13 October 2020 Military News
- Army Senior Leaders Update Reporters on Army Operations DoD 13 Oct 2020 -- Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy; Army Chief of Staff General James C. McConville; Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston
- US military building new base in Syria's oil-rich Dayr al-Zawr: Report Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- The United States has reportedly started building a new military base in Syria's oil-rich eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr as Washington moves to tighten its grip on the country's energy resources.
- Kata'ib Hezbollah: All weapons must be pointed at US positions in Iraq Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Amid threats of a US war against Iraq's anti-terrorism resistance groups, a prominent faction of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units — better known as Hash al-Sha'abi — has reiterated its readiness to end the US military presence in the Arab country, saying all weapons should be pointed at American positions on Iraqi soil.
- Thousands Of Families Flee Fighting In Southern Afghan Province RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- An Afghan official says thousands of families have been forced to flee fighting in the southern province of Helmand, an area that has become a battleground between Taliban militants and government forces.
- US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan conditions-based: Top general Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- The United States' top military official says any further drawdown in the number of US troops in Afghanistan depends on a reduction in violence as well as other conditions stipulated in an agreement with the Taliban.
- US launches airstrikes on Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand despite 'peace' deal Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- The United States military has launched airstrikes against Taliban positions in southern Afghanistan following a major offensive by the militant group in the area and despite a "peace" deal between the two sides.
- Pentagon Drafting Plans to Withdraw US Troops From Somalia - Reports Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- According to insider reports, US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon and his senior national security advisers to begin drafting plans for a total withdrawal of US forces from Somalia. The US has between 650 and 800 troops in the war-torn East African nation, where it has waged an undeclared war since 2007.
Defense Policy / Programs
- The No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) Program kicks off trade space analysis and conceptual design for long-endurance Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) DARPA 13 Oct 2020 -- DARPA has awarded seven contracts for work on Phase 1 of the NOMARS program, which seeks to simultaneously explore two competing objectives related to unmanned surface vessels (USV) ship design: (1) the maximization of seaframe performance when human constraints are removed; and (2) achieving sufficient vessel maintenance and logistics functionality for long endurance operations with no human crew onboard.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 13 Oct 2020
- DOD Awards $481 Million Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to Cue Health to Increase Domestic Production Capacity of Point-of-Care Testing DoD 13 Oct 2020 -- On October 13, the Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded an Other Transaction Agreement to Cue Health Inc., San Diego, California, to expand U.S. production capacity of point-of-care COVID-19 tests.
- "SpeedDealer" demos wrap, new radar agreement expected early 2021 US Air Force 13 Oct 2020 -- Using a try-before-you-buy strategy, a team within the Digital Directorate headquartered at Hanscom Air Force Base, completed a series of live-fly demonstrations Sept. 26 to evaluate three commercially available, production-ready and deployable long-range radar systems.
- U.S. and British Navies Conduct Training in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea US Navy 13 Oct 2020 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) conducted passing maneuvers with Royal Navy Albion-class amphibious transport dock HMS Albion (L14) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 10, 2020.
- U.S. Navy joins Japan's Kaga, Ikazuchi for Integrated Operations US Navy 13 Oct 2020 -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) joined Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla 2 during integrated operations in the South China Sea beginning Oct. 12.
- USS Tornado Completes Patrol to U.S. 4th Fleet US Navy 13 Oct 2020 -- The Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Tornado (PC 14) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 408 (LEDET) returned to Mayport, Florida, October 13, following a 75-day counter-narcotics patrol in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.
- Expeditionary advanced basing capabilities on display during Exercise Noble Fury USMC News 13 Oct 2020 -- U.S. Marines and Sailors with 3rd Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing showcased expeditionary advanced basing capabilities, October 7 to 8, as part of Exercise Noble Fury 21, from Okinawa to Ie Shima and across surrounding waters.
- NATO Deputy Secretary General stresses there is no substitute to the transatlantic relationship NATO 13 Oct 2020 -- Speaking at a Friends of Europe event today (13 October 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană emphasised that the bond between Europe and North America is still essential. "I do believe there is no substitute to the transatlantic bond," he said.
- Russian Submarine Orel Hits Surface Target in Barents Sea With Granit Missile Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- Russian nuclear-powered submarine Orel fired an anti-ship cruise missile Granit at a surface target in the Barents Sea as part of exercises, the Northern Fleet said on Tuesday.
- Asking China to participate in "trilateral arms control negotiation" infeasible: Chinese envoy Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- A Chinese envoy said on Monday that asking China to participate in the "trilateral arms control negotiation" is unfair, unreasonable and infeasible.
- Xi inspects Marine Corps, urges building elite troop PLA Daily 13 Oct 2020 -- President Xi Jinping on Tuesday inspected the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps in Chaozhou, south China's Guangdong Province, and stressed building it into an elite troop.
- Taiwan awaiting formal notice of new arms deals from U.S.: foreign minister CNA 13 Oct 2020 -- Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Tuesday that Taiwan has not received any notice from the U.S. regarding another round of arms sales to Taiwan.
- US attack arms sales shows strategic ambiguity on Taiwan fading: experts Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- The US remains persistent in pushing forward the sales of several types of attack weapons to the island of Taiwan, which experts say shows the US strategic ambiguity on Taiwan is fading, and its policy is gradually leaning toward Taiwan secession.
- US moves forward on arms sales to Taiwan despite Chinese opposition Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- The United States is reportedly moving forward with three advanced weapons sales to Taiwan in a move that is likely to enrage China and increase tensions between the two world powers.
- BDL Pays Final Dividend to Government India PIB 13 Oct 2020 -- Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a Hyderabad based Defence Public Sector Undertaking has paid final dividend of Rs. 35.018 Crore to the Government of India.
- Iran's strong defense chain in high seas ready to repel threats: Senior Navy commander Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- The naval forces of Iran's Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have formed a strong "defense chain" from the north of the Persian Gulf to the Northern Indian Ocean, which stands ready to respond to any threat and act of aggression against the country, a senior commander says.
- Cmdr: IRGC adopts war array to combat COVID-19 IRNA 13 Oct 2020 -- Commander of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Major-General Hossein Salami said on Tuesday that the IRGC has adopted a war array in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- Cmdr. Salami: All IRGC facilities at health sector's disposal as coronavirus infections continue to rise Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Chief Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami says the military force will employ the full range of its capacities to help the health sector combat a sharp surge in coronavirus cases in the capital, Tehran, and across the country.
- Japan Exercises with U.S. Navy in South China Sea after Port Call in Vietnam Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- Japan has joined the U.S. for an exercise in the South China Sea, after engaging in a bit of defense diplomacy with Indonesia and Vietnam that was not welcomed by the region's other key power – China.
- Belgian Government to Offer Defense, Security Classes in Flemish Schools Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- Belgian authorities have reached an agreement with education officials of the country's Flemish community to implement a special defence and security program in some of its secondary schools starting next year, the Belgian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
- Turkish Drone Power Displayed in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- Turkish-made drones are playing a role in Azerbaijan's offensive in the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Drones have become an integral part of Turkey's foreign policy, but Turkey's drone industry is facing scrutiny from the international community.
- 13 October 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 13 Oct 2020
- Philippine Military Chief: Situation in South China Sea 'Very Tense' Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- Military posturing in the South China Sea has created a "very tense" situation, the Philippine armed forces chief said Tuesday, while in Malaysia, the visiting Chinese foreign minister said the waterway should not be "teeming with warships."
- Japan Urges China to Withdraw 2 Ships From Territorial Waters in East China Sea Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- Japan demands, including via diplomatic channels, that two Chinese vessels withdraw from Japanese territorial waters in the vicinity of the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Tuesday.
- Nagorno-Karabakh Death Toll Rises Despite Cease-Fire VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- The death toll continues to rise in clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, despite a cease-fire and warnings of a humanitarian crisis.
- Nagorno-Karabakh clash may spiral over region IRNA 13 Oct 2020 -- Armenia and Azerbaijan eventually agreed to a ceasefire with Russian peace efforts. If the volatile truce goes on without a comprehensive international plan, the conflict and humanitarian crisis may spiral over the entire region.
- Armenia, Azerbaijan play blame game over violation of humanitarian ceasefire Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Armenia and Azerbaijan continue to accuse each other of violating a recent humanitarian ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Unidentified drone crashes in NW Iran as Armenia, Azerbaijan clash over Nagorno-Karabakh Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- An unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle has crashed in Iran's northwestern province of Ardabil close to the area where an intense fighting is underway between neighboring Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Azerbaijan, Armenia Trade Blame For Truce Violations In Nagorno-Karabakh Fighting RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- YEREVAN/BAKU -- Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continue to exchange fire in and around the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region despite international calls for both sides to implement and stick to a Russian-brokered humanitarian cease-fire.
- Armenia Launches Criminal Case Over Azerbaijan's Alleged Use of Mercenaries in Karabakh Conflict Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- A criminal case into acts of international terrorism has been launched by Armenian prosecutors over the alleged presence of foreign mercenaries in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, the Armenian Prosecutor General's Office said on Tuesday.
- 7th round of China-India military commanders' talks positive, constructive: Chinese Defense Ministry Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesperson, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, announced on Tuesday night that the 7th round of senior commanders meeting of India and China was positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of both sides.
- India's infrastructure construction, troop build-up along border cause of tension with China: FM Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- China strongly opposed to India's infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for the purpose of military surveillance, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Tuesday, adding that neither side should take actions that will complicate the situation.
- Joint Press Release of the 7th Round of India-China Military Commander-Level Meeting India PIB 13 Oct 2020 -- On 12 October, the 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting of India and China was held in Chushul.
- China, India hold 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting PLA Daily 13 Oct 2020 -- China and India held the 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting in Chushul on October 12, according to Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday.
- India, China military officials hold 'positive' talks to end border row Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Indian and Chinese military commanders have held "positive, constructive" talks on disengaging troops at their remote contested Himalayan border.
- U.S. Response to Turkey's Renewed Survey Activity in the Eastern Mediterranean US Dept. of State 13 Oct 2020 -- "The United States deplores Turkey's October 11 announcement of renewed Turkish survey activity in areas over which Greece asserts jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean."
- Greece rejects talks until Turkey withdraws ship from Mediterranean Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Greece says it has no plans to hold talks with Turkey on defusing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean unless Ankara withdraws an energy research ship from the disputed areas.
- Germany warns Turkey against 'provocation' in Mediterranean Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Germany has urged Turkey to refrain from "provocation" in the Eastern Mediterranean, following Ankara's decision to send a seismic research ship back to disputed waters with Greece.
- Austria's Kurz Warns Ankara of Possible EU Sanctions Over Seismic Surveys in Mediterranean Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday that the European Union would impose sanctions against Ankara if Turkey continued its seismic explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- Chechen Officials Say Four 'Militants' Killed In Grozny RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- Authorities in Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya say police in the regional capital, Grozny, have killed "four militants."
- At Least 12 Malian Soldiers Killed as Militants Attack Security Checkpoint, Army Says Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- At least 12 Malian army soldiers were killed as a result of attacks conducted by militants in the central region of Mopti, the Malian Armed Forces command (FAM) said on Tuesday.
- UN envoy outlines progress towards cooperation in Africa's Great Lakes Region UN News 13 Oct 2020 -- Even as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in Africa's Great Lakes Region continue to improve political, security and economic cooperation in line with a 2013 Framework agreement, UN Special Envoy Huang Xia told the Security Council on Tuesday.
- Acting Secretary Wolf Condemns Attempted Kidnapping of Governor's Whitmer and Northam after Tuesday's Federal Hearing DHS 13 Oct 2020
- Anti-Government Groups Discussed Kidnapping Virginia Governor, FBI Agent Testifies VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- An FBI agent testified in court Tuesday that members of anti-government militant groups discussed kidnapping Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam in a meeting four months ago.
- On Transparency and Foreign Funding of U.S. Think Tanks US Dept. of State 13 Oct 2020 -- The Department of State maintains close ties with the academic community, think tanks, and various external sources of expertise in foreign affairs to advance the interests of the United States.
- Department of Justice Forecasts an Increase in Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) Protection Activities and Criminal Enforcement Actions US Dept. of Justice 13 Oct 2020 -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced the protection activities undertaken by the FBI to counter the threat posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at certain National Special Security Events (NSSEs), Special Events Assessment Rating (SEAR) events, and select mass gatherings throughout the country over the past fiscal year.
- US State, Education Officials Call For Review of Confucius Institutes Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has called on the country's higher education sector to reconsider their partnerships with cultural and language-teaching institutes run and partly funded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on October 13, 2020 PRC MofA 13 Oct 2020
- China's Narrow Win of UN Human Rights Council Seat Signals Eroding Support Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- China narrowly won a seat on the United Nations' Human Rights Council Tuesday, prompting a rights group to call the vote "embarrassing" for a country that has worked overtime to whitewash its image and used its growing power to stifle criticism of its persecution of ethnic Uyghurs and Tibetans.
- China warns Asian nations to guard against US strategy of sowing division Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on Asian nations to remain "vigilant" in the face of the United States' strategy of fueling geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea and other parts of the region.
- China hits back at Pompeo's 'debt-trap' diplomacy claim Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is like a tape machine continuously playing an "anti-China" message, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, in response to the US politician's claim that China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was a kind of debt-trap diplomacy.
- HK police redefine 'media representatives' to improve local media ecology Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- When a riot broke out in Yau Tsim Mong district on September 6, a cross-dressing man who wore a fluorescent yellow vest which reads "press," fell to the ground and began to tremble, pretending to have been hit by a police pepper bomb. Imaginary dramas like this have been staged repeatedly in Hong Kong SAR since last year.
- National flag, emblem law amended, helping enhance HK patriotism Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- A draft amendment to the Chinese National Flag Law and National Emblem Law was submitted on Tuesday to the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) for a second review.
- Calls to insert backdoors in encrypted apps expose Five Eyes Alliance's double standards: FM Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- "Isn't this a typical double standard?" Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian asked at a scheduled press conference on Tuesday, responding to news that the Five Eyes alliance, along with government representatives from India and Japan, had demanded tech companies insert "backdoors" in encrypted apps to allow law enforcement agencies the access.
- Taiwan Slams China's Televised 'Confessions' by Its Nationals Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- Taiwan hit out on Tuesday at the airing on Chinese state TV of "confessions" by two of its nationals accused by Beijing of spying for the democratic island.
- Taiwan condemns China as another alleged Taiwanese spy 'confesses' CNA 13 Oct 2020 -- Taiwan on Tuesday condemned China for forcing another Taiwanese national accused by Beijing of spying for Taiwan's government to publicly "confess" on Chinese state television the previous day.
- Taiwan spies use cross-Straits exchanges, mainland think tank meetings to gather intelligence: sources Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- Taiwan's separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has increased its intelligence gathering activities against the Chinese mainland. Sources with the state security agency of the mainland told the Global Times that two Taiwan spies have been detained in the mainland for providing intelligence about mainland officials, think tank experts and journalists to Taiwan intelligence agencies, and for prying the mainland's internal documents.
- Exposing Taiwan spying a warning, not a prelude to war: observers Global Times 13 Oct 2020 -- Three consecutive days of media exposure of hundreds of espionage cases involving spies from the island of Taiwan serves to warn Taiwan separatist forces, rather than a prelude to the use of force in efforts to reunify Taiwan with the mainland, observers said on Tuesday.
- U.S. Sanctions Damaging Iranian Economy, Spokesman Says Radio Farda 13 Oct 2020 -- Referring to Washington's new, additional sanctions on Tehran, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said on Monday that "these decisions and sanctions have caused serious monetary and financial damages to Iran."
- Iran never halted regular oil production despite COVID19 pandemic: Minister IRNA 13 Oct 2020 -- Despite lockdown created by coronavirus outbreak could not stop or even reduce Iranian oil output for a day, said Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh on Tuesday.
- INSTEX can process Iran's IMF loan, EU3 refusing to cooperate: MP Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- A senior Iranian parliamentarian says the three European powers who are member to an international nuclear deal with Iran are unwilling to use a proposed financial mechanism for processing Tehran's loan request from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- Belarus Starts Chain Reaction At Astravets Nuclear Plant RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- Belarus has successfully launched the first chain reaction at Unit 1 of the Astravets nuclear power plant.
- Belarusian opposition figure threatens to call country-wide strike Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Belarus' opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has threatened to call a country-wide strike unless President Alexander Lukashenko resigns.
- Belarus protests: Govt. says might use live fire against radical organized groups Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- The situation remains tense in Belarus which has been the scene of anti-government rallies since August, with the country's Interior Ministry now threatening to use live fire against "radical" and "organized" opposition protesters.
- Belarus Opposition Demands Lukashenka Step Down Or Face National Strike RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has demanded Alyaksandr Lukashenka step down in 12 days or face a nationwide strike.
- On the Exile of Catholic Archbishop Kondrusiewicz US Dept. of State 13 Oct 2020
- Almaty Authorities Grant Rare Permission For Activist Rally On Political Reforms RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- In an unexpected and rare move, authorities in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, have allowed rights activists to hold a rally at which demonstrators will demand political reforms and an end to politically motivated persecutions.
- A Hidden Force In Kyrgyzstan Hijacks The Opposition's Push For Big Changes RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- One week ago, Kyrgyzstan's opposition parties were celebrating after their protest of what some called the "dirtiest" parliamentary elections ever forced the Central Election Commission to annul the October 4 results.
- Kyrgyz President Rejects Parliament's Decision On New Prime Minister RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has rejected a decision by a group of lawmakers to appoint Sadyr Japarov, a convicted kidnapper released from prison last week in the wake of mass protests that ousted the government, to the post of prime minister.
- Emomali Rahmon: The Accidental Leader Who Has Stayed In Power For Decades RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- One of those Central Asian leaders some refer to as a "strongman" who "rules with an iron fist," Tajik President Emomali Rahmon just won his fifth term in office in the tightly controlled presidential election on October 11.
- Hate Speech Against Rohingya in Myanmar Election Has Worrisome Precedents Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- Online and offline hate speech targeting Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims has reared its head in the run-up to national elections in November, as some candidates and others target the largely disenfranchised and despised ethnic minority group to gain support from voters.
- Myanmar News Site Mimics RFA to Spread Disinformation Before Elections Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- A Myanmar media site imitating the look of RFA has been outed by a watchdog group and local news outlets as a serial spreader of disinformation and hate speech, drawing calls for legal action from the ruling party that was the target of many of the false reports seen aimed at influencing Nov. 8 elections.
- Malaysia's opposition figure Anwar meets king in bid to become PM Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Malaysian opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim has met with the king and claimed to have presented the monarch with documents showing that he has "strong and convincing" parliamentary support to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and take his position.
- Malaysian Opposition Leader Tells King He Has Parliamentary Support for Prime Minister Bid VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he has presented to the nation's king a list of lawmakers who will back him in a bid to form a new government.
- Bolivia's ex-president warns about US meddling in upcoming elections Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Bolivia's former president Evo Morales, who resigned last year under pressure from the country's military and US-backed opposition, warns that attempts are underway to meddle in the Latin American nation's upcoming elections with Washington's support.
- Jordan king swears in new government led by PM Khasawneh Press TV 13 Oct 2020 -- Jordan's King Abdullah II has sworn in new Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh and his cabinet as the kingdom is grappling with its worst economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus outbreak.
- Jailed Vietnamese Democracy Advocate Launches Third Hunger Strike in Two Years Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- Jailed Vietnamese democracy advocate Tran Huynh Duy Thuc has launched a hunger strike, his third in the last two years, demanding that his 16-year sentence for subversion be reduced in line with a law enacted after he was sentenced, sources say.
- Tunisia Closes Entries to Riot-Ridden City of Sbeitla as Clashes Continue - Reports Sputnik 13 Oct 2020 -- Tunisian police have closed the entrances to the city of Sbeitla in the western province of Kasserine due to mass protests and clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement officers, the Sky News Arabia broadcaster reported on Tuesday.
- On the UN Human Rights Council's Embrace of Authoritarian Regimes US Dept. of State 13 Oct 2020 -- "In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council due to its well-established pattern of anti-Israel bias and membership rules that allow the election of the world's worst human rights abusers to seats on the Council."
- Saudis Lose Bid for Seat on UN Human Rights Council VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- Saudi Arabia failed in its bid to win a seat on the controversial U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday, but other nations with abysmal rights records, including China and Russia, made it on to the 47-nation body.
- UN Report Warns Climate Change Could Boost Demand for Humanitarian Aid VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- The United Nations is warning that climate change is threatening the lives of millions of people throughout the world, and that demand for humanitarian aid could rise 50% by 2030.
- Germany's Merkel: Brexit Trade Deal in Everyone's Interest VOA 13 Oct 2020 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel told European Union (EU) members that a Brexit trade deal with Britain is "in the interest of all," but added that they must be prepared in case an agreement is not reached.
- Ex-U.S. Diplomat Steps Down From Naftogaz Board, Citing Ukrainian Corruption Concerns RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- A former U.S. State Department official said he is stepping down from the supervisory board of Ukraine's state-owned gas company amid concerns about a slowdown in reform and creeping corruption.
- Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary 'Doing Next To Nothing' To Fight Foreign Bribery RFE/RL 13 Oct 2020 -- An anti-corruption watchdog has ranked Russia, Bulgaria, and Hungary among 19 leading global exporters that are doing little or even nothing to enforce rules meant to prohibit companies from paying bribes in foreign markets.
- Department of State Offers Reward for Information to Bring Mexican Transnational Criminal to Justice US Dept. of State 13 Oct 2020 -- Today the U.S. Department of State announces a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez.
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