Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg Apologises For Facebook's 'Mistakes'

The Guardian: Mark Zuckerberg apologises for Facebook's 'mistakes' over Cambridge Analytica

Following days of silence, CEO announces Facebook will change how it shares data with third-party apps and admits ‘we made mistakes’

Facebook is changing the way it shares data with third-party applications, Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday in his first public statement since the Observer reported that the personal data of about 50 million Americans had been harvested and improperly shared with a political consultancy.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I think this is the third time in less than two years that I have heard Mark Zuckerberg apologizing what is platform has done or is doing. And he uses the same tone of voice, same type of apology, finishing with a promise to do better. The problem is that Mark Zuckerburg and his company know exactly what they are doing, they know exactly how their platform is being used, and more importantly .... have made little if any changes to satisfy its critics. They are not innocent .... nor naive .... their focus is to preserve their business model and to continue their growth.

More News On Mark Zuckerberg Apologizing For Facebook's 'Mistakes'

Zuckerberg apologizes for Facebook mistakes with user data, vows curbs -- Reuters
Facebook's Zuckerberg speaks out over Cambridge Analytica 'breach' -- BBC
Zuckerberg says he’s ‘happy’ to testify before Congress -- Politico
Facebook's Zuckerberg sorry for 'major breach of trust' -- Al JAzeera
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Called Before House Committee -- Bloomberg
Facebook senior staff brief Congress amid backlash over how users’ data was used -- ABC News
Facebook is making changes to your News Feed after the Cambridge Analytica 'breach' -- ABC News Online
Germany demands answers from Facebook over data breach -- DW
Mueller Examining Cambridge Analytica, Trump Campaign Ties -- RCP
Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data scandal: What you need to know -- DW
The 9 Most Important Things Mark Zuckerberg Said About the Cambridge Analytica Scandal -- TIME
What Zuckerberg said, and what he didn't -- MIT Technology Review
The Cambridge Analytica saga is a scandal of Facebook’s own making -- John Harris, The Guardian
Facebook's quiet battle to kill the first transparency law for online political ads -- Quartz
Can Zuckerberg’s media blitz take the pressure off Facebook? -- AP
The truth is, Facebook just doesn't care that much -- Jeff Yang, CNN

Autocracies Are On The Rise In The Developing World

DW: Bertelsmann study: Developing world faces more conflict, more repression

Democracy is being chipped away in many countries across the world, according to a new study by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation. The study, which looks at 129 developing nations, warns autocracies are on the rise.

The quality of democracy and market-economy systems in developing nations and emerging economies has dropped to its lowest level in 12 years, Germany's non-profit Bertelsmann foundation said in its so-called Transformation Index 2018.

The report tracks the progress of 129 nations across the world in areas such as democracy, economy, and governance.

Bertelsmann's researchers warn that democracy is "under pressure" and that repression and polarization within societies are on the rise.

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WNU Editor: Countries like Turkey, Venezuela have fallen the most in the past few years .... Global democratic standards are in decline, report says (Financial Times).

One Month After Chasing Away A Drilling Ship, Turkey To Send Its Own Drill Ship To A Gas Field Claimed By Cyprus

The Guardian: Turkey to send drill ship to contested gas field off Cyprus

President Erdoğan says he will not let natural reserves be exploited by Greek Cypriots.

A showdown over natural gas and oil deposits in the seas off Cyprus is set to intensify, with Turkey announcing it is to send a drilling ship to the region days after the US energy company ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels to the area.

As tensions flare over the potential spoils off the divided island, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has declared he will not tolerate the prospect of reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots at a time when his country is engaged in conflicts elsewhere, not least against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Last month, Turkish warships were ordered to prevent drilling operations by ENI, an Italian energy company commissioned by Cyprus’s government, in what was seen as a brazen act of brinkmanship.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: One month after threatening to sink a drill ship working for Cyprus .... Turkey Threatens To Sink ENI Drilling Ship Exploring For Oil And Gas Offshore Cyprus (February 23, 2018) ....Turkey is to send its own drill ship to look for gas deposits.  Not surprising .... the EU is not amused .... EU leaders set to condemn Turkey over Cyprus gas blockade (ABC News/AP). More here .... EU leaders condemn Turkish actions in Mediterranean gas standoff (Reuters).

With Turkey's Win Over The Syrian Kurds At Afrin, Speculation Is Rife That Erdogan Will Call For Early General And Presidential Elections

VOA: Early Election Fever Grows With Turkish Military Victory in Syria

With Turkish led military forces scoring a decisive victory in Syria against the YPG Kurdish militia, speculation is rife in Turkey of early general and presidential elections.

Sunday's capture of the key Syrian town of Afrin from the YPG was perfectly choreographed to coincide with Turkey's Martyrs Day. The symbolism was not lost on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has linked his fortunes to the military incursion, declaring the Syrian campaign the most important since Turkey's war of independence.

Ankara calls the YPG "terrorists", linking the militia to a decades long Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey. Erdogan's political message has been obediently followed by most the media, which is under direct or indirect government control.

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WNU Editor: If there are early elections, President Erdogan and his ruling party will lose the Kurdish vote (they traditionally receive about half of the vote) to a new and moderate Kurdish political party that is attracting a lot of voters. But if he waits .... and this new Kurdish political party continues to grow .... he will lose his parliamentary majority. Everything that Turkish President Erdogan is doing right now is to position himself to win the next election .... but if things go south in Syria .... he may find himself facing blow-back at the polls. My prediction .... he controls the media .... so I expect him to do something "bold" and the media will back-him. As to what is that "bold move" .... from my perspective it could be anything.

Is Turkey About To Expand Its War In Syria?

Tom O'Connor, Newsweek: Turkey Is Launching the Next Middle East War With Attacks on Kurds in Iraq and Syria

The U.S. and Turkey have offered conflicting statements as to whether Washington had agreed to allow Ankara to expand its war against Kurdish fighters operating alongside U.S. Special Forces in Syria. Meanwhile, new Turkish airstrikes targeted other Kurdish fighters in Iraq on Wednesday, signaling a new phase of conflict in two nations still reeling from being partially overtaken by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, initially told Al Jazeera on Monday that his government had reached a general agreement with the U.S., one that would allow Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies to expand an offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters across northern Syria. The U.S. has trained and equipped a number of these Kurdish groups, including the People's Protection Units (YPG), in order to fight ISIS as part of the larger Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Some are speculating that this victory by the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels over the Kurds is a sign that they should not be taken lightly .... Syrian rebel victory in Afrin reveals strength of Turkish-backed force (The Guardian). There is also speculation that Turkey will now confront U.S. forces in Syria .... After victory in Afrin, a Turkey-US confrontation looms in Syria (Middle East Eye). Considering the current atmosphere in Turkey and in Syria .... and this easy victory in Afrin .... I will not be surprised if such a confrontation does occur.

Syrian Rebels Begin Leaving The Besieged Region Of Eastern Ghouta

Reuters: Assad closer to Ghouta victory, as some rebels prepare to quit

BEIRUT/DAMASCUS (Reuters) - The Syrian government moved closer to ending rebel resistance in eastern Ghouta as civilians streamed out of one of its besieged, bomb-battered towns on Thursday and insurgents prepared to surrender another.

The army assault on eastern Ghouta, an area of towns and farmland just outside Damascus, has been one of the most intense in Syria’s seven-year-old war, killing more than 1,500 people in a relentless bombardment with war planes, shells and rockets.

An army officer interviewed on state television urged rebels who had not yet negotiated a deal to evacuate eastern Ghouta to quit. “Death is coming for you if you do not surrender,” he said.

It broadcast footage of a long line of parked buses on a highway in the town of Harasta with crowds of people standing alongside. Syrian army soldiers looked on.

Read more ....

WNU editor: The end game for this battle is near.

More News On Syrian Rebels Begin Leaving The Besieged Region Of Eastern Ghouta

Syria war: First rebels to leave defeated Eastern Ghouta town -- BBC
Syrian rebels begin fleeing Eastern Ghouta under new safety deal -- UPI
Syrian rebels 'forced' to leave besieged town in eastern Ghouta enclave -- Asian Age/AP
Hundreds of rebels begin evacuating Syria's Eastern Ghouta -- CNN
Civilians flood out of Syria's Douma: monitor, webcam -- Business Insider/Reuters
Syrian rebels to evacuate Ghouta as 19 civilians killed in fresh strikes -- Times of Israel
Tens of thousands leave Eastern Ghouta malnourished, thirsty and in fear, now in overcrowded reception sites -- NRC

China Admits It Sold Advanced Missile Technology To Pakistan

© Faisal Mahmood / Reuters

Newsweek: China Sold Advanced Missile Tech To Pakistan, Fueling Asian Arms Race

China has admitted it sold advanced missile technology to Pakistan, fueling the ballistic missile arms race developing between the Islamic republic and its arch-rivals India.

The “highly sophisticated large-scale optical tracking and measurement system” will improve Pakistan’s development of its multi-warhead ballistic missiles, the South China Morning Post reported, and put further strategic pressure on an Indian military facing major rivals on both the north and western borders.

The deal has emerged two months after India successfully tested its Agni V nuclear-capable ballistic missile. The missile has a reported range of 5,000 miles, putting Beijing and Shanghai within its reach.

Read more ....

More News On China Admitting It Sold Advanced Missile Technology To Pakistan

China provides tracking system for Pakistan’s missile programme -- SCMP
In unprecedented deal, Pakistan acquires powerful missile tracking system from China: Report -- Times of India
China Acknowledges Sale Of Advanced Missile Technology To Pakistan -- NPR
Eye on India's Agni V, China sells powerful missile-tracking system to Pakistan -- The Indian Express
China admits selling sensitive missile technology to Pakistan -- Financial Express
Pakistan acquires powerful missile tracking system from China: Report -- Business Insider/PTI
China helps Pakistani missile program by providing advanced tracking system – report -- RT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Boasts That He Has President Trump's Son-In-Law Jared Kushner In His Pocket

Photo: The White House/flickr

The Intercept: Saudi Crown Prince Boasted That Jared Kushner Was “In His Pocket”

Until he was stripped of his top-secret security clearance in February, presidential adviser Jared Kushner was known around the White House as one of the most voracious readers of the President’s Daily Brief, a highly classified rundown of the latest intelligence intended only for the president and his closest advisers.

Kushner, who had been tasked with bringing about a deal between Israel and Palestine, was particularly engaged by information about the Middle East, according to a former White House official and a former U.S. intelligence professional.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: What I find disturbing about this report is this ....

.... Citing three sources close to the Saudi and Emirati royal families, the news outlet said Kushner provided the heir to the Saudi throne details about Saudi princes who were not loyal to him.

I would love to know who made the decision to take sides in Saudi Arabia's internal disputes.

Update: Some are not happy with the role that Jared Kushner is playing in foreign policy .... 'Outrageous' Jared Kushner a 'Huge Threat' to US Foreign Policy, Says Retired Army General (Newsweek)

More News On Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Boasting That He Has President Trump's Son-In-Law Jared Kushner In His Pocket

Saudi crown prince boasted Jared Kushner was 'in his pocket' -- Al Jazeera
Saudi Crown Prince Reportedly Bragged After Purge: 'I Have Kushner in My Pocket' -- Haaretz
Saudi Arabia's crown prince reportedly bragged about having Jared Kushner 'in his pocket' after being told classified information meant for Trump -- Business Insider
Saudi prince said he owns Jared Kushner: Report -- Washington Examiner
Why the Saudi Crown Prince Might Think He Has Jared Kushner 'In His Pocket' -- New York Magazine
Jared Kushner May Have Helped the Saudi Prince Carry Out a Purge of His Political Opponents -- Splinter

World News Briefs -- March 22, 2018

BBC: Syria war: First rebels leave defeated Eastern Ghouta town

Syrian rebels and their families have begun leaving a key town in the besieged Eastern Ghouta area as part of an evacuation deal with the government.

State media said 88 rebels and 459 civilians had gone from Harasta so far.

Some 1,500 fighters from the Ahrar al-Sham faction and 6,000 civilians are to be transported from Harasta to the northern rebel-held province of Idlib.

The evacuation deal is the first agreed since pro-government forces stepped up an assault on the enclave a month ago.

Read more ....


Opposition fighters evacuated from Eastern Ghouta town.

Assad closer to Ghouta victory, as some rebels prepare to quit.

Turkey says will drive Kurdish YPG from Syrian border area if no deal with U.S..

Iraq rejects UAE claims of Qatar funding paramilitaries.

Trump, Saudi leader discuss Houthi 'threat' in Yemen: White House.

Hamas: Rami Hamdallah convoy attack suspects killed in Gaza. Two Hamas security force members killed as Gaza bomb suspect arrested.

Palestinian teenager who slapped Israeli soldier to serve 8 months in jail.


China getting nervous about looming US tariffs. Trump set to unveil new trade sanctions; Beijing responds.

North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament to meet in April ahead of inter-Korean summit.

Kashmir: 10 killed after fierce gun battle.

U.S. says Russian support for Taliban hurts peace process in Afghanistan.

Afghan strongman makes way for hand-picked successor, ending crisis.

Maldives president lifts 45-day state of emergency.

India's Seychelles military base plan hits choppy waters.

Chinese students angered by visa delays as state media issues 'red alert' to not enrol in Australia.


African countries agree to continental free trade area.

Malian PM makes landmark visit to restive north.

Armed groups in Libya torturing migrants, selling slaves, U.N. says. Human Rights Watch: Libya 'incapable' of holding elections.

Killing of aid workers in Nigeria a setback for troubled crisis response.

Ivory Coast security forces stop opposition march.

Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa pardons 3,000 prisoners.

Sierra Leone election body alleges police intimidation.


‘Peace through strength!’ Trump says ‘getting along with Russia is a good thing’.

‘Still a long way to go’ to reach breakthrough in Russia-US ties, says Kremlin.

Theresa May to warn EU leaders of Russian threat to democracy.

UK to ask EU leaders to expel Russian spies from own countries.

Turkey to send drill ship to contested gas field off Cyprus.

German Economy Minister says he found 'open ears' in US on tariffs.

Catalan parties propose third potential leader in race against courts.

Nicolas Sarkozy corruption charges reveal France's loose campaign finance practices. Nicolas Sarkozy: French ex-president says funding probe is 'hell'.

Thousands of public sector workers go on strike across France.


Biden says he would have 'beat the hell out' of Trump in high school for disrespecting women. Trump fires back at ‘Crazy Joe Biden': ‘He would go down fast and hard, crying all the way’.

Congress races to pass $1.3T defense-friendly omnibus and avoid shutdown.

'Got $1.6billion to start the wall': Trump boasts about approved financing to build his controversial border and the 'most ever' funding for the military with $716billion.

Donald Trump defends congratulating Vladimir Putin over election win despite being warned against it.

Police: Austin bomber’s motive still unknown, despite video.

Peruvian President Kuczynski resigns before impeachment vote.

Justin Trudeau defends Canada's arms sales to Saudi Arabia.


Al Qaeda 3.0: Turning to face the near enemy.

Al Qaeda group JNIM releases high-level production video.

Second anniversary of Belgium militant attack brings back painful memories.


Dollar, shares buffeted by trade war worries.

Trump to hit China with tariffs over intellectual property theft — and it may start an all-out trade war. China: We will hit back if US announces new tariffs.

Countries scramble to win exemptions from steel tariffs.

Tesla boss Elon Musk's $2.6bn pay day.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 22, 2018

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford Jr., Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov © Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation (March 7, 2017)

The Hill: Top US generals discuss tense Syria situation with Russian military leader

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford on Wednesday spoke with his Russian counterpart about the situation in Syria, the second such call in 10 days.

America's top military officer spoke to Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov about “Syria and other issues of mutual concern,” according to a statement from Dunford’s spokesman, Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder.

“In accordance with past practice, both have agreed to keep the details of their conversation private,” the statement added.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 22, 2018

Top Russian and US generals discuss Syria -- CNN

Syrian rebel victory in Afrin reveals strength of Turkish-backed force -- The Guardian

Top U.S. General Dunford: Afghan combat operations key to safe elections -- Military Times/AP

Russia to increase flight range of upgraded Tu-160 bomber -- TASS

Russia to renew Tu-160 strategic bomber fleet by 2030 -- TASS

Saab ready to offer radar tech for new Seoul fighter, if it lands maritime patrol aircraft deal -- Defense News

Storm coming from Beijing despite calm: Taiwan spy chief -- Asia Times

China brings troops guarding Indian border under military command -- Indian Express

India Successfully Tests BrahMos Cruise Missile - Defense Ministry -- Sputnik

NATO’s Achilles Heel: Russian Political Warfare -- National Interest

UK hires team to stop destroyers from breaking down at sea -- Defense News

Power Play: US to Offer Turkey Alternative to Russian S-400s – Reports -- Sputnik

US, South Korea May Cut Exercises Short for Trump-Kim Summit: Reports --

Marines Moving Out on Modernization Priorities Focused on Russian, Chinese Threat -- USNI News

Navy Still Struggling With Readiness Balance Between Overseas and U.S.-based Forces -- USNI News

Navy to Pick First-Ever Carrier-Launched Drone Later This Year -- Warrior Maven

Artillery, Drones, Missiles Will Help FVL Penetrate Air Defenses: FVL CFT -- Breaking Defense

Pentagon to get some flexibility in spending $700B windfall -- The Hill

Congress provides $3.3 billion boost for missile defense in FY18 spending bill -- Defense News

The omnibus spending bill would add an extra 143 aircraft for the military -- Defense News

Team leader warned he didn't have right equipment, intel prior to deadly Niger attack: report -- The Hill

US Army Buys $97Mln Worth of Weapon Sights -- Sputnik

The Army Needs to Go Big With Futures Command -- Daniel Gouré, RCD

Top general: Now not the 'right' time to create a 'Space Force' -- The Hill

Hyten: To keep edge in space, military needs cheaper launch costs, faster satellite development -- Space News

Some fresh tidbits on the U.S. military space budget -- Space News

Pentagon’s New Arms-Research Chief Eyes Space-Based Ray Guns -- Defense One

GOP rep introduces bill to address national security risks of artificial intelligence -- The Hill

How Much Does Artificial Intelligence Threaten National Security? -- Next Gov

Five Myths About Pentagon Weapons Programs -- Frank Kendall, Defense One

15 years later, Iraq vets in Congress worry lawmakers learned little from the war -- Military Times

Is The American Way Of War Coming To An End?

U.S. Military Academy Graduation. YouTube

Paul McLeary, Breaking Defense: The End Of The American Way of War; The Cold War Really Is Over

The American way of war — using overpowering industrial might, crushing firepower, and owning the sea and skies — may have come to an end, a top Pentagon official says.

For the past two decades, “the Chinese and the Russians have been working to undermine that model,” said Elbridge Colby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development. By spending billions on modernizing their militaries and fielding new technologies like artificial intelligence and hypersonic missiles at a faster clip than the Americans, the two countries have changed the way the United States must approach future conflict.

“I want to really stress that everything should be circled back to what the problem statement is, what the problem definition is, which is defeating the Chinese or Russian potential theories of victory,” Colby told an audience at the annual directed Energy Summit, co-sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. The answer, as much as there is one, will be found in a combination of technology, training, and doctrine, “but we should be taking initiative. They’ve gone after our theory of victory? We should go after their theory of victory so we have a better deterrent.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: We are definitely living in a  different world today. The U.S. may still have the world's most formidable military, but developments in more lethal technologies is forcing a leveling of the battlefield there by balancing out U.S. firepower. The world's industrial base is also now more diversified ... and forget about owning the sea and skies.

The Chinese Military Wants Remote Controlled Tanks Powered By AI

South China Morning Post: China tests driverless tanks that could be powered by artificial intelligence in latest push to modernise military

State television releases images of unmanned vehicles as country continues ambitious drive to overhaul its armed forces

China is testing driverless tanks which could be equipped with artificial intelligence, a state-run newspaper reported on Wednesday, as the country continues with its military modernisation programme.

State television showed images this week of the unmanned tanks undergoing testing, the Global Times reported.

Footage showed a Type 59 tank being driven by remote control, in what the paper said was the first time a Chinese-made unmanned tank has been shown in a public forum.

The Type 59 tank is based on an old Soviet model first used in China in the 1950s and has been produced in large numbers and has a long service life, it said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If the above 3 second video is any indication .... China still has a long way to go before deploying such a tank onto the battlefield.

More News On China Experimenting With Remote Controlled Tanks

China Is Experimenting with Remote Controlled Tanks -- Popular Mechanics
China trials unmanned tanks in latest push for modernization -- Asahi Shimbun
China testing unmanned tank in latest foray into AI military technology -- The Telegraph
China Reveals Unmanned Tanks Driven by Remote Control, With Eye Toward Artificial Intelligence -- Newsweek

Chinese Media: China Must Respond To Growing U.S. - Taiwan Ties With Military Pressure

Japan Times: China should prepare for ‘direct military clash’ over Taiwan amid U.S. moves: Chinese paper

A popular Chinese state-run newspaper has said China must prepare for “a direct military clash” over self-ruled Taiwan after a high-level U.S. official visited the island, angering Beijing.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Alex Wong became the first senior State Department official to visit Taiwan after President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages U.S. officials to travel to the island to meet their counterparts and vice versa.

Media reports quoted Wong as saying Wednesday in Taipei that the United States’ commitment to Taiwan has never been stronger, and that it would work to get international organizations to work closer.

Read more ....

Update #1: Chinese paper says China should prepare for military action over Taiwan -- Reuters
Update #2: China could take military action in response to US legislation on Taiwan, state news outlet says -- CNBC

WNU Editor: The Chinese article that is advocating this position of using military force is here .... China to respond 'Taiwan Travel Act' with military pressure: experts (Global Times).

On The Eve Of The U.S. Imposing Tariffs Against China, China Blames The U.S. For Its Massive Trade Surplus

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

Reuters: China blames U.S. for staggering trade surplus as tariffs loom

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China blamed U.S. export restrictions for its record trade surplus with the United States, but expressed hope that a solution can be found to settle trade issues between the world’s two biggest economies as U.S. tariffs loom.

Beijing was bracing on Thursday for an announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump of tariffs of as much as $60 billion on Chinese imports, raising fears that the two countries could be sliding towards a trade war.

The tariffs will be imposed under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act, focusing on Chinese high-tech goods. Trump says Beijing has forced U.S. firms to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there.

Washington is also pressing China to reduce its staggering $375 billion trade surplus with the United States by $100 billion.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Chinese are blaming the U.S. for their trade surpluses because the U.S. is limiting the hi-tech products that can be sold to China. The problem with this argument is that China has a long history of not respecting patents when it comes to hi-tech, and those that are sold and/or exchanged do so at their own risk. And as for products that the U.S. does want to export to China .... they are faced with tariffs and restrictions.

Update: The problem with this promise from this top Chinese official is that the Chinese have been saying the same thing for years .... China poised to open markets 'beyond expectations' as tough US tariffs loom, envoy says (CNBC).

More News On The Looming U.S. - China Trade War

China calls US repeat abuser of world trade rules as tariffs loom -- Reuters
China may have just signaled the US product it will retaliate against -- CNBC
Treasury has prepared China investment restriction options: Mnuchin -- Reuters
How the US-China Intellectual Property Dispute Could Play Out -- War on the Rocks

U.S. Attorney General Sessions Was Investigate By The FBI For Perjury

ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a "lack of candor," McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe's previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Attorney General's lawyer is denying this story .... Sessions' lawyer: AG not under investigation for false statements (USA TODAY). I do recall at the time that the Democrats were demanding an investigation .... but that was a year ago .... and Attorney General Sessions is still here. And speaking of the Mueller investigation, it looks like a key witness has fled the country .... EXCLUSIVE: Mueller probe witness who met Jared Kushner and was 'best friends' with Steve Bannon flees the country after being revealed as a pedophile (Daily Mail).

More News On U.S. Attorney General Sessions Being Investigated By The FBI

FBI Investigated Sessions for Possible Perjury Over Russia Denials -- New York Times
Mueller Investigated Sessions for Perjury on Russia Statements -- Bloomberg
Andrew McCabe reportedly oversaw criminal probe of Jeff Sessions -- Washington Times
Andrew McCabe reportedly oversaw a criminal investigation into Jeff Sessions nearly a year before Sessions fired him -- Business Insider
Attorney General Jeff Sessions 'not under investigation' by special counsel Robert Mueller for perjury, lawyer says -- CNBC

50 Years Ago, a Top-Secret CIA Base Was Overrun By Vietnamese Commandos In Laos

Lima Site 85 in Laos. Lt/Col Jeannie Schiff, USAF (Wikimedia)

Sebastien Roblin, National Interest: Revealed: 50 Years Ago, a Top-Secret U.S. Base Was Overrun By Elite Vietnamese Commandos

Fifty years ago on March 12, 1968, a top-secret U.S. base on a mountain top in Laos was overrun by an elite force of Vietnamese commandos. Only six of the eighteen CIA and Air Force personnel manning the remote outpost escaped with their lives in an incident that would remain veiled in secrecy for three decades.

This was because the U.S. military was legally prohibited from operating in Laos. The southeast Asian nation had been wracked by a civil war pitting right-wing royalists against Pathet Lao communists—the latter backed by North Vietnam, which used Laotian territory to clandestinely funnel troops into South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh trail. However, in 1962 Washington, Hanoi and Laotian factions all signed a peace treaty in which the foreign powers agreed to withdraw their forces from the country.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Only "six of the eighteen CIA and Air Force personnel manning the remote outpost escaped with their lives". Those six survivors must have quite a story to tell.

Is The Russian Military Becoming Involved In Foreign Policy?

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) greets veterans next to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu after the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor/File Photo

Reuters: Backed by Putin, Russian military pushes into foreign policy

In the past few months, at times wearing his desert military uniform, Shoigu has held talks with Syria’s president in Damascus, met Israel’s prime minister in Jerusalem and been received by the Emir of Qatar in Doha.

The defense ministry’s forays into areas long regarded as the preserve of the foreign ministry are raising eyebrows in Russia, where strict protocol means ministers usually hold talks only with their direct foreign counterparts.

The military is reaping political dividends from what the Kremlin saw as its big successes in Crimea, annexed from Ukraine after Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms seized control of the peninsula in 2014, and Syria, where Russian forces helped turn the tide of war in President Bashar al-Assad’s favor.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I do not see this push by the Russian military into foreign policy.  Because Syria is a war zone .... I am not surprised that Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is there, nor am I surprised that in is visiting the neighboring countries. But as to making and implementing foreign policy .... no .... the Russian Defense Ministry is not there.

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