Planet Watch

Will world war be October surprise?

Will an "October surprise" in the prelude to the mid-term elections in the US be the outbreak of world war—that is, direct superpower conflict? Things are escalating fast on the frontlines with both of the United States' major imperial rivals. The US Navy's Pacific Fleet is preparing to carry out a "global show of force" as a warning to China, after a near-skirmish between a US warship and a Chinese destroyer in the disputed South China Sea. Meanwhile, NATO is planning to conduct its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, Trident Juncture 2018, along Norway's border wth Russia. This comes as Washington and Moscow are odds over missile deployments, accusing each other of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (Image: Lockheed Martin)

East Asia

South Korean anti-missile protesters score victory

As Trump and and Kim Jong-un exchange nuclear threats, anti-missile protesters in rural South Korea scored a win, prompting Seoul to delay plans to expand the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery that the Pentagon installed in April. The announcement came as villagers and activists were blocking the road to the THAAD base.

Greater Middle East

Abused women forcibly deported to Saudi Arabia

Two sisters abused by their family in Saudi Arabia were deported by Turkey—despite their asylum bid and fears they will be tortured or even executed by Saudi authorities.

East Asia

Korea: protests as US begins THAAD installation

Protesters blocked roads and clashed with police in South Korea's rural Seongju county as US forces began installing the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system.

Europe

Trump-Putin breach portends global catastrophe

The Flynn resignation has been followed by a fast and dramatic escalation of US-Russia tensions, with Pentagon troops deployed to Romania and a near-skirmish in the Black Sea.

Greater Middle East

Syria: nuclear flashpoint

The breakdown of US-Russia cooperation over Syria comes as Moscow moves missiles to the Polish border and withdraws from an agreement on plutonium disposal.

Europe

Obama’s nuclear upgrade: Euro-missiles redux?

Revelation of Washington's plan to station missile-capable nuclear warheads in Germany was met with a Russian threat to deploy ballistic missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.