Wednesday, November 22, 2017

World News Briefs -- November 22, 2017 (Evening Edition)

Sochi November 22, 2017. © Michael Klimentyev / Sputnik

Reuters: Putin wins backing from Iran, Turkey for new Syria peace push

SOCHI, Russia/RIYADH (Reuters) - Russia’s Vladimir Putin won the backing of Turkey and Iran on Wednesday to host a Syrian peace congress, taking the central role in a major diplomatic push to finally end a civil war all but won by Moscow’s ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian opposition groups, meeting in Saudi Arabia to seek a unified position ahead of peace talks, decided to stick to their demand that Assad leave power, Al Arabiya television reported, following speculation they might soften their stance after their hardline leader quit.

Two days after being visited by Assad in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, President Putin hosted his counterparts Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani there.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Damascus endorses Russian-backed Syria peace summit.

Syria: Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani hold talks as opposition gathers in Saudi Arabia.

Syria opposition meets in Riyadh under pressure to compromise.

Large-scale combat actions against terrorists in Syria nearing end — Putin -- TASS.

Besieged Syrians eating trash, fainting from hunger: U.N. survey.

Iraq attacks at lowest since IS 'caliphate' declared: study.

Yazidi mass grave found in Iraq's Sinjar.

Yemen blockade leaves humanitarian staffers stranded.

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri puts resignation on hold. Saad Hariri's homecoming in Lebanon brings meager relief.

Israeli man's photos in holy Muslim site cause social media rage.

Palestinian factions agree to hold general election by end-2018.

ASIA

North Korea threatens to make Japan and U.S. bases ‘disappear.

North Korea defection: Video shows soldier make daring border escape.

North Korea says US terror sponsor label a 'serious provocation'.

China denounces new U.S. sanctions on North Korea.

South Korea, China to hold summit next month to mend ties.

Rohingya crisis: US calls Myanmar action 'ethnic cleansing'. U.S. denounces violence against Rohingya as 'ethnic cleansing'.

Philippines' Duterte cancels communist peace talks.

Islamic schools in Pakistan plagued by sex abuse of children.

AFRICA

Western Sahara UN envoy says 'encouraged' after first meetings.

France tells Libya to act over migrant "crimes against humanity".

"The people have spoken," says Zimbabwe's new leader.

Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Mnangagwa returns home to cheers. Zimbabwe crisis: Emmerson Mnangagwa returns to Harare to replace Mugabe. Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa returns as Mugabe's likely successor. Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president on Friday.

Somalia says it requested U.S. air strike that killed 100 militants.

At least 30 killed in farmer-herder violence in Nigeria: police.

Migrants sold into slavery in Libya tell of 'total hell'.

South Africa's Ramaphosa leads in nominations for ANC leader: poll.

E.Guinea court confirms ruling party's landslide election win.

Uganda police say raid newspaper, detain staff over article about president.

EUROPE

Armed standoff among leaders of Ukraine’s breakaway region as Kremlin keeps close eye.

Ukraine rebel leader says situation in Luhansk is attempted coup.

German Social Democrats face pressure over coalition talks. Pressure grows on SPD to reconsider coalition talks with Angela Merkel.

German coalition talks: Merkel seeks to break stalemate. German Social Democrats under pressure in coalition impasse.

Gibraltar heading for​ abrupt exit from single market, says Spain.

Ratko Mladic found guilty at Bosnian war crimes trial. Ratko Mladic jailed for life over Bosnia war genocide.

Russian upper house approves bill targeting foreign media.

Le Pen decries 'fatwa' on National Front bank accounts. HSBC closes Marine Le Pen bank account.

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi appeals public office ban in Strasbourg.

Poland says it's complying with EU warning to stop logging or face fines.

AMERICAS

Cuba expresses N. Korea support, calls for US 'dialogue'.

Five U.S. citizens among Citgo executives detained in Venezuela: source.

Search for missing Argentinian submarine enters critical phase. Hope dwindles for families of lost Argentina submarine crew.

After holiday break, shutdown threat looms for Congress. Congress speeds toward shutdown over Dreamers.

Iranian charged in HBO hack as US Congress weighs nuclear pact.

Venezuela arrests top Citgo executives.

Mexico’s program to protect journalists struggles to work.

Mexican leftist Lopez Obrador leads presidential race polls.

Trump calls father of freed UCLA player an ‘ungrateful fool’.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US general's Guantanamo contempt conviction upheld.

US strikes al-Qaida in Yemen.

Pakistani court orders release of alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks.

Terrorism on the rise in Germany, prompting police to clamp down on extremists.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall St. flat ahead of holiday; ISPs rise on net neutrality bets.

Fed policymakers say rate increase likely warranted soon: minutes.

Saudis push for nine-month extension of OPEC-led oil cut - sources.

Uber boss says a data breach exposed 57m users' data and the company didn't tell anyone.

U.S. Christmas tree shortage may drive up prices.

These Are North Korea's Top Nuclear Targets


Newsweek: North Korea Sees Manhattan, White House and Pentagon as Top Nuclear Targets, New Report Shows

Manhattan, the White House and the Pentagon are among North Korea's top nuclear targets, according to a new report released Wednesday by the European Council on Foreign Relations. "Major American cities," Guam, Hawaii and U.S. military bases in the Pacific also are listed as primary targets in the report.

"North Korea lacks a clear distinction between the use of nuclear weapons against military targets and their use against civilian targets," the report states. In other words, Pyongyang seems to view both military and civilian targets fairly equally.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  No surprise on who and what North Korea wants to target.

A Brief Guide To The Kind Of Nuclear Bombs That North Korea Has


Newsweek: What Kind of Bombs Does North Korea Have? A Guide to Kim Jong Un's Nuclear Weapons

As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shout insults and threats at each other from across the globe, many Americans might find themselves wondering about North Korea's true nuclear capabilities.

In other words, is the belligerent yet reclusive regime as big a threat as Trump seemingly makes it out to be? Here are the facts:

Pyongyang has conducted six nuclear tests in total, beginning in 2006. With each test, its nuclear weapons have grown in power. The 2006 test involved a plutonium-fueled atomic bomb with a yield equivalent to 2 kilotons of TNT. The explosion from the most recent test, carried out September 3, measured 140 kilotons—making it roughly 10 times as strong as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In the event that these nuclear weapons are used, the current projection is that 8 million could die .... 8 Million People Could Die in a Nuclear War with North Korea (Harry J. Kazianis, National Interest).

Russian President Putin Says All Big Russian Businesses Should Be Ready For War Production

Vladimir Putin and Syria's Assad study military plans in Sochi. Kremlin

The Independent: Vladimir Putin says all big Russian businesses should be ready for war production

'Our army and navy need to have the very best equipment — better than foreign equivalents'

Russian business should be prepared to switch to production to military needs at any time, said Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. The Russian president was speaking at a conference of military leaders in Sochi.

“The ability of our economy to increase military production and services at a given time is one of the most important aspects of military security,” Mr Putin said. “To this end, all strategic, and simply large-scale enterprise should be ready, regardless of ownership.”

A day earlier, the president had spoken of a need to catch up and overtake the West in military technology. “Our army and navy need to have the very best equipment — better than foreign equivalents,” he said. “If we want to win, we have to be better.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  Knowing what I know about Russian factory production .... shifting to war production "just like that" is not going to happen.

The Leaders Of Russia, Turkey And Iran Meet In Sochi To Discuss A Strategy On Syria



DW: Syria: Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani hold talks as opposition gathers in Saudi Arabia

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran have met in Sochi to discuss strategy in Syria. Meanwhile, some parts of the Syrian opposition forces met in Saudi Arabia ahead of UN-backed peace talks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on Wednesday. The leaders discussed a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria as the war against the "Islamic State" (IS) and Syrian rebel groups winds down.

UN-backed peace talks are due to be held in Geneva later this month.

Russian support for Syrian President Bashar Assad has turned the tide in the six-year civil war in favor of the regime.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In the meantime, Saudi Arabia is trying to unify the Syrian opposition .... Saudi Arabia will help Syrian opposition come out unified from Riyadh meet: Jubeir (Reuters).

More News On The Leaders Of Russia, Turkey And Iran Meeting In Sochi To Discuss A Strategy On Syria

Putin, Erdogan & Rouhani agree on holding Syrian national dialogue congress in Sochi -- RT
Russia, Iran, Turkey agree to hold Syrian 'congress' to talk peace -- CNN
Putin brings Iran and Turkey together in bold Syria peace plan -- The Guardian
Putin Sees 'Real Chance' to End Syria War at Talks With Iran and Turkey -- Bloomberg
Putin wins backing from Iran, Turkey for new Syria peace push -- Reuters

Is A Jungle Parasite From Southeast Asia Killing American Veterans Decades After The End Of The War?


Daily Mail: Vietnam's silent bullet: Terrifying study shows jungle parasite from Southeast Asia may be killing American veterans decades after end of the war

* Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare bile duct cancer that is killing Vietnam veterans
* Disease's origins believed to stem from ingesting raw or undercooked fish
* Small pilot study found out of 50 veterans tested, 20 percent were positive
* It can take decades for symptoms to appear and by then, patients are often in tremendous pain with just a few months to live

Half a century after serving in Vietnam, test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer.

It can take decades for symptoms to appear.

By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are a lot of Vietnam vets who read this blog .... I suspect many of you are now wondering if you ate raw fish when you were deployed to Vietnam.

More News On Reports That A Jungle Parasite From Southeast Asia May Be Killing American Veterans Decades After The End Of The War

Hundreds of Vietnam Veterans May Be Infected With a Slow-Killing Parasitic Worm: Study -- Newsweek
What is liver fluke? Slow-killing parasite from Southeast Asian jungles could be responsible for death of Vietnam War vets -- International Business Times
Parasite from Vietnam could be killing war veterans -- Washington Times
Cancer In Vietnam War Veterans May Be Linked To Lethal Parasite From Southeast Asia -- Tech Times
Decades later, Vietnam vets may be silently fighting cancer-causing parasite -- Ars Technica

Zimbabwe’s Incoming Leader Mnangagwa Arrives In Harare. Will Be Sworn In As President On Friday



Daily Mail: 'I was poisoned' declares the Croc: Zimbabwe's president-in-waiting says he had to 'act before he was eliminated' as he returns to Harare and gleefully gives his first speech to supporters since Mugabe resigned

* President Designate Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, gave speech to Zanu PF supporters in Harare on Wednesday
* Mugabe's former deputy said he was poisoned and decided to act rather than 'wait for them to eliminate me'
* He gleefully referred to Mugabe as the 'former president' while promising democracy, peace and jobs
* Mnangagwa is expected to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's interim leader on Friday until elections due for 2018

Zimbabwe's president designate Emmerson Mnangagwa arrived back in Zimbabwe on Wednesday where he delivered a tub-thumping speech to jubilant Zanu PF supporters in the capital Harare.

Mr Mnagagwa used his first public words after arriving back from South Africa to accuse the Mugabe regime of trying to poison him, and said he decided to act rather than 'wait for them to eliminate me.'

He also gleefully referred to Robert Mugabe as the 'former president' to wild applause from the crowd.

Read more ....

More News On Zimbabwe's Political Crisis

Zimbabwe: What's happening? -- Al Jazeera
Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Mnangagwa returns home to cheers -- AP
Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president on Friday -- Reuters
Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday -- The Guardian
Zimbabwe crisis: Emmerson Mnangagwa returns to Harare to replace Mugabe -- DW
Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president on Friday -- Al Jazeera
Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa: key dates -- AFP
World reacts to end of Mugabe's era in Zimbabwe -- Al Jazeera
Zimbabwe has been here before. This time its new leader must let it embrace its potential -- Andrew Geoghegan, ABC News Online
Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa returns — What's next? -- Chloe Lyneham, DW
Zimbabwe's military is looking after its own interests — not democracy -- Enock C Mudzamiri, ABC News Online
How Mugabe managed to remain in power for 37 years -- Paul Brennan, Al Jazeera
Robert Mugabe's resignation letter in full -- Al Jazeera

Hope Dwindles As Search For Missing Argentine Submarine Enters A Critical Phase



Reuters: Search for missing Argentine submarine reaches 'critical phase'

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The search for an Argentine navy submarine missing in the South Atlantic for one week reached a “critical phase” on Wednesday as the 44 crew on board could be running low on oxygen, a navy spokesman said.

Dozens of planes and boats were searching for the ARA San Juan, a mission that has plunged relatives of the sailors into an anguished wait for news and transfixed the South American country of 44 million people. (Graphic: Argentina missing submarine - tmsnrt.rs/2zQ8HGZ)

If the German-built submarine, in service for more than three decades, had sunk or was otherwise unable to rise to the surface since it gave its last location on Nov. 15, it would be using up the last of its seven-day oxygen supply.

“We are in the critical phase...particularly with respect to oxygen,” navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters. “There has been no contact with anything that could be the San Juan submarine.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This does not look good.

More News On Hope Dwindling As Search For Missing Argentine Submarine Enters A Critical Phase

Hope dwindles for families of lost Argentina submarine crew -- AP
Search for missing Argentinian submarine enters critical phase --The Guardian
ARA San Juan: Hunt for missing Argentinian submarine entering 'critical' phase as air supplies run low -- ABC News Online
Missing Argentine submarine 'is located by US Navy and a new sonar signal heard' as rescuers race to the spot with oxygen due to run out imminently -- Daily Mail
Clues dismissed as investigators admit they have ‘no trace’ of submarine -- Daily Telegraph
Why are stealth submarines so difficult to find? -- DW
Argentina sub: What happens when a submarine vanishes -- BBC

U.S. Declares ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against The Rohingya Is Occurring In Myanmar



BBC: Rohingya crisis: US calls Myanmar action 'ethnic cleansing'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Myanmar's military action against the minority Muslim Rohingya population constitutes ethnic cleansing.

He said the Rohingya had suffered "horrendous atrocities" and as a result the US was considering targeted sanctions against those responsible.

In September, UN human rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein also accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing.

Mr Tillerson's comments come days before a visit to Myanmar by the Pope.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Declaring ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against The Rohingya In Myanmar

US declares ‘ethnic cleansing’ against Rohingya in Myanmar -- AP
US condemns 'ethnic cleansing' of Myanmar's Rohingya -- AFP
US condemns 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya in Myanmar -- DW
Tillerson declares violence in Myanmar is ethnic cleansing -- ABC News
Tillerson: Myanmar clearly 'ethnic cleansing' the Rohingya -- CNN
Violence against Rohingya Muslims in Burma is 'ethnic cleansing,' US declares -- Fox News
U.S. Condemns Myanmar's Rohingya Crisis as Ethnic Cleansing -- Bloomberg
US: Myanmar attacks on Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing' -- Al Jazeera
U.S. hopes to pressure Myanmar to permit Rohingya repatriation -- Reuters

World News Briefs -- November 22, 2017



The Guardian: Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday

Former vice-president, whose sacking by Robert Mugabe triggered the country’s political crisis, flies home from South Africa

Zimbabwe’s former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa has returned to the country and will be sworn in as president on Friday.

Mnangagwa fled for his safety to South Africa two weeks ago when he was sacked by Robert Mugabe, triggering a political crisis that culminated in the resignation of the 93-year-old autocrat on Tuesday.

Mnangagwa touched down at a military air base in Harare on Wednesday afternoon on a flight from Johannesburg. Car horns and celebrations greeted the motorcade believed to be carrying Mnangagwa as it passed through the Zimbabwean capital on the way to the ruling party’s headquarters.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri puts resignation on hold. Saad Hariri's homecoming in Lebanon brings meager relief.

Syria: Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani hold talks as opposition gathers in Saudi Arabia.

Syria opposition meets in Riyadh under pressure to compromise.

Large-scale combat actions against terrorists in Syria nearing end — Putin -- TASS.

Iraq attacks at lowest since IS 'caliphate' declared: study.

Yazidi mass grave found in Iraq's Sinjar.

Yemen blockade leaves humanitarian staffers stranded.

Israeli man's photos in holy Muslim site cause social media rage.

ASIA

North Korea threatens to make Japan and U.S. bases ‘disappear.

North Korea defection: Video shows soldier make daring border escape.

North Korea says US terror sponsor label a 'serious provocation'.

China denounces new U.S. sanctions on North Korea.

South Korea, China to hold summit next month to mend ties.

Rohingya crisis: US calls Myanmar action 'ethnic cleansing'. U.S. denounces violence against Rohingya as 'ethnic cleansing'.

Philippines' Duterte cancels communist peace talks.

Islamic schools in Pakistan plagued by sex abuse of children.

AFRICA

Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Mnangagwa returns home to cheers. Zimbabwe crisis: Emmerson Mnangagwa returns to Harare to replace Mugabe. Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa returns as Mugabe's likely successor. Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa to be sworn in as president on Friday.

Somalia says it requested U.S. air strike that killed 100 militants.

At least 30 killed in farmer-herder violence in Nigeria: police.

Migrants sold into slavery in Libya tell of 'total hell'.

South Africa's Ramaphosa leads in nominations for ANC leader: poll.

E.Guinea court confirms ruling party's landslide election win.

Uganda police say raid newspaper, detain staff over article about president.

EUROPE

German coalition talks: Merkel seeks to break stalemate. German Social Democrats under pressure in coalition impasse.

Ukraine rebel leader says situation in Luhansk is attempted coup.

Ratko Mladic found guilty at Bosnian war crimes trial. Ratko Mladic jailed for life over Bosnia war genocide.

Russian upper house approves bill targeting foreign media.

Le Pen decries 'fatwa' on National Front bank accounts. HSBC closes Marine Le Pen bank account.

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi appeals public office ban in Strasbourg.

Poland says it's complying with EU warning to stop logging or face fines.

AMERICAS

Search for missing Argentinian submarine enters critical phase. Hope dwindles for families of lost Argentina submarine crew.

After holiday break, shutdown threat looms for Congress. Congress speeds toward shutdown over Dreamers.

Iranian charged in HBO hack as US Congress weighs nuclear pact.

Venezuela arrests top Citgo executives.

Mexico’s program to protect journalists struggles to work.

Mexican leftist Lopez Obrador leads presidential race polls.

Trump calls father of freed UCLA player an ‘ungrateful fool’.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US strikes al-Qaida in Yemen.

Pakistani court orders release of alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks.

Terrorism on the rise in Germany, prompting police to clamp down on extremists.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Saudis push for nine-month extension of OPEC-led oil cut - sources.

Uber boss says a data breach exposed 57m users' data and the company didn't tell anyone.

U.S. Christmas tree shortage may drive up prices.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- November 22, 2017

Members of the U.S. Army Special Forces provide training for Iraqi fighters from Hashid Shaabi at Makhmur camp in Iraq, Dec. 11, 2016.

Newsweek: Trump’s Secret War? U.S. Military’s Presence In Middle East Has Grown 33 Percent In Past Four Months

President Donald Trump has increased the number of U.S. troops and civilians working for the Department of Defense in the Middle East to 54,180 from 40,517 in the past four months, representing a 33-percent rise.

This number doesn't even account for the big rise in troops stationed in Afghanistan since Trump announced his new strategy for the fight against the Taliban in late August.

These figures, first pointed out on Twitter by Dr. Micah Zenko, a foreign policy expert, come from the Pentagon's quarterly reports on personnel. In other words, these numbers are no secret, which raises concerns about the apparent lack of discourse over the expansion of the U.S. military in a region in which it already has a long, complicated history.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- November 22, 2017

Air Force: Afghanistan airstrikes spike while anti-ISIS bombings decrease -- Military Times

US air campaign in Libya moves south -- Threat Matrix

Argentina sub: What happens when a submarine vanishes -- BBC

Time, oxygen running out fast for crew of missing sub -- CBS/AP

Japan-Based US F-35s Plan "Show of Force" Near Korean Peninsula -- Scout Warrior

South Korea: Nuclear Submarines Not Worth the Cost -- Terence Roehrig, The Interpreter

Russia’s state arms program for 2018-2025 costs over $321 bln -- TASS

‘They Will Fight’: NATO Readies Forces Vs. Russia -- Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Breaking Defense

Here Is the Russian Short-Range Missile That Has NATO Worried -- Popular Mechanics

How a French firm beat out Japanese companies in Australia’s submarine tender -- Defense News

India Successfully Test-Fires Supersonic Brahmos Missile From Su30MKI -- Sputnik

Boeing joint venture preps to overhaul Saudi Apache helicopter fleet -- Defense News

U.S. Plans to Expand Naval Engagements in Southeast Asia Using Littoral Combat Ships, EPFs. -- USNI News

US Navy tries new sleep guidelines after deadly Asia-Pacific ship collisions: report -- The Hill

US B-21 Raider Long-Distance Bomber Program Remains Shrouded in Secrecy -- Sputnik

Senate defense spending bill $50B lower than what authorizers want -- The Hill

Cochran recommends budget-cap busting defense bill -- Defense News

‘Going to break this force’: Air Force warns cuts, manning woes could hurt war zone fight -- Air Force Times

Laughlin Air Force Base suspends flying operations after fatal T-38 crash -- Air Force Times

4th F-35 Software Drop Enables New Small Diameter Bomb II-2020s -- Scout Warrior

Military investigators find additional remains of US soldier in Niger -- The Hill

The US Military Is Preparing for War in Space: We're Drafting Laws to Be Ready for It -- Newsweek

Boston Dynamics’ robot dog isn’t quite ready for the US military says this analyst -- CNBC

Military Members on Pence Detail Reassigned for Bringing Women to Hotel -- NBC

Pentagon investigating behavior of military personnel on Trump's Asia trip -- Politico

Federal court puts stop to Trump's transgender military ban -- ABC News

Video showing racial slurs by Marines to be probed -- The Hill

Military overhauls retirement system in biggest shift since World War II -- FOX News

VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing vets -- AP

How hypersonic flight could transform air combat -- Gareth Evans, Air Force Technology

U.S. Navy C-2 Cargo Plane Has Crashed Off The Coast Of Japan. 8 Rescued, 3 Missing





FOX News: Aircraft carrying 11 crashes in Pacific en route to USS Ronald Reagan; 8 recovered, Japan says

Three people remained missing Wednesday after a U.S Navy plane crashed in the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, as early indications point to some kind of engine failure as the cause of the mishap, multiple defense officials told Fox News.

Eight people who were on board the C-2 cargo plane were rescued in "good condition" by U.S. Navy helicopters, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy's 7th fleet. The aircraft crashed about 575 miles southeast of Okinawa as it was heading from Japan to the aircraft carrier.

The Japanese military is assisting in the recovery of the three who remain missing. The eight personnel who were recovered were found less than an hour after the crash occurred. They are currently being treated on board the aircraft carrier.

Read more ....

More News On Today's U.S. Navy C-2 Cargo Plane Crash Off The Coast Of Japan

The Latest: Navy says 8 people recovered in good condition -- ABC News/AP
U.S. Navy plane carrying 11 crashes into Pacific Ocean off Japan, 8 rescued -- Washington Post
8 rescued, 3 missing after US Navy cargo plane crashes off Japan -- UPI
3 Missing, 8 Rescued Following C-2A Crash Near Okinawa -- USNI News
Navy aircraft crash leaves 3 missing in Philippine Sea -- CNN
Eight rescued after US Navy plane carrying 11 crashes in Pacific -- The Hill
Navy Aircraft With 11 Aboard Crashes Into Waters Off Japan -- New York Times
8 Recovered After Plane Carrying 11 Crashes In Philippine Sea, Navy Says -- NPR

Dramatic Video Shows North Korean Soldier's Daring Defection To The South



Reuters: Escape from North Korea: video shows defector under fire

SEOUL (Reuters) - A North Korean border guard briefly crossed the border with the South in the chase for a defector last week - a violation of the ceasefire accord between North and South, a video released on Wednesday by the U.N. Command (UNC) in Seoul showed.

The North Koreans were only steps behind the young man when they shot him at least four times as he made his escape on Nov. 13. The video, filmed as the defector drove an army truck through the demilitarized zone and then abandoned the vehicle, gives a dramatic insight into his escape.

The defector, identified by a surgeon as a 24-year-old with the family name Oh, was flown by a U.S. military helicopter to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul. Doctors said he had regained consciousness, having had two operations to extract the bullets, and his breathing was stable and unassisted.

Read more ....

More On The Dramatic Video That Shows The North Korean Soldier's Daring Defection To The South

Dramatic new video captures North Korean soldier's daring defection -- CBS News
North Korea defection: Footage of moment soldier flees -- BBC News
Video shows North Korean soldier's daring, bullet-ridden defection to South -- USA TODAY
Watch dramatic video showing North Korean forces chasing, firing on defecting soldier -- Los Angeles Times
North Korean defector shot by soldiers while escaping over the border in dramatic video -- The Independent
North Korean soldiers violated Armistice Agreement in pursuit of defector: UNC -- NK News
North Korean defector: What we've learned from dramatic footage -- BBC News

Life As A Women Soldier In The North Korean Army


BBC: Rape and no periods in North Korea's army

A former soldier says life as a woman in the world's fourth-largest army was so tough that most soon stopped menstruating. And rape, she says, was a fact of life for many of those she served with.

For almost 10 years Lee So Yeon slept on the bottom bunk bed, in a room she shared with more than two dozen women. Every woman was given a small set of drawers in which to store their uniforms. On top of those drawers each kept two framed photographs. One was of North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung. The second was of his now deceased heir, Kim Jong-il.

It was more than a decade ago that she left, but she retains vivid memories of the smell of the concrete barracks.

"We sweat quite a bit.

Read more ....

Update: Conditions for female North Korean soldiers are so brutal their periods stop and rape is commonplace, defector says (Daily Mail)

WNU Editor: So much for the North Korean claim that it is a worker's paradise.

Afghan Leaders Criticize U.S. Airstrikes On Taliban Drug Labs



Washington Post: Afghan leaders in Helmand criticize U.S. airstrikes on Taliban drug labs

KABUL — A newly announced campaign of U.S. and Afghan airstrikes against Taliban-run narcotic centers was met with alarm and criticism Tuesday from political leaders in Helmand province — the heart of Afghanistan’s huge opium trade — where officials said 10 such air attacks were carried out in the past week.

Some legislators and provincial representatives expressed worries that civilians could be harmed. Others dismissed the campaign, announced by U.S. military officials Monday, as a dramatic but misplaced effort to showcase Washington’s determination to go after insurgent bastions and criminal activities as part of its new military strategy.

Read more ....

Previous Post: U.S. Launches Airstrikes Targeting The Taliban's Opium Production Facilities In Afghanistan (November 21, 2017)

WNU Editor: Instead of going into the fields and cutting the crop .... just target the locations where the drug is made and stored. My sense is that these strikes were effective .... and some are not happy.

Will China One Day Replace The United States As The World's Top Arms Dealer?

The Inner Mongolia Military Command (MC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducts a drill in early October, during which a batch of new equipment are unveiled, including the all-terrain vehicle, Beidou navigation terminals, low-light level night vision devices, etc. With the new equipment, the comprehensive border control ability of the frontier forces will be strengthened greatly. (PLA Daily/Qian Xiaohu and Wang Zhonghui)

Robert Farley, The Diplomat: Can China Replace the United States as the World's Top Arms Dealer?

How China could undercut the dominant U.S. market position in global arms sales.

In his recent tour of East Asia, Donald Trump made a point of touting U.S. arms sales, which bring cash to the United States and jobs to American workers. Trump’s point is straightforward, if not often acknowledged in U.S. policy circles: arms sales not only extend U.S. influence, but also benefit the United States economically. The United States has enjoyed a dominant global position in arms transfers since at least the early 1990s, despite export restrictions that occasionally restrict transfers for political and technological reasons.

U.S. market position depends on two factors; the technological superiority of U.S. equipment, and the political value in establishing a defense relationship with the United States. Historically, China arms export strategy has been built around exploiting the edges of these U.S. advantages. First, China sells military equipment at much lower prices that the United States, which for some types of equipment (and some sellers) is ideal. Second, China will sell to just about any customer.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Maybe one day China will replace the U.S. as the world's top arms dealer .... but I do not see it happening any time soon.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau: The Government Will Try To Reintegrate ISIS Fighters Back Into Society

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking during a press conference on the last day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, November 20, 2016. (AFP/RAFAEL ZARAUZ)

Times of Israel/AFP: Canada plans to help Islamic State fighters ‘let go of that terrorist ideology’

PM Trudeau pledges to prosecute those returning gunmen who broke anti-terror laws, but also says his government will try to reintegrate them into society

OTTAWA — Canada is concerned about the national security threat posed by citizens who joined the Islamic State group returning to this country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

In parliament, Trudeau pledged to prosecute those who broke Canada’s anti-terrorism laws by joining the IS group, but also said his government would try to reintegrate them into society.

“We recognize the return of even one individual (who joined the IS group) may have serious national security implications,” Trudeau said.

“We are going to monitor them. We are also there to help them to let go of that terrorist ideology,” he added.

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Update: Trudeau Vows to 'Help' Returning ISIS Fighters 'Disengage' (PJMedia)

WNU Editor: So .... Prime Minister Trudeau believes these fanatics can be rehabilitated/reintegrated. I do not share his optimism. Two days ago I posted an article on President Trump being more popular than the Macron, Merkel, and May .... Poll: Merkel, Macron, May Are Less Popular Than Trump (November 20, 2017). I forgot to mention Prime Minister Trudeau .... The Justin Trudeau Lovefest Gets a Reality Check (Bloomberg).

Everyone Is Getting Ready For Venezuela To Go Bankrupt



Fortune: Venezuelan Bondholders Are Preparing for a Fight if the Country Defaults on its $60 Billion Debt

Holders of Venezuelan bonds are meeting with each other and considering forming committees, advisers and fund managers told Reuters, as questions mount about the feasibility of President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal to restructure $60 billion of debt.

Maduro has said the country will keep servicing its obligations for now. But bondholders ranging from longstanding investment funds to hedge funds and emerging markets funds in the United States and elsewhere are starting to lay the foundations for a potentially bitter and messy battle over a possible default down the road.

A UK-based hedge fund, MacroSynergy Partners, has invited institutional holders of Venezuelan and state-owned oil company PDVSA debt to a Nov. 30 meeting in London to discuss the likely path forward and the next steps for creditors, according to an invitation seen by Reuters.

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More News On The Economic Mess That Is Venezuela

Venezuela’s Creditors Begin Organizing Among Themselves -- Bloomberg
Venezuelans Revert to Pre-Money Era with Barter -- AIER
Venezuela arrests Citgo chief in anti-corruption dragnet -- ABC News/AP
Venezuela pumps below OPEC target -- Al Jazeera
Venezuela quickly becoming Russia's newest satellite state -- The Hill
Nobody is going to bail out Venezuela -- Salon
Venezuela is going through a messy economic default — here's all you need to know -- CNBC