21 December 2019 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- Trump signs military budget to create controversial Space Force Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has signed the annual military budget bill, allocating funds for a controversial Space Force that could one day become a separate military branch on an equal footing to the US army and navy.
- Trump Signs Law Establishing U.S. Space Force As Competition With China, Russia Grows RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- President Donald Trump has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), creating the U.S. Space Force, the sixth branch of the armed forces.
- Trump signs controversial defense bill calling for sanctions against Russia, Turkey People's Daily 21 Dec 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a 738-billion-U.S.-dollar defense bill which includes controversial provisions calling for sanctions against Russia and Turkey.
- 'Carrots and Sticks': US 2020 Defence Budget Sends Shockwaves Across Globe Sputnik 21 Dec 2019 -- 'Scalpel' Against Nord Stream 2
- U.S., Taiwan seal arms deals CNA 21 Dec 2019 -- Taiwan has signed letters of offer and acceptance (LOAs) with the United States for the procurement of F-16V fighter jets and other advanced military equipment, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed Saturday.
- Taiwan thanks U.S. for signing defense bill CNA 21 Dec 2019 -- Taiwan thanked U.S. President Donald Trump Saturday for signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a resolution that calls for the enhancement of defense and security cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S.
- Turkey threatens US with counter-sanctions Press TV 20 Dec 2019 -- Turkey has vowed to retaliate in kind if the United States brings it under sanctions over its purchasing Russia's S-400 air defense systems and signing a natural gas deal with Moscow.
- Iran mounts night-vision systems on choppers IRNA 21 Dec 2019 -- Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force's Airborne Division (Havaniruz) Brigadier-General Yousef Qorbani said on Saturday that his force has developed and mounted the night vision systems on helicopters which was in monopoly of a few countries.
- Macron vows more Africa troops with eye on Russia, China Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to provide "new force" to purportedly fight terrorists in Africa, as he paid a visit to Ivory Coast.
- Belgium's Army APCs Can Only be Driven by Shorter Soldiers After Upgrade - Reports Sputnik 21 Dec 2019 -- The Belgian Army has decided to increase the safety of its Pandur armoured vehicles. As a result of the improvements, they became so cramped that most tall soldiers would not fit in them, according to VRT, Belgium's national public-service broadcaster.
- West blocks Syria aid resolution after Russia, China veto rival plan Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- The Western countries have blocked a UN Security Council resolution sponsored by Russia and China on cross-border aid deliveries to Syria, after the pair vetoed a rival motion.
- Pompeo Says Russia, China Have 'Blood On Their Hands' For Veto Of Syrian Aid RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Russia and China "have blood on their hands" for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria for a year.
- Russian Federation's and China's Veto of UNSCR 2449 Aid to Syrian Refugees US Dept. of State 21 Dec 2019 -- "The Russian Federation's and China's veto yesterday of a Security Council resolution that allows for humanitarian aid to reach millions of Syrians is shameful."
- Pompeo Slams Russia, China for Opposing Syrian Aid Resolution VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced Russia and China on Saturday after the two countries vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on allowing cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria.
- U.S. Praises Kazakhstan For Leading the Repatriation Of Citizens From Syria RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- The United States has praised Kazakhstan for leading the international effort to repatriate citizens, including fighters, from war-torn Syria.
- Syrian Oil Ministry Claims Terrorists Attacked Oil and Gas Facilities in Homs Province Sputnik 21 Dec 2019 -- Syria's Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources said that terrorists had carried out three attacks on oil and gas facilities in the central part of Syria.
- Saudi Arabia deploys dozens of troops to key oil field in eastern Syria: Report Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- Saudi Arabia has reportedly deployed dozens of combat troops to a major oilfield in Syria's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr as the United States and some of its regional allies are vying with one another to seize oil reserves and plunder natural resources in the war-battered country.
- Militant rocket attack targets refinery, gas facilities in Syria's Homs, disrupts production Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- The Syrian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources says foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants have launched a barrage of rockets at the main refinery and two gas facilities in the country's central province of Homs, causing minor damage and disrupting production.
- Situation in Libya US Dept. of State 21 Dec 2019 -- "The United States is concerned by the Government of National Accord's request for military support, and by the LNA's threat to use foreign-supplied air assets and mercenaries to attack Misrata."
- Hamas welcomes ICC decision to open probe into Israeli war crimes in Palestinian territories Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has praised an announcement by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into war crimes committed by the Israeli regime in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- ICC probe into Israeli war crimes in Palestine unjustified: US Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- The US, a staunch ally of Israel, has condemned the International Criminal Court (ICC)'s decision to launch a full investigation into war crimes in the Palestinian territories, claiming that the "unjustified inquiry" will "unfairly" target Tel Aviv.
- US Opposes ICC Prosecutor Investigation of Israel for Alleged 'War Crimes' - Pompeo Sputnik 21 Dec 2019 -- On Friday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, suggested that the court launch a full investigation into a series of "war crimes" allegedly committed in Palestinian territories by Israel.
- Cameroon MPs Approve Law Giving Special Status to English-Speaking Regions VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- Cameroon's Parliament approved legislation granting two English-speaking regions in the country special status. But lawmakers representing the Northwest and Southwest regions says the law will not solve the ongoing separatist crisis there.
- Martial Law Set to End in Restive Philippine South as Violence Ebbs VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's recent announcement that he would, by the end of the year, lift martial law over the country's vast, often violent southern island of Mindanao after 31 months is seen as a sign authorities have an upper hand over armed rebel groups and want business to prosper in the impoverished region.
- Relations Between West, Russia Likely to Remain Antagonistic Next Year VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- In his four-hour, stage-managed year-end news conference Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin went out of his way to back U.S. President Donald Trump in the impeachment saga unfolding in Washington.
- Trump approves sanctions against Russia-Europe gas pipeline Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has signed off on sanctions against companies building a Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany that Washington fears will give Moscow great leverage over European allies.
- EU, Russia, Germany lash out at US over imposing sanctions on gas pipeline Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- The European Union and Russia have lashed out at the United States over its recent move to impose sanction on any firm working on a gas pipeline from Russia into Germany.
- Congress Passes More Legislation Aimed At Curbing Russia's Energy Grip On Europe RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- The U.S. Congress has approved legislation to bolster its security and energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, where newly discovered, major natural-gas fields have the ability to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy.
- Germany Rejects U.S. Legislation That Would Penalize Firms Laying Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- Germany has denounced new U.S. legislation that would impose sanctions on companies helping lay the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Europe.
- Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Reflect How US, Despite $22 Trillion Debt, Prevents Others From Developing - Moscow Sputnik 21 Dec 2019 -- Earlier US President Donald Trump enacted the $738 billion National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), a military budget package for the coming year that includes sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
- Russia Says Lab Data It Gave To World Anti-Doping Agency Was Not Tampered With RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- Russia's Investigative Committee has concluded that all materials submitted to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) this year regarding athletes' drug tests were genuine, contrary to WADA's determination that the copy it received of a database from Russia's national drug-testing laboratory was intentionally altered.
- Reckless Remarks of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State under Fire KCNA 21 Dec 2019 -- A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA on December 21 with regard to the United States' act of having taken issue over the DPRK's "human rights":
- North Korea Slams 'Reckless' US Remarks on Rights Record VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- North Korea Saturday lashed out at the U.S. State Department's recent criticism of its human rights record, warning Washington would "pay dearly" for what it called "reckless" remarks.
- North Korea warns US could 'pay dearly' as tensions rise Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- North Korea says the United States will have to "pay dearly" for accusing Pyongyang of human rights violations, amid heated rhetoric ahead of a year-end deadline that raised concerns over an end of diplomacy between the two sides.
- North Korea Slams US Official's Remarks on Alleged Human Rights Violations Sputnik 21 Dec 2019 -- The United States' accusations of human rights violations in North Korea only "pour oil over burning fire" and will aggravate the situation on the peninsula, a spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
- North Korean Workers in Russia, China Ignore Sunday Sanctions Deadline Radio Free Asia 21 Dec 2019 -- As the U.N. sanctions-mandated Sunday deadline for overseas North Korean workers to repatriate draws near, workers stationed in Russia are returning home, while in China, North Koreans appear to be ignoring sanctions entirely.
- Diplomat: US Must 'Engage' to Seek Change From N. Korea VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- Destro's remarks came amid escalating threats from North Korea to give the U.S. an ominous "Christmas gift" and walk away from nuclear talks.
- Article 23 onus lies in HKSAR govt Global Times 21 Dec 2019 -- The onus of passing Article 23 of the Basic Law in Hong Kong as soon as possible lies in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, experts said at the Global Times annual forum on Saturday.
- Xi says phase-one China-US trade deal benefits both sides, world Global Times 21 Dec 2019 -- The phase-one economic and trade deal between China and the United States benefits both sides and the whole world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday.
- Forming cliques to pressure China doomed to fail: FM to Canada Global Times 21 Dec 2019 -- Pressuring China by forming cliques or connecting with other issues is doomed to fail, Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday, in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's remarks that urged the US to use trade talks with China as leverage to secure the freedom of two Canadians.
- Xi says phase-one China-U.S. trade deal benefits both sides, world People's Daily 21 Dec 2019 -- The phase-one economic and trade deal between China and the United States benefits both sides and the whole world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday.
- Experts have heated discussion over reunification with Taiwan Global Times 21 Dec 2019 -- Focusing on whether 2020 is a crucial year for the reunification of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan and if this will be realized via a peaceful process or armed conflict, many experts across the board from both the mainland and Taiwan had an ardent and erudite discussion, during the annual Global Times forum on Saturday.
- Reunification only acceptable option for Taiwan question: experts Global Times 21 Dec 2019 -- China's reunification is an irreversible trend and the only acceptable option for the Taiwan question, but it is not necessary that it will be achieved in a peaceful way, experts said at the annual forum of the Global Times in Beijing on Saturday.
- More Protests In Minsk Against Closer Integration Between Belarus, Russia RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- Demonstrators gathered again in Minsk to protest plans for greater integration between Belarus and Russia.
- Russia, Ukraine Disclose Details Of New Gas Transit Deal RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- Officials from Russia and Ukraine have given details on a new five-year deal to transport Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine.
- Modi summons ministers as citizenship law protests rage on Press TV 21 Dec 2019 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has summoned his government ministers to hold a meeting and discuss the security situation in the country following protests against a controversial anti-Muslim law.
- Uzbekistan Holds First Vote In Mirziyoev Era RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- Uzbekistan holds parliamentary elections on December 22, the first since Shavkat Mirziyoev came to power nearly three years ago.
- Facebook Shuts Down Network Of Accounts Linked To Georgia's Ruling Party RFE/RL 21 Dec 2019 -- Facebook said it has removed a network of social-media accounts linked to the Georgian Dream Party that promoted its policies and criticized the opposition.
- UN: Poland's New Judicial Law Undermines Independence of Judges VOA 21 Dec 2019 -- The U.N. Human Rights Office warns that Poland's new law, which makes it easier to fire judges, risks further undermining the independence of the judiciary in that country. The law, which had been proposed by Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party, was passed Friday by the country's lower house of parliament.
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