20 May 2020 Military News
- US tells vessels in Persian Gulf to stay 100 meters away from its warships Press TV 20 May 2020 -- The US Navy has warned vessels in the Persian Gulf to stay 100 meters away from American warships or risk "lawful defensive measures," in a move that appears to be aimed squarely at Iran.
- U.S. Navy Warns Iran Of 'Defensive Measures' If Gunships Get Too Close RFE/RL 20 May 2020 -- The U.S. military has warned Iran that armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf region risk being "interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures."
- Khalilzad In Kabul For Peace Talks Amid New Deadly Attacks RFE/RL 20 May 2020 -- U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is in Kabul to press the Taliban and Afghan government to start delayed talks amid an uptick in violence -- including two more deadly attacks overnight -- that threatens to unravel a landmark peace deal between Washington and the militants signed earlier this year.
- Taliban leader urges US 'not to waste' opportunity offered by deal Press TV 20 May 2020 -- The leader of the Taliban militant group says it has been committed to its deal with the United States, despite being accused of carrying out hundreds of attacks in Afghanistan since it was signed in February.
- UN Calls for Peace Talks as Civilian Casualties by Afghan, Taliban Forces Rise Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is calling for a halt to fighting and the initiation of intra-Afghan peace negotiations in its latest civilian casualty report after preliminary figures revealed a significant increase in Afghan civilian casualties for April, despite the signing of the US-Taliban peace deal.
- Taliban Chief Urges US to Implement Afghan Peace Deal VOA 20 May 2020 -- The leader of the Taliban said Wednesday that implementation of his group's "historic" agreement with the United States was key to ending the war in Afghanistan and paving the way for U.S. troops to exit the country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- United States Strategic Approach to The People's Republic of China DoD 20 May 2020 -- "On May 20, 2020, in accordance with the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, the administration delivered a report, "U.S. Strategic Approach to the People's Republic of China" to members of Congress."
- As in Other Domains, U.S. Use of Electromagnetic Spectrum Is Contested DoD News 20 May 2020 -- That the U.S. military is no longer the only – or even the dominant – user of air, land, sea, space and cyberspace is not disputed. In every domain where the U.S. military once went unchallenged, newcomers hope to usurp its long-held dominance. Less well-known are new challengers in the electromagnetic spectrum, the deputy director for the Defense Department's Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team said.
- USS Theodore Roosevelt Returns to Sea NNS 20 May 2020 -- USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is underway for the first time since arriving in Guam March 27.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 20 May 2020
- Dover AFB to Serve as Key Hub in COVID-19 Fight DoD News 20 May 2020 -- Given its strategic location, assets and capabilities, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware will serve as the East Coast hub for Transport Isolation System decontamination in the United States.
- Changing of Health Protection Condition Levels During COVID-19 DoD 20 May 2020 -- Effective today, Secretary Esper updated guidance to commanders on changing local Force Health Protection Condition (HPCON) levels to allow bases to begin planning to return to normal operations in the COVID environment.
- Former Senior U.S. Navy Employee Charged for Role in Bribery Conspiracy and Lying to Investigators US Dept. of Justice 20 May 2020 -- The former Director of Operations of the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command Office in Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) was charged in a complaint filed today in connection with his alleged participation in a bribery conspiracy and alleged lying to federal investigators.
- USS Zumwalt Completes First Live Fire Test NNS 20 May 2020 -- Sailors aboard USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), working with engineers and technicians from Navy Surface Warfare Centers, successfully executed a "structural test fire" of the Mark 46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon System (GWS) on the Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Sea Test Range, Point Mugu, May 16.
- USS Blue Ridge Sails Through Underway Record NNS 20 May 2020 -- The crew of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff hit a 48-year historic landmark by surpassing the ship's underway record, marking 65 days of continuous underway operations, May 17.
- Navy Launches Newest Yard Tug NNS 20 May 2020 -- The Navy's first Yard Tug (YT) 808 class vessel was successfully launched at Dakota Creek Industries (DCI) shipyard, May 16.
- Carrier Air Wing 7 Commander Completes 5,000 Hours in the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye NNS 20 May 2020 -- The commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 logged his 5,000th flight hour in the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye May 19 at Naval Station Norfolk.
- Finding NEMO: US Army Considers Replacing Aging Mortars With Finnish-Made Turreted Alternative Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The US Army began surveying the global arms market for a replacement to its current mounted and towed 120mm mortar systems in 2018, seeking options with greater range and protection for crews. Similarly, the Marine Corps ditched its M327 towed mortars completely in late 2017 after decades of issues with the weapons.
- US Air Force F-35 Crashes During Routine Exercise in Florida Just Days After Similar Incident Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- According to Eglin Air Force Base, the pilot ejected from the aircraft and is currently in stable condition. The crash did not cause any casualties or damage on the ground, the base added.
- F-35 crashes at Eglin AFB US Air Force 20 May 2020 -- An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron crashed upon landing around 9:30 p.m. EDT May 19.
- White House Took Money Intended for New Aircraft Carrier to Build Border Wall Instead - Report Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- A new congressional audit report has revealed that funds needed to begin construction of a new amphibious assault ship for the US Navy later this year were instead redirected to fund construction of the US-Mexico border wall. The move could have long-lasting implications for the governmental balance of powers as laid out in the US Constitution.
- US Space Force Orders Two New Ballistic Missile Early Warning Satellites Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Defense contractor Northrop Grumman has received a $2.375 billion contract to build two ballistic missile early warning satellites for the US Space Force.
- Russia Poses 'Serious' and 'Growing' Threats to US in Space, Says Top Pentagon Official VOA 20 May 2020 -- Russia continues to pose "serious" and "growing" threats to U.S. interests in space, according to the top military officer for space defense.
- NATO Secretary General welcomes offers to support the United Nations' global request for airlift through NATO's coordination centre NATO 20 May 2020 -- The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the offers of the United Kingdom and the State of Qatar to provide airlift assets coordinated by NATO's Euro Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) in support of the United Nations' efforts to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.
- Chinese military launches pilot program on non-staple food supply PLA Daily 20 May 2020 -- Recently, the Logistic Support Department of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), together with seven national ministries and commissions, jointly issued a notice on the pilot program for regionally centralized procurement of military non-staple food in Zhejiang Province, Zhangzhou City in Fujian Province, Qingdao City in Shandong Province, Hubei Province, Hainan Province, and Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region.
- Chinese tracking vessel Yuanwang 6 sails to Pacific Ocean for multiple monitoring missions PLA Daily 20 May 2020 -- China's upgraded tracking vessel Yuanwang 6 is sailing to the Pacific Ocean from a port in East China's Jiangsu province Wednesday for multiple maritime missions of spacecraft monitoring.
- Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) - MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) DSCA 20 May 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to TECRO of eighteen (18) MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $180 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
- MoD approves procurement of 26 defence items only from local suppliers to boost 'Make in India' India PIB 20 May 2020 -- Government has issued Public Procurement (Preference to "Make in India') Order 2017 vide Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Notification No.P-45021/2/2017-B.E.-II dated 15.06.2017 (as amended on 29/05/2019) to encourage 'Make in India' and to promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India.
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability US Dept. of State 20 May 2020
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany The White House 20 May 2020
- Contracts For May 20, 2020
- Lockheed Martin Forced to Make Sharp Cutbacks to F-35 Production Due to Parts Shortages Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- In a related development, last week, the Government Accountability Office concluded that as many as 15 key components for the F-35 once made in Turkey were currently not being produced "at the needed production rate" following Ankara's unceremonious removal from the fighter programme.
- 20 May 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 20 May 2020
- US Stratbombers Sent to South, East China Seas as Trump's War of Words With Beijing Escalates Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- On Wednesday, the US president reiterated his claims blaming China for the global coronavirus pandemic, tweeting that it was "the incompetence of China" that caused the current "mass Worldwide killing!"
- China Harvests Vegetables in South China Sea to Cultivate Territorial Claims Radio Free Asia 20 May 2020 -- China's navy recently harvested 1.5 tons of vegetables on its biggest military base and civilian center in the Paracel Islands, in what state media portrayed Wednesday as vindication of Beijing's position that disputed land features it claims in the South China Sea can sustain human life.
- Torn by War, Yemen's Medical System on Verge of Collapse as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Climb Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Coronavirus might pose a threat to Yemen, but it is far from the only problem facing the war-torn country, according to the ICRC spokesperson. In addition to the raging conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 100 thousand people, Yemen is also struggling to cope with constant floods and supplies of food and clean water.
- Houthis Say Saudi Coalition Launched About Dozen Airstrikes on 2 Yemeni Provinces Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The Saudi-led coalition conducted at least a dozen air raids on Yemen's northwestern and central provinces in the early hours of Wednesday, the Houthi rebel movement said.
- Iran Lawmaker Says $30 Billion Spent On Syria Must Be Returned Radio Farda 20 May 2020 -- A conservative lawmaker and former chairman of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission has said that Iran spent 20-30 billion dollars in Syria that must be reimbursed.
- Iranian Media Refute Israel's Claim That Tehran is Scaling Down Its Presence in Syria Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Previously, outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet commented that Iran "has begun the withdrawal process from Syria," his uncorroborated-by-evidence statement coming in the wake of earlier reports of Israeli officials suggesting there was a scaling down of Tehran's presence in the country.
- Iraqi Intelligence Announces Arrest of Purported Successor to Ex-Daesh Leader al-Baghdadi - Report Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- US President Donald Trump in October 2019 announced that former Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed as a result of a US military operation.
- Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Stabilization of Iraq The White House 20 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 20 May 2020
- UN envoy urges end to foreign support for warring sides in Libya Press TV 20 May 2020 -- The United Nations (UN)'s acting envoy for Libya has called on the Security Council to press countries to end their sponsorship of warring sides in the North African country, warning that the influx of arms and mercenaries will aggravate the conflict.
- Myanmar Strips Rakhine Politician Jailed For Treason of MP Status, Bars Him From Elections Radio Free Asia 20 May 2020 -- Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC) has stripped jailed Rakhine politician Aye Maung of his status as a Lower House member of parliament and barred him from running for office, citing his conviction on charges of treason, according to state media reports.
- Abbas Tears Up Security Agreements with Israel, US VOA 20 May 2020 -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinian Authority is tearing up its agreements with Israel and the United States& because of Israeli plans to annex part of the occupied West Bank.
- Palestinian president ends agreements with Israel, US over annexation Press TV 20 May 2020 -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared an end to all agreements with Israel and the United States in response to an Israeli regime's plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
- UN Envoy Urges Israel to 'Abandon Threats of Annexation' of West Bank VOA 20 May 2020 -- The United Nations' top diplomat for the Middle East peace process called on Israel on Wednesday to "abandon threats of annexation" of a large portion of the West Bank.
- Israel must 'abandon threats of annexation': UN envoy Press TV 20 May 2020 -- The United Nations' special envoy for the Mideast has called on Israel to abandon plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, joining a growing international chorus of opposition.
- Lebanon's Hezbollah says perfectly ready for any confrontation with Israel Press TV 20 May 2020 -- A senior Hezbollah official says the liberation of Jerusalem al-Quds from Israeli occupation tops the agenda of the regional resistance front, and that the Lebanese movement is fully prepared for any type of confrontation with the regime in Tel Aviv in line with that objective.
- Hezbollah Does Not Seek War With Israel, But Preparing for Any Scenario - Top Member Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Lebanon's Hezbollah movement does not seek war with Israel but is preparing for any scenario, Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, the head of the movement's executive council, said in an interview with Al Mayadeen broadcaster on Wednesday ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Israeli troops' withdrawal from Lebanon.
- UN Middle East peace envoy warns against unilateral action on all sides, as Israel threatens West Bank annexation UN News 20 May 2020 -- The UN's Middle East peace envoy issued a stern warning on Wednesday against any unilateral action – including an Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank – that could undermine diplomatic efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
- Greek Air Force Intercepts Turkish Military Jets Flying Over Aegean Islets – Reports Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The Greek Air Force has intercepted Turkish military jets that conducted flights over the eastern Aegean islets of Agathonisi and Anthropofagoi, media reported on Wednesday.
- Beijing Accuses New Delhi of Obstructing Patrols Along Disputed Border Area - Reports Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry has told the Hindustan Times newspaper, in comments regarding the recent escalation along the disputed Sino-Indian border and reported fortification on both sides, that New Delhi is preventing Chinese troops from conducting patrols along the border area.
- Two Indian Soldiers Killed After Terrorists Attack Camp in Kashmir's Srinagar- Video Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Internet services remain suspended in Jammu and Kashmir's capital Srinagar after the Indian army launched a strike on terrorists in the downtown area of the city on 19 May.
- Most Wanted Hizbul Mujahideen Militant Arrested in Jammu and Kashmir Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- In April 2019, Chander Kant Sharma, a leading member of India's Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a nationalist organisation, was shot dead along with his personal security officer in Jammu and Kashmir. The incident triggered protests across the country.
- Southern African Leaders Meet on Mozambique's Deteriorating Security VOA 20 May 2020 -- Southern African leaders met Wednesday to discuss the growing Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique.
- Pompeo Defends Firing of Internal State Department Investigator VOA 20 May 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday staunchly defended his request that President Donald Trump fire the State Department's internal watchdog, saying he "should have done it some time ago."
- Chairwomen Johnson and Horn Comment on the Resignation of Doug Loverro House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 20 May 2020 -- "Yesterday afternoon, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Doug Loverro had resigned from his position effective the previous day."
- Analyst: Sudan Has No Cash to Pay Damages for 1998 Embassy Bombings VOA 20 May 2020 -- A Sudanese political analyst says Sudan will have a hard time finding the cash to pay the punitive damages imposed by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
- Convicted 9/11 Terrorist Renounces al-Qaida, bin Laden VOA 20 May 2020 -- The only person convicted in a U.S. court in the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States claims he is renouncing terrorism, al-Qaida and its dead leader, Osama bin Laden.
- 9/11 Convict Zacarias Moussaoui Renounces Terrorism, 'Useful Idiot' Osama bin Laden Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen who pleaded guilty for his role in the September 11 attacks, recently revealed that he has renounced terrorism, al-Qaeda and Daesh.
- US Extends Policy to Immediately Reject Migrants at Southern Border Indefinitely – DHS Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The United States has extended a policy indefinitely that permits US immigration enforcement to immediately return immigrants back to Mexico after being apprehended on the southern border, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
- Venezuelan Military to Escort Iranian Tankers Delivering Fuel, Defense Minister Says Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Venezuela's military will escort Iranian tankers delivering fuel to the country when they enter Venezuela's exclusive economic zone, the country's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino revealed Wednesday.
- United States Provides Additional Assistance for the Crisis in Venezuela and the Region US Dept. of State 20 May 2020 -- "The United States continues to be a catalyst for the international response to help the Venezuelan people and region respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the former Maduro regime."
- Only Venezuelans can resolve Venezuela's deepening crisis, hears UN Security Council UN News 20 May 2020 -- Negotiations remain the only way to overcome the ongoing political deadlock in Venezuela, especially given the potentially far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday.
- Venezuela in legal bid to release gold held by Bank of England Press TV 20 May 2020 -- Cash-strapped Venezuela has launched legal action against the Bank of England (the UK's central bank) in order to secure the release of $1bn worth of Venezuelan gold.
- Venezuela Reportedly Files Legal Claim to Force Bank of England to Transfer its Gold Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- In April, Venezuela, which has been struggling under a COVID-19 quarantine while crippled by US sanctions, demanded that the Bank of England sell part of the gold reserves it has kept there to help fund the country's efforts to fight the pandemic.
- Twitter's Hiring of China-Linked AI Expert Sparks Concern Radio Free Asia 20 May 2020 -- Commentators have been raising concerns over Twitter's recent hiring of artificial intelligence (AI) star Fei-Fei Li, who has links to the Chinese Communist Party.
- Bao Tong: Criticizing the Emperor is a Social Responsibility Radio Free Asia 20 May 2020 -- There is an article in People's Daily Online titled, "Deepen Your Knowledge in Sinology with Chairman Xi's Speeches," in which the anonymous author talked about the "Fifteen Anecdotes that Chairman Xi Jinping Shared with the World." I read the first entry and found a few bones to pick.
- China Recalibrates Economic Goals Following Pandemic VOA 20 May 2020 -- Chinese leaders are expected to begin charting out a new economic development plan Friday as part of major meetings of top officials in Beijing.
- Two sessions 'in cloud': expected to inject confidence, unite people in wake of COVID-19 Global Times 20 May 2020 -- After a 78-day delay, China entered a "two sessions" mode on Wednesday as the country's top advisory body held the first online press conference of this year's two sessions - a special arrangement in line with epidemic prevention and control work - while thousands of deputies and members from China's provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as well as two special administration regions (SARs) arrived in Beijing.
- China moves closer to civil code People's Daily 20 May 2020 -- China's national legislature will deliberate a massive bill when its annual session opens Friday, moving closer to having a civil code for the people's republic.
- China's draft civil code to improve tort system: experts People's Daily 20 May 2020 -- A draft civil code to be submitted to China's national legislature's annual session for review will strengthen the system of tort liability, experts said.
- China's draft civil code to strengthen property rights protection: experts People's Daily 20 May 2020 -- A draft civil code to be submitted to China's top legislature's annual session for review will strengthen property rights protection, experts said.
- US, China divisions deepen amid spat over coronavirus, Taiwan Press TV 20 May 2020 -- Tensions between China and the United States keep escalating on the international stage, with representatives from the two sides trading barbs at a United Nations Security Council meeting over the coronavirus response, as well as officials from both countries confronting each other on the sensitive issue of Taiwan's sovereignty.
- China paves way for countermeasures against US crackdown Global Times 20 May 2020 -- China published sweeping guidelines to improve the country's "socialist market economy," which include instructions for accelerating market reform and opening-up as well as refining national security reviews and setting up an "unreliable entity list", to better supervise foreign companies' investment in the country.
- China's Middle East Trade Impact Could Be Exaggerated VOA 20 May 2020 -- China is emphasizing trade cooperation with the Middle East and North Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic, but some observers think many recent initiatives have been more for show than substance.
- US Pledges Support to Taiwan, Amid Deepening China Tensions VOA 20 May 2020 -- The United States said its strong and bipartisan support for Taiwan's democracy "comports with" the U.S.-China agreements and is "the right solution to maximize the stability" of the Taiwan Strait.
- Taiwan President Says Island Won't Accept Rule by Beijing Radio Free Asia 20 May 2020 -- Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen set the scene for her second term in office on Wednesday with a vow that the democratic island would never accept rule by the Chinese Communist Party, signaling instead a cautious move towards constitutional reform.
- Taiwan President Vows to Bolster Defense as China Steps up Military Threats VOA 20 May 2020 -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen vowed Wednesday to step up defense following a series of bigger-than-normal threats by her government's longtime rival China.
- President Tsai sworn in, commences her second term CNA 20 May 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took her oath of office at the Presidential Office on Wednesday and formally commenced her second four-year term as the president of the Republic of China, Taiwan's formal name.
- Full text of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's second-term inaugural address CNA 20 May 2020 -- The following is the full text of President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) inaugural address to start her second term, as released by the Presidential Office Wednesday:
- Praising people's resilience, Tsai pledges to meet COVID-19 challenges CNA 20 May 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday praised the unity and resilience of Taiwan's people in dealing with COVID-19 and pledged strong responses to the future challenges the global pandemic has created for the world economy.
- Tsai maintains stance on China in inaugural address CNA 20 May 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) offered little new on relations with China in her inaugural address Wednesday, saying she was willing to engage in dialogue with China but would not allow the downgrading of Taiwan.
- US to increasingly highlight Taiwan's national identity: analysts CNA 20 May 2020 -- The United States is expected to help Taiwan highlight its national identity more actively during President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) second four-year term but "dramatic breakthroughs" are unlikely, political analysts in Taiwan said Wednesday.
- National reunification cannot be stopped by any force: spokesperson People's Daily 20 May 2020 -- National reunification is critical to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and cannot be stopped by anyone or any force, a mainland spokesperson said Wednesday.
- Chinese defense ministry denounces US congratulation on Taiwan leader's inauguration PLA Daily 20 May 2020 -- The Ministry of National Defense(MND) of the People's Republic of China issued a written statement to express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's congratulating Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration on Wednesday.
- Cross-Straits ties likely to see 'a decoupling future' as Tsai enters 2nd term Global Times 20 May 2020 -- The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council has responded to the "inauguration speech" made by the separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, saying that the mainland wants to create broad space for peaceful reunification but will leave no space for any act of separatism.
- China to watch proposed constitutional amendment committee: scholar CNA 20 May 2020 -- The Chinese authorities will closely follow President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) proposal Wednesday to create a constitutional amendment committee, given its potential to alter Taiwan's national status, according to a prominent scholar of cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.
- No mutual trust across Taiwan Strait: China scholars CNA 20 May 2020 -- Commenting on Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) inaugural speech Wednesday, Chinese scholars said there still is a lack of mutual trust between Taiwan and China.
- KMT seeks assurances on proposed constitutional amendment committee CNA 20 May 2020 -- The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) called on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Wednesday to guarantee that a constitutional amendment committee she proposed in her inaugural address will not be used to pursue changes to Taiwan's national status or cross-strait relations.
- KMT not good at being in opposition, still finding its way: chairman CNA 20 May 2020 -- The newly elected chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) said the party is still learning how to be an opposition party, "an unfamiliar role" for an organization that has spent most of the past 70 years in a position of power in Taiwan.
- New NSC chief positive to U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation: expert CNA 20 May 2020 -- The appointment of Wellington Koo (顧立雄), a U.S.-educated business lawyer, as the new director-general of Taiwan's National Security Council (NSC), could strengthen Taiwan's security cooperation with the U.S., a security analyst said Tuesday.
- Tsai resumes chairmanship of DPP CNA 20 May 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took up leadership of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) again on Wednesday, after her inauguration earlier in the day for a second four-year presidential term.
- North Korea Conscripts Citizens for 'Farming Battles' During COVID-19 Crisis Radio Free Asia 20 May 2020 -- North Korea is moving forward with its annual "farming battle" labor-mobilization campaign despite the coronavirus crisis, raising health concerns as it is not providing facemasks to citizens conscripted to plant crops, sources in the country told RFA.
- Iran not to tolerate any nuisance at high Seas: Defense Minister IRNA 20 May 2020 -- Iran's Minister of Defense and Logistics of the Armed Froces said on Wednesday that Iran will not tolerate any nuisance at high Seas for its oil tankers and will respond strongly and decisively.
- Iran won't tolerate any trouble for its tankers: Defense Minister ISNA 20 May 2020 -- Iran's Minister of Defence Brigadier General Amir Hatami stressed that the country won't tolerate any trouble for its oil tankers and if the trouble continues and intensifies, it will be met with Iran's unwavering and crushing response.
- Iran to US: We will brook no harassment of our oil tankers in intl. waters Press TV 20 May 2020 -- Iran's defense minister has warned the US of a firm and crushing response should it continue to harass the country's ships and oil tankers in international waters.
- Venezuelan Military to Escort Iranian Tankers Delivering Fuel - Defense Minister Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Venezuela's military will escort Iranian tankers delivering fuel to the country when they enter Venezuela's exclusive economic zone, the country's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino revealed Wednesday.
- Standing with the Iranian People US Dept. of State 20 May 2020 -- Today, the United States is imposing financial sanctions and visa restrictions on Iranian individuals and entities under human rights-related authorities.
- Treasury Sanctions Iran's Interior Minister and Senior Law Enforcement Officials in Connection with Serious Human Rights Abuses US Treasury 20 May 2020 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against Iran's Interior Minister for his role in serious human rights abuses against Iranians, as well as seven senior officials of Iran's Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) and a provincial commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
- US Treasury Slaps Iran With New Sanctions, Including Minister of Interior, Prison System Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The restrictions are the latest in Washington's two year+ effort to ratchet up pressure against Tehran following President Trump's May 2018 decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal.
- US imposes sanctions on 8 Iranian officials, including interior minister Press TV 20 May 2020 -- The United States has imposed sanctions on 8 Iranian officials, including Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.
- U.S. Puts Sanctions On Iranian Minister, Top Police Officials For Violent Crackdowns RFE/RL 20 May 2020 -- The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Iran's interior minister, senior police officials, and a military commander for human rights abuses, including killing peaceful protesters.
- IRGC, Intelligence thwart sabotage attempt by counterrevolutionary group IRNA 20 May 2020 -- The forces of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in coordination with the Intelligence Office of Kordestan Province, western Iran, thwarted sabotage attempt by counterrevolutionary group.
- Iran Hardliner Media Launch Attack On Oil Minister For Hiring Outgoing Lawmakers Radio Farda 20 May 2020 -- Iran's hardliner media have launched an orchestrated attack on Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh for employing lawmakers who have not made it to the next parliament, allegedly to show new lawmakers that supporting his ministry can have personal benefits for them in the future.
- Iran Courts Sentence Ten People To A Total Of 100 Years Prison For Supporting Monarchy Radio Farda 20 May 2020 -- A court of appeals in Tehran has upheld the verdict against ten citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for reportedly supporting monarchy.
- Baha'i Community Warns Of Increased Persecution Of Followers In Iran Radio Farda 20 May 2020 -- In a statement released on May 18 the Baha'i International Community (BIC) warned about the increased persecution of Baha'is in Iran despite the coronavirus health crisis.
- Iran's Currency Drops To Near All-Time Lows Against US Dollar Radio Farda 20 May 2020 -- The depreciation of Iran's currency against the U.S. dollar has continued in recent days, reaching near all-time lows as the country faces multiple economic challenges.
- Beijing slams Iran-related sanctions on Chinese company as 'illegal' Press TV 20 May 2020 -- China has blasted the United States for its sanctions on a Chinese company over cooperation with Iran's Mahan Air, saying the bans violate international rules on beneficial cooperation between countries.
- US Sanctions A Chinese Firm For Dealing With Iran's Banned Airline Radio Farda 20 May 2020 -- The U.S. Departments of State and Treasury sanctioned a Shanghai-based firm Tuesday, May 19, for allegedly working on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Mahan Air airline.
- More Than Just Health, COVID-19 Presents a Political Crisis for French Leader VOA 20 May 2020 -- The sky-high ratings and talk of a start-up nation are long gone. So is the reformist agenda, pushed through over strikes and demonstrations.
- EU States Endorse Accords Making Travel For Belarusians Easier RFE/RL 20 May 2020 -- Ambassadors of the 27 European Union member states have endorsed two agreements that will make it easier and cheaper for Belarusian citizens to enter most EU countries.
- Syrian Justice Ministry Refutes Reports of Arresting Accounts of Assad's Cousin Makhlouf Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- The Syrian Justice Ministry on Wednesday refuted media reports about arrested accounts of businessman Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of President Bashar Assad.
- Ukrainian President 'Sure' IMF Memorandum To Be Signed By End Of Month RFE/RL 20 May 2020 -- Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, says he is certain a memorandum with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be signed by the end of May to bolster the country's finances.
- UAE's Etihad Airways makes first known flight to Israel amid normalization attempts Press TV 20 May 2020 -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s state-owned Etihad Airways has made a first known flight to the Israeli-occupied territories with the alleged goal of delivering aid to Palestinians as Arab regimes and Tel Aviv scale up their attempts to normalize relations.
- U.S. Energy Giant ExxonMobil Puts Stake In Azerbaijani Oil Field Up For Sale RFE/RL 20 May 2020 -- ExxonMobil has again put its stake in Azerbaijan's largest oil field up for sale despite a historic decline in oil prices linked to a decline in consumption due to coronavirus restrictions.
- New Lesotho Prime Minister Majoro Sworn Into Office After Thabane Resignation Sputnik 20 May 2020 -- Lesotho's former finance minister Moeketsi Majoro has been sworn in as the African country's new prime minister on Wednesday in a televised broadcast by domestic media, one day after Thomas Thabane resigned as leader amid a scandal over the death of his estranged wife.
- COVID-19, Separatist Fighting, Overshadow Cameroon's National Day VOA 20 May 2020 -- Cameroon is marking its national day Wednesday under coronavirus restrictions and amid ongoing clashes between the military and anglophone separatists. President Paul Biya has spoken publicly for the first time about the pandemic.
- Burundi Hopes to Usher In Democratic Transition After 15 Years of Nkurunziza's Rule VOA 20 May 2020 -- Burundi is holding its first competitive presidential election since a 1993 civil war, with President Pierre Nkurunziza stepping down after 15 years in power. But political analysts and rights groups say few Burundians expect the vote, which has already been marred by violence and rights abuses, to be free and fair.
- Burundi Holds Presidential Election Amid Coronavirus Outbreak VOA 20 May 2020 -- More than five million eligible voters in the east African nation of Burundi are heading to the polls Wednesday to choose a successor to longtime President Pierre Nkurunziza.
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