Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 28, 2017

Image from SouthFront

CNN: US sees a resurgent Russian military expanding into Afghanistan, Libya

The Kremlin's ambitions in the Middle East reach far beyond Syria, according to US officials.

From Afghanistan to Libya, US Pentagon officials are increasingly concerned by mounting Russian military and diplomatic activity they believed is aimed at undermining the US and NATO.

Some of the actions Moscow is accused of participating in include sending operatives to support an armed faction in Libya and providing political legitimacy -- and maybe even supplies -- to the Taliban in Afghanistan. These moves come on top of their overt dispatching of warplanes and ships to target the political opponents of its ally in Syria.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 28, 2017

Russia can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ Tehran confirms -- RT

Testing of Russia's 'Texas-killing' Nuclear Missile Delayed, Again -- Moscow Times

Top Russian military brass warns nearly all low-orbit satellites within reach of US missiles -- TASS

US Radars Cover Almost All Russian Territory - Russian MoD -- Sputnik

Military expert warns US ABMs can detect any missile shield, even Russian ones -- TASS

Top Russian military brass warns US missile defense ships in Black and Baltic seas can hit Russia -- TASS

Russia Joins US in Race to Field Gun-Launched Swarmbots -- Defense One

Tajikistan To Hold Separate Military Maneuvers With U.S., Russian Troops -- RFE

China to open first drone factory in Saudi Arabia -- UPI

China army drills on Myanmar border amid tensions -- Reuters

South China Sea: Aircraft hangars, radar installed on artificial islands -- CNN

South Korea looks to Southeast Asia to sell training aircraft -- UPI

North Korea tests rocket engine: U.S. officials -- Reuters

Australia modernizes Anzac-class frigate -- UPI

U.S. Boosts Military Backing for Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen -- WSJ

Pentagon denies changing airstrike rules after reports of civilian deaths -- The Hill

U.S. reinforcements in Mosul include up to 300 Army paratroopers -- Military Times

North Korea strikes would be blocked, U.S. State Department says -- UPI

Marines Test Killer Hovercraft, Wooden Glider & 3D Printers For The Battlefield -- Breaking Defense

Boeing gets $59 million contract mod for KC-46 production -- UPI

Pentagon Likely to Throw $29B at Lockheed for King Stallion Chopper -- Sputnik

High-Tech Army Device Helps Mobile Infantry in Combat -- Scout Warrior

Army develops powerfully nutritious bedtime snack for new recruits -- FOX News

This U.S. Army Helicopter Drone Could Evacuate Wounded Soldiers -- Popular Mechanics

U.S. Army studies 'third arm' device for soldiers -- UPI

Say Goodbye To The Navy’s Online General Military Training -- Task & Purpose

The Heart of the F-35 Is Its Remarkable Engine -- RCD

How the US Navy plans to fix the F-35's most troubling problem -- Alex Lockie, Business Insider

Army Discharging Sergeant for Emailing Same Bin Laden Raid Intel Obama Touted in 2011 -- Washington Free Beacon

Military Members Stole Millions in Afghan Rebuilding Effort -- Military.com/News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

US Navy SEALs develop mental toughness by reinforcing one behavior -- Quartz

Trump, Palantir, and the Battle to Clean Up a Huge Billion-Dollar Military Procurement Swamp -- Steven Brill, Fortune

Trump's 12-carrier Navy plan: Anything but smooth sailing -- Jamie McIntyre, Washington Examiner

Will DARPA Get Its Cylons Back? -- James Hasik, Atlantic Council

China's Bases in The South China Sea Are Now Operational


ABC News Online: South China Sea: Beijing can deploy military assets on islands anytime, US think tank says

Beijing has nearly finished building air bases on artificial islands in the South China Sea and can deploy combat planes and other military hardware there at anytime, according to a US think tank.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said construction on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands included naval, air, radar and defensive facilities.

AMTI director Greg Poling said satellite images taken this month showed new radar antennas on Fiery Cross and Subi.

China has denied US claims that it is militarising the South China Sea, although last week Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said defence equipment had been placed on islands in the disputed waterway to maintain "freedom of navigation".

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. think tank's report is here.

More News On Reports That China's Bases in The South China Sea Are Now Operational

China able to deploy warplanes on artificial islands any time: U.S. think tank -- Reuters
Report: China's man-made S.China Sea islands nearly complete -- AP
Warning that Beijing's military bases in South China Sea are ready for use -- The Guardian
Is China Preparing For War? Military Infrastructure On South China Sea Islands Near Completion: Think Tank -- International Business Times
China can now deploy military assets to South China Sea -- Philippine Star
Chinese warplane deployment in South China Sea imminent: US think tank -- China Post

The Chinese Are Now Having A Debate On What Should Be Their Ties With North Korea


Hemant Adlakha, Japan Times: North Korea sparks debate in China

Earlier this month, China voiced its unhappiness with North Korea for firing four Scud missiles into the Sea of Japan. Beijing had suspended all coal imports from its neighbor earlier in February. Pyongyang responded by accusing Beijing of “dancing to the tune of the U.S.” This was not the first time North Korea had thumbed its nose at China. However, Beijing was in for a surprise when several Chinese strategic affairs experts went up in arms and demanded that China “abandon” North Korea.

In recent times, neither escalating tensions in Sino-Japanese ties nor uncertainties in Sino-U.S. bilateral relations have been the focus for the Chinese. Instead, public opinion has centered on “Fatty Kim the Third” — as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unflatteringly called in the unofficial and social media in China — making for a debate fraught with controversy and confusion. To its utter dismay, however, the party-state in Beijing is completely at a loss today in coming to grips with the North Korea problem.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I said the same thing in a commentary last year on what is the state of China - North Korean relations, and what to expect .... Chinese Think Tanks Are Now Openly Discussing On How To Remove North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un (October 8, 2016).

U.S. Is Sending Strategic Weapons 'In Secret' To South Korea

A U.S. Air Force F-35B stealth fighter takes off from its base in Japan, Thursday, to participate in a joint drill between South Korea and the U.S., in this handout photo made available Saturday by U.S. Forces Korea. / Yonhap

Korea Times: US sending strategic weapons in greater secrecy

The U.S. armed forces appear to have been sending their strategic weapons to South Korea in greater secrecy, a move that would maximize fear for North Korea.

A military official said on condition of anonymity, Sunday, that increasing the dispatch of weapons in secret reflects the Donald Trump administration's shifting toward offensive measures in dealing with the North's evolving threats as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed to explore all options including military action.

"Surprise dispatch of strategic weapons is effective in maximizing fear in the North as it sends a message that such weapons can be mobilized any time in case of a contingency," the official said.

Read more ....

Update: US Secretly Deploying Strategic Assets To Korea To Freak Out Kim Jong-Un (Daily Caller)

WNU Editor: North Korea has become aggressive in the past few months. The assassination of Kim Jong-nam (the North Korean leader's brother) has changed the dynamics on what to expect from North Korea .... to the point that right now no one knows for sure what may happen next .... hence the military buildup.

A Woman's Story On Her Fight To Have The Right To Fly In Combat

National Geographic: Female Helicopter Pilot Took on the Taliban—and the Pentagon

After receiving the Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross, Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar fought for the right to fight.

Mary Jennings Hegar, a former helicopter pilot for the U.S. Air National Guard, is only the second woman, after Amelia Earhart, to get the Distinguished Flying Cross with a Valor Device. So it’s not that surprising that Angelina Jolie is in talks to play Hegar in the movie version of her new memoir, Shoot Like A Girl.

When National Geographic caught up with Hegar by phone at her home in Austin, Texas, the Purple Heart recipient explained why she sued the Pentagon, how she would never have become a pilot if her mother had not left an abusive husband, and how, in 2009, in Afghanistan, everything she had prepared for came together when her chopper was hit by the Taliban.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She is only the second woman, after Amelia Earhart, to get the Distinguished Flying Cross with a Valor Device. That says a lot on who and what she is right there.

First Female Marine Graduates From Infantry School



VOA: Female Marine Trailblazer Graduates From Infantry School

CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA — Marine Pfc. Maria Daume's life story reads as if she came straight from the pages of a superhero comic.

Born in a Siberian prison. Orphaned at age 2. Adopted by Americans at age 4 and raised in New York.

And now, she's just done what many naysayers believed a woman would never do: She's the first female Marine to join the infantry through the traditional entry-level training process, a process made available to women just a half-year earlier.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The times are definitely changing.

The Man Behind The Building Of The Vietnam Memorial Wants To Honor This Generation's Fallen


Military Times: ‘The Wall’ is turning 35, and the man behind it wants to honor this generation’s fallen

On Sunday, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will host a ceremony to commemorate the 35th anniversary of its historic groundbreaking. The idea for a memorial engraved with names of the fallen flowed from my academic research and from testimony before the Senate on what is now called post-traumatic stress, a common reaction to witnessing violence.

The memorial was planned as a societal acknowledgement of those who served, funded by the American people. I started the effort in 1979 while a GS-7 at the Labor Department, thanks to the permission of my wife. This was nonstop work, day after day.

In 1982, the money was in hand, as was a permit to begin construction. The effort barely succeeded. I hope the lessons learned can ease the path to success for a Global War on Terrorism Memorial that will honor a new generation of service members.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: They even have a name for it .... The Global War on Terrorism Memorial.

Pakistan Has Started To Build A Border Fence With Afghanistan

FOX News: Pakistan starts building its own border fence

As the United States and many European nations try to stem the flow of violence across their borders, one country on the doorstep of one of the planet's most dangerous terror hotbeds has just broken ground on a fence of its own.

Pakistan announced over the weekend it started building a fence along the Afghan border in areas where terrorists have launched cross-border attacks -- regions the Pakistani army called "high threat zones."

Read more ....

More News On Pakistan Starting To Build A Border Fence With Afghanistan

Pakistan building border fence with Afghanistan: officials -- AFP
Pakistan says starts fencing Afghanistan border in 'high-threat zones' -- Reuters
Pakistan to build fence along disputed Afghan border -- DW
Pakistan starts building fence along Afghanistan border -- Al Jazeera
Pakistan Has Started Fencing Off Its Border With Afghanistan -- TIME
Pakistan Starts Building Fence Along Afghan Border -- RFE

Tweet For Today

Growing Concerns From The Pentagon And U.S. Intellgience On Chinese Investments In America's High-Tech Start-Ups

Neurala’s office in Boston. The company, an artificial intelligence start-up, received an undisclosed sum from an investment firm backed by a state-run Chinese company. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times

New York Times: China Bets on Sensitive U.S. Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon

HONG KONG — When the United States Air Force wanted help making military robots more perceptive, it turned to a Boston-based artificial intelligence start-up called Neurala. But when Neurala needed money, it got little response from the American military.

So Neurala turned to China, landing an undisclosed sum from an investment firm backed by a state-run Chinese company.

Chinese firms have become significant investors in American start-ups working on cutting-edge technologies with potential military applications. The start-ups include companies that make rocket engines for spacecraft, sensors for autonomous navy ships, and printers that make flexible screens that could be used in fighter-plane cockpits. Many of the Chinese firms are owned by state-owned companies or have connections to Chinese leaders.

The deals are ringing alarm bells in Washington. According to a new white paper commissioned by the Department of Defense, Beijing is encouraging Chinese companies with close government ties to invest in American start-ups specializing in critical technologies like artificial intelligence and robots to advance China’s military capacity as well as its economy.

Read more ....

Update #1: China finds a new source of cutting-edge military technology: US start-ups (Fiscal Times)
Update #2: DoD concerned with Chinese investments in US high-tech startups (Defense News)

WNU Editor: Here is a sobering article on where this is all heading .... Be afraid: China is on the path to global technology dominance (David Dodwell, South China Morning Post).

Picture Of The Day

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
A federal police military vehicle is seen during a battle between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, in Mosul, Iraq March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

WNU Editor: The above image is from this photo gallery .... Iraqi forces make new push in Mosul Old City: federal police (Reuters).

Has President Trump Given The Pentagon More Freedom And Less Oversight To Wage War Against The Islamic State?

Smoke rises from clashes during a battle between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in the city of Mosul. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Daily Mail: Trump has let the Pentagon off its leash: President is giving the military greater freedom to wage war how it wants after the Obama administration controlled every move

* The Pentagon has reportedly experienced greater freedom under Trump
* They have been able to run wars without seeking White House approval
* This is especially apparent in Syria, where US forces now number almost 1,000

The Pentagon under President Donald Trump is experiencing greater freedom to run wars without seeking White House approval.

Many in the military appreciate this increased autonomy, but critics charge it could raise civilian death rates, puts the lives of US troops at greater risk and leads to a lack of oversight of America's conflicts.

Nowhere has the shift been more visible than in the fight against the Islamic State group in northern Syria, where under Barack Obama
even minor tweaks to US plans underwent exhaustive White House scrutiny.

Read more ....

Previous Post:
Civilian Casualties From U.S.-Coalition Airstrikes Are Hitting Record Numbers Right Now (March 26, 2017).

WNU Editor: The Pentagon is denying these claims .... After civilians killed in Mosul, Pentagon denies loosening rules (Reuters)

Monday, March 27, 2017

The War Against The Islamic State In Iraq Is Just As Intense In The Countryside As In Mosul

A still image taken from a video posted to a social media website by the Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News Agency on March 26, 2017, shows men, said to be Islamic State fighters, firing their weapons, said to be in Western Mosul, Iraq. Social Media Website via Reuters TV

Reuters: Bomb factories, village command posts: Islamic State's rural fight

Islamic State fighters have pulled out of this deserted village on the Tigris river, which Iraqi commanders say was a crucial outpost defending their nearby stronghold of Mosul, but signs of their presence abound.

As the sounds of battle echo in the distance, the stinking corpses of dead militants line a path from a home they used as a command post down to the river bank.

An enormous cement plant nearby still contains dozens of rockets and booby-trapped car bombs, one of which killed sappers entering the facility on Sunday.

The fighting here is different from the intense street battles raging further to the southeast in Mosul, Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq. The U.S.-backed offensive to drive the group out of Mosul has recaptured most of the city.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The countryside is where the Islamic State is going to try and hide once the major battles have ended. I suspect that pacifying wide open space is going to be more harder than the urban centres once Mosul has finally been recaptured by the Iraqi army.

Frontline: The Battle For Mosul (Video)

DR Congo's Militia Conflict In Kasai Region Results In 42 Policemen Being Decapitated



DW: Scores of policemen killed in Democratic Republic of Congo

Forty-two police officers have been decapitated by a Congolese militia group after the officers' vehicles were ambushed. The country's Kasai region has seen seven months of severe violence amid local power struggles.

Members of the Kamwena Nsapu militia were behind the attack on a convoy of two police trucks in the DRC's Kasia Central province, a local official said.

The attack between the cities of Tshikapa and Kananga occurred on Friday, according to Kasai Assembly President Francois Kalamba.
Local reports said many of the officers were decapitated and others were shot dead.

Six policemen were released because they spoke the local Tshiluba language, he said.

The militia fighters, who are often armed with machetes but rarely carry firearms, made off with weapons and vehicles during the raid, Kalamba added.

Read more ....

More News On The Growing Violence In DR Congo's Kasai Region

Militia fighters decapitate 40 police officers in DR Congo -- BBC
42 police ambushed, beheaded by Congolese militia -- UPI
Militia fighters decapitate 40 police officers in Congo ambush -- Reuters
Militia decapitates 40 police officers in Democratic Republic of Congo ambush, officials say -- ABC News Online
Kamwina Nsapu militia kill 40 policemen in DR Congo -- Al Jazeera
DR Congo unrest: Why are police in Kasai being decapitated? -- Thomas Fessy, BBC News

Chairman Of U.S. Intelligence Committee Met With Source Of Trump Monitoring Claim On White House Grounds





Eli Lake, Bloomberg: Devin Nunes Explains His White House Visit

For the last few days, much of Washington has been obsessed with what Representative Devin Nunes did last Tuesday evening. That was the night before Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, made the explosive allegation that he had viewed dozens of intelligence reports obtained through government eavesdropping that inappropriately included details about the Trump transition team.

According to a Daily Beast report later over the weekend, Nunes went off the grid that night to meet a source and view dozens of intelligence reports, including accounts of meetings involving President Donald Trump's advisers.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The opponents are piling on (see below) .... but Eli Lake (see above) does make a good explanation on why Representative Devin Nunes had to go to a secure location (i.e. the White House grounds) to view the documents and records that his intel source told him that he had .... information that led him to make his announcement the next day, and his visit to the President. The fact that members of the committee will also get the same access to view the same documents/records that Representative Devin Nunes had seen should temper the outcry over what has happened .... but I am willing to bet that it will not, and I am sure that the Democrats are going to have an interpretation of the intel that will be disclosed to them when they get the chance to see it. My hope is that one day we .... the public .... will also get the same access, but I suspect that it is going to be a while before that happens.

Meanwhile .... FBI Director James Comey and NSA chief Mike Rogers are now not expected to appear Tuesday at a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee .... Comey, Rogers appearance before House Intelligence Committee postponed (FOX News). Some Democrats are also not happy on where this investigation is going .... Schumer: Ryan shoud replace Nunes on Intel chair (The Hill). The White House is continuing to back Nunes .... White House: Nunes has been 'fairly open with the press' about his surveillance source (Politico).

More News On The Chairman Of The U.S. Intelligence Committee Meeting His Source Of Trump Monitoring Claim On White House Grounds

House Intel Chair met with source of Trump monitoring claim on White House grounds day before revealing it -- CNN
Nunes Saw Intercepts Related to Trump on White House Grounds -- Bloomberg
Head Of House Intel Committee Went To White House Grounds To Meet Source -- NPR
Nunes was on WH grounds day before announcing Trump surveillance info -- The Hill
House intelligence chairman reviewed surveillance documents at White House before briefing president -- Washington Post
Devin Nunes' meeting with source at White House raises Trump inquiry fears -- The Guardian
Who cleared Devin Nunes into the White House? -- CNN
Devin Nunes is making it very hard for Republicans to claim they can run an impartial investigation on Russia -- Washington Post

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 27, 2017



Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg: Putin Should Fear a New Generation of Protesters

At first sight, the Russian anti-corruption protests on Sunday didn't draw enough people to rock the Kremlin. And yet they must be extremely worrying for Russian President Vladimir Putin: The movement against him, which he had every reason to write off as dead, is attracting a new generation of Russians throughout the country.

Alexei Navalny, who plans to run for president next year, called on Russians to take to the streets on March 26 to protest the corruption of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, as described in a recent investigation by Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation. It accused Medvedev of amassing vast wealth, including palatial homes and a yacht, through a network of non-profit organizations run by his friends. The foundation produced a film detailing the story, which has been watched almost 13 million times on YouTube. The government dismissed the investigation as electioneering and didn't even attempt a substantive answer.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 27, 2017

Russia protests: Why Navalny rattles Kremlin -- Sarah Rainsford, BBC News

Russia’s Protests Explained: Why Rubber Ducks, Sneakers Are at Demonstrations -- Alexey Eremenko, NBC

Russia is the house that Vladimir Putin built – and he’ll never abandon it -- Dmitri Trenin, The Guardian

With an Arab NATO and a contained Iran, Trump is changing the Middle East -- Lawrence Solomon, National Post

A Lot of Work to Do': What's on the Agenda of the Putin-Rouhani Meeting? -- Sputnik

Hong Kong’s election results are in, and Beijing won -- Tripti Lahiri, Quartz

DR Congo unrest: Why are police in Kasai being decapitated? -- Thomas Fessy, BBC News

Why Are Chinese Moving to Malaysia by the Thousands? -- Sukumaran & Liu, South China Morning Post

Saudis Thinking Beyond Oil in Asia Courtship -- John Sfakianakis, Bloomberg

German Voters Reject a Government with Radicals -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Russia Ignites Violence in Ukraine -- Nolan Peterson, Daily Signal

The glue that binds Britain and the United States together -- John Lloyd, Reuters

How To Counter Political Islam -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Hoover Institution

On the Likelihood of Large Urban Conflict in the 21st Century -- Sean M. Castilla, Small Wars Journal

Trump Must Stand His Ground with NATO -- Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest

World News Briefs -- March 27, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Iraqi forces make new push in Mosul Old City: federal police

Iraqi forces said they launched new assaults in Mosul's Old City on Monday after more than two weeks of only small advances and a high civilian death toll appeared to prompt a change in tactics.

A March 17 explosion that killed between 60 and 240 people, according to conflicting accounts, cast a shadow over the U.S.-backed offensive to drive Islamic State (IS) militants out of Iraq's second largest city, and the parliament speaker spoke of ceasing operations until civilian casualties could be avoided.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US probes Mosul bombing amid worries of rising civilian deaths.

Iraq forces launch renewed attack on Mosul's Old City.

Major military gains expected in west Mosul as army closes in on old town, Iraqi general says. Iraqi command: western Mosul battle finished “on the military level”.

U.S.-coalition sees no 'imminent risk' to Syria's Tabqa dam.

Syrian militia captures Tabqa airbase from Islamic State. US-backed forces 'capture' Tabqa airbase from ISIL.

US-backed fighters to pause military action near Syria dam.

US-backed Syrian alliance eyes Raqqa after taking IS-held military airport.

Manbij crossfire: Liberated from IS, Kurdish-controlled city now fears Turkish invasion (EXCLUSIVE).

10 jihadists among 20 dead in Yemen attack.

More than 10,000 attacks on Yemeni women in 2016: UN.

Yemenis protest on war's second anniversary.

2.2mn Yemeni children close to famine, 70% rise in those killed over past year – UNICEF.

Iran strikes back at U.S. with 'reciprocal' sanctions.

Israel urges citizens to leave Egypt's Sinai, citing IS threat.

Low expectations as Arab League chiefs gather in Jordan.

ASIA

Myanmar army chief defends military campaign in Rakhine.

Pakistan building border fence with Afghanistan: officials.

Japan loans Manila military planes for South China Sea.

Pyongyang threatens ‘own style of pre-emptive attack’ after joint U.S.-South Korea ‘decapitation’ drills.

Ex-U.S. ambassador: 'No good military options' against North Korea.

South Korea seeks warrant for ex-President Park Geun-hye's arrest. Prosecutors in South Korea seek arrest warrant for ousted President Park.

Four militants killed as Bangladesh troops storm hideout.

Afghan security ministers survive impeachment vote.

Hong Kong protest leaders ominously told they face charges day after new leader chosen.

Japan avalanche: Eight people feared dead after school students, teachers hit near ski slope.

Australia braces for 'absolutely huge' Cyclone Debbie.

AFRICA

Mali peace conference hit by boycott.

42 police ambushed, beheaded by Congolese militia. Militia fighters decapitate 40 police officers in DR Congo.

31 Al Shabaab militants killed in Somalia, two bases destroyed: Kenya military. 31 militants killed in attack by Kenya's military in Somalia.

U.S. military ends operation against LRA.

The Pentagon wants to keep ground troops in Libya and go on offense in Somalia.

UN: Six aid workers killed in an ambush in South Sudan. South Sudan attack 'could hinder aid deliveries'.

In Sierra Leone diamond sale, echoes of corruption and conflict.

Egypt convicts 56 over migrant boat sinking that killed 200.

EUROPE

NATO confirms Rex Tillerson meeting Friday.

Russia jails protests leader Alexei Navalny for 15 days.

Belarusian opposition vows to fight on amid clampdown.

Merkel's conservative party wins German regional election. Merkel celebrates German election win, challenger deflated.

France's Marine Le Pen says 'the European Union will die'; tells rally globalists must be defeated.


Pre-Brexit deadlock as Northern Ireland talks stall.

Kiev's dual citizenship crackdown would hit Rada, cabinet & 3.5 Mln Ukrainians.

Voting starts in Europe for Turkish referendum.

One-million-dollar coin stolen from Berlin museum.

AMERICAS

US leads boycott of nuclear weapons ban talks.

White House looks past conservatives on tax reform - to Democrats.

Schumer seizes on Trump team's offer to work with Dems.

Nunes says he was on WH grounds day before revealing Trump surveillance info. GOP House intel chairman met source on White House grounds.

Venezuela seeks to stymie OAS meeting, vows 'severe' response.

Venezuela asks the UN to help boost supply of medicines.

What is left when Peru's flood waters recede.


Chile pensions protest draws tens of thousands.

Argentina ex-leader Cristina Fernandez to go on trial.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

London attacker interested in jihad but no evidence of IS link: police.

Al Qaeda in Syria links to Afghanistan and Gulf States.

Vehicle attacks easy success for ISIS, a challenge for Police.

Pentagon: Al-Qaida leader killed in airstrike in Afghanistan.

Islamic State group could establish caliphate in the Philippines, Julie Bishop says.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street off as Trump agenda weighed; Dow down for eighth day.

Owners approve moving Raiders to Las Vegas.

Oil nations look at extending supply cut.

China opens Moscow clearing bank for handling transactions in Yuan.

British official calls for WhatsApp access after Westminster attack.