Saturday, October 21, 2017

Is John Kelly's Defense Of Gold Star Sanctity Like A 'Military Coup'



Masha Gessen, New Yorker: John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup

Consider this nightmare scenario: a military coup. You don’t have to strain your imagination—all you have to do is watch Thursday’s White House press briefing, in which the chief of staff, John Kelly, defended President Trump’s phone call to a military widow, Myeshia Johnson. The press briefing could serve as a preview of what a military coup in this country would look like, for it was in the logic of such a coup that Kelly advanced his four arguments.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I read the 4 points that Masha Gessen outlines .... and I said to myself .... what does any of this have to do with a military coup? The answer is nothing. All that John Kelly talked about was the honor of the men and women in the military and the respect we should all have for their service, and why he was not happy with how this has all become politicized starting with the Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan appearing on the last day of the Democrat convention last year. And as expected .... the press is now piling on using the Khan family as their shield to go after John Kelly, a Gold Star father .... Gold Star father Khizr Khan says Trump's chief of staff needs to stop 'mopping up' the President's mess (The Independent). More piling on John Kelly from here .... General John Kelly's Credibility Takes A Hit (MSNBC).

Should Special Counsel Robert Mueller Resign?

James Comey, left, and Barack Obama applaud outgoing FBI director Robert Mueller, right, June 21, 2013. Photo credit: NEWSCOM

FOX News: Mueller team criticized by fellow attorneys for history of questionable tactics

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team running the Russia collusion probe are being accused by fellow attorneys of employing aggressive and questionable tactics in past cases, potentially putting a dent in his straight-shooter image.

As the investigation heats up and key players like former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and press secretary Sean Spicer are interviewed by investigators, several attorneys with experience in federal cases spoke out with their concerns this week.

Harvey Silverglate, a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, wrote an opinion piece accusing Mueller of once trying to entrap him when Mueller was acting U.S. attorney in Boston.

“I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor,” Silverglate wrote for WGBH News. “My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is very damning .... Silverglate: How Robert Mueller Tried To Entrap Me (Harvey Silverglate, WGBH). On Thursday I had to visit my lawyer's office pertaining to a contract, we always talk politics and international law and I asked him as an attorney (he is licensed to practice law in both Quebec and New York state) what was his take on the Mueller Commission. His answer surprised me .... my lawyer is a hard-core liberal who despises Trump, but he told me that he and many of his fellow attorneys believe that Mueller should resign because he is hopelessly compromised by his relationships with Comey, the Clintons, and the Uranium One scandal. Wow .... he was the last person that I thought would ever say that. I could be wrong .... but people are getting impatient .... they want results, and they want it to be done professionally and without any taint of impropriety. But if professional lawyers are talking like this .... Special Counsel Mueller and his team are definitely not giving the impression that they are the right people for the job. As to what is my take .... I give the Mueller Commission 6 more months .... if they do not hand down indictments by then that lawyers can look at say that they have a case and it pertains to the Russian collusion investigation .... this Special Counsel will be in trouble.

Iran Tells Visiting Hamas Delegation That Their Support Is Contingent On Them Continuing The Fight Against Israel

Leader’s Aide Velayati received Hamas’s Deputy Political Chief Saleh el-Arouri on Saturday in Tehran and restated Iran’s support for Palestinian people. Mehr News Agency

AFP/Times of Israel: Senior Hamas delegation arrives in Tehran for talks

Discussions said to focus on Palestinian unity deal, while Iran says support depends on continued fight against Israel.

A high-ranking Hamas delegation began a visit to Iran on Friday to inform its backers in Tehran about reconciliation efforts with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, an official from the terror group said.

The group led by deputy chief Salah al-Arouri will meet senior Iranian officials over the next several days, the representative said on condition of anonymity, after Israel insisted it will not recognize any unity Palestinian government unless Hamas cuts off ties with Tehran.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I can hear the sales pitch right now. We will continue to give you support, diplomatic recognition, money and weapons .... but the condition is that you must continue to wage war against Israel. And in turn we will help you to defeat Israel by putting enough pressure on them to make concessions that will place us in a more advantageous position to continue the fight against Israel.

More News On A Delegation From Hamas Visiting Iran

Senior Hamas Official in Iran for Official Talks -- Tasnim News (Iran).
Iran, main supporter of Palestinian cause: Hamas official -- Mehr News Agency (Iran)
Senior Hamas officials visit Iran to improve relations -- JNS.org
Hamas ignores Israel, sends delegation to Iran -- Arutz Sheva
Hamas delegation visits Iran -- Middle East Online

Do You Know Anybody In The Military?



Justin Fox, Bloomberg: Why You Don't Know Anybody in the Military

Getting rid of the draft has something to do with it, but not everything.

There were a lot of complicated things going on in White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's statement Thursday about the combat deaths of servicemen and women and how the nation (and his boss) responds to them. But along the way he made one very simple assertion:

Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them.

That sounds ... about right. Active-duty military now make up just 0.4 percent of the U.S. population, down from 1.8 percent in 1968 and 8.7 percent in 1945. Military personnel also tend to come from certain parts of the country more than others. Here, from the Defense Department's most recent annual report on population representation in the military services, are the states with the most military recruits in fiscal year 2015 as a percentage of the population aged 18 through 24:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In Russia ..... every male I know has served in the military. Living in Canada .... the GF's father served in the Canadian military, but aside from him .... and if it was not for this blog .... I would no one. And this has been the biggest reward (for me) in doing this blog .... it has given me the opportunity to meet and know a lot of people who have served and who are serving. Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am that this has happened .... and I will admit .... it is something that I never expected.

The World’s Largest Defense Contractor Is Putting Its Money Into These New Technologies

Lockheed Martin's concept art reflects its belief in the potential for directed-energy weapons against unmanned systems. (Lockheed Martin)

C4ISRNet: Inside the ‘foundational’ future technologies of the world’s largest defense company

WASHINGTON ― Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest defense contractor, a company with more than $47 billion in revenue in 2016. But if the company intends to stay relevant, it needs to develop new capabilities ― and its top technology expert has identified the key pots of money in which he wants to invest.

Keoki Jackson, Lockheed’s chief technology officer, laid out to reporters the “foundational” technologies in which his firm will be investing over the next two to three decades when he spoke at an Oct. 11 roundtable.

The technologies fall into three broad categories, with the first being what Jackson called “strategic technology thread areas,” areas that “go across pretty much anything Lockheed Martin will do, all these domains whether from undersea to outer space.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In short, Lockheed Martin is focusing on this .... autonomy, directed energy, signal processing and communications, sensor technology and exploitation, hypersonic systems, and advanced cybersecurity.

Video Of The Day



WNU Editor: The above video is from this link .... This Slo-Mo Video Of MH-60M Spec Ops Helicopters Refueling At Sunset Is Glorious (Video)

Tweets For Today





Russian President Putin Says Trusting The West Was A Big Mistake

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia October 19, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

FOX News: Putin says trusting the West was biggest mistake, report says

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reportedly said that the worst mistake he’s made in the last 15 years was in trusting the West.

Putin spoke with a Germany-based academic during a televised discussion in southern Russia. The academic asked about what mistakes Moscow may have made when dealing with the West, and Putin responded, “We trusted you too much. You interpreted our trust as weakness and you exploited that.”

Reuters reported that Putin appeared visibly angry at times when talking about post-Soviet leadership.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russia has made many mistakes since the break-up of the Soviet Union .... trusting the West was not one of them. If there is a mistake .... it was the expectation among many Russians that life would be better once the Soviet Union was gone. Unfortunately .... and I lived in Russia during this period of time .... that did not happen. And when times got really tough, many expected the West to give a helping hand .... but that also did not happen. So why the harsh remarks from Putin on the past .... my guess is that it is the present that is bothering him the most, and he is telegraphing that he does not want to repeat the past. To defuse the situation he needs to have a summit with President Trump .... but President Trump has been completely neutered by Congress to work with Putin since the imposition of sanctions. Is this a healthy situation .... definitely not .... but that is the mindset of the U.S. Congress today.

More News On Russian President Putin's Remarks That Trusting The West Was A Big Mistake

Putin says excessive trust in Europe is Russia’s key mistake in past years -- TAS
Putin dials up anti-U.S. rhetoric, keeps mum on re-election -- Reuters
Putin Harangues West for Lack of Respect, Broken Trust -- Bloomberg
Putin Takes Aim at U.S., West; Threatens New Arms Race, U.S. Media In Russia -- RFE
Putin Slams US: "The Biggest Mistake Russia Ever Made Was To Trust You" -- Zero Hedge

Picture Of The Day

Artillery salute during the Indian Navy's INS Satpura's arrival in Vladivostok for the Indra 2017 Russia-India joint land, naval and air force exercise. October 19. © Sputnik/ Ildus Gilyazutdinov

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures: October 14-20 (Sputnik).

A Look At The Growing Role That Iranian Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Is Playing In Iraq

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani (L) stands at the frontline during offensive operations against Islamic State militants in the town of Tal Ksaiba in Salahuddin province March 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Reuters: Iranian commander issued stark warning to Iraqi Kurds over Kirkuk

SULAIMANIA/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A senior Iranian military commander repeatedly warned Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to withdraw from the oil city of Kirkuk or face an onslaught by Iraqi forces and allied Iranian-backed fighters, Kurdish officials briefed on the meetings said.

Major-General Qassem Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, traveled to Iraq’s Kurdistan region to meet Kurdish leaders at least three times this month before the Baghdad government’s lightning campaign to recapture territory across the north.

The presence of Soleimani on the frontlines highlights Tehran’s heavy sway over policy in Iraq, and comes as Shi‘ite Iran seeks to win a proxy war in the Middle East with its regional rival and U.S. ally, Sunni Saudi Arabia.

Soleimani met leaders from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish political parties in northern Iraq, in the city of Sulaimania the day before Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered his forces to advance on Kirkuk, according to a PUK lawmaker briefed on the meeting.

His message was clear: withdraw or risk losing Tehran as a strategic ally.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: So much for those who hoped that two years ago the spirit of the Iranian nuclear deal would result in an era of cooperation and better understanding between Iran and the rest of the Middle East. From my vantage point .... and I hate to say it to those who still support that deal .... but the Iranians are working from an entirely different agenda.

More News On The Role That Iranian Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Is Playing In Iraq

Iranian General Helped Iraqis Seize Kirkuk From U.S. Allies -- NBC
Iranian General Reportedly Played Key Role In Swift Takeover Of Iraq's Kirkuk -- RFE
CIA Director Confirms Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Was In Kirkuk -- Daily Caller
Why is Iranian master terrorist Qassem Soleimani distributing photos of himself in Iraq? -- Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner

Friday, October 20, 2017

Iraqi Forces And Shiite Militias Have Seized Most Of Kirkuk From The Kurds



Reuters: Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said.

The district of Altun Kupri, or Perde in Kurdish, lies on the road between the city of Kirkuk - which fell to Iraqi forces on Monday - and Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq that voted in a referendum last month to secede from Iraq against Baghdad’s wishes.

A force made up of U.S-trained Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service units, Federal Police and Iranian-backed fighters known as Popular Mobilisation began their advance on Altun Kupri at 7:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), said an Iraqi military spokesman.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran's fingerprints are all over this new conflict .... Iran's Guards flex muscle in Middle East despite Trump warning (Reuters). More here .... Don't sacrifice our Kurdish allies to Iranian hegemony (Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, The Hill).

More News On The Growing Fight Between Iraqi Forces And Shiite Militias Against The Kurds

Iraq Kurds: Army claims full control of Kirkuk province -- BBC
Clashes as Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province -- AFP
Rising tensions escalate into combat between Iraqi and Kurdish forces, allies in the fight against Islamic State -- L.A. Times
Iraqi and Kurdish forces exchange fire over shared border as tensions rise -- The Telegraph
Iraqi forces clash with Kurdish fighters in town north of Kirkuk -- CNN
Iraqi forces clash with Kurds moving closer to regional capital Erbil (VIDEO) -- RT

The World's Tech Companies And The G7 Agree On Plan To Counter Jihadi-Islamist Content Online



DW: G7, Facebook, Google, Twitter agree on plan to counter Islamist terror

G7 countries and leading technology companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter have agreed to work together to combat online terror propaganda. The accord is aimed at blocking jihadi content online.

The Group of Seven (G7) countries and some of the world's biggest technology firms agreed on Friday on a plan to remove jihadi material from the web within two hours of being posted.

"These are the first steps towards a great alliance in the name of freedom," Italian Interior Minister and host Marco Minniti said after a two-day meeting on the Italian island of Ischia off Naples.

Security experts have been warning about the manner in which extremist groups around the world have been efficiently using the internet to radicalize, recruit and train new members.

Read more ....

Update #1: G7, tech giants agree on plan to block jihadist content online (AFP)
Update #2: Tech firms to remove extremist posts within hours (BBC)

WNU Editor: The goal is to spot and remove jihadist or extremist posts within two hours. I do not know how they are going to do it that fast .... considering how huge the web is and the limits on resources .... but at least that is the goal.

Was There A 'Massive Intelligence' Failure In Niger That Caused The Deats Of Four U.S. Special Forces Soldiers?

A US Army Special Forces weapons sergeant observes a Niger army soldier during marksmanship training as part of Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, February 28, 2017. US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Klutts

NBC: Niger Ambush Came After ‘Massive Intelligence Failure,’ Source Says

WASHINGTON — A senior congressional aide who has been briefed on the deaths of four U.S. servicemen in Niger says the ambush by militants stemmed in part from a "massive intelligence failure."

The Pentagon has said that 40 to 50 militants ambushed a 12-man U.S. force in Niger on Oct. 4, killing four and wounding two. The U.S. patrol was seen as routine and had been carried out nearly 30 times in the six months before the attack, the Pentagon has reported.

The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly, said the House and Senate armed services committees have questions about the scope of the U.S. mission in Niger, and whether the Pentagon is properly supporting the troops on the ground there.

Read more ....

Update #1: Niger ambush that left 4 US soldiers dead related to 'massive intelligence failure': Report (Washington Examiner)
Update #2: Niger raid highlights US forces' growing Africa role (AFP)

WNU Editor: The region where these US Special Forces soldiers were killed has had its share of violence this year .... At least 46 attacks in area of Niger where U.S. troops killed: U.N. (Reuters). But when I think of how these soldiers were killed .... the huge force that was waiting for them .... how the ambush went down .... my gut is my telling me that these U.S. soldiers were sold out by an informer or someone who supports the militants. Not surprising, the Pentagon is also beginning to draw this conclusion .... The Pentagon is investigating whether US soldiers in Niger were lured into ambush (Business Insider).

Tonight's Movie Is 'On Wings of Eagles' (1986)



From Wikipedia: The story is set during the Iranian revolution. As the Shah is overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini in the takeover of Iran, two executives of Electronic Data Systems, are arrested on false charges and then imprisoned. The head of the company, H. Ross Perot (Richard Crenna), travels to Tehran to negotiate for their release. Meanwhile, a retired US Army Special Forces Colonel, Arthur D. 'Bull' Simons (Burt Lancaster), is hired by Perot to formulate a rescue plan at any cost.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 20, 2017



Eli Lake, Bloomberg: U.S. Tried and Failed to Stave Off Iraq's Advance on the Kurds

An American diplomat pleaded for more time to broker a compromise.

The U.S. nearly brokered a deal last weekend to avert the current crisis over the disputed city of Kirkuk, where Iraqi forces and some Iranian-supported militias displaced Kurdish fighters this week.

It has been widely reported that Iraqi Security Forces entered Kirkuk and a nearby military base and oil fields because of a deal made by the relatives of the late Jalal Talabani, the former Iraqi president and Kurdish revolutionary who died this month. That deal, forged by Talabani's widow, Hero, and others in her family with the head of Iran's Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, has uprooted the unity Kurds have enjoyed since the 2003 war to liberate Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government president, Massoud Barzani, has called Hero a traitor, while Kurds loyal to Talabani have accused Barzani of bringing another calamity upon their people.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 20, 2017

How a shocking reversal of fortunes unfolded in Kirkuk -- John Beck, Al Jazeera

'UAE on the verge of splitting Yemen in two' -- Faisal Edroos, Al Jazeera

Iran's Very Good Week -- Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post

As Islamic State falls, has US missed bigger picture? -- AFP

Fatal blows to Islamic State in the Philippines -- Richard Javad Heydarian, Asia Times

When ‘The Donald’ meets ‘Duterte Harry’ -- William Pesek, Asia Times

Sieren's China: No point in resisting Xi Jinping -- Frank Sieren, DW

China's Xi Jinping consolidates power with new ideology -- BBC

In China, a New Political Era Begins -- Matthew Massee, Geopolitical Futures

China's Toughest Job? Whoever takes the helm at China's central bank, the job is fraught with risks. -- Christopher Balding, Bloomberg

China’s communist party congress stirs echoes of South Africa -- Grant Newsham, Asia Times

Middle Europe turns its back on the EU -- John Lloyd, Reuters

Will the UN Security Council ever be reformed? -- Srinivas Mazumdaru, DW

Uganda: Is it still Africa's bread-basket? -- Sella Oneko, DW

Putin Spins a Tale of Russian Humiliation -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- October 20, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Spain plans new elections in Catalonia to end independence bid: opposition

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government has secured opposition support for dissolving Catalonia’s parliament and holding new elections there in January in its bid to check the regional government’s push for independence.

The Socialists, the main opposition, said on Friday they would back special measures to impose central rule on the region to thwart the secessionist-minded Catalan government and end a crisis that has unsettled the euro and hurt confidence in the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who wants opposition support to be able to present a united front in the crisis, has called an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday to pave the way for Madrid establishing central control in the region.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi and Kurdish forces exchange fire at border. Iraq army seizes town near Erbil after fierce clashes. Kirkuk province: Iraqi and Kurdish forces in fierce fight.

Iraqi court issues arrest warrant for Kurdish vice president.

Baghdad takes last Kirkuk sector, Rosneft backs Irbil.

US-backed Syrian force declares victory over IS in Raqqa. Raqqa to be part of 'federal Syria', U.S.-backed militia says.

Syria's war: Rebels groups sign fragile ceasefire covering Eastern Ghouta.

Turkey worried Kurdish influence will grow in Syria after Raqqa.

Hamas must disarm to join Palestinian unity government - US.

$50,000 payments help grieving Gaza families end blood feuds.

EU considers reducing $5bn accession aid to Turkey.

ASIA

Suicide bombers attack two Afghan mosques, at least 72 dead. Kabul Shia mosque blast kills dozens. Afghan official: Suicide bombing at Kabul mosque kills 30.

North Korea says to continue nuclear tests: RIA.

Having nuclear weapons 'matter of life and death' for North Korea: agency.

North Korea: CIA director says regime nearly capable of nuclear attack.

North Korea 'rant' letter shows sanctions are biting, says Australia's PM Malcolm Turnbull. North Korea writes open letter to Parliament urging Australia to move away from Trump administration.

South Korea to push ahead with nuclear power plants.

East Timor government faces uncertainty after parliamentary defeat.

New Zealand to hold cannabis referendum within three years.

AFRICA

UN says 26 killed in latest C.Africa clashes.

Zuma given November 30 deadline ahead of South Africa decision on graft charges.

Zuma spokesman dismisses reports South African deputy president may be sacked.

Niger raid highlights US forces' growing Africa role.

At least 46 attacks in area of Niger where U.S. troops killed: U.N..

Kenya’s police say 4 killed in opposition demonstrations.

US warns Americans about visiting Sudan over 'terror risks'.

EU 'running out of money' to stop migrants travelling from Africa.

Togo opposition accuses government of brutal crackdown.

Niger raid highlights US forces' growing Africa role.

Malawi cracks down on 'vampire' lynch mobs.

EUROPE

Spain plans new elections in Catalonia to end independence bid: opposition.

Catalonia crisis: Spain plans for elections as independence row grows. Spain’s leader prepares to unveil specific Catalan measures.

EU leaders decline to mediate over Catalonia as Spain decides next step.

Britain wants Brexit accord but prepared for a 'no deal': Davis.

EU leaders struggle to break through Brexit talks impasse.

NATO leaders set to meet July 11-12, 2018 in Brussels.

Jamaica or bust: Merkel starts crunch coalition talks.

Italian regions go to the polls in Europe's latest referendums on autonomy.

Czechs set to elect Teflon-coated billionaire Andrej Babis.

Anger over Donald Trump's UK crime tweet.

AMERICAS

U.S. fiscal year deficit widens to $666 billion.

U.S. says 24 people harmed from recent 'attacks' in Cuba.

Trump tax cuts gain momentum as Rand Paul goes 'all in'.

Barack Obama delivers veiled but withering rebuke of Donald Trump. Obama and Bush decry deep US divisions without naming Trump.

Puerto Rico continues to struggle a month after Hurricane Maria.

Cuban oil drilling ready for 2018.

Venezuela swears in governors amid opposition boycott.

Brazil prosecutors investigate plan to give reconstituted food to poor people.

Exclusive: New data shows race disparities in Canada's bail system.

Canada granting asylum to U.S. border crossers at higher rates: data.

Official candidate seen ahead in Buenos Aires Senate race: poll.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Inside the Raqqa jail where ISIS held their betrayers.

France's Macron says Raqqa fall not end of battle against Islamic State.

US drone strike targets al-Shabab after Somalia attack.

Syrian refugee detained in Greece on terror charge.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street hits record highs; tax plan hopes fuel optimism.

The massive Saudi Aramco IPO doesn't look like a great investment to many.

Hurricanes, earthquakes estimated to cost insurers $95B.

Amazon: More than 100 cities bid for new headquarters.

16 Egyptian Police Officers Killed In Shootout Southwest Of Cairo

Al Arabiya: 16 Egyptian police officers killed in shootout in Giza

Al-Arabiya correspondent in Cairo reported on Friday that 16 security forces personnel were killed in clashes with militants in Giza, southwest Cairo.

According to news agencies, quoting security sources, the 16 police officers were killed in a shoot-out on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt’s Western desert.

The sources said authorities were following a lead to an apartment thought to house eight suspected members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the capital targeting judges and policemen since last year.

Read more ...

Update: At Least Sixteen Police Officers Killed in Shoot-Out in Egypt's Western Desert: Security Sources (US News and World Report/Reuters)

WNU Editor: The Western media focus is on Egypt's war against militants in Sinai, but today's heavy death toll from a police raid clearly indicates (again) that Egypt's terror problem is deeply rooted within the country itself.

Is Chen Miner The Next President Of China?

Guizhou Communist Party boss Chen Miner attends a meeting in Beijing, China, March 6, 2016. Picture taken March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Andrei Lungu, Foreign Policy: Xi Jinping Has Quietly Chosen His Own Successor

Meet Chen Min’er, the man who’s been getting groomed to run China, without anyone in the West seeming to notice.

Until recently, Sun Zhengcai, the party secretary of the metropolis of Chongqing, “the Chicago on the Yangtze,” was seen as a possible successor to Xi Jinping. Then, in July, the Communist Party of China launched an investigation against him for corruption, leading to Sun’s dismissal from office and the precipitous end to his political career.

Throughout the Western press, the removal of Sun Zhengcai was treated as conclusive proof that Xi plans to remain in charge after 2022, when term limits and political tradition will require him to give up power. This has been a common trope in the hazy world of Chinese political analysis since at least 2015, when Foreign Policy published “Xi Jinping Forever,” arguing that the Chinese leader would try to extend his rule beyond two terms. A constant stream of articles, especially in the run-up to this week’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party, has reinforced the consensus that Xi Jinping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He is one of the favorites, and he has the ear of Chinese President Xi. But he is not alone .... China's Next Class of Leaders Garners Buzz At Political Pageant (Bloomberg).

Update: Someone thinks this person may be the next leader .... Brookings China scholar: Xi may anoint Hu Chunhua as successor (Asia Times)