January 22, 2017

  • PM says focus of her meeting with Trump in Washington on Friday will be Nato, Russia and trade  
  • ‘Special relationship enables us to say when we think things are unacceptable’
  • May will be first world leader to meet President Trump in the White House
  • Trump calls her ‘my new Maggie’ and he returned Churchill bust to Oval Office
  • May says she looks forward to welcoming Trump to Britain ‘sometime this year’

Theresa May has confirmed she will meet new US President Donald Trump for talks at the White House on Friday.

In a major victory for No 10 she will be the first world leader to visit President Trump in the White House and they will meet less than a week after his inauguration.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4144850/Theresa-confirms-ll-meet-Donald-Trump-Friday.html#ixzz4WV1WJejq

Number 10 ‘cover up’ of botched Trident missile test was ‘stupid’ and makes us look like North Korea, ex-navy chief blasts as Theresa May refuses FOUR TIMES to say if she knew of failed test

  • Missile was fired from HMS Vengeance during test in June near coast of Florida
  • Reported malfunction took place just before vote on renewing Trident
  • Theresa May was accused of omitting any reference to the failed test 

A major malfunction in the UK's Trident nuclear missile deterrent was covered up by Downing Street, it was claimed last night 

A major malfunction in the UK’s Trident nuclear missile deterrent was covered up by Downing Street, it was claimed last night

The former head of the Royal Navy blasted No10 today over its ‘bizarre and stupid’ decision to ‘cover up’ a major malfunction in the UK’s Trident nuclear missile deterrent and said it made Britain look like North Korea.

It was claimed last night that Downing Street imposed a ‘news blackout’ about the failed test just weeks before a crucial Commons vote on the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

Today Theresa May refused four times to say if she knew about a major malfunction in the UK’s Trident nuclear missile deterrent.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4144200/Trident-fiasco-covered-No10.html#ixzz4WV26YM9k

Yemeni officials say suspected US drone strike kills 3 alleged Al Qaeda operatives

They say the two Saturday strikes killed Abu Anis al-Abi, an area field commander, and two others. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/01/22/yemeni-officials-say-suspected-us-drone-strike-kills-3-alleged-al-qaeda-operatives.html

US Army selects replacement to iconic M9 pistol after 30 years of service

US Army selects replacement to iconic M9 pistol after 30 years of service
The US Army has selected the Swiss-designed Sig Sauer P320 to replace the iconic M9 Beretta, the Army’s pistol of choice for more than three decades. The P320’s size and caliber can be configured by the shooter without tools, the Army says.

A $580 million fixed-price contract for the so-called Modular Handgun System including handgun, accessories, and ammunition to replace the current M9 standard service pistol of the US Army has been awarded to Sig Sauer, a Swiss firearms manufacturer, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The announcement comes following the US Army’s search for a new handgun. The Beretta M9, the current sidearm, officially entered service with the US military in 1990, beating out many contenders. However, reliability issues, design flaws, and concerns over low stopping power began emerging with time.

https://www.rt.com/usa/374620-us-army-new-sidearm/

Moscow acts to oust Iran from Syria, bombs ISIS

For Putin, the injection of Hizballah into a major Syrian battle came at an awkward moment in terms of his diplomatic strategy on the eve of the Syrian peace conference that opens in Astana, Kazakhstan, Sunday, Jan. 23, under his joint sponsorship with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

The Russian leader had already given his co-sponsor a commitment to initiate a resolution at Astana demanding the withdrawal of all pro-Iranian militias from Syria, including Hizballah. This aimed at pacifying Syrian opposition groups but was also meant to demonstrate to President Trump that Moscow would be a strong partner in the war on ISIS while also ready to clip Iran’s wings and influence in the affairs of Syria and Lebanon.

At the same time, Russian war strategists appreciate the urgency of averting the fall of Deir ez-our and its air base to the Islamists. This catastrophe would negatively impact the entire campaign against the terrorist organization on its three main fronts, Mosul, Raqqa and Palmyra, and count as ISIS’ biggest victory in the past year.

https://www.debka.com/article/25897/Moscow-acts-to-oust-Iran-from-Syria-bombs-ISIS

China warns Japan against interfering in Taiwan affairs

China has warned Japan against interfering in Taiwan’s affairs following a media report saying Tokyo’s armed forces plan a tabletop exercise this week on the assumption that there will be a military clash between the Chinese mainland and the self-ruled island.

“The Taiwan issue is internal affairs of China. We hope the Japanese side will speak and act cautiously,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing, when asked about the Kyodo News report, adding that Tokyo should not take any action that would undermine peace and stability in the region.

The report, released on Jan 18, said Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will conduct the simulated exercise from Monday to Friday, with the U.S. military taking part in it as an observer.

https://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/china-warns-japan-against-interfering-in-taiwan-affairs

 

Taiwan expected to complete F-16 upgrades within six years: AIDC

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) said it has begun an upgrade of the country’s fleet of U.S.-manufactured F-16 fighter jets and that the work is expected to be completed within six years.

The first batch of four F-16s is being upgraded at the AIDC’s plant, said the company, adding that a new hangar will be launched soon to facilitate the retrofit program.

In order to carry out the program locally, the manufacturer of the jets — Lockheed Martin in the United States — sent its engineers to Taiwan last year and helped train local personnel at the AIDC on how to perform the upgrades to improve the aircraft’s combat capability.

According to the AIDC, the retrofit program will include installing advanced equipment on the fighters, including the AN/APG active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system, currently used in the U.S. F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft. The Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and the short-range air-to-air missile AIM-9 Sidewinder will also be installed.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2017/01/21/490036/Taiwan-expected.htm

China party paper says no ‘provocation’ can stop its military drills

China’s military will carry out drills regardless of foreign provocations and pressure, the Communist Party’s paper said on Sunday, adding that exercises far out at sea like those conducted recently by its sole aircraft carrier will become normal.

China caused unease among some countries in the region last month when the carrier the Liaoning, accompanied by several warships, cruised around self-ruled Taiwan and into the Pacific for what China called routine drills.

Earlier this month, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets and navy ships as the Liaoning then passed through the narrow waterway separating China from the island Beijing claims as its own.For its part, China was alarmed this month when U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state Rex Tillerson said China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

The People’s Daily said no amount of “word bombs”, such as Tillerson’s South China Sea remarks, could stop China’s military drills.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-defence-idUSKBN15602H

China commissions 31st stealth warship

Chinese media have said the U.S. has to wage a war with China if America blocks it from accessing the artificial islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

Rapidly expanding its naval fleet, China has commissioned its 31st stealth warship as it got its battle group under its first aircraft carrier ready amid tensions with the U.S. and other nations over its assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy has commissioned its 31st Type—056 class corvette, marking a new addition to the world’s largest fleet of modern corvettes, official media reported.

With a maximum speed of 52 km/h, the ship features good manoeuvrability, a high-level of automation and stealth capability, and is capable of hitting aircraft, ships and submarines, the PLA Daily, the official organ of the Chinese military said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/China-commissions-31st-stealth-warship/article17077870.ece

Italian brother and sister arrested over cyber espionage operation which tapped emails of ex-prime ministers and Vatican cardinals

Francesca Maria Occhionero is accused of hacking into thousands of email accounts along with her brother, a nuclear engineer.
Francesca Maria Occhionero is accused of hacking into thousands of email accounts along with her brother, a nuclear engineer. CREDIT: FACEBOOK

An Italian nuclear engineer and his sister have been arrested by police on charges of conducting a massive cyber-espionage operation that hacked into the emails of two former prime ministers, Vatican cardinals and Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank.

Giulio Occhionero, 45, and his sister Francesca Maria Occhionero, 48, who have residency in the UK but are believed to have been most recently living in Italy, were arrested on charges of stealing state secrets and illegal hacking.

Mr Occhionero, who investigators said had strong links to the Masonic movement, allegedly developed software that infected email accounts, enabling him to access the information.

He called the “malware” or computer virus “Eye Pyramid” – an apparent reference to the all-seeing eye of God, or Eye of Providence, a symbol often associated with Freemasonry that appears on the US one dollar bill.  The name of the software may also have been a play on his own surname – Occhionero means “black eye” in Italian.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/10/italian-brother-sister-arrested-cyber-espionage-operation-tapped/

Greece sells its national railway operator to Italy

Greece’s national rail company TrainOSE has been sold to Italy’s state railway group Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) for €45 million ($48.1 million).

The sale is part of Greece’s €86 billion bailout agreed with international creditors two years ago. The privatization of state assets is a condition of the bailout deal though it contradicts Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ pre-election promise not to privatize the country’s infrastructure.

Athens has agreed to sell the rail operator and other state assets aiming to earn €5.8 billion by 2018.

According to FS Chief Executive Renato Mazzoncini, the acquisition of TrainOSE is “an opportunity for growth and improvement both for FS which carries on its international development and for the Greek railways which will be able to take advantage of FS’s know-how and experience.”

https://www.rt.com/business/374104-greece-rail-company-sale/

Many Arrested Inauguration Day Protesters Will Face Felony Rioting Charges, Prosecutors Say

WASHINGTON (CBSNEWS/AP) – Most of the approximately 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February.

A first group of 10 men appeared in Superior Court just before 3 p.m., and their lawyer entered a not guilty plea on their behalf. A judge released all of them on the condition they not get re-arrested in the District of Columbia.

Interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said Friday that 217 people were being charged with rioting.

Many Arrested Inauguration Day Protesters Will Face Felony Rioting Charges, Prosecutors Say

 

 

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