NEWS SUMMARY-INTELLIGENCE REPORT THURSDAY 2/20/2020
(LIMITED SERVICE WHEN ABLE THROUGH LATE THURSDAY)
The latest on the increasing tensions in northwestern Syria but first......
In western Canada's province of British Columbia the sixth case of coronavirus reported but this case has a new twist. The woman who contracted the virus returning to Canada from a visit to Iran.
The provincial health officer said this could be an indicator of more widespread transmission of the virus......CBC NEWS STORY
Earlier in the week Iranian authorities reported two deaths in the holy city of Qom from coronavirus with an additional three cases now reported in that city.....RFE-RL NEWS STORY
In China some 2,236 deaths now attributed to the coronavirus.
More on the coronavirus in Japan later in the summary.
The sentence for longtime Republican political operative and supporter of President Trump Roger Stone set at 40 months today.
US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that the original seven to nine years proposed by federal prosecutors was excessive agreeing with President Trump's assessment via Twitter that led to a storm of controversy.
Stone charged and convicted in connection with the Robert Mueller "Russia collusion" probe.
Fox News with more.....LINK
President Trump responding to the sentencing saying he will not use his "great powers" for now and that the best way forward is to let the process run its course.....FOX NEWS VIDEO LINK
Stone will appeal his conviction on the basis of jury bias.
German officials are saying that a "far-right extremist" carried out attacks on two shisha bars, tobacco consuming establishments frequented by Muslim Turks and Muslim migrants, in the town of Hanau 15 miles east of Frankfurt last night.
At least nine are reported dead in those attacks with the attacker and another person found dead at an apartment by police.
More as interpreted by BBC News.......LINK
ARD German television reporting that Chancellor Angela Merkel is saying "racism is poison" in response to the attacks.
A stabbing incident at London's Central Mosque today with one wounded and a suspect taken into custody.........BBC NEWS STORY
From Russia the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warning that Turkish support for jihadist opposition forces that attacked the Syrian military today violates agreements between Russia and Turkey and threatens to escalate the conflict in northwestern Syria.....TASS NEWS STORY
Turkey's Defense Minister Hulsi Akar suggesting that the US Patriot missile system could be deployed to Turkey because of the situation involving the Greater Idlib region of Syria.....DAILY SABAH NEWS STORY
Turkey says that Syria is deliberately targeting its military positions in northwestern Syria following an attack that killed two and wounded five.
A Turkish presidential spokesman says the attack was launched by Syria's air force....TASS NEWS STORY
Russian aerospace forces in action today bombing Al Qaeda and other jihadist opposition elements who launched a massive attack on Syrian troops in Idlib that was supported by the Turkish military.....LINK....The Syrian military beating back the attack.
Opposition lawmakers in France's National Assembly objecting to new rules imposed by the majority that supports President Emmanuel Macron. That majority working to force through pension reform legislation that will change pension benefits for millions of French workers.
Protesters taking to the streets of France in opposition to the reform today.
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has been tapped by President Trump to be the Director of National Intelligence. The President announcing the appointment on Twitter.
Grenell has been a critic of German policies that run contrary to US interests like the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline being built to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany.
Grenell also one of the most high-profile gay men in the US government.
THE CORONAVIRUS HAS KILLED TWO PEOPLE WHO WERE ON BOARD THE CRUISE SHIP DIAMOND PRINCESS UNDER QUARANTINE IN THE PORT OF YOKOHAMA, JAPAN..... NHK NEWS STORY
Citing US intelligence help that enabled the capture of two Islamic State terrorists in December, Russia's President Vladimir Putin says his country will return the favor......TASS NEWS STORY
That's the way it really is Thursday February 20th, 2020.