Saturday, June 24, 2017

Are There Any Options For The U.S. And The International Community In Afghanistan?

PHOTO: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Bennett Seftel, Cipher Brief: U.S. Running Out of Options in Afghanistan

The U.S. war in Afghanistan has entered into its 16th year with no end in sight. With the battle against the Taliban essentially mired in a stalemate and the Afghan government failing to address endemic corruption and countrywide economic woes, there appear to be no good options for moving forward.

“Today the Trump Administration faces the choice of losing quickly by withdrawing from Afghanistan, losing slowly by staying at the current, clearly inadequate levels of commitment, or not losing by increasing that commitment enough to maintain a stalemate on the battlefield,” says Cipher Brief expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Jim Dobbins.

Read more ....

WNU editor: A sobering analysis .... read it all.

Hat tip to Fred for this link.

Picture Of The Day

Revelers watch the sunrise as they celebrate the pagan festival of Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England on June 21. © AFP 2017/ CHRIS J RATCLIFFE

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures (Sputnik)

Opium Production Continues To Boom In Afghanistan

Afghan men work on a poppy field in Jalalabad province. © Parwiz / Reuters

RT: ‘World fails miserably to stop opium threat’: RT reports from drug factory Afghanistan

Opiate production in Afghanistan has increased markedly since the US-led invasion in 2001, leading addiction rates to skyrocket. Meanwhile, the UN said this week that opioids are the world’s “most harmful drug type.” RT investigated the problem in Kabul.

Though only a tiny fraction of the opiates produced in Afghanistan are used domestically, the effects are devastating the local population. An RT crew found an infamous nest of drug addicts in a dry riverbed right in the middle of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Read more ....

WNU editor: This The biggest victims to this explosion of opium production are becoming the Afghans themselves .... Opium use booms in Afghanistan, creating a ‘silent tsunami’ of addicted women (Washington Post).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Taliban Leader Wants U.S. And NATO Forces Out Of Afghanistan

Photo: Taliban new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is seen in an undated photograph, posted on a Taliban twitter feed on May 25, 2016, and identified separately by several Taliban officials, who declined be named. Social Media/File Photo

DW: Afghanistan: Taliban leader wants US and NATO troops out


The Taliban head in Afghanistan has issued a statement demanding US and NATO troops get out of the country. But he also indicated that constructive diplomatic relations could be possible if his demands were met.

Marking the Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada issued a statement on Friday calling on US and NATO troops to leave Afghanistan.

"The occupation is the main obstacle in the way of peace," he said, reiterating previous similar Taliban messages. "The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify."

Read more ....

More News On The Afghan Taliban Leader Wanting U.S. And NATO Forces Out Of Afghanistan

Taliban Say U.S. Must Quit Afghanistan for Peace -- US News and World report/Reuters
Taliban leader: Afghan war will end only when NATO leaves -- AP
Taliban says foreign troops must go before peace talks as US plans 4,000-strong surge -- RT
Taliban Leader Demands US, NATO Troops Leave Afghanistan -- Sputnik
Taliban Chief: US Troop Surge a 'Mistake' -- VOA

Hezbollah Leader Says Any Future War With Israel Will Draw Hundreds of Thousands Of Fighters From Across The Arab World

People watch Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he appears on a screen during a live broadcast to speak to his supporters at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah

Reuters: Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that a future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon could draw thousands of fighters from countries including Iran and Iraq.

His comments indicated that the same array of Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias - but not countries - currently fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad could take part in any future conflict with Israel.

Tensions have risen between Hezbollah and its longtime foe Israel in recent months since Donald Trump became U.S. president with his tough talk against Iran. Israel's air force chief said his country would use all its strength from the start in any new war with Hezbollah.

Read more ....

More News On Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Saying That Any Future War With Israel Will Draw Hundreds of Thousands Of Fighters From Across The Arab World

Hezbollah says 'thousands' of fighters to respond if Israel attacks -- AFP
Hezbollah's Nasrallah: War With Israel Could Draw Hundreds of Thousands of Fighters From Across Arab World -- Haaretz
Hezbollah chief warns Israel against starting war with Lebanon -- i24
Hezbollah head: 'Hundreds of thousands' of Muslim fighters will respond if Israel attacks -- The Times of Israel

Saudi Security Forces Have Foiled An Attack On The Grand Mosque In Mecca

General view of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Reuters: Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca: state TV

Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported.

Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targetted worshipers at the mosque, it said.

Neither Al Arabiya nor Al-Ekhbariya gave any further details.

Read more ....

More News On Saudi Security Forces Foiling An Attack On The Grand Mosque In Mecca

Five arrested after Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca -- Al Arabiya
Saudis 'foil suicide attack' on Mecca's Grand Mosque -- BBC
Saudi police 'foil Mecca Grand Mosque attack' -- Al Jazeera
Report: Saudis say purported terror attack on Mecca's Grand Mosque foiled -- USA Today
Saudis foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca -- CNN
Saudi security forces foil suicide bomb attack on Mecca's Grand Mosque -- The Telegraph.
Police foil 'terrorist action' in Mecca: state TV -- AFP
Saudi security forces foil Mecca terror plot -- DW
Bomber planning an attack on Grand Mosque blew himself up: Interior Ministry -- Reuters

Tonight's Movie Is 'A Twist Of Sand'



From Wikipedia: A Twist of Sand is a 1968 British adventure film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Richard Johnson, Jeremy Kemp, Honor Blackman and Peter Vaughan[1] based on the novel by Geoffrey Jenkins.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 23, 2017



Patrick Cockburn, The Independent: Isis may be leaderless and facing defeat in Mosul, but the jihadis will fight on

Terror group has always been able to take root and grow out of chaos and war – and will continue to wreak havoc around the world

The blowing up by Isis of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul marks a decisive defeat for the caliphate declared by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the same mosque three years ago. Isis will continue fighting as a guerrilla force, but it will be the end of a state once the size of Great Britain and fielding a military force more powerful than many members of the United Nations. Presumably Isis decided to destroy the ancient mosque and its famous minaret, a symbol of Mosul, to prevent the Iraqi security forces triumphantly raising the Iraqi flag over a place so closely associated with Isis.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 23, 2017

Is ISIS Conceding Defeat? -- Robin Wright, The New Yorker

When the Battle for Mosul Ends, the Fight for Iraq Begins -- Kawa Hassan, National Interest

Satellite Images Reveal Mosul's Cultural Destruction -- Kristin Romey, National Geographic

If Russia Wants the Syria Mess, Let Them Have It -- Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest

Instability and Salman's Nepotistic Power Play -- Paul Pillar, National Interest

Saudi Arabia and the United States Are on a Collision Course With Iran -- Ashish Kumar Sen, RCD/Atlantic Council

How long can Qatar’s economy withstand sanctions? -- Sami Moubayed, Asia Times

Ghost Cities, Demographic Lessons From Japan To China -- Kondo Daisuke, World Crunch

In China's far west the 'perfect police state' is emerging -- Tom Phillips, The Guardian

Here’s Why China’s Supposed Influence Over North Korea Is A Bluff -- Xander Snyder, Maulden Economics

North Korea Is No Place for U.S. Tourists -- Bloomberg editorial

America Is Now a ‘Second Tier’ Country -- Eric Roston, Bloomberg

Key Chavistas Abandon Maduro as Crisis Intensifies -- Andrew Rosati and Fabiola Zerpa, Bloomberg

How Amazon Could Dominate 3 Megatrends of the 21st Century -- Michael Hodin, The Fiscal Time

Where the World’s Wealthiest Spend Their Weekends -- James Tarmy, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- June 23, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Arab states issue ultimatum to Qatar: close Jazeera, curb ties with Iran

Four Arab states that imposed a boycott on Qatar have issued an ultimatum to Doha to close Al Jazeera television, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish base and pay reparations, demands so far reaching it would appear to be hard for Doha to comply.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have sent a 13-point list of demands apparently aimed at dismantling their tiny but wealthy neighbor's two decade-old interventionist foreign policy which has incensed them.

Qatar did not immediately comment, but Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani had said on Monday Qatar would not negotiate with the four states until economic, diplomatic and travel ties cut this month were restored.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere.

Iraq PM: Mosul liberation to be announced in few days.

Bomber sows death among civilians fleeing Mosul.

Syria hotline for US and Russia still in use: US.

Damascus-allied militia advances into Deir al-Zor province: Syrian Observatory.

Raqqa: The desperate fight for Islamic State group's 'capital'.

Russian warships fire Kalibr cruise missiles, destroy IS arms depots in Syria. Russian warships & sub launch cruise missile attack on ISIS targets in Syria (VIDEO).

Gulf crisis: Qatar's neighbors issue ultimatum, call for Al-Jazeera shutdown.

UAE says will not back down in dispute if Qatar declines to cooperate.

Turkey dismisses demand to close Qatar military base.

White House dubs Gulf crisis 'a family issue'.

Iran nuclear chief urges West to save historic deal.

Yemen cholera cases could jump to 300,000 by September: UN.

ASIA

Separate blasts kill 40 in Pakistan: police. 40 people killed in bomb, gun attacks in 3 Pakistani cities. Twin blasts kill dozens in Parachinar market. Pakistan bombings kill several in Quetta and Parachinar.

Afghanistan: Taliban leader wants US and NATO troops out.

Australia to send spy planes to help Philippines fight militants.

Philippine army struggles to dislodge Maute fighters from Marawi.

North Korea says U.S. student's death a 'mystery to us as well'.

Moon: South Korea must be able to 'dominate' Pyongyang.

Poll: Most South Koreans support inter-Korean dialogue.

North Korea to discuss co-hosting 2018 Olympic Games.

Japan politician: North Koreans should be 'starved to death' for threats.

Key lawmaker wants US to defriend Pakistan.

Otto Warmbier: North Korea denies mistreating US student.

Former Khmer Rouge leader denies role in Cambodian genocide.

AFRICA

Nigeria sends in troops, police after ethnic clashes.

U.N. begins investigation of Congo killings.

EU states slammed for lack of support to Africa fund.

EU leaders boost support for Libya to halt migrant exodus.

South Sudan forces purged villages in oil region, group says.


Somali pirates target ships in the Indian Ocean.

Congo peacekeepers exit CAR mission after sex abuse charges.

Chagos legal status sent to international court by UN.

Zimbabwe VP pledges 'free and fair' election in 2018.

Food aid dwindling in world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.

EUROPE

EU will restrict visas for states not taking back migrants.

France's Macron, eastern Europeans try to mend fences.

German police brace for violent protests at G20 summit.

Brexit: EU leaders says UK offer could 'worsen situation'. Skepticism in Brussels over Britain's post-Brexit promise for EU citizens.

EU moves to boost military cooperation.

Alexei Navalny barred from Russia presidential poll.

Ukrainian president leaves Washington buoyed by Trump's support.

France's Macron puts national security at heart of foreign policy.

London police consider manslaughter over Grenfell Tower fire.

Sicily's cornered Mafia primed for reversal of fortune.

AMERICAS

White House spokesman does not rule out Trump-Putin July meeting in Germany.

Trump casts doubt on Russia investigator Mueller.

Trump suggests he was trying to keep FBI director honest.

US Senate healthcare bill suffers swift blow as four GOP senators voice opposition.

Supreme Court could reveal action on travel ban at any time.

Slain Venezuelan protester's father appeals to 'friend' Maduro.

One killed as Venezuelan troops fire on protesters.

May was Mexico's deadliest month on record with 2,186 homicides.

Mexican president denies spying on journalists, lawyers and activists.

Peru's PM to double as finance minister after no-confidence vote.

Peru's president eyes pardon for Fujimori after political blow.

United States suspends all Brazilian meat imports.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

U.S.-led coalition unsure if Islamic State's Baghdadi dead or alive.

Islamic State: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia pledge to thwart penetration of South-East Asia.

If Baghdadi death confirmed, next IS leader likely to be Saddam-era officer.

Hamza bin Laden, Osama's son, is helping Al-Qaeda stage a deadly comeback.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Tech, energy shares lift Wall Street.

Airbus sells 73 planes to two Iranian carriers.

Troubled Toshiba flags deeper losses.

EU promises tough line on U.S., China while pushing for free trade.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates June 23, 2017



Al Jazeera: Iraq PM: Mosul liberation to be announced in a few days

Al-Abadi made the announcement as government troops were pushing into Bab al-Beed neighbourhood in Mosul's Old City.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that the "liberation" of the city of Mosul from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL - also known as ISIS) will be announced in a few days.

"It's a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul," Abadi told reporters on Thursday, according to Baghdad-based Sumaria TV.

The announcement came as Iraqi forces were continuing the fight against ISIL fighters in their last stronghold in western Mosul, the city's old town.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video is a must see.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates June 23, 2017

Iraqi forces battle toward heart of Mosul's Old City -- Reuters
Islamic State make a last stand in Mosul's Old City amid intense fighting -- SKY News
Deep in Mosul, US forces help Iraqis fight the jihadists -- The Australian/AFP
ISIS Holdouts Cut Off in Western Mosul, OIR Spokesman Says -- US Department of Defense
Mosul’s 800-year-old Great Mosque of al-Nuri destroyed as Iraqi troops close in on ISIS -- Yahoo News
Watch: ISIS blows up historic mosque in Mosul -- Washington Examiner
Anger in Mosul as Islamic State destroys historic mosque -- New York Daily News
Bomber sows death among civilians fleeing Mosul -- AFP
Hell on earth: Mosul civilians flee as IS makes last stand -- Middle East Monitor
Iraqi PM: Complete control over Mosul in the coming days -- RUDAW
Mosul to be liberated in a few days, says Iraqi PM -- TRT
After Mosul: The Iraqi towns still under IS control -- BBC

U.S. Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Defiant On Criticism From Fellow Democrats



Politico: Pelosi's Democratic critics plot to replace her

A dozen unhappy House Democrats met Thursday afternoon to discuss if — and how — they can replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi as minority leader.

Led by Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), at least some in the group believe Pelosi has to go in order for Democrats to have a chance to win the House back in Nov. 2018. Ryan unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for party leader back in November.

“There are many more people today, even from November, who are much more vocal, who have approached us and said, ‘I’m done. We need to move forward and we need to get a new leadership team in place,” Rice said after the hour-long meeting.

“There is a consensus, I think, that we can reach in the caucus that allows for a new leadership team to be put in place in a time that’s well before, hopefully, November of next year.”

But despite the renewed noise surrounding Pelosi’s leadership, no one within the caucus has stepped forward to challenge her and an actual coup against the long-time leader is still a long shot.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I think the Democrat Party is more worried about this (and they are blaming Nancy Pelosi for it) .... Democrats Raise Paltry $4.3 Million In Worst May Total Since 2003 (Zero Hedge). But even with all of these "rumblings", I doubt that the Party is going to replace her. The way I see it .... the Republicans have Senator McCain, and the Democrats have Nancy Pelosi.

Update: Why am I not surprised .... President Trump has to jump-in .... 'It would be a very, very sad day for Republicans' if Nancy Pelosi steps down, Trump says (CNBC).

U.S. Senate Launches Probe Into Former Attorney General Lynch's Actions On The Clinton Email Investigation



Washington Times: Senate announces probe of Loretta Lynch behavior in 2016 election

The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s efforts to shape the FBI’s investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the committee’s chairman announced Friday.

In a letter to Ms. Lynch, the committee asks her to detail the depths of her involvement in the FBI’s investigation, including whether she ever assured Clinton confidantes that the probe wouldn’t “push too deeply into the matter.”

Fired FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly that Ms. Lynch tried to shape the way he talked about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and he also hinted at other behavior “which I cannot talk about yet” that made him worried about Ms. Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This could lead to nothing .... or something big. Either way it will be something that this blog will be covering.

More News On The U.S. Senate Launching A Probe Into Former Attorney General Lynch's Actions On The Clinton Email Investigation

Senate probes Loretta Lynch's alleged interference in Clinton email investigation -- ABC News
Senate Investigates Loretta Lynch’s Conduct During Clinton Email Probe -- NBC
Grassley, Feinstein want answers from Loretta Lynch -- Politico
Senators are investigating former AG Loretta Lynch for political interference -- CBS
Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference -- The Hill
Judiciary committee asks Lynch to disclose Clinton email conversations -- CNN
Senate Judiciary Panel to Probe Loretta Lynch’s Involvement in Clinton Email Investigation -- Washington Free Beacon

President Trump: I Am 'Bothered' By The Close Friendship Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller And Former FBI Director Comey



FOX News: Trump says Comey-Mueller friendship 'bothersome'

President Trump on Friday called the investigation into allegations of Russia collusion and claims he obstructed justice “ridiculous” while saying special counsel Robert Mueller’s friendship with fired FBI Director James Comey “is very bothersome,” during a wide-ranging interview on “Fox & Friends” that also touched on his stalled legislative agenda and the health care debate.

“Robert Mueller is an honorable man and hopefully he’ll come up with an honorable conclusion,” Trump said, though he noted that Mueller and Comey were “very, very good friends” and also criticized the makeup of Mueller’s growing team of attorneys involved in the investigation.

“I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton,” Trump said. “I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Trump's concerns are valid .... and this blog has also mentioned it a few times .... how can a friend investigate a friend? Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a personal friend of former FBI Director Copmey who is now in the center of this investigation .... so how can Robert Mueller investigate him? I still have not gotten an answer on this one .... and the media is certainly not dwelling on it.

Update: WH says Trump has 'no intention' of firing Mueller, despite criticism (The Hill)

More News On President Trump Remarks That He Is 'Bothered' By The Close Friendship Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller And Former FBI Director Comey

Trump questions special counsel Mueller's objectivity -- The Hill
Trump: 'Bothersome' that special counsel Robert Mueller is 'very, very good friends with Comey' -- ABC News
Trump Says Mueller’s Friendship With Comey Is ‘Very Bothersome’ -- NBC
Trump calls Mueller-Comey relationship ‘very bothersome’ -- Politico
Trump questions impartiality of Russia investigation chief Robert Mueller -- The Guardian
Trump: 'We'll have to see' if Robert Mueller should step down from Russia investigation -- USA Today
Trump says ‘we’ll have to see’ if Mueller should step down from Russia probe -- Washington Post
Trump casts doubt on Russia investigator Mueller -- BBC

Thunderbird F-16 Has Flipped And Crashed At Dayton Air Show Practice

A Thunderbird flipped at the Dayton international airport on Friday, June 23. Ty Greenlees/Staff Photographer

WHIO: Thunderbird F-16 plane flips on its top at Dayton Air Show

One pilot has reportedly been extricated and crews are working to extricate a second pilot.

Toni Bankston, spokeswoman for city of Dayton issued a statement: “The City of Dayton is confirming an aircraft accident involving one of the acts scheduled to appear at the Vectren Dayton Airshow this weekend. There were 2 people on board. Airport Fire and Rescue are providing assistance at the scene. The airport is open.”

Read more ....

Update #1: Thunderbird F-16 plane flips on its top at Ohio air show (Kiro7)
Update #2: Thunderbird F-16 crashes, flips at Dayton Air Show practice (RT)

Washington Post: President Obama Authorised The Deployment Of Cyber 'Bombs' In Russia's Infrastructure



Yahoo News: Obama approved ‘cyber weapons’ in response to Russian attacks: report

In its final months, the Obama administration debated dozens of options to punish Russia for its cyber campaign to disrupt U.S. democracy, according to a new report.

The Washington Post published a deeply sourced article Friday morning on former President Barack Obama’s secret campaign to make Moscow pay for attempting to influence and discredit last year’s presidential election.

Last August, Obama received a report from the CIA that Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out specific instructions to damage or defeat then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help elect Trump, according to the Post.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No reaction from the Russian press or the Kremlin on this story. But here is an easy prediction .... there is going to be one very soon.

More News On President Obama Authorising The Deployed Of Cyber 'Bombs' In Russia's Infrastructure

Report: Obama ordered cyber 'implants' for Russian network in response to hacking -- USA Today
Obama reportedly approved 'cyberweapons' against Russian infrastructure before leaving office -- CNBC
Obama authorized deployment of cyber weapons against Russia over election meddling: Report -- Washington Times
Obama Authorized Cyberstrikes Against Russia Through Secret Program That Continues Under Trump -- Gizmodo
Obama Ordered 'Cyberbombs' in Response to Russian Hacking: Report -- Newsweek

An Inside Look At How The Obama Administration Handled Attempts By Russia To Influence The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election



Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous, Washington Post: Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above Washington Post is one very very very long read. Did I learn anything new .... with the exception of President Obama ordering cyber weapons be deployed within Russia's infrastructure (see next post) .... nothing else is new to me. Putin wanting Clinton to lose .... I pointed that out and explained why numerous times. Wikileaks and other sources leaking out the inner workings of the Democrat Party, Podesta's emails, and how the Democrat Party establishment moved to block Senator Sanders .... covered that too. Fake news/bots/etc. .... covered that also .... and no .... I do not believe that in the end it significantly influenced the election. There is a Putin memo on this operation in the hands of U.S. intel .... hmmmm .... I doubt it. Bottom line .... and I think it is around page 25 or 26 .... there is an admission in the Washington Post story that on election day no votes were missed and or vote count altered .... and that is all that I need to know.

Update
: Someone just asked me if this Washington Post article paints an unflattering look at President Obama. Hmmmm .... yes and no. When you start reading the article you begin to realise that President Obama and his aides were unsure on how to respond .... in short .... they appear to be paralysed over their lack of options. But in the end .... President Obama did order the deployment of cyber bombs within Russia's infrastructure.

More News On The Washington Post's Look At How The Obama Administration Handled Attempts By Russia To Influence The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Vladimir Putin gave direct instructions to help elect Trump, report says -- CBS
Obama official: We 'choked' on Russia response: report -- The Hill
New details of Russia election hacking raise questions about Obama's response -- The Guardian
Putin 'PERSONALLY ordered election hacks to help Trump win and the CIA knew about it in August', claim the latest leaks about Russia probe -- Daily Mail
WaPo: Obama admin 'choked' on Russia, former official says -- CNN
Vladimir Putin ordered Russian hackers to help elect Donald Trump, says explosive new report -- The Independent
Report: Obama didn't act strongly against Russian election hacking because he assumed Clinton would win -- Business Insider
Eye-Popping WaPo Report Explains Why Obama’s Retaliation Against Putin Was So Weak -- Osita Nwanevu, Slate
The emerging timeline of Obama and Russia that is giving Democrats heartburn -- Washington Post

U.S. Air Force Releases Photos Of 'Unsafe' Russian Jet Intercept

© U.S. European Command

Daily Mail: Dramatic photos show the moment a US Air Force plane nearly collided with 'rapidly oncoming' Russian fighter jet over the Baltic Sea

* US European Command releases dramatic photos of Russian jet coming within a few feet of a US Air Force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea on Monday
* Photos show Russian Su-27 fighter jet coming close to the wing of the US RC-135U
* US said that while intercepts are common, this incident was 'unsafe' due to the 'high rate of closure speed and poor control' showed by the Russian pilot
* US-Russia tensions have been on the rise since American military shot down a Syrian fighter plane near Raqqa earlier this week
* On Wednesday, a Russian fighter plane chased off a NATO reconnaissance jet that 'buzzed' a plane carrying Russia's defense minister over the Baltic Sea

The US European Command on Friday released dramatic photos of a Russian jet coming within a few feet of a US Air Force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea on Monday in a maneuver that has been criticized as unsafe.

The photographs released Friday show the Russian SU-27 coming so close to the wing of the US RC-135U that the Russian pilot can be seen in the cockpit in some images.

Intercepts are common and are usually considered routine, but EUCOM said in this case on June 19 'due to the high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft during the intercept, this interaction was determined to be unsafe.'

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Russian press is reporting this increase in NATO-Russian aerial intercepts .... NATO-Russian Aerial Intercepts Intensify Amid Escalation in Europe (Sputnik)

More News On The U.S. Air Force Releasing Photos Of A Recent 'Unsafe' Russian Jet Intercept

US releases photos of ‘unsafe’ Russian jet intercept -- AP
Russian jet buzzes US recon jet: Pictures released of 'unsafe' incident -- FOX News
Photos show close encounter between armed Russian jet, U.S. warplane -- CBS
Photos show dramatic near miss of Russian and US jets in 'dangerous' interception over Baltic Sea -- The Telegraph
US releases photos showing ‘unsafe’ intercept by Russian jet over Baltic -- RT

Cargo Ship That Hit The USS Fitzgerald Was On Autopilot. U.S. Destroyer Did Not Detect The Container Ship Until It was Too Late

Heavy damage is pictured on the US Navy missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald after it collided with a cargo ship near Japan early on Saturday morning

Washington Free Beacon: Freighter Was On Autopilot When It Hit U.S. Destroyer

USS Fitzgerald did not detect container ship

The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials.

The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation.

Investigators so far found no evidence the collision was deliberate.

Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship's computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

A more likely explanation is that collision was the result of an autopilot malfunction, or the autopilot's warning signals, used to notify the ship's operators, were missed.

Read more ....

More News On The USS Fitzgerald Accident

Japanese cargo ship WAS on autopilot when it collided with the USS Fitzgerald - and five of the seven sailors who died in the crash were 'incapacitated' almost instantly -- Daily Mail
Cargo ship that hit US destroyer near Japan was on autopilot, data shows -- RT
Rear admiral to investigate Fitzgerald collision -- Navy Times/AP
Investigators obtain data recorder in USS Fitzgerald collision -- Stars and Stripes
Navy sailor sacrificed himself to save 20 lives after the USS Fitzgerald collision -- SOFREP
USS Fitzgerald sailors faced tough decision to close ship’s flooded section where seven crewmates died -- NYDaily News
How Could the Fitzgerald Collision Happen? -- Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics
These Are the Enormous Ships That Could Transport the USS Fitzgerald -- Popular Mechanics