14 February 2020 Military News
- U.S., Taliban Reach Deal On Reducing Violence In Afghanistan -- U.S. Official RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- The United States and the Taliban have reached a deal on a weeklong reduction of violence that could lead to U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official has said.
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S. Senate passes resolution limiting Trump's power to launch military operations against Iran People's Daily 14 Feb 2020 -- U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a resolution curbing the U.S. president's ability to use military forces against Iran without congressional approval.
- Army modernizes its biometric processing capabilities Army News 14 Feb 2020 -- U.S. Army Soldiers patrolling critical checkpoints overseas will have an improved biometrics tool to help identify persons of interest in real time.
- Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, 26th MEU transit Strait of Hormuz CENTCOM 14 Feb 2020 -- Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) on Feb. 12 completed passage through the Strait of Hormuz, entering the Arabian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman.
- DOD Moves to Use Data More Effectively in Decision-Making DoD News 14 Feb 2020 -- The Defense Department is seeking ways to use data more effectively for improved decision-making on the battlefield and in its business practices, Deputy Defense Secretary David L. Norquist said.
- NATO Secretary General participates in meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS NATO 14 Feb 2020 -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in a meeting of Defence Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Munich on Friday (14 February 2020).
- Israel sets up new Iran command for action against Iran: Report Press TV 14 Feb 2020 -- The Israeli military has set up a new "Iran command" amid Tel Aviv's anti-Tehran confrontational rhetoric, according to Israeli media.
- German President Takes Swipe At Global Powers As Munich Conference Opens RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- Germany's president has suggested that Russia and China, along with the United States, were stoking global instability, as he warned of the danger that the three were slipping into a new "great power" competition and nuclear arms race.
- 14 February 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 14 Feb 2020
- Yemeni missile shoots down Saudi-led fighter jet in Jawf Press TV 14 Feb 2020 -- Yemeni army forces have shot down a fighter jet belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition in retaliation for the alliance's military aggression against their conflict-stricken country.
- Aleppo stepping toward full liberation thanks to Syria army gains Press TV 14 Feb 2020 -- Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, are apparently riding high following the liberation of more areas from the clutches of terrorists in the northwestern province of Aleppo.
- Vital Idlib aid deliveries resume after 'heavy bombing' - WFP UN News 14 Feb 2020 -- Urgently-needed aid deliveries to embattled civilians in north-west Syria have started again after a day-long break in distributions caused by escalating hostilities, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.
- Nepal Border Agreement With China Sparks Fears Among Tibetans Radio Free Asia 14 Feb 2020 -- A treaty signed by China and Nepal in October 2019 that manages border controls between the two countries poses significant threats to Tibetans fleeing their homeland to escape Chinese rule, Tibetan advocacy groups and other sources say.
- Database of businesses linked to Israeli settlements 'important initial step' towards accountability: rights expert UN News 14 Feb 2020 -- A database of 112 businesses connected to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory has been hailed by an independent human rights expert as "an important initial step towards accountability and the end to impunity".
- In Phone Call, Zelenskiy And Putin Discuss Next Normandy Summit, Possible Prisoner Exchange RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have discussed by phone preparations for a new summit in the so-called Normandy format and a possible prisoner swap, Zelenskiy's office said on February 14.
- Kyiv, Moscow Say Zelenskiy, Patrushev Did Not Meet In Oman RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- Presidential offices in Kyiv and Moscow say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev did not meet in Oman last month, as rumors swirled following a report by the investigative journalism group Schemes (Skhemy), that showed the two officials crossed paths in the Middle Eastern country.
- Trump Says May End Practice Of Having Aides Listen In On Calls With Foreign Leaders RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he is considering ending the long-standing practice of having other government officials listen in on calls with foreign leaders.
- Remarks by President Trump to National Border Patrol Council Members The White House 14 Feb 2020
- On-The-Record Discussion on Drug-Trafficking DoD 14 Feb 2020 -- Robert G. Salesses, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Integration and Defense Support of Civil Authorities
- The Week In Russia: 2020 Or 1937: Show Trials, Torture, And The Emperor In The Elevator RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- Opinion polls pointed to declining trust in Vladimir Putin at home and abroad, while a less formal survey -- a prank involving a portrait in an elevator -- provided a laugh-inducing lesson on shifting attitudes toward the Russian president. On the darker side, long prison terms for defendants who alleged they were tortured in a trumped-up terrorism case drew comparisons to Stalin's show trials.
- China rejects Pompeo's remarks about Chinese infiltration into US government Press TV 14 Feb 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry has rejected recent remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling on Washington to stop slandering China's political system.
- US accuses Chinese tech giant Huawei of stealing trade secrets Press TV 14 Feb 2020 -- The US Justice Department has filed more charges against Huawei, accusing the Chinese tech giant of a "decades-long" effort to steal trade secrets from American companies, escalating the US battle with the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.
- U.S. Accuses China's Huawei Of Helping Iran Track Protesters RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- The U.S. Justice Department has accused Huawei Technologies of helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese tech giant as Washington steps up pressure on the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.
- Former Chinese vice provincial governor arrested for taking bribes Global Times 14 Feb 2020 -- The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced Friday it has decided to arrest Li Qian, former vice governor of north China's Hebei Province, for suspected bribe-taking.
- Xi: Nation can limit impact of epidemic People's Daily 14 Feb 2020 -- China can minimize the impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, maintain the country's momentum of economic development and work to achieve the goals and tasks for this year, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday evening.
- China's Epidemic Drives Dilemma For Energy Deliveries Radio Free Asia 14 Feb 2020 -- As China's government battles the coronavirus and urges businesses to get back to work, it is setting a tough task for energy markets by calling for contingency plans in case production resumes with full force.
- Ted Cruz introduces draft 'Taiwan SOS Act' CNA 14 Feb 2020 -- United States Senator Ted Cruz introduced Thursday a bill that would allow Taiwanese diplomats and military people to display Taiwan's flag and wear their uniform while in the U.S. on official business.
- Taiwan Family Members Hit Out at Island's Government Over Repatriation Delay Radio Free Asia 14 Feb 2020 -- Family members of Taiwanese nationals stuck in China called on their government to bring their relatives back to the democratic island on Friday, as Taipei accused Beijing of dragging its feet on a second evacuation flight from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, at the heart of the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Chinese Investors Try to Pull Out of North Korea Contracts as Sanctions Remain Radio Free Asia 14 Feb 2020 -- Several Chinese companies that last year pledged to invest in North Korea's construction sector are trying to back out of their contracts because there are no signs that international sanctions on the isolated country will end soon, sources in the two countries told RFA.
- Iran Pulls Out All The Stops To Get An Apathetic Public To Vote RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- Rising anti-government fervor, a biting economic crisis, and the absence of free and fair elections are likely to dampen voter turnout in Iran's upcoming parliamentary elections.
- U.S. Grants Iraq Waiver To Buy Iranian Energy Supplies, But Sets Conditions RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The United States has granted a 45-day waiver to allow Iraq to continue to buy gas and electricity from Iran, despite sanctions imposed by Washington targeting Tehran's energy sector.
- Report: Iranian Hackers Still Targeting Western Universities RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- Government-backed Iranian hackers have targeted universities in Europe, the United States, and Australia in the past months, consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has found, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS.
- Newly licensed vaccine, 'milestone in the fight' against Ebola in Africa, UN health agency UN News 14 Feb 2020 -- Four countries in Africa have licensed an Ebola vaccine to "cement hard-fought progress" in keeping their people safe from the deadly disease, the UN health agency said on Friday.
- Belarus Threatens To Tap Oil From Russian Pipeline RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said Belarus would start taking oil from a transit pipeline if Russia does not supply its neighbor with the required volumes of crude, the state news agency BelTA reports.
- Not Too Sweet? 'Sugar Scandal' Rocks Lukashenka's Belarus RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- A Belavia Belarusian Airlines jet was on a routine flight from Minsk to Munich on January 24 when suddenly it turned back over Poland and made an unscheduled landing in Hrodna, where police removed two passengers.
- Thai Citizens' Group Submits Evidence of Impact of Laos' Xayaburi Dam to Court Radio Free Asia 14 Feb 2020 -- A group of concerned Thai citizens Friday submitted additional evidence regarding the impact of Laos' Xayaburi dam to the Thai Supreme Administrative court, describing damage to fisheries and dramatic changes to an ecosystem that sustains millions of lives.
- Serbia, Kosovo Ink 'Milestone' Railway, Highway Deal RFE/RL 14 Feb 2020 -- Serbian and Kosovar officials have signed a deal to restore a railway link between Belgrade and Pristina and to connect the two capitals with a highway in a step toward normalizing bilateral relations.
- Public Designation, Due to Gross Violations of Human Rights, of Shavendra Silva of Sri Lanka Under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2020 -- The Department of State has designated Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, current Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defense Staff, as required under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights, namely extrajudicial killings, by the 58th Division of the Sri Lanka Army during the final phase of Sri Lanka's Civil War in 2009.
- Guinea-Bissau: Swearing-in of new President unlikely to bring stability, says UN representative UN News 14 Feb 2020 -- Political discord in Guinea-Bissau could hamper the first-ever peaceful transfer of power to a democratically elected leader, the top UN official in the West African country told the Security Council on Friday.
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