21 May 2020 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S. Afghan Envoy Urges All Sides To Reduce Violence After Talks In Kabul RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has urged a reduction in violence "by all sides" in Afghanistan, saying innocent Afghans are bearing too much of the brunt of the war.
- Georgia National Guard assists COVID-19 testing facilities Army News 21 May 2020 -- The Georgia National Guard, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Augusta University, is assisting COVID-19 testing facilities in response to the public health state of emergency. The guardsmen provide medical, logistical and security support for COVID-19 testing facilities located across the state.
- USS Pinckney Takes Down Drug Vessel, Seizes Over $28M of Cocaine NNS 21 May 2020 -- The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team seized 1,400 kilograms (over 3,000 pounds) of cocaine May 14.
- USD(P&R) and ATSD(PA) Provide Update on Defense Department Operations DoD 21 May 2020 -- Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs; Matthew P. Donovan, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
Defense Policy / Programs
- DOD Statement on Open Skies Treaty Withdrawal DoD 21 May 2020 -- "Tomorrow the United States will formally submit its notification of its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. After careful consideration, including input from Allies and key partners, it has become abundantly clear that it is no longer in the United States' best interest to remain a party to this Treaty when Russia does not uphold its commitments. U.S. obligations under the Treaty will effectively end in six months."
- On the Treaty on Open Skies US Dept. of State 21 May 2020 -- "Tomorrow, the United States will submit notice of its decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies to the Treaty Depositaries and to all other States Parties to the Treaty. Effective six months from tomorrow, the United States will no longer be a party to the Treaty. We may, however, reconsider our withdrawal should Russia return to full compliance with the Treaty."
- Briefing with Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea and Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation Dr. Christopher A. Ford On the Treaty on Open Skies US Dept. of State 21 May 2020
- US to Exit International Military Surveillance Treaty VOA 21 May 2020 -- President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was pulling the United States out of the 18-year-old international Open Skies Treaty allowing surveillance flights over other countries because Russia has been violating it.
- Trump to withdraw US from Open Skies treaty, citing Russian violation Press TV 21 May 2020 -- US President Donald Trump plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty allowing unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, the Trump administration's latest move to pull the US out of a global treaty.
- U.S. To Exit Open Skies Treaty Over Russian Violations RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- The United States has announced that it will withdraw from the Open Skies treaty because of violations of the agreement by Russia.
- Pentagon: US Will Formally Submit Notice to Withdraw From Open Skies Treaty Friday Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- The US Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday said that the US would formally submit its request to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty on Friday.
- Trump Confirms US Withdrawal From Open Skies Treaty, Says New Deal Possible Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Earlier in the day, the New York Times reported, citing a source in the US presidential administration, that Washington plans to inform Moscow on Friday about its intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty.
- Acting DNI Grenell Statement on U.S. Intent to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty Director of National Intelligence 21 May 2020 -- Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell today issued the following statement regarding the United States formally submitting its intent to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty
- US Withdrawal From Open Skies Treaty 'Distasteful, Ill-Advised' - Helsinki Commission Head Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- The Trump administration withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty weakens transatlantic security and is otherwise ill-advised, Helsinki Commission Chairman Congressman Alcee Hastings said in a statement.
- Moscow Regrets US Reported Intention to Quit Open Skies Treaty Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Earlier, the US accused Russia of abusing the terms of the treaty, claiming that Moscow had been unfairly limiting US flights through its airspace.
- US ready to spend Russia, China 'into oblivion' to win nukes race: US envoy Press TV 21 May 2020 -- The United States is ready to spend Russia and China "into oblivion" in order to be able to win a new nuclear arms race, President Donald Trump's arms control negotiator says.
- US Mulls Extension of New START, Seeks 'Gentleman's Agreement' With Russia, Report Claims Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the only agreement limiting the number of nuclear weapons in Russia and the US to remain in effect, is set to expire in 2021, as the Trump administration keeps avoiding the extension, insisting instead that China must also take part.
- Pentagon Rescinds Ban on COVID-Hospitalized Recruits VOA 21 May 2020 -- The Pentagon has rescinded a recruiting policy that banned anyone who was hospitalized because of COVID-19 from joining the military without a waiver, a top official said Thursday.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 21 May 2020
- Data Drives DOD, DLA Decisions on COVID-19 Medical Supplies DoD News 21 May 2020 -- Automated supply-and-demand data on personal protective equipment needed in the COVID-19 response is giving Defense Department officials a unified picture of stock levels and requirements across DOD and federal agencies, the Defense Logistics Agency's metrics integration chief said.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With UK Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace DoD 21 May 2020
- USS Theodore Roosevelt Deploys to Philippine Sea After COVID-19 Outbreak VOA 21 May 2020 -- The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier is back at sea for the first time in nearly two months after a coronavirus outbreak onboard infected more than 1,100 sailors.
- US aircraft carrier leaves Naval Base Guam after almost two-month quarantine Global Times 21 May 2020 -- A spokesperson for the annual session of China's top legislature on Thursday slammed US bills that baselessly accuse China of being responsible for COVID-19 and demand compensation from China, noting China will firmly respond with countermeasures.
- COVID-19-Stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt Sails Again After Two-Month Battle Against Virus Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- With more than 1,000 infection cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on board, the US Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has been sidelined at Naval Base Guam since 27 March.
- Commander Discusses a Decade of DOD Cyber Power DoD News 21 May 2020 -- Ten years ago, U.S. Cyber Command passed its first milestone: the ability to conduct cyberspace operations as the new sub-unified combatant command.
- USS Ronald Reagan Marks Fifth Year of Service as Part of U.S. Forward Deployed Naval Forces NNS 21 May 2020 -- The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is underway serving as America's strongest symbol of resolve, navigating the global pandemic as its mission endures, in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- Attack Submarine USS Toledo Earns Navy Unit Commendation NNS 21 May 2020 -- The Acting Secretary of the Navy awarded the Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) to the crew of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769), May 8.
- Pentagon 'Resetting' Aging Lancer Bomber as Missile Platform for Pacific Power Projection Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- The supersonic B-1B Lancer bomber is poised to become the face of US air power in the Pacific as the Air Force repurposes it as a "missile truck." A series of dramatic drills has recently demonstrated this commitment, but with roughly one-third of the fleet being retired due to wear, it remains to be seen how long the Pentagon can keep it up.
- Ellsworth AFB B-1s integrate with allies, partners in Nordic region US Air Force 21 May 2020 -- A pair of B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth Air Force Base conducted a long-range strategic Bomber Task Force mission in the European theater May 19, marking the first time B-1s have flown over Sweden to integrate with Swedish Gripens while conducting close-air support training with Swedish Joint Terminal Attack Controller ground teams at Vidsel Range.
- NATO takes part in Swedish naval exercise NATO 21 May 2020 -- Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) joined the Swedish naval exercise SWENEX, between 11 - 21 May, 2020 in the waters of Skagerak and the Baltic Sea.
- Russia Ready to Sell Abroad New Radar Locator Detecting Hypersonic Targets - Defense Exports Agency Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Russia's state intermediary agency for defence exports, Rosoboronexport (part of Rostec Corporation), said on Thursday it was ready to sell abroad a new radar locator, capable of detecting hypersonic targets.
- Russian Su-57 Fighter Passes State Tests, Fulfilling Set Requirements Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Earlier in 2019, the Russian Defence Ministry ordered 76 Su-57 jets during the International Military and Technical Forum. The jets are capable of tackling all types of air, ground or naval surface targets.
- China has no "hidden military spending": spokesperson PLA Daily 21 May 2020 -- China is transparent about its military spending and there is no such thing as "hidden military spending," a spokesperson said Thursday.
- PLA naval deputy to NPC talks about technological innovation in equipment protection PLA Daily 21 May 2020 -- "The corrosion prevention and control of equipment is a strategic project for the navy. It is necessary to think from a macro-strategic perspective, and start with the innovative details", said Cao Jingyi, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) of China and research director with the PLA Navy Academy, in an interview when he is going to attend the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing .
- Chinese defense minister holds phone talk with Philippine counterpart PLA Daily 21 May 2020 -- Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Wednesday spoke over the phone with Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on COVID-19 prevention and control.
- U.S. announces possible sale of advanced heavy torpedoes to Taiwan CNA 21 May 2020 -- The United States announced Wednesday a latest round of arms sales to Taiwan, including the possible sale of 18 advanced MK-48 Mod 6AT heavyweight torpedoes to the country.
- US Approves Sale of Heavy Torpedoes to Taiwan As Tensions With Beijing Escalate Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- As relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) begins to strain amid the trade war and the coronavirus pandemic, Washington is looking towards closer ties with Taiwan, which remains in dispute with Beijing over its claim to national sovereignty.
- US torpedo sales to Taiwan island 'useless' against Chinese mainland military: expert Global Times 21 May 2020 -- The US latest plan to sell arms to the island of Taiwan of 18 torpedoes is overpriced and cannot make any difference in a potential military conflict between the island and the Chinese mainland, and sent a wrong signal to Taiwan secessionists on the day of regional leader Tsai Ing-wen's inaugural speech, mainland military experts said on Thursday.
- China voices strong opposition to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan People's Daily 21 May 2020 -- China firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to China's Taiwan region, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said Thursday.
- Defence manufacturing adversely affected due to COVID-19, says Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at the MSMEs E-conclave of SIDM; India PIB 21 May 2020 -- Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has appreciated the role played by Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and other Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nation's fight against global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He said this while addressing via video conference MSMEs E-conclave, jointly organised by SIDM, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Department of Defence Production here today.
- Defence Manufacturing Adversely Affected by COVID-19, Indian Minister Says Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- India has been on a prolonged lockdown since 25 March to contain the spread of COVID-19. The entire industrial activities in the country, apart from essential products and the pharmaceutical sector, have come to a complete standstill. The lockdown was partially lifted from 18 May, but with several restrictions.
- Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure The White House 21 May 2020
- 21 May 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 21 May 2020
- Iraqi Intelligence Says Qardash Was in Charge of Making Chemical Weapons to Attack Military Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Prior to his arrest, Abdullah Qardash, one of the senior leaders of Daesh* and a rumoured successor to ex-leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi, was in charge of manufacturing chemical warfare agents to attack Iraqi troops, a press office of Iraq's Intelligence Service said on Thursday.
- Ankara Warns of 'Serious Consequences' After Haftar's Air Force Reveals Plan to Strike Turkish Units Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Turkey began sending troops to Libya in January to shore up the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Before that, Ankara provided the GNA with military equipment to assist Tripoli in its ongoing campaign against the Tobruk-based government and the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
- Plainclothed Arakan Army Clashes With Myanmar Military Stoke Arbitrary Arrests Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- The use of civilian clothing by soldiers of the ethnic Rakhine rebel Arakan Army (AA) in skirmishes with Myanmar's military in Rakhine and Chin states has led to a substantial increase in arbitrary arrests of villagers by government troops, sources said Thursday.
- Tatmadaw Releases Eight of 19 Detained Rakhine Residents Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- Eight people among 19 who went missing last week after being detained by Myanmar's military in restive Rakhine state were released from a regional military camp, the former prisoners and their family members told RFA Thursday.
- EU May Break Own Protocol By Participating In Russia-Backed Crimea Event RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- The European Union and several of its member states may break the bloc's own guidelines on contacts with de facto authorities of the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula by participating in a Moscow-backed videoconference on the situation in the region.
- Harutyunian Sworn In As President Of Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Region RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- Arayik (Ara) Harutyunian has been sworn in as de facto president of Nagorno-Karabakh, the unrecognized breakaway Azerbaijani region.
- US Wants India, Pakistan to Restore Kashmir Truce VOA 21 May 2020 -- A senior American diplomat says the United States wants India and Pakistan to restore a mutual truce in Kashmir to de-escalate tensions over the disputed Himalayan region.
- India Rejects Beijing's Claim that its Army is Building Defence Fortifications in Chinese Territory Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- India and China are undergoing their longest border stand-off after Doklam in 2017. The troops of both armies were involved in skirmishes at Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh on 5 May, followed by Naku La in Sikkim on 9 May.
- US Asks For Meeting with Tibet's Detained Panchen Lama Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- The U.S. government would like to meet in person with Tibet's Panchen Lama, who vanished into Chinese custody as a young boy 25 years ago this week and has not been heard from since, a State Department spokesman told RFA on Thursday.
- U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Disclosure Of Material Gathered In Probe Of Russian Election Interference RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily prevented the release of secret grand jury testimony gathered during Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference that a House committee has sought for months.
- Trump Loyalist Confirmed as Director of National Intelligence VOA 21 May 2020 -- One of U.S. President Donald Trump's most vocal supporters is set to lead the country's intelligence community, overcoming concerns about his experience and a bitter partisan divide to win Senate confirmation.
- Shooter at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi 'Neutralized' VOA 21 May 2020 -- A shooter at U.S. Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas was "neutralized" early Thursday morning, the Navy said in a statement.
- US Navy Member Wounded as Gunman Goes on Shooting Spree at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- A naval air station in Texas was put on lockdown on Thursday following reports of an active shooter near one of the base's gates.
- Statement from Attorney General William P. Barr Regarding the U.S. Department of State Global CTO Roundtable on 5G Integrated and Open Networks US Dept. of Justice 21 May 2020
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 21, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 21 May 2020
- Plans To Merge Three Russian Regions Spark Concerns, Protests RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- Plans by Russia's government to merge the northwestern region of Arkhangelsk, the Nenets Autonomous District, and the Republic of Komi, have sparked protest among residents who fear losing their ethnic identity.
- Not So Green On The Other Side: How A Russian Tycoon's Big U.S. Cannabis Bet Went Up In Smoke RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- When the authorities in Plumas County, California, inspected a new commercial hemp plantation in April 2019, they were so alarmed by what they found that they sought to impose a temporary moratorium on the emerging industry in unincorporated local towns.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 21, 2020 PRC MofA 21 May 2020
- Two Sessions 2020: What's different and what's important People's Daily 21 May 2020 -- All eyes are on China again as the country gears up for its annual Two Sessions, the most important event in China's political calendar. China will hold the plenary session of the National People's Congress and the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in late May, which shows that China is confident that it has the coronavirus outbreak under control.
- China's top political advisory body starts annual session PLA Daily 21 May 2020 -- China's top political advisory body started its annual session Thursday afternoon in Beijing.
- China's top political advisor stresses safeguarding core national interests in work report Global Times 21 May 2020 -- China's top political advisor Wang Yang said in a work report on Thursday that members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee had made efforts in safeguarding core national interests while also calling on them to devote their work to national rejuvenation.
- Chinese political advisors gather in Beijing for annual session People's Daily 21 May 2020 -- Members from various sectors of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) have registered for the top political advisory body's annual session scheduled to open on Thursday in Beijing.
- Special "two sessions" in a crucial year PLA Daily 21 May 2020 -- This year's "two sessions," postponed for more than two months, bear a special meaning as the unprecedented coronavirus epidemic complicates the nation's efforts to eradicate absolute poverty and complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
- China Gears Up to 'Perfect Hong Kong's Legal System' With Draconian Security Law Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- China on Thursday said it was gearing up to "perfect the legal system" of Hong Kong with national security legislation that will outlaw speech and actions considered subversive, pro-independence or part of "foreign interference" in the city.
- Beijing Moves to Outlaw Secession in Hong Kong at National Congress - Reports Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Beijing is set to put forward a resolution that will allow the National People's Congress during its upcoming session to pass national security legislation to ban secession and foreign interference in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported on Thursday, citing sources in the Chinese capital.
- China to Propose Law to Limit Opposition Activity in Hong Kong VOA 21 May 2020 -- China's parliament will propose legislation to protect security in Hong Kong in response to pro-democracy protests in the territory last year that often turned violent.
- Hong Kong Bans Annual Tiananmen March, Citing COVID Concerns VOA 21 May 2020 -- Hong Kong has prohibited a planned annual march to mourn the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and effectively banned a candlelit annual vigil that has taken place without interruption for 30 years, the organizer said Thursday.
- National security law in HK may be completed within half year: experts Global Times 21 May 2020 -- After a preparatory meeting for the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), Zhang Yesui, spokesperson of the NPC, announced a new agenda and arrangements for the national security law to be implemented in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
- Passing national security law in HK shows central government's determination: expert Global Times 21 May 2020 -- Formulating a national security legislation for Hong Kong shows that the central government is determined to safeguard its sovereignty over the special administrative region and will protect the territory from falling into the hands of the hostile forces at all cost, especially after the Hong Kong SAR government has been weakened in the past years fending off growing risks caused by local secessionists and foreign intervention, a senior expert close to the central government on Hong Kong affairs told the Global Times on Thursday.
- Commissioner's office of Chinese foreign ministry in HKSAR condemns US politicians' groundless remarks Global Times 21 May 2020 -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Thursday firmly opposed and condemned the groundless comments by certain US politicians against the Chinese central government and the HKSAR government.
- Trump ramps up animosity toward China by threatening diplomats Global Times 21 May 2020 -- Recent tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, in which he criticized a Chinese government spokesperson and accused China of spreading disinformation and propaganda, signal more aggressive attacks against China, experts said, while slamming him for worsening the already strained China-US ties and calling for stronger countermeasures with regard to possible punitive measures from the US against Chinese diplomats.
- Extradition Treaty That Could Deport Uyghurs From Turkey to China Faces Uncertainty in Ankara Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- An extradition treaty that could be used to forcibly deport Uyghurs from Turkey to China where they are at risk of persecution faces an uncertain fate in parliament, according to Turkish opposition lawmakers, while cases that highlight Beijing's influence over Ankara have raised fears among Uyghur exiles.
- Fine For VPN Use Sparks Rare Backlash on Chinese Internet Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- The fining of a Chinese internet user by authorities in the northern province of Shaanxi for using software to circumvent the Great Firewall has sparked a rare public backlash online.
- US Senate Passes Bill That Could Block Chinese Companies From Stock Exchanges Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- In September 2019, reports emerged suggesting that the Trump administration was considering the possibility of limiting US investment into the Chinese economy and delisting Chinese companies from US stock exchanges. The White House, however, dismissed the reports as untrue.
- U.S. Signals Change in China Strategy to 'Defensive' And 'Competitive' Approach Radio Free Asia 21 May 2020 -- The White House on Thursday signaled an end to the U.S.' two-decades-old policy of engagement with China, vowing in a new strategy report to combat Beijing's attempts to impose a "new world order" based on its model of authoritarian government.
- Text of a Letter to Certain Congressional Committees on the United States Strategic Approach to the People's Republic of China The White House 21 May 2020
- Tiangong details unveiled Global Times 21 May 2020 -- After the successful maiden flight of the Long March-5B large rocket and the testing of China's new-generation manned spaceship, more details of China's space station have been unveiled.
- Beidou navigation system used in majority of countries and regions, designer says PLA Daily 21 May 2020 -- China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System has been used in more than half the world's countries and regions, according to the system's chief designer.
- 'Page in history turned' on '1992 consensus' issue: MAC minister CNA 21 May 2020 -- "A page in history has already been turned" on the issue of the so-called "1992 consensus" in relation to cross- Taiwan Strait affairs, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said Thursday.
- Strong public support for new constitution: pro-independence group CNA 21 May 2020 -- There is strong support in Taiwan for the establishment of a new constitution, according to a pro-Taiwan independence group which cited the results of a survey it carried out.
- Minister vows no fewer diplomatic allies in Tsai's second term CNA 21 May 2020 -- Minister of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) vowed Thursday to keep Taiwan's current diplomatic allies intact, one day after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) commenced her second term and amid a threat from China's state-run mouthpiece to leave Taiwan with no formal allies.
- China's reunification cannot be stopped by any force: spokesperson People's Daily 21 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.
- 'There is Only One China': Beijing Blasts Pompeo for His Congratulatory Praise of Tsai Ing Wen Sputnik 21 May 2020 -- Following recent comments about Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen's inauguration, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its "strong indignation and condemnation" at what it considers "a gross interference in China's internal affairs."
- Sanctioning Iranian individuals indicates US desperation IRNA 21 May 2020 -- Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Abbas Mousavi censured Thursday the US for sanctioning Iranian Interior Minister and Police Chief, saying that the move indicates the US desperation.
- Iran says South Pars development will fully finish by March 2021 Press TV 21 May 2020 -- Iran's oil minister Bijan Namadar Zanganeh says the country would wrap up development work at South Pars gas field, the world's biggest natural gas reserve located in the Persian Gulf, by late March 2021 when the current Iranian calendar year comes to its end.
- South Pars Phase 11 jacket, base structure completely Iranian-made IRNA 21 May 2020 -- The managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company said on Thursday that the base of the first jacket of the Phase 11 of South Pars Field is completely Iranian-made.
- Evidence From Downed Ukrainian Flight Poses More Puzzles About Crash Radio Farda 21 May 2020 -- The head of Ukraine's investigation team has said that evidence from the passengers on board flight PS752 suggests that something had happened to the plane even before it was hit by the missiles fired at it by the Revolutionary Guard.
- Iran's Guards Attack Regional Leaders For 'Normalization Of Relations With Zionists' Radio Farda 21 May 2020 -- In a statement issued on Thursday on the eve of Qods Day, Iran's Revolutionary Guard attacked regional leaders for "normalization of their official relations" with Israel, which they called "a cancerous tumor" to be wiped from the face of the earth.
- Netanyahu Says Khamenei Threat Of 'Final Solution' Evokes Nazi Slogan Radio Farda 21 May 2020 -- The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's "threat" to apply the "Final Solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "is reminiscent of the Nazis' ultimate solution for exterminating the Jews."
- No Craft Beer This Time: Ukrainian President Reflects On First Year In Office -- From A Safe Distance RFE/RL 21 May 2020 -- The scene has changed a lot as Volodymyr Zelenskiy wraps up his first year as Ukraine's president, but the backdrop largely remains the same.
- Zimbabwe's new higher denomination notes start circulating amid soaring inflation Global Times 21 May 2020 -- As of May 19, Beijing Time (GMT +8), the US has reported more than 1.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases cumulatively with over 90,000 deaths, both figures are the highest in the world.
- Lebanon premier pledges to eradicate devaluation of pound, bring down food prices Press TV 21 May 2020 -- Prime Minister Hassan Diab has pledged to stem the growing devaluation the Lebanese pound and introduce subsidies on food imports to reduce sky-rocketing prices.
- Lebanese Prime Minister Warns of Food Crisis VOA 21 May 2020 -- Prime Minister Hassan Diab says Lebanon, now suffering from an acute financial crunch and facing a COVID-19 outbreak, is also at risk of starvation. He warns that the multiple crises could spark a new migration to Europe and is asking the United States and Europe for financial help.
- Lesotho's New Prime Minister's Reign is Underway VOA 21 May 2020 -- Lesotho Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro is beginning his first full day on the job Thursday, a day after being sworn in at the palace in the capital city of Maseru.
- Burundi Counting Votes in Presidential Election; Opposition Alleges Fraud VOA 21 May 2020 -- Burundi's opposition leader Agathon Rwasa is claiming an early victory in the country's first presidential election in five years.
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