February 7, 2017

Head Of Al Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula Target Of Navy SEAL Raid

Marcy Kreiter

The raid by SEAL Team 6 and Emirati commandos killed 14 al Qaeda fighters and 10 or 11 civilians, including an 8-year-old girl and one SEAL, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens. Trump declared the raid a success.

“The fool of the White House got slapped at the beginning of his road in your lands,” al-Raymi said in an audio tape. NBC News said Monday military officials authenticated the tape.

The raid reportedly has re-energized al Qaeda.

It was unclear whether al-Raymi, considered the third most dangerous terrorist in the world and who is on the U.S. most-wanted terrorist list, escaped, was elsewhere when the raid was conducted or had been tipped off, NBC said.

Preparations for the raid began in the Obama administration. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford reportedly told Trump al-Raymi’s capture would be a game changer.

The raid was conducted by two dozen SEALs, with as many as 40 other ground and air forces backing them up. A half-dozen Yemeni soldiers and a dozen Emirati commandos also were involved, NBC reported.

“Almost everything went wrong,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC. Occupants of the target house may have been alerted by a barking dog.


20 dead in suicide blast outside Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul

  • Suicide attacker targeted Supreme Court employees, police say
  • At least 35 wounded in blast at a parking lot near Supreme Court, hospital official says

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)At least 20 people are dead after a suicide blast Tuesday outside Afghanistan’s Supreme Court in Kabul, police and other officials told CNN.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a parking near the court in the Afghan capital, according to Basir Mojahid, spokesman for Kabul’s chief of police.

The attack at around 3:45 p.m. local time targeted Supreme Court employees as they were leaving for the day, Mojahid said.

At least 35 people were wounded in the blast, according to Saleem Rasooli, head of Kabul hospitals.

There have been no initial claims of responsibility.


EXCLUSIVE: Iran pulls missile from launchpad after apparent prep for launch, US officials say

Iran removed a powerful missile from a launchpad east of Tehran within the past few days, Fox News has learned, as U.S. and Iranian officials continued trading public barbs about the Islamic Republic’s missile tests.


The Pentagon is concerned because Safir missiles use the same components as those needed for an intercontinental ballistic missile. Iran’s ballistic program has “expanded dramatically” in the past 10 years, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.

New satellite imagery from Feb. 3, obtained exclusively by Fox News from ImageSat International and verified by U.S. officials, showed Iran preparing a Safir for launch. That missile is the type Iran has previously used to put a satellite into space.



Heathrow-bound Pakistani passenger jet lands at Stansted after being escorted by fighter planes following ‘disturbance on board’

  • Typhoon jets were scrambled to meet a Pakistani International Airlines flight
  • The Heathrow-bound plane made a safe landing at Stansted just before 3pm
  • But Essex Police have said a disruptive passenger was to blame for the alert 

A Pakistani passenger plane has landed at Stansted Airport after being escorted by fighter jets.

Two Typhoon jets were scrambled to meet Pakistan International Airlines flight PK757 after unconfirmed reports of a security threat.

The plane landed safely just before 3pm, with no injuries reported.

Essex Police said the diversion was due to reports of a disruptive passenger on board and was ‘not believed to be a hijack situation or terror matter’.

The flight had been due to land at Heathrow but following a 'disruptive passenger' on board, diverted to Stansted

The flight had been due to land at Heathrow but following a ‘disruptive passenger’ on board, diverted to Stansted



Explosions, bombings become commonplace in Nordic nation

A car belonging to the police chief of the Swedish city of Uppsala has exploded in northern Stockholm.

No one was injured in the incident, but police are now investigating a possible link between the blast and the officer’s activities.

The vehicle, parked outside the police chief’s home in the northern part of Stockholm, blew up during the early hours of Monday morning, according to broadcaster SVT, citing investigators.

The police chief and his family are being cared for, and officials have launched a preliminary investigation on the basis of endangering public safety.

We can’t rule anything out just now, but we are working to try and find out what the motive could be for the detonation,” Uppsala police spokesperson Lisa Sannervik told the TT news agency, as cited by the Local.



Venezuela, Russia cement ties during high-profile Moscow meetings

The Venezuelan government received a pat on the back from Russia Monday, with its foreign minister expressing the Kremlin’s strong support for Nicolas Maduro’s socialist rule and a willingness to expand the existing bilateral cooperation.

In a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodriguez, Serguéi Lavrov also spoke against foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs and reiterated Russia’s commitment to a 2016 deal to reduce oil production.

“Foreign pressure is unacceptable,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference after the Moscow meeting. “It is very important to avoid artificially-fueled tensions and protests which violate Venezuela’s laws and may lead to dangerous consequences for both Venezuela and its neighboring countries,” he added, as reported by Russian news agency Tass.

Greece braces itself for ‘rupture’ as politicians plot £74bn Grexit default plan

GREEK politicians are calling on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to default on EU bailouts and renegotiate with their lenders.

And the country’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has blasted the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also directing his ire towards the EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner, ECB negotiators and the French Finance minister accusing them of lying to entice Greece into a dodgy bailout deal.
Alexis Tsipras is facing a major backlash in the Greek polls two years after he pledged to end “austerity” and fight back against “humiliation and suffering.”


Vizio smart TVs tracked viewers around the clock without consent

Manufacturer will pay $2.2 million and delete data to settle privacy-invasion charges.

Vizio, one of the world’s biggest makers of Smart TVs, is paying $2.2 million to settle charges that it collected viewing habits from 11 million devices without the knowledge or consent of the people watching them.

According to a complaint filed Monday by the US Federal Trade Commission, Internet-connected TVs from Vizio contained ACR—short for automated content recognition—software. Without asking for permission, the ACR code captured second-by-second information about the video the TVs displayed. The software collected other personal information and transmitted it, along with the viewing data, to servers controlled by the manufacturer. Vizio then sold the data to unnamed third-parties for purposes of audience measurement, analysis, and tracking.

“For all of these uses, Defendants provide highly specific, second-by-second information about television viewing,” FTC lawyers wrote in Monday’s complaint. “Each line of a report provides viewing information about a single television. In a securities filing, Vizio states that its data analytics program, for example, ‘provides highly specific viewing behavior data on a massive scale with great accuracy, which can be used to generate intelligent insights for advertisers and media content providers.'”


Nicolas Sarkozy to face trial over 2012 campaign financing

Judicial source says former French president to stand trial over allegations of illegally financing his failed re-election bid

in Paris

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is to face trial for alleged fraudulent financing of his failed 2012 bid for re-election, a legal source has said.

The case centres on an alleged system of false accounting used by Sarkozy’s officeto conceal an enormous campaign overspend, mainly on the lavish rallies and US-style stadium gigs that cemented Sarkozy’s reputation as a political showman.

The limit on presidential campaign spending in France is €22.5m (£19.5m), and investigators suspect Sarkozy’s campaign spent €23m on top of that. Sarkozy has always denied any wrongdoing in the case, or even any knowledge of Bygmalion, an events company that allegedly concealed the overspend.


Hungary submits plans to EU to detain all asylum seekers

Government spokesman says applicants would be held in ‘shelters’, and denies they would be ‘detention centres’

Hungary will submit proposals to the EU to protect Europe’s borders by automatically detaining any asylum seeker for the whole period of their asylum application, according to the government’s chief spokesman, Zoltán Kovács.

Kovács claimed Donald Trump’s election in the US was contributing to “a change of mood in Europe” that vindicated the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s tough position on migration, and said the recent EU summit in Malta marked a turning point in the EU’s attitude to migration in the Mediterranean.

At a briefing in London, he said anyone seeking asylum through Hungary would be kept in “shelters” for the whole period of their application, though they would be free to go back to their own country at any point.


Putin orders Russia’s air forces to prepare ‘for a time of war’ with ‘special attention paid to air defence systems and readiness to repel aggression’

  • Defence minister Sergey Shoigu said Putin had ordered forces to ‘evaluate readiness’ for combat
  • Air defence systems are set to be deployed, he revealed
  • The move comes at a time of heightened tensions with Nato countries 

Vladimir Putin has ordered his air force to prepare for ‘a time of war’, Russia’s defence minister has revealed.

The Russian president has launched a spot check on the country’s aerospace forces, in order to ‘evaluate readiness’ for combat.

Air defence systems are set to be deployed, minister Sergey Shoigu revealed.


‘It’s not Gogglebox’: John Bercow faces fight for his job as furious MPs accuse Speaker of ‘grandstanding’ and ‘hypocrisy’ over his extraordinary BAN on Trump addressing parliament

  • Donald Trump has been invited for state visit to the UK this spring or summer
  • John Bercow said he would deny Trump honour of Westminster Hall speech
  • Commons Speaker railed at ‘racism’ and backed an ‘independent judiciary’
  • Many MPs cheered and applauded his intervention in the chamber last night 
  • But Bercow faces backlash from critics who say he has undermined neutral role 
  • Tory MPs accuse him of ‘grandstanding’ and are considering no confidence vote 

John Bercow is facing a desperate battle to hang on to his job amid a major backlash over his ‘grandstanding’ decision to ban Donald Trump from addressing parliament.

Furious Tory MPs are considering forcing a vote of no confidence in the Speaker after an extraordinary intervention in which he branded the US President ‘racist and sexist’ and said he would not authorise the use of historic Westminster Hall during the impending state visit.

The comments were cheered by many MPs in the chamber, who have been heavily critical of the travel ban imposed by the White House on nationals from seven mainly-Muslim countries.

But Tories have broken ranks to condemn Mr Bercow for abandoning the Speaker’s traditional neutrality and wading into international politics.


Navy’s Depleted Aircraft Will Take Years to Rebuild After Obama-Era Defense Cuts

Nearly two-thirds of Navy strike fighters unable to fly

The Navy’s aircraft arsenal is so depleted it would take several years to rebuild the fleet even if the Trump administration allotted the funding needed to repair inoperable aircraft, according to a policy expert and former Air Force pilot.

John Venable, a senior research fellow for defense policy at the Heritage Foundation, cited a report released Monday that found two-thirds of the Navy’s strike fighter jets are unable to fly due to maintenance problems exacerbated by several years of military budget cuts.

Thirty-five percent of grounded fighter planes are waiting for parts, while 27 percent are undergoing major depot work, according to the report published by Defense News. A full 62 percent of F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are out of service, a concerning figure because of the essential role the planes fill in the fleet’s combat power.

In all, more than half of the Navy’s planes are grounded, including some 1,700 combat transport aircraft, patrol aircraft, planes, and helicopters.


Company Doing Business With Iran Set to Get Billions in Tax Breaks

Boeing could see break of nearly $60 billion while selling planes to terror state


A major airline company currently engaged in business with Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands to receive billions in tax breaks under a new plan being floated by a large coalition of Republican lawmakers.

A new tax plan spearheaded by House Republicans includes a provision that would remove government fees on exports, meaning that Boeing—which is locked in a multi-billion dollar deal to sell the Islamic Republic planes—could receive $56.7 billion in tax breaks from the U.S. taxpayer.

Boeing is currently lobbying in favor of the revamped tax plan, along with other multinational corporations.


At least 13,000 hanged in Syrian prison since 2011: Report

– Associated Press 

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian authorities have killed at least 13,000 people since the start of the 2011 uprising in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as “the slaughterhouse,” Amnesty International said in a report Tuesday.

It covers the period from 2011 to 2015, when Amnesty said 20-50 people were hanged each week at Saydnaya Prison in killings authorized by senior Syrian officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad, and carried out by military police.

The report referred to the killings as a “calculated campaign of extrajudicial execution.”


Russia’s Attitude Toward NATO’s Eastward Expansion Remains Negative

© Sputnik
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian attitude toward the further expansion of NATO to the east is well known and this attitude is negative.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has a negative attitude toward the further expansion of NATO to the east, including the possible admission of Montenegro to the alliance, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

“If we abstract from some media reports and statements, the attitude of the Russian Federation toward the further expansion of NATO to the east is well known. This attitude is negative,” Peskov told reporters.

The spokesman added that Moscow would abstain from commenting on media reports regarding Montenegro accession to NATO, stressing that it received no official statements on the issue from US President Donald Trump administration.On Monday, media reported that US National Security Adviser Mike Flynn would recommend Trump to support Montenegro’s accession to NATO.


Turkey bombs Kurdish villages northwest Syria

Kurdish fighters of the YPG in Afrin, northwest Syria. Photo: ARA News

  • Kurdish officials on Monday accused the Turkish army of shelling the villages of Maranaaz, Vilat al-Qadi, Sheikh Issa east of Afrin district and entering Syrian territory. Turkish media confirmed the shelling.

“Turkish army and affiliated terrorists are heavily shelling east Efrin [Afrin] from Azaz city since Monday evening — the attacks continued until the moment,” the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said in a statement.

The Turkish army has been bombarding Kurdish positions in Afrin district from the rebel-held areas of Marea and Azaz in Aleppo Governorate, in northwestern Syria.


Japanese Defense Minister: Military ‘Will Not Be Sent’ to the South China Sea Alongside US

Speaking on Sunday, at the conclusion of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis’ two-day visit to Japan, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said during a television interview that Japan’s Self-Defense Force (SDF) would not deploy to the South China Sea with the United States Navy.

“I told Secretary Mattis that Japan supports the U.S. military’s freedom of navigation operation in the sea,” Inada said on Sunday, according to Japan’s Jiji news agency, citing comments by Inada during the interview. “But the SDF will not be sent to the area,” Inada clarified.

“Japan will play its role through defense cooperation and training,” she added. Japan, while an interested observer in the South China Sea disputes and a supporter of international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes, has not carried out operations in the area outside of training and drills.


Taiwan seeks to revive aerospace fortunes with jet trainers

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