23 May 2020 Military News
- Taliban, Afghan Government Announce Three-Day Cease-Fire To Mark End Of Ramadan RFE/RL 23 May 2020 -- The Afghan Taliban announced a three-day cease-fire on May 23 to mark Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Shortly afterward, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered security forces to abide by cease-fire as well.
- Taliban Announces 3-Day Ceasefire as Eid Holiday Begins Sputnik 23 May 2020 -- The Taliban* militant group declared a three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan on Saturday on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday marking the end of the fasting period.
- Taliban, Afghan President Declare 3-Day Eid Cease-Fire VOA 23 May 2020 -- The Taliban have announced a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan during the three-day Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr starting Sunday, a move the United States hailed as "a momentous opportunity" to advance peace efforts in the war-torn country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US discussed conducting its first nuclear test explosion since 1992: Report Press TV 23 May 2020 -- The United States is planning to conduct a nuclear test as the Trump administration backtracks on US treaties to reduce nuclear arms, reigniting a dangerous and new Cold War.
- Report: U.S. Officials Discussed Conducting First Nuke Test In Decades RFE/RL 23 May 2020 -- The Washington Post has reported that officials in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration discussed whether to conduct the country's first nuclear test explosion since 1992.
- Trump Administration Discussed Possibility of Nuclear Test, First Time Since 1992, Report Claims Sputnik 23 May 2020 -- The report emerged as the United States expressed a desire to include China in the New START treaty and hopes of entering into "good faith" negotiations with Russia to discuss the establishment of a new arms countrol regime.
- Lawmakers demand explanation for Trump's 'illegal' withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty Press TV 23 May 2020 -- Two US House of Representatives committee lawmakers are demanding an explanation from the Trump administration over the president's planned withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty.
- U.S. Naval Forces train with AC-130W Gunship in Arabian Gulf DVIDS 23 May 2020 -- The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted joint integration training with a Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) AC-130W Stinger II aircraft in the Arabian Gulf, May 19-21.
- US manufactured 'emergency' to sell arms to Saudi Arabia: Report Press TV 23 May 2020 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered officials at the department under his watch to find a way to justify the use of an emergency declaration meant to expedite the $8 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, CNN reports.
- NATO Official Says Jets Intercepted Russian Aircraft In European Airspace Nearly 300 Times In 2019 RFE/RL 23 May 2020 -- NATO jets intercepted Russian planes flying close to NATO airspace nearly 300 times in 2019, an alliance official said, amid a continuing upward trend of Russian and NATO aircraft encounters.
- Unemployment due to COVID-19 could benefit China's PLA: analyst CNA 23 May 2020 -- Unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic could benefit the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) by allowing it to lure new blood with higher educational backgrounds, according to a Taiwanese security researcher.
- MISSION SAGAR - INS KESARI AT PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS India PIB 23 May 2020 -- As part of Mission Sagar, Indian Naval Ship Kesari entered Port Louis Mauritius on 23 May 2020. The Government of India is providing assistance to friendly foreign countries in dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and towards this Indian Naval Ship Kesari is carrying COVID related essential medicines and a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines for the people of Mauritius.
- Iran to unveil new homegrown aircraft in near future: Air Force commander Press TV 23 May 2020 -- An Iranian Air Force commander says the country will unveil domestically-produced planes in the near future.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany The White House 23 May 2020
- Sudan's push to normalize relations with Israel nothing but mirage: Hamas official Press TV 23 May 2020 -- A high-ranking official with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has denounced Sudan's decision to move toward forging normal relations with Israel, describing such attempts as nothing but a "mirage."
- Egyptian police kill 21 suspected terrorists in North Sinai, foiling attack plots: Ministry Press TV 23 May 2020 -- Egyptian security forces have killed 21 suspected Takfiri terrorists in the restive North Sinai region, part of a terror group that the interior ministry says was planning to carry out attacks during Eid al-Fitr holiday.
- Egyptian forces kill 21 militants in North Sinai SPA 23 May 2020 -- Egyptian security forces killed 21 suspected militants in North Sinai, part of a group that the interior ministry said was planning attacks over the Eid holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, state television reported on Saturday.
- Egypt Says 21 Terrorists Killed in 2 Northern Sinai Operations VOA 23 May 2020 -- Egypt's Interior Ministry says 21 suspected terrorists were killed within 24 hours when police stormed two hideouts in the northern Sinai. Police say terrorists were plotting attacks on the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
- India, China Reportedly Take Diplomatic Route to Resolve Flare-Up of Border Skirmishes Sputnik 23 May 2020 -- Tensions between the Indian and Chinese armies along their border erupted after Delhi began building a critical road north of Pangong Tso in Ladakh. Chinese forces opposed the construction on India's side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and boosted their deployment in the region, which was reciprocated by Indian troops.
- Greece Accuses Turkey of Occupying Small Piece of Greek Land VOA 23 May 2020 -- Greece has lodged a protest over Turkish troops' occupation of a small patch of swampland along the land border between the two NATO member nations. Nevertheless, dozens of Turkish soldiers and police remain planted there, defying demands that they retreat. The confrontation is the latest in escalating tension between the two age-old rivals.
- In letter to UN: Venezuela warns about US threat to Iranian ships IRNA 23 May 2020 -- The Venezuelan ambassador wrote in a letter to the United Nations secretary-general and the head of UN Security Council that his government alerted the "threat of imminent use of military force by the United States" against the Iranian ships carrying fuel for the Caribbean country.
- Putin Signs Law Allowing Voting By Mail And Internet RFE/RL 23 May 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a new measure that allows elections at all levels and referendums to be conducted by mail and via the Internet, according to the Kremlin's website.
- Chinese experts warn of 'ample countermeasures' as US includes more Chinese tech firms on Entity List Global Times 23 May 2020 -- China won't back down from the US' quickening technology war mongering against Chinese companies, but will honor the phase one trade deal while developing its own countermeasures, Chinese experts said on Saturday.
- Two Sessions: A Quick Break Down of the 2020 Government Work Report People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the Government Work Report to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on May 22. The report reviewed the government's work in 2019 and the first few months of 2020, and set main targets and tasks for economic and social development this year, as well as outlined major policies.
- Civil code will advance rule of law, say legislators People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- China's first draft civil code, which is under review at the annual session of the top legislature, is essential to comprehensive advancement of the rule of law and will offer stronger protection of people's fundamental interests, national lawmakers said.
- Xi stresses "people first" on first day of annual legislative session PLA Daily 23 May 2020 -- President Xi Jinping stressed acting on the people-centered philosophy in every aspect of work when he participated in a deliberation on the first day of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature.
- Epidemic impact on China's economy significant, but temporary: official People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on China's economy is significant but will be short-term and temporary, a senior official with the country's top economic planning body said Friday.
- China determined to fix HK national security loophole, ready for potential US sanctions: experts Global Times 23 May 2020 -- No US sanctions or "cancellation of Hong Kong's special status" will sway China's determination to fix national security loopholes in Hong Kong as the central government must have had taken into consideration possible US responses and is preparing for countermeasures, Chinese experts said.
- HK national security law 'almost ready to be enacted' People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- After a draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security was submitted to China's top legislature on Friday, the work of formulating the national security legislation would be accelerated, which would be signed into the law as early as in the coming weeks considering the urgency, some national lawmakers, top political advisors and lawyers said, as the central government prepared to set up national security agencies in Hong Kong to enhance information collecting and evidence to deal with acts like splitting the country, subverting state power, organizing and perpetrating terrorist activities.
- HKSAR LegCo members express support for national security legislation People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- The president and 41 members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Friday expressed support for establishing and improving at the state-level the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security.
- China firm in opposition to external interference in HK affairs: spokesperson People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- The Chinese government is firm in its resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and firm in its opposition to external interference in Hong Kong's affairs, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here Friday.
- Commissioner's office of Chinese foreign ministry in HKSAR says national security legislation helps ensure greater success of "one country, two systems" People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said Friday that the national security legislation for the HKSAR is not only necessary for plugging loopholes in Hong Kong's national security legal system and upholding national sovereignty and security, but also conducive to ensuring long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and greater success of "one country, two systems."
- Safeguarding national security in Hong Kong People's Daily 23 May 2020 -- Chan Man-ki, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), has prepared a suggestion on the legislation to safeguard national security in Hong Kong for the third session of the 13th NPC that started on Friday.
- Top HK officials, leaders back national security law PLA Daily 23 May 2020 -- Hong Kong's top officials and community leaders have thrown their support behind a decision by the nation's top legislature to introduce a national security law for the city.
- US to add 33 Chinese companies to economic blacklist Press TV 23 May 2020 -- The United States has decided to add 33 Chinese firms and institutions to an economic blacklist over alleged human rights violations or having ties with China's military.
- Taiwan separatists panic as mainland drops 'peaceful' in reunification narrative Global Times 23 May 2020 -- Taiwan separatists and foreign forces that attempt to meddle in the reunification of China are becoming panicked and nervous as the Chinese mainland changes slightly the wording regarding the approach to reunification in the Friday's government work report by omitting the word "peaceful" ahead of "reunification," analysts said.
- Kim Jong Un Reappears After Another 3-Week Absence VOA 23 May 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reappeared in public following his second consecutive three-week absence amid rumors about his health.
- Iranian Tankers Carrying Gasoline Approach Venezuela Radio Farda 23 May 2020 -- Five tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela are approaching the Caribbean, with the first vessel expected to reach the South American country's waters on Sunday, Radio Farda was informed by TankerTrackers.com.
- Missile Operator's Breach Of Rules Downed Ukrainian Plane, Iran Defense Minister Says Radio Farda 23 May 2020 -- Outspoken former lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeqi (Sadeghi) on Friday disclosed that officials have found the operator of the missile system that downed a Ukrainian plane in January responsible for the incident.
- US State Department Highlights Allegations Of State Terrorism Against Iran Radio Farda 23 May 2020 -- In a fact sheet published on Friday, the U.S. Department of State highlighted allegations that since coming to power the Iranian regime has been involved in more than 360 assassinations, terrorist plots, and terrorist attacks in more than 40 countries.
- Iran Has Lost Its Top Position As Oil Exporter Without Developing Alternatives Radio Farda 23 May 2020 -- Iran's non-oil exports, which have suffered from weaknesses in its economic and management systems as well as from various sanctions over the years, is facing new problems following the coronavirus outbreak.
- Iran Suffers Huge Reduction Of Revenues From Overflight Rights Radio Farda 23 May 2020 -- Iran Airports Company (IAC) has reported an 85 percent reduction in overflights by airlines using Iran's airspace in March-April compared with the previous year.
- People Protest Lack Of Water In Iran's Oil-Rich Province Radio Farda 23 May 2020 -- Security forces stepped in and fired tear gas and "plastic bullets" into a crowd of residents in Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province who were protesting lack of drinking water.
- Bosnia Postpones Local Elections Over Budget Delays RFE/RL 23 May 2020 -- Officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina announced on May 23 that they will postpone local elections, whihc had been set for October 4 because of the country's ongoing budget crisis.
- Johnson considers terminating Huawei role in UK 5G network Press TV 23 May 2020 -- Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is considering terminating the role of Chinese technology giant Huawei's role in the development of the UK's 5G network even before it began.
- Bolsonaro Denies Interference With Federal Police, Slams Video 'Evidence' Sputnik 23 May 2020 -- Earlier, Brazilian Supreme Court Minister Celso de Mello revealed what is claimed to be "video evidence" recorded at a ministerial meeting on 22 April of the nation's president, Jair Bolsonaro, directly interfering with the Federal Police.
- Khashoggi's fiancee rejects family pardon offer to killers Press TV 23 May 2020 -- The fiancee of the slain Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi has rejected his family's decision to forgive their father's murderers, saying, "no one has the right to pardon his killers."
- Ukrainian Lawmaker Found In Office With Fatal Gunshot Wound RFE/RL 23 May 2020 -- A Ukrainian lawmaker was found dead in his office with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
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