13 May 2020 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- WHO 'appalled' by attack on maternity hospital in Kabul Press TV 13 May 2020 -- The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) says he was "shocked and appalled" by the fatal attack on a maternity hospital in the Afghan capital Kabul, calling for a global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- US Pushes for Afghan Reconciliation Despite Terror Strikes VOA 13 May 2020 -- The United States is pressing the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgency to come together to bring to justice the perpetrators of Tuesday's deadly terrorist strikes on a hospital and a funeral in Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan attacks: President orders military to switch to offensive mode Press TV 13 May 2020 -- Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has ordered the country's military to switch to offensive mode from a defensive one in the wake of the latest bout of bloodshed in the war-ravaged country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- DOD Awards $134 Million Contract, Providing Personal Protective Equipment For Medical Personnel At 15,000 Nursing Homes DoD 13 May 2020 -- "The Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency, in coordination with FEMA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has signed a $134 million contract award with the Federal Resources Supply Company to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) kits including protective eyewear, gloves, gowns, and masks for medical personnel at over 15,000 nursing home locations."
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 13 May 2020
- Joint Readout From the 12th Japan, Republic of Korea, and U.S. Defense Trilateral Talks DoD 13 May 2020
- USS Maine Celebrates Birthday With Return to Service NNS 13 May 2020 -- The gold crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) officially returned the boat to strategic service, when they recently deployed on their first patrol in more than three years.
- USS Florida Returns to Kings Bay After Extended Forward Deployment NNS 13 May 2020 -- The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) returned to its homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, May 9, after operating forward deployed for more than two years supporting the U.S. Africa, Central and European Combatant Commands.
- Center for Surface Combat Systems Launches Enhanced Ship Self Defense System Course NNS 13 May 2020 -- In response to the Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) Wholeness Review, Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Dam Neck continues to improve SSDS training throughout the Navy.
- Disrupting Drug Traffickers - USS Tornado Completes Counter Drug Patrol NNS 13 May 2020 -- Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Tornado (PC 14) returned to Mayport, Florida, May 13, following a 68-day counter narcotics patrol in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.
- F-35's Nuclear Weapons Upgrade Delayed as Program Costs Top $1.6 Trillion Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- The F-35 Lightning II's Block 4 upgrade, which will allow the stealth aircraft to carry nuclear weapons, has been delayed by at least nine months. The F-35 is slated to become the primary nuclear strike aircraft for several US allies. Meanwhile, costs for the program have soared above $1.6 trillion.
- Secretary General commends Estonia's commitment to NATO NATO 13 May 2020 -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had a phone call today (13 May 2020) with Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas to discuss COVID-19 response and NATO's resilience and readiness to tackle any threat it may face.
- Coronavirus response: NATO continues close consultation with Allies, EU NATO 13 May 2020 -- NATO has been consulting closely with Allies and partners from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of these efforts, Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana has participated in weekly coordination calls since mid-March, led by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. The calls include participation at the level of deputy minister by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
- Coronavirus response: 56 tonnes of medical supplies arrive in Poland NATO 13 May 2020 -- A NATO-supported Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) flight landed in Wroclaw, Poland on Monday (11 May 2020). It carried 56 tonnes of face shields and protective gowns to support Poland's efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The SALIS-chartered AN-124 aircraft took off from Tianjin, China and marks the third SALIS mission requested by Poland's Ministry of National Defence. In total, Poland has airlifted 170 tonnes of medical supplies through this programme.
- US Space Force Commander Claims Russia's 'Unsafe Behavior Has Not Slowed Down' During Pandemic Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- One of the US Space Force's leading commanders recently blasted Russian space activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming Moscow has an "increasing penchant for unsafe and what I would consider unacceptable behavior in space." Meanwhile, the Pentagon is readying its own plans for militarizing outer space.
- Chinese defense minister talks to South Korean counterpart over phone PLA Daily 13 May 2020 -- Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe held phone talks with the South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo on Wednesday afternoon.
- China's newly modified trainer jet takes to the skies Global Times 13 May 2020 -- A prototype of China's newly modified version of the Naval Mountain Eagle trainer jet on Tuesday made a successful test flight, its maker announced on Wednesday.
- Probe into former aircraft carrier program commander unlikely to impact China's naval devt Global Times 13 May 2020 -- Hu Wenming, former chairman of China's shipbuilding conglomerate and former chief commander of China's aircraft carrier program, is being investigated for suspected serious violations of discipline and law, China's top anti-graft agency said Tuesday.
- Rumored PLA drills plan on Dongsha Islands sparks fear in Taiwan Global Times 13 May 2020 -- Japanese media on Tuesday claimed in a report that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will hold military drills for a "takeover of Dongsha Islands occupied by Taiwan" in August, resulting in heated discussions on the island of Taiwan.
- China warns France not to harm bilateral ties by selling weapons to Taiwan Press TV 13 May 2020 -- China has warned France not to sell weapons to the self-ruled island of Taiwan, saying such a move would harm bilateral ties.
- Probe underway over Konarak vessel's tragedy, Army spokesman IRNA 13 May 2020 -- The spokesman of the Iranian Army said on Wednesday that investigations are underway over the tragic incident of Konarak military vessel.
- Supreme Leader condoles martyrdom of Navy sailors ISNA 13 May 2020 -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a message to Army Commander Abdelrahim Mousavi extended condolences on martyrdom of brave naval forces on Konarak vessel and ordered the Iranian Army to hold an inquiry about the accident.
- 4 military expert teams investigating Konarak vessel incident: Iran's Army commander ISNA 13 May 2020 -- Iran's Army commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi announced that four teams of military experts are investigating into the incident in a recent naval training exercise that killed 19 servicemen on board "Konarak" support vessel in the country's southeastern waters.
- Iran's Army rejects media propaganda about naval accident, says probe still ongoing Press TV 13 May 2020 -- Iran's Army has dismissed rumors circulated by certain foreign and adversary media outlets about a recent deadly naval accident in the country's southern waters as mere propaganda, saying an investigation is still underway to determine all dimensions of the tragedy.
- Rouhani Says Cause Of Naval Accident To Be Announced To People When Established Radio Farda 13 May 2020 -- The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said the cause of the naval accident on Sunday in the Gulf of Oman that killed 19 sailors and wounded 15 will established and announced to the people.
- UK Defence Ministry Blasted for Wasting $1.6 Billion on Trident Nuclear Programme Upgrade Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- Earlier this year, the National Audit Office warned that the UK Ministry of Defence kept repeating mistakes made during the last cycle of investment in the nuclear deterrent, in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2019 ICAN 13 May 2020 -- $72.9 billion. That's how much nine countries spent on nuclear weapons in 2019. In a just-released report, ICAN produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending, taking into account costs to maintain and build new nuclear weapons.
- Contracts For May 13, 2020
- Capella Space Signs SAR Imagery Contract with the Department of Defense Capella Space 13 May 2020 -- Capella Space will provide on-demand, high-resolution SAR data and analytics for the U.S. Navy
- Boeing Awarded $3.1 Billion in U.S. Navy Contracts for Cruise Missile Systems Boeing 13 May 2020 -- The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a combined $3.1 billion in contracts for Harpoon and Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM ER) weapon systems in support of Foreign Military Sales (FMS). About $2.6 billion of that was contracted today while the remainder had been previously awarded.
- 13 May 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 13 May 2020
- China's Naval Aviation Force Shows up at Fiery Cross Reef Radio Free Asia 13 May 2020 -- Chinese military aircraft have been sighted once again at its largest base in the disputed Spratly islands, suggesting that People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force may be starting to use it as a base of operations, according to Jane's.
- Data on Islamic State Attacks Could be Masking Growing Problem, Some Fear VOA 13 May 2020 -- Across Iraq and Syria there is a growing sense of unease that when it comes to the Islamic State terror group, data showing the jihadist force on its heels should not be trusted.
- Daesh Continues Low-Level Insurgency, Unable to Gain Ground in Iraq, Syria - Pentagon Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- The Daesh* terrorist group wages a low-level insurgency in Iraq and Syria but is unable to gain and hold territory despite decreased counteractions amid the coronavirus pandemic, Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve said in a quarterly report on Wednesday.
- Pompeo Urges Israel to Go Slow on West Bank Annexation VOA 13 May 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging Israel not to rush into plans to annex parts of the West Bank – a move that opponents say would destroy the chances for lasting peace.
- Secretary of State Pompeo Travels to Israel for Iran, West Bank Talks VOA 13 May 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday wrapped up a day-long trip to Israel, where he held meetings with Israeli officials. The talks focused on shared concerns about Iran and the Trump administration's peace plan, which allows Israel to annex almost one-third of the West Bank and could spark new tensions in the Middle East.
- Two Rohingya Girls Die in Mine Blasts as UN Extends Arrangement with Myanmar Radio Free Asia 13 May 2020 -- Mine blasts in western Myanmar's Rakhine state killed two Rohingya children and injured another child as they picked mangoes in a deserted village on Wednesday, with the government military and the rebel Arakan Army blaming each other for the deadly explosions, locals said.
- Turkey: UAE bringing chaos to Mideast through interventions in Libya, Yemen Press TV 13 May 2020 -- Amid rising frictions between Ankara and Abu Dhabi, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has hit out at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for "bringing chaos" to the already-troubled Middle East region through its interventions in Libya and Yemen.
- China in Stand-Off With India Across LoC: 'Avoid Actions That May Complicate Border Situation' Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- The border stand-off between India and China across the Line of Actual Control has been simmering for the last two weeks. The Indian army claims that intermittent face-offs take place in the absence of a clear demarcation along one of the world's longest land borders.
- Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain The White House 13 May 2020
- Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate The White House 13 May 2020
- Countries Certified as Not Cooperating Fully with U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts US Dept. of State 13 May 2020 -- Yesterday, the Department of State notified Congress that Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba were certified under Section 40A(a) of the Arms Export Control Act as "not cooperating fully" with U.S. counterterrorism efforts in 2019.
- Judge Puts Hold on Move to Drop Flynn Case VOA 12 May 2020 -- There is another stunning development in the case of President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
- People’s Republic of China (PRC) Targeting of COVID-19 Research Organizations FBI 13 May 2020 -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are issuing this announcement to raise awareness of the threat to COVID-19-related research. The FBI is investigating the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by PRC-affiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors.
- FBI and CISA Warn Against Chinese Targeting of COVID-19 Research Organizations FBI 13 May 2020 -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a public service announcement today warning organizations researching COVID-19 of likely targeting and network compromise by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
- FBI accidentally names Saudi official suspected of supporting 9/11 hijackers: Yahoo News Press TV 13 May 2020 -- The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reported to have accidentally revealed, in a court filing, the identity of a Saudi diplomat, who is suspected of having directed support for two of the al-Qaeda-linked hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
- Germany Has 'Hard Evidence' Of Russian Cyberattack On Parliament RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there is "hard evidence" of the involvement of "Russian forces" in a 2015 cyberattack on the German parliament in which documents from her own parliamentary office were reportedly stolen.
- Russia Requests Czech Police Protection For Alleged Ricin Trafficker RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- Russia's embassy in the Czech Republic has formally requested Czech police protection for one of its employees -- a Russian diplomat accused in the Czech media of bringing highly toxic ricin to Prague in an alleged plot to poison three senior municipal officials.
- US States Returning Russian Ventilators Out of 'Abundance of Caution' - Emergency Agency Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- The states of New York and New Jersey earlier received ventilators from Russia as a form of aid to help the country fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- After Deadly Fires, Russia Suspends Use Of Ventilators It Also Sent To U.S. RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- U.S. emergency officials say ventilators sent to the United States by Russia to help treat COVID-19 patients are the same model that reportedly caused two deadly fires in Russian hospitals.
- The Strange Story Of A Russian Ventilator Shipment To the U.S. Just Got Stranger RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- It was billed as a gesture of goodwill, a way to start improving toxic relations between Moscow and Washington as both countries battle the coronavirus. But the shipment of ventilators and other supplies was plagued by confusion and mixed messages from the start:
- 40-Plus Suspects Detained in Venezuela in Connection With Botched Raid VOA 13 May 2020 -- More than 40 people have been detained as alleged participants in last week's unsuccessful attempt to capture Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as security forces continue to round up suspects.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 13, 2020 PRC MofA 13 May 2020
- CIA Believes China Tried to Have WHO Delay Global Coronavirus Warning, Report Claims Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- The CIA is the second Western intelligence agency to accuse China of trying to cover up the gravity of the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, German media reported that the federal intelligence service believes Xi Jinping had personally attempted to keep the world unaware of human-to-human virus transmission. Both China and the WHO deny a cover-up.
- US COVID-19 accountability act against China irresponsible and immoral: FM Global Times 13 May 2020 -- China firmly opposes The COVID-19 Accountability Act endorsed by various US senators, which is totally ignorant of the facts and an attempt to shift the blame of US' incompetency in handling the pandemic to China, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
- China ends Australia beef imports amid COVID-19 dispute Press TV 13 May 2020 -- China has halted its beef imports from Australia's four largest meat processors, amid a dispute over the Australian government's call for an investigation into the origin of the new coronavirus.
- China-Australia Trade War Looms Over COVID-19 Investigation VOA 13 May 2020 -- China's sudden decision to ban Australian meat from four major suppliers is being seen as retaliation for Canberra's push for a global investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is thought to have started at an animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
- Can trade ties help avert a China-US war? Global Times 13 May 2020 -- Many international relations experts have painted a rather dark picture for the China-US bilateral relationship. In their view, a war might be inevitable given the US' seemingly all-out campaign against China over the fallout regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. But in China, a more optimistic and firm belief among former officials and top experts still persist that the highly intertwined economic interests of the two countries will help prevent a hot war.
- Cooperation to overbalance competition for China-EU relations after pandemic Global Times 13 May 2020 -- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, relations between China and some European countries have experienced some turbulence over the past months, especially after the US escalated tensions with China.
- HKSAR gov't to resume LegCo discussion on national anthem bill on May 27 People's Daily 13 May 2020 -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Tuesday that it had issued a notice to the Legislative Council (LegCo) indicating its intention to resume the second reading debate of the National Anthem Bill at the LegCo meeting on May 27.
- Police Officer Pepper Sprays Journalist Amid Renewed Hong Kong Protests Radio Free Asia 13 May 2020 -- A police officer fired pepper spray at a group of people in a Hong Kong shopping mall on Wednesday amid renewed pro-democracy and anti-government protests, as the city's government said it would plow ahead with a controversial law banning 'insults' to the Chinese national anthem.
- Hong Kong urged to drop prosecutions of leading activists, not to silence peaceful protest UN News 13 May 2020 -- Independent UN human rights experts urged Hong Kong authorities on Wednesday to immediately drop the criminal prosecution of 15 pro-democracy activists who participated in peaceful protests across the Special Administrative Region of China last year.
- US Should Give ASEAN Alternatives to Chinese Loans, Ex-Envoy Says VOA 13 May 2020 -- As China emerges from the COVID-19 crisis earlier than most nations, it has the time and resources to switch focus to other priorities, such as its relations in Southeast Asia. But for those who worry that Beijing will outspend other world powers to buy influence, there's still time for the U.S. to counter that influence, according to a former U.S. economic envoy to China. And it might not be as hard or as expensive as some think.
- Taiwan's diplomatic allies call for review of its exclusion from WHA CNA 13 May 2020 -- With the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) five days away, 14 of Taiwan's diplomatic allies have put forth a proposal for the issue of Taiwan's exclusion to be put on the agenda.
- Beijing panned by U.S. for harm done in keeping Taiwan out of WHO CNA 13 May 2020 -- China's influence and pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to exclude Taiwan has "undermined global health" amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a U.S. report released Tuesday has argued.
- Poll: Majority of Taiwanese Support Closer Ties With US Over China VOA 13 May 2020 -- The majority of Taiwanese citizens reject mainland China and hold positive views of the United States, a U.S. poll indicates.
- US bill won't help Taiwan attend WHA Global Times 13 May 2020 -- The reason why China firmly prohibits separatist Taiwan authority from participating in the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer is due to the fact such authority has abandoned the one-China principle, and no matter how the US politicians and their allies exploit the issue to encourage Taiwan separatism, the only consequence that may ensue is the mainland considering ending this senseless game by solving the Taiwan question once and for all via non-peaceful means.
- Pompeo Says Iran Attempting To 'Foment Terror' During Pandemic RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 13 accused Iran of using its resources to "foment terror" even as its people suffer through one of the Middle East's deadliest coronavirus outbreaks.
- Rouhani Calls Trump White House 'Most Evil in History', Says Pompeo 'Doesn't Know ABCs of Politics' Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- Relations between Iran and the United States sank to new lows unseen since immediately after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 over the past two years, with Washington unilaterally pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, and tensions flaring amid a string of tanker seizures, drone shootdowns, assassinations and missile strikes.
- Iran vows harsh response to any US escapade after Trump veto of war powers resolution Press TV 13 May 2020 -- Iran will give a harsh response to any military escapade the US president may resort to, the Iranian envoy to Russia says, after Donald Trump vetoed a congressional resolution that was seeking to limit his power to launch military operations against Tehran without congressional approval.
- Russia: US claim of Iran nuclear deal membership 'ridiculous' after unilateral withdrawal Press TV 13 May 2020 -- The United States' allegation that it remains a party to the Iran nuclear deal is "ridiculous," Russia says.
- Iran's Ambassador To Russia Warns Of Tough Response If Arms Embargo Extended Radio Farda 13 May 2020 -- Iran's ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali, says Tehran's reaction to the possible extension of the arms embargo against Iran beyond October 2020 will be tough.
- Russia's UN Envoy Strongly Opposes U.S. Attempt To Extend Arms Embargo On Iran RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- Russia's ambassador to the United Nations says Moscow will oppose any attempts by the United States to extend the arms embargo on Iran and reimpose UN sanctions against Tehran.
- Iran's Anti-Riot Police Chief Says More Prepared Than Ever To Confront Protests Radio Farda 13 May 2020 -- The Commander of Iran's fearsome anti-riot police on Wednesday underlined the "unique support" and equipment provided to his force by the government to prepare it more than ever for suppression of "enemy threats" in urban areas.
- Zarif Goes To Parliament To Answer Lawmakers' Questions But No One Shows Up Radio Farda 13 May 2020 -- The Islamic Republic Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, went to parliament on May 11 to answer questions raised by several legislators, but the lawmakers failed to appear.
- Iran's Daily Oil Output Drops To Less Than 2 Million Barrels In April Radio Farda 13 May 2020 -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says Iran's daily oil output has dropped to below two million barrels per day (1,969,000) in April.
- Indian PM unveils 267-bln-USD package to ensure self-reliance amid COVID-19 lockdown Global Times 13 May 2020 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon his countrymen on Tuesday to try and make the COVID-19 pandemic crisis into an opportunity and become self-reliant in terms of manufacturing activities.
- New Evidence Emerges of Brazilian President Seeking to Shield Family from Police Probe VOA 13 May 2020 -- A videotape has emerged showing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro telling his Cabinet that he wanted to personally choose the head of the federal police office in Rio de Janeiro to shield his family from investigation.
- Briefing with Senior State Department Officials On Secretary Pompeo's Travel to Jerusalem, Israel US Dept. of State 13 May 2020
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo's Meeting With Speaker of the Knesset Gantz US Dept. of State 13 May 2020
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 13 May 2020
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo's Meeting With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu US Dept. of State 13 May 2020
- Netanyahu Notifies Israeli President of Formation of Government Sputnik 13 May 2020 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notified President Reuven Rivlin that he had formed a government, the presidential office said on Wednesday.
- Saudi Press: Saudi Aramco Announces Dividends of $18.75 billion for Q1 2020 SPA 13 May 2020 -- Saudi newspapers highlighted in their editorials today a number of issues at local, regional, and international arenas.
- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Virtual Session SPA 13 May 2020 -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired today a Cabinet's virtual session.
- Civil Society Urges Cambodia's Government to Amend Newly Enacted Law on State of Emergency Radio Free Asia 13 May 2020 -- A group of more than five dozen civil society organizations (CSOs) and communities called Wednesday for Cambodia's government to "immediately undertake consultation and amend" a newly enacted law authorizing a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus, citing a threat to human rights.
- Laos Moves Forward Plans to Build Seventh Large-Scale Mekong River Dam Radio Free Asia 13 May 2020 -- The Lao government has moved forward plans to build what would be the country's seventh large dam on the Mekong River, another project in the country's ambitious strategy to become the "Battery of Southeast Asia" in the face of deepening environmental and social concerns.
- Hungary's Orban Declines EU Parliament Debate Invite RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has refused an invitation from EU lawmakers to debate emergency powers and the rule of law in his country, the state news agency MTI reports.
- Armenian Ex-President Kocharian Again Denied Bail RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- An Armenian court has denied bail to former President Robert Kocharian, who faces charges of overthrowing the constitutional order and bribery.
- Rights Groups Demand Justice For Victims Of Andijon, 15 Years After Massacre RFE/RL 13 May 2020 -- Fifteen years after the Andijon massacre in Uzbekistan, rights activists have urged the Central Asian country's leadership to openly investigate the killings of dozens of mainly peaceful demonstrators by security forces and armed soldiers in the eastern city.
- Embattled Lesotho Prime Minister to Resign - AFP VOA 13 May 2020 -- The French News Agency, Agence France Presse, says Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will turn in his resignation on Wednesday.
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