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Headline News 2/11/2022
- US Plans to Deploy B-52 Bombers to Northern Australia
- Imran Khan Marches to the Capital, Again
- Guantanamo’s Oldest Inmate Freed after 19 Years
US Plans to Deploy B-52 Bombers to Northern Australia
The United States is preparing to send six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an air base in northern Australia, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Citing US documents, ABC reported that Washington had drawn up detailed plans to build dedicated facilities for the aircraft at the Tindal Air Base, about 185 miles south of the city of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. The Australian Department of Defence did not comment on the report, but the US Air Force told the broadcaster that its ability to deploy bombers to “Australia sends a strong message to our adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power”. Analysts told ABC the move was a warning to China amid fears it could invade the self-ruled island of Taiwan. “Having bombers that could range and potentially attack mainland China could be very important in sending a signal to China that any of its actions over Taiwan could also expand further,” said Becca Wasser from the Center for New American Security. The long-range heavy bomber has been the backbone of the US Air Force and is able to deploy both nuclear and conventional weapons.
Imran Khan Marches to the Capital, Again
Imran Khan’s Pakistan’s ousted prime minister has embarked on a week-long march through Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, to the capital Islamabad, hoping to whip up a large enough show of support to topple the government of rival Shehbaz Sharif and force early elections.
This “long march” is the latest gambit in Khan’s efforts to stage an unlikely political comeback. Since his removal as prime minister in a no-confidence vote in April. Imran Khan is hoping his support has grown due to his populist rhetoric during a time of soaring inflation. The political melee comes as Sharif’s government is struggling with economic challenges that some analysts warn could force Pakistan to default on its $130 billion of foreign debt. While Sharif revived a $7 billion IMF rescue package in August, the massive flooding in September has prompted the prime minister to warn that the country needs billions more in financial support.
Guantanamo’s Oldest Inmate Freed after 19 Years
The oldest inmate at the United States-run Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba Saifullah Paracha has been released after nearly 20 years of detention without trial. Businessman Paracha was arrested in 2003 in Thailand and accused of financing an armed group, but he has maintained his innocence. In May, the US approved Paracha’s release concluding only that he was “not a continuing threat” to the US. Like most prisoners at Guantanamo, Paracha – aged 75 – was never formally charged and had little legal power to challenge his detention. The secretive US military prison was established in the wake of 9/11 to hold suspected al-Qaeda members captured during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. But of the 780 inmates held during the US’s so-called “war on terror”, 732 were released without charge. Many of them were imprisoned for more than a decade without legal means to challenge their detention.