Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Harry S Truman Aircraft Carrier Attracts Unwanted Attention (Video)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

More Problems With The U.S. Navy’s Newest Aircraft Carrier

The Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, heads to sea May 19 from its homeport at Norfolk, Va., to conduct extended operational testing of ship's systems. The ship was forced back into port May 22 for needed adjustments to propulsion components, but is expected to return to sea soon. (Mark D. Faram/Navy Times)

Navy Times: Why the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier was forced back into port

NORFOLK, Va. ― Yet another propulsion train problem has forced the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, back into port for “adjustments” before it can get back underway to complete what had been expected to be a long testing period.

“The ship experienced a propulsion system issue associated with a recent design change, requiring a return to homeport for adjustments before resuming at sea testing,” said Colleen O’Rourke, spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.

The ship left Norfolk early May 19 for what sources tell Navy Times was to be an extended period underway, slated to be the ship’s last sea time before entering its scheduled post-shakedown availability maintenance period at Huntington Ingalls Newport News shipyard this summer.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Having a new design will always produce problems at the beginning. But in the case USS Gerald Ford .... it appears that the problems only keep on piling up.

Is The U.S. About To Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over The Golan Heights?


Reuters: Exclusive: Israeli minister says U.S. may soon recognize Israel's hold on Golan

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is pressing the Trump administration to recognize its sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Wednesday, predicting U.S. assent could come within months.

Interviewed by Reuters, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz described endorsement of Israel’s 51-year-old hold on the Golan as the proposal now “topping the agenda” in bilateral diplomatic talks with the United States.

Any such move would be seen as a follow-up on the U.S. exit from the international nuclear deal with Iran, and President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the opening of a new U.S. embassy there this month.

Trump’s moves were hailed by Israel and caused deep concern among major European allies of Washington.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. I do not see Israel giving up the Golan Heights for a long time .... if ever. U.S. recognition .... or not .... will not make any difference in the end.

BBC: President Trump's Personal Lawyer Was Paid $400,000 By Ukraine To Arrange A White House Meeting With Ukraine President Poroshenko



BBC: Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks

Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved.

The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine's leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law.

Mr Cohen denies the allegation.

The meeting at the White House was last June. Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country's anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

Read more ....

WNU editor: I hated it when the Clintons were doing this .... and I hate reading news stories like Michael Cohen selling access. And then there is this .... Critics see no end to foreign favors to Trump businesses (AP).

More News On The BBC Reporting That President Trump's Personal Lawyer Was Paid $400,000 By Ukraine To Arrange A White House Meeting With Ukraine President Poroshenko

BBC: Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was paid by Ukraine to facilitate White House talks -- CBS
Ukraine reportedly paid Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to arrange White House talks -- ABC News Online
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was secretly paid $400,000 or more to set up talks between Ukraine leader and Trump: Report -- CNBC
Bombshell report claims Ukraine paid Michael Cohen at least $400,000 for access to Trump — then pumped the brakes on its Manafort investigation -- Business Insider

Ex-Spy's Daughter Says She Is 'Lucky To Be Alive'



The Guardian: Yulia Skripal: 'We are so lucky to have survived assassination attempt'

Daughter of double agent says she would like to return to Russia ‘in the longer term’

Yulia Skripal has said she wishes to return to Russia “in the longer term” despite the nerve agent attack on her and her father Sergei, which she described as life-changing.

In her first appearance since being discharged from hospital, Yulia said that she had flown to London on 3 March to visit her father, something she had done regularly in the past. The Skripals were found a day later in a comatose condition on a park bench in the centre of Salisbury.

“After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned,” she said. “I still find it hard to come to terms that both of us were attacked. We are so lucky to both have survived this attempted assassination.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Both of them are lucky to be alive.

More News On Yulia Skripal's First Interview

Yulia Skripal, daughter of poisoned Russian spy, in her own words -- Reuters
Yulia Skripal says recovery from poisoning ‘slow, painful’ -- AP
Ex-spy's daughter Yulia Skripal says she is lucky to be alive after nerve attack, hopes to return to Russia -- ABC News Online
Yulia Skripal: 'Assassination attempt turned my life upside down' -- Al Jazeera
Returning to Russia is the ‘long-term’ goal: Yulia Skripal gives first interview -- RT
Yulia Skripal makes first public statement after Salisbury incident -- TASS
Moscow Concerned Over Yulia Skripal's Treatment as Her 1st Interview Released -- Sputnik
Russia’s embassy demands meeting with Yulia Skripal -- TASS
Russian diplomats must be allowed access to Yulia Skripal to know she’s not held forcibly – embassy -- RT

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 23, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jung Un supervises a demonstration of a new rocket engine for the geo-stationary satellite at the Sohae Space Center n this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 20, 2016. KCNA via REUTERS

Doug Bandow, National Interest: What if North Korea Makes an Offer Trump Can’t Refuse?

North Korea has just reminded the United States that it is intent on negotiating with the United States, not accepting an administration diktat, especially one explicitly modeled after the Libya deal, which ultimately ended in the gruesome death of Muammar el-Qaddafi, who agreed to its terms.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently visited Pyongyang again and made Kim Jong-un an offer he hoped the North Korean supreme leader could not reject: abandon nuclear weapons and the North can “have all the opportunities your people so richly deserve.” But the Trump administration should be careful what it asks for. What if Kim said, “Yes, here are my nukes. Now where are my benefits?”

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 23, 2018

‘Too much to lose’: why Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un won’t cancel the US-North Korea summit -- Lee Jeong-ho, SCMP

Trump dangles carrot to North Korea instead of wielding stick -- Andrew Salmon, Asia Times

The U.S.–North Korean Summit: Opportunities and Dangers When Sailing in Uncharted Waters -- Bruce Klingner, Heritage Foundation

China wants it both ways on North Korea. Here's why it can't -- Yvonne Chiu, CNN

On North Korea, give Trump some credit -- Daniel DePetris, The Hill

Rohingya rebels implicated in Hindu massacre -- Lee Short, Asia Times

Japan’s exports are booming, but don’t tell Donald Trump -- William Pesek, Asia Times

Turkish army's Idlib action 'riskiest cross-border operation' to date -- Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor

Iranians fear war of words with US could trigger conflict -- Zein Basravi, Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia Hits the Brakes on Reforms -- Simon Henderson, The Atlantic

Why is the Vatican Negotiating with China? -- The Economist

Is China’s investment in infrastructure projects driving Western Balkan nations into debt? -- Keegan Elmer, SCMP

Central African leaders turn to constitutional changes to cement power -- Jason Burke, The Guardian

Where is Georgia Headed? -- William CourtneyDaniel FriedKenneth Yalowitz, National Interest

Will Colombia Make Peace With Its Peace Deal? -- Michael Shifter, Foreign Affairs

Trump Almost Always Folds -- David Graham, The Atlantic

8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump's campaign -- Sharyl Attkisson, The Hill

World News Briefs -- May 23, 2018



Al Jazeera: Supreme leader: Europe must follow demands or deal's off

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issues demands to be met or Iran will re-start enriching uranium for nuclear programme.

Iran's supreme leader set out conditions for Tehran to stay in its nuclear deal with world powers, including steps by European banks to safeguard trade with Tehran after the US withdrawal.

European powers must continue buying crude and protect Iranian oil sales from US pressure, and promise they won't seek new negotiations on Iran's ballistic missile programme and Middle East activities, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's official website said on Wednesday.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iran nuclear deal: Khamenei lists demands for European powers. Iranian Supreme Leader sets 7 conditions for EU to keep nuke deal alive.

Iran says cannot 'interact' with US.

Assad meets Russia envoy, hails 'partners in victories'.

Syrian official rejects US demand for Iranian withdrawal.

Israel warns Damascus not to use air defenses against Israeli jets inside Syria.

Israel parliament to discuss 'Armenian genocide' amid Turkey tensions.

Hezbollah strengthens influence in Lebanon parliament.

Exclusive: Israeli minister says U.S. may soon recognize Israel's hold on Golan.

US Ambassador to Israel says Trump peace plan months away.

ASIA

North Korea: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says 'bad deal' not an option for US. North Korea must disarm before any economic relief, says Mike Pompeo. Trump-Kim summit 'depends on Kim' - Mike Pompeo.

North Korea grants last-minute invitation to South Korean journalists to attend nuclear test site dismantling. North Korea OKs South Korean journalists after Moon remarks.

South Korean reporters depart for North Korea without paying $10,000 for visas.

UN lifts travel ban for North Koreans to Kim-Trump summit.

Police in south India accused of mass murder after shooting dead protesters.

India-Pakistan cross-border shelling hits Kashmir.

Pakistan: Former PM accuses army of orchestrating dismissal.

U.S. warns employees after Chinese embassy worker shows brain injury.

MH370: Search by private US firm will end next week, Malaysian Transport Minister says.

AFRICA

US rejects calls for UN support to Sahel force.

WHO: DRC Ebola outbreak on a 'knife's edge' as urban cases rise.

Zimbabwe army won't allow opposition to rule: minister.

UN criticises Algeria for expelling African migrants.

Mozambique backs constitution reform to bolster peace.

Oman, Yemen prepare for hurricane-strength Cyclone Mekunu.

12 dead in possible Nigeria cholera outbreak.

Wael Abbas: Prominent Egyptian blogger 'arrested'.

EUROPE

US tech firm: Possible cyberattack on Ukraine being prepared.

Populist academic Giuseppe Conte given mandate to form Italian government.

Demonstrators to blockade US' Ramstein Air Base in Germany to protest drone war.

Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to China amid growing trade tensions.

Putin to visit China on June 8-10.

Putin, Abe to discuss Russia-Japan peace treaty — aide.

Russia's retaliatory US sanctions bill 'purely symbolic'.

Former US diplomat accuses Trump of causing ‘significant damage’ to EU relations.

Olof Palme murder: Swedish police explore 'new lead' in unsolved case.

AMERICAS

Seething over Russia probe, Trump tears into ‘spygate’.

US economy back on top of world competitiveness ranking.

Donald Trump says US-China trade deal 'too hard to get done', calls for new 'structure'.

Trump can't block his critics on Twitter, judge rules.

Jared Kushner: Security clearance restored for Trump's son-in-law.

NFL teams to be fined if players kneel during anthem.

Central Americans are fleeing violence in higher numbers: UNHCR.

Trump threatens aid cut to countries that do not stop MS-13 gang migrants.

Guatemala: ex-military officers convicted of crimes against humanity.

Migrant remittances a big business in cash-starved Venezuela.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Western consumers fund extremism by buying talcum powder, claims study.

CENTCOM releases some Yemen strike information, but gaps remain.

Marawi: Philippine city still left in ruins a year after siege.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Fed gives stocks a boost; technology and retailers rally.

Complaints that Zuckerberg 'avoided questions' at European parliament.

Flood of sanctions worldwide increases uncertainty for small businesses.

Tesla boss Musk rants at press on Twitter.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 23, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Reuters / KCNA

Business Insider: Kim Jong Un is said to be worried about North Korea falling to a military coup while he's rubbing shoulders with Trump in Singapore

* North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly anxious about his summit with President Donald Trump set to take place in Singapore next month.
* Kim is said to be worried about a military coup or other hostile actors who might try to depose him while he's away.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is said to be anxious about his summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore next month.

Citing sources familiar with the preparations, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Kim was less concerned about meeting Trump than he was about what might happen at home in Pyongyang while he's gone.

Kim is apparently concerned that the trip to Singapore may leave his government vulnerable to a military coup or that other hostile actors might try to depose him, sources told The Post. The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea since the country's inception following the armistice in 1953.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 23, 2018

‘North Korea Is A Cyber Super Power:’ Former ROK Commander -- Breaking Defense

China Reveals Advanced Military Stealth Tests For First Time Ever, Joining U.S. and Russia -- Newsweek

China’s stealth tests may make its older fighters hard to spot -- Asia Times

China 'successfully' tests radar cross section for fighter jets -- UPI

China disinvited from major U.S. military exercise: Pentagon -- Reuters

China’s military top brass gather to hone modern warfare preparations -- SCMP

Taiwan Now Has a Plan to Save Its Best Submarines (That Are 30 Years Old) -- National Interest

Top air force officer to Syria: Don’t attack us, we won’t attack you -- TOI

How Russia Plans to Kill the Air Force's F-22 and F-35 in a War -- National Interest

NATO Chief Worried About Fissures Between United States and Europe -- Foreign Policy

British defense chief puts a price tag on US military alliance -- Defense News

German Navy leans heavy on simulation pilot training -- Defense News

Austria and Germany Need to Rethink Their National Security Strategies -- Franz-Stefan Gady, National Interest

Why are US drones being based in Greece for the first time? -- Defense News

Ukraine tests U.S. missile systems for first time -- Reuters

US Army flows fresh tanks, troops into Europe -- Defense News

The Big Six: Milley Says What Army Needs, Esper Says How To Get It -- Breaking Defense

Congress reviewing sale of precision munitions to Saudis, UAE: sources -- Reuters

Pentagon assessing potential responses to Iranian behavior -- Reuters

House rejects limit on new nuclear warhead -- Defense News

Democrats fight Pentagon’s push for battlefield nukes -- Defense News

Air Force maps two-fold future plan for the B-1 bomber -- FOX News/Warrior Maven

The Navy’s F-35 Flight Range Is Dangerously Low, Congressional Report Says -- Task & Purpose

Why the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier was forced back into port -- Navy Times

U.S. Military Is Running Out of Bombs and a China Trade War Could Make Them Harder to Get -- Newsweek

Army contracts with four companies for aerial target systems work -- UPI

Air Force T-38C Talon Jet Trainer Crashes in Mississippi -- Warzone/The Drive

Air Force Commander Fired After Grenades, Machine Gun Go Missing -- Military.com

The Navy dropped a homicide charge against the former McCain CO and no one’s sure why -- Navy Times

Are shoulder-fired weapons causing traumatic brain injuries? How the Army plans to find out -- Army Times

New Pentagon rules will limit some cellphone use -- Military Times

Time to Counter China and Rebuild the US Navy? -- The Diplomat

This Is How Vietnam Would Wage War Against China

A Russian ‘Kilo’-class submarine of the kind which Vietnam uses. Flickr

Robert Beckhusen, War On The Rocks: Vietnam’s Plan to Counter China Is a ‘People’s War’ at Sea

Asymmetric tactics involve fishing boats and submarines.

Vietnam has reason to worry about China — particularly China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea complete with air bases on artificial islands and a massive maritime militia comprised of fishing boats, with crews answering directly to the People’s Liberation Army.

Vietnam has its own claims in the region, and recent naval patrols and a landing by a Chinese H-K bomber in the Paracel Islands — a first — have amounted to a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry stated on May 21.

What’s less clear is how Vietnam would respond if tensions with China were to ever escalate to armed conflict. The scenario is not out of reach. China’s single war since the Korean War was with Vietnam in 1979. In 1988, Chinese troops and naval gunfire killed 64 Vietnamese soldiers at the Johnson South Reef. And during the past few years, Vietnam has patiently bolstered its military with the help of a long-time partner, Russia, clearly in response to China’s own maneuvers at sea.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Chinese and Vietnamese tensions over the South China Sea are getting intense. From China .... China’s navy and coastguard stage first joint patrols near disputed South China Sea islands as ‘warning to Vietnam’ (SCMP). From Vietnam .... Chinese ships were 'invading' Vietnamese waters: top defense official (VNExpress). And while Vietnam may wish to stand-up to China .... facts are facts .... in any conflict the Chinese have such a huge advantage in material, resources, military assets, and bases .... that any dispute/fight will end very quickly in favor of China.

Pentagon Kicks Out The Chinese Navy From Participating In 2018 RIMPAC Exercises

The People’s Republic of China Chinese Navy multi-role frigate Hengshui (572) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) transit in formation during Rim of the Pacific 2016 on July 28, 2016. US Navy photo.

Washington Times: Pentagon kicks Chinese navy out of massive maritime wargame in the Pacific

Pentagon officials have kicked out the Chinese navy from participating in the world’s largest annual maritime military exercise in the Pacific, citing Beijing’s continued militarization of territories in the hotly contested South China Sea.

Chinese forces along with the U.S. and 27 other countries in the Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercises for the last several years in an effort to bolster military ties between Beijing and Washington. The exercises had been viewed inside the Pentagon as a high point in U.S.-Sino relations, with both countries touting the drills as a vital bridge to future avenues of military cooperation.

But China’s relentless efforts to deploy advanced weaponry onto man-made islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea, despite calls from the U.S. and the international community to cease its efforts, prompted Washington to take action.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  China is not an ally, and it is clear that past naval exercises where the Chinese were invited have not changed their policies or behavior.

More News On The Pentagon Kicking Out The Chinese Navy From Participating In This Year's 2018 RIMPAC Exercises

China Disinvited from Participating in 2018 RIMPAC Exercise -- USNI News
US disinvites China from multinational military exercise -- AP
Pentagon pulls China's invite to Pacific naval exercises -- AFP
China 'disinvited' from major US military exercise over South China Sea -- CNN
US rescinds invitation to Chinese navy to participate in major Pacific exercise -- Stars and Stripes
Time to Counter China and Rebuild the US Navy? -- The Diplomat

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Comments On The Upcoming Trump - Kim Summit



Reuters: Pompeo says 'bad deal' with North Korea not an option, hopeful about summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States is prepared to walk away from nuclear negotiations with North Korea if an upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un heads in the wrong direction.

“A bad deal is not an option,” Pompeo said in his written opening statement for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. “The American people are counting on us to get this right. If the right deal is not on the table, we will respectfully walk away.”

Read more ....

Update #1: No concessions to North Korea ahead of summit with Trump: Pompeo -- ABC News
Update #2: Pompeo: 'Bad deal' with North Korea 'not an option' for US -- Al Jazeera

WNU Editor: We will know by next week if this summit will proceed .... Trump: 'We will know next week' if North Korea summit delayed (Politico). More here .... Trump says will know next week if North Korea summit to go ahead (Reuters).

NFL Owners Tell Players That They Must Stand For The National Flag And Respect The Flag


CNN: NFL owners say players must stand for the National Anthem

Atlanta (CNN)NFL players this season must stand during the National Anthem, team owners decided Wednesday in Atlanta, a reaction to fierce backlash against some who took a knee in symbolic opposition to the systemic oppression of people of color, including by police.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a news conference that team owners unanimously agreed that the NFL can fine a team whose players protest on the sidelines during the National Anthem but that each team will set will its own rules regarding players who want to kneel. Players will not be fined individually by the league and will have the option to remain in the locker room while the anthem is played.

Previously, there had been no rule that prevented players from protesting.

Read more ....

Update: NFL mandates that players on the field stand for national anthem (ABC News)

WNU Editor: The NFL owners finally figured out who their real fans are. Americans may be surprised .... but this story has (and is) being followed by many internationally.

Former FBI Director Comey Defends The Use Of Informers



CNBC: Comey attacks Republicans, defends FBI's alleged use of Trump campaign informant in pair of scathing tweets

* Former FBI Director James Comey says the lies and attacks on the FBI "will do lasting damage to our country."
* Comey singled out Republicans in positions of political leadership, suggesting they were attacking the FBI dishonestly.
* Comey does not mention Trump by name, but his tweets arrived on the heels of a Twitter diatribe from Trump about an alleged informant who reportedly talked to multiple Trump campaign associates.

Former FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday weighed in for the first time on reports of an informant investigating President Donald Trump's campaign, saying that lies and attacks on the investigative agency "will do lasting damage to our country."

In a pair of tweets, Comey defended the use of confidential human sources — "the actual term," he said — as being "essential to protecting the country."

Comey then went on the offensive, suggesting that Republicans were attacking the FBI dishonestly.

"How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?" he asked.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This defense of using informers from former FBI Director Comey follows on the heels on what former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said yesterday when he admitting that spies/informers were used against the Trump campaign .... Clapper: Trump Should Be "Happy" That The FBI Was "Spying" On His Campaign (RCP). And the defense that James Clapper used is that they wanted to make sure that there were no Russian agents in the Trump campaign. But the fact that no one told then candidate Trump on what was happening, nor have they provided the evidence and reasons on why they wanted informer(s) in the Trump campaign in the first place, tells me that these informer(s) were actually placed there to find collusion and/or to entrap Trump officials in the campaign. My gut is telling me that this had nothing to do with protecting "President Trump" .... and more of an attempt to "get him". Currently .... the main stream's media coverage of this story is to say that there is no evidence of spying .... while ignoring what both Clapper and Comey have already admitted. As one who always studies the media .... this is as surreal as you can get. As to where will all of this all go from here .... an Inspector General investigation is not enough to uncover what happened .... a Special Counsel will be needed. On a side note .... who would have predicted last year that we would be here today. From Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to .... admissions from top Obama administration officials that they had an informer/spy in the Trump campaign. And speaking of President Obama ..... not a peep from him on all of these recent revelations.

Update: So the current media narrative is that this informer was to protect President Trump. Just curious ... why were there no informers in the Hillary campaign to "protect her"? After-all .... it was her server and the servers of the Democrat Party that were hacked. Not Trump or the Republican Party. If this media narrative is true the answer (to me) is then obvious .... they did not "protect" the Hillary Clinton campaign because they either knew that there was no Russian collusion .... or they were the ones who were doing it. And here is an easy prediction .... there is going to be another media narrative on this whole story by tomorrow.

More News On Former FBI Director Comey Defending The Use Of Informers

Comey defends FBI use of informants -- Politico
Comey Defends FBI’s Use of Secret Informant -- NRO
Comey blasts Trump's FBI claims: 'How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?' -- The Hill
James Comey pushes back on Trump's spying claims -- CNN
James Comey warns attacks, lies about FBI will do 'lasting damage' to country -- Washington Examiner

President Trump: SPYGATE Could Be One Of The Biggest Political Scandals In History!






Politico: Trump hammers 'Criminal Deep State' over FBI informant

Reports that a federal informant contacted President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign mark a turning point for the so-called “deep state,” Trump claimed Wednesday morning, celebrating the criticism the Justice Department has come under in recent days.

“Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State,” the president wrote on Twitter. “They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!”

Read more ....





More News On President Trump's Remarks On "SpyGate"

Trump seethes over Russia probe, calls for end to ‘SPYGATE’ -- AP
'SPYGATE': Trump steps up attacks on FBI's probes during campaign -- Washington Post
'If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country': Trump -- ABC News
Trump: 'Criminal deep state' caught up in 'major spy scandal' -- The Hill
Trump calls campaign spying ‘a disgrace’ if allegations are true -- Washington Times
'SPYGATE,' 'WITCH HUNT!' Trump fumes over FBI's handling of Russia investigation -- USA Today

Where Is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, attends a cabinet meeting in Riyadh to approve a broad reform plan known as Vision 2030. Saudi Press Agency via Reuters

Damian Reilly, Spectator: Are reports of Mohammed bin Salman’s death greatly exaggerated?

Has Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman been assassinated, had a breakdown, or gone into hiding? Or is that just wild internet conjecture? I ask only because he has barely been seen in public since prolonged heavy gunfire was heard at the royal palace in Riyadh in the middle of the night on April 21.

At the time Saudi state media dismissed reports on Twitter and elsewhere that the shots were the sound of a coup taking place, insisting instead the semi-automatic gunfire was merely aimed at a recreational drone that had flown too close to the palace walls.

In this age of fake news and heavy Arab media censorship it’s hard to know who to trust, but what seems certain is that the Crown Prince, previously ubiquitous as the international focal point of a cultural revolution in the kingdom, seems suddenly to have vanished.

Social media is ablaze with rumours of the young ruler’s murder. Users are sharing reports of a supposedly secret intelligence dossier that states MBS, as the Crown Prince is known, has been shot twice.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have been reading the same rumors. He is dead, wounded, under house arrest, demoted, or in hiding. What's my take. If something serious had happened we would have known about it within a few days. My guess is that he is either busy, or he has decided (or been told by the King) to stay low key.

Turkey's Currency The Lira Continues To Crash

Over the last month, the lira has lost over 18 percent in value against the dollar as fears grow over the health of the Turkish economy (AFP Photo/OZAN KOSE)

AFP: Turkey central bank silent as lira 'freefall' intensifies

Istanbul (AFP) - Turkey's embattled lira on Wednesday lost over three percent in value to hit new historic lows against the US dollar, but there was no word from the central bank of any emergency action to buttress the currency.

Following sharp losses on Tuesday, the lira continued to underperform all other emerging market currencies, after suffering a hammering in Asian trade overnight when Japanese investors sold Turkish assets.

It lost 3.3 percent against the dollar to trade at 4.82, only slightly paring losses after earlier for the first time ever testing the 5.0 ceiling by hitting 4.92 lira to the dollar.

Over the last month alone, the lira has lost over 18 percent in value against the dollar as fears grow over the health of the Turkish economy which is dogged by double-digit inflation despite high growth.

Read more ....

WNU editor: Turks go to the polls next month .... Erdogan to launch election campaign from eastern Turkey (Anadolu Agency). With the economy getting worse many are predicting that President Erdogan will be launching another military campaign to divert attention. If I was a betting man .... I would put money that this is exactly what he will be doing.

Report: Russia's Newest Nuclear Missile Has Failed In Numerous Test Flights

YouTube

CNBC: Putin claimed a new nuclear-powered missile had unlimited range — but it flew only 22 miles in its most successful test yet

* Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged that a new nuclear-powered missile had unlimited range, but it has yet to perform a successful test, according to sources with direct knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report on the weapons program.
* The cruise missile was tested four times between November 2017 and February 2018, each resulting in a crash.
* The U.S. assessed that the longest test flight lasted just more than two minutes, with the missile flying 22 miles before losing control and crashing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged earlier this year that his country had a new nuclear-powered missile with unlimited range — but it has yet to perform a successful test over multiple attempts, according to sources with direct knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report on the weapons program.

The cruise missile was tested four times between November and February, each resulting in a crash, according to sources who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.

The U.S. assessed that the longest test flight lasted just more than two minutes, with the missile flying 22 miles before losing control and crashing. The shortest test lasted four seconds and flew for five miles.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Kremlin is denying these reports .... Kremlin spokesman dismisses US media allegations on Russian arms, says ‘trust Putin’ (TASS). More denials here .... Russia Says New Missile Tests Did Not Fail, ‘Trust’ Putin Not U.S. Media (Newsweek).

More News On Reports That Russia's Newest Nuclear Missile Has Failed In Numerous Test Flights

Russia’s New Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile Failed in Tests, U.S. Media Report -- Moscow Times
Russia's 'practically unlimited' -range missile looks like an embarrassment after it reportedly lasted for just 2 minutes and 22 miles -- Business Insider
Putin’s nucler-powered cruise-missiles can’t fly -- News.com.au
Report: Putin’s New Missile With ‘Unlimited Range’ Crashed After 22 Miles -- Washington Free Beacon

Is The Beijing Government Launching 'Sonic Attacks' Against U.S. Diplomats In China?

Reuters: U.S. warns citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound injures consulate worker

BEIJING (Reuters) - An American citizen working at the U.S. consulate in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has reported suffering from “abnormal” sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday.

The embassy, which issued a health alert to Americans living in China, said it could not link the case to health issues suffered by U.S. government staff in Cuba dating back to late 2016.

The unnamed American citizen assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had reported a variety of “physical symptoms” dating from late 2017 to April this year, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in an email.

The worker was sent to the United States for further evaluation. “The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI),” the embassy said.

The State Department was taking the incident very seriously and working to determine the cause and impact, the embassy said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I know in the 1980s when I was working in China that it was common knowledge that Beijing was watching all foreign diplomats 24/7 .... and I am sure nothing has changed since then. The technology has also changed .... from simply watching and following you and using crude eavesdropping devices .... to God only knows what today. In this particular case .... it appears that they have targeted a U.S. diplomat who was far more sensitive to their surveillance and spy equipment than expected. The Chinese have to be careful on this one. If other U.S. diplomats report experiencing the same symptoms .... there are going to be serious consequences .... starting with the withdrawal of U.S. embassy personnel .... to visa applications that will take forever to be approved .... a blow-back that will immediately impact the three million Chinese who want to visit the U.S. this year.

More News On Reports That A U.S. Diplomat In China Has Been A Victim Of A Sonic Attack

US employee in China reported strange sounds, pressure -- ABC News/AP
U.S. gov't worker reports "abnormal" sound, pressure in China -- CBS
US staffer suffers brain injury after 'sound' incident in China -- Channel News Asia/AFP
US issues alert after employee in China reports 'abnormal' sound sensations -- CNN
US warns staff in China: Beware of unusual sounds -- BBC
Mysterious 'sound' sickness prompts warning for Americans in China -- Euronews/MSNBC