03 July 2020 Military News
- Biden Slams Trump on Russia Bounties in Foreign Policy Contrast VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's rebuke of President Donald Trump's handling of allegations that Russians paid bounties for the killing of American soldiers reflects his longstanding criticism of the president on national security and foreign policy.
- Pelosi: US should put sanctions on Russian intelligence, defense sectors Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for sanctions on Russia's intelligence and defense sectors after a briefing on reported Russian payments to Taliban militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.
- Afghan Lawmakers: Russian Support to Taliban No Secret VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Amid controversy in Washington over reports that a Russian intelligence unit paid bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, some Afghan lawmakers say it is no secret Russia has cultivated close contacts with the Taliban and it is likely Russia has financially supported Taliban violence.
- Taliban Ready For Compromise With Kabul to Reach Peace, US Rep for Afghanistan Says Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- Earlier in the week, a video conference including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah, and US International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler took place with a goal to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS Sterett's Road To 7th Fleet: Maintenance, Training Set Destroyer Up for Success NNS 03 Jul 2020 -- Two years of training and maintenance prepared the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) to deploy with Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
- Al Udeid Tankers Pave The Way for Squadron Vitality CENTCOM 03 Jul 2020 -- The 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron embarked on its first mission out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, June 15, 2020.
- Coronavirus response: NATO scientists help Connecticut forecast the spread of COVID-19 NATO 03 Jul 2020 -- NATO's own laboratory, the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), based in La Spezia, Italy, is assisting the US state of Connecticut in its handling of the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană speaks at Transatlantic Conference at the Harvard Kennedy School NATO 03 Jul 2020 -- Speaking at a virtual panel discussion at the annual Transatlantic Conference organised by the Harvard Kennedy School on Thursday (2 July 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said that COVID 19 has accelerated transformation in many areas and that Allies are drawing lessons from this crisis together.
- 10 Russian Subs Reportedly Sent to the Atlantic in 2019 for 'One of Largest Drills Since Cold War' Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- The Russian Defence Ministry has repeatedly underscored that any movement by the country's naval vessels at sea is conducted in strict accordance with international norms.
- Russia Will Deploy Space System Warning of Missile Attacks by 2024, Defence Ministry Says Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- Russia is going to deploy a space system that warns of missile attacks by 2024, Sergei Surovikin, the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, told the military's official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on Thursday.
- S-500 Will Be Capable of Destroying Hypersonic Weapons in Space, Russian Aerospace Forces Say Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- The S-500 Prometey ("Prometheus") is a cutting-edge surface-to-air defence missile system with a range of 400-600 kilometers (250-370 miles). Head engineer Pavel Sozinov announced earlier that it would be able to intercept targets hundred kilometres above the surface of the Earth.
- India approves purchase of Russian fighter jets despite US sanction threats Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- India has approved buying 33 Russian fighter jets, worth more than $2.4 billion, despite US threats to impose sanctions on the country over transactions with Moscow.
- PM visits Nimu in Ladakh to interact with Indian troops India PIB 03 Jul 2020 -- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi travelled to Nimu in Ladakh to interact with Indian troops earlier today. Nimu is surrounded by the Zanskar range and is on the banks of river Indus. The Prime Minister met the top leadership of the Indian Army and later interacted with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP.
- Indian Prime Minister Makes Surprise Visit to Ladakh Amid Continuing Border Tensions With China Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- Tensions between India and China have been ongoing despite several meetings between diplomats and army commanders on both sides in the wake of a violent standoff in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
- On Disputed India-China Border, Modi Says Age of Expansionism Over VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the "age of expansionism" is over as he lauded the bravery of Indian troops during a surprise visit to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, where thousands of soldiers are deployed amid a tense standoff with China.
- Japanese Defence Ministry to Auction Military Equipment to Boost Budget Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- The Japanese Defence Ministry has decided to auction some equipment used by the country's military for the first time ever to increase the budget amid the difficult financial situation, Defence Minister Taro Kono said on Friday.
- 3 in critical condition in Navy drill accident in southern Taiwan (update) CNA 03 Jul 2020 -- Two military officers and one soldier are in critical condition and a female sergeant is recovering at Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital's Zuoying branch after their small boat capsized in waters off Kaohsiung during a Navy landing drill Friday morning.
- U.S. House rep introduces Taiwan defense bill amid military tensions CNA 03 Jul 2020 -- United States Representative Mike Gallagher introduced the House version of the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA) on Wednesday amid Beijing's increased military activities around Taiwan, according to a press release issued by the congressman's office.
- Defence pledges to evolve faster in the years ahead UK MOD 03 Jul 2020 -- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has met with the MOD's senior leadership, challenging Defence to evolve faster in response to the emerging threats and opportunities brought by the rapidly changing post-Covid world.
- China rejects US criticism of military drills in South China Sea Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- China has rejected the United States' criticism of its military exercises in the South China Sea, saying the maneuvers are within the scope of the Asian country's sovereignty.
- Yemeni drones hit positions deep in Saudi Arabia Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- Yemen's army says its drones have hit targets in southwestern Saudi Arabia, following warnings that retaliatory attacks would hit deep in Saudi territory if the kingdom did not stop its aggression against the impoverished nation.
- Yemen to continue legitimate retaliatory attacks as long as Saudi war, siege persist: Army spox Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- The spokesman for Yemen's Armed Forces says Yemeni army troops and allied fighters from Popular Committees are capable enough to defend the country against the Saudi war, emphasizing their "legitimate" retaliatory attacks will continue as long as the Riyadh regime and its allies press ahead with their onslaught and blockade.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Joint Coalition Forces Intercept and Destroy (4) Bomb-Laden UAVs Launched by the Terrorist, Iran-Backed Hourhi Militia Toward the Kingdom SPA 03 Jul 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen COL Turki Al-Malki
- Yemen's Houthis Target Saudi Najran Airport, King Khalid Air Base, Reports Say Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- The Islamic movement, which operates in Yemen, has promised to step up their campaign against Saudi forces until the coalition lifts the blockade of the country's northern provinces and stops bombing the area.
- Iraq threatens to sever trade ties with Turkey over cross-border operation Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- Iraq has threatened to cut off its trade ties with Turkey in protest at Ankara's ongoing cross-border operation in the country's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group.
- Court In MH17 Trial Grants Defense Request For Additional Investigations RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- Judges hearing the case against four suspects in the 2014 downing of a passenger airliner over eastern Ukraine have granted a defense request to investigate alternative theories about the incident.
- Hamas calls for 'armed struggle' to liberate West Bank from Israeli occupation Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- A senior Hamas leader has called on other Palestinian groups in the occupied West Bank to join hands and start an armed struggle against the Israeli occupation.
- Rakhine Villagers Take Refuge in State Capital Amid New Offensive Radio Free Asia 03 Jul 2020 -- Myanmar's military is conducting offensives against the Arakan Army in Rakhine state's Rathedaung township, according to villagers who have taken refuge in the state capital Sittwe as talk of a gathering army campaign drove 20,000 from their homes over the past week.
- Meeting with the working group on drafting proposals for amendments to the Constitution President of Russia 03 Jul 2020 -- Vladimir Putin held a meeting, via videoconference, with members of the working group on drafting proposals for amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
- Moscow says Russia's constitutional changes to come into force July 4 Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- Russia says new changes to the Russian constitution, including an amendment that allows President Vladimir Putin to potentially remain in power until 2036, will come into force on July 4.
- The Week In Russia: Landslide Leaves Putin And The People On Shaky Ground RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- The Kremlin has claimed victory after a landslide vote for constitutional changes that could enable Russian President Vladimir Putin to remain president until 2036. But the process leaves him on shakier ground than before, in terms of perceived legitimacy, and exposes the Russian people to the whims of the state and its security apparatus under a constitution one analyst said is now "meaningless."
- Election Monitors Find 'Unprecedented' Levels Of Fraud In Russian Vote On Extending Putin's Rule RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- The day President Vladimir Putin declared victory in a vote on constitutional changes that pave the way for him to rule Russia until 2036, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it a "triumphal referendum on confidence" in the former KGB officer, who has already spent over two decades in power.
- Putin Signs Decree On Constitutional Amendments, Changes Take Effect July 4 RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that will bring into force a sweeping package of constitutional amendments that among other things open a path for him to stay in power until 2036, if he chooses to take part in two more presidential elections.
- Putin Signs Decree to Introduce Constitutional Amendments After All-Russian Vote Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- A week-long referendum on introducing an array of amendments to the Russian Constitution concluded on 1 July with 77.92% of citizens voting in favour of adopting the changes to the basic law.
- U.S. Citizen Whelan Begins 16-Year Sentence For Espionage In Russia RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- A lawyer for former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was convicted of espionage in Russia last month, says her client's 16-year prison sentence has begun.
- China Puts Hardliner in Charge of Hong Kong's New State Security Operation Radio Free Asia 03 Jul 2020 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party on Friday appointed a former mayor who cracked down on the rebel village of Wukan to head its national security office in Hong Kong.
- Canada Expresses 'Serious Concern' About New Hong Kong Law, Suspends Extradition Treaty With Region Sputnik 03 Jul 2020 -- On Tuesday, Beijing's top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), passed a new national security law for Hong Kong that is seen by residents of the Special Administrative Region as a violation of their liberties. The legislation was signed by Chinese President Xi Jinping later in the day.
- UN rights office expresses alarm at Hong Kong arrests under new security law UN News 03 Jul 2020 -- The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has expressed alarm at the arrest of demonstrators in Hong Kong, following China's adoption of a national security law for the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
- Hong Kong Activist Calls for Help in Standing Up to China VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law is calling on the international community to stand up to the authoritarianism of China's President Xi Jinping and put human rights above financial gain.
- In Hong Kong, China Threatens to Snuff Out Press Freedom VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Hong Kong's status as one of Asia's most thriving press hubs appears to be on life support with the onset of a new national security law imposed by China on the semi-autonomous territory this week.
- China activates security deputies Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- After the Chinese central government unveiled a series of appointments on Friday for two government bodies to safeguard national security in Hong Kong - a major step in finalizing the law enforcement mechanism under the newly enacted national security law - the role of the central government's liaison office in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has been further boosted, which shows that the central government bears the fundamental responsibility for national security matters in the city.
- UPDATE: Guangdong Party veteran Zheng Yanxiong appointed as head of central govt's office for safeguarding national security in HK Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- China's central government announced on Friday that Zheng Yanxiong, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Guangdong Provincial Committee, will lead the office for safeguarding national security of the central government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), finalizing law-enforcement mechanisms and fulfilling the central government's ultimate responsibilities over national security matters in the city.
- Liaison office director Luo Huining appointed national security advisor to HK Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- China's central government has appointed Luo Huining as national security advisor to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) committee for safeguarding national security. Luo will provide guidance on national security matters and serve as a key bridge in coordination work between central and regional authorities.
- First case violating Hong Kong national security law brought to court Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- Following the establishment of a law enforcement agency under the new national security law for Hong Kong, a 24-year-old man who on Wednesday hit three police officers with a motorcycle was on Friday charged of instigating secessionist and terrorist activities. It is the first case involving a violation of the national security law for Hong Kong.
- Appointing Luo signals central govt's liaison office in HK will have stronger influence: senior advisor Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- The appointment to the new national security agencies in Hong Kong signaled that the central government's liaison office in the city will have a stronger influence and that it is the central government's detailed, long-term plan, instead of a quick decision, a senior advisor to the central government on Hong Kong policies said on Friday.
- Foreign judges not excluded from national security cases: HK's Chief Justice Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- Judges of foreign nationalities will not be excluded when Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam appoints judges to hear cases and appeals involving the national security law for Hong Kong, said Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, the Chief Justice of Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
- American firms welcome to continue operating in Hong Kong: FM Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- China welcomes companies from all over the world, including those from the US, to continue to operate and develop in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), expressing the hope of jointly building up the international financial hub, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
- Newly passed national security law a seawall safeguarding long-term prosperity, stability of Hong Kong People's Daily 03 Jul 2020 -- The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) adopted on June 30 by the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, has established a seawall safeguarding the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
- China appoints adviser to Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR People's Daily 03 Jul 2020 -- China's State Council on Friday announced that Luo Huining was appointed as national security adviser to the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
- State Council appoints officials for central gov't national security office in HKSAR People's Daily 03 Jul 2020 -- The State Council on Friday appointed Zheng Yanxiong as head of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
- Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR established PLA Daily 03 Jul 2020 -- The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was established on Friday as required by the national security law, a HKSAR government spokesperson said.
- Head of national security office in HK soon 'to be announced' Global Times 03 Jul 2020 -- Government agencies newly established in accordance with the national security law for Hong Kong will soon be activated, as the secretary-general for the national security committee in Hong Kong has been appointed, and observers said that the head of the central government's national security office in Hong Kong will also be announced very soon, as the need for law enforcement is urgent.
- Millions of Taiwanese Could be at Risk From China's Draconian Security Law: DPP Radio Free Asia 03 Jul 2020 -- A top official in Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has warned the island's 23 million residents to think carefully before traveling to Hong Kong or China in the wake of Hong Kong's draconian national security law, which targets acts or speech seen as subversive by China anywhere in the world, as the U.S. upgrades its military commitment to the island's defense.
- U.S. should grant full diplomatic recognition to Taiwan: Bolton CNA 03 Jul 2020 -- John Bolton, a former national security adviser to United States President Donald Trump, reiterated Thursday that the U.S. should exert "asymmetric" pressure on China, such as by giving full diplomatic recognition to Taiwan.
- South Korea's Moon appoints top aides, all advocates of inter-Korean rapprochement Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has appointed officials, all known as supporters of inter-Korean détente, as his new top national security advisors in an effort to revive stalled negotiations with North Korea.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Guides 14th Enlarged Meeting of Political Bureau of 7th Central Committee of WPK KCNA 03 Jul 2020 -- The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) held an enlarged meeting in the office building of the Central Committee of the WPK on Thursday to discuss the immediate work and the important policy issues of the Party and the state.
- Cause of Natanz site incident to be announced at appropriate time, SNSC spokesman says IRNA 03 Jul 2020 -- Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) spokesman Keyvan Khosravi said on Friday that the cause of the incident at the Shahid Ahmadi Roshan Natanz Nuclear Complex has been identified following the technical and security investigations and will be declared in due course for security reasons.
- Iran Says It Has Pinpointed Cause Of Incident At Nuclear Site But Will Not Share For Now Radio Farda 03 Jul 2020 -- Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has announced that the cause of Thursday's incident in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility has been determined but due to "security considerations" no information will be made public for the time being.
- Iran Says It Identified Cause Of Natanz 'Incident' But Won't Disclose It RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- Iran's top security body said the cause of an "incident" at one of the country's nuclear facilities has been determined, but it declined to release details, citing security reasons.
- Cause of incident at Natanz nuclear site identified, to be announced at appropriate time: SNSC Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says the "main cause" of a recent incident at the country's Natanz nuclear facility has been determined and will be announced at an appropriate time.
- Explosion At Iran Nuclear Site: Accident, Sabotage Or Foreign Attack Radio Farda 03 Jul 2020 -- A mysterious explosion and fire in one of Iran's nuclear facilities has opened the flood gates to speculations and analysis as to whether it was an accident, sabotage or foreign attack.
- Zarif writes to Borrell on EU's noncompliance with JCPOA IRNA 03 Jul 2020 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a letter to the High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell once again referred the cases of European countries' non-compliance to the Joint Commission for settlement in accordance with Article 36 of the JCPOA.
- Khamenei's Defiant Foreign Policy Chief Lashes Out At EU Trio, IAEA Radio Farda 03 Jul 2020 -- The top foreign policy aide to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has criticized UK, France and Germany for voting against Iran at the latest meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
- Iran To Compensate Ukrainian Plane Victims, Families Say Investigation First Radio Farda 03 Jul 2020 -- Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde on Thursday said Iran has agreed to compensate the families of the victims of the Ukrainian plane shot down near Tehran on January 8 by the Revolutionary Guard.
- COVID Cooperation, Kashmir Approach Show Signs of Improving US-Pakistan Ties VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- The United States has donated 100 medical ventilators to support Pakistan in its fight against COVID-19.
- Ukraine Parliament Confirms Central Bank Head's Resignation Over Smears, 'Political Pressure' RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- The Ukrainian parliament has voted to confirm the departure of central bank Governor Yakiv Smoliy, who says he resigned because of "systematic political pressure" to take decisions that were not based on economics.
- UK court denies Venezuela access to $1 billion of gold, sides with Guaido Press TV 03 Jul 2020 -- A British court has refused to return $1 billion of Venezuela's gold reserves held in London, siding with opposition figure Juan Guaido who asked for the release to be denied.
- Venezuelan President Reverses EU Ambassador's Expulsion VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Venezuela is expecting the European Union to take a more objective stance on events in the country after reversing its decision to expel the bloc's ambassador.
- Watchdog Urges Bulgaria To Protect Anti-Corruption Reporter After Death Threats RFE/RL 03 Jul 2020 -- Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is calling on Bulgarian authorities to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into death threats received by an investigative reporter who specializes in covering corruption cases.
- Trial in Killing of Journalist Khashoggi Opens in Turkey VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- A trial of those charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi opened Friday in Turkey, but none of the 20 Saudi nationals accused in the killing were in attendance.
- 2 Former Panama Presidents Charged with Money Laundering VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Two former presidents of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela, have been charged with money laundering in separate cases.
- Haiti's New Penal Code Under Fire VOA 03 Jul 2020 -- Haitian President Jovenel Moise's new penal code, which legalizes abortion and lowers the legal age for consensual sex to 15, has drawn the ire of lawmakers. Former Senator Jean Renel Senatus said the presidential decree goes against Haitian family values.
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