16 January 2020 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
COVID-19 Pandemic News
- Taliban Ready For Reduction in Afghan Violence To Advance Talks With US, Says Pakistan VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Pakistan announced Thursday the Taliban is ready to reduce violence in Afghanistan, calling it a major breakthrough toward reaching a long-awaited peace deal the insurgent group has been negotiating with the United States.
- Pentagon Defends Track Record in Afghanistan VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- The Pentagon is rejecting accusations that military leadership "incentivized lying" to portray a more optimistic picture of U.S. efforts in the nearly two-decade-long war in Afghanistan.
- Taliban offer temporary ceasefire to US in Afghanistan Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- The Taliban have offered a brief ceasefire to the United States, a move which could lead to the resumption of talks between the two sides and withdrawal of thousands of American troops from Afghanistan.
- Media Roundtable Background Briefing on DHS Request for DOD Assistance in Blocking Drug-Smuggling Corridors Along the Southern US Border DoD 16 Jan 2020 -- Senior DOD Officials
Defense Policy / Programs
- US Intelligence Chiefs Could Scrap Annual Public Hearing VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- There is a chance that for the first time in years, the U.S. public may not hear directly from top intelligence officials about the biggest and most pressing threats facing the nation.
- Aircraft Compatibility Testing Begins Aboard USS Gerald R. Ford NNS 16 Jan 2020 -- The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) departed its homeport of Norfolk, Jan. 16 to begin Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT) off the East Coast as the first aircraft, an E-2D landed, on board.
- Pentagon Asked to Divert More Funds to Build More Border Wall VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- The Pentagon has received a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to divert funds to help build roughly 270 miles of fencing on the southern U.S. border with Mexico, according to a senior U.S. Defense Department official.
- US Pulls 3,000 Soldiers From Norwegian Winter War Games Amid Stand-Off With Iran Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- The United States' participation in Cold Response, an international winter drill held since 2006, has been affected by the tense situation in the Middle East.
- Sea Control Beyond the Strike Group: USS Detroit and USS Gridley Exercise Together NNS 16 Jan 2020 -- The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) completed division tactics (DIVTACS) and gunnery exercises while operating in the U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility, Jan. 4.
- Acting SECNAV's Visit Reaffirms Strong Partnership with Singapore NNS 16 Jan 2020 -- Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly made his inaugural visit to Singapore Jan. 14-15 to reaffirm the U.S. Navy's strong partnership and ties with the Republic of Singapore Armed Forces.
- Surface Navy Leaders Focus on Readiness, Need to Build Future Fleet NNS 06 Jan 2020 -- Improving readiness, maintaining the fleet and building the surface fleet of the future were topics Navy leaders, along with speakers from industry and academia, discussed on the third day of the Surface Navy Association's 32nd National Symposium Jan. 16.
- Czech Republic military looks to SATMO to develop NCO training Army News 16 Jan 2020 -- Recently two mobile training team soldiers from U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's Security Assistance Training Management Organization, out of Fort Bragg, N.C., traveled to the Czech Republic to teach an Army Basic Instructor Course to a core group of Czech NCOs (noncommissioned officers).
- U.S. - PRC Defense Policy Coordination Talk DoD 16 Jan 2020 -- United States' and People's Republic of China (PRC) defense officials met in Beijing on January 14, 2020, for the 15th U.S.-China Defense Policy Coordination Talks.
- DISA Defending, Improving DOD Network, Director Says DoD News 16 Jan 2020 -- The Defense Information Systems Agency's mission is to provide, operate and defend global command and control and information-sharing capabilities for the entire Defense Department, national-level leaders and coalition partners, the agency's director said.
- SE Asia Survey Shows Narrow Preference for United States amid US-China Rivalry Radio Free Asia 16 Jan 2020 -- If ASEAN were forced to choose between China and the United States, a majority of respondents to a survey of residents of the Southeast Asian bloc would choose Uncle Sam, according to a Singaporean think-tank report published Thursday.
- China increases military recruitment frequency, aims to keep high vigilance Global Times 16 Jan 2020 -- China will increase the frequency of its military recruitment and retirement to twice a year, up from once, starting 2020, to maintain a smooth flow of troops, the military's high vigilance and to better train new recruits.
- China's military to recruit twice a year from 2020 People's Daily 16 Jan 2020 -- China will change its military conscription from once a year to twice a year, starting from 2020, according to a statement from a teleconference on the recruitment work on Thursday in Beijing.
- Chinese Rocket Force exercise ensures nuclear counterattack capability Global Times 16 Jan 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force has conducted a nuclear attack survival exercise where troops in an underground missile facility had to endure extreme conditions and make sure they could still launch nuclear counterattacks.
- Chinese, Philippine Coast Guards hold joint exercise to achieve interoperability at sea PLA Daily 16 Jan 2020 -- The Chinese and Philippine Coast Guard ships on Wednesday held their first joint maritime exercise on search and rescue and combating fire at sea in waters off Manila in the South China Sea, according to the report by BenarNews on Jan.15.
- France Deploys Only Aircraft Carrier To Anti-IS Mission In Middle East RFE/RL 17 Jan 2020 -- France will deploy its only aircraft carrier to join coalition operations against the Islamic State (IS) terror group, President Emmanuel Macron has announced.
- US threats over Baghdad's S-400 procurement detached from reality: Iraqi MP Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- An Iraqi lawmaker has dismissed US threats to impose sanctions on Baghdad over its procurement of advanced Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, saying such pressure is far away from realities on the ground.
- Iraq denies report it has restarted joint military operations with US Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- The Iraqi government has denied claims that the country's military is resuming joint operations with the US-led coalition after Washington's assassination of top Iranian and Iraqi commanders.
- German Defense Chief Visits Iraq Amid Uncertain Future For Foreign Troops RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Germany's defense chief has made a surprise visit to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi military leaders amid uncertainty over the status of foreign troops in the country.
- While US Relaxes Demands in S. Korea Cost-Sharing Talks, Gaps Remain VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Harry Harris, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, says Washington has softened its demand for how much Seoul should pay for the cost of the U.S. military presence here, but says a gap remains and that "time is of the essence."
- Senior State Department Officials Previewing Secretary Pompeo's Trip to Germany, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Florida US Dept. of State 16 Jan 2020
- 16 January 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 16 Jan 2020
- Yemen resilient and 'unscathed' in face of latest Gulf crisis UN News 16 Jan 2020 -- Despite the threat posed by recent tensions in the Gulf, Yemen was able to weather the crisis thanks in part to restraint exercised by its political leaders, the UN Special Envoy for the country said on Thursday.
- Bomb attack kills ten in Turkish-controlled northern Syria town Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Nearly a dozen people have lost their lives when a powerful car bomb explosion ripped through a northern Syrian border town seized by Turkish military forces and their allied militants in the aftermath of a cross-border incursion against militants of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
- Around 350,0000 people have fled Syria's Idlib since Dec. 1: UN Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- The United Nations says around 350,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, have been displaced in the country's northwestern province of Idlib since early December last year.
- UN: Millions of Syrian Children Subject to Brutality VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- A report by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria presents a picture of the many violations and atrocities millions of children have been forced to endure over eight-and-a-half years of civil conflict. The report is entitled "They Have Erased the Dreams of My Children."
- Syrian conflict has 'erased' children's dreams: new UN report UN News 20 Jan 2020 -- Nearly nine years of conflict in Syria have robbed boys and girls of their childhood and subjected them to "unabated violations of their rights", including being killed, maimed, displaced, forced to fight or subjected to torture, rape and sexual slavery.
- US forces to suffer heavy defeat if they refuse to leave Iraq: Hashd Sha'abi group Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- A senior official from Iraq's Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group, which is part of the country's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha'abi, says his fellow comrades are ready to inflict heavy losses on American troops should Washington refuse to comply with a parliament decision demanding the withdrawal of all US-led foreign military forces from the Arab country.
- Aid to vulnerable Iraqis may 'come to a complete halt within weeks' UN News 16 Jan 2020 -- Aid to vulnerable people in Iraq risks being completely blocked within weeks, warned the UN's humanitarian chief in Iraq, Marta Ruedas, on Tuesday, as a result of the suspension of government documents allowing humanitarians to carry out critical missions.
- Turkey is sending troops to Libya, Erdogan says Global Times 16 Jan 2020 -- Turkey is sending troops to Libya to support the UN-backed Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
- Turkey 'not pessimistic' about ceasefire in Libya but wary of Haftar Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Turkey says it is not pessimistic about the prospect of a ceasefire in Libya, even after the collapse of peace talks in Moscow, but accuses renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar of seeking continued conflict.
- Turkey starting troop deployment to Libya, President Erdogan says Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey is starting deployment of troops to Libya in support of the embattled United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and in line with agreements relating to maritime border demarcation and enhanced security cooperation.
- Germany says Libya's Haftar committed to ongoing truce, to participate in Berlin talks Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Germany says Libya's renegade general Khalifa Haftar, commander of the east-based army, has agreed to abide by an ongoing ceasefire with the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, known as the GNA, following a nine-month-old war.
- German Foreign Minister Maas Says LNA's Haftar Has Agreed to Libya Ceasefire - Reports Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- Berlin will host a UN-led conference on Libya on 19 January with the participation of Egypt, Russia, the United States, and Turkey, among other countries. The heads of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) are expected to attend.
- Haftar Agrees to Take Part in Berlin Conference on Libya - LNA Official Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- Earlier this week, the office of German chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Berlin will host Libya peace conference on Sunday and will invite members of the conflicting sides as well as representatives of 11 nations, who are trying to resolve the crisis.
- Greece Warns it Will Block an EU Peace Deal for Libya VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Greece will block any European Union peace deal for Libya, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday, unless a maritime deal between Turkey and Libya is scrapped.
- Myanmar Continues to Investigate Rohingya Boat People Detained in December after Identifying and Returning 17 of More than 170 Radio Free Asia 16 Jan 2020 -- Local authorities at a refugee repatriation camp in western Myanmar's Rakhine state have resettled 17 members of a group of 170 Rohingya boat people detained by the country's navy last month, and are in the process of investigating the rest, officials said Thursday.
- Kenya Looks to Secure Border as Al-Shabab Launches Deadly Attacks VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Kenya has endured a grim start to the new year as extremist group al-Shabab launched attacks against a school, a police post and a military base shared by U.S. forces.
- Committee Urges Swift Formation of South Sudan Unity Government VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- A committee formed to help resolve disputes over the boundaries and number of South Sudan states has turned the issue over to arbitration, adding the issue should not hold up formation of a unity government.
- US Supreme Court Chief Justice Sworn In, Will Preside Over Trump Impeachment Trial Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has been sworn in by the Senate in a special ceremony, a necessary precursor to the beginning of US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial next week.
- New Report: Trump Violated US Funding Law at Center of Impeachment Trial VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump violated the country's spending law last year when he temporarily withheld $391 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine while at the same pressing Kyiv to launch investigations to benefit himself politically, a government watchdog agency concluded Thursday in a decision that is at the heart of the impeachment case against the U.S. leader.
- U.S. Government Watchdog Says Trump Administration Broke Law In Freezing Ukraine Aid RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- A nonpartisan U.S. Congressional watchdog says the administration of President Donald Trump violated federal law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.
- Trump Terms Parnas Claims 'The Current Hoax' VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- President Donald Trump and members of his administration are disparaging claims by a former associate of his personal attorney that he was fully aware of pressure applied on Ukraine to launch an investigation of a political rival and thus potentially benefit Trump's re-election chances.
- Ukraine Opens Probes Into Possible Surveillance Of Former U.S. Envoy Yovanovitch RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Ukraine says it has launched two criminal investigations into the possible illegal surveillance of former U.S. ambassador to Kyiv Marie Yovanovitch before she was recalled from her post last year.
- Putin Speaks, Medvedev Resigns, And Russia's Political World Turns Upside Down RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- About three hours after President Vladimir Putin proposed several eyebrow-raising changes to the Russian Constitution -- changes that could open the door for his staying in power beyond the end of his current term in 2024 -- there was even more substantive change to the Russian political world.
- Putin Signs Decree Appointing Mishustin as Russia's Prime Minister - Kremlin Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- The entire Russian government resigned on 15 January, with ex-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev saying this was done to enable President Vladimir Putin to implement the goals outlined in his address to the legislature.
- Russian Lawmakers Approve Putin's PM Choice VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Russian lawmakers have given their approval Thursday to President Vladimir Putin's choice of Mikhail Mishustin as the country's new prime minister.
- Russian parliament unanimously approves Mikhail Mishustin as prime minister Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- The lower house of Russia's parliament has voted overwhelmingly to approve Mikhail Mishustin as the new prime minister, less than a day after President Vladimir Putin announced constitutional reforms.
- Russia's ruling party approves Putin's candidate for prime minister Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Russia's ruling United Russia Party has unanimously approved the candidacy of President Vladimir Putin's pick, Mikhail Mishustin, for the post of prime minister.
- Russian Lawmakers, As Expected, Approve Putin's Choice For PM RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Russian lawmakers overwhelmingly approved President Vladimir Putin's nominee for prime minister as part of his surprise overhaul of the country's political system.
- In Putin Speech, Glimpses Of A New Model For Russia: Isolation RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Midway through the bombshell speech that Russia analysts were already combing for clues to President Vladimir Putin's political future, he took a small victory lap.
- With Sweeping Constitutional Changes, Analysts Say Putin Eyeing New Role At Russia's Helm RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- When Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly announced a raft of constitutional changes during a speech on January 15, Georgy Satarov had few doubts that the declaration concealed ulterior motives.
- Meet Russia's New Prime Minister, An 'Enforcer Who Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried' RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has a reputation for getting things done.
- Putin Introduces Post of Deputy Chairman of Russian Security Council, Appoints Medvedev Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- Dmitry Medvedev, who resigned as Russia's prime minister a day earlier, will remain the leader of the governing party United Russia, according to secretary of the party's General Council Andrey Turchak.
- Russian gov't resigns after Putin's annual address People's Daily 16 Jan 2020 -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the resignation of his government, the Kremlin press service said Wednesday.
- Seoul Pushing to Revive Pyongyang's 'Engagement Momentum' in Peace Talks Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- While US-North Korean relations have suffered in recent months amid failed denuclearization talks, inter-Korean cooperation should be viewed as a separate matter and proceed as planned, suggested South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha.
- White House abruptly cancels Iran briefings amid contradictions Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- The Trump administration has abruptly called off four classified congressional briefings for lawmakers, who were seeking explanation about contradictory statements of the White House over assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
- Canadian Investigators Visit Iran Crash Site, Demand 'Full Cooperation' RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Canada says its investigators have visited the site of plane crash near Tehran that included 57 Canadian fatalities among the 176 people killed in the tragedy.
- Victims' Governments To Press Tehran For Answers After Plane Downing RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- The foreign ministers of five countries that lost citizens in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger airliner last week gathered in London on January 16 to discuss their response to the tragedy.
- 5 Countries Demand Open Probe of Iran's Downing of Ukrainian Airliner VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Five countries that lost citizens in the downing of a Ukrainian airliner are calling on Iran to conduct an open investigation and to provide compensation to the victims' families.
- EU's high representative stress need to maintain JCPOA IRNA 16 Jan 2020 -- The European Union in a statement on Thursday pointed to the meeting between EU's high representative Josep Borrell in New Delhi and said that during the meeting Borrell has reiterated on the need to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Pres. Rouhani: Iranians more powerful than before in dealing with US sanctions IRNA 16 Jan 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani censured Thursday the American officials who follow wrong planning against Iran, stressing that the Iranian nation has become stronger and more powerful in dealing with the US sanctions and plots.
- Zarif calls for Europe's change of behavior towards Iran, JCPOA IRNA 16 Jan 2020 -- Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad-Javad Zarif said in a meeting with European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell that the three European members of Iran Deal should change their behavior towards Iran and the JCPOA.
- Zarif undermines E3 deal with Trump on JCPOA IRNA 16 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message undermined E3 act to sell out JCPOA to avoid Trump' new tariff.
- US submitted to resolve, power of Iran: Defense Min. Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says following Tehran's firm missile response to the assassination of its top general by terrorist US forces in Iraq, the US had no choice but to finally give in to the resolve and power of the Islamic Republic.
- Military chief: Iran not interested in escalation of tensions Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says the Islamic Republic is not interested in escalation of tensions in the region, but is ready to give a crushing response to any act of aggression.
- Germany confirms report of US threat of higher tariff on EU auto sector over JCPOA Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- Germany has confirmed a report that the United States has threatened Germany, France and Britain – the E3 states – with imposing a 25-percent of punishing tariff on European car exports if they fail to accuse Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal.
- Tehran now enriching more uranium than before 2015 deal: Iran's Rouhani Press TV 16 Jan 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is now enriching more uranium than it did before inking a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, as the remaining signatories of the landmark accord fail to fulfill their commitments.
- Iran Says Uranium Enrichment At Higher Level Than Before 2015 pact RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- President Hassan Rohani says Iran is now enriching more uranium than the country did before it agreed to a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, as Tehran gradually scales back its commitments under the agreement.
- Iran's Clerics, Elected Politicians Maneuver Ahead of Parliamentary Polls VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- The shooting down last week of a Ukrainian passenger over Tehran is at the center of rising tensions between Iran's clerics and the country's elected politicians.
- Tehran Rallies Blocked, But Students Take Protests to 2nd Key Iran City VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Students in Iran have protested against their Islamist rulers for a fifth day, with dozens staging a sit-in at a central university as police surrounded other universities in Tehran to block more rallies at those sites.
- Is European Unity on Iran Nuclear Deal Starting to Crack? VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- There are signs that cracks are beginning to appear in European unity over its backing of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA, as allies come under growing pressure from the United States to abandon the agreement in the wake of Tehran's downing of a passenger jet January 8.
- Hong Kong Regulator Quashes Report on Police Use of Force Against Protesters Radio Free Asia 16 Jan 2020 -- Hong Kong's police supervisory body on Thursday quashed a long-awaited report into the handling of the pro-democracy and anti-extradition protests, as the city's leader says there has been no police brutality in recent months.
- China Applauds Trade Deal With US But Says 'Core Concerns' Must Still Be Addressed VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- The Chinese government is applauding an interim trade agreement with the United States but cautions the two countries must still address key issues of mutual concern.
- Targeted by Chinese Smear Campaign, Uyghur Leader Learns of Father's Death Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- Dolkun Isa, the president of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) exile group, is used to being on the receiving end of hostile Chinese propaganda campaigns, but the latest state media slander story carried sad news: His father had passed away.
- China, US ink initial accord to ease trade People's Daily 16 Jan 2020 -- China and the United States signed the long-awaited phase-one trade deal on Thursday morning Beijing Time, signaling a thaw in economic and trade relations between the world's two largest economies after nearly two years of trade friction.
- Adhering to 1992 Consensus unshakable foundation for peaceful, stable cross-Strait ties: spokesman Global Times 16 Jan 2020 -- Adhering to the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle is the unshakable foundation for the peaceful and stable development of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, a mainland spokesperson said Wednesday.
- 'Reunification by force' sentiment provoked by DPP: spokesperson Global Times 16 Jan 2020 -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan secessionist forces have provoked a growing sentiment in the Chinese mainland to reunify the island of Taiwan by military force, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on Wednesday.
- Former Kazakh Minister Accused In Deadly Protests Named Head Of State Guard Service RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Former Kazakh Interior Minister Qalmukhanbet Qasymov, whom rights defenders accuse of ordering police to open fire at a protest by oil workers, has become the chief of the Central Asian nation's State Guard Service.
- Court Rules That Ethnic Kazakh Will Not Be Deported To China RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- A court in Kazakhstan has ruled that an ethnic-Kazakh man from China's northwestern region of Xinjiang who is on trial for illegally crossing the border will not be deported to China.
- China President Xi's Visit to Myanmar Raises Economic Hopes, Political Concerns Radio Free Asia 16 Jan 2020 -- President Xi Jinping will begin the first state visit by a Chinese leader to Myanmar in 19 years Friday, a trip expected to offer political and economic support for the Southeast Asian nation which has become estranged from leading Western states over accusations of genocide in its expulsion of Rohingya Muslims.
- China-Myanmar energy projects going full steam Global Times 16 Jan 2020 -- Crude oil and gas projects between China and Myanmar have played a significant role in diversifying China's energy import sources and elevating the economic development of Myanmar as well as the whole Southeast Asian region, high-level executives from China and Myanmar told the Global Times on Thursday.
- Malian National Charged With the Overseas Murder of a U.S. Citizen and Providing Material Support to Two Foreign Terrorist Organizations US Dept. of Justice 16 Jan 2020 -- A criminal complaint was filed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Mimi Ould Baba, 32, a citizen of Mali, with the murder of U.S. citizen Michael J. Riddering and conspiring to provide material support, including personnel (including himself), services, and property to two designated foreign terrorist organizations, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Murabitoun. The defendant is currently in custody in Mali pending investigation and prosecution by Malian authorities.
- Cambodian Court Under Fire From Opposition, NGOs on Second Day of Kem Sokha Trial Radio Free Asia 16 Jan 2020 -- A court in Cambodia held the second day of hearings in the treason trial of opposition leader Kem Sokha on Thursday, as the defendant's party decried what it called a "political show" orchestrated by the government and authorities came under fire for refusing observers access to the proceedings.
- Two Steps Backward In Uzbekistan RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- The reform process in Uzbekistan is off to a bad start in 2020.
- Climate crisis 'affecting quality of life and fuelling discontent' UN News 16 Jan 2020 -- The climate crisis, as well as persistently high inequalities, and rising levels of food insecurity and undernourishment, is affecting the quality of life in many societies and fuelling discontent, the UN warned on Thursday, on the publication of the 2020 World Economic Situation Report (WESP).
- Albania's PM Launches Libel Case Against Kosovo's Haradinaj RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is suing his Kosovar counterpart for alleged defamation over comments concerning a land swap between Kosovo and Serbia.
- Albanian Parliament Poised to Overrule Veto on Controversial Media Laws VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Albania's ruling majority says it plans to overrule a presidential veto on a set of controversial government-proposed media laws which were passed December 17 amid an outcry by rights groups and international observers.
COVID-19 Pandemic News
- China Announces Second Death From Wuhan Pneumonia Virus Radio Free Asia 16 Jan 2020 -- Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have announced the death of a 69-year-old man from a coronavirus that causes pneumonia, bringing the total number of fatalities to two after 41 cases were confirmed in the city.
- Japan Confirms Case of Coronavirus Behind Outbreak in China VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- Japan has confirmed its first case of a strain of a coronavirus that has killed one man and sickened 41 others in China since last month.
- Japan Confirms First Exposure of Mysterious China Virus Sputnik 16 Jan 2020 -- Japanese authorities on Thursday reportedly confirmed the first case of infection from a new China coronavirus, after a middle-aged man from the Kanagawa prefecture, near Tokyo, tested positive.
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