US deploying B-1 bombers to Norway to send a message to Russia
The U.S. Air Force is deploying B-1 bombers to Norway for the first time in a move that sends a clear message to Moscow that the U.S. military will operate in the strategically important Arctic region and demonstrate that it will defend allies in the area against any Russian aggression close to the country’s border.
Four U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers and approximately 200 personnel from Dyess Air Force in Texas are being deployed to Orland Air Base in Norway, and within the next three weeks, missions will begin in the Arctic Circle and in international airspace off northwestern Russia, according to multiple defense officials.
Until now, military missions over the Arctic had been largely staged out of the United Kingdom. The movement of forces much closer to Russia means the U.S. will be able to react more quickly to potential Russia aggression, officials say.
“Operational readiness and our ability to support allies and partners and respond with speed is critical to combined success,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa.
Rescue workers looking for 171 people feared dead in Uttarakhand
At least 171 people are missing and 26 have died in northern India after part of a Himalayan glacier fell into a river sending a devastating avalanche of water, dust and rocks down a mountain gorge, and crashing though a dam.
Rescue teams worked through the night to find survivors trapped under the debris. Most of the missing are workers from two hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, which were hit by the avalanche.
Footage from Sunday’s disaster shows a fast-moving wall of water and rocks barreling down a narrow gorge and smashing through a dam at the smaller hydroelectric project before surging downstream, wiping out buildings, trees and people.
Second drug kingpin arrested in Thailand tightening dragnet on huge syndicate
A second senior leader of a vast drug syndicate has been arrested, a Thai narcotics official said, as a transnational dragnet tightens on the Sam Gor group, which police say dominates the $70 billion annual Asia Pacific drug trade.
The October arrest of Hong Kong citizen Lee Chung Chak in Bangkok preceded last month’s high-profile arrest in the Netherlands of Tse Chi Lop, a China-born Canadian national who police suspect is the top leader of the syndicate, also called “The Company.”
The two arrests on different continents within three months stem from a decade-long investigation by the AFP, which also leads the multinational Operation Kungur task force targeting the syndicate.