Washington’s new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) recommends a hawkish approach to cooperation with Russia over nuclear proliferation, and further calls for the US to tackle “an unprecedented range and mix of threats” posed by foreign powers including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.
A key shift from existing nuclear weapons policy is the expansion of scenarios in which a nuclear threats would be considered. The document lists non-nuclear attacks that could constitute grounds for US nuclear retaliation. Under the new NPR, a conventional attack which results in mass casualties or targets key infrastructure could trigger a nuclear response. read more…
North Korea says US actions threaten inter-Korean relations
UNITED NATIONS — North Korea’s foreign minister is warning the United States that its deployment of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and planned military exercises immediately after the Winter Olympics threaten improved relations between the two Koreas.
Ri Yong Ho urged the United Nations not to remain silent about what he called “the U.S. dangerous game of aggravating (the) situation in and around the Korean peninsula and driving the whole world into a possible disaster of nuclear war.” read more…
More than 80 Nigerian Christians have been slaughtered at the hands of radical Islamic herdsmen this month, with major Christian groups decrying the “inhuman” violence, as survivors describe what it felt like to be hacked by machetes.
Persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern said on Monday that more than 80 Christians have died in Benue State since Jan. 1, with 50 deaths in Logo and another 30 in Guma County.
The shooting and machete attacks have been carried out by Fulani herdsmen, nomadic Muslims who graze their cattle throughout the country, and for the past couple of years have been targeting Christian farmers who stand in their way.
Survivors described some of the attacks, with one man identified only as Vershima explaining how he and others had been ambushed on Jan. 3 by armed Fulani.
The herdsmen “opened fire on us, killing three of the people I was conveying and injuring me,” the man said, who was shot in the chest and left for dead.
Another survivor, named Peter, a local cattle guard, said the attackers who went after him “were people I had interfaced with in that community.” read more…
The US will counter any “threat to America’s democracy experiment” in the world, if necessary with military force, the Pentagon chief threatened. Jim Mattis said Russia and China are potential adversaries for the US.
Unveiling the Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy, Mattis said the main focus for US defense was competition with resurgent powers Russia and China which, he said, want to impose an authoritarian model of government on other nations.
“We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security,” says the summary of the new NDS published simultaneously. read more…
Tokyo Simulates First Military Attack Since WW II Amid North Korea Threat
Every time North Korea launches a missile over Japan, the nation’s alert system warns residents via mobile phones and street-side loudspeaker broadcasts.
TOKYO: Hundreds of Tokyo residents scrambled for cover Monday in the Japanese capital’s first evacuation drill for a military attack since World War II, amid ongoing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear programme. read more…
Scientists fear Cumbre Vieja, which erupted in 1949 and 1971, will blow soon
After a year that has seen concern about potential voicano eruptions in Iceland, Italy and Bali, volcanologists on the Canary Islands have been asked to work out whether the island of La Palma is facing an imminent eruption.
The experts have been asked to monitor activity on the island, which saw 400 tremors in 15 hours over the weekend, according to The Express.
Close to Tenerife, Cumbre Vieja (meaning “Old Summit”) previously erupted in 1949 and 1971. After the recent tremors – and a 3.5cm rise in the earth over the past year – scientists have been asked to monitor the volcano, amid fears that an eruption might lead to an earthquake and possible tsunami.
So now a special hydrogeochemical monitoring programme has been set up in a bid to improve volcanic monitoring of the volcano. Scientists will take samples of subterranean waters and PH levels, conductivity, temperature and dissolved gas activity three times a week at four locations in Cumbre Vieja.
Meanwhile, a team from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) are monitoring the site around the volcano 24 hours a day. Recent seismic movements of a low magnitude raised concerns over the volcano’s emerging activity, ranging between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale and up to 17.4 miles underground. While experts have warned that an eruption holds the potential of creating a tidal wave, academics have been quick to point out a mega tsunami is unlikely. read more…