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BREAKING: North Korea ARMY worryingly promise to ‘significantly mark historic’ February 8

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim Jong-un’s mouthpiece, said in a report that it has changed the anniversary date of the establishment of the Korean People’s Army, which previously fell on April 25. KCNA did not detail what steps will be taken, but it has been reported the North might be preparing a large-scale military parade that will require the mobilisation of troops and other weaponry. More to follow…

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Brexit warning to Brussels: Divorce could BRING DOWN the EU, analysts say

Financial firms in both the EU and Britain need clear reassurances from politicians to avoid potentially damaging instability, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe warned today. In a new report on “cliff edge risks”, it says agreements are necessary in five key areas: data transfers, continuity of contracts, legal jurisdiction, markets access, and recognition of bank resolution actions. AFME reports it has focused on “issues which we believe require intervention from policymakers and/or regulators and are not easily resolved by banks’ own plans or industry solutions”. These are risks…

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Syria: Can Trump's anti-Iran strategy survive hostilities with Turkey?

Turkish tanks rolled into northern Syria Sunday, attacking Syrian Kurdish forces that have been instrumental US allies in the fight against Islamic State militants. The Turkish offensive is the latest move in a confluence of events that mark a new stage of the seven-year-old Syrian conflict. As the main players strive to establish facts on the ground to maximize their own chances of shaping postwar Syria, Turkey in particular is challenging core components of the Trump administration’s foreign policy. The short-term catalyst for the clash was a Pentagon declaration last…

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Megyn Kelly slams Jane Fonda’s ‘poor-me routine’

The war of words between Megyn Kelly and Jane Fonda escalated Monday after Kelly delivered a stern rebuke to the actress and attacked Fonda’s anti-Vietnam War activism. In September, during an interview with Fonda during her hour of “Today,” Kelly brought up Fonda’s plastic surgery, and Fonda seemed to take offense. Fonda has subsequently criticized how Kelly handled the interview, joking about it on another hour of “Today” earlier this month. Then, over the weekend, Fonda described Kelly as a poor interviewer in a conversation with Variety magazine, suggesting she…

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Space 

Space industry hit hard by military spending downturn

Pentagon spending on space activities has shifted from actual products — like rockets and satellites — to launch services. WASHINGTON — The defense spending downturn that started in 2010 was tough on the space sector, according to a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Pentagon contracts for space systems dropped from nearly $10 billion in 2009 to just over $6 billion in 2016. Especially steep were cutbacks in space research and development contracts — from $6 billion to about $3 billion. When the Budget Control Act’s across-the-board spending…

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EU ARMY: Berlusconi backs ‘common defence’ to make Europe a ‘world power’

Mr Berlusconi made the comments during a trip to Brussels to meet the chiefs of the EU, including the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.  The 81-year-old is making a comeback to Italian politics with a pro-Europe stance after surviving sex scandals, tax fraud and open heart surgery.  And he appeared to back the EU army as a cost-cutting device in a series of tweets.  Mr Berlusconi said on Twitter: “Europe needs to be strengthened with a unique foreign policy and a…

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Turkish troops ‘take villages’ in Syria as offensive to oust Kurdish fighters continues

It was reported they captured a large area of Afrin, a Kurdish enclave along Turkey’s southern border. Turkey’s military also claimed to have hit 45 targets on Sunday. It earlier reported air strikes had taken out 153 Kurdish militant targets. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not “step back” from the assault on the YPG which Turkey considers to be a terrorist group. He said: “We are determined, Afrin will be sorted out.” Mr Erdogan has vowed to crush the YPG “very quickly” but the US is urging…

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Science 

Spy balloons that fly 40km up track drug dealers on the ground

A Stratollite balloonSteven Meckler/World View By David Hambling Up, up and away! High-altitude balloons called Stratollites might soon be giving the US military and NASA permanent and relatively low-cost eyes in the sky wherever they want. Developed by US firm World View, Stratollites are uncrewed, hydrogen-filled balloons that tour the stratosphere at heights of between 10 and 46 kilometres. As the stratosphere is layered with winds blowing in different directions, a Stratollite’s path The balloons are controlled remotely from the ground. World View has used dozens of flights to refine…

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RUSSIA THREAT: Putin plotting ‘on Europe’s DOORSTEP’ warns UK military chief

Sir Nick Carter said Britain “cannot afford to sit back” as Vladimir Putin strengthens his armed forces.  Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) he said the “threats” posed by Russia needed to be addressed “now”. He said: “The threats we face are not thousands of miles away but are now on Europe’s doorstep – we have seen how cyber warfare can be both waged on the battlefield and to disrupt normal people’s lives – we in the UK are not immune from that. “The time to address these…

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Kim Jong-un sending world ‘mixed signals’ as he calls for nuclear talks warns France

GETTY North Korea appeared bent on boosting its nuclear capability, says French minister French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said North Korea appeared bent on boosting its nuclear capability despite sending out mixed signals.  Pyongyang has attempted to thaw relations in recent days during talks with South Korea.  South Korean President Moon Jae-in said a thaw in relations between the two Koreas ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics presented a “precious chance” for the United States and North Korea to discuss the North’s weapons programmes. But North Korea continues to…

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