Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) ripped into Apple for restricting certain iPhone functions for the protestors in China while also threatening to remove Twitter from the App Store in America; “Elon Musk is actually opening it up to free speech!”
Three days after Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted a legally dubious invocation of the “invasion clause” of the U.S. and Texas constitutions over the high number of migrant encounters at the Texas-Mexico border, his border mission is set to include armored personnel carriers designed to carry troops into battle alongside tanks, according to a planning document obtained by Army Times and The Texas Tribune.
The order issued Thursday by Texas Military Department officials to the headquarters overseeing Operation Lone Star reveals that the National Guard will soon deploy 10 M113 armored personnel carrier vehicles to the border.
According to the order, around 50 soldiers will be trained to operate the vehicles, and state officials will identify 10 positions to station them along the border.
The Texas Military Department said in a written statement Friday that in addition to the 10 armored vehicles, the Texas National Guard is increasing “aircraft flights and security efforts” on the border.
“These actions are part of a larger strategy to use every available tool to fight back against the record-breaking level of illegal immigration,” the department said. “The Texas National Guard is taking unprecedented measures to safeguard our border and to repel and turn-back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally.”
Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Armored personnel carriers like the M113 are designed to carry infantry troops across modern battlefields alongside tanks. They can be equipped with a range of weapons: heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, antitank missiles or even large cannons similar to those mounted on tanks. It’s not clear what weapons, if any, will be on the Texas Guard’s M113s at the border.
Such vehicles are by definition bulletproof and can withstand small explosions. In the civilian world, lighter, wheeled armored personnel carriers are sometimes used to carry police SWAT teams.
Lovingly known as the “battle taxi” by Army troops, the Vietnam-era M113 features tracks instead of wheels, leading observers to sometimes confuse them for tanks. Tracks allow heavy armored vehicles to traverse difficult terrain — such as ditches or muddy areas — with a lower risk of becoming stuck.
The U.S. has sent 200 of the aging vehicles to Ukraine to support that country’s fight against invading Russians.
It’s not clear why the Texas Military Department plans to deploy the vehicles to the border. Since Operation Lone Star began, the agency has not publicly acknowledged any incidents in which the protection provided by the more nimble Humvee vehicles deployed there was inadequate.
The move didn’t surprise Fernando García, the executive director and founder of the Border Network for Human Rights, who said Abbott is “trying to justify the narrative of the invasion” by casting asylum seekers and migrants seeking opportunities as violent criminals.
“For [Abbott] it’s easy to say there’s an invasion, and send troops to the border with a potential consequence of a major situation of human rights violations,” García said.
Since Operation Lone Star began, the number of migrants apprehended along the Texas-Mexico border has increased despite the expenditure of $4 billion and the involuntary deployment of up to 6,500 Texas Military Department troops.
In recent months, the military department has taken steps to address soldiers’ concerns and slowly reduced the number of troops on the border. Three of the department’s top leaders also abruptly departed the agency in March and April.
Ten soldiers linked to the mission have died since September 2021, all via accident or suicide.
FBI Director Christopher Wray stated in no uncertain terms that when it comes to threats to the United States in areas such as national security and the economy, China is by far the most serious.
In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday, Wray outlined how the Chinese Communist Party is targeting the U.S.
“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, innovation and economic security, our national security, is that from China,” Wray said. “The Chinese government aspires to equal or surpass the U.S. as a global superpower and influence the world with a value system shaped by undemocratic, authoritarian ideals.”
Wray vowed that the FBI is “confronting that threat head on,” citing the recent unsealing of charges against more than a dozen individuals, including Chinese intelligence officers in multiple criminal cases. He described the alleged offenses as “criminal efforts to exert influence right here in the U.S. on behalf of Beijing.”
China is not the only country Wray warned about. He pointed to Russia, Iran and North Korea as “growing more aggressive, more brazen, more capable,” and “coming at us from all angles” in order to undermine American democracy, law and national security.
This is on top of threats from terror groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, which Wray said “still aim to inspire, plan and launch attacks” against the U.S. and its allies “both abroad and here at home.”
Wray pointed to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as a point from which such terror organizations have been trying to regain strength. He also observed that the U.S. has had a lesser ability to gather intelligence in Afghanistan since the withdrawal.
National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid noted at the hearing that al Qaeda’s ability to strike the U.S. homeland from Afghanistan is presently “quite limited,” thanks to efforts such as the strike that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri this past summer.
In response, Wray said as time passes, the U.S. will have a decreased ability to know “what al Qaeda is or isn’t doing in Afghanistan” due to “fewer and fewer good sources of information.”
Ronn Blitzer is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics and breaking news.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (NORAD) – On September 11, 2022, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected, tracked and positively identified two Russian maritime patrol aircraft entering and operating within the Alaskan and Canadian Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ).
The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American nor Canadian sovereign airspace.
This recent Russian activity in the North American ADIZ is not seen as a threat nor is the activity seen as provocative. NORAD tracks and positively identifies foreign military aircraft that enter the ADIZ, and routinely monitors foreign aircraft movements and as required, escorts them from the ADIZ.
NORAD employs a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and inform appropriate actions. We remain ready to employ a number of response options in the defense of North America and Arctic sovereignty.
An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA 101) launches off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Josue Escobosa/Released)
The Pentagon has paused deliveries of F-35 fighter jets to U.S. military branches and global allies after the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, discovered one of the plane’s components was sourced from China, Politico reported Wednesday.
The component is a magnet used in the F-35’s turbomachine pumps, and it reportedly contains an alloy sourced from China. Pentagon officials were reportedly alerted to the issue on Aug. 19. Officials say it does not affect F-35s that are already in service, according to Politico.
U.S. procurement laws prohibit sourcing supplies for military equipment from foreign adversaries.
“We have confirmed that the magnet does not transmit information or harm the integrity of the aircraft, and there are no performance, quality, safety or security risks associated with this issue, and flight operations for the F-35 in-service fleet will continue as normal,” F-35 Joint Program Office spokesperson Russell Goemaere told the outlet.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2016) F-35C Lightning II carrier variants, assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, taxi on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). VX-23 is conducting its third and final developmental test (DT-III) phase aboard George Washington in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch)
The report comes roughly a month after the U.S. Air Force ordered all in-service F-35’s to stand down for a day due to concerns over faulty ejection seats. The
“Out of an abundance of caution, Air Combat Command units will execute a stand-down on July 29 to expedite the inspection process,” Air Combat Command said in a statement to Fox News Digital at the time. “Based on data gathered from those inspections, ACC will make a determination to resume operations.”
In August 2021, U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban were back in power. One group answered the call of duty and volunteered to save our allies. Their effort to rescue one interpreter turned into an evacuation saving thousands.
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ABC, CBS and NBC have largely moved on from the Taliban taking Afghanistan back following the botched withdrawal of U.S. troops last August, as coverage on evening newscasts dropped to a measly seven seconds in July, according to a new study.
Last week, NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS Mornings” failed to recognize that it was exactly one year since the Aug. 26, 2021, terror attack outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan left 11 Marines, one Army soldier and a Navy corpsman dead. But skipping the somber one-year mark of the suicide bomb that killed 13 Americans isn’t the only thing that indicates broadcast networks are moving past Afghanistan coverage.
The conservative watchdog Media Research Center analyzed evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS and found a staggering decline in coverage in a study headlined, “CHAOS: One Year of the Networks Hiding Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster.”
ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News” and CBS’ “Evening News” spent 409 minutes and 12 seconds on Afghanistan in August 2021 and the number evaporated to a mere seven seconds in July 2022, according to Media Research Center findings. (AP Photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)
ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News” and CBS’ “Evening News” spent 409 minutes and 12 seconds on Afghanistan in August 2021 and the number evaporated to a mere seven seconds in July 2022, according to the MRC findings.
“It’s not as though life under the Taliban suddenly became peaceful and quiet once the President removed U.S. troops. For instance, January 2022 saw a mere six minutes and 31 seconds of evening newscast coverage. But the reality on the ground was chaos, suffering and death. When journalists bothered to cover Afghanistan, they actually seemed to notice the severity of the disaster,” MRC research director Scott Whitlock wrote.
Whitlock noted the networks quickly moved on from the ongoing story, as it was only covered for 16 total minutes in October of last year.
“It’s also important to note that when there was Afghanistan coverage, the words ‘Joe Biden’ were often missing from the stories,” he added.
ABC, NBC and CBS rarely tie President Biden to chaos in Afghanistan, according to the Media Research Center. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The MRC reported that NBC anchor Lester Holt even referred to it as a “crisis in Afghanistan” in January 2022, but the network only spent about six minutes on the story that entire month and has softened President Biden’s role when the story is mentioned.
“The first two months of summer 2022 saw almost a complete collapse of coverage. In June, just three minutes and 31 seconds. July was even worse: A shocking low of just seven seconds and all of that came from ‘World News Tonight.’ In an otherwise unrelated story on veterans, one service member noted, ‘Everyone I knew in the veteran community had a mental breakdown when Afghanistan fell,’” Whitlock wrote. “That was it for the month. No utterances of the name Joe Biden and no stories on Afghanistan.”
Even as interest in the story “picked up” in August 2022 because of one-year anniversary retrospectives, networks “continued to downplay Joe Biden’s role in overseeing the debacle,” according to the MRC.
“When it comes to the media, history is often a guide. With autumn and the 2022 midterms coming, journalists will likely go back to ignoring the perilous situation in Afghanistan. After all, Joe Biden is a Democrat and he must be protected. Even if that means ignoring chaos, suffering and death in a dangerous Afghanistan,” Whitlock wrote.
Brian Flood is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to email@example.com and on Twitter: @briansflood.
Russian surveillance aircraft flew into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone twice in the past two days, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) revealed late Tuesday.
The Alaskan NORAD “detected, tracked and identified Russian surveillance aircraft entering and operating within” the zone off the state’s coast, the command said in a statement on Twitter.
“The Russian aircraft did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace,” NORAD noted.
An air defense identification zone is a self-declared buffer zone of airspace surrounding a country or territory. Aircraft from other countries are legally allowed to fly within one but doing so is considered aggression, as once there, planes could quickly cross into sovereign airspace.
The last time NORAD announced such a breach was in October 2021, when five Russian aircraft entered the zone.
To keep track of the incidents, NORAD employs a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radars and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response, according to the command.
The two Russian flights come as Moscow is locked in its sixth month of war with Ukraine, with the battle largely fixated on the Donetsk region in the eastern part of the country.
Russian forces, which are struggling to gain ground in the region, are looking to take the area following its gain of Luhansk last month. Tags NORAD Russia Ukraine
Terrorism experts quickly downplayed Democrat President Joe Biden‘s attempts to count the CIA’s killing of Al Qaeda Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan as a win for his administration, noting the fact that Al-Zawahiri was in Afghanistan at all means that the terrorist group has returned to the country where they planned the 9/11 attacks.
During the chaotic pullout from Afghanistan last year, Biden declared that Al Qaeda was “gone” from Afghanistan.
On Monday night, Biden declared that “justice has been delivered” and that he would hunt down and kill anyone who was a threat to the U.S.
However, terrorism and national security experts quickly pumped the brakes on celebrating Al-Zawahiri’s death as a major win because of what it meant: Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan.
“The killing of Al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri will be sold as a counterterrorism success. But that narrative masks the undeniable truth that Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is a safe have for Al Qaeda,” Bill Roggio, terrorism analyst at the Long War Journal, tweeted. “The strike that killed Zawahiri is the first since the U.S withdrawal 1+ months ago. The U.S. saved best for first, and made the first counterterrorism strike count.”
“Zawahiri was killed in the Sherpur neighborhood, in a home run by a deputy of Sirajuddin Haqqani. Sirajuddin is of course one of two deputy Taliban emirs as well as the interior minister,” he continued. “Zawahiri could not operate in Afghanistan – particularly in Kabul – without the consent of the Taliban. He wasn’t in the remote mountains of Kunar, Nuristan, or Nangarhar, or distant provinces of Ghazni, Helmand, or Kandahar. He was in the Taliban’s capital.”
Max Abrahms, an International security professor, said that killing Al Zawahiri was not “the categorical win Biden says.”
“The Taliban was supposed to prevent Al Qaeda leaders from hiding out there for goodness sake,” Abrahms added.
Taking out #Zawahiri isn’t the categorical win Biden says. The Taliban was supposed to prevent Al Qaeda leaders from hiding out there for goodness sake.
Rita Katz, Director of SITE Intelligence Group, noted: “That Zawahiri, after years of hiding and immense OPSEC, was killed on a balcony in a wealthy downtown neighborhood of Kabul–it just shows what a drastic sense of empowerment al-Qaeda leadership has felt under Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.”
“There was a reason that Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Kabul,” said Tim Kennedy, a former special forces operator. “Serving as the #2 to Bin Laden in al Qaeda he took advantage of our failed evacuation of Afghanistan and the power vacuum. It is a safe haven for terrorists all around the world. This is a byproduct of what we created.”
There was a reason that Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Kabul. Serving as the #2 to Bin Laden in al Qaeda he took advantage of our failed evacuation of Afghanistan and the power vacuum. It is a safe haven for terrorists all around the world. This is a byproduct of what we created.
Source: AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Jay L. Clendenin, Pool
President Joe Biden held a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday afternoon as the communist country continues demands for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to visit Taiwan in August.
After the call, the Chinese Communist Party released a readout. It made clear Xi threatened the United States during the call with “fire.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s version of the call was much more tame.
“The call was a part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC and responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align. The call follows the two leaders’ conversation on March 18th and a series of conversations between high-level U.S. and PRC officials,” the White House released in a statement. “The two presidents discussed a range of issues important to the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues, and tasked their teams to continue following up on today’s conversation, in particular to address climate change and health security. On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Pelosi’s trip is still planned. Republicans are backing her up while the White House grovels to the CCP.
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