Saturday, July 30, 2016

American Skydiver Becomes The First To Jump 25,000 Feet Into A Net - Without A Parachute

Daily Mail: Married skydiver Luke Aikins become the first to jump 25,000 feet into a net without a parachute

* Aikins jumped 25,000 into a net Saturday evening in Simi Valley, California
* Found out he had to wear a parachute just hours before - but did not use it
* The skydiver, 42, has done more than 18,000 jumps and stunts in Ironman 3
* His four-year-old son and his wife both watched his record-breaking jump

An American skydiver has become the first of his trade to jump 25,000 feet into a net - without a parachute.

Luke Aikins, 42, completed the record-breaking stunt on Saturday evening in Simi Valley, California.

He hit the 100-by-100-foot net perfectly, quickly climbed out of it and walked over to hug his wife, who had been watching with other family members.

Just before climbing into a plane to make the jump, Aikins said he had been ordered to wear a parachute but indicated he wouldn't open it.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I know that this is not a war/defense/intelligence news story .... but I had to post it. I was in my mid-thirties when I did my first (and only) parachute jump. After the jump .....I said to myself that it makes no sense to jump out of a perfectly functioning air-plane ....and I vowed to never do it again. But the story ..... and doing a 25,000 jump without parachute .... I am at a lost of words to even comment on it.

Iraqi Minister: Many Islamic State Leaders Trying To Flee To Syria

Reuters: Many Islamic State leaders trying to flee to Syria: Iraqi minister

Many Islamic State leaders have fled Mosul with their families toward Syria ahead of a planned offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on the city, Iraq's defense minister said on Saturday.

Khaled al-Obeidi said he had intelligence of increasing conflict, especially over financial issues, among ultra-hardline militants of the group known as Daesh in Arabic by its enemies.

"Many Daesh families and leaders in Mosul have sold their property and sneaked out towards Syria, and a segment even tried to sneak out towards (Iraq's Kurdish) region", he said in an interview on state television.

Islamic State has lost at least half the territory it seized in Iraq in 2014. The group has also lost territory in Syria, where it emerged amid a civil war which is now in its sixth year, but U.S.-backed rebel forces there have had less success in beating it back.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video is from the BBC that looks at a U.S. base not far from Islamic State controlled Mosul.

Reports: Families Begin Leaving Rebel Besieged Aleppo

CNN: Syrian families trickle out of Aleppo, reports say

(CNN)Dozens of families have started to trickle out of war-ravaged Aleppo, days after the Syrian army announced it encircled the city and cut off rebel supply routes, according to reports.

The families moved out of eastern Aleppo on Saturday through humanitarian corridors set up by the regional government, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA.

The civilians were "besieged by the terrorist groups in the eastern neighborhoods" and crossed into the Salahaddin section of the city, where Syrian army units sent them to makeshift shelters, the news agency reported. SANA also reported that several rebel gunmen surrendered.

Syrian state TV showed what it said were women and children leaving the city along a street lined with bomb-damaged buildings.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That Families Are Beginning to Leave Rebel Besieged Aleppo

Syria conflict: 'Families leave' besieged Aleppo -- BBC
Scores of families leave besieged Aleppo under Russia-Damascus plan -- Reuters
Syrian Civilians Begin Leaving Rebel-Held Parts of Aleppo -- AP
Starving families in Aleppo fear ‘safe passage’ may be a trap -- The Guardian
4 more humanitarian corridors to be opened in Aleppo – Russian military -- RT
Confusion over 'humanitarian routes' in Syria's Aleppo -- Al Jazeera
What Aleppo’s 'humanitarian corridors' mean for doctors in rebel Syria -- David Iaconangelo, CSM

Turkish Police And Soldiers Have Surrounded Incirlik Air Base Home To 1500 U.S. Soldiers And Nuclear Weapons Reports Turkish troops have sealed off Incirlik US/NATO nuclear air base

TURKEY has sent police to surround the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States — and where a large stockpile of NATO nuclear weapons is held — ahead of a visit by a senior US official tomorrow.

Unconfirmed reports out of Turkey suggest all entrances to the air base have been blocked by heavy vehicles and police sent to secure its peremiter.

The unusual nigh-time move sparked rumours of a second coup attempt on Turkish social media.

The move comes less than a week after a top US Army general was accused by Turkish media of ‘leading’ the uprising against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this month.

But Turkish Minister for European Affairs has since reportedly sought to reassure media, stating the mission was just a “safety inspection”.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are a lot of conflicting reports with this story. There is also no coverage from the European and American press on this story. The Turkish Minister for European Affairs has remarked that this is just a "safety inspection" .... but what is interesting about this "safety inspection" is that it is occurring hours before US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford is suppose to arrive at the base. Intimidation. Sending a message. I let you be the judge on why this is happening.

More News On Turkish Police And Soldiers Surrounding Incirlik Air Base

Turkey's Incerlik airbase on “lockdown” by Erdogan with 1500 US troops and nuclear weapons --Jerusalem Post
Turkish Police Block Access to NATO's Incirlik Air Base - Home of US Nukes -- Sputnik
1,000s Turkish forces surround NATO’s Incirlik air base for ‘inspection’ amid rumors of coup attempt -- RT

Growing Unrest In Armenia

VICE News: Hostage situation at police station triggers violent protests in Armenia

Riot police and pro-opposition protesters clashed again on Saturday in Armenia's capital Yerevan, a day after at least 75 demonstrators were injured when they tried to approach the scene of an ongoing hostage situation inside a police compound.

The standoff began on July 17 when around 30 armed members of an opposition group stormed a police station and took several hostages. The hostage-takers are demanding the release of Jirair Sefilian, the leader of the country's Founding Parliament opposition group. He was arrested last month on weapons charges and accused with his supporters of plotting to seize government buildings and take over a TV transmission tower.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The video below explains why there is growing unrest in Armenia.

More News On The Growing Unrest In Armenia

Armenia police officer killed amid hostage crisis -- BBC
Police officer shot dead in lengthy Armenia stand-off -- AFP
Armenian Police Accuse Barricaded Gunmen of Killing Officer -- AP
Armenia hostage standoff: Police officer shot dead -- Al Jazeera
Riot police and protesters clash in Yerevan, Armenia -- BBC
Armenia hostage standoff: Clashes erupt in Yerevan -- Al Jazeera
Armenians step up their demands in a fourth summer of protest -- The Guardian

Editor's Note

Blogging will return later tonight.

Chris Kyle's Hometown of Odessa, TX Have Unveiled His Memorial Statue

Russia Also Has A Computer Hacking Problem

A general view shows the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) (L) in central Moscow, Russia, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/SERGEI KARPUKHIN

Reuters: Russia says spyware found in state computer networks

Russia's intelligence service said on Saturday that the computer networks of 20 organizations, including state agencies and defense companies, have been infected with spyware in what it described as a targeted and coordinated attack.

The Federal Security Service, the FSB, said the malware and the way the networks were infected were similar to those used in previous cases of cyber espionage found in Russia and other countries. The agency did not say who it suspected of being behind the attacks.

"Information technology resources of government agencies, scientific and military institutions, defense industry companies and other entities involved in crucial infrastructure have been infected," the FSB said in a statement on its website.

Read more ....

Russia Says Malware Found in 20 of Country’s Computer Networks (VOA)

WNU Editor: Hacking. Spyware. Malware. This is a global problem affecting every computer network in the world .... down to little old me. Because of what I do .... I sweep and clean my computers 2 times a day using 3 different programs. You will be surprised with what I find sometimes.

Heavy Fighting Reported Between Turkish Military Forces And Kurdish Fighters

AA Photo

BBC: Turkey-PKK conflict: Dozens killed in south-east clashes

The Turkish military has killed 35 Kurdish militants who tried to storm a base in the south-east, officials say.

The overnight attack, in the Cukurca district of Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, came hours after clashes between soldiers and militants left eight soldiers dead in the area.

A ceasefire between Turkey's military and the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) broke down in July last year.

The army is reeling from a huge purge following a coup attempt two weeks ago.

Read more ....

More News On Heavy Fighting Being Reported Between Turkish Military Forces And Kurdish Fighters

Turkey kills 35 militants after they try to storm base, officials say -- Reuters
Turkey: PKK fighters killed in attempt to storm base -- Al Jazeera
35 PKK terrorists killed in operations in Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province -- Daily Sabah
Turkey: 35 Kurdish militants killed trying to storm base -- The Hill
Turkey says eight soldiers killed, claims killing 35 Kurd fighters -- Europe Online

Turkey's President Erdogan Tells The West To 'Mind Their Own Business'

Al Jazeera: Erdogan to West: 'Mind your own business'

Turkey's president criticises Western countries for failing to show solidarity with Ankara over failed coup attempt.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Western leaders for failing to show solidarity with Ankara over a failed coup attempt, saying countries who worry more about the fate of the perpetrators than democracy cannot be Turkey's friends.

Speaking at the presidential palace in Ankara late on Friday, Erdogan said Western leaders who were criticising the Turkish government's reaction to the July 15 coup attempt should "mind their own business".

"When five-10 people die in a terror attack, you [Western countries] set the world on fire," he said.

Read more ....

More News On Turkey's President Erdogan Telling The West To 'Mind Their Own Business'

Turkish leader condemns West's lack of 'solidarity' amid continuing coup crackdown -- ABC News Online
Turkey's Erdogan slams West for failure to show solidarity over coup attempt -- Reuters
Turkey President Erdogan lashes out at West, says it should 'mind its own business' -- IBTimes
Erdogan tells West 'mind your own business' over crackdown criticism -- Telegraph
Erdogan tells West 'mind your own business' as journalists jailed -- 7 News

China Pushes Its South China Sea Claims In New York City's Times Square (Video)

Breitbart: Pro-Beijing South China Sea Propaganda Video Appears in Times Square

A three-minute propaganda video promoting Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea has begun playing in New York City’s Times Square, raising immediate objections from a British politician who says she was deliberately misquoted in the film.

China Daily describes the video as showcasing “the beauty of South China Sea and the Nanhai Zhudao” and detailing the “history of the region” before stressing that China “is the first to have discovered, named, explored and exploited the islands and relevant waters.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Do Americans really care about China's South China Sea claims .... not really. But the Chinese do care about making their claims known to a U.S. audience ... hence this propaganda video (which is actually very good).

The Chinese Military Is Training Hard To Win Wars

Times of India/PTI: Amid South China Sea tensions, Chinese army training hard under Xi Jinping to win wars

BEIJING: Undergoing radical transformation to increase its combat capability amid rising tensions over the disputed South China Sea, President Xi Jinping is pushing China's 2.3 million-strong PLA (People's Liberation Army) which turns 89 on Sunday to train hard to win wars as it expands its high tech arsenal.

Reorganised from top to bottom by Xi in the last four years, the PLA - the world's largest - is bracing for major showdowns in its increasingly volatile neighbourhood triggered by the international tribunal verdict quashing China's expansive claims over the resource-rich South China Sea.

Reform is a comprehensive and revolutionary change, and obstacles and policy issues that may hold back reform measures must be addressed so as to build a strong armed forces commensurate with China's international status, Xi has said as he consolidated his hold over the military to emerge as the most powerful Chinese leader in recent times.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This ominous .... China Will Hold its Fire in the South China Sea — Until September (Harry J. Kazianis, National Interest)

Chinese State Media Calls For Launching Strikes Against Any Australian Ship That Enters The South China Sea

A destroyer flotilla under the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts an anti-submarine training recently. ( Xingjian, Li Zhanglong)

Business Insider: Major Chinese state paper calls for a military strike on Australian ships that enter the South China Sea

China’s state-run Global Times has published an editorial attacking Australia for supporting the recent international ruling on China’s activities in the South China Sea and called for strikes on any Australian ships which might undertake “freedom-of-navigation” activities in the region.

The editorial said Australia “is not even a ‘paper tiger’, it’s only a ‘paper cat’ at best”. It says that even though “Australia calls itself a principled country… when it needs to please Washington, it demonstrates willingness of doing anything in a show of allegiance”.

As a result, the Global Times says (our emphasis):

China must take revenge and let it know it’s wrong. Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Such an action would result in one thing .... embargoes, sanctions, and an arms buildup by every country in Asia that will match the military build-up during the Cold War. China may be the world's second largest economy ..... but it is an economy built on trade, and if that trade is curtailed, the internal repercussions within China itself will be felt quickly and profoundly.

A Look At The U.S. Marines Next Generation Helicopter

(Illustration courtesy Bell)

DoD Buzz: Marines’ Future Helicopter Will Be Optionally Manned: General

As the Marine Corps enters the final stages of preparing to receive the CH-35K King Stallion, its new heavy-lift workhorse helicopter, aviation officials are already looking forward to the Corps’ next generation of rotorcraft.

Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant of aviation, told reporters Friday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., that the Corps had asked for optionally manned capability for the Pentagon’s future vertical lift plan, which aims to develop replacement choppers for the Army and other services.

“We’ve told them it’s what we want,” Davis said. “Why wouldn’t we want it?”

Davis said he envisioned a vertical lift platform that might be operated unmanned to deliver cargo and manned for more sensitive or technically complex missions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A manned and unmanned capability .... we shall see.

Is Terrorism A Real Threat Or Just Global Theatre?

The men who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. Photograph: REUTERS TV/Reuters

The Guardian: The Theatre Of Terror

Terrorists have almost no military strength so they create a spectacle. How should states respond? The author of Sapiens, a history of humanity, reflects on the past, and alarming future, of the fear factor

As the literal meaning of the word indicates, terror is a military strategy that hopes to change the political situation by spreading fear rather than by causing material damage. This strategy is almost always adopted by very weak parties, who are unable to inflict much material damage on their enemies. Of course, every military action spreads fear. But in conventional warfare, fear is a byproduct of material losses, and is usually proportional to the force inflicting the losses. In terrorism, fear is the whole story, and there is an astounding disproportion between the actual strength of the terrorists and the fear they manage to inspire.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A thought provoking analysis .... looking at how terrorism was perceived in the past, and how it is viewed today. I also concur with what happens when we face the ultimate terror attack .... nuclear/biological .... the world will again change, and how we define and perceive terrorism will be totally different from what it is today.

Hat tip to Jay for this article.

World's Fastest Jet Crew Are Reunited With The Supersonic SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane

In 1976, reconnaissance officer George Morgan, left, and pilot Eldon 'Al' Joersz set the world aviation speed record in an Air Force SR-71 Blackbird spy jet. Their record -- 2,193 mph -- still stands.

Daily Mail: World's fastest jet crew are reunited with the supersonic SR-71 Blackbird spy plane - which is still the fastest plane ever built, 40 years later

* Pilot Al Joersz and reconnaissance system officer George Morgan reunite with SR-71 spy plane
* On July 28, 1976, Joersz and Morgan flew faster than a speeding bullet
* The Blackbird reached 2,193 miles per hour - one mile every 1.64 seconds
* Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, is hosting a weekend celebration honoring the crew
* Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was built in the 1960s by engineers in California
* Long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft was made for US Air Force
* Held world record for the fastest manned aircraft since 1976

For 40 years it has been the fastest plane ever built, and now the crew who flew the record-breaking, speed-shattering mission have been reunited with the aircraft they once commanded, and climbed back into the cockpit.

It was 1976 when U.S. Air Force pilot Maj. Gen. Eldon 'Al' Joersz and Lt. Col. George 'GT' Morgan flew a jet faster than a speeding bullet. They flew faster than anyone had done before, or since.

On July 28, 1976, the two men flew a SR-71 Blackbird spy plane for more than a thousand kilometers at 2,193 miles per hour, covering one mile every 1.64 seconds, a record that still stands today.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I suspect that this is  a record that is going to stand for a very long time.

Watch The U.S. Air Force Drop 8 Armored Humvees Out Of A Plane From 5,000 Feet

The Air Force recently conducted a training exercise in which it dropped eight armored Humvee vehicles over Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

It was conducted by US airmen from the 16th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina as part of Operation Crescent, which is an annual training exercise designed to test the Air Force's ability to mobilize quickly in response to a crisis.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These drops sometimes go wrong .... U.S. Air Force Drop Goes Wrong .... Terribly Wrong. Results In 'Raining Humvees' (April 22, 2016).

A Falling Out Between Wikileaks And Edward Snowden?

Daily Mail: ‘Opportunism won’t earn you a pardon’: Wikileaks hits back at Edward Snowden after whistleblower blasted the website for ‘leaking ordinary people’s emails’

* WikiLeaks released DNC emails over the weekend causing chair to resign
* But the data also included sensitive information of DNC donors and guests
* Snowden tweeted that their 'hostility to even modest curation is a mistake'
* The group hit back: 'Opportunism won't earn you a pardon from Clinton'

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and transparency website WikiLeaks are clashing over how best to handle the publication of sensitive data, in a public spat played out over Twitter.

WikiLeaks has come under increasing criticism over what it publishes, particularly following the release of what the website advertised as emails from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.

When a large numbers of emails turned out to be little more than messages from ordinary citizens, critics said WikiLeaks should have exercised better discretion to protect innocent people's privacy.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Edward Snowden is not going to get a pardon from Hillary Clinton .... and maybe Wikileaks should edit their info more closely before releasing it to the public. But my guess is that they do not have the manpower to do so.