Thursday, May 25, 2017

Report: Russia Is Behind A Massive Disinformation Campaign

A global espionage campaign involving email phishing attacks and leaked falsified documents is detailed in a report released Thursday by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab. (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)

CBC: Russian spies may have backed email phishing campaign in effort to spread disinformation

218 email accounts across 39 countries targeted, report by University of Toronto's Citizen Lab finds

New evidence of a global espionage campaign involving email phishing attacks and leaked falsified documents emerged on Thursday, with clues suggesting the Russian government might have been involved.

The targets spanned government, industry, military and civil society groups, each with ties to Russia or Russian interests, a report by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab suggests.

Although there is no definitive proof of Russia's involvement in the attacks, there is "overlap" with previously reported Russian espionage activities — in particular, the work of a Russia-backed hacking group known as APT-28, or Fancy Bear.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab report is here .... Tainted Leaks: Disinformation and Phishing With a Russian Nexus (Citizen Lab/University of Toronto). They provide no proof .... just listing a bunch of clues and making their analysis based on this information. As to what is my take .... I would not be surprised if the Russian government is involved on some level .... but I do not think it is as big as they like to make it as. Speaking of phishing attacks .... I am targeted by these attacks almost everyday .... and some of them are very good. Just today I received emails from Apple and Paypal .... but they were/are fraudulent. Bottom line .... this is something that I have to always be alert for.

More News On Reports That Russia Is Behind A Massive Disinformation Campaign Impacting 39 Countries

Researchers say they’ve uncovered a disinformation campaign with apparent Russian link -- Washington Post
Russia's disinformation efforts hit 39 countries: researchers -- AFP
Russia-linked attack targets government officials, journalists, activists -- The Hill
Russian Hackers Are Using 'Tainted' Leaks to Sow Disinformation -- WIRED
Russia's disinformation efforts hit 39 countries: researchers -- Phys.org
E-mails phished from Russian critic were “tainted” before being leaked -- Ars Technica
New Report Details What Dirty Tricks Russian Cyber Hackers Use to Spread Lies and Mayhem -- AJ Vicens, Mother Jones

The U.S. Marine Artillery Unit In Syria Has Fired In The Past Two Months 4,500 Rounds In Support Of Kurdish And Syrian Arab Forces

Wikipedia

Marine Times: Marine artillery barrages ISIS during secretive deployment

During roughly two months in Syria, Marines fired more than 4,500 rounds in support of Kurdish and Syrian Arab forces, said the spokesman of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Marines were supporting the foreign troops as they tightened the noose on the Islamic State group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Maj. Craig Thomas said on Wednesday.

About 400 artillery Marines deployed to Syria during the 11th MEU’s seven-month deployment aboard the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group. The Marines were recently replaced by another Marine artillery unit, which has not been identified.

Marine Corps officials were tight-lipped on Wednesday when talking to reporters about the 11th MEU’s contributions to operations in Syria and elsewhere. Thomas said that the number of artillery rounds the Marines fired in Syria was the one statistic he was allowed to share.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This Marine unit has since been replaced by another one .... New Marine artillery unit arrives in Syria ahead of Raqqa offensive (Marine Times).

Jared Kushner Is Now The Focus Of The FBI's Russian Investigation



NBC: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Say Officials

Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, multiple U.S. officials told NBC News.

Investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry, officials said. That does not mean they suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him.

The FBI's scrutiny of Kushner places the bureau's sprawling counterintelligence and criminal investigation not only on the doorstep of the White House, but the Trump family circle. The Washington Post first reported last week that a senior White House official close to Trump was a "person of interest," but did not name the person. The term "person of interest" has no legal meaning.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When speculation emerged a few days ago that investigators were focusing on someone in the White House .... the first name that came to my mind was Jared Kushner. His family is Jewish, and from what I have heard they know a lot of Russia Jews who are involved in New York City real estate and financing. This raises something that I have said more than once .... nepotism with enormous business interests at play never works in politics .... especially at this level. I have also mentioned in past posts that President Trump's is vulnerable on this point ..... he knows the same people as Jared Kushner does (New York real estate is a small circle), and he has also received help in the past for his businesses from these individuals. There is nothing illegal about this .... but perception is everything in politics, and in this case the optics are raising legitimate questions on what were/are President Trump's connections to these people. And while I do understand the importance and the need of having this type of loyalty (family loyalty) around you .... and President Trump certainly needs it in today's Washington .... the downside to the family (and the Presidency) should everything go south can .... and will .... be incredibly destructive.

More News On Jared Kushner Now Being The Focus Of The Russian Investigation

Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation -- Washington Post
Jared Kushner is under FBI scrutiny, new report alleges -- FOX News
Jared Kushner under FBI scrutiny in Russia probe: reports -- The Hill
Jared Kushner is under scrutiny in the FBI's Russia investigation -- CBS
Reports: Jared Kushner a 'focus' in Russia probe -- CNN
Trump son-in-law Kushner under FBI scrutiny in Russia probe: media reports -- Reuters
Investigators’ attention on Jared Kushner puts Trump in an awkward position -- Washington Post

President Trump's Budget Proposal Will Cut Funding To A Point That UN Peacekeeping Will Be 'Impossible'

UN peacekeepers in Liberia. Photo: UNMIL/Staton Winter

DW: UN's Guterres: Trump budget would make UN peacekeeping 'simply impossible'

The proposed cuts would reduce the UN peacekeeping budget by more than $1 billion USD. The US currently pays for more than one-fourth of the UN peacekeeping budget.

A spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the proposed US budget cuts to the UN would make it "simply impossible" for the international organization to continue humanitarian work.

"From where we stand, looking at the budget as it is proposed now would make it simply impossible for the UN to continue its work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance around the world," said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The US is the largest contributor to the UN's budget, supplying 25 percent of the UN's $5.4 billion regular operating budget and 28.5 percent of its separate $7.8 billion peacekeeping budget. US President Donald Trump wants to cap the US peacekeeping contribution at 25 percent.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When I first started working for the UN 25 years ago .... talk of the U.S. curtailing their financial contributions to the UN was nothing new. And almost no one believed it would happen .... they always made the same legitimate excuse that the UN does a lot of good for the U.S., and it is not in the interest of the U.S. to change the status quo. Besides .... almost all of the money that the U.S. gives to the UN is generated back to the US via through employment at New York, purchase of U.S. equipment and supplies, and having an important voice when decisions have to be made on setting international norms and regulations. But this complacency came with a cost .... as long as the money flowed from the U.S. there was no need for the UN to go to other countries and make demands that they should increase their contribution. The Trump administration is now signalling that those days are gone .... even if it is going to hurt a lot of countries. Will other countries step up and make the difference .... we shall see. But if history is any condition .... leaders of the world are always praising the valuable role that the UN plays .... but when it comes to giving money .... even a little bit .... they always develop "cold feet". My prediction .... the U.S. Congress is going to put back the money.

More News On President Trump's Budget Proposal Will Cut Funding To The UN's Peacekeeping Budget

Donald Trump budget cut plan would make it 'impossible' for UN, spokesman says -- ABC News Online
Donald Trump's bid to slash UN funding would make essential aid work 'impossible', says UN -- The Independent
Trump budget cut bid would make it 'impossible' for U.N.: spokesman -- Reuters
Trump's budget cuts would make UN peacekeeping 'impossible' -- BBC
Trump budget cuts would make essential UN work 'impossible' – spokesman -- RT

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 25, 2017

From L-R, Belgium's King Philippe, U.S. President Donald Trump, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belgian's Prime Minister Charles Michel gather with NATO member leaders to pose for a family picture before the start of their summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Seth Johnston, RCD/Modern War Institute: How NATO Endures in the Twenty-First Century

Nearly seven decades after its founding, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is far from “obsolete.” This MWI Report examines how global institutions like NATO stay relevant, unified, and effective in the face of new crises. Change is central to the story of how NATO has avoided obsolescence and endured. Nearly every aspect of NATO—from its missions to its membership—is strikingly different than at the Alliance’s founding in 1949. Using a theoretical framework of “critical junctures” to explain variation in NATO’s organizational structure and strategy throughout its sometimes turbulent history, this report argues that the organization’s own bureaucratic actors played pivotal, yet overlooked, roles in NATO’s adaptation. It posits that NATO is remarkably resilient and will adapt to meet new bureaucratic challenges and security threats, from Russian military incursions into its neighbors to the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 25, 2017

Trump Omission in NATO Comments Rankles European Allies -- Julian E. Barnes and Carol E. Lee, WSJ

Trump Declines to Affirm NATO's Article 5 -- Rosie Gray, The Atlantic

It's Time for NATO to Call Turkey's Bluff -- Eric Edelman and Merve Tahiroglu, Weekly Standard

How Trump's visit revamped US Mideast policy -- Ephraim Sneh, Al-Monitor

We Can't Predict Whether Trump Will Succeed in the Middle East -- Hussein Ibish, The Atlantic

AP Analysis: Rouhani’s hardest challenge may be Iran’s hopes -- Adam Schreck, AP

Are U.S. and Iran on a Collision Course in Syria? -- Dan De Luce & Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy

Is Libya a failed state? -- Alan MacKenzie, DW

Why Libya is still a global terror threat -- Alia Brahimi, The Guardian

China’s imperial overreach -- Brahma Chellaney, The Strategist

Japan, South Korea Shaken by Pyongyang, Beijing – And Now, Washington -- Will Edwards, The Cipher Brief

Moldova Between Russia and the West: A Delicate Balance -- Eugene Rumer, Carnegie Endowment

Independence referendum blame game heats up in Spain -- Diego Torres, Politico

Puerto Rico’s Political and Economic Crisis Deepens -- Ed Morales, The Nation

This Time, Not for Prestige: The Space Race in the 21st Century -- Adam Routh, NRO

World News Briefs -- May 25, 2017 (Evening Edition)

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May react during a ceremony at the new NATO headquarters before the start of a summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Reuters: Trump condemns leaks after UK police briefly halt information sharing

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that "deeply troubling" leaks to U.S. media about the Manchester suicide bombing would be investigated, after irate British police briefly stopped sharing information with U.S. agencies.

Prime Minister Theresa May raised British concerns with Trump at a NATO summit in Brussels, telling him intelligence shared between their two countries had to remain secure, in a rare public show of dissatisfaction with Britain's closest security ally.

After a suspension that lasted about a day, Britain's most senior counter terrorism officer said late on Thursday that the police had resumed sharing information with the United States after receiving "fresh assurances".

Trump had called the leaks "deeply troubling".

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US air strike on IS killed 105 civilians in Iraq's Mosul.

Iraqi forces release videos countering claims of abuse.

Syrian army advances south toward rebel-held area.

Iran says has built third underground missile factory.

Hezbollah says unfazed by US, Saudi 'threats'.

UN alarm over conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers put to death 3 accused of killing member.

Merkel threatens to pull troops from Turkey's Incirlik military base.

Turkey’s leader confronted by France, Germany at NATO summit.

Qatar says it is victim of hostile US media campaign.

ASIA

U.S. warship drill meant to defy China's claim over artificial island -officials. Official: At least 13 soldiers killed in south Afghanistan.

Afghan plane forced to fly back after angry MPs miss flight.

Philippines deploys top commandoes, attack helicopters to retake city from Islamist rebels. Philippines army rescues 78 hostages, kills 13 ISIS-linked terrorists – military. Thousands of residents flee Marawi as insurgents battle Philippines troops, raise Islamic State flag.

NATO troop increase plan draws criticism in Afghanistan.

South China Sea: US warship sails within 12 miles of China-claimed reef.

Bangladesh jails high-profile Islamist leader.

Jakarta bombing linked to Islamic State, Indonesian police say.

Myanmar to deport Turkish family amid crackdown fears.

AFRICA

Rescuers pull 2,300 migrants, two dead from Mediterranean.

Libya: breeding and training ground for jihadists.

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack.

Militants kill Egyptian police officer in Sinai Peninsula.

Suspected jihadists wreck Mali primary school.

Libyan coastguard opens fire at migrant boats: NGOs.

Five Kenyan police killed in roadside bomb attack.

Nigeria-Cameroon joint efforts to fight piracy.

Tunisian businessmen arrested in 'war on corruption'.

Rwanda: Elections 'will not be rigged'.

Sisi's Egypt cracks down on news websites.

EUROPE

Macron to win absolute parliament majority next month, poll shows.

Greek ex-PM Lucas Papademos injured in car blast. Greek ex-premier Lucas Papademos wounded in Athens bombing.

NATO leaders meet under intense Trump pressure on spending.

Trump meets with EU officials in Brussels ahead of NATO summit.

Facing fuming British prime minister, Trump vows to plug leaks.

Macron out-Trumps Trump in handshake duel before NATO summit.

UK bomber said to have told mother ‘Forgive me’ before blast.

Information leaked in US affects Manchester bomb probe.

Obama in Berlin for landmark church assembly. Barack Obama tells Berlin audience: ‘We can’t hide behind a wall’.

AMERICAS

Trump tells Nato allies to pay up. Trump chastises NATO, vows to crackdown on leaks.

Appeals court deals blow to Trump administration travel ban.

Foreign meetings omitted from Sessions' security clearance.

Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter.

Canada's Trudeau seeks reset as agenda lags, rivals regroup.

Venezuelan student killed by National Guard tear gas canister.

Venezuela prosecutor says security forces killed student.

Embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer deploys troops to streets. Brazil protests: Temer revokes decree deploying troops in Brasilia.

President Lenin Moreno takes office in Ecuador.

Expect above-average Atlantic hurricane season, US forecasters say.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Trump, at NATO, vows unwavering fight against terrorism.

Trump talks counter-terrorism with EU, NATO leaders.

NATO to 'formally join' anti-ISIL coalition.

Father of Manchester bomb suspect 'was in militant group'.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

S&P 500 hits record high after upbeat retail results.

OPEC agrees to extend oil production cut for nine months. OPEC extends cuts in oil output by nine months.

Ancestry.com denies exploiting users' DNA.

Private firm launches rocket from New Zealand.

Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademo Injured In Targeted Bomb Attack



BBC: Greek ex-PM Lucas Papademos injured in Athens car blast

Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has been injured by an explosion inside his car in Athens.

Reports say the blast may have been caused by a letter bomb.

Mr Papademos, 69, and his driver have suffered leg injuries but their lives are not believed to be in danger, the reports add.

Mr Papademos was appointed caretaker prime minister in November 2011 amid political and economic turmoil. He served in post until May 2012.

Mr Papademos has also served as vice-president of the European Central Bank.

Read more ....

More News On Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademo Being Injured In A Targeted Bomb Attack

Letter Bomb Injures Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos -- Greek Reporter
Greek ex-prime minister hurt as letter bomb explodes in car -- AP
Lucas Papademos: Former Greek PM injured after car explosion in Athens -- The Independent
Greek ex-premier Lucas Papademos wounded in Athens bombing -- The Telegraph
Greek ex-Prime Minister Lucas Papademos targeted in Athens blast -- FOX News
Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos Injured by Explosion in Car -- NBC
Former Greek PM Lucas Papademos hurt in Athens car bomb -- SKY News
Former PM Lucas Papademos injured in explosion -- Al Jazeera
Former Greek PM Lucas Papademos hurt in Athens bomb attack -- RT

President Obama Is In Berlin



Politico: How Obama not so subtly undercuts Trump

Obama’s calculated but opaque opposition to Trump was on full display in Berlin.

When they realized former President Barack Obama was going to be in Berlin the same day President Donald Trump was going to be in Brussels, Angela Merkel was the one who called the White House to break the news.

The German chancellor invited Obama to the event in front of the Brandenburg Gate last year, before the election. Officially part of a multi-day gathering sponsored by the Protestant church in Germany, focused on youth and highlighting an exchange program between Berlin and Chicago, it was really about letting Obama boost his friend ahead of her fall reelection campaign and begin the international phase of his own post-presidency.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He just cannot let it go. After being deferred to and praised by many for 8 years .... and then to see President Trump be treated and feted by the Saudis and Israelis in a manner that was never accorded to him .... he has to (cough cough) voice his thoughts. I understand what he is doing .... he is fighting for his legacy, and he and his supporters know that President Trump is well positioned to uproot it. Here is an easy prediction .... President Obama's criticisms of President Trump are going to increase over time. But for the moment .... happy days are here today .... Nothing Says "Happiness" and "Relief" Like Angela Merkel Seeing Barack Obama Again (Mother Jones).

More News On President Obama's Remarks In Berlin

In Berlin, Obama Tacitly Criticizes Trump -- US News and World Report
Obama jabs Trump ahead of NATO summit -- FOX News
Obama, in Europe, taunts Trump -- Washington Times
Obama sends Trump clear message: 'We can't hide behind a wall' -- USA Today
Trump debuts in Europe as Obama returns to stir nostalgia for the old days -- The Guardian

Trump - Macron Handshake Under The Microscope



Bloomberg: Macron Out-Trumps Trump in Handshake Duel Before NATO Summit

* Trump’s handshake style under microscope since Abe meeting
* Trump and Macron met for first time ahead of NATO leader talks

Donald Trump is known for employing knuckle-crushing, testosterone-driven, arm-shuddering handshakes. But he met his match today in Emmanuel Macron.

It took the French president just six seconds to out-Trump Trump in a handshake that showed the world -- and a man three decades his senior -- that there’s a new leader on the world stage.

Trump’s trick is to go in strong and then hold on just slightly too long, often pulling the other man toward him. Meeting Macron for the first time before a NATO summit in Brussels, Trump went in firm as usual. But this time, it was Trump -- not Macron -- who tried to back out first. Macron simply wouldn’t let go as Trump tried to pull back once, and then flexed his fingers straight to get out. On the second try, he was able to pull away.

Read more ....

Update: Trump handshake showdown: France’s Macron just won’t let go (AP)

WNU Editor: Groan .... it's just a handshake. But in some places in Europe this is big news .... like this news in the U.S. .... Trump Shoves Leader at NATO Summit (US News and World Report/Reuters).

EU President President Tusk: No Common Ground With President Trump On Key Issues Like Russia, Climate Change, Brexit, And Trade



AFP: EU's Tusk says no 'common position' on Russia with Trump

European Union president Donald Tusk said talks with US President Donald Trump on Thursday revealed no "common position" on Russia, a subject on which the US leader faces pressure at home.

Tusk, along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, also argued for the benefits of open trade and the Paris climate agreement that Trump is opposed to.

Those issues "remained open", Tusk said, though an EU official said the sides agreed to set up an EU-US task force on trade.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Meeting Between President Trump And EU Leaders

Donald Trump and EU leaders air differences at Brussels meeting -- Financial Times
Trump talks trade with EU, varied differences remain -- Reuters
Trump, European Union leaders remain at odds over Russia -- USA Today
Trump visits European Union headquarters; EU leaders cite some differences -- L.A. Times
Trump, EU struggle to get on same page in Brussels -- Politico

NATO To Formally Join The Anti-ISIS Campaign



Reuters: France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State: diplomats

France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to play a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.

The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda.

"NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States. France and Germany believe it is."

Read more ....

More News On NATO Agreeing To Formally Join The Anti-ISIS Campaign

Trump talks counter-terrorism with EU, NATO leaders. -- UPI
Nato to formally join anti-Isis coalition -- Financial Times
NATO will formally join anti-'Islamic State' coalition -- DW
NATO to 'formally join' anti-ISIL coalition. -- Al Jazeera
NATO Says Alliance Is Joining Anti-ISIS Coalition -- Newser
NATO: The missing piece in the fight against international terrorism? -- SKY News

President Trump: I Am Not Going To Ask What The New NATO Building Costs



Express: 'I never asked what it cost' Trump's savage dig at NATO's £1billion shiny new Brussels HQ

DONALD TRUMP issued a savage dig at NATO members for the one billion dollar price tag of their new headquarters in Brussels.

Addressing member states on Thursday, he spoke about the unveiling of a piece of the North Tower from the 9/11 attacks and a part of the Berlin wall, which has gone on display at the new building.

He then blasted the group as he joked “I never asked, once, what the new Nato headquarters cost – I refuse to do that.”

He said: “I want to extend my appreciation to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York for contributing this remnant of the North Tower as well as to Chancellor Merkel and the German people for donating this portion of the Berlin wall.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: His remark on the cost of the new NATO building is at the end of his speech. A virtual tour of the new NATO building can be seen here.

U.S. President Trump Chastises Fellow NATO Leaders Over Defense Spending



Business Insider: Trump lectures NATO allies to their faces as they look on in awkward silence

President Donald Trump on Thursday lectured a group of leaders from member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over not contributing their "fair share" in defense spending.

Standing beside Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Trump blasted the nearly two-dozen member countries that have not met their "financial obligations" to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is quite a sight to see all of these NATO leaders .... just standing there with smirks on their faces while being called out by President Trump for their unwillingness and lack of interest to meet what NATO expects on defense spending. I have said it before .... if Russia is the threat that these NATO leaders are always voicing about .... why are they not spending the money to deter it. And as expected .... instead of focusing on the money (or lack of) .... the media is focusing on this .... In NATO Speech, Trump Is Vague About Mutual Defense Pledge (NYT). More here .... Trump gave a speech to NATO leaders, but it's what he left out that got their attention (CNBC), and more here .... Europe’s leaders desperately wanted Trump to say these two words today—and he didn’t (Quartz).

More News On U.S. President Trump Chastises Fellow NATO Leaders Over Defense Spending

Trump chastises NATO, vows to crackdown on leaks -- AP
Trump scolds NATO allies, warns of unending fight against militants -- Reuters
Trump Shames NATO Leaders on Defense Spending -- Bloomberg
Trump chastises fellow NATO members, demands they meet payment obligations -- Washington Post
Trump blasts NATO allies for not paying fair share -- ABC News
Trump scolds NATO allies over defense spending -- CNN

Pentagon: US Airstrike In Mosul Caused Explosion That Killed 105 Iraqi Civilians


Daily Mail: US strike killed more than 100 civilians hiding in a Mosul building when bomb that was aimed at two ISIS snipers caused jihadis' weapons to explode

* US strike targeting ISIS fighters in a Mosul building in Iraq killed at least 105
* United States Air Force Brigadier General Matt Isler confirmed the death toll
* CTS and coalition forces were not aware that civilians were in the building

A US strike targeting Islamic State fighters in a Mosul building in Iraq killed at least 105 civilians when the blast caused ISIS weapons to explode.

US Air Force Brigadier General Matt Isler confirmed the incident on March 17 claimed the lives of at least 105 civilians - adding a further 36 remain unaccounted for.

According to Isler, Iraqi counterterrorism service troops and coalition forces were not aware civilians were in the building, and ordered an air strike.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Pentagon Report That A US Airstrike In Mosul Caused An Explosion That Killed 105 Iraqi Civilians

US air strike on IS killed 105 civilians in Iraq's Mosul -- BBC
U.S. military acknowledges over 100 civilians died in Mosul strike in March -- Reuters
US: More Than 100 Civilians Killed in Iraq Bombing in March -- NYT/AP
US probe finds more than 100 civilians killed in Mosul air strike -- AFP
US military admits 100 civilian deaths as a result of anti-IS bombing -- DW
Pentagon Officials Say a U.S. Airstrike Killed Over 100 Civilians in Mosul -- NBC
US report: Building in Mosul airstrike contained explosives -- CNN
Pentagon: More than 100 civilians killed in March airstrike in Mosul -- USA Today
Coalition confirms more than 100 Mosul civilians killed in March airstrike -- RUDAW
Pentagon Confesses Coalition Strike Killed Over 100 Civilians in Mosul -- Sputnik

The Battle For The Philippine City Of Marawi Intensifies Between The Military And Islamist Insurgents



ABC News Online: Thousands of residents flee Marawi as insurgents battle Philippines troops, raise Islamic State flag

Thousands of residents have fled the southern Philippine city of Marawi as government troops exchanged gunfire with Islamist insurgents.

Army tanks packed with soldiers rolled into Marawi on Thursday in an effort to repel Islamist insurgents linked to Islamic State (IS), who had torched buildings, seized more than a dozen Catholic hostages and raised the black flag of IS.

Read more ....

The Battle For The Philippine City Of Marawi Intensifies Between The Military And Islamist Insurgents

Marawi fighting: Troops battle militants in Philippine city -- BBC
Philippines deploys top commandoes, attack helicopters to retake city from Islamist rebels -- Reuters
Soldiers launch attacks in besieged Philippine city -- AP
Philippine troops bomb Islamist militants in city -- AFP
Philippines army rescues 78 hostages, kills 13 ISIS-linked terrorists – military -- RT
At least 21 killed as Isis-linked militants rampage through Philippines city -- The Guardian
Philippine Troops Begin Campaign to Retake City From Islamist Militants -- VOA
Mindanao: Air raids target fighters holed up in Marawi -- Al Jazeera
Philippine army launches attacks against ISIS-linked terrorist group -- USA Today
Battle in Philippines With ISIS-Linked Militants Is Test for Duterte -- New York Times
The Philippine President Declares His Intentions in Mindanao -- Stratfor

World News Briefs -- May 25, 2017



DW: Trump calls on NATO members to contribute 'their fair share'

US President Donald Trump has once again urged NATO members to pay more, saying 2 percent of GDP was the miniumum. Earlier, EU officials seemed assured that Trump had reversed some of his criticism of the bloc.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday repeated calls for members of the NATO military alliance to pay more, saying that payments must make up for "the years lost."

Speaking in Brussels at his first NATO summit, Trump said 23 of the 28 NATO allies owed "massive amounts of money" and that this was "not fair to the people and tax payers of the United States."

His comments came after he began the meeting by leading a moment's silence for victims of the Manchester bombing, which he described as "a barbaric and vicious attack on our civilization."

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US air strike on IS killed 105 civilians in Iraq's Mosul.

Iraqi forces release videos countering claims of abuse.

Syrian army advances south toward rebel-held area.

Iran says has built third underground missile factory.

UN alarm over conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers put to death 3 accused of killing member.

Merkel threatens to pull troops from Turkey's Incirlik military base.

ASIA

Philippines deploys top commandoes, attack helicopters to retake city from Islamist rebels. Philippines army rescues 78 hostages, kills 13 ISIS-linked terrorists – military. Thousands of residents flee Marawi as insurgents battle Philippines troops, raise Islamic State flag.

Official: At least 13 soldiers killed in south Afghanistan.

NATO troop increase plan draws criticism in Afghanistan.

South China Sea: US warship sails within 12 miles of China-claimed reef.

Bangladesh jails high-profile Islamist leader.

Jakarta bombing linked to Islamic State, Indonesian police say.

Myanmar to deport Turkish family amid crackdown fears.

AFRICA

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack.

Militants kill Egyptian police officer in Sinai Peninsula.

Suspected jihadists wreck Mali primary school.

Libyan coastguard opens fire at migrant boats: NGOs.

Five Kenyan police killed in roadside bomb attack.

Nigeria-Cameroon joint efforts to fight piracy.

Tunisian businessmen arrested in 'war on corruption'.

Rwanda: Elections 'will not be rigged'.

Sisi's Egypt cracks down on news websites.

EUROPE

Greek ex-PM Lucas Papademos injured in car blast. Greek ex-premier Lucas Papademos wounded in Athens bombing.

NATO leaders meet under intense Trump pressure on spending.

Trump meets with EU officials in Brussels ahead of NATO summit.

Facing fuming British prime minister, Trump vows to plug leaks.

Macron out-Trumps Trump in handshake duel before NATO summit.

Information leaked in US affects Manchester bomb probe.

Obama in Berlin for landmark church assembly. Barack Obama tells Berlin audience: ‘We can’t hide behind a wall’.

AMERICAS

Trump tells Nato allies to pay up. Trump chastises NATO, vows to crackdown on leaks.

Foreign meetings omitted from Sessions' security clearance.

Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter.

Venezuelan student killed by National Guard tear gas canister.

Venezuela prosecutor says security forces killed student.

Embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer deploys troops to streets. Brazil protests: Temer revokes decree deploying troops in Brasilia.

President Lenin Moreno takes office in Ecuador.

Expect above-average Atlantic hurricane season, US forecasters say.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Trump talks counter-terrorism with EU, NATO leaders.

NATO to 'formally join' anti-ISIL coalition.

Father of Manchester bomb suspect 'was in militant group'.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

OPEC agrees to extend oil production cut for nine months. OPEC extends cuts in oil output by nine months.

Ancestry.com denies exploiting users' DNA.

Private firm launches rocket from New Zealand.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 25, 2017



BBC: Trump Nato: Leaders gather for 'tough' talks on defence spending

Leaders of the Nato military alliance are gathering in Brussels to meet President Donald Trump for what the US says will be "very tough" talks.

Mr Trump is expected to press members to pay their full financial share of the alliance's costs.

The alliance has already agreed to his request to join the US-led coalition against so-called Islamic State.

Mr Trump is meeting several EU leaders for the first time, including France's new President, Emmanuel Macron.

Read more ....



Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 25, 2017

Live Updates: Trump Is in Brussels, and Disagreement on Russia Emerges -- New York Times

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State: diplomats -- Reuters

NATO cheers Trump’s military budget -- Politico

NATO leaders to urge Trump to offer support -- Reuters

Trump's First NATO Summit: Don't Expect Much -- Dov S. Zakheim, National Interest

NATO, the world's biggest military alliance, explained -- AP

Montenegro finds itself at heart of tensions with Russia as it joins Nato -- The Guardian

Russia boasts of arms upgrade, 'strategic parity' with NATO -- Defense News

The Russian Military Wants To Adopt This Brand New Kalashnikov Assault Rifle -- Task & Purpose

Brazilian military receives Helibras helicopters -- UPI

Next army chiefs summit set for Nigeria despite its military's human rights violations -- Army Times

Pakistani military feeling the Trump pressure -- DW

US to switch from free military grants to loans for Ukraine & others -- RT

Trump's budget proposes converting some military grants to loans -- Reuters

Manchester: Britain stops sharing intelligence with U.S. after leaks -- UPI

Lockheed Martin drops out of US Navy missile competition -- Defense News

Lockheed awarded contract for Trident II D5 navigation subsystem -- UPI

US Army anti-missile command system’s initial capability delayed four years -- Defense News

Trump military budget proposal aims to increase readiness -- UPI

Trump's budget request: Here's what's in it for troops, veterans and military families -- Military Times

DARPA's hypersonic Phantom Express spaceplane gets sign off to be built -- Wired

How Boeing plans to build Darpa's first hypersonic spacecraft -- IBTimes

DARPA challenges Boeing to create spaceplanes able to launch ten times in ten days -- ZDNet

Air Force official: Next-gen GPS program 'not out of the woods' -- Defense News

How the Army wants to protect missiles from GPS jammers -- C4IRSNet

2018: The Year the U.S. Military Goes "Iron Man"? -- Kris Osborn, National Interest

New Zealand company partners with U.S. Army for engineered skin -- UPI

Navy Debuts New Tracksuit, Female Dress Coat for Sailors -- Military.com

House Passes Bill to Ban Nonconsensual Nude Photo Sharing in Military -- NBC

Military space tech smuggler arrested in US, faces 150yrs in prison -- RT

Ex-Marine Staff Sergeant Admits Stealing from Presidential Squadron -- Military.com

German Defense Spending – A Case Study -- John Beckner, RCD

Why President Trump's Defense Budget Is Dead on Arrival -- Mackenzie Eaglen, National Interest

Trump’s Bigger Fleet Is Dead in the Water -- David Axe, War Is Boring

Tom Cruise tells Aussie TV that 'Top Gun 2' will happen, may film next year -- Military Times

My Take On GOP House Candidate Greg Gioforte 'Body Slamming' Guardian Reporter Ben Jacobs



FOX News: Greg Gianforte: Fox News team witnesses GOP House candidate 'body slam' reporter

The race to fill Montana's sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives took a violent turn Wednesday, and a crew from the Fox News Channel, including myself, witnessed it firsthand.

As part of our preparation for a story about Thursday's special election to air on "Special Report with Bret Baier," we arranged interviews with the top two candidates, Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist. On Wednesday, I joined field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey in Bozeman for our scheduled interview with Gianforte, which was to take place at the Gianforte for Congress Bozeman Headquarters.

Faith, Keith and I arrived early to set up for the interview in a room adjacent to another room where a volunteer BBQ was to take place. As the time for the interview neared, Gianforte came into the room. We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk about restaurants and Bozeman.

Read more ....

Update: Republican candidate charged with assault, roiling Trump's Montana test (Reuters)

WNU Editor: Will this impact today's special election in Montana today .... I do not know ... two thirds of the voters have already voted in advanced polls. As for what's my own take on what Greg Gianforte did .... a candidate who is on the verge of winning an easy election .... talk about being stupid. If you lose your cool over a simple question .... what happens when you are faced with a really difficult question? But what I find interesting about this incident is the U.S. media coverage of it .... specifically many blaming President Trump for it .... Joe Scarborough: Greg Gianforte Assault Unsurprising in ‘Age of Trump’ (Mediaite). This only validates last week's Harvard University study that exposes how bias the media is against President Trump .... Harvard University Study: The Mainstream Media’s Is Biased Against President Trump (May 19, 2017), as well as validating my own personal opinion that President Trump has truly gotten under the skin of the main stream media and the progressive left. In short .... if someone does something stupid or there is a horrible incident somewhere in the world .... the first thing that goes in the mind of the media is to blame Trump.