Despite breakthrough intra-Korean talks US approves $133mn sale of interceptor missile to Japan

The White House has greenlighted the sale of four interceptor missiles that Tokyo wants to buy from Washington to “fundamentally” improve its defenses. The missiles can be deployed on land-based Aegis launchers. 
The US State Department announced on Tuesday it had given preliminary approval for Japan to purchase four SM-3 Block 2A missiles manufactured by Raytheon Co and BAE Systems, related hardware equipment, and technological, engineering and logistics services provided by the US government and contractors. The deal will cost Tokyo at least $133.3 million, according to US State Department estimates. [source]

Bitcoin sinking continues as it drops 30% from peak. China & S.Korea consider strangling industry

The most valuable cryptocurrency, bitcoin, is falling for the fourth straight day. It is also 30 percent down from the record $20,000 tracked on December 17. 
Bitcoin was trading at $14,400 on Wednesday, down more than five percent from the previous session. It has also been losing its dominance over the cryptocurrency market; only 34 percent of digital money is now bitcoin. On the same day last year, its share was 85 percent. [source]

Trump’s lawyer sues Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed over Russia dossier

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer has filed two defamation lawsuits against Fusion GPS and Buzzfeed for publishing the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, arguing that it contains “false and defamatory” allegations.
In a pair of lawsuits filed Tuesday, Michael Cohen argues that the dossier has resulted in “harm to his personal and professional reputation, current business interests, and the impairment of business opportunities,” according to ABC News. [source]


#MeToo frenzy deprives men of ‘indispensable freedom’ to hit women – Catherine Deneuve

A hundred prominent French women, including actress Catherine Deneuve, have denounced the #MeToo campaign, saying it patronizes women and summarily punishes men for minor misdeeds, which only plays into the hands of “puritans.”
In an open letter published in the newspaper Le Monde, the women acknowledged that while the campaign helped expose many cases of “sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives,” it had now gone too far. [source]

US spy plane circled flew Russian airbase and port facility during Syria drone attack

Moscow has noted “strange coincidences” surrounding a terrorist attack on a Russian airbase and port facility in Syria, in which guided combat drones were deployed by militants. These include a US spy plane spotted in the area.
The Russian Ministry of Defense consciously didn’t point any fingers when talking about the January 6 attack on Russia’s airbase and port facility in Syria, the Tuesday statement said, but added that technology used in the attack was telling. [source]