Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Malaysia Flight MH17 News Updates -- July 23, 2014

Tears For The MH17 Crash Victims: Dutch Royals And Grieving Relatives Watch As First Bodies Arrive Back In Holland In Dignified Ceremony That Shames Russia -- Daily Mail

* Bodies of around 200 international victims of the MH17 plane massacre have arrived in Eindhoven, Netherlands
* Aircraft, which left Ukraine this morning, were greeted by grieving relatives and members of the Dutch royal family
* Torturous identification will now take place, which officials have warned is likely to take several months to complete
* There is concern over the total number of bodies that have been released by pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine
* Separatists claim they placed 282 complete corpses and body parts from 16 others on board refrigerated morgue train
* But Dutch officials claim they counted only 200 victims, meaning a third of MH17's passengers may still be missing
* Today MH17's black boxes were delivered to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch base in Farnborough, Hampshire
* Dutch air safety board said cockpit voice recorder successfully downloaded and contained 'valid data from the flight'

The first bodies of those killed in the MH17 crash have arrived in the Netherlands to be greeted by grieving relatives and the Dutch royal family.

The remains of around 40 international victims of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy left Ukraine's Kharkiv airport on two military planes earlier today, ahead of a painstaking identification process which is expected to take several months.

The dignified reception at Eindhoven airport is in stark contrast to the treatment of the victims' remains in eastern Ukraine in the days after the crash, where pro-Russian rebels left corpses to decay in the summer heat in body bags dumped around the crash site.

Read more ....

Malaysia Flight MH17 News Updates -- July 23, 2014

MH17 victims' bodies flown home -- BBC
Ukraine says two fighter jets shot down as MH17 bodies leave - live updates -- The Guardian
MH17: Bodies of the victims arrive at Eindhoven airport -- The Telegraph
Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash in Ukraine LIVE UPDATES -- RT

Dutch observe day of mourning as MH17 remains arrive -- USA Today
MH17 plane crash: First victims arrive in Netherlands -- BBC
MH17 Victims' Remains Arrive in Netherlands -- VOA
Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands -- AFP
In somber ceremony, Dutch welcome home first remains of MH17 victims -- CNN
Dutch mourn as first MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands -- Reuters
Dutch say black box damaged but voice data ok -- AP
Dutch Safety Board takes charge of MH17 crash investigation -- Reuters
'No time to worry': MH17 passengers would have been killed instantly or knocked out in seconds, claims forensic expert -- Daily Mail
Parents of three children killed on MH17 living in 'a hell beyond hell' -- The Guardian
MH17: grim task ahead for DNA experts as they sift remains to identify bodies -- The Guardian
Identifying the bodies of MH17 victims: Forensic experts reveal the methods being used to confirm hundreds of passenger names -- Daily Mail
Grim task: MH-17 bodies arrive in Netherlands for identification -- FOX News
U.S. discloses intelligence on downing of Malaysian jet -- Washington Post
Putin 'bears responsibility' for MH17 disaster, say U.S. intelligence chiefs - but they admit to finding NO evidence that Russian leader was directly involved -- Daily Mail
Damning evidence of looting at MH17 crash site grows: Relatives claim victims' phones are answered by 'eastern Europeans', as rebel leader Igor orders troops to hand over seized jewellery for 'defence fund' -- Daily Mail
MH17: Dutch mayor wants Vladimir Putin's daughter Maria deported -- The Guardian
Russian State Media Says CIA Shot Down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 -- Newsweek
Russian media on MH17: Orchestrated by the CIA --

Israel - Hamas War News Updates -- July 23, 2014

Gaza Bloodshed Deepens, Airlines Shun Israel -- Reuters

Reuters) - Gaza fighting raged on Wednesday, displacing thousands more Palestinians in the battered territory as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said indirect truce talks between Israel and Hamas had made some progress.

While pressing a 15-day-old offensive, Israel scrambled to contain economic damage from a halt of flights to Tel Aviv's main airport by U.S. and European airlines spooked by the long-range rocket salvoes of Hamas and other Gaza Strip guerrillas.

Adding to pressure on Israel, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said there was "a strong possibility" that it was committing war crimes in Gaza, where 668 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.

Read more ....

Israel - Hamas War News Updates -- July 23, 2014

LIVE UPDATES: Israel asks U.S. for $225m for missing Iron Dome parts -- Haaretz
Gaza Blog Live -- Al Jazeera
Israel launches ground incursion in Gaza Strip LIVE UPDATES -- RT

Israel Says Offensive to Continue as Kerry Seeks Truce -- Bloomberg
Gaza under heavy attack despite truce efforts -- Al Jazeera
In Memoriam: The 32 IDF soldiers who gave their lives to protect Israel -- Jerusalem Post
32 Israelis, 650 Palestinians killed over 16 days of standoff -- ITAR-TASS
IDF uncovers another Gaza tunnel; uniforms, maps and weapons found -- Jerusalem Post
Gaza conflict takes toll on Hamas rocket stocks and tunnels -- The Guardian
Gaza family: we have nowhere to go -- The Telegraph
WATCH: NBC's Richard Engel in Gaza: 'Ambulances struggle to recover dead and wounded' -- Haaretz
Jihadi cleric calls for Muslim fighters to join the fighting in Gaza -- Jerusalem Post
Israel and Hamas Take Fight to Social Media -- WSJ
In a Grim Game of Numbers, Israel and Palestinians Vie for Advantage -- NYT
Palestinian leadership backs Hamas truce demands -- Haaretz
In Israel, Kerry Sees ‘Work to Do’ to Get Deal on Cease-Fire -- New York Times
In Jerusalem, Ban meets with Israeli, US officials, reiterates call for Mid-East ceasefire -- UN News Centre
UN's Navi Pillay warns of Israel Gaza 'war crimes' -- BBC
Israel may be committing war crimes, UN rights envoy says -- Irish Times
UN: Israel may be guilty of war crimes in Gaza -- Euronews
FAA Extends Travel Ban to Israel for Another 24 Hours -- ABC News
Israel scrambles to restore foreign flights to Tel Aviv -- Reuters
World suspension of Israel flights a 'great victory': Hamas -- AFP

World News Briefs -- July 23, 2014

TransAsia Airways Plane Crashes In Typhoon-Hit Taiwan, Killing 47 -- Reuters

(Reuters) - A domestic TransAsia Airways plane crashed on landing on an island off the west coast of typhoon-hit Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 47 people, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

The plane, a 70-seat turboprop ATR 72, crashed near the runway with 54 passengers and four crew on board, it said.

"It’s chaotic on the scene," director Jean Shen told Reuters.

Eleven injured people had been taken to hospital, the government said.

Read more ....


Kerry defies FAA ban, flies into Tel Aviv to push for Gaza cease-fire. Kerry pushes for Gaza truce as fighting continues.

Gaza rocket cache found by UN next to school it was using.

UN's Navi Pillay warns of Israel Gaza 'war crimes'.

Lufthansa, Delta, US Airways extend flight bans to Israel.

Israel opens alternate airport after wave of flight cancellations. Israel scrambles to restore foreign flights to Tel Aviv.

Iraq violence: Suicide car bombs kills 21 in Baghdad. Islamic State says carried out Baghdad suicide bombing.

Iraq postpones vote for president, delaying power-sharing deal.

Islamic scholars condemn expulsion of Iraq's 'Christian brothers'.

Yemen president says Houthis agree to return town to state control.


Transasia Airways plane crashes on landing in Taiwan.

Typhoon Matmo slams into China after pummeling Taiwan.

Experts: China-India relationship will need more than economic bliss.

Indonesia’s president elect Joko Widodo calls for unity. Subianto to challenge Widodo victory in Indonesian election.

India MPs 'force-fed' fasting Muslim worker.

Philippine army warned against "meddling" as coup rumors swirl.

Thai junta unveils temporary constitution.

Search for MH370 will not be affected by MH17 disaster, says Australia.


Bombs in north Nigeria's Kaduna kill at least 82. Nigeria bomb attack in Kaduna 'leaves 25 dead'.

Fuel tanks hit in clashes near Libyan airport.

Congo repels attack on military base in capital.

Egypt: 20 'terrorists' carried out border attack.

Somali singer, parliament member killed in Mogadishu.

Sexual slavery rife in Democratic Republic of the Congo, says MSF.

Sierra Leone's chief ebola doctor contracts virus.


Dutch declare Wednesday official day of mourning for MH17 dead.

Russia still sends military gear to rebels after MH17 downing, U.S. says.

MH17: Dutch mayor wants Vladimir Putin's daughter Maria deported.

Paris braced for new pro-Palestinian rally after clashes.

Bulgaria's technocrat prime minister resigns amid banking crisis.

Kosovo court suspends vote on parliament speaker, crisis deepens.

Costa Concordia is towed away to Genoa for scrap.


POLL: 67% of voters say America more divided than four years ago.

U.S. proposes new rules for moving crude oil by rail.

Escalating denunciations of purported coup plots instill fear in Venezuela's opposition.

Argentina debt: Judge orders non-stop negotiations.

Last missing victim of US mudslide found.

Brooklyn Bridge mystery: Police hunt for vandals who swapped American flags for white ones.


Global terrorist death toll soars as attacks become deadlier.

ISS ‘making millions’ out of stolen oil revenues in Iraq.

Jihadi cleric calls for Muslim fighters to join the fighting in Gaza.

Arrest linked to gun used after Boston bombings.


US subjects the world to the most spam of any country.

Exxon oil rig enters uncharted waters of Russian political storm.

NY Fed found serious problems at Deutsche Bank's U.S. arms: source.

Watch what markets don't do as world politics turns nasty.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- July 23, 2014

U.S. Discloses Intelligence On Downing Of Malaysian Jet -- Washington Post

The Obama administration, detailing what it called evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner, on Tuesday released satellite images and other sensitive intelligence that officials say show Moscow had trained and equipped rebels in Ukraine responsible for the attack.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials cited sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel markings on the downed aircraft, voiceprint analysis of separatists claiming credit for the strike, and a flood of photos and other data from social-media sites.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- July 23, 2014

Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates -- France 24

US: No evidence of direct Russian link to plane -- AP

US intelligence: No direct link to Russia in Malaysia plane downing -- RT

MH17: US intelligence says Russia 'created conditions' for plane disaster -- The Guardian

Russia continues to back rebels, U.S. officials say -- USA Today

Hollande Threat to Cancel Russia Mistral Warship May Be Empty -- Bloomberg Businessweek

The Immigrant Soldiers Dying for Israel in Gaza -- Ilene Prusher, Time

Iran to Launch New Home-Made Destroyer Soon -- FARS News Agency

North Korea’s Asymmetric Submarine Doctrine -- Koh Swee Lean Collin, The Diplomat

China's secretive military cracks open door for glimpse inside -- Reuters

Think Your Flight Delays Are Bad? Try China, Where the Military Hogs Most of the Skies -- Hannah Beech, Time

S. Korea, China Military Hotline to Move Forward -- VOA

Enemy within: Indian army struggles to check suicides -- Stars and Stripes/Hindustan Times

Japan Inc. Now Exporting Weapons -- Wall Street Journal

2 more Aegis destroyers set for FY20 -- Japan News/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan, South Korea, U.S. begin search and rescue exercise -- Japan Times

Japan to Join U.S.-India Military Exercises -- Wall Street Journal

Kyrgyzstan Complains That U.S. Decreasing Military Contacts --

Australia taking delivery of first F-35, plans to buy 72 -- Stars and Stripes

HMS Illustrious comes home to Portsmouth for the last time -- Portsmouth news

Keeping Spies Out: German Ratchets Up Counterintelligence Measures -- Spiegel Online

Typewriter sales boom in Germany as thousands go back to basics in bid to avoid U.S. spies in wake of NSA allegations -- Daily Mail

Dark Mail: Email that hides from the NSA -- WFMZ/CNN

NSA targets college students to fill cyber professionals shortage -- USA Today

The Challenge Of Keeping Tabs On The NSA's Secretive Work -- David Welna, NPR

U.S. Military Is Scrutinized Over Trash Burning in Afghanistan -- New York Times

Air Force launching satellites to spy on other satellites -- Stars and Stripes

U.S. Navy's oldest deployable warship nears retirement -- Navy Times

Climate change hits all Pentagon operations, official says -- The Hill

Military suicides declined slightly in 2013, Pentagon says -- Army Times

McDonald must clean house at VA, experts say -- Stars and Stripes

‘Generation Kill’ NCO charged with sexual abuse of minor -- Stars and Stripes

Lawyer: No Proof That Slain Sniper Defamed Ventura -- AP

Medal of Honor Recipient Joins Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes -- US Department of Defense

2 Ukrainian Fighter Jets Have Been Shot Down By Pro-Russian Rebels

A fighter jet flies above as Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armoured personnel carrier in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine April 16, 2014. Ukrainian government forces and separatist pro-Russian militia staged rival shows of force in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday amid escalating rhetoric on the eve of crucial four-power talks in Geneva on the former Soviet country's future. Reuters

Two Ukrainian Jets Shot Down, Defense Ministry Says -- ABC News

Two Ukrainian military jets were shot down in the Donetsk region of the country today, the Ukrainian defense ministry said.

The planes were identified as Sukhoi-25 fighter jets. The fate of the planes' pilots was not immediately known.

It happened at 12:30 p.m. Ukraine time (5:30 a.m. ET). Defense ministry did not state what kind of weapon was used to down the jets.

The Sukhoi-25 are single seat combat fighter jets. That same type of jet was shot down by a missile July 16.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That 2 Ukrainian Fighter Jets Have Been Shot Down By Pro-Russian Rebels

Ukraine says pro-Russia rebels shoot down two fighter jetsjets shot down in east: military -- Reuters
2 Ukrainian Military Fighter Jets Shot Down -- AP
Donbass Rebels 'Down Two Ukrainian Su-25 Fighters' -- Novinite/AFP
2 Ukrainian Fighter Jets Shot Down In East Of Country, Ukraine Defense Ministry Says -- IBTimes
2 Ukrainian fighter jets shot down by pro-Russian rebels -- Washington Times
Two Ukrainian military fighter jets shot down in rebel held area in east of country just days after MH17 disaster -- Daily Mail

China Wants The U.S. Navy To Teach Them On How To Operate Aircraft Carriers

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, right, speaks with China's Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm. Wu Shengli during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing July 15. Reuters

China Pushes Limits to Closer Ties With U.S. Military -- Wall Street Journal

Beijing's Navy Chief Seeks Greater Access to U.S. Aircraft Carriers

DALIAN, China—China is seeking greater access to U.S. aircraft carriers and guidance on how to operate its own first carrier, the Liaoning, testing the limits of a newly cooperative military relationship the two sides have tried to cultivate in the past year.

The latest Chinese request came last week when U.S. Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, visited China to explore new areas of cooperation, despite recent maritime tensions and the presence of an uninvited Chinese spy ship at naval drills off Hawaii.

China's navy chief, Adm. Wu Shengli, suggested the U.S. should bring the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier based in Japan, to a mainland Chinese port and allow the crew of the Liaoning to take a tour, according to Adm. Greenert.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is not a good idea .... especially when put into context on how China is treating (and threatening) U.S. allies in the region .... in addition to Chinese provocations and recent close calls with U.S. naval ships. But here is an easy prediction .... the White House and the Pentagon brass are gong to permit this Chinese request.

U.S. Aircraft Departure Delayed Because Of A Bird Nest

Photo Courtesy: United States Navy

Peregrine Falcon Fledglings Delay USS Saratoga Departure From Newport -- Newport Patch

The famous aircraft carrier that played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam and Gulf Wars is set to be scrapped, but a family of nesting endangered birds has put the plan on hold until fledglings get their wings.

The USS Saratoga will be hanging around Newport for a while longer thanks to a family of peregrine falcons that have made a home of the decommissioned aircraft carrier.

The Navy has delayed the Saratoga's final voyage to Texas where it will be scrapped until the fledglings have their wings and can leave.

"We wanted to do the right things by these birds," Naval Station Newport spokeswoman Lisa Rama said.

Read more ....

Update: Navy decides not to disturb peregrine falcons nesting on decommissioned aircraft carrier -- AP

My Comment: I just cannot make this stuff up. Sailing and decommissioning a U.S. aircraft carrier is a massive undertaking .... and it's all delayed because of a few baby birds.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan: 'I No Longer Talk To U.S. President Obama'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, answers a question as he and U.S. President Barack Obama hold a joint news conference, White House Rose Garden, Washington, May 16, 2013.

Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 'I No Longer Talk to Barack Obama' -- IBTimes

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he has stopped talking to US President Barack Obama on the phone as relations between Washington and Ankara worsen.

Erdogan is at odds with the United States over their handling of the Syrian civil war. As a staunch opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan believed the US to have betrayed Turkey when they pulled out of military action against Damascus.

"In the past, I was calling him [Obama] directly. Because I can't get the expected results on Syria, our foreign ministers are now talking to each other," Erdogan said in an interview on Turkish channel ATV.

Read more ....

More News On Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Commenting That He 'No Longer Talks To U.S. President Obama'

I no longer talk to Obama: Turkey's Erdogan -- AFP
Turkey's Erdogan: 'I stopped talking to Obama' -- RT
Turkey's Erdogan acknowledges strains with Obama -- Reuters
Turkey PM: Obama Relations Strained by Syria -- VOA
Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden -- Washington Times

Hamas Is Waging A Tunnel War Against Israel

Israeli Military Stunned By Scale Of Hamas Tunnel War Infrastructure -- World Tribune

TEL AVIV — Israel has been shocked by the scope and methods of Hamas tunnel warfare.

In at least one case, Hamas fighters have infiltrated Israel wearing Israeli military uniforms. “This is a threat to the south,” Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, head of the Army’s Southern Command, said.

The Hamas attack tunnels, estimated at up to 60, have forced Israel to close areas to civilian traffic.

“The [Hamas] organization has used the period in which the Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt to establish a real military industry in the Gaza Strip, with advanced tooling equipment, and to smuggle a large amount of anti-tank missiles, including Kornet anti-tank missiles that were transferred to Syria before the outbreak of the civil war
there,” Israeli analyst Amir Rapaport said.

Read more ....

More News On Hamas Waging A Tunnel War Against Israel

Despite Israeli Push in Gaza, Hamas Fighters Slip Through Tunnels -- NYT
Maze of Secret Gaza Tunnels Targeted by Israel Offensive -- Bloomberg
Israel to finish tunnel assault before truce -- News24
Destroying Gaza’s ‘underground city’: Israel forces take aim at Hamas ‘terror tunnels’ -- National post
War goes underground in Gaza as toll mounts -- Hurriyet Daily News
Hamas’ terror tunnels - a national strategic failure for Israel -- Amos Harel, Haaaretz
Gaza conflict: Israelis living in fear of Palestinian tunnel attacks -- The Telegraph
Tunnel Attacks Have Israel on Edge -- Time
Israeli troops' face threat from the ground beneath their feet -- CNN
How Hamas uses its tunnels to kidnap, fight Israeli soldiers -- Terrence McCoy, Sydney Morning Herald
We’re waiting to discover another tunnel -- Jerusalem Post
The Tunnel War -- Dan Gordon, American Thinker
Tunnel vision: Why Hamas’ tunnels are the new front in the war with Israel -- Jewish Journal
Hamas Tunnels in Gaza: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know --

Update: The U.S. military is studying how this "tunnel war" is being waged .... Hamas tactics highlight U.S. military’s preparation for tunnel warfare -- Washington Post

Israel And Gaza: The Social Media War

Gaza And Israel: War Of The Hashtags -- Inside Story/Al Jazeera

How instant access to online images and information is helping to shape global reaction to the Israel-Gaza war.

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas intensifies, so too does the battle being waged online.

For generations, propaganda has always unfolded alongside warfare; but conflicts now are coming under increased scrutiny through social media.

An information war is being waged online by journalists, by individuals and by the Israeli and Hamas media machines.

The hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has been used in more than 4 million Twitter posts, compared to the nearly 200,000 for #IsraelUnderFire.

But is it possible to determine who is winning the cyber battle for public support?

Read more ....

My Comment: The propaganda is the same .... but the medium has expanded through social media.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Many Foreigner's Serve In Israel's Army?

Israeli soldiers participate in a military operation in Sderot, south Israel

‘Foreign Fighters’ For Israel -- Washington Post

The deaths on July 20 of two Americans serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) provided an opening for critics of Israel to compare them to the foreign fighters of the Islamic State, formerly referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Similar complaints have already called for other governments to criminalize volunteering for Israel to create equivalence to the prosecution of would-be jihadi Islamists. The IDF reports 4,600 foreign “Lone Soldiers” currently serving, over one-third of whom are American (it is unclear how many hold dual citizenship). Are IDF Lone Soldiers comparable to al-Qaeda-inspired jihadis or the volunteer brigades who joined the Spanish Civil War?

Read more ....

More News On the Foreign Volunteers Who Serve In Israel's Army

How many Americans have joined the Israeli military? -- AP
Americans Fight for Israel as 'Lone Soldiers' in Gaza Strip -- NBC
American Jews, Other 'Lone Soldiers' Serve Israel -- AP
Israel’s lone soldiers: How the young Americans killed fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of Jews from round the world who volunteer to fight for the IDF -- Daily Mail
Americans fight as volunteer Israel soldiers in Gaza Strip -- Lawyer Herald

Resisting Internatinal Pressure France Will Proceed With The Controversial Sale Of A Warship To Russia

The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France (Reuters / Stephane Mahe)

'Hypocrites!': Hollande Hits Back At Cameron Attacking France Selling Warships To Russia While Oligarchs Seek Refuge In London -- Daily Mail

* Prime Minister insists all EU countries must accept impact of sanctions
* Financial curbs would hit London while others would be affected by energy
* Cameron says it would be 'unthinkable' for France to sell warships to Russia
* EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels to discuss tougher sanctions
* Philip Hammond warns 'the world has changed' since MH17 plane crash

France branded the British as ‘hypocrites’ yesterday over David Cameron’s demands that Paris abandon its £1billion warship sale to Russia.

The Prime Minister says it would be ‘unthinkable’ for French president Francois Hollande to go ahead with the supply of two helicopter carriers to Moscow.

European leaders have been under intense pressure to impose tough sanctions on Russian – or risk repeating the mistakes of Nazi appeasers in the 1930s.

But Mr Hollande has vowed to press on with the deal, with an ally warning Mr Cameron that he should ‘start by cleaning up his own back yard’.

Read more ....

More News On France Proceeding With It's Sale of A Mistral Warship To Russia

David Cameron’s anger at France’s warships sale to Russia called ‘debate led by hypocrites’ -- National Post/The Telegraph
France to deliver Mistral warship to Russia despite US, UK criticism -- RT
Amid Sanctions, France in Warship Sale to Russia -- AP
France’s refusal to halt warship’s sale to Russia likened to its appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s -- National Post/Reuters
Cameron: Selling Mistral to Russia Is Now Unthinkable; Hollande Disagrees -- Moscow Times/Reuters
Hollande Defies Critics Over Warship Sale to Russia -- WSJ
Bucking EU pressure, France commits to Russian warship delivery -- CSM
Delivery of French warship depends on Russia's attitude: Hollande -- Reuters
France Must Adhere to Mistral Contract Instead of Blackmailing Moscow - Russian Lawmaker -- RIA Novosti

Did Russian President Putin Just Signal A Major Shift On Russian Policy Towards Ukraine?

Did Putin Just Bring Russia In From The Cold? -- Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor

In a security meeting today, Putin said Russia would try to rein in Ukraine's rebels. He also effectively told media and politicians that the country is not under Western siege – and to stop repeating that claim.

Moscow — Vladimir Putin opened a special meeting of the Kremlin's Security Council today with an odd statement: "There is no direct military threat to our country’s sovereignty or territorial integrity at present," he said.

To a Western ear, that might sound like belaboring the obvious. For a Russian audience today, it's a jarring note for their leader to strike.

Mr. Putin's statement flatly contradicts what the domestic media have been saying for months. Just days ago, Russian outlets were warning of a White House "offensive against Russia and China," with the US trying to create "instability on Russia's borders." Putin himself earlier this month claimed that Russia's annexation of Crimea was to forestall NATO from getting a foothold in Ukraine.

Read more ....

More News On Russian President Putin`s Comments On Ukraine And The Shooting Down Of MH17

Putin Pledges to Help but Sees Limits on Role -- New York Times
Putin: Russia Will Press Rebels to Help Malaysia Airlines Probe -- WSJ
Putin says will use influence on Ukraine rebels, denounces West -- Reuters
Russia's Message on Jet: Conciliation and Bluster -- NYT
Why Putin Can't Afford to Dump the Ukrainian Separatists -- Alexey Eremenko, Moscow Times

My Comment: His public comments on the Ukraine crisis and the shooting down of Malaysian Flight MH17 is newsworthy for the following reason. He is telling his advisers and government officials to tone down their rhetoric on Ukraine .... this is a major shift. Telling the media and the pundit class to tone down their rhetoric on U.S. behavior/threats against Russia/etc. is an even greater surprising. But he did make it clear that there will be no change in his government`s policy to support the rebels in eastern Ukraine, and he still regards the Ukraine government as illegitimate.

Malaysian Jet Crashes In Ukraine (Photo Gallery)

An armed pro-Russian separatist takes pictures at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17. (Maxim Zmeyev /Reuters)

Malaysian Jet Crashes In Ukraine -- Leanne Burden Seidel,

Four months after the tragic disappearance of a Malaysian jet in the Indian Ocean, a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 aboard. According to Ukrainian and US officials, the plane was shot down by a Russian-made antiaircraft missile. Along with coping with this devastating loss, tensions increased in the region setting off even more concerns internationally.

WNU Editor: The photo gallery starts here.

Hat Tip: Good Shit

Video Of Palestinian Civilian Shot By Israeli Sniper Goes Viral (Graphic Video)

Video of Israeli Sniper Killing Wounded Civilian -- International Solidarity Movement

Yesterday, international and Palestinian volunteers accompanied Civil Defence and other rescue crews, as well as family members, into Shajiya neighbourhood in Gaza. They attempted to locate survivors of overnight and ongoing shelling by the Israeli army. A young Palestinian man in a green shirt hoped to find his family. He was shot by an Israeli soldier while crossing an alley between buildings. Two additional rounds struck him as he lay injured on the ground. His dead body could not be retrieved.

Read more ....

More News On The Video Of A Palestinian Civilian Shot By Israeli Sniper

The moment 'unarmed civilian was shot dead by an Israeli sniper' as he desperately searched for his family: Palestinians release shocking video -- Daily Mail
Video allegedly shows IDF killing wounded Palestinian civilian -- Digital Journal
Caught on Film: the Shocking Moment an Injured Gaza Civilian is Shot Dead (WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE) -- IBTimes
Palestinian Family Finds Missing Son in YouTube Video of His Shooting -- New York Times

My Comment: This footage cannot be independently verified, but it has already received over 1,500,000 visits.

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials -- July 22, 2014

Will The Threat To Israel's Only International Airport Be A Game-Changer? -- Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz

Whether or not flights in and out of Israeli are suspended for any length of time, the suspension of flights by several major air carriers is Hamas' first major achievement of this conflict.

With a single rocket, which evaded the Iron Dome missile defense system and exploded between two houses in the Tel Aviv suburb of Yehud, Hamas might just have achieved what it failed to do with nearly 2,000 rockets fired at Israel since the beginning of this round of warfare 15 days ago.

No one was injured – the family living in the house that was almost totally destroyed by shrapnel was not at home – but a rocket landing so near Israel's gateway to the world, Ben-Gurion International Airport, could conceivably cause untold damage to the country's self-confidence and prove to be the game-changer in this current conflict.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials -- July 21, 2014

Israeli Ambassador: Here’s What “Proportionality” In War Really Means -- Zeke J Miller, Time

Gaza blockade key to any Israel-Hamas truce deal -- Karin Laub, AP

The war in Gaza threatens Egypt too -- Shibley Telhami, Reuters

Cataclysmic Purge in the Middle East -- Hassan Mneimneh, Real Clear World

The Tragedy of MH17: Attack Could Mark Turning Point in Ukraine Conflict -- Spiegel Online

Putin’s next move – invade eastern Ukraine? -- Philip Stephens, Financial Times

Could The Conflict In Ukraine Turn Into A Regional War? -- NPR

Obama lacks resolve on Ukraine -- Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post

The Boomerang Effect: Sanctions on Russia Hit German Economy Hard -- Matthias Schepp and Cornelia Schmergal, Spiegel Online

Mourn the victims... but don't turn one tragedy into a global catastrophe -- Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail

Can Vladimir Putin Survive? -- George Friedman, Stratfor

Ukraine and Iraq show the world’s lawless future -- Peter Jennings, Financial Review

China Is Driving the BRICS Train -- Pankaj Mishra, Bloomberg

China’s terrifying debt ratios poised to breeze past US levels -- Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

UN refugees in S. Sudan face perfect storm of woe as war drags on -- Jason Patinkin, CSM

Market 'Black Swan' Fear at Record High -- Anthony Mirhaydari, The Fiscal Times

Why is the West idly watching the world burn? -- Simon Palamar, Toronto Star

World News Briefs -- July 22, 2014 (Evening Edition)

Israel Soldier Missing; U.S. Presses Hamas To Accept Truce -- Wall Street Journal

FAA Bans Flights to Tel Aviv After Rocket Lands Near Airport

Israel reported one of its soldiers missing in action on Tuesday as the death toll for the Gaza conflict escalated on both sides and the U.S. pressed the territory's Hamas rulers to accept an Egyptian cease-fire proposal.

As the fighting entered a third week with no sign of Gaza militants letting up on rocket fire against Israel, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration barred flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport for at least 24 hours. The ban came after at least one rocket landed within a mile of the airport.

Read more ....


Kerry urges Hamas to accept Gaza truce offer.

UN chief believes Gaza fighting will end soon.

Qatar, Saudi rulers meet for Gaza cease-fire talks.

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts.

Israel confirms one soldier is missing in Gaza. Israel identifies missing soldier; Shelling continues.

U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict.

Netanyahu asks Kerry to help resume U.S. flights to Israel.

Free Syrian Army advances on military strongholds near Damascus.

Syrian opposition coalition dissolves interim government.

Iraqi air strikes kill 19 around militant-held Falluja: medical official.

Islamic State crushes and coerces on march towards Baghdad.

Iraqi Ambassador: US should begin airstrikes in Iraq now.

ISIS robs Christians fleeing its edict in Mosul: Convert, leave, or die.

US, UN denounce ISIL persecution of Iraqi minorities.

Dozens of Turkish police detained for alleged spying on government.

Turkish PM says he, Obama no longer talk directly.

IAEA worried about slow progress in Iran nuclear probe: sources.


South Korean ferry owner found dead.

Australian P.M. Abbott: MH17 evidence tampered with on ‘industrial scale’. Australian PM alleges ‘coverup’ at MH17 crash site.

Taliban suicide bomber kills 4 in Kabul. 'Foreigners' killed in Kabul airport suicide attack.

Why is Afghanistan sending aid to Gaza?

Jakarta governor wins Indonesian election. Joko Widodo set to be declared next Indonesian president.

China food scandal drags in Starbucks, Burger King and McNuggets in Japan.

Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death.

Typhoon Rammasun kills 11 in Vietnam as China's death toll climbs to 33.


Boko Haram moves unopposed in strategic Nigerian town.

15,000 flee after Boko Haram overtakes Nigerian town.

Deadly suicide blast hits Benghazi army base. Bloody clashes break out in Libya's Benghazi. Fighting intensifies in Libya, airport control at stake.

S.Sudan rebel team quits Uganda without meeting on mending ties.

DR Congo 'repels' attack on Kinshasa barracks.

Central African leader appeals for ceasefire as talks open in Congo.

Striking South African unions considering latest offer.


MH17: no link to Kremlin in plane downing - US intelligence.

Bodies of plane crash victims moved out of combat area.

Ukrainian military and rebel fighters clash in Donetsk.

Ukraine votes to call up more military reserves to protect border.

Putin vows to use influence on Ukraine rebels, rejects Western meddling.

Russia reported to be cancelling duty–free trade with Ukraine.

EU to present extended Russian sanctions on Thursday – Ashton. EU ministers threaten Russia with sanctions, action unsure.

Britain's Cameron urges military sanctions against Russia.

Germany, France, Italy condemn anti-Semitism in anti-Israel protests.


MH17 shootdown may have been 'mistake': US intel official. US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down.

U.S. Senate, House on collision course on border money.

US court deals setback to Obamacare.

Texas Governor Rick Perry to deploy troops to US border.

Key business leaders say US economy bouncing back.

Brazil's Rousseff has 38 percent voter support: IBOPE poll.

Cuba hopes for more investment as Chinese President arrives.

Venezuela moves to empty world's tallest slum.

China provides $4B to Venezuela in exchange for oil.

China lends Argentina $7.5 billion for power, rail projects.

Argentine default in balance as government refuses to capitulate.


Al Qaeda renews its oath of allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

FBI entrapped suspects in almost all high-profile terrorism cases in US.

At least six top al-Qaeda leaders killed in US drone attack.


Billionaire warns: Yellen collapse 'will be unlike any other'.

Netflix profits double to $71m as subscriptions rise.

Oil gains further on concerns over Ukraine, Gaza.

Switzerland, China agree swap boosting role of yuan.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Is Checked By Egyptian Security Officers Before Meeting Egypt's President

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talk before a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Cairo June 22, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

Kerry Checked By Security Before Meeting Egypt's President -- Huffington Post/Reuters

CAIRO, July 22 (Reuters) - Egyptian security officers checked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his top aides with a metal detector as they arrived for a meeting on Tuesday with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an unusual screening for a senior State Department official.

Foreign officials usually extend every courtesy to Washington's top diplomat.

Footage taken at the Egyptian presidential palace and seen by Reuters showed an official briefly raising a handheld metal-detecting wand to the lower part of Kerry's jacket before waving him through for the meeting, which is to discuss how to stop the two-week conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip.

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My Comment:  Every detail is covered before these meetings take place .... especially on security. You have to wonder if this was done on purpose.