30 December 2019 Military News
- Press Briefing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper | Palm Beach, FL The White House 30 Dec 2019
- Senior State Department Officials On U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria US Dept. of State 30 Dec 2019 -- Special Briefing
- US under barrage of criticism over strikes in Iraq Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- The United States' latest military aggression against Iraq's popular Hashd al-Sha'abi forces that left dozens of casualties continues to draw widespread condemnation from officials and groups across the region.
- IRGC condemns US attack on Iraq's PMF IRNA 30 Dec 2019 -- The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) in a statement on Monday strongly condemned the US attack on Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) claiming lives of scores of people.
- Iran raps US military aggression on Iraq IRNA 30 Dec 2019 -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed US aggression on Iraqi soil and on Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shabi) as clear example of terrorism. Hash al-Shabi mobilization forces played major role in fighting ISIS on the ground.
- Iran strongly condemns US terrorist attack on Iraq ISNA 30 Dec 2019 -- Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has strongly condemned the US military attack against the Iraqi forces and territory.
- Top cleric condemns US strikes on PMU bases, urges respect for Iraq sovereignty Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Iraq's most prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has vehemently condemned recent US airstrikes on several bases of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), where more than two dozen fighters were killed.
- Iraqi forces, people entitled to retaliate US attack on PMU bases: IRGC Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has strongly condemned the United States' latest military aggression against Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi, saying Iraqis reserve the right to retaliate such a "crime."
- Iran dismisses US baseless claim about involvement in attack on American forces in Iraq Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- The Iranian government spokesman has vehemently dismissed the United States' unsubstantiated claim about the Islamic Republic's involvement in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base housing US and Iraqi forces in the Arab country's north, which the US used as an excuse to attack the bases of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units last night.
- Iraq's Top Shia Cleric Blasts US Airstrikes, Says Washington Must Respect Country's Sovereignty Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The spiritual leader joined other Iraqi leaders, including President Bahram Silah and caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, in criticising Sunday's US airstrikes, which targeted five Iraqi and Syrian facilities hosting the Baghdad-allied Kata'ib Hezbollah Shia militia group.
- Iraqi-US Ties in Jeopardy as Baghdad Blasts US Over Strikes on Shia Militia Group Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- US forces carried out airstrikes against five facilities belonging to Iraqi Shia militia group Kata'ib Hezbollah on Sunday, killing over two dozen people and injuring over 50 more following Friday's deadly rocket attack on a US military base in northern Iraq.
- US Brushes Off Iraqi Criticism of Airstrikes VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- The United States is defending the use of airstrikes on Sunday to target an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, warning it could strike again, despite criticism from top Iraqi officials and renewed threats from the militia itself.
- Esper Says Strikes in Syria and Iraq Successful, Officials Initially Discussed Options With Trump Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Earlier on Sunday, US forces carried out strikes targeting five Kata'ib Hezbollah facilities in Syria and Iraq, including weapons storage locations and command and control bases. Esper said that Washington was ready for additional measures against Iran, if and when necessary.
- US Drone Attacks in Iraq Leave 19 Fighters Killed, 35 Injured - Iraqi Paramilitary Forces Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The death toll from the drone attacks of the United States against Kata'ib Hezbollah militia in Iraq stands at 25, with 51 people injured, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, said in a statement on Monday. Earlier, Hashd al-Shaabi reported of 19 people killed and 35 others injured.
- US airstrikes kill four 'al-Shabab militants' in Somalia: AFRICOM Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- The US military says it has conducted airstrikes against what it called positions of al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab terror group, killing four of its militants, a day after a massive car bombing killed scores of people in Mogadishu.
- Somalia Hit By More US Airstrikes in 2019 Than Ever Before Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The US conducted more airstrikes on Somalia in 2019 than any previous year, with three airstrikes by US forces against the al-Shabaab militant group on Sunday raising the total to 63 airstrikes this year.
- Taliban reject reports of planned ceasefire in Afghanistan amid US talks Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- The Taliban have rejected reports that the militant group has agreed to observe a brief ceasefire in Afghanistan amid ongoing peace talks with the United States.
- Taliban Rules Out Afghan Cease-fire VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- The Taliban announced Monday it does not intend to stop fighting in Afghanistan, rejecting as "false and baseless" reports the insurgent group is ready to declare a temporary cease-fire in a bid to seal a peace deal with the United States.
Defense Policy / Programs
- 14th Air Force redesignated as Space Operations Command US Air Force 30 Dec 2019 -- By order of Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett, effective Dec. 20, Fourteenth Air Force was officially redesignated as Space Operations Command.
- White House Once Again Torpedos Pentagon Plan to Retire Broken USS Truman Early Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- For the second time, the Trump administration has rejected a proposal by the US Navy to retire the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman early to save billions of dollars.
- Jordan, US train on heavy-duty weapon system Army News 30 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Army Soldiers with Charlie Company,1st Combined Arms Battalion, 252 Armor Regiment (1-252 AR), 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) known as, "Old Hickory," North Carolina Army National Guard (NCANG), in collaboration with Military Engagement Team-Jordan (MET-J), 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB), Arizona Army National Guard (AZANG), conducted a two-week Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) on the BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wireless-guided (TOW) Weapon System with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) at a base outside of Amman, Jordan in December 2019.
- Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Hosts Thai Military Officials NNS 30 Dec 2019 -- The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, embarked on flagship USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), hosted leaders from the Royal Thai Army, Navy, and Air Force, Dec. 23.
- USS Ross Departs the Black Sea NNS 30 Dec 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) began its southbound transit from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea Dec. 28 after conducting maritime security operations.
- Poland takes charge of NATO high readiness force NATO 30 Dec 2019 -- The Polish army will take the lead of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) on Wednesday (1 January 2020), placing thousands of soldiers on standby and ready to deploy within days. Poland takes over from Germany, which provided the core of the VJTF's land forces in 2019.
- MiG-35 Fighter Jet to Receive New Cockpit Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The export version of the MiG-35 differs from the regular model of the aircraft by the altered geometry of its airframe and an updated system of airborne radar equipment.
- Russian Defence Ministry to Get Modernised Su-34M Bombers Under New Contract - Producer Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will deliver modernized Su-34M frontline bombers to the country's Defence Ministry under a new contract, UAC General Director Yury Slyusar said.
- New Weapons Being Developed for Russia's Su-57 Fighters - Aerospace Manufacturer Chief Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- New weapons are currently being developed for Russia's fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets, Yury Slyusar, the director-general of the Russian aerospace and defence manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation, said on Monday.
- India's Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Achieves Milestone with Record Firing in A Minute - Video Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Over the last 18 months, the Indian Army has inducted American M-777 and South Korean K9 Vajra artillery units as well as its domestically-made Dhanush howitzer. The army has plans to modernise its entire artillery system in the next seven years.
- Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat Becomes Country's First Chief of Defence Staff Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will facilitate the restructuring of the military command structure to optimise the utilisation of resources by working to integrate operations, including through establishment of joint or theatre-specific commands among the service branches.
- Snubbing US Concerns, India Reveals Induction Day of First Squadron of Russian-Made S-400s Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- During a meeting of top government officials in Washington between India and the US on 18 December, the latter had raised concern over New Delhi's plan to purchase Russian missile defence systems. The US had urged India to look at American platforms instead, to enhance the level of interoperability between Indian and US forces.
- Iran-Russia-China naval drills scared countries seeking insecurity in region: IRGC Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Naval maneuvers jointly carried out by Iran, Russia and China in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean have caused fear and horror among those countries attempting to undermine security in the region, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says.
- Taiwan procures more TOW 2B anti-tank missiles from U.S. CNA 30 Dec 2019 -- Taiwan's military is procuring anti-tank missiles and launching platforms worth NT$11.3 billion (US$373 million) from the United States, a government notice of award posted online showed Monday.
- Senior State Department Officials Previewing Secretary Pompeo's Travel to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus US Dept. of State 30 Dec 2019 -- Special Briefing
- Top U.S. Diplomat Pompeo To Make Swing Through Ex-Soviet States, Cyprus RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with the leaders of four former Soviet republics and Cyprus during an upcoming five-day tour aimed in part at demonstrating Washington's support for the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of states bordering Russia.
- Deadly decade: UNICEF reports three-fold rise in verified attacks on children since 2010 UN News 30 Dec 2019 -- Conflicts around the world are lasting longer and claiming more young lives, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said on Monday, as the agency reported that over this 'deadly decade', there has been a three-fold rise in verified attacks on children since 2010 – an average of 45 violations a day.
- Indonesia Protests Beijing's Alleged Encroachments Around Natuna Islands Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- Indonesia lodged a strong protest with Beijing on Monday and accused it of trespassing, after confirming that dozens of Chinese fishing boats and two coast guard ships had entered its territorial waters at the edge of the South China Sea.
- In Sa'ada, Yemen's air defenses shoot down another spy drone Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Yemen's al-Masirah television network has reported that air defense forces intercepted and targeted a drone conducting surveillance for the coalition led by Saudi Arabia over the Razeh district of the northern province of Sa'ada on Monday.
- Yemeni Prime Minister: Supporting state under "Riyadh Agreement" will accelerate ending of Houthi terrorist militia coup SPA 30 Dec 2019 -- Yemeni Prime Minister Mueen Abdul-Malik called for supporting the state and its institutions according to "Riyadh Agreement," urging unity under the constitutional legitimacy, stressing that this will accelerate the end of the Houthi coup and put an end to the suffering of the Yemenis.
- Russian Military Police Patrol Syria's Aleppo, Hasakah Provinces Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Russian military police continue patrolling the Syria-Turkey border in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Hasakah, Major General Yuri Borenkov, the head of the Defence Ministry's Reconciliation Centre in Syria, said on Sunday.
- Turkish government sending Libya deployment bill to parliament despite opposition's rejection Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- The Turkish government is sending to parliament a bill mandating troop deployment to Libya despite the opposition's rejection, three days after Ankara announced the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) had officially requested military support from Turkey.
- Few Details as Myanmar Army Holds Court-Martial For Atrocities Against Rohingya Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's military on Monday held a fifth hearing during a court-martial for soldiers accused of committing atrocities during the brutal 2017 military-led crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, an army spokesman said.
- Insecurity, Lack of Trust Keep Myanmar's Karen Civilians From Returning Home Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- Regional insecurity from clashes between the government military and an ethnic armed group in southeastern Myanmar's Kayin (Karen) state, together with a lack of trust in a current cease-fire agreement, are key barriers preventing the return of civilians driven from their homes by years of conflict, according to a new report on internally displaced persons in the region.
- Pakistani Taliban Commander Reportedly Killed In Afghanistan RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- A key commander of the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has been shot dead at a refugee camp in southeastern Afghanistan, a Pakistani security source and a tribal elder have told RFE/RL.
- Pakistani Taliban's Key Leader Killed in Afghanistan - Report Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Qari Saifullah Mehsud, key commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) - the mother organisation of the Pakistani Taliban*, was killed by unknown gunmen.
- Netanyahu says Arab states to normalize ties with Israel soon Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will soon have normal ties and formal peace agreements with a number of Arab countries.
- Price To Pay: Release Of Former Ukrainian Riot Police In Prisoner Swap Sparks Anguish, Debate RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- They were former Ukrainian Interior Ministry crack police officers suspected of taking part in the bloody crackdown on demonstrators at the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv that pushed Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych from power nearly six years ago, in February 2014.
- Zelenskiy Defends Decision To Swap Berkut Fighters With Separatists Amid Tearful Reunions In Kyiv RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Western leaders and Russia have welcomed a mass prisoner exchange amid efforts to end the five-year war between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists fighting in Ukraine's east.
- Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap Draws Criticism VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- Criticism mounted in Kyiv Monday over a controversial prisoner swap with Russian-backed separatists, as it emerged that among the captives exchanged by Ukraine were five riot policemen accused of killing protesters during the 2014 Maidan uprising.
- Sudan: UN mission envoy commends signing of Darfur framework agreement UN News 30 Dec 2019 -- The joint chief mediator for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, UNAMID, welcomed on Monday a framework agreement between the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Darfur armed movements that was signed during peace talks in Juba, South Sudan, on Saturday.
- Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Deadly Bombing in Somali Capital VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for Saturday's truck bomb attack in Mogadishu, which killed at least 80 people and wounded 78 others.
- Moldovan Whistle-Blower Feared Abducted By Transdniester Separatists RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Human rights activists and the family of a whistle-blower about abuses in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdniester's army say the young man is missing and they fear he was abducted by paramilitary elements in the separatist administration.
- Main foreign policy results of 2019 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 30 Dec 2019-- BUG: the source does not exist in description file
- US Top Security Officials Tried Convincing Trump to Not Freeze Ukraine Aid - Reports Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The opposition of top security officials of the United States to President Donald Trump's demand that military help for Ukraine be put on hold, allegedly in order to lever Kiev's contribution in his own election campaign, was stronger than previously thought, The New York Times said on Monday.
- Russia, Ukraine Reach Five-Year Gas-Transit Deal RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Russia and Ukraine have signed a five-year, $7 billion deal on the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe following intense negotiations ahead of a year-end deadline.
- Pompeo To Make First Ukraine Visit As Impeachment In U.S. Buffets Relations RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Ukraine this week for the first time as the United States' top diplomat with an acrimonious impeachment process under way in Washington that revolves in part around White House actions toward Kyiv.
- Pompeo to Visit Ukraine This Week VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves this week for Ukraine – the country at the center of President Donald Trump's impeachment.
- NK's key party meeting shows tough but restrained attitude toward US: analysts Global Times 30 Dec 2019 -- North Korea is unlikely to implement a major policy change or to suspend nuclear negotiations with the US despite it stressed to protect its national security and sovereignty during a ruling Workers' Party meeting, analysts said on Monday, calling for the US to take more sincere and concrete steps on nuclear talks.
- Experts: N. Korea's 'Christmas Gift' Might Come Another Day VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- North Korea's "Christmas gift" might be still to come as Pyongyang is likely to ramp up military tensions and the threats of missile launches to gain concessions from the U.S., said experts, as tensions heighten on the Korean peninsula.
- North Korea May Force Trump to Change Course in 2020 VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump regularly says his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remains positive. But Trump may soon have little choice but to change his approach toward Kim, who within days may unveil a new, hardline policy toward the United States.
- Second-Day Session of 5th Plenary Meeting of 7th C.C., WPK Held KCNA 30 Dec 2019 -- The second-day session of the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea continued on Dec. 29.
- North Korea's Kim Jong-un Holds Party Meeting, Stresses Armament and Defence - Reports Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The meeting comes after the North Korean leader set a deadline for the United States to change its stance on the country's denuclearisation, as the talks have been stalled between the two nations.
- North Korea Starts Key Meeting but Offers No Details on 'New Way' VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- North Korea began a closely watched ruling party meeting led by Kim Jong Un, state media reported Sunday, amid signs Pyongyang is set to announce a firmer stance toward the United States.
- Rouhani says sanctions to end sooner or later IRNA 30 Dec 2019 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that because the enemy has figured out that "maximum pressure" cannot make Iran surrender, the sanctions will sooner or later come to an end.
- President Rouhani: This is a wartime situation Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- President Hassan Rouhani says the era of pressure and sanctions against the Iranian nation will sooner or later be over as the Islamic Republic's enemies have realized that they cannot bend Iranians to their will.
- Iran's FM Zarif urges world to counter US unilateralism Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called for collective cooperation among world countries to counter unilateralism propagated by the US administration across the globe.
- Russia's Foreign Minister Says Either Abide By Iran Nuclear Deal Or Kill It RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the United States and the European Union should either comply with the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran, or recognize it as nonexistent.
- US to Increase Sanctions Against Iran in 2020 - State Department Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- The United States in 2020 will increase sanctions on Iran, which is already in dismal economic shape, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said during a press briefing on Monday.
- China's Sinosure backing 3.7bn worth of petchem project in Iran: CBI governor Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Iran's chief banker says the petchem sector in the country will further grow thanks to a huge investment by China which has the backing of the country's main credit insurance provider Sinosure.
- Iran's Revolutionary Guards Seize Oil-Smuggling Vessel in the Persian Gulf - Reports Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Iran has seized multiple commercial vessels attempting to engage in oil smuggling operations in recent months. This summer, the country's maritime security forces boarded and detained a British oil tanker they said had violated multiple safety regulations.
- China to stabilize uncertain world Global Times 30 Dec 2019 -- As the year 2019 comes to an end and the new year is around the corner, many countries and regions around the globe are still suffering from political unrest, sectarian conflict, violent protests and even civil wars. In 2020, more unpredictable incidents will happen or are likely to happen, including the upcoming Brexit, proxy war in Libya, uncertain Korean Peninsula situation and the intensive US presidential election.
- Western data on Uygurs has serious flaws People's Daily 30 Dec 2019 -- Claims that the Chinese government is "detaining millions of Uygurs" in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are being increasingly repeated in the reporting of Western media, but little scrutiny is ever applied, an investigative journalism organization said recently.
- China-Tanzania "Sincere Partners-2019" military training kicks off in Tanzania PLA Daily 30 Dec 2019 -- The opening ceremony of the 25-day-long China-Tanzania joint military training, code-named "Sincere Partners-2019", was held at a comprehensive training center in Tanzania on December 23, 2019.
- Hong Kong Police to Deploy Thousands of Officers Ahead of Mass New Year's Protests Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- Anti-government demonstrators plotting to disrupt Hong Kong's New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations with violence or other crimes will be met by more than 6,000 members of the semi-autonomous city's police force, ranging from undercover cops to riot police.
- S. Korean Parliament Approves Establishment of New Corruption Investigatory Unit – Reports Sputnik 30 Dec 2019 -- A bill to establish a new investigatory unit to probe corruption by public officials was passed by South Korea's National Assembly on Monday amid protests by opposition politicians who argue that President Moon Jae-in could influence the unit by choosing its leader, media reported.
- Turkish police detain 94 people suspected of having ties to Daesh Press TV 30 Dec 2019 -- Turkish police have detained at least 94 people suspected of having ties to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group amid nationwide raids aimed at preventing potential acts of terror ahead of New Year's celebrations.
- Polish Leader Says Putin's WWII 'Lies' Aimed At Escaping International Pressure RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of "deliberately" lying about the start of World War II in an effort to deflect international pressure over Moscow's much more recent activities.
- Recent Bosnian Minister Charged Over Suspected Abuse Of EU Funds RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- Bosnian prosecutors have announced charges against former State Security Minister Dragan Mektic and three other men in a case in which they are suspected of abusing their office and corruption related to an EU-funded firefighting project.
- Ex-Croatian PM Sentenced To Prison In Oil Corruption Case RFE/RL 30 Dec 2019 -- A Croatian court has sentenced former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to six years in prison for accepting a multimillion-dollar bribe while in office.
- WFP calls for increased support as eight million in Zimbabwe face hunger UN News 30 Dec 2019 -- The World Food Programme (WFP) is calling on countries to step up support to Zimbabwe, where millions of people are facing hunger brought on by prolonged drought and economic meltdown.
- Former Vietnamese Government Minister Draws Life Term in Corruption Case Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- A former Vietnamese government minister and his deputy were sentenced on Saturday to a life term and 14 years in prison respectively in a case of corruption that is said to have cost the state budget almost U.S. $3 million, media sources said.
- Vietnam's Southeast Asia Leadership Post in 2020 to Challenge China VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- Vietnam's turn this year as chair of Southeast Asian nations' bloc gives it a new outlet to resist China in a festering maritime sovereignty dispute that involves three other member countries as well.
- Laos' Luang Prabang Dam Could Begin Construction in 2020, Ahead of Schedule Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- A hydropower project that was to be the last of five planned large-scale Mekong river dams in Laos may begin construction ahead of schedule, according to the Lao government.
- Observers: Cambodian Government Tightened Grip on Power in 2019 VOA 30 Dec 2019 -- This past year, Cambodia's prime minister, Hun Sen, consolidated his power, observers say, pointing to intimidation of the opposition and a minimal improvement of human rights following the European Union's threat to withdraw the trade agreement Everything But Arms. The deal grants free access to the EU single market for all products, with the exception of arms and armaments.
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