19 Mar 2017

Egypt’s Sisi expected to meet with Trump in DC ahead of Abbas visit
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make his first state visit to Washington during the first week of April at the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Egyptian state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Sunday. The trip will be Sisi’s first US state visit since being elected president in 2014 as former US president Barack Obama had never extended an invitation.

North Korea ‘conducts high-thrust engine test’
North Korea’s state media says its military has tested a new high-performance rocket engine. Leader Kim Jong-un declared the test “a new birth” for the North’s rocket industry, state news agency KCNA said. He said the engine would help North Korea achieve world-class satellite launch capability, it added. The development, not confirmed elsewhere, comes as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits China – Pyongyang’s main ally.

Germany Turkey: 30,000 Kurds in Frankfurt anti-Erdogan protest
Some 30,000 Turkish Kurds have held a demonstration in the German city of Frankfurt against the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Protesters came from all over Germany ahead of Kurdish new year celebrations. They called for democracy and a No vote in next month’s Turkish referendum on increasing presidential powers. Many carried symbols of the banned PKK.

Floods and mudslides kill dozens in Peru
At least 72 people have died in several days of floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rains in Peru, officials say. The floods – the worst in almost 30 years – have affected over half the country. More than 800 towns and cities have declared a state of emergency. The capital, Lima, has been without water since Monday and services are only now being restored.

Syria conflict: Rebels begin evacuating Homs enclave of al-Wair
Syrian rebels and their families are leaving their last remaining enclave in Homs, a city once dubbed “the capital of the revolution”. Buses have begun transporting people out of al-Wair district, under a Russian-backed evacuation deal. Al-Wair is home to an estimated 75,000 people and has been under siege by government forces since late 2013.

China Pushes Back on U.S. Talk of ‘All Options’ Over North Korea
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pushed back against the tougher U.S. line on North Korea, reiterating his country’s view that the only way to rein in its reclusive neighbor is through talks. Wang spoke at a briefing in Beijing with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who in Seoul on Friday refused to rule out a preemptive strike against Pyongyang if the threat from its weapons program was deemed severe enough.

With friends like these: Trump struggles to win GOP
Congressional Republicans have a lot to say about their new president. Donald Trump’s proposed budget is “draconian, careless and counterproductive.” The health care plan is a bailout that won’t pass. And his administration’s suggestion that former President Barack Obama used London’s spy agency for surveillance is simply “inexplicable.” With friends like these, who needs Democrats?

Mini-nukes and mosquito-like robot weapons being primed for future warfare
Several countries are developing nanoweapons that could unleash attacks using mini-nuclear bombs and insect-like lethal robots. While it may be the stuff of science fiction today, the advancement of nanotechnology in the coming years will make it a bigger threat to humanity than conventional nuclear weapons, according to an expert. The U.S., Russia and China are believed to be investing billions on nanoweapons research.

IDF calls up reservists for surprise exercise in south
The IDF’s Southern Command called up its reserve forces for a surprise exercise on Sunday amid a recent increase in rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel. As part of the exercise, reserve forces will drill a variety of operational scenarios, with an emphasis put on threats on the southern front.

U.S. Supreme Court’s ideological balance at stake in confirmation fight
When…U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is sworn in for his Senate confirmation hearing on Monday, Democrats will make the case that he is a pro-business, social conservative insufficiently independent of the president. In a bid to place hurdles in the way of Gorsuch’s expected confirmation…Democrats on the judiciary committee have said they will probe him on several fronts based mainly on his record as a federal appeals court judge and a Justice Department appointee under former President George W. Bush.

Netanyahu’s rift with finance minister fuels talk of early Israeli election
A dispute between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his finance minister over broadcast regulation sparked speculation on Sunday that Netanyahu could seek an election two years ahead of schedule. A national vote could delay any U.S. peace moves under new President Donald Trump and also put off Netanyahu’s possible indictment over suspected corruption.

Paris airport terrorist shot dead; ‘Here to die for Allah’…
A convicted criminal with links to radical Islam shouted ‘I am here to die for Allah, there will be deaths’ seconds before he was shot dead during an attack at Paris Orly airport. The 39-year-old, named locally as career criminal Ziyed Ben Belgacem, was killed after wrestling a soldier’s gun from her and fleeing into a McDonald’s.

German Foreign Minister: Turkey ‘further away from EU membership than ever’
Turkey has never been less likely to join the European Union than now and the bloc should seek a special relationship with Britain, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said as relations between Ankara and Berlin hit a low point.

An anti-Islam Dutch leader is barred from power. His supporters say: Just wait.
If the Dutch anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders were any other politician, his robust election showing this week would warrant a shot at joining a political coalition. But the bleached-blond agitator says Moroccans are “scum,” mosques are havens of terrorism and the Koran is a blueprint for destruction, positions no mainstream Dutch leader will endorse.

Beijing Goes Global: China Expands Marine Force 400%; First Overseas Military Base Almost Complete
For most of its recent history, China has largely been a land power with no significant naval capabilities. But that is changing rapidly as Chinese media is reporting the People’s Liberation Army’s ambitious new plans to boost China’s marine corps to “protect arterial maritime trade routes and enforce its growing overseas interests.”

Is Denmark On The Brink?
“The Danes look at Sweden with absolute horror…Denmark is on the brink. And Europe is on the brink. We completely lost our culture, our values and our moral compass. What used to be good is now evil and vice-versa.”

Police get search warrant for everyone who Googled Edina resident’s name
Internet giant Google is vowing to fight a search warrant demanding that Edina police be able to collect information on any resident who used certain search terms as authorities try to locate a thief who swindled a resident out of $28,500.