15 May 2020 Military News
- Islamic State Plotted Afghan Hospital Raid, US Says VOA 15 May 2020 -- The United States said Friday it had "assessed" that Islamic State was behind deadly attacks on a maternity clinic and a funeral earlier this week in Afghanistan.
- Contrary to US claim, Afghanistan says Taliban carried out Kabul hospital raid Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Afghan officials have dismissed US assertion that a deadly attack on a maternity hospital in the capital Kabul earlier this week was carried out by the Daesh terrorist group, blaming the Taliban for the carnage.
- 'Pure Hell': Afghan Babies Born Into War Lose Their Mothers Just Days Later RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- Eleven babies were crying in their incubators at a children's hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
- U.S. Afghan Envoy Says New Date For Intra-Afghan Talks Sought RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad says a new date for intra-Afghan peace talks is under discussion and it would be best if the discussions began while a significant number of American troops were still in Afghanistan.
- Briefing With Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad US Dept. of State 15 May 2020
- AFRICOM: 'No Pause' in Fighting Al-Shabaab Despite 5-Week Halt in Somalia Airstrikes Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- US Africa Command (AFRICOM) asserts that even though seasonal change in Somalia has prevented the force from carrying out airstrikes against al-Shabaab targets, the US military force remains committed to its support of the country's government against the militants.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Air Force reviews preliminary design for future ICBM AFNWC 15 May 2020 -- The Air Force reviewed Northrop Grumman's preliminary design for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent in late April, advancing the program toward its next milestone and acquisition phase.
- US Approves Preliminary Design for Future Long-Range Nuclear Deterrent, Air Force Says Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- The US military approved the preliminary design of a new Northrop Grumman ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile, the Air Force said in a statement on Friday.
- Department of the Air Force expands potential basing locations for US Space Command Headquarters US Air Force 15 May 2020 -- With the establishment of the United States Space Force, the Department of the Air Force, in coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is announcing its revised approach for determining the permanent location of U.S. Space Command headquarters.
- Remarks by President Trump at Presentation of the United States Space Force Flag and Signing of an Armed Forces Day Proclamation The White House 15 May 2020
- Space Force Flag Unveiled at White House DoD News 15 May 2020 -- Defense leaders presented the flag of the Space Force to President Donald J. Trump today in the Oval Office. The flag of the newly created armed service will hang alongside those of the other military services at the White House.
- US Space Force Flag Unveiled VOA 15 May 2020 -- The new Space Force flag was unveiled Friday at the White House, the nation's first new military service flag in more than 70 years.
- VP-30 Receives Navy's 100th P-8A 'Poseidon' Aircraft NNS 15 May 2020 -- The Navy's 100th P-8A "Poseidon" was delivered to Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, May 14.
- Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Hoffman Updates Reporters on DOD Operations DoD 15 May 2020 -- Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono DoD 15 May 2020
- USNS Mercy Departs Los Angeles; Military Relief Efforts Continue NNS 15 May 2020 -- The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) departed Los Angeles after supporting the Department of Defense's COVID-19 response operations to the greater Los Angeles area during the coronavirus pandemic, May 15.
- VAW-120 Greyhawks Complete First Fleet Hawkeye and Rhino Aerial Refueling with CVW-1 NNS 15 May 2020 -- The "Greyhawks" of Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 successfully conducted the first fleet aerial refueling dry-plug certification between an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and an F/A-18F Super Hornet - from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, May 11.
- Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Passes Key Milestones NNS 15 May 2020 -- The second week of May marked a number of noteworthy milestones for Naval Aviation and the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF).
- 'Super Duper Missile': Trump Says US Developing Rocket 17 Times Faster Than Currently Available Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- US President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that the United States is developing a hypersonic missile that is 17 times faster compared to the fastest missile the military currently has available.
- US Army to Build Hypersonic Weapons Test Center on University Campus Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- The Texas A&M University System board of regents has approved funding that will be used to create the US Army Futures Command's (AFC) latest hypersonic weapons test center.
- US F-22 Fifth-Generation Fighter Jet Crashes in Florida, Air Force Says Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- The incident took place 12 miles northeast of Eglin Air Force Base in western Florida, located about three miles southwest of Valparaiso in Okaloosa County, at a test and training range.
- F-22 crashes on Eglin AFB range US Air Force 15 May 2020 -- An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 43rd Fighter Squadron, and part of the 325th Fighter Wing currently based at Eglin Air Force Base, crashed at approximately 9:15 a.m. May 15. The location of the crash was approximately 12 miles northeast of Eglin AFB's main base on the test and training range.
- Army General to Co-Lead 'Operation Warp Speed' for COVID-19 Vaccine DoD News 15 May 2020 -- President Donald J. Trump today announced that Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna, the commander of Army Materiel Command, will co-lead an effort, dubbed Operation Warp Speed, to find a vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 15 May 2020
- Coronavirus response: Second Dutch flight transports additional medical aid to Montenegro in response to COVID-19 NATO 15 May 2020 -- Today (15 May 2020), the Netherlands delivered another set of protective equipment and medical supplies from Bejing (China) to Podgorica (Montenegro), in support to Allied efforts against the COVID-19 global pandemic, following Montenegro's request for assistance, through NATO's Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre, NATO's principal disaster response mechanism.
- NATO Allies agree to support the UN OCHA global call for airlift assistance NATO 15 May 2020 -- UN OCHA issued a global call related to the ongoing global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, requesting that appropriate military and civil defence assets be made available for the transport of urgently needed humanitarian and medical items.
- NATO Nations Face Threats Together, Including Pandemic DoD News 15 May 2020 -- While these are challenging times, NATO nations do not face these problems alone, the chairman of NATO's Military Committee said today.
- Turkish President Erdogan, NATO Chief Stoltenberg Discuss COVID-19 Response, Libya Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have discussed the global efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the ongoing conflict in Libya, according to a statement by the military alliance on Thursday.
- China Marine Corps on Show in the South China Sea Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- Amid the recent muscle-flexing in the disputed South China Sea, one maritime drill went largely unnoticed that could be an important harbinger of China's strategic thinking, and how its forces could project power across heavily contested waters.
- Beijing Hands Scientists Top Award for Nuclear Missile It's Never Admitted to Building Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- The engineers behind a new generation of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) will receive China's top science prize. However, the Ministry of National Defense has never directly admitted that the missile in question, the JL-3, even exists.
- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approves Rs 400 crore Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme India PIB 15 May 2020 -- In order to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace manufacturing, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved the launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of Rs 400 crore for creating state of the art testing infrastructure for this sector.
- Commissioning of Seventh Ship of Landing Craft Utility MK-IV 'INLCU L57' (GRSE Yard 2098) at Port Blair – 15 May 2020 India PIB 15 May 2020 -- Lieutenant General PS Rajeshwar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Commander-in-Chief A&N Command, commissioned INLCU L57 into the Indian Navy on 15 May 2020 at Port Blair.INLCU L57 is the seventh Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy.
- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh commissions Indian Coast Guard Ship 'Sachet' and two interceptor boats; India PIB 15 May 2020 -- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sachet and two interceptor boats (IBs) C-450 and C-451 in Goa via video conference from here today. The ICGS Sachet, the first in the series of five offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) has been designed & built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment.
- India Commissions Three Ships to Boost Its Coastal Surveillance Amid 'Sea-Borne Terror' Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- The Indian Defence Ministry has aimed to equip the Coast Guard by rapidly increasing the number of patrol vessels and aircraft for the country's smallest armed force. It is expected to have over 200 ships and 110 aircraft by 2025.
- Briefing On the Road to Nuuk: Economic Cooperation US Dept. of State 15 May 2020
- Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure The White House 15 May 2020
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany The White House 15 May 2020
- Contracts For May 15, 2020
- Lockheed Martin Wins $904 Million Contract to Build Combat Helicopters for US, India Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- The United States awarded aerospace giant Lockheed Martin more than $900 million to build 21 maritime combat helicopters for India and three for the US Navy, the Defence Department said in a statement.
- Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 May 2020
- Chinese Survey Ship Leaves Malaysian Waters After Pressure Campaign Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- On the same day as a call between the defense ministers of Malaysia and China, a Chinese survey ship Friday left the site of a controversial pressure campaign in Malaysian waters that at one point drew Malaysian, Australian, and U.S. warships into the South China Sea.
- Yemeni army, Houthis retake strategic positions from pro-Hadi militiamen Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Yemeni forces, backed by allied fighters from the Popular Committees, have wrested control over a number of strategic areas in central province of al-Bayda from Saudi-backed mercenaries fighting to reinstate exiled former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
- Report: Former al-Qaida Syria Branch Should Be Included in Cease-Fire VOA 15 May 2020 -- A powerful Islamist militant group should be included in a Russian-Turkish deal to sustain a cease-fire and prevent a new humanitarian crisis in northwest Syria, said an international conflict prevention group.
- Infighting flares up among Turkish-backed militants over stolen objects in northern Syria: Report Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Infighting has erupted among Turkish-backed Takfiri militants in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province following dispute over distribution of stolen objects, a report says.
- Tactical Change Or Withdrawal? Iran's Syria Strategy Analyzed Amid Reports Of Force Reductions RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- Some nine years after Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) deployed military advisers and fighters to Syria to prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Israeli and U.S. officials have said Tehran is reducing its presence in Syria.
- 'No longer a secret:' Al-Qaeda, Daesh hitting each other in Africa's Sahel Press TV 15 May 2020 -- The al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups have turned their guns on each other despite having previously cooperated in Africa's Sahel region.
- Communist Rebels Fight Hard as Ever in Philippines As COVID-19 Distracts Government VOA 15 May 2020 -- Armed communist rebels are exploiting the Philippine government's fight against COVID-19 to launch attacks, intensifying a violent 50-year-plus struggle with no solution in sight.
- The International Criminal Court's Illegitimate Prosecutions US Dept. of State 15 May 2020 -- "The International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution. This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor's attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court."
- Jordan warns of clash with Israel if West Bank annexation goes ahead Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Jordan's King Abdullah II warns Israel that the regime should wait for a major clash with the kingdom if it goes ahead with plans to annex the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
- Fears of disaster as first virus case emerges at Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh Press TV 15 May 2020 -- According to a senior Bangladeshi official and a UN spokesperson, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 has been reported in the Rohingya refugee camp, which houses more than a million, raising concerns of a potential humanitarian disaster.
- First Rohingya Refugee in Bangladesh Tests Positive for COVID-19 Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- Bangladeshi authorities said Thursday that a Rohingya man had tested positive for COVID-19, the first case detected among close to 1 million refugees who live at camps and settlements in southeastern Cox's Bazar district.
- 1st COVID-19 case detected in Rohingya camps in Bangladesh SPA 15 May 2020 -- The first coronavirus case has been confirmed in the crowded camps for Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh, where more than 1 million refugees are sheltered.
- Support stepped up for Rohingya camps as first COVID-19 infections are confirmed UN News 15 May 2020 -- After confirmation that the first cases of COVID-19 infection have been identified in a vast and overcrowded refugee camp in Bangladesh, UN humanitarians on Friday announced additional measures and appealed for funds to prevent the disease from spreading.
- COVID Emerges in Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh VOA 15 May 2020 -- A Rohingya refugee in the massive Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Aid Agencies Ramp Up Efforts to Tackle Coronavirus in Rohingya Refugee Camps VOA 15 May 2020 -- U.N. aid agencies are intensifying COVID-19 operations to prevent the spread of the deadly disease in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The move follows the confirmation of the first case of the coronavirus in the camps Thursday, as well as a second infection in the local Bangladeshi host community.
- China Anti-Crime Campaign in Tibet Used to Punish Critics, Dalai Lama Supporters: HRW Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- A campaign launched two years ago by Chinese authorities in Tibet to combat crime is also targeting political dissidents, critics of corruption, and activists promoting use of the Tibetan language, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Friday.
- The United States Protects National Security and the Integrity of 5G Networks US Dept. of State 15 May 2020 -- "The U.S. government today took another step to protect U.S. national security and the integrity of 5G networks by expanding the Commerce Department's foreign direct product rule to restrict Huawei from circumventing U.S. law. We will not tolerate efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to undermine the privacy of our citizens or the integrity of next-generation networks worldwide."
- Venezuela captures 39 'army deserters' over botched plot Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Venezuelan troops have arrested 39 army forces on the Colombian border, over a recent botched plot to kidnap President Nicolas Maduro.
- German Energy Regulator Deals Fresh Blow To Nord Stream 2 Project RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- Germany's energy regulator has declined to grant an exemption of rules governing the EU's internal gas market to the operators of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to carry gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
- Russia rejects allegations of spying on Germany's Merkel in 2015 Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rejected claims by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Russian hackers spied on her in 2015.
- Two Months Later, Czech Probe Into Reports Of Russian Ricin Plot Faces Hurdles RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- On March 14, Andrei Konchakov arrived at Vaclav Havel International Airport on a flight from Moscow. The 34-year-old Russian had lived in the Czech capital for years, and was recently appointed director of two state-run Russian institutions in Prague, giving him diplomatic status.
- The Week In Russia: Victory And Other Outcomes RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- The fact that ventilators made at a factory rushing to meet vastly increased demand imposed by the coronavirus apparently caused fires that killed six COVID-19 patients at Russian hospitals is a tragedy.
- India's Investigative Agency Arrests Main Conspirator in Navy Espionage Racket Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- In a major international espionage racket, Pakistani spies recruited agents in the defence establishment of India to collect sensitive and classified information regarding Indian warships, submarines, and data on the location of naval commands. Navy personnel were also accused of spying for Pakistan.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 15, 2020 PRC MofA 15 May 2020
- China readies biggest counterattack against US Global Times 15 May 2020 -- China is ready to take a series of countermeasures against a US plan to block shipments of semiconductors to Chinese telecom firm Huawei, including putting US companies on an "unreliable entity list," launching investigations and imposing restrictions on US companies such as Apple, and halting purchase of Boeing airplanes, a source close to the Chinese government told the Global Times.
- US Intensifies Crackdown on China Intellectual Property Theft VOA 15 May 2020 -- The U.S. Justice Department is aggressively forging ahead with a clampdown on Chinese economic espionage even as the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered much of the country's criminal justice system.
- US Senate Passes Bill Targeting Chinese Officials for Rights Violations VOA 15 May 2020 -- This week the U.S. Senate took aim at China's human rights record, passing a bill that could lead to sanctions for Chinese officials involved in the massive network of prisons and forced labor camps targeting ethnic Muslims in Xinjiang.
- China's Economic Recovery Faces Deflation Risk Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- China's government is promoting increased consumption to keep pace with production as deflationary pressures threaten to stall economic recovery.
- Uygur bill damages worst-in-decades bilateral ties, triggers countermeasures on anti-China politicians: experts Global Times 15 May 2020 -- Chinese and overseas experts and residents of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region firmly opposed the US Senate passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, which accuses China of detaining Muslims and threatens to impose sanctions.
- Hong Kong police action justified: report Global Times 15 May 2020 -- Hong Kong police resorted to force only on occasions of violence during last year's social unrest, while there were "areas for improvement" during officers' clashes with protesters, according to a report on public order events since June last year and the police response.
- HK delegation to two sessions to go through unprecedented epidemic control measures Global Times 15 May 2020 -- Most of the Hong Kong delegation to the upcoming annual political meetings will fly to Beijing on Wednesday where they will be under strict epidemic-prevention and control measures during this year's "two sessions," including residing in sealed-off accommodation and meeting rooms, and there might be no 14-day of quarantine when they return to Hong Kong from Beijing, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, told the Global Times.
- Hong Kong Probes Exam Body Amid Political Row Over History Question Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- Authorities in Hong Kong have announced a probe into the setting of examination questions after the ruling Chinese Communist Party's state media slammed a question asking to consider whether Japan made a positive contribution to China in the first half of the 20th century.
- Hong Kong Mob Attack Victims Hit Out at Official Version of Yuen Long Incident Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- Two victims of an attack by white-clad mobsters in the Hong Kong border town on Yuen Long on July 21, 2019 on Friday hit out at a police-backed report that concluded there was no collusion between police and the attackers, in spite of a long delay in responded to multiple emergency calls on the night, and photos of officers chatting with groups of men wielding weapons in white T-shirts.
- China to launch last satellite in the Beidou-3 Navigation Satellite System in June Global Times 15 May 2020 -- China will launch in June the last satellite for Beidou-3 Navigation Satellite System, an array of 30 satellites that will provide services to global users, an official said.
- KMT chairman urges Beijing to end threat of taking Taiwan by force CNA 15 May 2020 -- Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣) on Friday called on China to stop threatening Taiwan with force and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to better manage relations with Beijing.
- Taiwan urges WHO to consider humanity, human rights CNA 15 May 2020 -- Taiwan's health minister on Friday urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider the factors of humanity and human rights in protecting world health, as he admitted the chances of Taiwan attending the international health body's annual assembly this year are slim.
- Chinese FM slams Taiwan DPP for colluding with US to seek WHA attendance Global Times 15 May 2020 -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed the island of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for colluding with some countries to seek attendance as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), saying it was politicizing a health problem to serve a secessionist agenda that will never succeed.
- China firmly opposes Taiwan-related proposal to WHO by some countries People's Daily 15 May 2020 -- China on Thursday expressed firm opposition to a so-called proposal by a few countries to invite Taiwan as an observer in the upcoming session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), a foreign ministry spokesperson said Thursday.
- Chinese mainland unveils measures supporting Taiwan-funded enterprises, projects amid epidemic People's Daily 15 May 2020 -- The Chinese mainland on Friday issued a circular requiring coordinated efforts to support the development of Taiwan-funded enterprises and advance Taiwan-funded projects amid the coronavirus epidemic.
- TSMC investment will strengthen U.S. national security: Pompeo CNA 15 May 2020 -- United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC's) plan to build an advanced semiconductor fab foundry in Arizona is expected to strengthen U.S. national security.
- Presidential office denies Tsai involved in TSMC's U.S. plan CNA 15 May 2020 -- The Presidential Office has denied that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) played a role in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC's) decision to build an advanced wafer plant in the United States, but said Tsai welcomed the plan.
- Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturer to Spend $12Bln to Build Factory in US Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) on Friday announced it would spend $12 billion to open a semiconductor factory in the United States.
- Taiwanese Chip Company to Build $12 Billion Arizona Plant VOA 15 May 2020 -- A Taiwan-based company is planning a $12 billion semiconductor factory in the U.S. state of Arizona.
- Briefing On Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation's Intent to Invest $12 Billion In the U.S. and on the CCP's Ability to Undermine U.S. Export Controls US Dept. of State 15 May 2020
- North Korea Orders Crackdown on Teenagers Storing Illegal Files on Smartphones Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea have begun a crackdown on teenage culture, targeting teens who store underground pop music and illegal videos on their mobile phones, in an attempt to prevent South Korean trends from gaining more traction, local sources say.
- This Week in Iran Policy US Dept. of State 15 May 2020
- Russia: US citation of its right under JCPOA astonishing IRNA 15 May 2020 -- Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that it is astonishing that American legal experts cite the rights of the US in resolutions on Iran that have been violated by White House officials.
- Russia, China slam US plan to extend UN arms embargo on Iran Press TV 15 May 2020 -- China and Russia have rejected US plans to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran along with a probable push to trigger a return of all sanctions on Tehran at the UN Security Council.
- China Rejects US Moves To Extend Iran Arms Embargo, Return Of Sanctions Radio Farda 15 May 2020 -- The Chinese mission to the United Nations in New York on Thursday said the United States "has no longer a right to extend an arms embargo on Iran, let alone to trigger snapback".
- The Iran Arms Embargo And the Guns of May Radio Farda 15 May 2020 -- Donald Trump recently said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran deal, "was such a disaster." The United States exited the nuclear deal in May 2018, but is now insisting it never left the deal and can thus bring snapback sanctions into place and extend the arms embargo. This is part of the Maximum Pressure strategy. It wasdesigned to get a better deal that included stricterlimits on Iran's nuclear capabilities, ending its ballistic missile program, interventions in other states (e.g., Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen) and support for terrorism.
- Sen Feinstein Proposes 'Coronavirus Peace Plan' Between US And Iran Radio Farda 15 May 2020 -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) has proposed a "coronavirus peace plan" between the United States and Iran to prevent instability during the global pandemic.
- Rivalry Among Iran's Conservatives Leaves Khamenei Relative Out In The Cold Radio Farda 15 May 2020 -- Less than two weeks before the inauguration of the new Iranian Parliament (Majles) on May 28, competition for the speakership has heated up among various conservative factions. Is the Supreme Leader backing any faction, or does it make any difference to him?
- Iranian fuel en route to Venezuela despite US sanctions on two allies: Report Press TV 15 May 2020 -- Reports of a shipment of Iranian fuel to Venezuela in the face of US sanctions against the two allies have infuriated the United States, with one official threatening to take "measures" against the "unwelcome" development.
- Iranian News Agency Warns US Acts Over Venezuela Fuel Shipments Will Not 'Go Without Repercussion' Sputnik 15 May 2020 -- An Iranian news agency has warned the US against taking action against several Iranian-flagged tankers transporting fuel to Venezuela, as Washington has threatened.
- US Global Maritime Advisory Warns Of Iran's 'Deceptions' Radio Farda 15 May 2020 -- In its newly released Global Maritime Advisory (GMA), the U.S. government has advised the world's shipping lines to be vigilant about "Iran's, North Korea's and Syria's deceptions".
- Rights Groups Condemn Torture of Protesters in Zimbabwe VOA 15 May 2020 -- Rights groups in Zimbabwe have accused government security forces of abducting and torturing three female supporters of the opposition who were taking part in a protest.
- Turkey Arrests 4 Other Kurdish Mayors VOA 15 May 2020 -- Turkish authorities Friday detained four more pro-Kurdish mayors in southeastern and eastern regions of the country, local media reported.
- Pompeo Says U.S. Begins Shipping Oil To Belarus As Ties With Minsk Improve RFE/RL 15 May 2020 -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the first shipment of U.S. crude oil to Belarus will depart this week.
- First Shipment of U.S. Oil to Belarus US Dept. of State 15 May 2020 -- "This week, the first shipment of U.S. crude oil will depart for Belarus. This competitive deal, by U.S. energy trader United Energy Trading, with the assistance of U.S. firm Getka and their Polish partner UNIMOT, strengthens Belarusian sovereignty and independence, demonstrates that the United States is ready to deliver trade opportunities for American companies interested in entering the Belarusian market, and fulfills the commitment the United States made to Belarus in February with government leaders in Minsk."
- Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Pakistani Doctor with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS US Dept. of Justice 15 May 2020 -- Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, returned a single-count indictment against Muhammad Masood, 28, charging him with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Masood, who was initially charged in a criminal complaint on March 19, 2020, is currently in custody pending further court proceedings.
- Alleged Narcotrafficker and High-Ranking Cartel Member Extradited from Uruguay to the United States US Dept. of Justice 15 May 2020 -- Assistant Attorney A Mexican national will have his initial appearance in federal court in the District of Columbia later today on charges related to his alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Southeast Asia Beset by Flood of Cheap Methamphetamines, Synthetic Opioids: UN Report Radio Free Asia 15 May 2020 -- The synthetic drug market in East and Southeast Asia is expanding and diversifying with the price of methamphetamines dropping to its lowest level in the past 10 years, while supplies of synthetic opioids have risen sharply, according to a new report issued Friday by the United Nations drug crimes agency.
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