16 July 2020 Military News
- US Efforts to Deal Islamic State 'Enduring Defeat' on Hold VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- Hopes of delivering the Islamic State a lasting defeat in Iraq and Syria have, for now, fallen by the wayside, according to officials with the U.S.-led coalition, despite a ramped-up crackdown on the terror group's network of cells and facilitators.
- Explosion targets another US logistic convoy in Iraq: Local media Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- An explosion has targeted a US logistic convoy carrying logistic supplies in Iraq's north-central province of Salahuddin, the second such incident in less than a week.
- Taliban Says It Freed 845 Afghan Forces, 'Fully Committed' to Pact With US VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- The Taliban said Thursday it has already released 845 Afghan security forces under an ongoing prisoner swap with the Kabul government and is working to free the remaining 155 in line with the insurgent group's agreement with the United States.
- Senior US general reveals: Taliban not honoring deal Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- A top US general says the Taliban militant group in Afghanistan has so far failed to honor its commitments under a deal with the United States, contrasting other US officials who have indicated the agreement is moving ahead smoothly.
- Iran ready to help Afghan govt. advance national peace process: Deputy FM Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- A senior Iranian diplomat has expressed the country's readiness to help the Afghan government advance the peace process in the conflict-ridden country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Presidential Message on the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Nuclear Test The White House 16 Jul 2020
- UPDATED 4:20 p.m. July 16, 2020: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire NNS 16 Jul 2020 -- UPDATED 4:20 p.m. July 16, 2020:
- Firefighters Douse Blaze Aboard Navy Ship Docked in California VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- Firefighting teams have extinguished a massive fire more than four days after it erupted on board a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship docked at Naval Base San Diego in the U.S. state of California.
- US Reportedly Tested 'Super Duper' Hypersonic Missile That Flew 17X Faster Than Speed of Sound Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The US military recently tested a hypersonic missile that flew 17 times faster than the speed of sound, CNN reported citing a senior defense official.
- Japan 'extremely concerned' by surge in COVID-19 cases in US bases Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Japan has expressed extreme concern about a rise in coronavirus cases among American military personnel in US bases in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa.
- COVID-19 Pushes America to 'Reshore' Electronics, Drugs From China to US, Pentagon Says Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- A stepped up push to move microelectronics and drug manufacturing from China back to the United States represents a silver lining to the coronavirus crisis, with the Defence Department able to use the Defence Production Act to help finance the effort, Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition Ellen Lord said on Thursday.
- Pentagon Lays Groundwork for Future US Experimental Space Station Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) was recently awarded a US Department of Defense contract to transform its own intended NASA transport vehicle into the core structure of the US military's future Unmanned Orbital Outpost.
- NY Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade begins summer training Army News 16 Jul 2020 -- Soldiers of the New York Army National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team began their annual training season this week at their home armories, Fort Devens in Massachusetts, Camp Smith near Peekskill and Fort Drum in the North Country.
- KC-46 completes its first aeromedical evacuation mission US Air Force 16 Jul 2020 -- Airmen assigned to the 931st Air Refueling Squadron and 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron participated in a total force mission to test capabilities of the KC-46A Pegasus during its first aeromedical evacuation on July 10.
- Leaders see data as 'ammunition' in future warfare Army News 16 Jul 2020 -- Every service member and platform will serve as a network sensor in future combat to expand what the Army undersecretary calls a "joint kill web" to support rapid decision making.
- US Navy Says 'All Known Fires' Aboard USS Bonhomme Have Been Extinguished Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- A US Navy official has announced that all blazes aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard have been extinguished following "four days of firefighting."
- US Navy's Triton Spy Drone Makes Rare Appearance in South China Sea Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- One of the US Navy's MQ-4C Triton high altitude long endurance (HALE) reconnaissance drones was spotted entering the South China Sea on Wednesday - the latest addition to an increasingly long list of US spy planes plying the waterway in recent months.
- 'Inexcusable Act of Provocation': Caracas Denounces US Navy Destroyer Steaming in Venezuelan Waters Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The Venezuelan government has denounced a "freedom of navigation operation" performed by the US Navy on Thursday, calling the violation of Venezuelan waters by a US warship ostensibly defending the freedom of the seas "erratic and childish."
- US conducts second military operation off Venezuela's coast Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- The US Navy has conducted a second maritime operation close to Venezuela's territorial waters in yet another act of provocation against Caracas.
- Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană addresses the Information and Documentation Centre in Moldova NATO 16 Jul 2020 -- Speaking at an online discussion on "NATO partnerships during the pandemic" organised by the non-governmental organisation Information and Documentation Centre in Moldova on Thursday (16 July 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said that "tens of thousands of militaries have gone to help the civil part of our societies", mentioning that military medical personnel have also been involved "in building field hospitals for the patients affected by COVID."
- Russian Defence Ministry Calls US Accusations on Open Skies Treaty Speculative Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The United States is using speculative accusations against Russia to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's National Center for Reducing Nuclear Danger, said.
- Maritime version of China's CH-5 drone makes first test flight Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- China recently conducted the first flight test of a maritime version of the domestically developed CH-5 drone, its developers said on Thursday.
- Chinese military increases targeted procurement to help poverty alleviation PLA Daily 16 Jul 2020 -- Recently, relevant departments under China's Central Military Commission (CMC) have issued policies requiring military units to purchase agricultural and sideline products from poverty-stricken regions, in a bid to help poverty alleviation.
- Chinese medical peacekeepers in Lebanon participate in emergency defense drill PLA Daily 16 Jul 2020 -- The medical company of the 18th Chinese peacekeeping troops to Lebanon participated in an emergency defense drill, codenamed "hedgehog", organized by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Sector East on July 14.
- New military units join annual wargames for first time CNA 16 Jul 2020 -- Taiwan's new combined arms battalions on Thursday participated in the annual live-fire Han Kuang military exercises for the first time, to demonstrate their combat readiness and the battle leadership qualities of their commanders.
- Taiwan military drilling with live fire for first time in 13 years Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Taiwan is conducting annual military maneuvers in which it is also drilling with live fire for the first time in 13 years, amid tensions with mainland China.
- Pilots of crashed chopper tried to avoid crashing into houses: Army CNA 16 Jul 2020 -- Two pilots of a military OH-58D helicopter did their best to avoid crashing into civilian houses before their chopper made a fatal crash-landing in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu Air Base Thursday afternoon, killing both of them, according to a senior Army official.
- Two soldiers killed in chopper crash during military exercise CNA 16 Jul 2020 -- Two soldiers died when a military OH-58D helicopter crashed at an air base in Hsinchu on Thursday, during the annual Han Kuang exercises, according to the Army.
- Taiwan's counter-landing drill with PLA in mind a 'naïve, meaningless show' Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- A counter-landing drill, as part of Taiwan's annual Han Kuang exercises, was held on Thursday. It simulated a joint operation featuring land, naval and air troops against incoming landing forces, which obviously attempted to represent the Chinese mainland's People's Liberation Army (PLA).
- Chinese military firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan PLA Daily 16 Jul 2020 -- The Chinese military Wednesday voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to US plan of selling Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles to Taiwan. "This move by the US side seriously jeopardizes China's national sovereignty and security," said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND).
- Israel compiles list of officials who could face arrest over ICC probe Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Israeli authorities have compiled a top secret list of hundreds of military and intelligence officials, who could be arrested abroad if the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague opens an investigation into their war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- Belarus' Army Modernised in Light of 'Modern Wars, Conflicts', Lukashenko Says Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Commenting on the refurbishment of the nation's armed forces, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reflected on the country's experience during the Great Patriotic War, noting that today, it would be "impossible" to unexpectedly start a war.
- Turkish Defence Industries Chief Vows to Keep S-400 Secrets Safe Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Late last month, a US senator suggested that the diplomatic spat between Turkey and the US over the Russian-made S-400 air defence system could be resolved if Washington simply bought the recently delivered systems from Ankara by tacking the expense on to the 2021 National Defence Authorization Act.
- Reconnaissance plane crashes in eastern Turkey, 7 killed Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- A Turkish reconnaissance aircraft has crashed in a mountain in eastern Turkey for unknown reasons, killing seven people.
- At Least 7 Security Personnel Dead After Reconnaissance Plane Crash in Turkey Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The crash of the reconnaissance plane in Turkey's Van province claimed the lives of seven security personnel, according to the Anadolu news agency.
- Photos: North Korea's New Missiles Can Evade Air Defense Systems, US Report Warns Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- A new report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) has called attention to a trio of missiles recently developed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which it says are designed to evade air defense networks and deliver a tactical strike.
- Nuclear testing legacy is 'cruellest' environmental injustice, warns rights expert UN News 16 Jul 2020 -- The dangerous legacy of nuclear weapons testing continues to affect many communities, a leading rights expert said on Thursday, on the 75th anniversary of testing in the United States, that heralded the nuclear age.
- Unalienable Rights and the Securing of Freedom US Dept. of State 16 Jul 2020 -- Speech by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany | 7/16/2020 The White House 16 Jul 2020
- 16 July 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 16 Jul 2020
- Any motive to muddy waters in South China Sea doomed to fail People's Daily 16 Jul 2020 -- China is firmly opposed to and strongly dissatisfied with the so-called statement concerning the South China Sea released by the US Department of State on Monday.
- US announces policy of all-out support for China's rivals in territorial disputes Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- The United States says it will do everything it can to support China's rivals in territorial disputes, setting a one-size-fits-all, openly hostile policy toward Beijing.
- Decaying Oil Tanker in Red Sea Could Unleash Environmental, Humanitarian Catastrophe, Warns UN Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Alarm had earlier been voiced over the abandoned tanker, which has continued to erode, unattended, off the war-torn Yemeni coast of Al Hudaydah since 2015; it is believed to contain 1.14 million barrels of oil.
- UN envoy for Yemen urges 'transparent investigation' into deadly Saudi-led airstrikes in Jawf Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths has called for a transparent investigation into airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in the northern province of al-Jawf, which claimed the lives of over two dozen people, among them women and children.
- Yemen calls for suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid war crimes Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Yemen has slammed the United Nations for keeping silent in the face of Saudi war crimes in the country, calling for an end to arms sales to Riyadh after the regime and its allies massacred dozens of civilians, including children, in al-Jawf Province.
- Russia denounces Western bids to politicize humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Russia has strongly condemned efforts by a number of Western countries to politicize delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria for the sake of their own interests, saying such efforts violate the Arab country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Russian Foreign Ministry Has Information US Forces Train Militants Near Syria's At Tanf Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- There is information that US forces, which occupy the "security zone" around Syria's At Tanf, train militants, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
- Iraq: ISIL's acts of terror 'divorced from the values of all faiths' UN News 16 Jul 2020 -- Religious leaders from communities across Iraq called for greater "healing and reconciliation" during a UN-organized event on Thursday, reaffirming their commitment to support survivors of crimes perpetrated by ISIL terrorist fighters.
- India and China Military Level meeting on 14 Jul 2020 India PIB 16 Jul 2020 -- India and China have been engaged in discussions through established military and diplomatic channels to address the prevailing situation along the LAC.
- Indian Army Says Complete Disengagement With China 'Intricate' but Remains Committed Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- After a violent standoff between the armies of India and China on 15 June in Ladakh region, both the countries have been engaged in military and diplomatic-level negotiations to disengage from friction points. The fourth round, army commander-level meeting was held on Wednesday (14 July).
- India Lodges Protest Against Pakistan, China Over Diamer Bhasha Dam Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The day before, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam in Kashmir and announced that the government would move towards building more dams on rivers to generate low-cost hydel power.
- Azerbaijan-Armenia Clashes Highlight Turkey-Russia Rift VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- Military clashes between Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan continued Thursday, further raising tensions between Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in the conflict.
- Fighting Resumes On Armenian-Azerbaijani Border After Brief Lull RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Fighting on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan reportedly resumed early on July 16 after a brief de-escalation in fighting, with the two sides accusing each other of attacking their frontline positions and shelling villages.
- Azerbaijani president fires long-time foreign minister amid flare-up with Armenia Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has sacked his long-time foreign minister amid a recent flare-up in a long-standing conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani territory of Karabakh.
- Azerbaijani President Replaces Long-Time Foreign Minister Amid Conflict Escalation With Armenia RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has replaced the long-time Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov with Ceyhun Bayramov amid an escalation of the conflict with neighboring Armenia.
- Thousands More Myanmar Villagers Flee Armed Conflict in Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 16 Jul 2020 -- More than 3,000 civilians have fled villages in the far north of Myanmar's conflict-ridden Rakhine state after three days of heavy fighting between government forces and the rebel Arakan Army that killed one villager and injured three others, a relief worker said Thursday.
- Israel demolishes more Palestinian homes in occupied West Bank Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Israeli forces have demolished at least two more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, displacing its occupants.
- Kosovo's Thaci Says He Committed No Crimes Following Questioning By War-Crimes Prosecutors RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Kosovar President Hashim Thaci has finished four days of questioning by international war-crimes prosecutors at The Hague.
- Russia refutes West-sourced 'coronavirus research theft' claims Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Russia rejects allegations emerging from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada claiming that Moscow was trying to steal research data on the new coronavirus.
- UK condemns Russian Intelligence Services over vaccine cyber attacks UK FCO 16 Jul 2020 -- The Foreign Secretary has called out Russia's unacceptable cyber attacks against COVID-19 vaccine developers.
- Russia Accused of Stealing Western Coronavirus Research VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- U.S., British and Canadian officials accused the Kremlin Thursday of being behind a massive and ongoing cyber hack aimed at stealing from Western pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions doing research into coronavirus vaccines and treatment therapies.
- Moscow Refutes UK Claims That Russia-Linked Hackers Tried to Steal Data on COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Last month, the head of the UK spy agency GCHQ said that Britain's intelligence agents had detected multiple cyberattacks on the country's health infrastructure this past spring, linking the attacks to attempts to steal sensitive data about a possible COVID-19 vaccine.
- Britain, U.S., Canada Accuse Russia Of Trying To Steal COVID-19 Vaccine Research RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Britain, Canada, and the United States have accused Russia of trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, July 16, 2020. Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 16 Jul 2020
- Russia denounces US for threat of sanctions on gas projects in Europe Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Russia has denounced the US threat of sanctions on two pipeline projects in Europe, saying Washington's aim is to dissuade the Europeans from purchasing Russian natural gas.
- Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Project Will Be Completed Despite US Wailing, Medvedev Says Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Russia's Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project would be completed, despite "wailing of US friends."
- Khabarovsk Krai Governor Furgal's Pretrial Arrest Upheld Amid Rallies In His Support RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The Moscow City Court has upheld the two-month pretrial arrest of Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Krai region, who is charged with attempted murder and ordering two murders in 2004-2005, as his supporters rallied in the city of Khabarovsk for a sixth day.
- Moscow Court Upholds Space Agency Aide's Pretrial Detention In High Treason Case RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The Moscow City Court has upheld the two-month pretrial detention of former journalist Ivan Safronov, currently an aide to the chief of Russia's Roskosmos space agency, who is charged with high treason.
- Russian Couple On Treason Trial Over Wedding Photos Faces New Charge RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- A Russian couple that is on trial for high treason for photographs taken at their wedding five years ago that revealed the identity of a security operative when published online are facing a new charge: passing secret information to Latvian intelligence.
- Intelligence and Security Committee: Russia report to be published within days Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- The report into Russian influence in UK politics, which has been suppressed for over nine months by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is to be published before July 22, when parliament breaks up for the summer.
- Moscow Court Excludes From Safronov's Warrant Claims He Cooperated With Czech Intelligence Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The Moscow City Court ruled on Thursday to exclude from high treason suspect Ivan Safronov's arrest warrant the claims that he cooperated with the Czech intelligence.
- Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks on China Policy at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum US Dept. of Justice 16 Jul 2020
- US Attorney General: China Engaging in 'Economic Blitzkrieg' Against US VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- China is engaged in an "economic blitzkrieg" to supplant the United States as the world's only superpower, Attorney General William Barr declared Thursday -- the latest in a series of scathing comments about Beijing by top Trump Administration officials.
- Is new Cold War emerging between China and US? FM spokesperson suggests two countries work together Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- Is a new Cold War emerging between China and the US? The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the current US policy is based on a strategic misjudgment that lacks factual evidence, and is full of emotional catharsis and McCarthy-like paranoia. China has always believed that the two countries should not seek to transform each other, but jointly explore ways for their different systems and civilizations to peacefully coexist, and this requires the US to work with China in the same direction.
- US Considering Ban on Millions of China's Communist Party Members, Report Claims Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The United States has already imposed several rounds of travel restrictions on various groups of Chinese nationals in the past year, though the current proposal, if implemented, could affect an unprecedented number of people.
- US travel ban on CPC members 'paranoid,' risks dragging ties to 1972: analysts Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- The Trump administration is reportedly considering banning members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and their families from traveling to the US, a paranoid and McCarthyist move driven by ideological bias that will drag bilateral ties back to 1972, analysts said.
- China denounces US for clampdown on employees of Huawei, other Chinese firms Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- China has lambasted as "dirty play" the US clampdown on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, a day after Washington announced fresh sanctions on the company and other firms of the Asian country.
- US pressure on allies to ban Huawei 5G is 'dirty trick': FM Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- The US move to pressure its allies to ban Huawei 5G is a "dirty trick, dirty play," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday, responding to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's rhetoric that countries banning Huawei would become "clean countries".
- Critics Wary of Beijing's Pick to Enforce Hong Kong Security Law VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- As mayor of Shanwei city in Guangdong in 2011, Zheng Yanxiong oversaw mass arrests of citizens protesting corruption. He lashed out at "untrustworthy" foreign media coverage. A village representative detained during the unrest died in custody; his family claimed he was beaten to death.
- US sanctions 'gangster logic and bullying': China's top Hong Kong office Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- China's top representative office in Hong Kong has condemned the US' "unreasonable meddling" in the Asian financial hub.
- Hong Kong Expels New York Times Correspondent Amid Ongoing Media War Radio Free Asia 16 Jul 2020 -- Authorities in Hong Kong have refused to renew the work permit of New York Times journalist Chris Buckley, in another indication that the city's reputation for press freedom is likely a thing of the past.
- US to Shutter High-Profile Fulbright Scheme in China, Hong Kong Radio Free Asia 16 Jul 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said his administration would end a flagship educational exchange program in China and Hong Kong as part of U.S. sanctions against Beijing, but stopped short for now of listing high-ranking officials for asset freezes or visa bans.
- Law education base for HK, Macao youths set up Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- China is gearing up to carry out national security education for Hong Kong and Macao youths, as China's first juvenile education base for the Constitution and Basic Law of the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs) was set up in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday.
- Those who see China as 'systemic rival' have got it all wrong: China's UK ambassador Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- Those who see China as a "systemic rival" or a "potentially hostile state" have got it all wrong: they have chosen the wrong target and they are heading in the wrong direction, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said on Wednesday.
- Xi voices confidence in China's economy, pledges wider opening-up PLA Daily 16 Jul 2020 -- The fundamentals of China's long-term sound economic growth have not changed and will not change, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday in a reply letter to global CEOs.
- China increases oil and gas outputs, imports in H1 Global Times 16 Jul 2020 -- Chinese oil and gas imports soared in the first half of 2020, partly driven by lower international oil prices, but experts warn that the industry could face sluggish demand in the second half of the year.
- 'The Party Has Stretched Its Arms Into All Corners of Uyghur Life': Scholar of Uyghur Culture Radio Free Asia 16 Jul 2020 -- Timothy Grose is a professor of China Studies with expertise in ethnic policy at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. He recently wrote an article entitled,"If you don't know how, just learn: Chinese housing and the transformation of Uyghur domestic space," in which he argues that policies implemented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are part of a bid to "hollow-out a Uyghur identity that is animated by Islamic and Central Asian norms and fill it with practices common to Han [Chinese] people."
- Essentra Fze Admits to North Korean Sanctions and Fraud Violations, Agrees to Pay Fine US Dept. of Justice 16 Jul 2020 -- Essentra FZE Company Limited (Essentra FZE), a global supplier of cigarette products that is incorporated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has agreed to pay a $665,112 fine and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and defrauding the United States in connection with evading sanctions on North Korea.
- South Korean Prosecutors Reportedly Launch Investigation Against Kim Jong-un's Sister Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The probe against Kim's sister and North Korea's Chief of the General Staff was launched over the destruction of a liaison office in the border town of Kaesong in June.
- US, Allies Fear Lifting of Arms Embargo Could Embolden Iran, Its Proxies VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- The upcoming expiration of an international arms embargo on Iran has left the United States and its allies in the Middle East uneasy, fearing that the seemingly unavoidable outcome in October could lead to a proliferation of weapons in the hands of Iran and its proxy groups across the region.
- Protests Break Out In Two Iranian Cities, Internet Disrupted Radio Farda 16 Jul 2020 -- Iranian protesters have taken to the streets in Shiraz and Behbahan as security forces increase their presence on the streets of Tehran and several other cities.
- Iran Will Not 'Give Away' Its Soil to China, Or Anyone Else, Zarif Insists Radio Farda 16 Jul 2020 -- Under an incessant barrage of criticism, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has once again defended a draft document called Iran-China 25-year Comprehensive Cooperation Plan.
- Iran envoy hails productive talks with counterparts in Vienna IRNA 16 Jul 2020 -- Iran's new ambassador to Austria, Abbas Baqerpour Ardakani, in a message referred to his recent productive meetings with his counterparts in Vienna.
- Russia calls for JCPOA parties' unity to save the deal IRNA 16 Jul 2020 -- Russian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov in a message said Iran nuclear deal will be preserved if all participants are united in this regard.
- Possible collapse of JCPOA as "failure of EU values": Iranian envoy People's Daily 16 Jul 2020 -- The world anticipates Europeans to take measures to protect the Iranian nuclear deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), against its collapse, said an Iranian diplomat.
- Iran's president urges end to US unilateralism in talks with Russian counterpart Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Iran's president says measures must be taken to oppose US unilateralism, while emphasizing the necessity for preserving the landmark nuclear deal clinched by the Islamic Republic and world powers in 2015.
- IAEA Chief Gives Iran Until End Of Month To Grant Access To Suspected Sites Radio Farda 16 Jul 2020 -- The Chief of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday warned Iran of "bad" consequences if access is not granted by the end of July to two sites where undeclared nuclear activities may have taken place in the past.
- FM Zarif: Iran-China cooperation plan in negotiation phase IRNA 16 Jul 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that the 25-year cooperation plan between Iran and China is presently in the negotiation phase and waiting for further approvals.
- Iran will not give 'even a handspan' of its soil to China, any other country: Zarif Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- Iran's foreign minister says the Islamic Republic will not cede even "a handspan" of its soil to China or any other country, dismissing rumors and anti-Iran reports that a 25-year agreement with Beijing entails cession of some parts of the Iranian territory to Chinese contractors.
- Iran's Currency Falls To A New Low Of 240,000 Against The US Dollar Radio Farda 16 Jul 2020 -- The recent wave of currency devaluation continued in Iran forcing the national rial into a new low of 240,000 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday.
- Trump Warns Iran Not to Execute 3 Protesters as Their Lawyers Request Retrial VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- Iranian lawyers representing three men sentenced to death for involvement in antigovernment protests last November say they have asked the judiciary for a retrial of their clients, potentially averting executions that many Iranians and President Donald Trump fear are imminent.
- Large Fire Hits Shipyard In Iran's Persian Gulf Port Radio Farda 15 Jul 2020 -- At least seven vessels caught fire in a massive blaze at a shipyard in Bushehr's port in southern Iran, the head of the local Crisis Management Organization disclosed on Wednesday, July 15.
- Terrorist attack on coronavirus aid convoy leaves 2 dead in western Iran Press TV 16 Jul 2020 -- A terrorist attack on a coronavirus aid convoy in Iran's western province of Kordestan has left two people dead and one injured.
- Belgium To Try Iranian Diplomat Accused Of Planned Terrorist Attack In France Radio Farda 16 Jul 2020 -- A Belgian court on Wednesday ruled that an Iranian diplomat and three others suspected of a planned terrorist attack on a gathering of 25,000 dissidents in Paris in 2018 should be held in Belgium in the coming months.
- Scottish and UK Governments Clash Over Post-Brexit Powers Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- The UK government has published plans for an internal national market to ensure goods move freely between all four UK nations following the Brexit transition period. To ensure a level playing field in the market, however, each UK nation must agree to accept goods from every part of the country, even if they have different local standards.
- Britain: 'Almost Certain' Russia Tried to Meddle in 2019 Elections VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- Britain's foreign ministry said Thursday Russia sought to interfere in Britain's 2019 general election by illicitly acquiring sensitive documents relating to a planned free trade agreement with the United States and leaking them online.
- Belarusian Opposition Campaigns Issue Joint Program For Presidential Election RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The campaigns of three opposition figures involved in Belarus's upcoming presidential election have issued a joint statement on cooperation in the controversial poll.
- Lukashenko Urges EU to Criticize US for 'Lack of Democracy' Instead of 'Pointing Fingers' at Belarus Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Belarusians are set to go to the polls for presidential elections on August 9, with longtime president Alexander Lukashenko running for a sixth consecutive term.
- WHO concerned about growing Ebola outbreak in DR Congo UN News 16 Jul 2020 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners are concerned about the growing Ebola outbreak in the northwestern province of Equateur, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as they face critical funding gaps amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN health agency said on Thursday
- Latest Ebola Outbreak in Western DRC Eclipses 2018 VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- The number of reported Ebola cases in western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has surpassed the African nation's 2018 outbreak numbers in the same region, World Health Organization officials said Thursday.
- Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Designates Six Prominent Names Who Provided Facilities, Financial Support for ISIL SPA 16 Jul 2020 -- Saudi newspapers highlighted in their editorials today a number of issues, at local, regional, and international arenas.
- Romania Fined By EU's Top Court For Failing To Observe Anti-Money Laundering Rules RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The European Union's top court has imposed a fine on Romania for delays and the incomplete application of the bloc's rules against money laundering and terrorism financing.
- Chinese-Backed Copper Exploration Plans in Myanmar Rekindle Fears Radio Free Asia 16 Jul 2020 -- The recent approval of plans by a Chinese-backed mining firm to explore a vast swathe of northwestern Myanmar for copper has alarmed residents who fear losing their farms in a repeat of earlier bitter clashes over land rights, pollution, and compensation that gripped the region.
- Pakistan Bows To Islamic Hard-Liners To Halt Hindu Temple Construction RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The construction of the first Hindu temple complex in Islamabad was intended to be a powerful symbol of tolerance towards Pakistan's largest non-Muslim religious minority.
- A Turkish Diplomat's Mysterious Death In Turkmenistan RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Turkish diplomat Kemal Uchkun had been stationed in Turkmenistan since January 2018.
- U.S. House Of Representatives Hears Concerns Over Democratic Backsliding In Eastern Europe RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have expressed concern over democratic backsliding in Eastern Europe as it discusses ways to improve frayed ties with transatlantic allies during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Lebanon And Its Hezbollah Follow Iran, Hoping For A Chinese Rescue Radio Farda 16 Jul 2020 -- While beating on the drums of war for years by Lebanon's Hezbollah has driven major foreign investors out of Lebanon, the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah has called for turning to China to rescue the country's failing economy.
- Lao Capital Residents Fight Land Grab, Reject Offered Compensation Radio Free Asia 16 Jul 2020 -- Residents of the Lao capital Vientiane are resisting seizure of their land by a Lao-China joint venture building an expressway, saying they had been promised earlier their land would not be taken, and calling offers of compensation unacceptably low, Lao sources say.
- Leaders Of Kosovo and Serbia Agree To Continue Talks After First In-Person Meeting in 20 Months RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have held their first face-to-face talks in 20 months under a European Union-mediated dialogue process aimed at normalizing relations between the two Balkan neighbors.
- Serbian, Kosovar Leaders In Brussels For Normalization Talks RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are meeting in Brussels for their first face-to-face talks in 20 months under a European Union-mediated dialogue process aimed at normalizing relations between the two Balkan neighbors.
- North Macedonia's Pro-EU Social Democrats On Pace To Clinch Narrow Election Victory RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- North Macedonia's pro-EU Social Democrats appear to have secured a narrow victory in the Balkan country's July 15 parliamentary elections.
- Sudan: Ethiopia Denies Closing Gates of Nile Mega-Dam as Talks Stall Over Project Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Downstream states Egypt and Sudan both object to the construction of a giant dam on the River Nile in upstream Ethiopia, saying the project threatens the flow of the river, on which all three countries depend heavily.
- Protesters Shut Down Key Oil Pumping Station in Tunisia VOA 16 Jul 2020 -- Hundreds of protesters demanding the government keep its promise to create jobs have shut down a key oil pumping station in southern Tunisia, Reuters reported Thursday.
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