Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tweet For Today

North Korea Fires Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Into The East Sea



Reuters: North Korea fires submarine-launched ballistic missile towards Japan

A North Korean submarine fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (311 miles) toward Japan, a show of improving technological capability for the isolated country that has conducted a series of launches in defiance of UN sanctions.

The missile was fired at around 5:30 a.m. (2030 GMT) from near the coastal city of Sinpo, where satellite imagery shows a submarine base is located, officials at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defence Ministry told Reuters.

The projectile reached Japan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the first time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a briefing, referring to an area of control designated by countries to help maintain air security.

Read more ....

More News On North Korea Test-Firing A Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Into The East Sea

Seoul: North Korea fires submarine-launched missile -- AP
North Korea submarine fires ballistic missile -- BBC
North Korea Shows Progress With Fresh Missile Test -- Wall Street Journal
North Korea test fires ballistic missile from sub -- CNN
North Korea Test-fires Sub-launched Missile -- VOA
North Korea launches ballistic missile from submarine -- DW
N. Korea launches ballistic missile from submarine amid US-Seoul drills -- RT
Japan condemns North Korea's submarine missile launch as 'unforgivable' -- The Guardian
Japan, China, S. Korea Ministers Slam N. Korea Missile Test -- New York Times/AP

Picture Of The Day

Night-Vision Look
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Login Loftis fires an M240 medium machine gun as Lance Cpl. Krikland Harrington looks through a night-vision device during Integrated Training Exercise 5-16 at Marine Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms Calif., Aug. 18, 2016. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Valero

Twenty Years Ago Osama Bin Laden Declared War Against The U.S.

Osama Bin Laden

Dominic Tierney, The Atlantic: The Twenty Years’ War

Two decades ago, Osama bin Laden officially launched al-Qaeda’s struggle against the United States. Neither side has won.

Exactly two decades ago, on August 23, 1996, Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States. At the time, few people paid much attention. But it was the start of what’s now the Twenty Years’ War between the United States and al-Qaeda—a conflict that both sides have ultimately lost.

During the 1980s, bin Laden fought alongside the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. After the Soviets withdrew, he went home to Saudi Arabia, then moved to Sudan before being expelled and returning to Afghanistan in 1996 to live under Taliban protection. Within a few months of his arrival, he issued a 30-page fatwa, “Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places,” which was published in a London-based newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, and faxed to supporters around the world. It was bin Laden’s first public call for a global jihad against the United States. In a rambling text, bin Laden opined on Islamic history, celebrated recent attacks against U.S. forces in Lebanon and Somalia, and recounted a multitude of grievances against the United States, Israel, and their allies. “The people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Jewish-Christian alliance and their collaborators,” he wrote.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I cannot help but feel that people who are being born today will be fighting this war 20 years from now .... and that we will not even be close to seeing a "light at the end of the tunnel" by then. A new strategy screams to be found .... but the current political players do not appear to be capable or willing to offer any solution to this mess that now consumes the lives of literally hundreds of millions of people.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Visits Turkey



Reuters: With Biden visit, U.S. seeks balance with truculent Turkey

When U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey in January, he struck a difficult balance between showing support for a NATO ally faced with multiple security threats while criticizing its record on free speech and dissent.

Now, with relations between Washington and Ankara going through one of their testiest periods in recent memory, he may find it even tougher to get those dual messages across when he visits on Wednesday.

Biden will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Turkey since the failed July 15 coup, when a group of rogue soldiers tried to overthrow the government and killed at least 240 people.

Turkey says the failed putsch was orchestrated by the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania for 17 years. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called on the United States to extradite Gulen.

Read more ....



More News On U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's Visit To Turkey

US, Biden face tough task to mend relations with Turkey -- AP
US and Turkey to navigate differences in Ankara -- DW
Biden to meet Turkish officials to discuss Gülen case, anti-terror fight -- Hurriyet Daily News
Joe Biden's Turkey visit: Fethullah Gülen, Syria and the other issues on the table -- First Post
Erdogan to Complain to U.S. Over Gulen Extradition Delay -- Bloomberg
Is Biden's Visit a Last Chance for Turkey and America? -- Kemal Kirisci, National Interest
Anti-Americanism surges in Turkey, fueled by politicians and a fervent press -- Scott Peterson, CSM

FBI Investigating Reports That Russian Hackers Have Targeted The New York Times



CNN: FBI investigating Russian hack of New York Times reporters, others

(CNN)Hackers thought to be working for Russian intelligence have carried out a series of cyber breaches targeting reporters at the New York Times and other US news organizations, according to US officials briefed on the matter.

The intrusions, detected in recent months, are under investigation by the FBI and other US security agencies. Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organizations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said.

The FBI declined to comment and a spokesperson for The New York Times would not confirm the attacks or the investigation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Another opportunity to blame Trump, but such is the state of American journalism today .... Reported hack of New York Times might fuel more talk of Russia assisting Trump (Washington Post).

More News On The FBI Investigating Reports That Russian Hackers Have Targeted The New York Times

Russians suspected in hack of New York Times, other U.S. media: CNN -- Reuters
FBI probing possible Russian hack of US newsrooms: CNN -- AFP
Report: FBI investigating possible Russian hack of The New York Times -- Politico
FBI investigating possible cyber breach of New York Times reporter email accounts -- FOX News
Hackers breach New York Times: report -- The Hill
Feds Investigate Hack of The New York Times, Suspect Russian Operatives Are to Blame -- ABC News
Russian Hackers Reportedly Target The New York Times -- Fortune

Is Donald Trump Helping Russia Consolidate Control Of Ukraine?

Russian President Putin. TASS

Anna Nemtsova, Politico: Trump Is Already Helping Putin Consolidate Control of Ukraine

The GOP candidate's pro-Russia comments have become must-see TV in both countries—and they’re demoralizing the Ukrainians.

MOSCOW—In living rooms and kitchens across Russia and Ukraine, the U.S. presidential election is as riveting to TV viewers as “Game of Thrones” is to their American counterparts. Every time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Crimea, Russian hackers or the Donbas (the disputed region of eastern Ukraine)—and it’s rebroadcast here, which it usually is—people in both countries sit up as if some crazy American reality show has just come on. Almost every day, television channels in both countries highlight America’s new scandals and intrigues involving Trump’s connections with post-Soviet oligarchs, or leaked DNC emails, or the endless hurling of insults and the constant debate over America’s supposedly disappearing greatness.

But the main reason the U.S. election has become must-see TV is not because it’s a great reality show, or because Putin and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine come up as issues in the campaign as often as Mexican immigrants, ISIS and Benghazi. It's because the political rhetoric across the Atlantic is actually starting to change facts on the ground in Russia and Ukraine. In both countries, coverage of the political chaos in the United States—the north star of politics for both anti-American and pro-American figures in this part of the world—is stirring public discontent and doubt about the future in Ukraine, and a sense of confidence, even arrogance, in Russia.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I usually respect what Anna Nemtsova writes when it comes to Russia and Ukrainian issues .... but she is wrong on this one. Ukrainians are not depressed because of what is happening in the U.S. .... they are depressed because of what is happening in their own country, and by the hands of their own leaders. And as for the Russian point of view .... yes .... there is an interest in the U.S. election, but the series "Games of Thrones" is far more interesting to most Russians than the Trump-Clinton match. And as for Donald Trump helping Russia consolidate control of Ukraine .... please .... Donald Trump has no influence or means to dictate what U.S. foreign policy should be .... the man who has that power is President Obama .... and he is the one that Anna Nemtsova should be directing her ire at.

Oxford University Study: Donald Trump More Psychopathic Than Hitler

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump © Eric Thayer / Reuters

The Independent: How much of a psychopath is Donald Trump? Worse than Hitler, apparently

Saddam Hussein tops the list ahead of Henry VIII and Idi Amin

Donald Trump has more psychopathic traits than Adolf Hitler, according to a a new study.

Using a standard psychometric tool, Dr Kevin Dutton of Oxford University ranked both presidential candidates and a series of historical world figures.

Trump scored 171, achieving two more points than Adolf Hitler, after experts gave their suggestions on how each individual would have scored against a series of questions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: According to the same study .... and this little tidbit of information tells me a lot on what is the mindset of the authors of this report .... is the revelation (according to this study) that Jesus is more psychotic than Hillary Clinton (the score for Jesus is 157, Hillary Clinton's score is 152).

More News On An Oxford University Study That Claims That Donald Trump Is More Psychopathic Than Hitler

Donald Trump outscores Hitler on psychopathic traits test, claims University of Oxford researcher -- The Telegraph
Donald Trump has more psychopathic traits than Adolf Hitler, while Hillary Clinton shows 'machiavellian egocentricity': Scientists conclude BOTH presidential candidates may be psychopaths – but claim that could be a good thing -- Daily Mail
Trump is more of a psychopath than Hitler, other U.S. presidential contenders, researcher finds -- New York Daily News
Trump more psychopathic than Hitler, Oxford study finds -- RT
Presidential candidates may be psychopaths – but that could be a good thing -- Phys.org

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 23, 2016

Su-24 bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria. © Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik

Howard LaFranchi, CSM: One year on, Russia's war in Syria is hardly the predicted 'quagmire'

US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan got bogged down by ambitious goals. In Syria, Russia has kept it simple and is gaining in influence in the region because of it.

WASHINGTON — When Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his forces to the rescue of Syria's Bashar al-Assad a year ago, President Obama predicted that the Russians would end up trapped in a “quagmire.”

Today, Russia hardly appears to be bogged down and instead has reestablished itself as a power in the Middle East.

Russian bombers and special forces have solidified President Assad's hold on Syria, making it possible for him to retake parts of the country once considered irretrievably lost to opposition forces, including moderate rebels armed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- August 23, 2016

Russia’s Illusion of Influence in the Middle East -- Kamran Bokhari, Geopolitical Futures

Why ‘Cash for Prisoners’ May End Up Being Least of U.S. Concerns Over Payment to Iran -- Aaron David Miller, WSJ

Why peace is prevailing, for now, in south Lebanon -- Nicholas Blanford, CSM

Is Biden's Visit a Last Chance for Turkey and America? -- Kemal Kirisci, National Interest

The US and NATO Need Turkey -- Halil I. Danismaz, Time

Japan, China, South Korea aim for common ground -- Jonathan Miller, DW

U.S.-China Perception Gap in the South China Sea -- David J. Firestein, The Diplomat

North Korea: A Realistic Path to Regime Change -- Robert E. Kelly, The Interpreter

The Foundations of Pacific Stability -- Eric K. Fanning, Project Syndicate

India Plays the Balochistan Card - With China -- David Brewster, The Interpreter

Everything you need to know to understand the Niger Delta Avengers and their quest for secession -- Adetula David, Ventures Africa

Sisi faces the uncertain promise of Suez -- Geoffrey Aronson, Al Jazeera

Pro-EU camp humiliated again as UK economy surges -- The Commentator

Italexit Would Make Brexit Look Like a Picnic -- Desmond Lachman, Economics21

Don't Censor Terrorists' Names -- Noah Feldman, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- August 23, 2016 (Evening Edition)


DW: Merkel, Hollande and Putin talk Ukraine clashes

The leaders of France and Germany urged Russian President Putin to help calm the tensions in Ukraine, during in a joint phone call. The three are set to discuss the latest spike in violence at a G20 summit in China.

France's Francois Hollande warned against "an escalation of violence" in Ukraine, his office said on Tuesday, after a phone call between Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.

Hollande urged all sides to stick to the Minsk peace deal, and stressed that "there was no alternative to a peaceful solution" his officials said.

Both him and the German leader Merkel urged Putin to do what he could to calm the situation down, a Berlin spokesman told reporters.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian forces, Kurdish YPG 'agree to Hasaka ceasefire'.

Syria Kurds win battle with government, Turkey mobilizes against them. Syrian Kurdish, government forces agree Hasaka ceasefire.

UN urges 48-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Aleppo. Syria war: Aleppo's civilians face humanitarian crisis.

IS conflict: UN warns of 'huge impact' of Mosul assault.

IS struggles to retain grip as it loses ground in Iraq.

Turkish military returns fire in Syria after shells hit border town: NTV. Turkish military strikes ISIL in northern Syria.

Turkey: 2 killed in attack on military bomb disposal team.

U.S. Vice President Biden likely to face pressure during Turkey visit.

US confirms Gulen extradition request, but says no link with Turkey coup.

Yemen crisis: Oxfam critical of UK-Saudi arms deals.

Mass protests in West Bank city after Palestinian detainee dies.

ASIA

Japan at UN urges N.Korea to refrain from provocations.

Pentagon chief: Casualties show Afghanistan still a 'dangerous place'.

Afghans push India for more arms, despite Pakistan's wary eye.

Indian troops fire at Kashmir protesters; 14 injured.

Philippines police chief: 1,900 killed in anti-drug war.

Philippines' Duterte says talks with China on sea dispute 'within the year'. Philippines expects talks with China on sea feud this year.

Myanmar says UN chief to attend ethnic peace talks.

Pakistan's largest city set to be run by imprisoned mayor.

Thai military court accepts case against 'Facebook Eight'.

AFRICA

WHO to hold emergency meeting to advise on yellow fever.

As Kerry lands in Nigeria, air force says top Boko Haram fighters killed.

Nigerian military: Air raid fatally wounds Boko Haram leader. Boko Haram: 'Senior fighters killed' in Nigeria raid.

South Sudan ex-rebel leader escaped to Sudan, officials claim. Sudan says it has South Sudan's former rebel leader who fled.

Kerry tells South Sudan leaders to stick to peace deal or face sanctions.

Sudan, South Sudan agree to extend oil deal.

Congo opposition strikes to call for Kabila to step down.

Zambia regulator suspends three private broadcasters.

Olympics protest runner fails to return to Ethiopia.

EUROPE

Kremlin says Putin, Merkel, Hollande to meet to discuss Ukraine on Sept 4-5 at G20.

Rio Paralympics 2016: Russia banned after losing appeal.

Biden tells Baltic states: Don't take Trump seriously.

Eastern NATO ally says Clinton trumps Trump on security.

Germany, France, Italy say Europe must move forward after Brexit vote.

Paris tourism chiefs demand rescue plan as attacks scare off visitors.

Report: More migrants die in Mediterranean as risks increase.

Greece says at least 41,000 asylum seekers on its territory.

Child killed in grenade attack in Sweden.

Europeans turn to weapons in growing numbers after attacks.

AMERICAS

U.S. CBO says budget deficit to reach $590 billion for fiscal 2016.

Obama promises support to Louisiana after floods. Obama to visit flood-damaged Louisiana in show of support.

Clinton faces late summer scandal wave.

FBI investigating whether Virginia stabbings were ISIS-inspired.

Large rise in number of kids entering US from Central America.

Peru investigates 'police death squad' after killings.

Venezuela public workers face sack over referendum.

Ramen noodles 'are most valuable US prison commodity', study suggests.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

'Jihadist hub' Molenbeek lures tourists across Brussels canal.

Abu Zubaydah appears at Gitmo hearing to review detention.

The Pentagon takes aim at bomb-carrying consumer drones.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Exclusive: China's richest man set to seal two billion-dollar U.S. film deals.

Liberal, moderate or conservative? See how Facebook labels you.

Goldman Sachs thinks the recovery in oil prices is ‘fragile’.

34kg pearl found in Philippines 'is world's biggest'.

U.S. Election News Updates -- August 23, 2016



Politico: Clinton faces late summer scandal wave

Controversies surround the Clinton Foundation and her email server will likely dog Clinton all the way through the election — and potentially beyond.

The scandals swirling around Hillary Clinton kicked up a notch on Monday, with the release of more emails showing the sway Clinton Foundation donors held at the State Department and an order by a federal judge that could result in a dump of thousands more emails before the election.

Clinton managed to coast through the conventions and the resulting weeks, gaining momentum in the polls as Donald Trump suffered through numerous self-inflicted controversies.

Read more ....

The Democrat Campaign

The Latest: Clinton says she would help small businesses -- AP
Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State -- AP
Clinton Campaign Manager Suggests Trump Is a 'Puppet' for the Kremlin -- ABC News
Clinton campaign: Trump's new team isn't changing Trump -- Yahoo News
Clinton asks Romney’s allies for cash to stop Trump -- Politico
‘We reject his overtures’: Black, Hispanic Democrats slam Donald Trump’s minority outreach -- Washington Times
Emails reveal how foundation donors got access to Clinton and her close aides at State Dept. -- Washington Post
Email scandal continues to bedevil Clinton's campaign -- DW
Judge orders State Department to review 14,900 Clinton emails -- Reuters
Clinton says U.S. presidential election an 'alternative reality' -- Reuters
Clinton takes anti-Trump Olympics strategy into NFL season -- Politico

The Republican Campaign

Trump knocks Obama's Louisiana trip: 'Too little, too late' -- Politico
Trump courts minority voters -- The Hill
Trump: I Want GOP to Be 'Home of the African-American Voter' -- NBC news
‘Shut it down’: Trump takes aim at Clinton Foundation as new emails released -- Yahoo News
Trump: Unethical DOJ needs independent prosecutor to probe Clinton -- The Hill
Trump finds Republican rallying cry in Clinton Foundation attacks -- Reuters
Trump Floats Obama-Like Deportation Plan, and Fans Don’t Mind -- Bloomberg
Trump Stops In Fort Worth Ahead Of Austin Rally -- CBS
Donald Trump Jacked Up His Campaign's Trump Tower Rent Once Somebody Else Was Paying It -- Huffington Post

General Election Coverage

Obama says he doesn’t ‘worry too much about politics’ as November election looms -- Yahoo News
Hillary Clinton outspending Donald Trump 17-to-1 on TV ads -- UPI
Money Race Accelerates For Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump -- NPR
Hillary Clinton’s Cash Lead Over Donald Trump Grew in July -- WSJ
Differences aside, Supreme Court unites Trump, Senate GOP -- AP
Priebus boasts of Trump's 'good turnaround' -- Politico
Leaked Docs: Soros Aims to Enlarge Electorate by 10 Million Voters by 2018 -- Washington Free Beacon
Green Party nominee Jill Stein: Clinton emails reveal security risks, ‘special deals’ for donors -- Washington Post

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials

Trump-Clinton race redraws battle for Electoral College -- Niall Stanage, The Hill
Think the Clinton-Trump Race Will Be a Landslide? Hold Your Horses -- New York Times
Hillary Clinton’s historic free pass on the airwaves -- Shane Goldmacher, Politico
A big slush fund for the Clinton Foundation -- David Keene, The Washington Times
Why Clinton can’t shake her private email scandal -- Andrea Peterson, Washington Post
Can Israel swing the election Donald Trump's way? -- Ian Lee, CNN
Is Donald Trump Reversing His Stance on Immigration? -- Priscilla Alvarez, The Atlantic
The Nine Lives of Donald J. Trump -- Victor Davis Hanson, NRO
Trump is a vanity project run amok: Column -- Paul Brandus, USA Today
Challenge for GOP senators: Surviving a possible Trump loss -- AP
Trump gets more serious about battleground states -- Nick Gass, Politico
Predicting Turnout in an Unpredictable Race -- Charlie Cook, National Journal

U.S. Marines Now Using SuperCobra Helicopter Gunships To Drive Out The Islamic State From The Libyan City Of Sirte

A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 367, Marine Aircraft Group 24, supports a beach assault during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak/U.S. Navy)

Washington Post: Marine gunships enter the fight against the Islamic State in Libya

After nearly a month of airstrikes against the Islamic State fighters dug in around the Libyan city of Sirte, U.S. helicopter gunships have been dispatched to help root out the extremist group from some of the denser parts of the city.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing operations, said Marine AH-1W SuperCobra helicopters participated in strikes against the Islamic State over the weekend. According to a U.S. Africa Command release, U.S. forces conducted nine strikes from Friday to Sunday, targeting Islamic State fighting positions and vehicles.

Read more ....

More News On the U.S. Military Using  SuperCobra Helicopter Gunships To Drive Out The Islamic State From The Libyan City Of Sirte

Cobra attack helicopters enter Libya to pound ISIS, U.S. confirms -- Washington Times
Marine SuperCobra Helicopters Join ISIS Fight Over Libya -- Military.com
U.S. Marines use Cobra attack helicopters to strike ISIS in Libya -- WUSA
The US Marines are dropping the hammer on ISIS in Libya -- Business Insider

South Sudan's Former Rebel Leader Has Fled To Sudan For 'Medical Treatment'

South Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar speaks during a briefing ahead of his return to South Sudan as vice president, in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa April 9, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

AFP: S.Sudan ex-VP Machar in Khartoum for 'medical treatment'

South Sudan's former rebel leader Riek Machar has arrived in Khartoum for "medical treatment," the Sudanese government said Tuesday, after he escaped to the Democratic Republic of Congo following deadly clashes last month.
Machar was replaced by Taban Deng Gai as South Sudan's first vice president after hundreds died in Juba last month in clashes between Machar's forces and government troops.

"Sudan has received Riek Machar on humanitarian grounds and so he can have medical treatment," Sudanese government spokesman Ahmed Bilal said in a statement.

He did not specify when Machar arrived in Khartoum, but said that he was in need of "immediate medical treatment".

"He is now stable. He will continue to stay in the country until he decides when to leave," Bilal said, without providing further details on the treatment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I suspect that this South Sudan rebel leader actually fled for his life (not for some medical treatment) .... South Sudan Rebel Leader Flees After Assassination Attempt (Breitbart). Here is an indication on how bloody the South Sudan civil war has become .... South Sudan Clashes Leave 290 Dead as U.S. Urges Regional Action (Bloomberg).

More News On The Crisis In South Sudan

Sudan Says It Has South Sudan's Former Rebel Leader Who Fled -- AP
South Sudan opposition leader in Khartoum for treatment, Sudan says -- Reuters
South Sudan's Riek Machar in Khartoum for medical care -- Al Jazeera
Over 100 soldiers killed in South Sudan’s Jonglei state -- Sudan Tribune
Ex-Dutch General to Lead Probe Into South Sudan Attacks -- AP
Kerry warns South Sudan that aid won’t continue if its leaders don’t seek peace -- Washingtion Post
John Kerry Tells South Sudan Leaders: 'Take Bull By Horns' or Face Sanctions -- Newsweek
Kerry Urges Deployment of 'Protection Force' in South Sudan -- VOA

Pentagon is Focusing On Terror Groups Who Are Weaponizing Consumer Drones

Picture of a drone. Photo: DPA.

Bloomberg: The Pentagon Takes Aim at Bomb-Carrying Consumer Drones

Terrorist groups are turning a popular hobby item into a deadly strategic challenge.

They’re cheap, they’re light, and they can carry a small bomb: The commercial drone is essentially a new terror gadget for organizations such as Hezbollah, Islamic State, or anyone else looking to wreak havoc on a budget.

“That’s the same quad copter you can get on Groupon or go down to Sam’s Club and buy for $400,” U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller said last week at a Washington forum on future warfare. The elusive nature of small drones is one reason the federal government has designated the District of Columbia a “national defense airspace” and prohibited drone flights there. A recent spate of drone-related incidents, including one last year in which a drone crashed on the White House lawn, probably didn’t help, either.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The genie is already out of the bottle.

The Islamic State Is Taking Advantage Of U.S. Rules Of Engagement

US Special Troops Battalion (Reuters / Peter Andrews)

Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times: Islamic State exploits U.S. rules of engagement, Obama’s aversion to civilian deaths

Even in losing, the Islamic State group has shown it conducts a “lessons learned” exercise so it won’t repeat battlefield mistakes.

Whether it can forestall what the Obama administration predicts is an inevitable defeat in Syria and Iraq is doubtful. But the fighters’ attention to U.S. rules of engagement has paid dividends at times.

Learning lessons in war is a major intellectual exercise by the U.S. military and other advanced armed forces. The Army operates the Center for Army Lessons Learned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Although the Islamic State does not operate at that level of sophistication, its leaders do make changes on the run.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: No kidding.

Iran Criticises Russia For Making It Public That They Are Using An Iranian Airbase To Bomb Syria. Revokes Russia’s Use Of Air Base

A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defense Ministry shows a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber based at Iran's Hamadan Air Base dropping bombs in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour. (Russian Defense Ministry via Reuters TV

Al Bawaba: Iran criticizes Russia over revelation of secret use of military bases

Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan on Monday criticized Russia for "not having kept its promise" when Russia made public that it was using an Iranian airbase for bombing raids in Syria.

The operations were strategically necessary, but Iran and Russia had agreed not to make them public, Dehghan said in comments carried by Iranian state news agency ISNA.

He emphasized that Iran had allowed Russia to use the airbase only for refueling as part of collaboration against terrorists in Syria, and not allocated it as a "classical military base."

Iran's Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that the country would "temporarily suspend" Russian warplanes from using the Nojeh airbase in Iran's western Hamadan province. Russian warplanes used the airbase last week to launch several strikes into Syria.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Iranian government is not pleased with this revelation. But considering how difficult (if not impossible) to keep such an arrangement secret .... what did the Iranians really expect.

More News On Iran Criticising Russia For Making It Public That They Are Using An Iranian Airbase To Bomb Syria

Iran Revokes Russia’s Use of Air Base, Saying Moscow ‘Betrayed Trust’ -- New York Times
Iran says Russian use of air base for Syria raids ‘over’ -- TRT World
Iran hints Russia's publicity on airbase use for Syria war led to ban -- DPA
Iran parliament pushes back on military for Russian base use -- AP
Russia accused by Iran of 'showing off' over Isis bombing -- The Independent
Iran mildly criticizes Russia for revealing its use of Hamadan airbase -- RUDAW
Iran ends Russian use of air base because of unwanted publicity -- Washington Post
Russian planes left Iranian air base Aug 18 — Iran's Security Council -- TASS
Iranian Foreign Ministry: Russian use of air base has ended -- Al-Monitor
Shifting sands in air base drama between Tehran and Moscow -- Long War Journal

Venezuelan President Maduro Orders His Ministries To Fire All Public Workers Witrhin 48 hours Who Signed The Petition Calling For His Recall

President Maduro gave ministries 48 hours to sack senior workers who had signed the petition. BBC

VOA: Venezuela President Orders Public Worker Firings Over Referendum Call

CARACAS — President Nicolas Maduro has set a 48-hour deadline for ministers to dismiss some public workers who requested a recall referendum against him, a Socialist Party spokesman said Monday.

Hundreds of public workers have already said they were dismissed for signing a petition for a referendum against the unpopular president, according to testimony seen by Reuters, human rights groups and local media.

"Today, by order of the party president Nicolas Maduro, five ministries ... cannot have people that are against the Revolution and the president in management positions in ministries, public institutions, local government and municipalities," said Jorge Rodriguez, the leader of the Socialist Party in Venezuela.

"They have a deadline of 48 hours," said Rodriguez.

Read more ....

More News On Venezuelan President Maduro Ordering His Ministries To Fire All Public Workers Who Signed The Petition Calling For His Recall

Venezuelan government managers to lose jobs over recall -- AP
Venezuela president orders public worker sackings over referendum call -- Reuters
Venezuela to sack officials who backed Maduro recall -- AFP
Venezuela public workers face sack over referendum -- BBC

US Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Afghan security personnel prepare for combat during a battle with Taliban militants in Helmand province on August 10, 2016 ©Noor Mohammad (AFP/File)

USA Today: U.S. servicemember killed in Afghan fighting, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON — An American service member was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, the first combat casualty there since January, the military announced.

The attack on a patrol with a roadside bomb occurred in Helmand province where Taliban forces have been gaining ground against Afghan government security forces. The U.S.-led NATO coalition bolstering Afghan troops have scrambled in recent days to keep them from losing Helmand province, the restive area home to many Taliban members.

Another U.S. service member and six Afghan troops were also wounded in the attack.

About 100 U.S. troops were sent there Monday to train and advise Afghan forces who were struggling to control the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: More U.S. soldiers are being sent into the fight .... Over a hundred US troops sent to Lashkar Gah to battle Taliban (The Guardian).

More News On Reports Of A U.S. Serviceman Being Killed In Afghanistan

US service member killed in Afghanistan -- BBC
US soldier killed in anti-Taliban operation in Afghanistan -- AFP
US Soldier Killed in Southern Afghanistan -- AP
US Service Member Killed by Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan -- Military.com
Roadside bomb kills U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, coalition says -- Reuters
IED kills U.S. service member in Helmand province, Afghanistan -- UPI