Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tweets For Today






Picture Of The Day

A man tries to escape from a balcony at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel during an attack by gunmen in Kabul, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Editors Choice Pictures (Reuters).

Saudi Arabia's Anti-Corruption Drive Has Resulted In Graft Settlements That May Top $100 Billion



Bloomberg: Saudi Graft Settlements May Top $100 Billion as Ritz Empties

* Attorney general says 90 people have agreed to settle so far
* About 95 suspects remain at Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia is winding down a controversial anti-corruption drive that led to dozens of princes and billionaires being detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

Talks with suspects are expected to end this month and authorities are likely to recover more than $100 billion in settlements, a senior government official said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. Those who don’t reach deals will be referred to prosecutors, the official said.

Authorities have already agreed to drop charges against about 90 suspects, who were released, Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a separate interview at the Ritz-Carlton late on Sunday. About 95 people were still at the hotel, including five weighing settlement proposals, with the others reviewing evidence presented against them, he said.

“The royal order was clear,” Al Mojeb said, as Arabic music streamed through loudspeakers in the hotel lobby. “Those who express remorse and agree to settle will have any criminal proceedings against them dropped.”

Read more ....

Update: The Price Of Freedom: MbS's Corruption Crackdown Nets $100 Billion For Saudi State (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor: This is slightly off-topic .... but this is the big fear that many Putin associates and business allies have in Russia. A future Russian leader doing what Crown Prince Salman did in Saudi Arabia .... launching an anti-corruption drive that targets the top 100.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Glenn Greenwald’s Take On Russia-Gate

With Tucker Carlson on Fox News in October 2017.

Simon van Zuylen-Wood, NYMag: Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?

Glenn Greenwald’s war on the Russia investigation.

It’s 10:45 p.m. Rio de Janeiro time. Glenn Greenwald and I are finishing dinner at a deserted bistro in Ipanema. The restaurant, which serves its sweating beer bottles in metal buckets and goes heavy on the protein, is almost aggressively unremarkable (English menus on the table, a bossa-nova version of “Hey Jude” on the stereo). Greenwald avoids both meat and alcohol but seems to enjoy dining here. “I really believe that if I still lived in New York, the vast majority of my friends would be New York and Washington media people and I would kind of be implicitly co-opted.” He eats a panko-crusted shrimp. “It just gives me this huge buffer. You’ve seen how I live, right? When I leave my computer, that world disappears.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have been posting Glenn Greenwald’s work for years .... starting with the Edward Snowden NSA revelations. And while I usually disagree with what he writes, I will concede that he is never boring.

The USS Pueblo Was Seized 50 Years Ago

North Korean soldiers check out the USS Pueblo in 2006. (KCNA via Korea News Service)

Steve Mollman, Quartz: 50 years ago North Korea seized a US spy ship and humiliated Washington

There’s only one active-duty vessel of the US Navy being held captive by a foreign government. It’s a North Korean tourist attraction.

On Jan. 23, 1968, North Korea attacked and seized the USS Pueblo, a barely armed spy ship that had been operating in international waters off its coast. Sent to gather intelligence on the secretive nation’s military, the vessel was unimpressive but did feature sensitive encryption equipment and intelligence documents. One American crewmember was killed in the seizure, and the 82 others were imprisoned and mistreated for nearly a year.

The 50th anniversary of ship’s capture serves as a reminder that relations between Washington and Pyongyang were tense long before Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un traded insults like “little rocket man” and “dotard.” It also offers lessons for today.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The battle for Khe Sanh started 50 years ago today. The USS Pueblo was seized 50 years ago. Now that is what the Cold War was all about 50 years.

The Battle For Khe Sanh Started 50 Years Ago



FOX News: Khe Sanh veterans recall Vietnam battle's start 50 years ago Sunday

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of one of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War – the Battle of Khe Sanh.

Across the U.S., groups of Vietnam veterans will gather to commemorate the 77-day battle, in which some 6,000 U.S. Marines defended a small combat base from tens of thousands of North Vietnamese fighters.

Others are making plans to attend a reunion of Khe Sanh veterans scheduled for August in Washington, D.C.

One such gathering Sunday is planned in Oroville, Calif. Its organizer is Tom Horchler, 71, who served at Khe Sanh as a lance corporal with the 1st Battalion 13th Marines Headquarters Battery Motor Transport Section.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Wikipedia does a good job in covering this battle (the link is here). On a side note .... US Secretary of Defense Mattis will be in Vietnam two days from now .... 50 Years After Key Vietnam Battles, Mattis Seeks Closer Ties (AP).

Are Social Media Sites Like Facebook Bad For Democracy?



Reuters: Facebook says it can't guarantee social media is good for democracy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) warned on Monday that it could offer no assurance that social media was on balance good for democracy, but the company said it was trying what it could to stop alleged meddling in elections by Russia or anyone else.

The sharing of false or misleading headlines on social media has become a global issue, after accusations that Russia tried to influence votes in the United States, Britain and France. Moscow denies the allegations.

Facebook, the largest social network with more than 2 billion users, addressed social media’s role in democracy in blog posts from a Harvard University professor, Cass Sunstein, and from an employee working on the subject.

“I wish I could guarantee that the positives are destined to outweigh the negatives, but I can‘t,” Samidh Chakrabarti, a Facebook product manager, wrote in his post.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Like everything else in life .... there is good and bad. For social media .... as a tool to disseminate information and news quickly .... it has been priceless. Unfortunately .... it is also a tool that can (and has been used) to disseminate fake information and fake news. The key is to find a balance, and to embrace only those social media sources that you feel comfortable are trying their best to spread truthful news and information. Trust is something that has to be earned .... and social media is not an exception to this basic rule. And as to the question .... are social media sites like Facebook bad for democracy? I can only speak for myself .... but I will say no. They are just one of many platforms out there that spreads news, information, and opinions. If someone can be easily convinced that what he or she reads on Facebook is the truth .... the way I see it .... these same people will also be easily convinced by something else if Facebook was not around.

More News On Facebook Saying That It Can't Guarantee That It Is Good For Democracy

Facebook: we were too slow to recognise our 'corrosive' effect on democracy -- The Guardian

Facebook admits social media can 'corrode democracy' -- CNN
Facebook Slowly Realizing It Might Be Ruining Democracy -- Gizmodo
Facebook admits social media is bad for democracy, sometimes -- CNET
Facebook isn't sure if Facebook is good -- Quartz

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 22, 2018



Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner: Could the Kurds beat Turkey in Syria?

After a multi-day artillery barrage, the Turkish Army has begun its push into Afrin, a district of Syria which has been governed by Syrian Kurds ever since they defeated al Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists. Turkish officials say they plan to set up a buffer zone extending almost 20 miles into Syria from the Turkish border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a blistering speech threatening Turkey’s Kurds if they speak up on behalf of their Syrian counterparts and promising victory within “a very short period of time.”

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 22, 2018

Reasons, risks and consequences of Turkey's Syria operation -- AFP

Turkey attacking the most effective anti-IS force in Syria -- Kersten Knipp, DW

The Tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas -- Grant Rumley, The Atlantic

What did the Vancouver summit on North Korea accomplish? Not much -- Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star

Mattis Visits Vietnam Seeking to Expand Security Relationship -- Robert Burns, AP

Pakistan’s stance on militants alienated the US. Is China next? -- James M. Dorsey, SCMP

China's Territorial Disputes -- David Tweed, Bloomberg

Why China sees Myanmar's Rohingya crisis as an opportunity -- Tom Harper, The Conversation

How might S.Africa's President Zuma leave office? -- AFP

South Africa's Ramaphosa’s land grab will repeat Zimbabwe’s destructive mistakes -- Marian L. Tupy, CapX

Russia faces 6 more years of stagnation under Putin -- Alanna Petroff, CNN

Why young people were Russia's people of the year in 2017 -- Meduza

Inside Germany's Rocky Coalition Talks -- Spiegel Online

Trust Is Collapsing in America -- Uri Friedman, The Atlantic

Defense Sec. Mattis and America's New Realist Strategy -- Tom Rogan, DC Examiner

World News Briefs -- January 22, 2018 (Evening Edition)



VOA: Turkey Steps Up Offensive Against Kurdish Militia in Syria

Turkish forces have intensified an offensive against Kurdish militia targets in northwestern Syria.

The operation is aimed at removing the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, from Afrin. The United States-supported Kurdish group controls the town.

Turkey says it plans to create a 30-kilometer “secure zone” in Afrin to protect Turkish towns from attacks.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a rocket attack Saturday on the Turkish border town of Kilis demonstrated the need for a secure zone. Two houses and a workplace were hit during the attack. One person was wounded.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syria regime accused of chemical attack in rebel enclave.

Erdogan vows 'no step back' in operation against Kurdish militia in Syria.

UN Security Council refrains from condemning Turkey.

Turkish troops face fierce battles in Syrian Kurdish enclave.

Turkey stifles anti-Syria operation protests after Erdogan warning.

Iraq's Islamists dump religion for upcoming elections.

Iran says warplanes warned off two western vessels during drill.

Rebel fire kills 9, including journalist, in Yemen's Taez.

UAE-backed group vows to 'overthrow' Yemen's government.

Yemen's children face 'worst diphtheria outbreak'.

Gazans call for strike over collapsing economy.

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state: minister.

Pence arrives in Israel on visit overshadowed by Trump's Jerusalem declaration.

Pence promises Israeli lawmakers that U.S. embassy will open in Jerusalem next year.

ASIA

Mayon volcano alert in The Philippines is raised again, hazardous eruption believed imminent.

Afghanistan searches for answers to deadly hotel attack.

Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 18 dead. Kabul hotel attack toll at least 22: officials. Taliban militants 'searched for foreigners' in Kabul hotel attack.

China says US forcing it to strengthen presence in South China Sea.

Boom goes bust in Chinese border city as UN sanctions on North Korea bite.

Rohingya leader shot dead as repatriation tensions flare.

UN official: Rohingya camps at risk of deterioration.

Thailand: Three killed in Yala market bombing.

China: Oil slick from Iranian tanker triples in size.

Philippine news site Rappler head Maria Ressa meets investigators over 'suspicious' complaint.

Tokyo holds its first military attack evacuation drill since WWII as tensions rise over North Korea's nuclear programme.

AFRICA

Weah sworn in as Liberian president, vows to end corruption.

Uganda's Museveni regrets halting death penalty.

US wants Africa to shun North Korea.

DRC: Protesters killed in anti-Kabila protests.

Amid 'dramatic deterioration' in DR Congo, UN and partners launch $1.68 billion aid appeal.

Ethiopia to ease tensions with Egypt over Nile dam.

Kenya: Explosive kills 4 more children grazing livestock.

Sudan's press freedom: Concern about confiscations.

EU open to send Zimbabwe vote monitors, wants credible polls.

EUROPE

EU confirms new sanctions on seven senior Venezuela officials.

Trump, US delegation now likely to attend Davos meeting.

‘Of course Putin gets nervous, he is human’ – Press Secretary Peskov.

‘Collapse’ but ‘favorable contact’: Kremlin spokesman talks US relations.

Carles Puigdemont: Fugitive Catalan ex-leader called to form government.

Spain urges ex-Catalan leader's arrest if heads to Denmark. Spain renews arrest bid as Catalonia's Puigdemont travels to Denmark.

Merkel readies for intense German coalition talks after tight SPD vote.

France, Germany to mark Elysee Treaty with resolution to step up cooperation.

Macron admits France would vote to LEAVE EU if country held referendum.

Teens roam streets with rifles as crime swamps Sweden.

AMERICAS

Brazil holds breath for court ruling on Lula's future.

NAFTA's fate uncertain ahead of Montreal round of talks.

U.S. Senate approves funding measure to end shutdown.

US shutdown: Government services closed as working week begins.

Senator says FBI lost crucial texts tied to Clinton probe.

2 IEDs explode at Florida mall, police say.

Four months after Maria, military veterans still on a mission in Puerto Rico.

With 25,339 murders in 2017, Mexico suffers record homicide tally.

Mexico senator quits party to join leftist presidential frontrunner.

Colombian negotiator returning to Ecuador for talks with ELN rebels.

Deadly violence over disputed Honduras election result.

US arrests ex-Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon for graft charge.

Pope apologizes for sex abuse comments, but defends Chile bishop.

Pope ends Latin American trip with warning about political corruption.

Flu outbreak: 100 people a week dying in US as virus continues to spread.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Terror concerns prompt stricter TSA scrutiny of air cargo from five mostly Muslim countries.

Delhi Police say they've captured most-wanted terrorist known as 'India's Bin Laden'

Tunisia kills senior Al-Qaeda member.

Mattis: US national security focus no longer terrorism.

Malaysian arrests 'IS-linked militants planning attacks'.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Stocks hit record as senators reach deal to end shutdown.

Oxfam: Richest one percent banked 82 percent of wealth created in 2017. 'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth', says Oxfam.

Contrite Facebook executives seek to ward off more European rules.

Exclusive: U.S. sanctions curb Microsoft sales to hundreds of Russian firms.

Many South Koreans Oppose Using The Olympics To Open Ties With North Korea



NPR: In South Korea, A Backlash Against Olympics Cooperation With The North

Efforts to make a show of North Korean and South Korean unity at the next Olympics are drawing a backlash in South Korea. In Seoul, protesters Monday set fire to the North Korean flag and a photo of Kim Jong Un. The South Korean president's approval rating has dropped in recent days as well.

"We oppose, we oppose, we oppose," shouted demonstrators at Seoul Station, the rail and subway station in the center of the capital. They showed up to confront a North Korean advance team that had arrived to scout out Olympic venues.

The Olympics cooperation between the North and South came about just this month. Athletes from the two Koreas will march under one unified flag and will form a joint North-South women's hockey team.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: South Korean President Moon Jae is personally very popular in South Korea .... but his policy of using the Olympics to influence the North Koreans to enter into talks with the U.S. on their nuclear arsenal is not being warmly embraced by many South Koreans. I know that among my many South Korean friends .... they are not comfortable with this approach. And among the older generation .... doubly so.

More News On The South Korean Backlash On Using The Olympics To Cooperate With North Korea

S. Koreans burn Kim's photo as N. Korean band leader passes -- ABC News/AP
South Koreans slam North Korea participation, unification flag at Winter Olympics -- FOX News
South Korea's president drops in polls as few support plan to include North Koreans on Olympic team -- Business Insider
South Korean protesters burn images of Kim Jong-un in Seoul -- International Business Times
South Koreans Burn Kim Jong-un Photo, Protest Visit of N Korean Delegation -- Sputnik

Afghan And Coalition Forces Preparing To Escalate The War Against The Taliban

Long War Journal: Afghan and Coalition forces prepare for 2018 offensive against the Taliban

Afghan forces plan to be on the offensive in the coming year, according to a Resolute Support press release. The NATO mission said it intends to leverage the winter months to disrupt Taliban sources of revenue and enhance air power in preparation for the insurgents’ spring offensive with help from the Afghan forces.

However, significant challenges await Resolute Support, the Afghan government and auxiliary security forces. That’s because Resolute Support mischaracterized 2017 as a success for Afghan forces and is overly optimistic about the Afghan military’s ability to take the fight to the Taliban.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A sure sign that this escalation is going to happen is this latest announcement from the Pentagon .... Up to 1000 more US troops could be headed to Afghanistan this spring (Washington Post). More here .... US military considering additional 1,000 troops for Afghanistan: report (The Hill). The U.K. are also getting involved .... SAS-style crack force is deployed to Afghanistan: 'Hand-picked, battle-hardened' British Army platoon flies out to train Afghan security forces (Daily Mail). On a side note, Pakistan is now blaming the U.S. for failing to woo the Taliban .... Pakistan says US, Afghanistan failed to woo Taliban (Pakistan Today)

Update: So true .... Afghanistan situation worsens (The Australian editorial). This is also true .... Afghanistan in the doldrums (Saad Marwat, The Nation)

The Pakistani Doctor Who Helped The CIA Find Osama bin Laden Is Still In Jail

Dr. Shakil Afridi

New York Daily News: Doctor who helped find Osama bin Laden still in jail

The physician who worked with the CIA to track down Osama bin Laden has yet to receive a good prognosis.

Shakil Afridi has been in prison since 2011 on charges of treason, but not in relation to his work with the U.S. government. Rather, officials claim he had worked with militants – a suggestion even the Taliban find hard to believe.

During the hunt for the founder of al-Qaeda, the Pakistani doctor worked with the CIA to operate a fake hepatitis vaccine program in Abbottabad that was actually searching for DNA samples belonging to members of bin Laden's family, thus confirming their location in the city.

Read more ....

Update #1: Doctor who aided hunt for bin Laden languishes, forgotten (AP)
Update #2: He Helped Find bin Laden, Now Languishes in Jail (Newser)

WNU Editor: Kudos to the AP for giving this story the attention it deserves. I have mentioned it before .... but as long as Pakistan keeps this hero in jail, I know in my heart that Pakistani will never be serious in combating the extremists that are in its country. But the day that Shakil Afridi is released .... that will be the day that I know that Pakistan has turned around and is now serious in defeating these groups.

U.S. Senate Votes To End The U.S. Government Shutdown

A rainy, gray sky tops the U.S. Capitol dome on the first day of the new session of Congress in Washington, U.S. January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Politico: Senate votes to end shutdown

Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell announce a deal to re-open the government after a three-day standoff.

In a dramatic turnaround, Senate Democrats voted to re-open the government on Monday after receiving a commitment from Republicans to hold a vote on immigration legislation — paving the way to end the three-day shutdown.

The Senate voted 81-18 to move forward on a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to end the shutdown and continue to negotiate on immigration and spending matters. Without a broader deal, the Senate would take up legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who are losing legal protections, as long as the government remains open.

Read more ....

Update #1: Senate moves to end government shutdown as Democrats drop opposition (USA Today)
Update #2: Senate advances measure to end government shutdown (NBC)

WNU Editor: The U.S. Senate Democrats got nothing to end this shut-down. So why the shutdown in the first place? I mentioned it yesterday .... but it made no sense to me for the Democrats to close down the government and punish American citizens so that they can cater to certain progressive groups who want immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to be given citizenship status. My guess is that many Democrats realized yesterday and this morning that the support they had expected for this stand did not materialize .... in fact opposition was growing .... hence the cave-in this afternoon. For the progressives who cheered this stand on Friday and this weekend .... and now this .... they must be pissed.

Catalonia's Former Leader Carles Puigdemont Travels To Denmark Triggering A Response From Spain For His Arrest



BBC: Catalonia crisis: Puigdemont's Denmark visit draws anger from Spain

Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont has travelled to Denmark, triggering a failed attempt by Spain's prosecutor to have him arrested.

Mr Puigdemont's trip to Copenhagen is thought to be the first time he has left Belgium for about 80 days.

He fled there in October, after a failed independence bid was ruled illegal by the Spanish authorities.

Despite the controversy, the speaker of the Catalan parliament nominated him to head the regional government on Monday.

Mr Puigdemont is wanted in Spain accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. The charges carry a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Read more ....

More News On Catalonia's Former Leader Carles Puigdemont Travelling To Denmark

Ex-Catalan leader makes trip after Spain judge nixes arrest -- AP
Puigdemont Lands in Denmark as Spanish Prosecutors Seek Arrest -- Bloomberg
Carles Puigdemont: Fugitive Catalan ex-leader called to form government -- DW
Catalan crisis rekindled as parliament proposes Puigdemont as leader -- Reuters
Ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont vows to form government from abroad -- France 24
Catalonia crisis: Puigdemont's Denmark visit a 'provocation' -- BBC

U.K. Army Chief Wants More Funding To Counter Russia

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

BBC: Army chief to call for investment to keep up with Russia

Britain's armed forces risk falling behind Russia without more investment, the head of the Army will say.

General Sir Nick Carter will say the Army's ability to respond to threats "will be eroded if we don't keep up with our adversaries".

The speech - approved by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - comes amid speculation of potential defence cuts.

The warning comes after Russia practised simulated attacks across northern Europe.

In the speech, which will take place at the Royal United Services Institute on Monday, Gen Carter will highlight Russia's new cyber warfare capabilities.

Read more ....

More News On The U.K. Army Chief Wanting More Funding To Counter Russia

Keeping up with the Russians - head of UK army wants more money -- Reuters
UK army chief Nick Carter calls for cash to counter Russia 'threats' -- Deutsche Welle
UK army chief calls for extra funding amid Russian threat -- CNN
Defence cuts leave Britain vulnerable to an attack from Putin: Head of the Army warns of dangers of UK failing to 'keep up' with Russia's military strength -- Daily Mail
Russia Military Will Overtake UK Unless It Spends More Money on Defense: Army Chief -- Newsweek
Theresa May must give the British army more money to compete with Russia, military chief warns -- Business Insider
Does the UK really need to increase its defence spending? -- The Guardian
Britain’s top Army general begs for more cash so he can fight… guess who -- RT

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: 'Western ‘Russophobia’ Worse Than During Cold War

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

RFE: Lavrov Says Western ‘Russophobia’ Worse Than During Cold War

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the level of what he described as "Russophobia" in Western countries is higher than it was at the peak of the Cold War.

"This Russophobia is unprecedented. We never saw this during the Cold War," Lavrov told Russian daily Kommersant in an interview published on January 21.

"Back then, there were some rules, some decorum...Now, all decorum has been cast aside," he said.

He also warned that Russia had its "red lines" that other countries should not cross.

Read more ....

More News On Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's Remarks

Sergey Lavrov: West’s ‘Russiaphobia’ worse than in Cold War but don’t cross Moscow’s ‘red lines’ -- Japan Times/AFP
Lavrov: The Rusophobia of the West Today is Unprecedented -- Novinite
Russian top diplomat calls on West to respect Russia’s red lines in foreign policy -- TASS
Trump forced into making anti-Russian decisions, Lavrov says -- TASS
Russia's Lavrov says 'unilateral actions' by U.S. in Syria made Turkey furious: report -- Reuters

Turkish Military Operations Against Syrian Kurds Continues



Reuters: Turkey says campaign against U.S.-backed Kurdish force in Syria will be swift

HASSA, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey shelled targets in northern Syria on Monday and said it would swiftly crush the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters who control the Afrin region, amid growing international concern over its three-day-old military operation.

Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies began their push to clear YPG fighters from the northwestern enclave on Saturday, opening a new front in Syria’s civil war despite calls for restraint from United States.

France has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday to discuss the fighting in Afrin and other parts of Syria.

The YPG’s Afrin spokesman, Birusk Hasaka, said there were clashes between Kurdish and Turkey-backed forces on the third day of the operation. He said Turkish shelling had hit civilian areas in Afrin’s northeast.

Read more ....

More News On Turkey's Invasion Of Syria

Turkish troops face fierce battles in Syrian Kurdish enclave. -- AP
Turkey in new assault on Kurdish militia on Syria -- AFP
Syria offensive: Turkish troops 'capture villages' in Afrin -- BBC
Second Turkish border town hit by 'missile fired from inside Syria' as clashes between the two countries escalate after Erdogan's forces attacked US-backed Kurdish militia -- Daily Mail
Syria: Turkish ground troops enter Afrin enclave -- BBC
Tension rises as Turkey sends troops to YPG stronghold -- Al Jazeera
U.S.-backed SDF says may send reinforcements to Syria's Afrin -- Reuters
Turkey "soon" will finalize operation in Syria's Afrin - Erdogan -- TASS
Turkey's Olive Branch operation in Syria to have four stages - Turkish PM -- TASS
Turkey's Erdogan says has deal with Russia, will not step back from Afrin operation -- Reuters
Kremlin says in touch with Ankara over north Syria operation -- Reuters
Assad describes Turkey’s operation in Afrin as support to terrorism in Syria - SANA -- TASS
Assad slams Turkey’s Syria offensive as ‘support for terrorism’ -- SCMP
Turkey gave US heads-up on Syria operation: Mattis -- AFP
Mattis says Turkey warned Pentagon before attacking US-backed Kurds -- RT
US tells Turkey to show 'restraint' with Syria Kurds -- DW
Iran Calls on Turkey to Immediately End Olive Branch Operation -- Sputnik
Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin: The key players -- Al Jazeera

World News Briefs -- January 22, 2018



BBC: Afghan Intercontinental Hotel attack: Death toll in Kabul reaches 22

At least 22 people have now been reported killed in a siege by gunmen at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, the health ministry says.

The attack ended more then 12 hours after gunmen in army uniforms entered the hotel around 21:00 local time (16:30 GMT) on Saturday.

The Taliban said their fighters were behind the attack.

Sources told national news channel, Tolo News, that the death toll could be as high as 43.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkish troops face fierce battles in Syrian Kurdish enclave.

Turkey stifles anti-Syria operation protests after Erdogan warning.

Iraq's Islamists dump religion for upcoming elections.

Iran says warplanes warned off two western vessels during drill.

UAE-backed group vows to 'overthrow' Yemen's government.

Yemen's children face 'worst diphtheria outbreak'.

Gazans call for strike over collapsing economy.

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state: minister.

Pence arrives in Israel on visit overshadowed by Trump's Jerusalem declaration.

ASIA

Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 18 dead. Kabul hotel attack toll at least 22: officials. Taliban militants 'searched for foreigners' in Kabul hotel attack.

China says US forcing it to strengthen presence in South China Sea.

Boom goes bust in Chinese border city as UN sanctions on North Korea bite.

Rohingya leader shot dead as repatriation tensions flare.

UN official: Rohingya camps at risk of deterioration.

Thailand: Three killed in Yala market bombing.

China: Oil slick from Iranian tanker triples in size.

Philippine news site Rappler head Maria Ressa meets investigators over 'suspicious' complaint.

Tokyo holds its first military attack evacuation drill since WWII as tensions rise over North Korea's nuclear programme.

AFRICA

US wants Africa to shun North Korea.

DRC: Protesters killed in anti-Kabila protests.

Amid 'dramatic deterioration' in DR Congo, UN and partners launch $1.68 billion aid appeal.

Ethiopia to ease tensions with Egypt over Nile dam.

Kenya: Explosive kills 4 more children grazing livestock.

Sudan's press freedom: Concern about confiscations.

EU open to send Zimbabwe vote monitors, wants credible polls.

EUROPE

‘Of course Putin gets nervous, he is human’ – Press Secretary Peskov.

‘Collapse’ but ‘favorable contact’: Kremlin spokesman talks US relations.

Carles Puigdemont: Fugitive Catalan ex-leader called to form government.

Spain urges ex-Catalan leader's arrest if heads to Denmark. Spain renews arrest bid as Catalonia's Puigdemont travels to Denmark.

Merkel readies for intense German coalition talks after tight SPD vote.

France, Germany to mark Elysee Treaty with resolution to step up cooperation.

Macron admits France would vote to LEAVE EU if country held referendum.

Teens roam streets with rifles as crime swamps Sweden.

AMERICAS

US shutdown: Government services closed as working week begins.

Senator says FBI lost crucial texts tied to Clinton probe.

2 IEDs explode at Florida mall, police say.

Four months after Maria, military veterans still on a mission in Puerto Rico.

With 25,339 murders in 2017, Mexico suffers record homicide tally.

Mexico senator quits party to join leftist presidential frontrunner.

Colombian negotiator returning to Ecuador for talks with ELN rebels.

Deadly violence over disputed Honduras election result.

US arrests ex-Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon for graft charge.

Pope ends Latin American trip with warning about political corruption.

Flu outbreak: 100 people a week dying in US as virus continues to spread.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Delhi Police say they've captured most-wanted terrorist known as 'India's Bin Laden'

Tunisia kills senior Al-Qaeda member.

Mattis: US national security focus no longer terrorism.

Malaysian arrests 'IS-linked militants planning attacks'.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Oxfam: Richest one percent banked 82 percent of wealth created in 2017. 'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth', says Oxfam.

Contrite Facebook executives seek to ward off more European rules.

Exclusive: U.S. sanctions curb Microsoft sales to hundreds of Russian firms.