15 November 2019 Military News
- Touted Afghan Prisoner Swap Fails To Happen, But It's Unclear Why RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- The fate of a deal to exchange three Taliban prisoners held in Afghanistan for two Western hostages the militant group is holding remained unclear, three days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the plan.
- Afghan Taliban Blame US for Failed Prisoner Swap VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- The Afghan Taliban are blaming the United States for this week's failed prisoner swap between the two adversaries, saying the American side did not show up at a mutually agreed upon venue, somewhere inside Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- DOD Completes Second Annual Department-Wide Audit; Demonstrates Progress DoD 15 Nov 2019 -- "Today, the Department of Defense (DOD) completed its second Department-wide financial statement audit. Seven DOD organizations are expected to receive unmodified or "clean" opinions. Two audits are still underway and are expected to be completed in January 2020."
- Statement from the Press Secretary The White House 15 Nov 2019 -- Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance, an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, and an order directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of nearly all of the charges against him.
- U.S., Spanish Marines participate in amphibious exercise BALEAREX USMC News 15 Nov 2019 -- U. S. Marines and Sailors with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 20.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, are participating in a combined exercise with the Spanish Navy and Marines near the Balearic Islands aboard the Spanish naval vessel Juan Carlos I.
- SECNAV Names Future Destroyer in Honor of Late Sen. Lugar NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will bear the name of the late Sen. Richard G. Lugar, a Navy veteran.
- SECNAV Names Future Destroyer in Honor of Late Sen. Cochran NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named in honor of late Sen. Thad Cochran, a Navy veteran.
- Ike Prepares for Maintenance, Material and Management Inspection NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) has a new Maintenance, Material and Management (3M) Officer (3MO), Lt. Timothy Holland. He checked aboard less than two months prior to Ike beginning its 3M Inspection (3MI), Jan. 27. With such an important inspection fast approaching, Holland and all Ike Sailors must work together to ensure Ike is ready.
- Naval Supply Turns Up Heat on Critical Weapon-System Orders NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- As the sun set on summer, Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support turned up the heat on its efforts to reduce high-priority backorders to bolster the readiness of the U.S. Navy.
- Royal Saudi Naval Forces Pilots, Air Crew Complete MH-60R Training NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- Eighteen naval aviators and two aircrew members from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) participated in a winging ceremony with the U.S. Navy's "Air Wolves" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40 Nov. 12.
- NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Executes $2.8 Billion in Business During FY19 NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic topped its own acquisition execution record set just last year, awarding approximately $2.8 billion in new contracts during fiscal year 2019 which ended Sept. 30.
- Cybersecurity Team Keeps Ike's Digital Systems Safe NNS 15 Nov 2019 -- The threat of cyberwarfare continues to intensify and refine itself with each passing day. As Composite Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) fast approaches, Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) must prepare themselves for the threats associated with deployment, which starts while pierside.
- Success in Space Requires Partnerships, Spacecom Official Says DoD News 15 Nov 2019 -- Partnerships are important to achieving superiority in space, a senior official from U.S. Space Command said in Washington today.
- US State Department Discusses Practical Issues to Implement START Treaty with Russia in Geneva Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- US and Russian diplomats discussed practical issues for implementing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) during consultations in Geneva, the State Department said in a press release.
- Trump's 'America First' Approach to Military Cost-Sharing Could Hurt Alliance with Seoul VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Washington's defense cost-sharing demand could hurt the U.S.-South Korean alliance, said a former military general, suggesting the demand seems to stem from "a new paradigm" the Trump administration has adopted.
- U.S., South Korean Defense Leaders Talk Military Exercises DoD News 15 Nov 2019 -- Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and South Korean National Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo discussed their nations' combined military readiness exercise program during the 51st annual Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul, South Korea, today.
- U.S., South Korean Leaders Review State of Alliance DoD News 15 Nov 2019 -- U.S. and South Korean defense officials reviewed the state of the military alliance between the two countries and charted the way ahead today in Seoul, South Korea, during the 51st annual Security Consultative Meeting.
- Pentagon chief Esper says South Korea should pay more for US troops Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says South Korea "is a wealthy country" and should pay more for the cost of stationing some 28,500 US troops in the East Asian nation.
- Crucial That South Korea Increases Burden Sharing for US Military - Defence Secretary Esper Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Washington and Seoul agreed to discuss sharing the cost to maintain 28,500 US troops earlier this year, as the Americans allegedly wanted to request their ally pay almost $5 billion under a renewed cost-sharing deal in 2020, a fivefold increase of the 2018 payment.
- NATO chief dismisses questioning about bloc's unity, future People's Daily 15 Nov 2019 -- Visiting Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg sought to quell questioning about the bloc's unity and future, after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump here Thursday.
- NATO to Replace AWACS Aircraft Fleet by 2035 - Stoltenberg Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- NATO plans to phase out the fleet of its iconic airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft by 2035 and use in a replacement artificial intelligence and big data technologies, Alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
- 'Unpredictability' Is NATO's Greatest Challenge, Stoltenberg Says VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- VOA Serbian Service's Jela de Franceschi spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about the shifting global alliances in the current political environment.
- Arms Depot Blasts Kill Two Ukrainian Soldiers, Injure Four RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- Two Ukrainian mining engineers have been killed and another four injured in explosions at an arms depot near the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine's military says.
- Two Sappers Killed in Explosion at Ammunition Depot in Ukraine - General Staff Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Several people were injured in an explosion during the liquidation of an ammunition depot in the city of Balakliya in eastern Ukraine, according to spokesman for the Ukrainian General Staff Bogdan Senik.
- New START Likely to Meet the Same Fate as INF Treaty - Russia's Foreign Intelligence Chief Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Last year, the United States announced a unilateral suspension of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing alleged violations of the accord by Russia – a claim Moscow denies. Russia responded in kind, suspending its obligations as well. On 2 August, the US officially pulled out from the accord.
- UK Pitches its State-of-the-Art Super Aircraft Carrier to Make it in India Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- The statement comes days after Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh highlighted the requirement of three aircraft carriers for the Navy to overcome critical capability voids during a naval commanders' conference in New Delhi.
- Indian Home Minister Hits Out at Opposition Over Rafale Verdict by Top Court Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- The Supreme Court of India on Thursday dismissed a review petition seeking a criminal probe into the controversial $8.7 billion Rafale fighter jet deal between the Indian government and French company Dassault Aviation.
- IRGC Chief Salami Says Iranian Missiles Leave No Safe Spot for Enemy's Aircraft Carriers Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami has warned enemies against approaching Iran's borders, claiming there is no safe zone for hostile aircraft carriers within or outside of Iran's territorial waters.
- Turkey 'will go on with Russian S-400 purchase' Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- A senior aide to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country is determined to go on with the purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, despite threats of sanctions by the United States.
- U.S. threatens to punish Egypt over arms deal with Russia People's Daily 15 Nov 2019 -- The United States has threatened to punish Egypt for its decision to purchase fighter jets from Russia, flexing its muscles against a second regional power that is veering toward Moscow.
- Thai air force deploys 14 F-5 TH jet fighters, 17 UAVs People's Daily 15 Nov 2019 -- The Thai air force has deployed a squadron of 14 F-5 TH jet fighters and 17 U-1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
- Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy Security, and the Environment Keith Krach US Dept. of State 15 Nov 2019 -- Special Briefing by Keith Krach, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
- Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy And African Union Commissioner for Peace and Stability Smail Chergui US Dept. of State 15 Nov 2019 -- Special Briefing
- 15 November 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Nov 2019
- Over 1 million health consultations provided in Yemen in 2019: UN migration agency UN News 15 Nov 2019 -- Since the beginning of the year, the UN Migration Agency has carried out over one million health consultations for displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis and migrants struggling to reach the help they need, the organization announced on Friday.
- With Collapse of Health System, Yemen Struggles to Contain Disease Outbreaks VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- The World Health Organization warns disease outbreaks are flourishing in Yemen and many people are dying from a lack of health care and serious shortages in supplies and personnel.
- Terrorists continue to take civilians as human shields in Idlib: Syria UN envoy Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Syria's Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari says Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the northwestern province of Idlib continue to take civilians as human shields, stressing that it is the Damascus government's duty to purge the area of their presence.
- War in Syria to End Once Terrorism Defeated, Not After Constitution Adopted - President Assad Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- On 9 October, Turkey launched a military op in Syria to clear the border area of Daesh militants and Kurdish militia, which Ankara views as terrorists. After a series of ceasefire deals with the United States and Russia, the operation's active phase ended. Damascus has condemned Turkey's offensive as a violation of Syria's sovereignty.
- Russia still has great deal of work to do in Syria's Idlib, Putin says Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow feels it still has a lot of work to do in the last major bastion of foreign-backed militants and Takfiri terrorists in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.
- U.S. Calls French Proposal To Try IS Prisoners In Iraq 'Irresponsible' RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- The United States has called "irresponsible" a French proposal to put thousands of jailed Islamist extremists on trial in Iraq, as Washington and its European allies clashed over what to do with thousands of militants being held in Syria.
- US Opposes International Tribunal for Daesh Fighters - Senior Diplomat Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- The United States opposes the idea of establishing an international tribunal to try Daesh* members and believes national-level courts would be more effective, US Acting Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Nathan Sales said during a press briefing.
- UN envoy says Egypt, UN trying to prevent "war" around Gaza People's Daily 15 Nov 2019 -- Egypt and the United Nations (UN) are trying to prevent a "war" around Gaza amid escalating violence between the Palestinian enclave and Israel, a UN envoy said Thursday.
- Nearly 2,000 Flee Rakhine Villages in Fear of Myanmar Army 'Clearance Operations' Radio Free Asia 15 Nov 2019 -- Ongoing hostilities between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in Rakhine state forced about 1,700 civilians to flee villages in three townships this week, amid fears that they would be detained and possible tortured by national soldiers conducting "clearance operations" in their communities, locals said.
- ICC gives greenlight for probe into violent crimes against Rohingya UN News 15 Nov 2019 -- Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity, namely deportation, which have forced between 600,000 and one million Rohingya refugees out of Myanmar, into neighboring Bangladesh since 2016.
- Turkish Drilling Ship Fatih Has Started Op off Cyprus Coast - Reports Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Ankara previously sent its vessels to the Cypriot exclusive economic zone in order to carry out exploration for hydrocarbons despite pushback from Nicosia and the European Union. According to Turkey, its vessels have every right to drill in the Mediterranean region.
- Ousted U.S. Envoy To Ukraine Calls Trump's Tweets During Her Testimony 'Intimidating' RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- Ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch described denigrating tweets sent by President Donald Trump as she was testifying in an inquiry into his possible impeachment as "intimidating," while Democrats accused Trump of witness intimidation.
- Trump Fights Back as Democrats Home In on Impeachment VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- As Marie Yovanovitch took the witness stand during impeachment inquiry hearings on Friday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter, launching an attack on the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
- Roger Stone Guilty of Witness Tampering, Lying to Congress VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 election bid.
- Pelosi Says Trump Has Admitted To 'Bribery' As Second Day Of Impeachment Hearing Set RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is claiming that President Donald Trump has already admitted to "bribery" in the Ukraine scandal, redefining allegations by use of a more-distinct crime term than the Latin "quid pro quo" used by many so far.
- Bolivian Journalists Targeted in Attacks, Censorship VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Protests have roiled Bolivia for about three weeks, leading to the ouster of Evo Morales as president.
- Bolivia: Police attack pro-Morales protests Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Bolivia's capital has been wracked with protests in favor of the country's democratically-elected President Evo Morales, who was recently toppled in a coup d'état.
- Bolivians protest against interim government amid fears of civil war Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Bolivians have taken to the streets for yet another day against the new interim government that has taken power after a coup d'état against democratically elected president Evo Morales
- Evo Morales Will Face Charges if He Comes Back to Bolivia, Interim President Claims Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Jeanine Anez, who declared herself the interim president on 12 November after Evo Morales and all other top officials resigned, earlier in the day said that Mexico, which has granted political shelter to the former head of state, should urge him to respect the protocols on asylum and call on him to abstain from fanning escalation.
- Morales Calls on UN to Mediate Bolivian Crisis, Brands US as 'Great Conspirator' Behind the Coup Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales, who submitted his resignation last week, still remains popular in the country with his supporters calling for his return from asylum in Mexico. In the wake of Morales' resignation, many countries have described the transition of power to interim president Jeanine Anez as illegitimate.
- Morales Says He'll Return to Bolivia If Resignation Letter Not Supported by Lawmakers Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Bolivia's former president, Evo Morales, who resigned last week amid protests and later fled to Mexico, said he would return to Bolivia if the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, the country's parliament, did not support his resignation letter.
- Bolivian Upper House Elects Lawmaker From Morales' Party as New Speaker Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- The Senate, the upper house of the Bolivian Parliament, said that Monica Eva Copa Murga, a lawmaker from the party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) of former President Evo Morales, has been elected to become the new House speaker amid instability following the president's resignation.
- The Week In Russia: Impunity From Magnitsky To The Moika RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- Beneath the grisly details of graduate student Anastasia Yeshchenko's killing lies a more banal, less tabloid-friendly tale - a seemingly never-ending story about the impunity of people who hold power in Russia. Activists say other chapters include the jailhouse death of whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky 10 years ago and the long rule of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, whose suggestion that those who dishonor officials online should be slain has caused concern but no consequences.
- Russia to Study Plea for Mercy of Norway's Berg in 'Not-so-Far Perspective' - Official Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- The office of Lithuanian President said on Friday that he had pardoned two Russian citizens, convicted of espionage. Lithuanian media have claimed that Norway, Lithuania and Russia are preparing an exchange of espionage-charged persons. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry has refuted these claims as political speculations.
- Lithuanian President Pardons 2 Russian Citizens Convicted of Spying Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has pardoned two Russian citizens, Nikolai Filipchenko and Sergey Moiseenko, who had been convicted on espionage charges, the president's office said on Friday.
- Lithuania, Russia, Norway Carry Out Three-Way Spy Swap RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- Two Lithuanian men convicted of spying in Russia "have been reunited with their families" after they were released as part of a spy swap, the chief of Lithuania's counterintelligence, Darius Jauniskis, announced on November 15.
- No Deal on 'Spy' Kulbhushan Jadhav with India - Pakistan Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadav has been in Pakistan's custody for the past several years on charges of espionage. India has rejected the allegation and raised the matter at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
- North Korean Refugees Rely on Cellular Phones During Journey to Freedom Radio Free Asia 15 Nov 2019 -- Cellular phones are the single most important tool for North Koreans making the risky trek to South Korea through China and other Asian countries, according to the head of a South Korean NGO that helps refugees after they have escaped from the North.
- Pyongyang to Unilaterally Destroy Mt Kumgang Resorts If Seoul Fails to Do So - Reports Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Pyongyang has warned Seoul that it would unilaterally dismantle tourist facilities in the Mount Kumgang area, a mountain range north of the demilitarised zone separating the two countries, if South Korea does not do it on its own, the KCNA news outlet reported.
- North Korea Lambasts Joe Biden as 'Rabid Dog in Final Stage of Dementia' Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- North Korea previously called US Vice President Joe Biden "an imbecile" and "fool of low IQ" in May for calling their leader a dictator and tyrant.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Yangdok Hot Spring Resort Again KCNA 15 Nov 2019 -- Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, again inspected Yangdok Hot Spring Resort under construction that nears completion.
- Iran begins gasoline rationing, raises prices Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Iran has begun rationing on the purchase of gasoline and substantially increased the price of fuel in a move to assist the needy.
- Outrage In Iran Over Hike In Gas Prices As Economic Woes Worsen RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- Iranians are blasting their government for rationing gas and greatly increasing its price, with many concerned that the move will lead to inflation and greater hardship in a country where so many people are struggling to make ends meet.
- Iran Imposes Gasoline Rationing, Raises Prices As U.S. Sanctions Continue To Bite RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- Iranian authorities have imposed rationing on gasoline purchases and have increased the price of fuel substantially as the economy continues to be hit by U.S. financial sanctions.
- Iran's Uranium Enrichment Capacity Hits 8,660 SWUs, to Reach Pre-JCPOA Mark in Days - AEOI Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Special assistant to the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) Ali Asghar Zarean has announced that Iran's uranium enrichment capacity hit 8,660 Separative Work Units (SWUs), adding that it will reach 11,000 in the next few days, surpassing the country's capacity before JCPOA deal.
- Iran's enrichment capacity reaches 8,660 SWUs: AEOI official Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- A high-ranking official at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country has made significant achievements in indigenizing its nuclear industry and its uranium enrichment capacity currently stands at 8,660 separative work units (SWUs).
- Tehran rejects Canada-drafted human rights resolution against Iran Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Tehran has rejected a United Nations human rights resolution against Iran as a "politically motivated" instance of hypocrisy and "abuse" of UN mechanisms by Western governments targeting independent states.
- Xi urges an end to violence in Hong Kong Global Times 15 Nov 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday night urged an end to violence and chaos in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), which he said is the most pressing task for the city, in his latest remarks that have been seen as a strong support for tougher actions against violent criminals.
- China to oppose external forces interfering in HK affairs: Xi Global Times 15 Nov 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said the most pressing task for Hong Kong is to end violence and chaos and restore order, after the city was engulfed again by four days of violence which paralyzed public traffic, vandalized infrastructures and frightened ordinary people and lead universities to suspend classes.
- Xi's remarks point way to stabilizing Hong Kong situation: spokesperson Global Times 15 Nov 2019 -- President Xi Jinping's latest remarks on the Hong Kong situation are the strongest voice from the central government on the work of ending violence and chaos in Hong Kong, a spokesperson said Friday.
- HKSAR gov't reiterates foreign legislatures should not interfere in internal affairs of HKSAR Global Times 15 Nov 2019 -- In response to a report issued by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) reiterated late on Thursday that foreign legislatures should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR.
- Seeking Beijing's help is one option to end riots: ex-security official Global Times 15 Nov 2019 -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government needs to be more courageous in carrying out effective measures to end riots, said Hong Kong's former security minister.
- External meddling in HK 'doomed to fail' Global Times 15 Nov 2019 -- The meddling of external forces in Hong Kong's affairs will surely face countermeasures from China and eventually backfire, as their interests were also tied to one of Asia's financial hubs, observers said while criticizing foreign forces' constant agitation of the city's five-month unrest.
- China hits out at UK after 'perpetrators' attacked Hong Kong official in London Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- China has once again accused Britain of fueling violent protests in Hong Kong, following an incident in which "violent and lawless perpetrators" surrounded and attacked a top Hong Kong official in London.
- Hong Kong Protesters Stand Ground As China Brings in Border Curb Radio Free Asia 15 Nov 2019 -- Protesters at a top Hong Kong university once more blocked a nearby multi-lane highway after a top official said the government would never agree to the remaining four demands of the five-month-old pro-democracy movement, as Chinese border guards began turning back travelers trying to get into the city.
- Xi urges BRICS countries to champion multilateralism People's Daily 15 Nov 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on the BRICS countries to undertake their due obligations in championing and practicing multilateralism.
- China's reform, development achievements shared by all people People's Daily 15 Nov 2019 -- Since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) 70 years ago, China has maintained sound social security and stability while developing into the world's second largest economy, receiving high appraisal from the international community.
- Chinese Bishop 'On The Run' After Pressure to Join Beijing's Catholic Church: Report Radio Free Asia 15 Nov 2019 -- Catholic bishop Guo Xijin is on the run from Chinese police after refusing to bring his church into a Catholic association approved by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
- Taipei sticking to 'Taiwan' as country name in accord with Prague CNA 15 Nov 2019 -- Taipei and Prague are hoping to sign a pact on sisterhood ties, and Taipei continues to insist on using "Taiwan" in the accord as suggested by the Czech Republic's foreign ministry, city government spokesman Tom Chou (周台竹) said Friday.
- NCC suspends sale of 3 Huawei phone models over Taiwan's designation CNA 15 Nov 2019 -- The National Communications Commission (NCC) has halted the sale of three smartphone models produced by Huawei Technologies Co. of China, saying a software upgrade had renamed Taiwan as "Taiwan, China."
- 'If Hong Kong falls, Taiwan is next': former U.S. diplomat CNA 15 Nov 2019 -- As tensions between pro-democracy protesters and police in Hong Kong continue to escalate, former American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is warning that "if Hong Kong falls, Taiwan is next."
- US, Taiwan Team Up to Stop Small Countries From Allying With China VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Taiwan and the United States have sent their first joint trade delegation to one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies as tiny, often impoverished countries keep turning instead to China, a source of aid for the developing world but a perceived threat to both delegation organizers.
- North Macedonia 'Disappointed' By EU Snub, But Pressing Forward With Accession Hopes RFE/RL 15 Nov 2019 -- North Macedonia's prime minister says the small Western Balkan nation is disappointed by the failure of the European Union to open accession talks but that his government will press forward with efforts to join the bloc.
- Lebanese Parties Agree on Naming Next PM - Reports Sputnik 15 Nov 2019 -- Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri stepped down on 29 October following demonstrations comprising about half of the country's population and which have continued up to the present.
- State Department Updates the Cuba Restricted List US Dept. of State 15 Nov 2019 -- "Today, I am announcing an update to the Cuba Restricted List to add five sub-entities owned by the Cuban military to the list of entities with which direct financial transactions are generally prohibited."
- Iraq's Sistani urges lawmakers to restore public faith in electoral process Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Iraq's prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called on legislators to promptly introduce a fair electoral law that would restore people's faith in elections in the wake of weeks of protests in the capital Baghdad and a host of southern cities.
- '3rd party' behind killing protesters with deadly smoke canisters, Iraq defense minister says Press TV 15 Nov 2019 -- Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari says a "third party" is behind shooting at the Iraqi demonstrators, as the smoke canisters used to kill the protesters are not of the type imported by the Baghdad government.
- Suburban Chicago Man Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS US Dept. of Justice 15 Nov 2019 -- The leader of a Chicago-area street gang has been arrested for allegedly attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
- Cambodian Court Ends Probe of Treason Charges Against Opposition Leader Kem Sokha Radio Free Asia 15 Nov 2019 -- A judge in Cambodia has ended a probe into charges of treason against opposition chief Kem Sokha, heralding what could be the conclusion of his two-year old case, days after the European Union issued a damning report saying the country had failed to make the necessary improvements to its rights record to avoid the loss of a crucial trade arrangement.
- Lebanon Protests Continue as Officials Promise New Government, Reforms VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- "See this?" said Jalal, 21, emptying the pockets of his pants while his two friends open their wallets. Between them were mobile phones and cigarette lighters, but no money. "This is what it means to be a young man in Lebanon," he said.
- Somalia to Push for Voter Registration Ahead of 2021 Elections VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Somalia's National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) has announced plans to register millions of Somalis to participate in what would be the country's first popular elections in more than a half-century.
- Somalia Tries to Keep Rival Gulf States at Bay VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Somalia's president says his government is under constant pressure to choose from among three rival Persian Gulf countries - Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The Somali government has tried to remain neutral, despite having a good working relationship with Qatar. Analysts warns that the rivalry and competing security interests are having a negative impact on Somalia's politics and stability.
- Tunisia's Moderate Islamist Party Picks One of Its Own as Next PM VOA 15 Nov 2019 -- Tunisia took a step forward Friday in forming a new government following rollercoaster October elections, with the moderate Islamist Ennahda party proposing a prime minister from its own ranks to lead it. Former junior agriculture minister, Habib Jemli, 60, will now have two months to form a government. If he fails to do so, newly elected President Kais Saied can tap another candidate.
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