Weapons -- Sea Power

Navy Increases Restrictions on T-45 Flights After New Cockpit Episode -- Military.com

The Army is adding the 'Dronebuster' to its set of anti-drone tools -- Army Times

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti -- AFP

Trump awards Purple Heart to Army solider injured in Afghanistan -- FOX News

CIA liaison is first casualty of conflict between intelligence agency and Trump -- The Guardian

Palantir No Longer Works For The NSA, CEO Slams Trump In Leaked Video -- SFist

Army Hoping to Entice Doctors to the Battlefield -- Military.com/The Fayetteville Observer

Posting private nude photos is now a crime in the Navy and Marine Corps -- Navy Times

President Trump Talks To Chinese President Xi And Japanese PM Abe On North Korea



Yonhap News Agency: Trump discusses North Korea in phone talks with Xi, Abe

TOKYO/BEIJING, April 24 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump had separate phone conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Abe on Monday and pledged closer cooperation with them amid the growing possibility of North Korea's nuclear or missile test.

"In today's telephone conversation, (we) completely shared the opinion that (the U.S. and Japan) will continue to demand that North Korea refrain from provocative behaviors," Abe told reporters after his talks with Trump.

Read more ....

More News On President Trump's Phone Calls With Chinese President Xi And Japanese PM Abe On North Korea

Trump discusses North Korea tensions with Asian leaders -- FOX News
Trump Again Calls Leaders of China and Japan to Discuss North Korea -- VOA
Donald Trump holds telephone talks with Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe on North Korea situation -- International Business Times
Abe, Trump reconfirm commitment on North Korea -- Japan Times
Trump and Abe speak about North Korea tensions as Japanese warships join US carrier strike group for drills -- South China Morning post
North Korea: In phone call, Xi warns Trump not to go beyond UN resolutions -- Sydney Morning Post
Xi Urges Restraint on North Korea in Phone Call With Trump -- Bloomberg
Xi urges restraint on North Korea in phone call with Trump -- AP
Chinese leader urges restraint over North Korea in call with Trump -- The Guardian

A Look At The 8 Most Elite Special Forces In The World

YouTube

Business Insider: The 8 most elite special forces in the world

Elite special forces are some of the best-trained and most formidable units a country can boast.

They go where other troops fear to tread, scoping out potential threats, taking out strategic targets, and conducting daring rescue missions.

These are the best of the best.

Though it's extremely difficult to rank these forces relative to one another, some units that rise above the rest with their track records and the fear they instill in their adversaries.

Read more ....

The Suwalki Gap Will Be A Major Battleground Should NATO And Russia Go To War

The vulnerable Suwalki Gap, an isolated NATO land bridge between Russia and Moscow aligned BelarusSource:Supplied

News.com.au: The Suwalki Gap — the potential European flashpoint Vladimir Putin is keeping a close eye on

IT’S one of the most peaceful corners of Europe. Quiet country roads lead through immaculate towns, skim past lakes and wind their way around virginal forests dotted with oak and spruce.

But defence watchers say this thin strip of land, fully within the European Union, could be a flashpoint of future military action between Russia and the US.

A strategic affairs analyst has even raised the prospect that an emboldened Russia, intent on pushing the Washington-led NATO military alliance away from its territory, could drop a nuclear bomb on the isolated sliver of land.

Known as the ‘Suwalki Gap’, this 80km patch of relatively flat, difficult to defend countryside, straddles Poland and Lithuania.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If Russian and NATO armies are fighting in this part of Europe .... the use of strategic nuclear weapons will not be far behind thereby making The Suwalki Gap irrelevant.

The U.S. Navy's New Railgun Is Ready

Artist's rendering of a railgun mounted on USNS Millinocket. Image source: U.S. Navy.

Motley Fool: Navy's New Mach 6 EM Railgun Almost Ready for Prime Time

The latest railgun test suggests the Navy could be moving closer to deployment.

For more than three years now, I've been tracking the U.S. Navy's progress toward building a working electromagnetic railgun prototype -- a Mach 6 cannon reputedly capable of striking targets 110 miles away with pinpoint accuracy.

Each railgun projectile would cost about $25,000 to produce -- and if you're keeping track, then yes, success on the railgun project would yield a weapon boasting nearly twice the 67-mile range of Boeing's (NYSE:BA) Harpoon II missile but costing just 1/48th the Boeing missile's $1.2 million cost.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Its field tests should begin later this year.