Tuesday, January 24, 2017

World News Briefs -- January 24, 2017



CNN: Eastern Mosul liberated from ISIS, Iraqi PM says

Irbil, Iraq (CNN)Iraqi forces have liberated the eastern half of Mosul from ISIS' grip, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reported Tuesday on state television.

"I call on those heroes to move quickly to liberate the remaining part of Nineveh province, especially the right side, which is the western side of the city," Abadi said.

Mosul is divided by the Tigris River, with both sides making up about half of Iraq's second-largest city.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Russia, Turkey and Iran agree trilateral mechanism to maintain Syrian ceasefire. Russia, Turkey, Iran agree plan to support Syria truce.

Foreign powers back Syria truce deal, war erupts among rebels.

Iraqi forces battle Islamic State in pocket of eastern Mosul.

Iraqi forces gear up for anti-ISIL push in west Mosul.

UN fears up to 750,000 Iraqis could be displaced in western Mosul offensive.

Jordanian King to visit Russia to discuss counter-terrorism - Kremlin.

Yemen army claims control of port city of Mokha.

At least 40 dead in battle for Yemen port.

Kuwait to deliver message to Iran on dialogue with Gulf Arab states.

Israel announces 2,500 more West Bank settlement homes.

ASIA

Beijing reasserts sovereignty claims over disputed South China Sea islands.

China hits back at US over South China Sea 'takeover' claims.

China urges Trump administration to grasp importance of 'one China'.

Russia says U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would worsen situation - Ifax.

Afghan official reports Iranian, Pakistani aid to Taliban in Helmand.

Indian troops kill three militants in Kashmir.

Philippines' Duterte blames CIA for botched terror raid.

Japan, South Korea brace for Trump protectionist policies.

Papua New Guinea, Bougainville governments set up commission to oversee independence vote.

East Timor drops its spying case against Australia.

AFRICA

Nigeria suicide bomber 'had baby strapped to her back'.

Roadside bomb kills at least 4 troops in Somalia town: officials.

Gambia's new government mired in controversy.

New Gambia president expected back in country by next week.

Gambia revokes state of emergency in step towards political normality.

Uganda's sprawling haven for 270,000 of South Sudan's refugees.

CAR becomes most dangerous spot for aid workers.

Libya says oil sector open again for business.

EUROPE

Scotland's Sturgeon raises independence specter after court ruling.

Ex EU parliament head Schulz to stand against Germany's Merkel.

Ukraine says Russian sanctions must stay, rejects talk of Trump deal.

French Presidential candidate says Russia sanctions 'ineffective'.

Brexit: Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead. Parliament must vote before UK can trigger Brexit, top court rules.

Reports: Fake news targets Germany's Merkel ahead of elections.

EU escalates its campaign against Russian propaganda.

RRDP: Women fear violence and rape in refugee camps.

Germany sends second batch of Afghan refugees to Kabul.

Under Trump shadow, key European body backs EU-Canada trade deal.

AMERICAS

Trump advances controversial oil pipelines with executive action.

Trump admin orders EPA contract freeze and media blackout.

Trump set to make Supreme Court choice this week, short list down to three.

Pressured by Trump, Mexico ready to discuss NAFTA rules in U.S. talks.

Trump backs Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

U.S. budget deficit projected to balloon to $8.6 trillion in 10 years.

Trump's approval rating of 45% is record low for a new president.

Trump to meet with Mexican President on immigration, trade.

Trump adviser offers Canada reassurances on trade, Nafta.


French president meets with leftist rebels in Colombia.

Mexico captures 'El Negro,' son of Sinaloa Cartel leader 'El Azul'.

Massive wildfires cause 'greatest forest disaster' in Chile's history.

1 in 3 Californians supports secession – poll.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Ex-Qaeda affiliate battles rebels in north Syria.

US kills 5 AQAP operatives in Yemen airstrikes.

Pentagon confirms first drone strikes under President Trump.

US bombing in Libya was linked to Berlin truck attack.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Oil-dependent US states sliding into recession, S&P says.

Trump's executive orders send S&P 500 to an all-time high.

Alibaba raises guidance as strategy shift makes progress.

New F1 owners replace boss Ecclestone.

'Potential for China to join TPP' after US withdrawal, says Australia.

Taliban Tell President Trump To Leave Afghanistan

Wikipedia

Reuters: Taliban tells new U.S. President Trump to quit Afghanistan

The Taliban has called on President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. forces from the "quagmire" of Afghanistan, saying that nothing has been achieved in 15 years of war except bloodshed and destruction.

In an open letter to the new U.S. president published on one of its official web pages, the insurgent movement said the United States had lost credibility after spending a trillion dollars on a fruitless entanglement.

"So, the responsibility to bring to an end this war also rests on your shoulders," it said.

So far, Trump has had little to say publicly about Afghanistan, where some 8,400 U.S. troops remain as part of the NATO-led coalition's training mission to support local forces as well as a separate U.S. counter-terrorism mission.

Read more ....

More News On The Taliban Telling President Trump To Leave Afghanistan

Taliban warn Trump over Afghanistan: SITE -- AFP
Taliban to Trump: Leave Afghan ‘Quagmire’ -- Sputnik
Here's the Taliban's Message on Transfer of Power 'From the Black Skinned Obama to a White Skinned Billionaire' -- Townhall
Afghans hope — and worry — that Trump will shake things up -- Pamela Constable and Sayed Salahuddin, Washington Post

A Look At How The Islamic State Is Turning Commercial Drones Into Weapons

Three ISIS drones modified to drop 40mm rifle grenades - downed by the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service in Mosul (Mitch Utterback).

FOX News: How ISIS is turning commercial drones into weapons in the battle for Mosul

Elite Iraqi units clearing Mosul from Islamic State occupation face aerial bombardment from modified ISIS drones every day.

I just returned from two weeks on the ground inside Mosul with Iraq’s Emergency Response Division and the Counter Terrorism Service. These two units are Iraq’s best, and are taking the fight to ISIS daily.

ISIS is using snipers, suicide car bombs and drones to attack Iraqi forces.

Read more ....

Update #1: ISIS unveils a new remote-controlled drone that they film dropping a BOMB in Mosul (Daily Mail)
Update #2: ISIS arms toy drones with GRENADES to bomb Iraqi troops: RAF pilots hunt down the devices amid fears the weapons could be used against British troops (Daily Mail)
Update #3: ISIS Unveils Weaponized Drone Program in New Video (PJ Media)

WNU Editor:
These drones have cause casualties .... but their impact has been more psychological than anything else.

The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates January 24, 2017



Al Jazeera: Iraqi forces gear up for anti-ISIL push in west Mosul

Popular Mobilisation 'prepares' to soon launch operation in city's western part, even as fighting continues in the east.

A hundred days into a major push to recapture Mosul from ISIL, the Iraqi army has said it is gearing up for an offensive to take the city's western half, even as troops are still battling the armed group to take full control of the eastern sector.

The Popular Mobilisation "is preparing an operation in the next two, three days, to back up the operation to retake the right bank" of the city, on the western side of the Tigris river, Mosuliya TV cited General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah, commander of the anti-ISIL campaign, as saying on Tuesday.

Popular Mobilisation is a coalition of predominantly Iranian-trained Shia groups, formed in 2014 to take part in the war on ISIL, also known as ISIS.

Read more ....

The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates January 24, 2017

Battle for Mosul: 750,000 Trapped in Western Half of ISIS-Held Iraqi City -- NBC
Iraqi forces secure eastern Mosul from Islamic State -- USA Today
Iraq: East Mosul Free of IS Control -- VOA
Eastern Mosul liberated from ISIS, Iraqi PM says -- CNN
Eastern Mosul 'fully liberated' from Islamic State, Iraq's prime minister says -- AP
Eastern side of Mosul recaptured from Islamic State, Iraqi prime minister says -- Washington Post
Iraq clears east Mosul, amid fears for civilians in west -- AFP
UN fears up to 750,000 Iraqis could be displaced in western Mosul offensive -- DW
U.N. 'racing' to prepare aid for civilians ahead of battle for west Mosul -- Reuters

Syrian Peace Talks End



Al Jazeera: Russia, Turkey, Iran agree plan to support Syria truce

The three nations also said they supported the willingness of the armed opposition to participate in UN-led talks.

Talks between key Syria war players in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, have ended with Russia, Turkey and Iran agreeing on a mechanism to support a delicate ceasefire.

The meeting, organised by Russia and Turkey and attended by the government and the armed opposition, was aimed at strengthening a nationwide ceasefire that has largely held despite pockets of violence, and at paving the way towards United Nations-led political negotiations in Geneva on February 8.

It was not immediately clear whether the opposition or the government backed the communique.

Read more ....

More News On The End Of Syrian Peace Talks

Foreign powers back Syria truce deal, war erupts among rebels -- Reuters
Sponsors of Syria talks in Astana strike deal to protect fragile ceasefire -- The Guardian
Syria Talks End With Agreement to Observe Cease-Fire -- ABC news
Russia, Turkey and Iran Agree on Syria Truce Monitoring -- WSJ
Russia Enlists Iran to Enforce Syrian Truce Amid Tensions -- Bloomberg
Russia says draft of new Syria constitution handed to rebels -- AFP
Who's who in the Syria conflict -- AFP
The message from Syria summit: Russia wants a solution in its name -- Martin Chulov, The Guardian

The Obama Administration Asked Britain To Keep Details Of A Failed Nuclear Missile Test Secret

Crew from HMS Vengeance, a British Royal Navy Vanguard class Trident Ballistic Missile Submarine © David Moir / Reuters

The Australian/The Times: US urged Britain to keep trident blunder secret

The US government asked Britain to keep details of a botched nuclear missile test secret, a source told The Times.

Officials from the Obama administration asked David Cameron’s government not to comment on the malfunction during a test of the Trident nuclear deterrent in June, it is understood.

The £17 million unarmed D5 missile is believed to have been obliterated in an automatic self-destruct sequence when it was diverted from its course after being launched from HMS Vengeance off Florida. A failure in the data communications system of the US-made weapon system has been blamed. Lockheed Martin, based in Maryland, builds and maintains the missiles.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This may be a bigger problem than what they are reporting .... Trident whistleblower tells RT he ‘witnessed 4 unreported missile test failures’ (RT).

Previous Post: British PM Theresa May Grilled On Last Year's British Trident Missile Failure (January 22, 2017)
Previous Post: No. 10 Covered Up A Failed British Trident Missile Test Off The U.S. Coast Last Year (January 21, 2017).

More News On Reports That The Obama Administration Asked Britain To Keep Details Of A Failed Nuclear Missile Test Secret

Trident: Barack Obama administration asked David Cameron to keep failed nuclear missile test launch secret -- The Independent
US asked UK to keep failed nuke Trident test secret – report -- RT
Did the US pressure Britain to keep the Trident test failure a secret? -- International Business Times
US official confirms Trident missile failure -- CNN

Chinese Warships On Patrol In The Persian Gulf

China’s navy regularly tours the world and its ships patrol off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia as part of international anti-piracy operations. (File photo: AFP)

Reuters: Chinese warships tour Gulf Arab states for first time since 2010

Chinese warships have embarked on a tour of Gulf Arab states for the first time in six years as Beijing has signaled a desire to play a bigger role on the global stage.

Three Chinese vessels, including a guided-missile destroyer warship, arrived in Qatar's capital Doha on Saturday following a visit to the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

China's navy regularly tours the world and its ships patrol off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia as part of international anti-piracy operations. Visits to Gulf Arab states, where both the U.S. and Britain have naval bases, are less common.

China's navy visited Iran for the first time in 2014 to take part in joint naval exercises with Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The last time a Chinese naval ship was on a tour in the Persian Gulf was 2010. My guess is that this is now going to become a regular occurrence.

Ukraine's President Disagrees With U.S. President Trump's Outreach To Russia

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko listens during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Reuters: Ukraine says Russian sanctions must stay, rejects talk of Trump deal

Ukraine's president said on Tuesday world powers should keep sanctions on Russia, rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to consider reducing the penalties if Moscow proved a useful ally.

Petro Poroshenko told reporters that sanctions remained the only way to keep Russia at the negotiating table over the crisis in eastern Ukraine, that Western powers say has been fueled by Moscow.

The United States, the European Union and others imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 over its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and its support for pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine's east.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Expect a clash between the Trump administration And Ukraine President Poroshenko on how to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Russia in the months to come.

Have Russian Sanctions Been Ineffective?

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon (left) chats with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the Valdai discussion club northwest of Moscow in September 2013.

RFE: French Presidential Candidate Says Russia Sanctions 'Ineffective'

French presidential candidate Francois Fillon says that the European Union's economic sanctions against Russia are ineffective and called for dialogue with Moscow.

Speaking on January 23, Fillon also expressed concern that the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump could forge links with Russia that would sideline the EU.

"I am convinced that the economic sanctions are totally ineffective," Fillon told reporters after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. "We must find another way to talk."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I disagree. Sanctions have been effective .... the start of another Cold War and the Ukraine conflict are big concerns .... but for the average Russian on the street .... their focus is on jobs, the economy, and yes .... the impact that sanctions has on this. Russian President Putin knows this .... and his election is next year. He wants this issue to be gone or .... at least .... diminished.

World News Briefs -- January 24, 2017

Mohammad Alloush (C), the head of the Syrian opposition delegation, attends Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

The Guardian: Sponsors of Syria talks in Astana strike deal to protect fragile ceasefire

Russia, Turkey and Iran to set up trilateral commission to monitor breaches of ceasefire that came into effect last month

Tortuous efforts to install a credible international body to entrench and broaden the patchwork ceasefire in Syria have partially succeeded on the second and final day of talks in Kazakhstan.

Discussions ended with agreement among the three sponsors of the talks – Russia, Turkey and Iran – to set up a trilateral commission to monitor and enforce the ceasefirethat came into effect last month. Under the agreement, the three countries will act together to monitor the ceasefire, and take steps to urge those responsible for breaches to desist.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Russia, Turkey and Iran agree trilateral mechanism to maintain Syrian ceasefire. Russia, Turkey, Iran agree plan to support Syria truce.

Foreign powers back Syria truce deal, war erupts among rebels.

Iraqi forces battle Islamic State in pocket of eastern Mosul.

Iraqi forces gear up for anti-ISIL push in west Mosul.

UN fears up to 750,000 Iraqis could be displaced in western Mosul offensive.

Yemen army claims control of port city of Mokha.

Israel announces 2,500 more West Bank settlement homes.

ASIA

China hits back at US over South China Sea 'takeover' claims.

China urges Trump administration to grasp importance of 'one China'.

Russia says U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would worsen situation - Ifax.

Afghan official reports Iranian, Pakistani aid to Taliban in Helmand.

Indian troops kill three militants in Kashmir.

Philippines' Duterte blames CIA for botched terror raid.

Japan, South Korea brace for Trump protectionist policies.

Papua New Guinea, Bougainville governments set up commission to oversee independence vote.

East Timor drops its spying case against Australia.

AFRICA

Nigeria suicide bomber 'had baby strapped to her back'.

Roadside bomb kills at least 4 troops in Somalia town: officials.

New Gambia president expected back in country by next week.

Gambia revokes state of emergency in step towards political normality.

Uganda's sprawling haven for 270,000 of South Sudan's refugees.

CAR becomes most dangerous spot for aid workers.

Libya says oil sector open again for business.

EUROPE

Ukraine says Russian sanctions must stay, rejects talk of Trump deal.

French Presidential candidate says Russia sanctions 'ineffective'.

Brexit: Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead. Parliament must vote before UK can trigger Brexit, top court rules.

Reports: Fake news targets Germany's Merkel ahead of elections.

EU escalates its campaign against Russian propaganda.

RRDP: Women fear violence and rape in refugee camps.

Germany sends second batch of Afghan refugees to Kabul.

AMERICAS

Trump backs Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

U.S. budget deficit projected to balloon to $8.6 trillion in 10 years.

Trump's approval rating of 45% is record low for a new president.

Trump to meet with Mexican President on immigration, trade.

Trump adviser offers Canada reassurances on trade, Nafta.


Mexico captures 'El Negro,' son of Sinaloa Cartel leader 'El Azul'.

Massive wildfires cause 'greatest forest disaster' in Chile's history.

1 in 3 Californians supports secession – poll.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US kills 5 AQAP operatives in Yemen airstrikes.

Pentagon confirms first drone strikes under President Trump.

US bombing in Libya was linked to Berlin truck attack.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Alibaba raises guidance as strategy shift makes progress.

New F1 owners replace boss Ecclestone.

'Potential for China to join TPP' after US withdrawal, says Australia.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 24, 2017


VOA: NATO, Pentagon Chiefs Discuss Military Budgets, Terrorism

BRUSSELS — NATO's chief and new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed military spending and combating terrorism, the source of criticism of the alliance by President Donald Trump.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's office said Tuesday that the two men "agreed on the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America."

In a phone call, they looked forward "to working together to strengthen the alliance, including by increasing defense spending and doing even more to fight terrorism."

Trump has said that NATO is "obsolete." He has upset allies by suggesting he might refuse to defend those not spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on military budgets.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 24, 2017

Nato has our 'unshakeable commitment', Pentagon chief vows -- The Guardian

Pentagon: US affirms 'unshakeable commitment' to NATO -- DW

White House Opens Door to Cooperation with Russian in Syria -- AP

White House opens door to military cooperation with Moscow, but it would be illegal -- L.A. Times

Russian military says it carried out joint strikes with US-led coalition in Syria, US denies it -- RT

U.S. military denies coordinating Syria air strikes with Russia -- Reuters

US military is 'not coordinating airstrikes with Russia in Syria', Pentagon says -- The Guardian

Japan's Military Launches First Communications Satellite -- AP

China reportedly deploys ICBMs near Russia’s border -- RT

Kremlin sees no threat in China's decision to deploy missiles near Russian border -- TASS

Analyst: North Korea may be preparing missile test site -- UPI

Seoul already paying enough for USFK -- Korea Times

Cameroon general among six killed in helicopter crash -- UPI

Taiwan's F-16 Fighter Jets Are Getting an Upgrade -- Defense News

German arms sales drop - to second-highest levels on record -- DW

Norway's Radical Military Experiment: How Full Gender Integration Paid Off -- Elisabeth Braw, Foreign Affairs

US asked UK to keep failed nuke Trident test secret – report -- RT

Trump’s Pentagon expected to curb military ties with China -- Bill Gertz, Asia Times

Diverting From Norm, Army Sends Hill 2017-2018 Wish Lists -- Defense News

Navy Stays with New Technology for Landing Jets on Carriers -- AP

Amid Amphib Shortfall, Marines to Board NATO Ships for Africa Missions -- Military.com

Army Quietly Deactivates its Small-Team Reconnaissance Units -- Stars and Stripes

The Air Force Needs More Than 300 Light Attack Aircraft—Now.
-- Atlantic Council

Donald Trump's CIA director confirmed as Mike Pompeo, despite torture concerns -- ABC News Online

Comey says Trump asked him to stay on as FBI director -- UPI

Mattis Picks Two Navy Rear Admirals as Top Aides -- Military.com

Trump Taps Former Congresswoman, Academy Grad as SecAF -- Military.com

Narrative, Cyberspace and the 21st Century Art of War -- Fifth Domain

Report: Army ground combat systems are becoming Cold War relics -- Military Times

Washington's Cold War Containment Strategy Is Still Alive and Well -- Stratfor

How Russia Sees The Global Media

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

WNU Editor: So today's global media is hostile towards Russia. What's my take .... I have seen worse.

President Obama Averaged A 47.9% Job Approval As President


Gallop: Obama Averages 47.9% Job Approval as President

* Only Truman, Ford, Carter had lower averages as president
* Final job approval rating of 59% among the highest for presidents
* Obama ratings avoided extreme highs, lows

WASHINGTON, D.C -- Barack Obama finished his tenure as president with a 47.9% average job approval rating. He ranks below eight presidents and ahead of only three -- Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman -- in Gallup's polling history.

John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush, all of whom averaged better than 60% job approval while in office, have the highest averages. Three others -- Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan -- have averages above the majority level. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, falls just below the majority level at 49.4%.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: So President Nixon's and President George W. Bush average job approval rating was higher than President Obama's .... here is an easy prediction .... this is something that the mainstream media is not going to report on. As to what is my take .... since last year I have become very sceptical of polls .... and my opinion has not changed.

China Deploys Ballistic Missiles Near The Russian Border

© Photo: Youtube/ Military Technology Zone

RT: China reportedly deploys ICBMs near Russia’s border

Beijing has deployed advanced Dongfeng-41 ICBMs in Heilongjiang Province, which borders Russia, according to reports based on images, possibly leaked to coincide with Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president.

“Pictures of China's Dongfeng-41 ballistic missile were exposed on Chinese mainland websites,” the Global Times said citing reports in “some Hong Kong and Taiwan media.” Russian news agencies identified one of them as the Apple Daily, a Hong Kong-based tabloid-style resource.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Kremlin is saying that they are not concerned about this deployment .... but they are .... Russia to Boost Far East Missile Defense Amid China's ICBM Deployment - MP (Sputnik).

More News On China Deploying Ballistic Missiles Near The Russian Border

China's Reported Missile Deployment Near Russian Borders No Threat to Moscow -- Sputnik
Kremlin sees no threat in China’s missiles near Russian border -- RBTH
Reported DF-41 Deployment: China 'Responding to US Missile Defense in Asia' -- Sputnik
Analyst believes China’s missiles near Russian borders targeted against US -- TASS
Is China Going To War? Nuclear Missiles Deployed To Russian Border, Putin's Kremlin Responds -- International Business Times

China Says It Is Prepared To Lead The World Economy

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Fortune: China Says It Will Lead the World Economy If Western Nations Stand Down

A top Chinese diplomat has said that China is ready to lead the world economy if other nations should retreat from globalization.

Zhang Jun, the Chinese foreign ministry's head of international economic affairs, told foreign reporters in Beijing that "if it’s necessary for China to play the role of leader, then China must take on this responsibility," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Zhang's comments come just days after President Donald Trump pledged to put "America first" in his inaugural address, which followed Chinese President Xi Jinping's plea for the continuation of global trade at last week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China's business model .... export driven while keeping its own domestic markets protected .... makes it very unlikely that they will be the leader of the world economy. As for TPP .... its impact and importance has decreased significantly for some who signed onto it expecting easier access to U.S. markets. That is now not going to happen .... so expect bilateral arrangements and agreements to be the focus during the Trump Presidency.

More News On Chinese Claims They Will Lead The World Economy If Other Nations Retreat From Globalisation


China: We can lead world beyond 'crisis' of Western democracy and capitalism -- CNBC
China ready to shoulder global leadership burden if others back out – senior Chinese diplomat -- RT
China Eager to Fill Political Vacuum Created by Trump’s TPP Withdrawal -- Bloomberg
After U.S. exit, Asian nations try to save TPP trade deal -- Reuters
Australia, New Zealand Look to China to Salvage TPP Deal After Donald Trump Withdraws US -- Newsweek
Trump's Gift to China -- Michael Schuman, Bloomberg

Is The Trump Administration Ready For War In The South China Sea?



Simon Denyer, Washington Post: Is Trump ready for war in the South China Sea, or is his team just not being clear?

Was this a prelude to a major escalation in the South China Sea, or is the Trump administration having trouble articulating its foreign policy?

On Monday, new White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the United States would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea.

His comments were widely interpreted as doubling down on remarks by Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, on Jan. 11 that the United States would not allow China access to islands it has built in the South China Sea, and upon which it has installed weapons systems and built military-length airstrips.

Read more ....

Update: Donald Trump Could Be Starting a New Cold War With China. But He Has Little Chance of Winning (Time)

WNU Editor: Unlike the authors of the above two post .... I did not read any talk of war from the White House or from nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. What I am reading is a warning from the Trump administration that there will be a price to pay for China if they continue with their current territorial claims. And as for what that price will be .... they have very clear for the past few weeks .... it will be political (Taiwan) and economic (trade and tariffs).

China Warns The White House Over South China Sea 'Takeover' Claims

An aerial photo taken though a glass window of a Philippine military plane shows the alleged on-going land reclamation by China on mischief reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool

The Guardian: China hits back at US over South China Sea 'takeover' claims


Beijing warns White House to tread carefully after Rex Tillerson likens island-building to Russia’s taking of Crimea

China has warned the US to “speak and act cautiously” after the White House said it would act to foil Chinese attempts to “take over” the South China Sea, amid growing hints that Donald Trump’s administration intends to challenge Beijing over the strategic waterway.

At a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, urged Washington to tread carefully “to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea”.

Hua was responding to comments made by White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, the previous day.

Read more ....

More News On Beijing Warning The White House Over South China Sea Claims

China hits back at US over South China Sea claims -- BBC
China says will protect South China Sea sovereignty -- Reuters
China urges U.S. to act and speak cautiously on South China Sea -- Reuters
China says it will not back down on South China Sea -- AFP
China tells Trump to act cautiously on South China Sea issue -- DW
Beijing urges US to exercise caution when dealing with South China Sea issue -- South China Morning Post
China Urges U.S. to Act Cautiously Following Hard-Line Remarks on South China Sea -- WSJ

Britain’s Supreme Court Rules That Parliament Must Vote On Brexit



New York Times: ‘Brexit’ Talks Can’t Start Without Parliament, U.K. Supreme Court Rules

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May must secure the approval of Parliament before she can begin the process of taking Britain out of the European Union, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling, which upholds an earlier decision by the High Court in London, creates another hurdle for Mrs. May, who has promised to begin a two-year, irreversible process of exit negotiations by the end of March by invoking the European Union’s Article 50, the legal mechanism for leaving the bloc.

In its ruling, the court noted that Parliament had approved the 1972 legislation that enabled the country to join the European Union and incorporated European law into British law. Leaving the bloc would take away from British citizens a number of rights that had been granted by the bloc.

Read more ....

More News On Britain’s Supreme Court Ruling On Brexit

Live Coverage on the Brexit ruling -- BBC
Brexit: government will introduce article 50 bill 'within days' following supreme court ruling – live -- The Guardian
Brexit: Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead -- BBC
Parliament must vote before UK can trigger Brexit, top court rules -- Reuters
UK court ruling threatens to delay Brexit; government vows to stay on track -- FOX News
Britain’s Supreme Court rules Parliament must have a say on Brexit -- Washington Post
May Faces Hurdles to Starting Brexit Talks After Court Rules -- Bloomberg
Government loses Supreme Court appeal and must put triggering of Article 50 to a parliamentary vote. -- Business Insider
'There is NO turning back!' David Davis warns Remoaner MPs they will face the full wrath of the public if they use Supreme Court ruling to block Brexit -- Daily Mail
Brexit Supreme Court ruling on Article 50 vote summary -- The Independent
Factbox: Reaction to UK Supreme Court ruling parliament must approve triggering Brexit -- Reuters
The Brexit Supreme Court case ruling explained -- Dominic Casciani