Saturday, June 24, 2017

U.K. Parliament Hit By Cyber Attack Targeting MPs' Email Accounts



The Independent: Parliament hit by cyber attack as hackers attempt to access MPs' email accounts

Hackers launch ‘sustained and determined attack’ on all parliamentary user accounts

Hackers have targeted Parliament’s email system in an attempt to access the accounts of hundreds of MPs, Lords, aides and staff.

Security services are to shut down access for anyone not in Westminster as part of efforts to secure the network after the allegedly state-sponsored attack.

“The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts,” a parliamentary spokesperson told The Independent.

Read more ....

More News On The British Parliament Being Hit By A Cyber Attack That Is Targeting MPs' Email Accounts

Parliament hit by 'sustained' cyber-attack -- BBC
Cyber-attack on parliament leaves MPs unable to access emails -- The Guardian
UK parliament cuts e-mail access after cyberattack -- AFP
British lawmakers hit by 'sustained' cyber attack -- Reuters
MPs lose email access as Parliament targeted in 'sustained' cyberattack -- SKY News
British Parliament's Email Network Hit by 'Sustained' Cyberattack -- VOA
Cyberattack Hits U.K. Parliament, Limits MPs' Email Access -- Bloomberg
Britain Investigates After U.K. Lawmakers Hit by Possible Cyber Security Attack -- NBC
UK parliament hit by cyber attack -- The Hill

Qatar Dismisses Arab Demands As Diplomatic Spat Drags On



BBC: Qatar says list of demands by Arab states not realistic

Qatar's foreign minister has rejected a list of 13 conditions set by four Arab states for lifting sanctions, saying it is neither reasonable nor actionable.

Qatar is under strict sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain. They accuse Qatar of backing terrorism.

Among other things, they have demanded the closure of Al Jazeera TV, which is funded by the Qatari government.

The UAE's foreign minister has suggested they may cut ties completely.

But Anwar Gargash added that the countries were not seeking to overthrow the Qatari leadership, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Qatar has been under unprecedented diplomatic and economic sanctions for more than two weeks, with Iran and Turkey increasingly supplying it with food and other goods.

Read more ....

More News On Qatar Dismissing Arab Demands As Diplomatic Spat Drags On

Qatar casts aside list of demands by Arab states -- Financial Times
Qatar Shuns 'Unreasonable' Saudi-Led Demands To Cut Ties With Iran, Shut Al-Jazeera -- RFD
Qatar Says Demands Made by Four Arab States Not 'Realistic' -- US News and World Report/Reuters
Qatar: List of Demands from Saudi, Allies Not ‘Realistic’ -- Al Bawaba
Neighboring Arab Nations Slap Qatar With 13-Point List Of Demands -- Yahoo News
Saudi-Led Bloc Seeks Diplomatic Fix to Impasse With Qatar -- Bloomberg
UAE: Arab states don’t seek ‘regime change’ in Qatar -- Washington Post/AP
UAE sees 'parting of ways' if Qatar does not accept Arab demands -- Reuters
Saudi Arabia is trying to make Qatar shutter Al Jazeera — and transform its foreign policy -- Zeeshan Aleem, VOX
The Gulf's Demands on Qatar Look Designed to Be Rejected -- The Atlantic
Why Qatar Unlikely to Bow to Saudi-Led Demand for Cutting Ties With Iran -- Sputnik

John Walker Lindh: Detainee #001 In The Global War On Terrorism Will Be Released In Two Years

Foreign Policy: John Walker Lindh, Detainee #001 in the Global War On Terror, Will Go Free In Two Years. What Then?

In leaked correspondence from prison, the ‘American Taliban’ refuses to renounce terrorism, says he wants to move to Ireland.

On Nov. 25, 2001, two CIA officers discovered a bearded 19-year-old English speaker among a group of captured Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The bedraggled teen stood out. “Irish? Ireland?” a CIA officer asked the prisoner, who gave no reply.

He turned out to be an American. And hours later, one of his CIA interrogators was killed when the captured Taliban prisoners staged an uprising.

Photographed naked and bound, California-born John Walker Lindh became detainee #001 in the global war on terrorism and dubbed the “American Taliban.” Branded a traitor and terrorist back home, he was convicted of supporting the Taliban and sentenced to 20 years in prison in a media firestorm that captured the zeitgeist of the post-9/11 era.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He is going to be the first of many as their prison sentences run out. Sighh .... I prefer to remember Johnny Micheal Spann .... Remembering Johnny Micheal Spann (Legal Insurrection).

China And The U.S. Agree On The Need For A Denuclearised Korean Peninsula

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the test of a new-type anti-aircraft guided weapon system organised by the Academy of National Defence Science in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) May 28, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS

Reuters: China, U.S. agree on aim of 'complete, irreversible' Korean denuclearization

China and the United States agreed that efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula should be "complete, verifiable and irreversible", Chinese state media said on Saturday, reporting the results of high level talks in Washington this week.

"Both sides reaffirm that they will strive for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," a consensus document released by the official Xinhua news agency said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said on Thursday that the United States pressed China to ramp up economic and political pressure on North Korea, during his meeting with top Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs.

China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui met Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during the talks. Yang later met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House, where they also discussed North Korea, Xinhua reported.

Read more ....

Update #1: US, China reaffirm alliance on North Korea: report (The Hill)
Update #2: China, U.S. reaffirm commitment to Korean Peninsula denuclearization (New China)

WNU Editor: A broad declaration .... but no specifics on how to achieve it. This is what China wanted.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo Is Interviewed By NBC



NBC: CIA Chief Pompeo: Trump Is a ‘Serious Consumer’ of Intelligence

Allegations that President Donald Trump is uninterested in intelligence briefings related to national security could not be "any more false," CIA chief Mike Pompeo told MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt in an exclusive interview that aired Saturday.

Trump “is a serious consumer of the product that the intelligence community delivers," Pompeo said.

“I cannot imagine a statement that is any more false than the one that would attribute President Trump not being interested in intelligence and facts when it comes to national security,” he added.

Read more ....

WNU editor: In the above video the audio is out of sink .... but if following the CIA is your thing .... it is worthwhile to listen to. As to what is my take on his interview.... a bit disappointed .... there was nothing new revealed.

More News On CIA Director Mike Pompeo's Interview By NBC

CIA Director Mike Pompeo meets 'nearly every day' with Trump who is an 'avid consumer' of intelligence -- Washington Examiner
CIA chief: Trump is an ‘avid consumer’ of intelligence -- The Hill
CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Trump is 'incredibly demanding' of the intelligence community -- Business Insider
CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise, cites leaker 'worship' -- AP
Trump CIA director blames 'worship of Edward Snowden' for rise in leaks -- The Guardian
Mike Pompeo: Trump admin plans on "punishing" leakers -- Axios

Speculation Continues To Grow That Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Dead

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making what would have been his first public appearance, at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on... REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV/File Photo

Reuters: If Baghdadi is dead, next IS leader likely to be Saddam-era officer

If Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is confirmed dead, he is likely to be succeeded by one of his top two lieutenants, both of whom were Iraqi army officers under late dictator Saddam Hussein.

Experts on Islamist groups see no clear successor but regard Iyad al-Obaidi and Ayad al-Jumaili as the leading contenders, though neither would be likely to assume Baghdadi's title of "caliph", or overall commander of Muslims.

Russia's defense ministry said last week Baghdadi may have been killed in an air strike in Syria and Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian parliamentarian on Friday as saying the likelihood that he had been killed was close to 100 percent.

But armed groups fighting in the region and many regional officials are skeptical about the reports.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is ominous (mind you it is an Iranian source) .... ISIS to Issue ‘Important’ Statement on Al-Baghdadi (Iran Front Page)

More News On Reports That Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Dead

Who could be Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's successor if he is confirmed dead? -- IBTimes
Saddam’s former army officer may become new IS leader -- Kurdistan 24
If Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, this is who the next ISIS leader is likely to be -- Mirror.
Russian diplomat: There is a 'high probability' that al-Baghdadi was killed in May -- Military/AP
Russia: "High" probability ISIS leader "liquidated" in strike -- CBS/AP
Russia "almost" confirms ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death -- International Business Times

This Is Why Russia Will Not Engage In An Air War Against The U.S. Over The Skies Of Syria

A US Air Force F-22 Raptor flies over the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Jan. 27, 2016. US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook

Alex Lockie, Business Insider: Here's how an air war between Russia and the US in Syria would go down

After the US downed a Syrian jet making a bombing run on US-backed forces fighting ISIS, Russia threatened to target US and US-led coalition planes West of the Euphrates river in Syria.

But while Russia has some advanced surface-to-air missile systems and very agile fighter aircraft in Syria, it wouldn't fare well in what would be a short, brutal air war against the US.

The US keeps an aircraft carrier with dozens of F/A-18E fighters aboard in the Mediterranean about all the time and hundreds of F-15s and F-16s scattered around Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This .... in a nutshell .... is why Russia will not engage against the U.S. in Syria ....

.... According to Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst at Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis firm, Russia has "about 25 planes, only about ten of which are dedicated to air superiority (Su-35s and Su-30s), and against that they’ll have to face fifth-gen stealth fighters, dozens of strike fighters, F-15s, F-16s, as well as B-1 and B-52 bombers. And of course the vast US Navy and pretty much hundreds of Tomahawks."

In short .... it all comes down to numbers.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 24, 2017

Defense Secretary James Mattis (right) and Army Gen. John Nicholson (left), commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, hold a news conference at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 24. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

David Petraeus and Michael O’Hanlon, WSJ: Getting an Edge in the Long Afghan Struggle

Trump’s early approach holds promise if backed with a sustained, and sustainable, commitment.

Can the U.S. succeed in Afghanistan? Not without a sustained, and sustainable, commitment. President Trump’s decision to give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to add several thousand more U.S. troops to the 8,400 currently deployed is encouraging—but only if it is a first step in a comprehensive approach.

Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, should also receive greater leeway in the use of U.S. and NATO air power. And officials should remain open to the possibility of reconciliation with some insurgents, probably just those that break off from the central Taliban.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 24, 2017

The Danger of Mission Creep in Syria -- Emma M. Ashford, National Interest

Trumplomacy: Is there a Mideast strategy beyond arms sales? -- Barbara Plett Usher, BBC

All Signs from Trump Point to a Coming Conflict with Iran -- John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus

A new Ottoman Empire? -- Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom

Saudi power shift risks skidding on oil slick -- M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times

Sea of sarin: North Korea’s chemical deterrent -- Reid Kirby, Atomic Bulletin of Scientists

Will America Wage War with a Nuclear-Armed North Korea? -- Robert E. Kelly, National Interest

Are China and the United States Headed for War? -- Ian Buruma, New Yorker

India Challenges China’s Intentions on One Belt, One Road Initiative -- Harsh V Pant, Yale Global Online

Who Will Abandon Taiwan Next? -- Fabrizio Bozzato, Lowy Institute

A year after Brexit, in figures -- Ginger Hervey, Politico

Ukraine's Naftogaz Hopes For Final Win Over Gazprom -- Oleg Varfolomeyev, RCW/Eurasia Daily Monitor

To Deal with the Russians, America Must Think Like the Russians -- Bruce Allyn, National Interest

Venezuela's Maduro confronts perils of his reliance on the military -- Howard LaFranchi, CSM

Mexico: Is the state spying on journalists? -- Viola Träder, DW

Why the stock market keeps going up, up, up -- Charles Gasparino, New York Post

World News Briefs -- June 24, 2017



Reuters: Iraqi forces free hundreds of civilians in Mosul Old City battles as death toll mounts

Iraqi forces opened exit routes for hundreds of civilians to flee the Old City of Mosul on Saturday as they battled to retake the quarter from Islamic State militants mounting a last stand in what was the de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate.

U.S.-trained urban warfare units were channeling their onslaught along two perpendicular streets that converge in the heart of the Old City, aiming to isolate the jihadist insurgents in four pockets.

The week-old battle in the Old City is turning into the deadliest of the eight-month U.S.-backed campaign to take back the northern city, which fell to the militants in June 2014.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Hundreds of civilians flee Mosul as IS loses grip on city. In Mosul, ghostly civilians emerge from Old City hell.

Raqqa: The desperate fight for Islamic State group's 'capital'.

Israel strikes Syrian positions after fire toward it.

Attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca is foiled as suspect blows himself up after a gunfight with Saudi security forces as Ramadan nears climax.

Iran, Qatar send Saudis support after bombing near Mecca.

Qatar protests 'unreasonable' ultimatum from neighbors. Qatar says list of demands by Arab states not realistic.

Qatar given 10 days to meet 13 sweeping demands by Saudi Arabia.

UAE: Arab states don’t seek ‘regime change’ in Qatar.

Yemen to probe alleged interrogation abuses by UAE, US.

UN: 1,310 dead in Yemen cholera epidemic. Cholera cases in Yemen may rise up to 300,000 - UN.

ASIA

Death toll from Pakistan attacks climbs to 85. Dozens killed in two separate attacks in Pakistan on eve of Eid.

Afghans suffer deadliest Ramadan since 2001.

China, U.S. agree on aim of 'complete, irreversible' Korean denuclearization.

Second North Korean soldier defects to South in a month.

Otto Warmbier: North Korea dismiss 'groundless' accusations US man died from torture.

China worried Modi-Trump talks might cover South China Sea.

South China Sea: Former CIA director David Petraeus says Australia must 'be firm' with China.

China landslide: Fears more than 120 people buried, sparking massive rescue effort.

AFRICA

Egypt's Sisi ratifies handover of islands to Saudi Arabia.

Turkey's military training camp in Somalia to open soon.

Food insecurity threatens children in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia – UNICEF.

EU leaders boost support for Libya to halt migrant exodus.

UN to send experts to investigate DR Congo violence.

Mali relaunches beleaguered peace process.

South Sudan cancels independence day events.

EUROPE

Shhh...EU leaders try to take migration feud off table, for now.

Norway-Russia relations to deteriorate following U.S. Marines' base extension: Russian embassy.

Was Russian hacking of Ukraine's power grid a test run for U.S. attack?.

London tower blocks evacuated as 27 buildings fail fire tests. UK fire safety crisis expands; Hundreds evacuated in London.

UK Parliament hit by cyber-attack.

EU nations including Germany and France refuse to back Britain over island row.


Schwarzenegger and Macron join forces in swipe at Trump.

AMERICAS

Number of refugees admitted in US drops by 50 percent under Trump.

Poll: Trump approval rating rebounds.

Congress ignores White House pressure to tweak Russia sanctions bill.

Dems push leaders to talk less about Russia.

US Marines will meet a 'swift response' if they dare intervene, says Venezuelan official.

Venezuela faces food and medical supply shortage.

Colombia's ELN rebels announce release of kidnapped Dutch journalists.

Corruption charges against Brazil's Temer expected to come in waves: source.

Illinois could be 1st state with 'junk' credit due to budget.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Trump considering Camp David-style summit to unite Arab leaders to fight terrorism.

Bali bombing: Guantánamo inmate Hambali charged over 2002 attack.

US most wanted terror leader may have fled Philippine city: army.

Counterterrorism Director: Al Qaeda remains No. 1 terrorism concern to U.S..

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Global financial crisis a decade ago still casts shadow over Singaporean investors: Survey.

9.5 trillion reasons gold and silver are looking more lustrous than ever.

Russia's fighter jet makers 'not afraid' of U.S. competition in India.

Mark Zuckerberg's snub of White House could backfire as Europe goes after U.S. Internet giants.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 24, 2017

An armed Russian SU-27 Flanker confronts a U.S. RC135U. Photo via U.S. EUCOM

Newsweek: Is Russia Ready to Fire at US Military Jets in Syria?

Russia has warned that it will now consider American jets in western Syria “air targets,” after a U.S. Navy aircraft shot down a Syrian regime jet on Monday. Russia and the U.S. are both active in the Syrian civil war, but Moscow backs the regime of Bashar al-Assad, while Washington supports anti-regime rebels.

The Russian ministries of defense and foreign affairs both threatened to sharpen their response to U.S. military actions in Syria after Monday’s downing by “tracking” U.S. jets and severing communication channels with American forces operating in Syria. However, Russia experts are skeptical as to whether Moscow will take action or is relying more on harsh rhetoric to appear stronger.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 24, 2017

Here’s How An Air War Between The US And Russia Over Syria Would Go Down -- Alex Lockie, Task & Purpose/Business Insider

Analysts: Russia's Military Threats Mainly Bluster, but Conflict Risk Rising -- VOA

U.S. military says crisis communications link with Russia 'in use' -- Reuters

U.S.: Russia Gave Heads-Up About Syrian Cruise Missile Strike -- US News and World Report

North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ICBM: U.S. officials -- Reuters

South China Sea: Chinese Military Planes Raise New Concerns Of Conflict in Asia -- Newsweek

Aequs doubling Rafale output aiming to triple annual sales by 2020 -- Defense News

German officials meet with Lockheed to talk F-35 at Paris Air Show -- Defense News

German Intelligence Also Snooped on White House -- Spiegel Online

Exclusive: Overruling diplomats, U.S. to drop Iraq, Myanmar from child soldiers' list -- Reuters

Trump administration reportedly OK's sale of 33 unarmed drones to India -- FOX News

The Art of the U.S.-India Aircraft Carrier Deal -- Bimal Sareen, The Diplomat

Maritime Mystery: Why A U.S. Destroyer Failed to Dodge a Cargo Ship -- NYT

Fitzgerald: When A Big Ocean Gets Small -- US Naval Institute

Navy fighter jets aren't consistently providing pilots with high-quality breathing air, report says -- Virginia Pilot

Thunderbird F-16 pilot, team passenger in ‘good condition’ after crash -- WHIOTV7

U.S. Military’s Vital ‘Doomsday Planes’ Damaged in Tornado -- NBC

F-35s Worth the Hype After All? -- American Interest

The Army Is Looking For A Special Artillery Shell That Can Totally Paralyze Enemy Cities -- Michael Peck, National; Interest

Dismissal of Bid Protest Clears Way for New Army Sidearm -- Military.com/Stars and Stripes

US Army to hold competition for Patriot radar replacement -- Defense News

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense -- Missile Threat

Space Warfare: America could soon have a new branch of the military protecting outer space -- FOX News

House lawmakers want space-based missile defense strategy -- Defense News

US Tech Firms Give Up Security Secrets For Access To Russian Market -- Daily Caller

Wikileaks: The CIA can remotely hack into computers that aren’t even connected to the internet -- Quartz

I trained a neural network to create CIA malware codenames -- The Next Web

Army busts another general for improper relationship with woman -- Washington Post

Missing Shiloh sailor who was discovered hiding transferred to brig -- Navy Times

How Trump is empowering the military -- and raising some eyebrows -- CNN

The Air Force and IBM are building an AI supercomputer -- Andrew Tarantola, Endgadget

How Not to Win an AI Arms Race With China -- Patrick Tucker, Defense One

Sights from around the Paris Air Show -- Defense News

Israel Launches Air Strikes On Syrian Positions After Spillover Fire In Syria Hit The Golan Heights

A picture taken from the Golan Heights on September 10, 2016, shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab. Israeli aircraft struck Syrian army positions after fire from its war-torn neighbor hit the Golan. (AFP/Jalaa Marey)

Times of Israel: Syrian shells land in Golan Heights, sparking IDF strikes

Syrian shells land in Golan Heights, sparking IDF strikes

Israel complains to UN, hits back at Assad regime tanks and post, after apparent errant fire from fighting near the border

Several mortar shells exploded in an open area in the Golan Heights near the border with Syria Saturday afternoon, the army said, leading to retaliatory air strikes.

The army said the mortars appeared to be errant fire from Syrian factions fighting each other across the border. Around 10 impacts were identified in Israeli territory, around the Quneitra area.

Read more ....

More News On Israel Launching Air Strikes On Syrian Positions After Spillover Fire In Syria Hit The Golan Heights

IDF strikes Syrian targets in response to Golan crossfire -- The Jerusalem Post
Israel attacks Syrian tanks in response to wayward projectiles -- Ynetnews
Israel launches air raid on Syria in return for fire: Army -- Daily Star/AFP
Spillover fire from Syria reaches northern Israel -- Jerusalem Online
Israel tells civilians to steer clear of Syria border -- ABC News/AP
Israeli warplanes target 2 Syrian tanks over spillover cross-border fire -- RT
Several Syrian Projectiles Fall on Israeli Part of Golan Heights – IDF -- Sputnik

Two U.S. Military 'Doomsday Planes' Damaged By Tornado

The Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post © Keith Allison / Wikipedia

NBC: U.S. Military’s Vital ‘Doomsday Planes’ Damaged in Tornado

WASHINGTON — Two of the U.S. Military's E-4B planes — commonly called the "Doomsday Plane" — were damaged and knocked out of service recently in a tornado at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, according to two U.S. military officials.

The E-4B is the military's National Airborne Operations Center and if there is a national emergency or attack, the plane would serve as the command and control hub for the president, secretary of defense and joint chiefs.

The planes were damaged on June 16, the officials said. The military has four E4-Bs in the fleet so now half of the fleet is not operational.

The officials said the mission can still be accomplished with the two aircraft grounded.

Read more ....

More News On Two U.S. Military 'Doomsday Planes' Being Damaged By A Tornado

Two USAF E-4B "Doomsday Planes" Damaged In Tornado At Offutt Air Force Base -- The Drive
Air Force Says Tornado Damaged 2 'Doomsday' 747s -- Military.com/Stars and Stripes
Air Force 'doomsday' planes damaged in tornado -- CNN
Tornado damaged two U.S. Air Force E-4B 'doomsday' planes -- UPI
Pentagon’s nuke-proof ‘Doomsday’ planes damaged by tornado -- Japan Times/AFP
Heavy tornado cripples 2 US ‘Doomsday Planes’ -- RT
Tornado damaged at least 10 jets as it tore through Offutt Air Force Base -- Omaha World Herald

A Look At Why Canada Produces Some Of The Best Snipers In The World


Washington Post: How Canada’s small military produced deadly, record-breaking snipers

Canada is not known, at least not in popular culture, for its military might. Fewer than 70,000 active soldiers serve in the country’s armed forces, whose size and strength have been mocked over the years by American and Canadian commentators alike. The United States, by comparison, has about half a million active soldiers in the Army alone, and hundreds of thousands more across the other branches. By American standards, Canada’s roughly $20 billion defense budget is minuscule.

But don’t let those numbers fool you.

Despite its small size, Canada is known for producing well-trained, highly skilled soldiers, who have long fought alongside American and British counterparts in major world conflicts, including the current fight against Islamic State militants.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Just a correction in the above BBC tweet. The Canadian sniper killed he ISIS militant in Iraq not Afghanistan.

China Fears That Special Counsel Robert Mueller Will Soon be Focusing On Them


Washington Times: Beijing fears anti-China sentiment in U.S. from Mueller investigation

The political hysteria sweeping Washington over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election is reverberating in China. The communist government is worried that a similar wave of anti-China sentiment will take hold in the United States.

According to China watchers in and out of government, what Beijing fears most is that special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, will add White House dealings with China to his investigation of Russian election meddling.

One main effort of the Chinese government is trying to tamp down the fallout from news reports that first surfaced in March revealing a company owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was planning to sell a stake in a Manhattan skyscraper to the Chinese state-connected insurance company Anbang for $400 million.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am sure that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be looking at the role that Russian money may have had in influencing President Trump or members of his team .... especially in New York City real estate. But the real money is not Russia .... its China .... and in my opinion it is probably one of the most under-reported stories (Chinese finance and investment in real estate) in American business today. My prediction .... the Chinese have every right to be concerned that the focus will soon be shifting to them.

Russia Destroyed And Removed Materials That Could Have Been Useful In Russian Probe

A Russian compound, which was ordered to be closed and vacated, is seen in Upper Brookville, Long Island, New York, on Dec. 30, 2016. REUTERS/RASHID UMAR ABBASI

CBS: Russians destroyed and removed material from shuttered compounds, officials say

WASHINGTON -- When U.S. officials entered shuttered Russian compounds in Maryland and New York last December, they found damaged materials that could have been used in intelligence gathering and that former officials say could have been useful in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The compounds, which had been used for decades as retreats for Russian diplomats, were shut down by the Obama administration as part of a package of punitive measures in response to Russia's meddling in the election. The White House expelled 35 diplomats, saying at the time they were targeted because of ongoing harassment of U.S. personnel in Russia.

Read more ....

Update: Material useful to Russia probe destroyed in US compounds: report (The Hill)

WNU Editor: How can the media make the claim that the destroyed equipment and empty filing cabinets at these former Russian compounds could have helped in the Russian probe is beyond me .... but they are making it.

President Obama Under Fire From Both President Trump And Democrats For Doing Nothing About Russian Election Meddling


Daily Mail: 'Why didn't he do something about it?' Trump twists knife into Obama following claim former president KNEW Russia was trying to hack the election but was too fearful to act

* Trump has criticized Obama's handling of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election
* President told Fox & Friends Weekend in an interview to air Sunday that he had only just learned Obama may have known about Russian hacking attempts
* Trump appeared to be referring to a Washington Post story that claimed the CIA had intelligence last August that Putin had ordered the hack
* He hit out at Obama saying 'should have done something about it'
* Report claimed Obama was worried that taking measures against Russia would make it look like he himself was manipulating the election
* He decided to deliver warnings to Moscow but left countermeasures until after the November election

Donald Trump has hit out at Barack Obama following claims the former President had knowledge of Russia trying to hack the US election but allegedly failed to do anything about it.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA had top-level intelligence last August that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an operation to help Trump win the US presidential race.

Trump has now spoken out about the claims and questioned why Obama refused to act in an interview that is set to air Sunday on Fox & Friends Weekend.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The media narrative now is that President Trump is admitting that the Russians tried to influence the election .... Trump appears to admit Russia interfered in the US election in a tweet criticizing Obama (Business Insider). I see it differently .... I see President Trump as someone who cannot resist poking at President Obama and telling him that he basically "chocked". As for the Democrats who do believe that the Russians were successful in influencing the election results .... they must be beyond livid .... and that probably includes Hillary Clinton.

More News On President Obama Under Fire From Both President Trump And Democrats For Doing Nothing About Russian Election Meddling

Trump slams Obama for doing 'nothing' about Russia before the election -- The Hill
Trump questions Obama's response to 'election meddling by Russia' -- ABC News
Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response -- The Hill
Democrats Back Trump Assertion That Obama Administration Is Responsible for Failing to Halt Russia Election Meddling -- Newsweek

The U.S. Navy Wants More Aircraft Carriers

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the world’s largest naval station. Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott, and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin J. Steinberg

San Diego Union Tribune: Navy struggles with shortage of aircraft carriers

Spun up as a training command in 2014 and armed with increasingly advanced software to simulate combat at sea, Carrier Strike Group 15 toils to teach warships how to fight and win wars in the Pacific.

But it can’t always overcome an ongoing global gap in American flattops.

In fact, the Navy might be forced to extend the planned tour for the carrier Nimitz and its escorts — the cruiser Princeton and destroyers Kidd, Shoup, Howard and Pinckney — to eight months, at least a month longer than expected.

That was the message from the group’s skipper, Rear Adm. Ross Myers, and his boss, Third Fleet commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, during a presentation in Point Loma before the San Diego Military Advisory Council on Thursday.

“The day the Nimitz deployed, the discussion started about extending the Nimitz,” said Tyson, referring to the carrier’s departure on June 5 from North Island for a deployment to the Indian Ocean.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Too many missions .... not enough ships .... this was all predicted a long time ago .... Who's Responsible For The Navy's Carrier Shortage? (Mark Cancian, War On The Rocks).

The Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Performs High-Speed Turns In The Atlantic Ocean (Video)


WNU Editor: Wow .... those are some incredible zig-zags.

A History Of U.S. Navy Ship Collisions



Popular Mechanics: A Brief History of U.S. Navy Ship Collisions

Collisions involving U.S. ships are more common than you might think.

U.S. Navy ships operate in close proximity to other ships all the time, from steaming in formation with supply ships to sailing in busy sea lanes. Inadvertent contact between ships, no matter how thorough the precautions, is inevitable.

Today's New York Times includes a list of collisions involving U.S. Navy vessels at sea. The list includes the famous USS John F. Kennedy/USS Belknap collision, which resulted in the guided missile cruiser's superstructure being virtually sheared off. It also lists the sinking of the Spanish fishing boat Barcona, which accidentally snagged the attack submarine USS Houston and was dragged underwater.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video accurately represents how tense and confrontational the Cold War really was.

National Geographic Documentary 2016 - Future Fighter Planes (Video)

F-35B To resume Flying After Software Glitches Grounded The Jet For A Day



USNI News: UPDATED: F-35B Operations in Yuma Resume After Temporary Halt Due to Software Update Issues

Flight operations in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 resumed after a temporary one-day suspension to fix a problem related to a software update with the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, the Marine Corps announced.

“Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, Commanding General of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, made the decision to temporarily suspend VMFA-211 flight operations pending fixes to a recent ALIS software upgrade within version 2.0.2 that has presented some anomalies,” 3rd Aircraft Wing spokesman Maj. Kurt Stahl said in a Thursday afternoon statement, noting that those anomalies “are related to maintenance codes not being reflected properly in the system.”

Read more ....

Update: U.S. Marine Corps to Resume F-35 Operations a Day After Suspension at Arizona Base (Reuters)

WNU Editor: For an explanation of the above video and the role that software has in the F-35 program, go here .... Lockheed Made A Three Minute Long Cartoon Just To Explain F-35's ALIS (The Drive).

Chinese Deploys Sub-Hunting Aircraft To The South China Sea

© DigitalGlobe

Defense News: China deploys new anti-submarine aircraft to fringes of South China Sea

MELBOURNE, Australia — China has deployed its newest anti-submarine aircraft and stepped up unmanned aircraft deployments to Hainan island on the fringes of the South China Sea, according to satellite imagery obtained by Defense News.

Satellite photos taken on May 10 and May 20 by commercial satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe showed four Shaanxi Y-8Q turboprop aircraft with its distinctive magnetic anomaly detector boom parked on the ground at Lingshui Air Base in the southeastern part of China’s Hainan island.

Read more ....

Update: Chinese Sub-Hunting Aircraft, Drones Now Patrolling South China Sea (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: Apparently the Chinese are developing some impressive tech on detecting submarines .... Has China developed the world’s most powerful submarine detector? (South China Morning Post)

Russia's Next-Generation Main Battle Tank Can Fire Missiles At Twice The Range Of America's Abrams Tank

T-14 tanks with the Armata Universal Combat Platforms. © SPUTNIK/ EVGENY BIYATOV

Popular Mechanics: Russia's T-14 Tank Can Outshoot America's by Miles

The T-14 Armata will kill tanks from three times as far, but does it matter?

Russia's next-generation main battle tank can fire an anti-tank missile at targets more than seven miles away. That gives the T-14 Armata tank, set to begin testing with the Russian Army in 2019, nearly twice the range of the America's latest version of the venerable Abrams, the M1A2 SEP V3. Whether this extended range is all the useful is another matter.

The T-14 is a formidable-looking beast. Armed with a new 125-millimeter main gun, an unmanned turret, modular armor, and an active protection system designed to shoot down incoming missiles, the vehicle has caused a stir within NATO's tank community. One particularly dangerous feature is the Armata's ability to destroy targets at ranges of up to 12 kilometers, or 7.4 miles.

Read more ....

WNU editor: If the enemy has the ability to fire at you at a range that you cannot .... that never ends well for the one who cannot fire back.

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Has Been Barred From Running In Next Year's Presidential Election



BBC: Alexei Navalny barred from Russia presidential poll

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been formally barred from standing in next year's presidential election.

The Central Electoral Commission has ruled he may not stand because he was found guilty of embezzlement and given a suspended sentence.

Mr Navalny has said the case against him was politically motivated.

The anti-corruption campaigner led mass street protests against Vladimir Putin in the winter of 2011-12.

Mr Putin is eligible to stand again for president next year - it would be his fourth term in office - though he has not yet announced his decision.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: His anti-corruption campaign against Putin and his political party are resonating with the Russian public .... and the Kremlin is worried. But barring him is only going to enhance his support and make his followers more determined.

More News On Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Being Barred From Running In Next Year's Presidential Election

Russia's election commission says Navalny can not run for presidency -- Reuters
Navalny barred from Russia's presidential election -- DW
Russian Commission Rules Navalny Can't Run For President -- RFE
Putin critic Alexei Navalny banned from presidential election -- SKY News
Russian Opposition Figure Navalny Not Entitled to Be Elected - Commission -- Sputnik

An Inside Look At The Secret Lives Of Young Islamic State Fighters

BBC: The secret lives of young IS fighters

Three young IS militants lie dead on the banks of the River Tigris.

They left behind personal photos and documents which reveal the extraordinary story of their private lives.

Warning: Disturbing content

Mohammed is giddy with excitement as he films the discovery of three IS fighters on his mobile phone.

“Shoot him,” he shouts, gesturing at one of them.

His nervousness gives him away as the unit’s cook. He’s unarmed, but his fellow soldiers from the Iraqi police special forces - known as the Emergency Response Division - are armed to the teeth and are not taking any chances.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A look at what life was like for young ISIS fighters. A must read.

Tweet For Today

Are There Any Options For The U.S. And The International Community In Afghanistan?

PHOTO: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Bennett Seftel, Cipher Brief: U.S. Running Out of Options in Afghanistan

The U.S. war in Afghanistan has entered into its 16th year with no end in sight. With the battle against the Taliban essentially mired in a stalemate and the Afghan government failing to address endemic corruption and countrywide economic woes, there appear to be no good options for moving forward.

“Today the Trump Administration faces the choice of losing quickly by withdrawing from Afghanistan, losing slowly by staying at the current, clearly inadequate levels of commitment, or not losing by increasing that commitment enough to maintain a stalemate on the battlefield,” says Cipher Brief expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Jim Dobbins.

Read more ....

WNU editor: A sobering analysis .... read it all.

Hat tip to Fred for this link.

Picture Of The Day

Revelers watch the sunrise as they celebrate the pagan festival of Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England on June 21. © AFP 2017/ CHRIS J RATCLIFFE

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

Opium Production Continues To Boom In Afghanistan

Afghan men work on a poppy field in Jalalabad province. © Parwiz / Reuters

RT: ‘World fails miserably to stop opium threat’: RT reports from drug factory Afghanistan

Opiate production in Afghanistan has increased markedly since the US-led invasion in 2001, leading addiction rates to skyrocket. Meanwhile, the UN said this week that opioids are the world’s “most harmful drug type.” RT investigated the problem in Kabul.

Though only a tiny fraction of the opiates produced in Afghanistan are used domestically, the effects are devastating the local population. An RT crew found an infamous nest of drug addicts in a dry riverbed right in the middle of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Read more ....

WNU editor: This The biggest victims to this explosion of opium production are becoming the Afghans themselves .... Opium use booms in Afghanistan, creating a ‘silent tsunami’ of addicted women (Washington Post).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Taliban Leader Wants U.S. And NATO Forces Out Of Afghanistan

Photo: Taliban new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is seen in an undated photograph, posted on a Taliban twitter feed on May 25, 2016, and identified separately by several Taliban officials, who declined be named. Social Media/File Photo

DW: Afghanistan: Taliban leader wants US and NATO troops out


The Taliban head in Afghanistan has issued a statement demanding US and NATO troops get out of the country. But he also indicated that constructive diplomatic relations could be possible if his demands were met.

Marking the Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada issued a statement on Friday calling on US and NATO troops to leave Afghanistan.

"The occupation is the main obstacle in the way of peace," he said, reiterating previous similar Taliban messages. "The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify."

Read more ....

More News On The Afghan Taliban Leader Wanting U.S. And NATO Forces Out Of Afghanistan

Taliban Say U.S. Must Quit Afghanistan for Peace -- US News and World report/Reuters
Taliban leader: Afghan war will end only when NATO leaves -- AP
Taliban says foreign troops must go before peace talks as US plans 4,000-strong surge -- RT
Taliban Leader Demands US, NATO Troops Leave Afghanistan -- Sputnik
Taliban Chief: US Troop Surge a 'Mistake' -- VOA

Hezbollah Leader Says Any Future War With Israel Will Draw Hundreds of Thousands Of Fighters From Across The Arab World

People watch Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he appears on a screen during a live broadcast to speak to his supporters at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hassan Abdallah

Reuters: Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that a future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon could draw thousands of fighters from countries including Iran and Iraq.

His comments indicated that the same array of Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias - but not countries - currently fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad could take part in any future conflict with Israel.

Tensions have risen between Hezbollah and its longtime foe Israel in recent months since Donald Trump became U.S. president with his tough talk against Iran. Israel's air force chief said his country would use all its strength from the start in any new war with Hezbollah.

Read more ....

More News On Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Saying That Any Future War With Israel Will Draw Hundreds of Thousands Of Fighters From Across The Arab World

Hezbollah says 'thousands' of fighters to respond if Israel attacks -- AFP
Hezbollah's Nasrallah: War With Israel Could Draw Hundreds of Thousands of Fighters From Across Arab World -- Haaretz
Hezbollah chief warns Israel against starting war with Lebanon -- i24
Hezbollah head: 'Hundreds of thousands' of Muslim fighters will respond if Israel attacks -- The Times of Israel

Saudi Security Forces Have Foiled An Attack On The Grand Mosque In Mecca

General view of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Reuters: Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca: state TV

Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported.

Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targetted worshipers at the mosque, it said.

Neither Al Arabiya nor Al-Ekhbariya gave any further details.

Read more ....

More News On Saudi Security Forces Foiling An Attack On The Grand Mosque In Mecca

Five arrested after Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca -- Al Arabiya
Saudis 'foil suicide attack' on Mecca's Grand Mosque -- BBC
Saudi police 'foil Mecca Grand Mosque attack' -- Al Jazeera
Report: Saudis say purported terror attack on Mecca's Grand Mosque foiled -- USA Today
Saudis foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca -- CNN
Saudi security forces foil suicide bomb attack on Mecca's Grand Mosque -- The Telegraph.
Police foil 'terrorist action' in Mecca: state TV -- AFP
Saudi security forces foil Mecca terror plot -- DW
Bomber planning an attack on Grand Mosque blew himself up: Interior Ministry -- Reuters

Tonight's Movie Is 'A Twist Of Sand'



From Wikipedia: A Twist of Sand is a 1968 British adventure film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Richard Johnson, Jeremy Kemp, Honor Blackman and Peter Vaughan[1] based on the novel by Geoffrey Jenkins.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 23, 2017



Patrick Cockburn, The Independent: Isis may be leaderless and facing defeat in Mosul, but the jihadis will fight on

Terror group has always been able to take root and grow out of chaos and war – and will continue to wreak havoc around the world

The blowing up by Isis of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul marks a decisive defeat for the caliphate declared by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the same mosque three years ago. Isis will continue fighting as a guerrilla force, but it will be the end of a state once the size of Great Britain and fielding a military force more powerful than many members of the United Nations. Presumably Isis decided to destroy the ancient mosque and its famous minaret, a symbol of Mosul, to prevent the Iraqi security forces triumphantly raising the Iraqi flag over a place so closely associated with Isis.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 23, 2017

Is ISIS Conceding Defeat? -- Robin Wright, The New Yorker

When the Battle for Mosul Ends, the Fight for Iraq Begins -- Kawa Hassan, National Interest

Satellite Images Reveal Mosul's Cultural Destruction -- Kristin Romey, National Geographic

If Russia Wants the Syria Mess, Let Them Have It -- Ted Galen Carpenter, National Interest

Instability and Salman's Nepotistic Power Play -- Paul Pillar, National Interest

Saudi Arabia and the United States Are on a Collision Course With Iran -- Ashish Kumar Sen, RCD/Atlantic Council

How long can Qatar’s economy withstand sanctions? -- Sami Moubayed, Asia Times

Ghost Cities, Demographic Lessons From Japan To China -- Kondo Daisuke, World Crunch

In China's far west the 'perfect police state' is emerging -- Tom Phillips, The Guardian

Here’s Why China’s Supposed Influence Over North Korea Is A Bluff -- Xander Snyder, Maulden Economics

North Korea Is No Place for U.S. Tourists -- Bloomberg editorial

America Is Now a ‘Second Tier’ Country -- Eric Roston, Bloomberg

Key Chavistas Abandon Maduro as Crisis Intensifies -- Andrew Rosati and Fabiola Zerpa, Bloomberg

How Amazon Could Dominate 3 Megatrends of the 21st Century -- Michael Hodin, The Fiscal Time

Where the World’s Wealthiest Spend Their Weekends -- James Tarmy, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- June 23, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Arab states issue ultimatum to Qatar: close Jazeera, curb ties with Iran

Four Arab states that imposed a boycott on Qatar have issued an ultimatum to Doha to close Al Jazeera television, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish base and pay reparations, demands so far reaching it would appear to be hard for Doha to comply.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have sent a 13-point list of demands apparently aimed at dismantling their tiny but wealthy neighbor's two decade-old interventionist foreign policy which has incensed them.

Qatar did not immediately comment, but Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani had said on Monday Qatar would not negotiate with the four states until economic, diplomatic and travel ties cut this month were restored.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere.

Iraq PM: Mosul liberation to be announced in few days.

Bomber sows death among civilians fleeing Mosul.

Syria hotline for US and Russia still in use: US.

Damascus-allied militia advances into Deir al-Zor province: Syrian Observatory.

Raqqa: The desperate fight for Islamic State group's 'capital'.

Russian warships fire Kalibr cruise missiles, destroy IS arms depots in Syria. Russian warships & sub launch cruise missile attack on ISIS targets in Syria (VIDEO).

Gulf crisis: Qatar's neighbors issue ultimatum, call for Al-Jazeera shutdown.

UAE says will not back down in dispute if Qatar declines to cooperate.

Turkey dismisses demand to close Qatar military base.

White House dubs Gulf crisis 'a family issue'.

Iran nuclear chief urges West to save historic deal.

Yemen cholera cases could jump to 300,000 by September: UN.

ASIA

Separate blasts kill 40 in Pakistan: police. 40 people killed in bomb, gun attacks in 3 Pakistani cities. Twin blasts kill dozens in Parachinar market. Pakistan bombings kill several in Quetta and Parachinar.

Afghanistan: Taliban leader wants US and NATO troops out.

Australia to send spy planes to help Philippines fight militants.

Philippine army struggles to dislodge Maute fighters from Marawi.

North Korea says U.S. student's death a 'mystery to us as well'.

Moon: South Korea must be able to 'dominate' Pyongyang.

Poll: Most South Koreans support inter-Korean dialogue.

North Korea to discuss co-hosting 2018 Olympic Games.

Japan politician: North Koreans should be 'starved to death' for threats.

Key lawmaker wants US to defriend Pakistan.

Otto Warmbier: North Korea denies mistreating US student.

Former Khmer Rouge leader denies role in Cambodian genocide.

AFRICA

Nigeria sends in troops, police after ethnic clashes.

U.N. begins investigation of Congo killings.

EU states slammed for lack of support to Africa fund.

EU leaders boost support for Libya to halt migrant exodus.

South Sudan forces purged villages in oil region, group says.


Somali pirates target ships in the Indian Ocean.

Congo peacekeepers exit CAR mission after sex abuse charges.

Chagos legal status sent to international court by UN.

Zimbabwe VP pledges 'free and fair' election in 2018.

Food aid dwindling in world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.

EUROPE

EU will restrict visas for states not taking back migrants.

France's Macron, eastern Europeans try to mend fences.

German police brace for violent protests at G20 summit.

Brexit: EU leaders says UK offer could 'worsen situation'. Skepticism in Brussels over Britain's post-Brexit promise for EU citizens.

EU moves to boost military cooperation.

Alexei Navalny barred from Russia presidential poll.

Ukrainian president leaves Washington buoyed by Trump's support.

France's Macron puts national security at heart of foreign policy.

London police consider manslaughter over Grenfell Tower fire.

Sicily's cornered Mafia primed for reversal of fortune.

AMERICAS

White House spokesman does not rule out Trump-Putin July meeting in Germany.

Trump casts doubt on Russia investigator Mueller.

Trump suggests he was trying to keep FBI director honest.

US Senate healthcare bill suffers swift blow as four GOP senators voice opposition.

Supreme Court could reveal action on travel ban at any time.

Slain Venezuelan protester's father appeals to 'friend' Maduro.

One killed as Venezuelan troops fire on protesters.

May was Mexico's deadliest month on record with 2,186 homicides.

Mexican president denies spying on journalists, lawyers and activists.

Peru's PM to double as finance minister after no-confidence vote.

Peru's president eyes pardon for Fujimori after political blow.

United States suspends all Brazilian meat imports.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

U.S.-led coalition unsure if Islamic State's Baghdadi dead or alive.

Islamic State: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia pledge to thwart penetration of South-East Asia.

If Baghdadi death confirmed, next IS leader likely to be Saddam-era officer.

Hamza bin Laden, Osama's son, is helping Al-Qaeda stage a deadly comeback.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Tech, energy shares lift Wall Street.

Airbus sells 73 planes to two Iranian carriers.

Troubled Toshiba flags deeper losses.

EU promises tough line on U.S., China while pushing for free trade.