17 February 2014 Military News
- Afghan Bill To Be Amended Amid Concern For Women's Rights RFE/RL 17 Feb 2014 -- Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has ordered changes to proposed legislation that has been denounced by rights groups as a major setback for women's rights.
- Taliban Execution of Pakistani Security Forces Stalls Talks VOA 17 Feb 2014 -- Taliban militants in Pakistan claim to have slaughtered 23 security forces who were being held captive - a devastating blow to controversial peace talks aimed at ending the Islamist insurgency that has plagued parts of the country for years.
- US scopes out new bases for Pakistan drone missions VoR 17 Feb 2014 -- The United Sates is making contingency plans to transform airbases in Central Asia to execute drone attacks in Pakistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- September 11 Court Case Taking Years Before Trial VOA 17 Feb 2014 -- It has been six years since Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other detainees at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were first charged with murder for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Why is it taking so long to bring them to trial?
- USS Bonhomme Richard Departs for Patrol NNS 17 Feb 2014 -- The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), departed Feb. 17, to patrol the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
- North Atlantic Council and NATO Parliamentary Assembly discuss NATO Summit priorities NATO 17 Feb 2014 -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen together with the Ambassadors from the North Atlantic Council and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Breedlove discussed priorities for this year's NATO Summit in Wales and international issues of common interest with members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Monday (17 February). The talks were part of regular consultations between the two organisations.
- Expert: China's participation in Cobra Gold military exercise confirms rise of Chinese military influence People's Daily 17 Feb 2014 -- The Cobra Gold 2014 multilateral military exercise opened on Feb. 11 in Thailand's Phitsanulok. China has sent troops to attend the military exercise for the first time. Seventeen Chinese soldiers, mainly from the Guangzhou Military Area Command, will participate in humanitarian relief drills.
- Russia to Set Up Arctic Military Command by 2015 RIA Novosti 17 Feb 2014 -- Russia will form a new strategic military command by the end of 2014 to protect its interests in the Arctic, a high-ranking military source told RIA Novosti Monday.
- Egypt strikes $2 mln arms deal with Russia amid efforts to withstand US pressure - military expert VoR 17 Feb 2014 -- As reports that Russia and Egypt are working on a large arms deal have been confirmed to the press, retired Egyptian General Hussam Sweilem, who is also a well-informed military expert, revealed to the Voice of Russia some of the aspects of the upcoming cooperation between the two countries.
- Russia rejects US charge of failing in Geneva talks Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed US claims that Moscow failed to push for a political solution in the second round of Geneva talks on Syria.
- So-called Free Syrian Army fires chief of staff Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- The military wing of the Western-backed Syrian opposition says it has dismissed its chief of staff because of the difficulties in the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Syria shouldn't be blamed for talks failure: Russia Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Russia says the blame for the lack of progress at the Geneva talks aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria should not be placed on the Arab country.
- Moscow Alarmed by Reports of New Syrian Opposition Leadership RIA Novosti 17 Feb 2014 -- Russia is alarmed by reports that the Syrian opposition is being reorganized around a new leadership opposed to further peace talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
- Iran to continue supporting Syria: Speaker Larijani Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has reaffirmed that the Islamic Republic will continue to support the Syrian nation in the face of the foreign-sponsored crisis plaguing the Arab state.
- Not appropriate for Ma, Xi to meet in capacity as party heads: MAC CNA 17 Feb 2014 -- It would not be appropriate for leaders on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to meet each other in their capacities as heads of their political parties, the nation's top China policy planner said Monday.
- Beijing speaks positively of Wang-Zhang meeting CNA 17 Feb 2014 -- The Feb. 11 meeting between the top officials in charge of cross-strait affairs across the Taiwan Strait has achieved several major results, a spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) said Monday.
- Mali's Kidal still waits for resolution IRIN 17 Feb 2014 -- Despite international efforts to restore peace in Mali, the northern region of Kidal remains an MNLA stronghold. While the rest of Mali slowly recovers from the rebel takeover and Islamist occupation, officials worry the distrust and enmity lingering in Kidal could destabilize the country.
- Nepal's renewed hope for truth and reconciliation IRIN 17 Feb 2014 -- Victims of Nepal's armed conflict from 1996 to 2006 have expressed the hope that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) could finally become a reality under the country's new Constituent Assembly (CA) and prime minister.
- Nigeria sends more troops to violence-hit northeast Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- The Nigerian government has deployed more troops to the country's northeastern region, where gunmen have been involved in brutal militancy.
- Kiir Urges South Sudan Youth to 'Reject Revenge', Lead Reconciliation VOA 17 Feb 2014 -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir evoked the examples of South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Rwandan President Paul Kagame as he called on the youth of his battle-scarred country to lead the way in reconciling the nation.
- Tensions High in CAR Town of Kaga Bandoro VOA 17 Feb 2014 -- The Central African Republic remains gripped in tit-for-tat inter-communal violence that has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes since December. In the northern town of Kaga Bandoro, tensions have been growing.
- China set to oppose referral of N Korea to ICC Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- A senior Chinese official says the Beijing government will oppose any attempt to refer the North Korean leadership to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.
- UN-mandated human rights inquiry on DPR Korea documents 'widespread, systematic abuses' UN News Centre 17 Feb 2014 -- A grim array of human rights abuses, driven by "policies established at the highest level of State," have been and continue to be committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to a United Nations-mandated report released today, which also calls for urgent action to address the rights situation in the country, including referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- UN Urges Probe Into 'Atrocious' N. Korean Crimes VOA 17 Feb 2014 -- A new United Nations report accuses North Korea of "unspeakable atrocities,' many of which amount to crimes against humanity.
- Experts Praise Exposure of Pyongyang's Abuses VOA 17 Feb 2014 -- Analysts are hailing a United Nations report that accuses North Korea of "unspeakable atrocities' and crimes against humanity.
- S Leader: Nuclear talks not likely to be fruitful IRNA 17 Feb 2014 -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that he was not optimistic about the outcome of the nuclear talks but he has no objection to them.
- FM: Iran-5+1 talks based on Joint Plan of Action IRNA 17 Feb 2014 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the upcoming talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 would only be limited to the issues agreed in the Joint Plan of Action singed on November 24, 2013.
- Political resolve, goodwill vital for nuclear talks: Iran FM Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says 'political resolve and goodwill' are essential for talks between Iran and the six major world powers to reach a final agreement.
- Leader says not optimistic about N-talks, not opposed either Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says he is not optimistic about Iran's nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 group but noted he is not opposed to the talks either.
- China urges dialog to resolve Iran nuclear issue Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has once again reaffirmed her country's stance on the importance of settling the Iranian nuclear issue appropriately through dialog and negotiation.
- US dictates 'western scenario' of development to Ukraine as 'only acceptable' – Russian Foreign Ministry VoR 17 Feb 2014 -- The US tries to thrust the "western scenario" of development upon Ukraine as "the only acceptable" by dictating to a sovereign country's authorities what to do, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
- Ukraine's Prosecutor Says Amnesty Going Into Effect RFE/RL 17 Feb 2014 -- Ukraine's Prosecutor-General's Office says a conditional amnesty law that exempts detained protesters from criminal charges will be implemented on February 17.
- Ukraine Opposition Leaders Urge Sanctions RFE/RL 17 Feb 2014 -- Ukrainian opposition leaders have met in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Ukraine's political crisis, with Vitali Klitschko urging EU sanctions on senior officials.
- Ukraine Amnesty Law to Take Effect Monday – Officials RIA Novosti 17 Feb 2014 -- An amnesty law to drop criminal cases against hundreds of pro-EU protesters in Ukraine will enter into force on Monday, authorities said Sunday.
- Mauritania fertile ground for Arab donors IRIN 17 Feb 2014 -- Drought-prone, chronically hungry Mauritania, with the help of the UN, is reaching out to Arab donors, encouraging them to reach beyond their customary role in development and engage in humanitarian response.
- Egypt ex-army figure to run for president: Report Iran Press TV 17 Feb 2014 -- Egypt's former number two in the Supreme military council, Sami Anan, has announced his intention to run in the upcoming presidential election, a report says.
- China reports 3 more H7N9 cases People's Daily 17 Feb 2014 -- Three more people were confirmed to be infected with the H7N9 bird flu in three Chinese provinces, health authorities said Sunday.
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