Pentagon closely watching Beijing, Moscow forces in upcoming Vostok-18 exercise
Russia and China will hold a large-scale military exercise next month that will include simulated nuclear weapons attacks, according to American defense officials.
The People’s Liberation Army will send more than 3,200 troops, 900 pieces of military equipment, and 30 aircraft to Russia for the exercise known as Vostok-18, or East-18, the Chinese Defense Ministry said, noting the exercises will involve practicing maneuver defense, live firing of weapons, and counterattack.
“We urge Russia to take steps to share information regarding its exercises and operations in Europe to clearly convey its intentions and minimize and potential misunderstanding,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said when asked about Vostok-18.
Additionally, the joint Russian-Chinese exercises scheduled for Sept. 11 through 15 will include military forces from Mongolia for the first time.
The US Government Is Updating Its Nuclear Disaster Plans And They Are Truly Terrifying Buzz Feed
Amid concerns over North Korea, federal emergency managers are updating disaster plans to account for large nuclear detonations over the 60 largest US cities, according to a US Federal Emergency Management Agency official.
The shift away from planning for small nuclear devices that could be deployed by terrorists toward thermonuclear blasts arranged by “state actors” was discussed on Thursday at a two-day National Academies of Sciences workshop for public health and emergency response officials held at its headquarters across the street from the US State Department.
“We are looking at 100 kiloton to 1,000 kiloton detonations,” chief of FEMA’s chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear branch Luis Garcia told BuzzFeed News. The agency’s current “nuclear detonation” guidance for emergency planners, first released in 2010, had looked at 1 to 10 kiloton blasts — smaller than the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs that killed more than 200,000 people at the end of World War II. Those smaller size detonations had seemed more reasonable after 9/11, with high concerns about an improvised terrorist bomb.
But last year North Korea tested an apparent thermonuclear bomb with a surprisingly largeestimated blast size of 250 kilotons, a “city buster” much bigger than past test blasts and nearly the size of current US intercontinental ballistic missile warheads. The test blast kicked off a new era of
RING OF FIRE: PRESIDENT UNDER RELENTLESS LEGAL ATTACKS
The feds have granted immunity to two top execs of the National Enquirer’s publisher so they can spill their guts about the roles President Trump and Michael Cohen played in hush- money payoffs to a porn star and former Playboy Playmate.
In exchange for their cooperation, David Pecker (right), CEO of American Media Inc., and Dylan Howard, the company’s chief content officer, won’t face prosecution for their roles in the payoffs, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The Associated Press, meanwhile, reported that the Enquirer kept a safe containing documents on payoffs and other potentially damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Trump ahead of the 2016 election.
The Trump records were stored with similar documents involving other celebrities’ “catch-and-kill” deals, in which exclusive rights to people’s potentially explosive claims were bought with no intention of publishing them.
But once the Journal revealed that the tabloid had bought and killed a story about former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s claim of having had an affair with Trump, the documents were removed from the safe in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration, according to the AP.
It was unclear whether they were destroyed or moved to a location known to fewer people.