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SPECIAL QE II FUNERAL
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral was a farewell production for the ages. The funeral was an intricately staged show that had it all: costumes, bagpipes, wands and castles.
THE OLD MAN MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT THIS – Biden is right on Taiwan. Now he needs a staff that won’t undercut him. President Biden, in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, once again committed the United States to Taiwan’s defense. And once again shortly after, White House staff attempted to walk back his clear statement.
China should ‘worry’ about Taiwan 2027 timeline, J-20 is just ‘ok’ fighter: PACAF chief. The head of US Air Forces in the Pacific isn’t downplaying the challenge from China. But when it comes to a potential invasion of Taiwan, he thinks Beijing and its top military planners should be “worried” about their ability to take over the island nation.
Pacific islands a key US military buffer to China’s ambitions. China sees the Pacific islands as an area of significant strategic interest and the United States should strengthen its commitment to north Pacific island states, now in talks to renew a defense compact, to maintain a vital military buffer, a report released Tuesday by a U.S. Congress-funded think tank said.
RUSSIA THREAT – UKRAINE WAR
Ukraine has shot down 55 Russian warplanes, US general says. The general estimated that Ukraine retains about 80 percent of its air force, seven months into the war.
Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 209. Ukraine’s armed forces regained control of Bilohorivka village, preparing to retake all of Luhansk province from Russian occupiers, Governor Serhiy Haidai said. The village is 10 km (6 miles) west of Lysychansk city, which fell to Russia after weeks of battles in July.
Liberation has finally come to Ukraine’s Kharkiv. But scars of Russia’s brutal occupation remain. There is little respite in victory for Ukrainian forces in the recently liberated Kupiansk. Russian shells still hit its pockmarked streets, marring the skyline with plumes of black smoke.
Ukraine warns of ‘nuclear terrorism’ after strike near plant. A Russian missile blasted a crater close to a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Monday, damaging nearby industrial equipment but not hitting its three reactors. Ukrainian authorities denounced the move as an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
DEAL BREAKER WITHOUT A ‘TREATY’ – Iran says no nuclear deal without US guarantees it won’t walk out again. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking to “60 Minutes” in his first U.S. media interview, says the United States broke its promises after the 2015 nuclear deal.
TURNING BIDEN’S LEMONS INTO LEMONADE – US in talks to swap former Afghan aircraft for help hunting terrorists. The U.S. is negotiating with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to trade nearly 50 military aircraft flown across the border as the Afghan government collapsed last summer for help hunting terrorists in Afghanistan, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.
GOOD FOR HIM, BUT NEGOTIATING WITH TERRORISTS- Taliban releases Navy veteran held hostage in Afghanistan. Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran who was abducted in January 2020, was released in exchange for a convicted Taliban drug lord jailed in the United States.
US MILITARY AND SPACE
STARCOM’s ‘Black Skies’ exercise includes satellite jamming. The first of a new series of Space Force exercises aimed at training Guardians in specific skill sets is underway this week, called Black Skies and focused on electronic warfare — including “live fire” in the form of real-world satellite jamming, according to the head of the service’s training command.
Space Force shifting resources to intelligence and cybersecurity. The U.S. Space Operations Command is assigning cybersecurity and intelligence specialists to work side-by-side with satellite operators so they’re better prepared to protect U.S. systems from electronic and physical threats, said Maj. Gen. Douglas Schiess.
IF YOU SERVE, YOU DESERVE – Military needs to do more to help naturalize noncitizens, report says. The military has faltered in providing timely, informative guidance to noncitizen troops about the naturalization process, a recent government watchdog report found.
NO KIDDING! – Pentagon likely rushed denials of COVID-19 vaccine religious exemption requests, watchdog finds. The military may have moved too fast denying religious exemptions for COVID-19 vaccination. The Pentagon’s inspector general warned that mass denials of religious exemption requests were “concerning,” according to an internal memo obtained by Military.com.
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