18 August 2020 Military News
- Rockets Blast Kabul on Afghan Independence Day VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Fourteen rockets landed in Kabul Tuesday morning, some of them very close to where President Ashraf Ghani was participating in an official ceremony marking the country's 101st independence day.
- At Least 10 Wounded In Rocket Attacks As Afghanistan Marks Independence Anniversary RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- Afghan officials say at least 10 people were wounded after a series of rockets hit residential and diplomatic areas in Kabul as the country celebrated the 101st anniversary of its independence.
- Rocket attack hits Kabul on Afghanistan independence day Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- At least 10 civilians, including four children, have been injured in the Afghan capital of Kabul in an attack with 14 rockets against the city's heavily-fortified green zone as the country marked its 101st independence anniversary.
- Tehran denies US claims it offered bounties to Taliban Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Iran has denied US allegations that it offered bounties to Taliban militants in Afghanistan for targeting American troops.
- US must swiftly end catastrophic presence in Afghanistan: Iran Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Iran has dismissed as "utterly bogus" the claims in some US media reports that other states are offering bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, saying Washington must end its "catastrophic presence" in the war-torn country instead of blaming others for the crisis there.
- Iowa National Guard helps with derecho cleanup Army News 18 Aug 2020 -- Nearly 200 Soldiers and Airmen have been mobilized to eastern Iowa to help emergency management crews clear and remove debris from the devastating Aug. 10 derecho.
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS Champion Decommissions After 30 Years of Service US Navy 18 Aug 2020 -- USS Champion (MCM 4) honored nearly three decades of naval service during a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, Aug. 18. Due to public health safety and restrictions of large public events related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, plankowners and former crew members of the Avenger-class ship virtually celebrated its distinguished history.
- New aviators to incur 10-year service obligation Army News 18 Aug 2020 -- Starting in October, commissioned and warrant officers selected for initial entry flight training will be required to serve at least a decade once they become an Army aviator, according to an all Army activity message published Aug. 12.
- Marines set up, execute expeditionary ATC operations on MCAS Camp Pendleton USMC News 18 Aug 2020 -- For the month of August, U.S. Marines with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, will be putting their air traffic control skills to the test in an expeditionary environment.
- US Conducts Air Drills With Japan, Other Partners in Indo-Pacific Region Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- US bombers and F-15 fighter jets conducted drills with Japanese and other allied partners in the Indo-Pacific, the Defence Department said on Tuesday.
- Red Flag-Alaska 20-3 comes to a close US Air Force 18 Aug 2020 -- Red Flag-Alaska 20-3, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise, concluded Aug. 14.
- Disposal of unserviceable ammunition resumes in Ukraine under NATO Trust Fund Project NATO 18 Aug 2020 -- Luxembourg, 18 August 2020 – The disposal of unserviceable ammunition in Ukraine has been resumed under the NATO Trust Fund Demilitarization Project framework, managed the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). Demilitarization activities in the region were interrupted earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Special procedures have been put in place to ensure compliance with the sanitary and epidemiological regulations and to provide a safe work environment.
- U.S., Russia Remain At Odds Over Extension Of New START Treaty RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- The United States and Russia have concluded a third round of arms-control talks still at odds over several key issues, but the two sides showed a willingness to possibly extend the New START Treaty before it expires next year.
- Putin, Trump to Meet If Arms Control Deal Reached, US Special Envoy for Arms Control Says Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump would meet if the Russian and US negotiators reach an arms control deal, but no preparations for such a meeting are in works at present, US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea told reporters on Tuesday.
- US Envoy Says Ball 'in Russia's Court' in Arms Talks VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- A U.S. arms envoy said Tuesday it is Russia's turn to respond to U.S. terms to extend the landmark New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
- Media should not over-interpret J-20 sighting near China-India border: experts Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- For the first time since the China-India border conflict in May, two J-20 stealth fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force were spotted at an airport about 300 kilometers from the border region, foreign media reported.
- China urges global arms sales ban to non-state actors Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- China called on countries to refrain from selling arms to non-state actors and stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign countries through arms sales, at the sixth Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was convened on Monday.
- China joins ATT conference as a state party for the first time PLA Daily 18 Aug 2020 -- China on Monday attended the Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as a state party for the first time and called for strict arms control mechanisms in a written statement submitted to the meeting.
- Photos: PLA Warships Engage in Live-Fire Drills in South China Sea as US Carrier Launches Aircraft Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- US and Chinese warships both conducted drills in the South China Sea over the weekend, with a corvette from the Hong Kong garrison engaging in live-fire target practice while a US aircraft carrier carried out flight operations.
- UK launches multinational training to enhance Ukrainian Navy against threats from the East UK MOD 18 Aug 2020 -- UK launches multinational training to enhance Ukrainian Navy against threats from the East
- Saudi Royal Naval Forces Take over Command of the Mixed Duty Force (150) from its French Counterpart SPA 18 Aug 2020 -- The Saudi Royal Naval Forces took over the command of the Mixed Duty Force (150), for the second time, from its French counterpart.
- Report: Turkey, Qatar, Libya agree to establishment of Turkish base in Misrata Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Turkey, Qatar, and Libya's internationally-recognized government, known as the GNA, have allegedly signed a trilateral agreement on the establishment of a Turkish naval base in Misrata in northwestern Libya.
- North Korea Folds COVID-19 Response Organization into Military Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- The agency in charge of North Korea's response to COVID-19 has been upgraded and reorganized as a military organization, a move that sources in the country told RFA was meant to use fear of the coronavirus as a tool to exert more control over the population.
- Despite normalization, Israel pressing US not to sell UAE F-35 jets Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Israel has kept up the pressure on the United States not to provide the United Arabs of Emirates (UAE) with F-35 stealth fighter jets despite a recent normalization deal reached between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi.
- Israel's Netanyahu Denies He Approved Sales of US Fighter Jets to UAE Under Peace Deal Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- The Emirates has long sought to procure the advanced F-35 fighters, but inviting a Gulf Arab country into the programme would mark the reversal of a decades-long US policy of preserving Israel's "qualitative military edge" in the Middle East.
- 18 August 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 18 Aug 2020
- Thailand: 36 Vietnamese Fishermen Arrested, 4 Boats Confiscated Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Authorities in Thailand's Deep South said Tuesday they had arrested 36 Vietnamese fishermen and confiscated their four boats on suspicion of poaching in Thai waters.
- Three Rockets Strike Near US Base in Syria's Deir Ez-Zor Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- According to local authorities in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Governorate, several rockets landed near the US base set up outside the region's eponymous capital city, causing no damage or casualties.
- Militants Shell Localities in Syria's Aleppo Province, Russian Military Says Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham* terrorist group has attacked settlements in Syria's Aleppo province, Rear Admiral Alexander Shcherbitsky, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, said at a briefing.
- Videos: IDF Jets Launch Retaliatory Strikes on Hamas Posts in Gaza Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- Multiple retaliatory strikes were launched by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) late Tuesday against Hamas position in Gaza, an act in response to a rocket that was launched from Gaza toward the Israeli territory earlier in the day.
- Gaza's sole power plant shuts down due to Israeli fuel ban Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- The sole power plant in the besieged Gaza Strip has shut down a few days after Israel suspended fuel shipments to the impoverished Palestinian enclave, Gaza's Energy Authority says.
- Israel launches airstrikes against Hamas targets near Rafah crossing in Gaza Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- The Israeli regime's aircraft have carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, hitting Hamas targets and infrastructure.
- Israel and Sudan Close to Peace Deal, Officials Say VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Israel and Sudan said Tuesday they are close to reaching a peace agreement, just days after Israel concluded a historic agreement with the United Arab Emirates.
- Militant Pakistan Taliban Brings Splinters Back Into Its Fold VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- An alliance of militant groups waging attacks in Pakistan has said several breakaway and new factions have rejoined its ranks in an effort to consolidate their violent campaign, a move critics warned could threaten the country's counterterrorism gains.
- One million flee escalating violence in Burkina Faso UN News 18 Aug 2020 -- Mounting violence in Burkina Faso has forced more than one million people to flee their homes: 453,000 so far this year alone, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Tuesday, citing government figures.
- Statement of Senate Intel Vice Chair Sen. Mark R. Warner SSCI 18 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the below statement on the release of the fifth and final volume of the Committee's bipartisan Russia investigation titled, "Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities"
- Rubio Statement on Senate Intel Release of Volume 5 of Bipartisan Russia Report SSCI 18 Aug 2020 -- U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Acting Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released the fifth and final volume of the Committee's bipartisan Russia investigation titled, "Volume 5: Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities," which examines Russia's attempts to gain influence in the American political system during the 2016 elections.
- Senate Report Provides New Details of Russian Meddling in 2016 Presidential Election VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- A bipartisan investigation into Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election found that Moscow successfully used a complex web of operatives and active measures to ensnare members of President Donald Trump's campaign, in some cases, leaving the incoming administration open to manipulation.
- Senate Panel Releases 'Most Comprehensive' Report On Russia's 2016 Election Interference RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has concluded the Trump campaign chairman's contacts with Kremlin-linked individuals posed a "grave counterintelligence threat."
- US Senate Report Alleges Russia Ordered 2016 Hack of Democrats Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- The US Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday alleged that Russia engaged in an aggressive, multi-pronged effort to influence the result of the 2016 US presidential election.
- DHS Rebukes Watchdog Report Claiming Secretary, Deputy Chief Ineligible to Serve Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- The US Department of Homeland Security's Office of General Counsel said in a letter that the Government Accountability Office should rescind its report that claims acting Secretary Chad Wolf and acting Deputy Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli are not eligible to serve in their roles because their order of succession is invalid.
- Remarks by President Trump During Border Wall Construction and Operational Update | Yuma, AZ The White House 18 Aug 2020
- Mali Soldiers Detain President, Prime Minister VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Soldiers in Mali's capital mutinied Tuesday and have taken President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse into custody.
- Gunfire Reported at Mali Military Camp, Possible Mutiny Under Way VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Gunfire erupted at an army base outside Mali's capital on Tuesday, raising fears of a possible mutiny by soldiers against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
- Mali: UN chief demands 'immediate and unconditional release' of President, cabinet members UN News 18 Aug 2020 -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the immediate restoration of constitutional order and the rule of law in Mali, after mutinying troops arrested the country's leader and other senior officials on Tuesday.
- Reports of military coup in Mali as gunshots heard at base near capital Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Gunfire has reportedly been heard at a military base outside of Mali's capital of Bamako, sparking fears of a possible coup in the conflict-torn country.
- UN Chief Strongly Condemns Mutiny in Mali, Urges Return of Rule of Law Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned the military mutiny in Mali and urged for the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law in the country, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Tuesday.
- What is Known About the Military Base Where Mali Mutiny Originated Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- A group of officers from the armed forces of the landlocked West African nation of Mali began a mutiny, reportedly capturing the country's president and prime minister and taking control of the capital Bamako on Tuesday.
- Rioters in Mali Detain Several Ministers and Senior Officers Amid Reports of Mutiny Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- Earlier in the day, several western embassies in Mali reported a mutiny at an army base in Kati outside the capital Bamako.
- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Verdict US Dept. of State 18 Aug 2020 -- The United States welcomes the guilty verdict handed down by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) against Hizballah operative Salim Ayyash for his role in the February 14, 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
- UN-Backed Court Convicts One Man in 2005 Assassination of Lebanon's Hariri VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Judges at a U.N.-backed tribunal have found one man guilty in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and acquitted three others charged in the case.
- Hariri tribunal: Hezbollah, Syria had no link with 2005 blast Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- A UN-backed tribunal says it has not been able to establish any link between a 2005 blast in Beirut that killed Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri and the Hezbollah resistance movement or the Syrian government.
- Hariri assassination: UN-backed tribunal finds one guilty, three acquitted UN News 18 Aug 2020 -- The UN Secretary-General took note on Tuesday of the guilty verdict delivered by a special UN-backed court, in the case of one of the defendants accused of killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, in a bomb attack 15 years ago. Three other defendants, also reportedly members of militant group, Hezbollah, were acquitted.
- Lebanese President Rules Out Resignation in Wake of Beirut Blast Sputnik 18 Aug 2020 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun will not follow the government's lead and will not step down in the wake of the devastating blast that ripped through the capital, he told Italy's Corriere Della Sera.
- Supporting communities and refugees in Lebanon a 'top priority': UNHCR chief UN News 18 Aug 2020 -- The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is in Lebanon to drive home the message of solidarity with all those affected by the devastating blast a fortnight ago, reaching out to both Lebanese and the many refugees and migrants sheltering in the country.
- Lebanon's blast damage toll rises as assessment continues: UN People's Daily 18 Aug 2020 -- UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The damage toll in Lebanon following the Beirut blast is rising as the United Nations and partners continue their assessment, now reporting more than 290,000 people who have been left jobless, a UN spokesman said on Monday.
- Aoun: Impossible that Beirut blast was caused by Hezbollah arms Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun says it is "impossible" that a recent deadly explosion in the capital Beirut was triggered by a blast from a deposit of arms belonging to the Hezbollah resistance movement.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on August 18, 2020 PRC MofA 18 Aug 2020
- China censures US 'abuse of national power' in harassing Huawei Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- China has censured the new sanctions imposed by the United States against Chinese telecom giant Huawei and accused Washington of "abusing national power" to target Chinese companies.
- New US rules against Huawei draw backlash Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- The US government's latest crackdown on chip supplies for Huawei Technologies Co sparked widespread backlash from Chinese officials and industry leaders on Tuesday, underscoring the force of mounting opposition against an increasingly erratic US administration whose reckless words and deeds could cause deep disruptions and losses for global industries and commerce.
- HK officials more 'politically mature, determined' in face of foreign sanctions Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government officials have shown growing political maturity, more resilience and a firm stand in response to escalating personal attacks and political and financial pressure from Western countries and local extreme forces, since the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong, analysts said.
- Revised HK textbooks correct political misconceptions, stress Chinese identity Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- Hong Kong's education bureau confirmed to the Global Times on Tuesday that it has sent advice to a number of publishers that had voluntarily submitted their liberal studies textbooks to the education regulator for consultancy, and the corresponding revisions have been made by the middle of August.
- Hong Kong civil servants must be loyal to regional government: Chief Executive Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- Civil servants in Hong Kong have to be loyal to the regional government, said Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, at a press conference Tuesday morning when asked whether local civil servants in their probationary period would be fired if they take part in illegal gatherings.
- Hong Kong to launch 3rd round of relief measures for virus-hit economy People's Daily 18 Aug 2020 -- Hong Kong will roll out the third round of relief measures to mitigate impacts of the continued COVID-19 epidemic on the economy.
- Hong Kong leader: US sanctions no more than a personal inconvenience Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam says she is not upset about the sanctions imposed by the United States against her, vowing to continue to do what is right for the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
- Expelled Chinese Communist Party Insider Details Internal Tensions in VOA Interview VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- A recently expelled Chinese Communist Party insider is speaking out about increasing tensions among high-level officials at a time when Xi Jinping's hardline policies are bringing Beijing into more conflict with democratic countries.
- China Communist Party Expels, Strips Pension of Professor-Turned-Critic Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- China's Communist Party has expelled an outspoken retired professor from the party's top training academy and stripped her pension over a series of speeches she made criticizing the country's direction under leader Xi Jinping.
- Interview: 'You Can Criticize The CCP, But You Must Not Criticize Xi Jinping' Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Cai Xia, a retired professor of the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party, following recent public criticism of CCP chief Xi Jinping, was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party with her pension stripped on August 17 for "serious violations of political discipline of the Party." Widely known as one of the "Hereditary [Second Generation] Red," descendants of founding members or important figures of the CCP, Cai Xia told RFA that she has no intention to remain on board with the current CCP leadership and is happy to be back with the ranks of the people.
- Jailed WeChat User Says Chinese Police Monitor Overseas Accounts Too Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Authorities in the eastern province of Shandong detained a user of the social media platform WeChat after he sent content to a friend in the United States, providing fresh evidence that the ruling Chinese Communist Party is monitoring communications with WeChat users.
- Chinese Publisher Removes Burke's French Revolution Book From Shelves Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- A publishing house in China has withdrawn a series of overseas nonfiction books including Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, in the latest incidence of sweeping book censorship by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
- Flooding at Home, Tensions Abroad Raise Concern for China's Food Security VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged his country to take immediate actions to curb what he called its "shocking and distressing" food waste problem as the worst flooding along the Yangtze River in years threatens the country's important rice crop.
- Police in Istanbul Detain Uyghurs in Rare Instance of Harassment by Turkish Authorities Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Authorities in Turkey's financial capital Istanbul harassed and briefly detained a group of Uyghurs who gathered on the city's iconic Taksim Square wearing T-shirts with images of missing relatives back home in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), group members said.
- Name of Taiwan's office in Somaliland significant: MOFA CNA 18 Aug 2020 -- The newly opened Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland is the only overseas office using the term "Taiwan," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday, describing it as a significant achievement diplomatically.
- Taiwan island sets up office in Somaliland, shows desperate separatist attempts: FM Global Times 18 Aug 2020 -- China opposes the establishment of official institutions or official exchanges between the island of Taiwan and Somaliland, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, after Taiwan set up a representative office in the self-claimed state in Africa.
- President Tsai makes pitch for Taiwan-U.S. trade agreement CNA 18 Aug 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between Taiwan and the United States would be mutually beneficial and would help to strengthen their existing trade and business exchanges.
- Zarif: US trying to resuscitate the past IRNA 18 Aug 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message referred to the attempt made by the US and the UK to suffocate Iranians, saying the US has tries to resuscitate the past.
- US trying to contrive victory with tanker seizure: Iran Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has reiterated that the cargo of oil tankers reportedly seized by the United States last week was not Iranian.
- Iran Lawmakers Propose Bill To Leave JCPOA If UN Reimposes Sanctions Radio Farda 18 Aug 2020 -- In a "double-urgency motion" dozens of Iranian lawmakers have called for the Islamic Republic to automatically withdraw from the JCPOA or the 2015 nuclear agreement, if the United States successfully activates the process to reimpose UN sanctions.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Says Not Playing 'Role Of Postman' Between US, Iran Radio Farda 18 Aug 2020 -- In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said he does not play the role of postman between the two diametrically opposed countries with close ties to Iraq.
- Distortion and Desperation Inflate Tehran's Stock Bubble Radio Farda 18 Aug 2020 -- Over the last week, the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) index fell 13 percent after breaking record after record despite the dire situation the Iranian economy has been facing since 2018. In New York, London, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, the coronavirus pandemic and associated turbulence pushed major stock indices off their peaks. Yet the TSE index has continued to surge, even though Iran has to contend not just with a worsening outbreak of COVID-19, but also high inflation, negative growth, massive depreciation of the national currency, shrinking reserves, falling exports, and a rising trade deficit.
- Rouhani Praises Government's Monopoly On Broadcasting In Iran, Experts Disagree Radio Farda 18 Aug 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani complained about excessive criticism of his administration by the state television and said that "too much criticism will disappoint the nation."
- Revolutionary Guard Coerced Iranian-Canadian Software Developer To Spy On Internet Activists Radio Farda 18 Aug 2020 -- An Iranian-Canadian software developer, who was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard during a January visit to Iran and freed after agreeing to serve as an informant for the Guard's intelligence service, is going public about his experiences in order to prevent his family in Iran from being harassed.
- NATO Secretary General discusses Belarus with President of Poland NATO 18 Aug 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the situation in Belarus in a telephone conversation with President Andrzej Duda of Poland on Tuesday (18 August 2020).
- External pressure on Belarus unacceptable, Putin tells Western leaders Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Western leaders that exerting pressure on the Belarusian leadership would be unacceptable, as violent protests continue against Belarus' newly re-elected President Alexander Lukashenko.
- Putin Has No Good Options As Belarus Crisis Surges RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- On the evening of August 16, as hundreds of thousands rallied across Belarus calling for the ouster of its authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the Conflict Intelligence Team, a Russian investigative outfit, posted an alarming report.
- Belarusian Opposition Forms Council As Lukashenka Threatens Crackdown RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- The opposition in Belarus has launched a coordinating council to organize a transfer of power, a move embattled President Alyaksandr Lukashenka described as an attempt to seize power following a controversial election and brutal crackdown on his opponents.
- Ukraine Summons Belarusian Ambassador, Saying Release Of Russian Mercenaries Undermined Trust RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says Ukraine has summoned the Belarusian ambassador for consultations on deteriorating relations between the two countries.
- More Workers Join Strike to Oust Belarusian President Lukashenko VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- More workers joined a growing strike Tuesday to oust authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko after he extended his 26-year term in an election that detractors contend was rigged.
- Israel's Mossad chief visits UAE for 'security' talks after normalization pact Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Director of Israel's Mossad spy agency, Yossi Cohen, has traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for security talks, in the first high-profile visit by an Israeli official to Abu Dhabi only days after two sides agreed to normalize relations under a US-brokered deal.
- Death Of Kazakh Ex-President's Grandson Latest Dark Cloud Over Nazarbaev Family RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- Aisultan Nazarbaev died less than two weeks before his 30th birthday.
- Political Parties, HRW Call For Myanmar Election Body to Drop Broadcast Restrictions Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Some political parties in Myanmar have backed a call by Human Rights Watch for Myanmar's national election body to revise broadcasting restrictions that they say prevent all parties from accessing state-owned media in the run-up to general elections in November.
- Cambodia's PM Hun Sen Using Vietnam Border to Divert Anger Over EU Trade Sanctions: Opposition Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- Prime Minister Hun Sen is politicizing a dispute over Cambodia's shared border with Vietnam to divert public attention from the European Union's reinstatement of tariffs on key exports that threatens to implode the country's already weak economy, an opposition official charged Tuesday.
- Spain confirms disgraced former king Juan Carlos in UAE Press TV 18 Aug 2020 -- Spain's disgraced former king Juan Carlos has traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid an ongoing investigation into his alleged acceptance of bribes from Saudi Arabia, the Spanish royal family has confirmed.
- Lao Villagers Displaced by Dam Are Left Without Farms, Money For New Land Radio Free Asia 18 Aug 2020 -- More than 80 families affected by dam construction in northern Laos have lost farmland and orchards to rising water but remain stranded in their former homes, saying that compensation paid to them for their losses is too small to help them buy new land.
- North Macedonia's Pro-Western Parties Reach Coalition Deal RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- North Macedonia's pro-EU Social Democrats have struck a coalition agreement with the Balkan country's largest ethnic Albanian party nearly a month after elections.
- Key Witness In Armenia Vote-Buying Case Denies Accusations RFE/RL 18 Aug 2020 -- A key witness in the criminal case against the leader of Armenia's main opposition party has rejected allegations of vote-buying in the 2017 general elections.
- New Protests in Sudan Demand Faster Government Reforms VOA 18 Aug 2020 -- Sudan marked one year of a civilian-military power-sharing deal with a new wave of protests this week demanding wider and faster reforms.
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