Friday, March 23, 2018

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 23, 2018

CNBC: Here's what the $1.3 trillion defense-friendly spending bill looks like for the military

* Lawmakers unveiled a colossal $1.3 trillion spending bill that gives the Pentagon a hefty spending hike.
* House Speaker Paul Ryan called the legislation "the Trump-Jim Mattis budget."
* The Department of Defense will have a top line budget of $700 billion.

The military's massive funding hike just got a little bit closer to reality.

Congressional leaders unveiled a colossal government spending bill Wednesday night after striking an agreement on some major points of contention. In order to avoid the third government shutdown this year, lawmakers will now rush to pass the 2,200-page legislation by Friday's midnight deadline.

The $1.3 trillion omnibus offers the most significant increase in defense funding in the past 15 years, including a pay hike for personnel.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 23, 2018

Here's What the Military Gets in $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill --

US Lawmakers tout military pay raise in omnibus budget, but troops already have that money -- Military Times

Pentagon chief presses for end to Yemen war in meeting with Saudi prince -- Al-Monitor

US forces remain in Manbij, despite threats from Turkey -- Military Times

Mattis, Saudi leader discuss Taliban safe havens to support peace talks -- Military Times

US will have role in Afghan reconciliation with Taliban -- Military Times/AP

North Korean thaw continues as joint US-South Korea military drill is cut in half -- FOX News

US Navy challenges Beijing in the South China Sea amid trade war rumblings -- Business Insider/Reuters

Chinese navy to carry out combat drills in South China Sea -- Reuters

Russia’s Military Buildup: Is Vladimir Putin Bluffing? -- David Brennan, Newsweek

Saudi Arabia says F-15 survived SAM hit over Yemen -- Jane's 360

Amnesty International slams Western arms sales to Saudi Arabia and allies in Yemen war -- DW

Afghan army faulted for sloppiness with blood-type testing -- ABC News/AP

These three German drones are worth watching -- Defense News

The UK Has Spent Nearly 15 Years Developing Watchkeeper Drones It Says Aren't Safe to Fly -- The Warzone/The Drive

Royal Navy Will Retrofit Type 45 Destroyers To Keep Them From Breaking Down -- The Warzone/The Drive

France meets A400M milestone early -- Defense News

State Department approves arms sales to Saudi Arabia -- Defense News

Army holds its first comprehensive live-fire drills on Okinawa in a decade -- Stars and Stripes

Fight to Hawaii: How the U.S. Navy is Training Carrier Strike Groups for Future War -- USNI News

The Best Of The USMC's Aging F/A-18 Hornets To Receive Lethal Radar Upgrade -- The Warzone/The Drive

The Navy's Super Hornets Are Getting an Upgrade -- Popular Mechanics

Navy to Congress: Columbia-class Submarine Program Still on Schedule with Little Margin for Error -- USNI News

US Army to demo precision strike, hypersonics, ramjet capabilities in just a few years -- Defense News

US Army successfully demos laser weapon on Stryker in Europe -- Defense News

Lockheed Is Proposing a Major 'Triple Intelligence' Upgrade for the U-2 Spy Plane -- The Warzone/The Drive

Laser weapon for KC-135 ‘still in the infancy stage’ -- Defense News

Congress directs Army to conduct light vehicle competition in FY18 spending bill -- Defense News

Air Force "Hardens" Satellites to Prepare for Space War (Think Russia or China) -- National Interest

McMaster, Leaving White House Post, Will Retire From Army This Summer -- VOA

Trump to decide Friday on new policy for transgender troops, likely limiting their service -- USA Today

Obama-era sequester decimated U.S. military; Air Force short 2,000 pilots: report -- Washington Times

Coast Guard cutter, 49, shows its age: 35 breakdowns in 19 days -- WorkBoat

After a combined 21 years of service, these military working dogs got the sendoff they deserve -- Air Force Times

The USS Juneau Famous For Loss Of The Sullivan Brothers Has Been Found

Navy Times: Sunken ship of legendary Sullivan brothers discovered nearly 3 miles beneath the surface

The USS Juneau (CL-52) was struck by two Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942, the second of which is believed to have struck the weapons magazine, sparking a massive explosion that ripped the Atlanta-class light cruiser in half, sinking it in only 30 seconds and killing hundreds instantly.

A total of 687 men from the Atlanta-class light cruiser died in the attack, including all five Sullivan brothers, whose name has since been given to two Navy warships, most recently the guided missile destroyer The Sullivans (DDG-68). The first, which served during World War II and the Korean War, is now a museum ship in Buffalo, New York.

Read more ....

Update: This follows the discovery of the USS Lexington .... Paul Allen team locates another long lost warship as USS Lexington is found 76 years after sinking (GeekWire)

WNU Editor: The movie "The Fighting Sullivans" will be posted tonight at 20:00 EST.

A Review Of The F-35

F-35. Flickr

Dan Grazier, National Interest: F-35: Is America's Most Expensive Weapon of War the Ultimate Failure?

Jim Roche, then-Secretary of the Air Force, made an announcement on October 26, 2001, that all aviation enthusiasts had been waiting for: a winner had been picked to design and build the Joint Strike Fighter. The American people were assured the new jet would enter service in 2008 and be a high-performance replacement for the military’s aging airframes while only costing between $40 million and $50 million.

The F-35 has now entered an unprecedented seventeenth year of continuing redesign, test deficiencies, fixes, schedule slippages, and cost overruns. And it’s still not at the finish line. Numerous missteps along the way—from the fact that the two competing contractors, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, submitted “flyoff” planes that were crude and undeveloped “technology demonstrators” rather than following the better practice of submitting fully functional prototypes, to concurrent acquisition malpractice that has prevented design flaws from being discovered until after production models were built—have led to where we are now.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A comprehensive look at the F-35 program (Hint: It is not pretty).

What to Expect From National Security Adviser John Bolton

Michael Green, The Interpreter: What to Expect From John Bolton at the White House

President Donald Trump’s announcement that former UN Ambassador John Bolton will be the new U.S. National Security Advisor will send tremors through some allied capitals. But Bolton may not be effective in the role if he reverts to the aggressive and ideological approaches that made him the darling of the right and the President in the first place.

For one thing, the National Security Advisor’s position has no standing in statute (the 1947 National Security Act only authorized the position of Executive Secretary to the National Security Council). The most effective National Security Advisors, such as Brent Scowcroft, therefore required the trust of the President and the actual statutory members of the NSC (Secretaries of State and Defense, et al.).

Read more ....

WNU Editor: John Bolton would not have been on my list for this position .... he does not strike me as a consensus type of person. But after one year in office President Trump is now surrounding himself with people that he knows are loyal to him, that he feels comfortable working with, and that will implement his agenda without him telling them to do so. As for John Bolton's appointment .... having a neoconservative in this position does not make me feel comfortable. But he will be one of many voices in the administration, and I am sure that the National Security Council will adjust.

Is The F-35 Invisible?

The Warzone/The Drive: 'Marillyn Lockheed' Tells President Trump The F-35 'Absolutely' Is Invisible

Yet again, Lockheed Martin's CEO Marillyn Hewson told the president exactly what he wanted to hear and that's not a good thing.

Yet again, President Donald Trump has offered evidence that he may think Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is literally invisible. What’s worse, the firm’s top executive, Marillyn Hewson, agreed with his remarks and made no attempt to correct him at a time when her company finds itself in increasingly acrimonious negotiations with the U.S. military over the stealth fighter’s costs.

The comments came after Trump signed a presidential memo on March 22, 2018, calling for tariffs and other trade measures against China, which could impact up to $60 billion worth of goods that country exports to the United States each year. Before, during, and since the 2016 presidential election, Trump has repeatedly criticized Chinese trade practices and theft of private intellectual property, which experts believe includes industrial espionage and scooping up data on sensitive military technology. Hewson was on hand for the signing and press conference afterwards, which prompted the president to introduce her – as “Marillyn Lockheed,” with particularly heavy stress on Lockheed – and make the comments about the F-35.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: For those who think President Trump is a "moron" .... they are convinced that the President believes that the F-35 can actually become "invisible". For those who think otherwise .... believe he is referring to its stealth abilities. It all comes down to one's political beliefs. Now calling Lockheed Martin's CEO Marillyn Hewson "Marillyn Lockheed" .... I found that to be hilarious, because she certainly has brought a lot of business to Lockheed Martin.

The U.S. Army Wants A Deployable Railgun

The Warzone/The Drive: U.S. Army Forges Ahead With Its Railgun As Navy's Commitment To The Tech Is Questioned

The Navy may have been the loudest about its railgun dreams, but the Army is quietly moving ahead with turning the tech into something deployable.

There have been largely unfounded claims that the Navy is 'abandoning' what was once its most high-profile future weapons technology, the electromagnetic railgun. But even though the Navy's railgun program continues, it still exists largely in a primordial research and development state. Meanwhile China shocked the world by moving forward with fielding its own prototype railgun for shipboard testing. But the U.S. Army, with the help of the Pentagon's Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC), is quietly aiming to move General Atomics' scalable "Blizter" railgun concept into a semi-operational state.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  I always thought that it was going to be the Navy that would be the first to deploy a railgun. Apparently not.

Is Lone DNC Hacker’ Guccifer 2.0 A Russian GRU Intelligence Agent?

Spencer Ackerman & Kevin Poulsen, Daily Beast: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lone DNC Hacker’ Guccifer 2.0 Slipped Up and Revealed He Was a Russian Intelligence Officer

Robert Mueller’s team has taken over the investigation of Guccifer 2.0, who communicated with (and was defended by) longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.

Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft.

That forensic determination has substantial implications for the criminal probe into potential collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia. The Daily Beast has learned that the special counsel in that investigation, Robert Mueller, has taken over the probe into Guccifer and brought the FBI agents who worked to track the persona onto his team.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The hack of the DNC server .... and the subsequent release of documents coupled with the release of John Podesta's emails .... is IMHO one of the main reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the campaign. The revelation that the primaries were rigged to help her win hurt her standing among the Bernie Sanders supporters, and my gut tells me that it helped to suppress that vote on election day. But is Guccifer 2.0 a GRU Intelligence agent? Spencer Ackerman & Kevin Poulsen are reporting  that because of one IP address and some other intel the U.S. intelligence community has come to the consensus that there is a very good chance that Russian military intelligence was involved in the DNC hack. One IP address linked to a website on a social media platform???? As for the rest of the article .... a lot of speculation and anonymous sources.

Japan Is Talking To North Korea

Asia Times: Japan in diplomatic contact with North Korea through Beijing embassy

Is Tokyo warming to Pyongyang?

The Japanese government has disclosed that it’s been “exchanging views” with North Korea ahead of planned summits between North Korea, the US and South Korea, according to UPI.

The development is viewed as a sign that Tokyo, which has expressed skepticism about Pyongyang’s intentions in improving diplomatic ties, is also interested in detente with North Korea.

“In a rare admission regarding Tokyo’s engagement with Pyongyang, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan has been in “various ways, exchanging views with North Korea,” UPI said, picking up a report from South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Thursday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are two reasons for Japan's outreach. (1) Wanting to know the fate of Japanese citizens that were kidnapped by the North Koreans years ago. (2) Leaving a door open for detente.

Tweets For Today

A Look At The Mercenaries Who Are Serving Putin In Syria

Putin, Assad and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu inspect a military parade during their visit to the Russian air base in Hmeimim in the northwestern Syrian province of Latakia

AFP: 'Wagner Group': the mercenaries serving Putin in Syria

The deaths of several members of the so-called "Wagner Group" in Syria last month shone a light on Russian President Vladimir Putin's mysterious private army Moscow is using there.

Questions had already been raised on its role in the Syrian conflict and intensified when Washington said on February 7 it had killed at least 100 pro-regime troops in Deir ez-Zor.

After days of silence, Moscow acknowledged five Russian nationals were killed and "dozens" wounded in the attack, saying they all were in Syria "on their own initiative."

Various media outlets have reported up to 200 fatalities and the group of Russian investigative bloggers known as the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) has established the identities of dozens of them -- all members of the Wagner Group.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This group make everyone uncomfortable in Russia .... they are in every sense mercenaries where no one is held accountable.

Picture Of The Day

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft blasts off. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Blasting into space (Reuters)

What Is Left Of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party?

Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, 1995 (Reuters)

Al Jazeera: Saddam's party: What's left today

US invaded Iraq on the pretext it possessed weapons of mass destruction.

In March 2003, the US invaded oil-rich Iraq to topple the government of Saddam Hussein on the pretext of links to al-Qaeda and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

After the invasion the country descended into chaos and conflict as rival groups, foreign powers and political parties fight for power.

Amid all this, here is what has become of Saddam's family and former ruling party members:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Iraq of today is certainly not the Iraq that existed 16 years ago. Not even close.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

UN & EU Report: 124 million People Threatened By Famine

124 million people threatened by famine

AFP: UN and EU say food insecurity worsens as conflicts rage

The food security of around 124 million people worldwide was under acute threat at the end of last year, mostly because of worsening conflicts and drought, the UN and EU said Thursday.

The worst food crises in 2017 were in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan, "where nearly 32 million people were food-insecure and in need of urgent assistance", the two organisations said in an annual report on food crises.

"Conflicts and climate-related shocks have recently sent levels of world hunger marching back up, following decades of steady decline."

The figure of 124 million is 15 percent higher than the number in 2016.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: South Africa is on the list of being a country that is at risk of "food insecurity", but the government is still hell-bent on doing this .... South African President Says That There Will Be 'No Smash And Grab' Land Reform Even Though He Just Voted For It (March 2, 2018).

Peace Talks Is In Everyone's Interest In Afghanistan

U.S. Army 1st Lt. David T. Broyles watches as his men leave Observation Post Rocky with Afghan National Army Soldiers in Kunar province, Afghanistan, July 19, 2010. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte

Vikram J. Singh, Foreign Affairs: Why Peace Talks Are Washington's Best Bet in Afghanistan

The U.S. Can't Continue Down the Same Failed Path

Every day, 15,000 U.S. forces deployed in Afghanistan fight Washington’s longest war. In 2018, their mission will cost Americans $45 billion in defense spending alone, almost enough to build U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico twice. Trump, who had campaigned on getting the United States out of Afghanistan, was well positioned to change course. Instead, he sent more troops to pursue a military victory that will never come.

U.S. leaders suffer from strategic paralysis over this war. In 16 long years of fighting, Washington’s core aims have not changed: to disrupt and degrade terrorist groups and to prevent them from rebuilding an unchallenged sanctuary in the region. The method to pursue these objectives has also been constant: direct military action against extremist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with aid to both countries to build their security and governance capacity. Yet under three U.S. presidents, at every level of effort, the outcome has been a military stalemate. As of late February, maintaining this stalemate had claimed the lives of almost 2,300 American service members and cost between $1 trillion and $2 trillion.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Ending the war in Afghanistan is everyone's interest .... but is also obvious that there are many who are not interested in ending this conflict. Hence the war continues .... and speaking for myself .... it probably will be the case for the next few decades.

Pentagon Spokesman: U.S. Military OK With The Taliban Residing In Pakistan

Bill Roggio, Long War Journal: U.S. Military Will Not Pursue Taliban Into Pakistan

A Pentagon spokesman said that the U.S. military will not conduct hot pursuit of Taliban and allied jihadist fighters from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Additionally, the spokesman said that the military would be fine if the Taliban was operating on the Pakistani side of the border.

“We have no authority to go into Pakistan,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews told Pajhwok Afghan News. U.S. forces could ask for authority to chase Taliban fighters as they cross the border into Pakistan, but approval for such action “would certainly be the exception and not the norm,” he continued.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Pentagon spokesman is claiming that the U.S. can accept the Taliban presence in Pakistan as long as Afghanistan is secure ....

.... the U.S. military can accept the Taliban presence inside Pakistan just as long as Afghanistan was secured.

The problem is that the Taliban do not stay put in Pakistan, and Afghanistan is far from secure.

President Trump Has Fired His National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. John Bolton Will Be His Replacement

Daily Mail: BREAKING NEWS: Trump FIRES his national security advisor H.R. McMaster and brings in Bush's U.N. ambassador John Bolton in another White House shake-up

* Trump's second national security advisor, three-star Army general H.R. McMaster is finally out after months of speculation
* John Bolton, a hawkish conservative who was George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations will replace him April 9
* Trump called McMaster, whom he has clashed with repeatedly 'a friend' and said: he as 'very thankful' for his service
* Bolton is the son of a Baltimore firefighter who's known in Washington for his brush-like moustache and his curmudgeonly Fox News Channel appearances
* He is a fierce opponent of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal but a cheerleader for Bush's Iraq war – which Trump has called a waste of blood and treasure
* Bolton's afternoon visit to the West Wing on Thursday was followed by a flurry of activity as press aides drafted statements and Trump was delayed a half-hour from a scheduled speech in the East Room

President Donald Trump will replace National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster with John Bolton on April 9, the White House announced late Thursday.

Bolton, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is a hawkish conservative with a pugnacious streak – and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.

He is also a fierce opponent of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.

At one time a vacillating potential presidential candidate, the curmudgeonly Bolton will be the third person to be Trump's chief national security aide in his 14-month presidency.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Was this the final reason for the firing? ..... Who Leaked President Trump's Briefing Papers To The Press? (March 21, 2018). And so much for the promise last week from Chief of Staff Kelly that everyone's job in the White House was safe .... Kelly Tells White House Staff Their Jobs Are Safe (Bloomberg).

More News On President Trump Firing His National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster

HR McMaster replaced by John Bolton as national security adviser — live updates -- CBS
McMaster out, Bolton in as Trump’s national security adviser -- AP
Trump ousts McMaster, taps Bolton as national security adviser -- Reuters
McMaster to Resign as National Security Adviser, and Will Be Replaced by John Bolton -- NYTimes
John Bolton to replace HR McMaster as national security adviser -- Politico
Gen. HR McMaster resigning as national security adviser -- ABC News
Trump replaces HR McMaster as national security adviser with John Bolton -- CNN

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 22, 2018

Justin Worland, Time: Trump's New Tariff on China Sparks Fears of a Trade War

President Trump announced steps to institute new tariffs and penalties to crack down on China’s intellectual property practices as concerns grow that a recent spate of trade actions could launch a global trade war.

“We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on, which likewise is hundreds of billions of dollars,” Trump said before signing a directive for the U.S. Trade Representative to assess tariffs.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 22, 2018

Trump’s $60 billion tariffs on China are his biggest — and riskiest — trade move yet -- Zeeshan Aleem, VOX

Is Trump Playing Into Xi's Hands? -- Michael Schuman, Bloomberg

The story behind Israel's secret strike on Syria's nuclear reactor -- Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor

Has IDF Intelligence learned the lessons from the Syrian reactor strike? -- Eli Ben Meir, Jerusalem Post

In Mideast, democracy struggles to take root -- Dan Perry, AP

Saudi Fragility, and Why MbS Is No Ataturk -- Paul R. Pillar, National Interest

Pakistan Is Feeling US Pressure. Now What? -- Daniel Markey, Cipher Brief

India’s most vital hub city isn’t in India -- Afshin Molavi, Reuters

How Trump Can Separate North Korea From Its Nukes -- Joseph DeTrani, Cipher Brief

Confident Kim -- Rod Lyon, The Strategist

Gaddafi’s ghost haunts walking-dead King Sarko -- Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Overlooked in Putin's Reelection: The Kremlin's Challenge Is From The Left -- Paul Roderick Gregory, Forbes

If Russia Is Blackmailing Trump, Tell Investigators, Not MSNBC -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg

Antigua and Barbuda’s strange election -- The Economist

Under fire in US, Cambridge Analytica looks to Asia -- Alan Boyd, Asia Times

World News Briefs -- March 22, 2018 (Evening Edition)

BBC: Trump announces $60bn in China tariffs

The US plans to impose tariffs on up to $60bn (£42.5bn) in Chinese goods and limit the country's investment in the US in retaliation for years of alleged intellectual property theft.

The White House said the actions were necessary to counter unfair competition from China's state-led economy.

It said years of talks had failed to produce change. China said it was ready to retaliate with "necessary measures".

Beijing also said it would "fight to the end" in any trade war with the US.

Read more ....


Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis. Mattis tells Saudi leader of urgent need to find end to Yemen war.

Assad mum on new Israeli disclosures regarding 2007 attack on Syrian reactor.

Syria rebels depart eastern Ghouta town on government buses in first surrender.

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 'would fight to the end' in any U.S.-launched trade war: embassy.

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

South Korea ex-president Lee detained on graft charges.

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.


UN warns of 'catastrophic' aid crisis in DR Congo.

At least 14 killed in Mogadishu car bombing.

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.


'No plausible explanation other than that the Russian state was responsible' for Salisbury nerve agent attack says No10 as Theresa May updates Macron and Merkel on 'reckless' crime.

‘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.


Trump orders huge tariffs on China, raises trade war worries.

House sends $1.3 trillion spending bill to Senate as Friday deadline looms.

US quietly dropped assault charges against 11 Erdogan bodyguards.

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’.

'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.


US blacklists mystery French chemical terrorist.

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre.

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.


Stocks dive on trade war fears after China sanctions. Stocks tumble to worst day in six weeks after Trump tariff action.

US music sales hit decade high as streaming soars.

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.