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The US claims Russia has been secretly testing low-yield nukes to strengthen its arsenal
U.S. intelligence agencies suspect that Russia has been secretly conducting low-yield nuclear weapons tests in violation of an international treaty prohibiting this type of testing.
"The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the 'zero-yield' standard," Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley wrote in his prepared remarks for a talk at the Hudson Institute Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported, adding that the other intelligence agencies have arrived at similar conclusions as DIA.
Russia is suspected to have conducted a number of very low-yield nuclear tests at its Novaya Zemlya testing facility in the Arctic. U.S. officials declined to tell The WSJ what explosive yields may have been involved in the tests, which would be considered violations of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The U.S. halted nuclear testing in 1992 after 1,030 nuclear detonations. Russia followed suit after 715 explosions, ratifying the treaty in 2000. The Russians were hesitant to agree to U.S. "zero-yield" demands, but they did agree eventually. There have long been concerns in the US that the understanding of the treaty's requirements in Russia may be different from Washington's perceptions.
"Our understanding of nuclear weapon development leads us to believe Russia's testing activities would help it improve its nuclear weapon capabilities," Ashley assessed.
In his planned remarks, Ashley also suggested that China, another signee to the test ban treaty, may also be engaging in actions "inconsistent" with this international agreement. China, like Russia, insists it is adhering to the treaty's requirements.
Accusations that Russia might again be cheating on an international accord come just a few months after the U.S. decided to walk away from a Cold War-era arms control agreement over allegations that Russia had been quietly developing weapons in violation of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The Trump administration has repeatedly stressed that it does not want to hold itself to standards that rival powers are not.
"Countries must be held accountable when they break the rules," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in response to Russia's alleged violations of the INF Treaty. "Russia has jeopardized the United States' security interests. We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it."
In the aftermath of the collapse of the 1987 INF Treaty, tensions between Washington and Moscow skyrocketed. The latest accusations risk escalating an already tense situation. As is, both the U.S. and Russia have already begun developing new weapons systems to challenge the other.
Read more from Business Insider:
- Trump is ripping up the INF Treaty, ending a key Cold War nuclear arms pact with Russia
- U.S pressure may be pushing Iran toward a new kind of military response — 'massive retaliation'
- China's next move in the trade war could cripple US F-35 stealth fighter production
- Venezuelan defectors are arming themselves and say they're 'ready for battle' to get rid of Nicolas Maduro
- Dashcam video shows the moment an Air Force pilot ejected before his F-16 crashed into a warehouse
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.
Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
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The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
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