07 December 2020 Military News
- 35 Hurt in Car Bomb Blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- A car bomb attack wounded at least 35 people, including women and children, in Afghanistan's Kandahar province early Monday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Army South Soldiers return from humanitarian assistance deployment in Central America due to Hurricanes Eta and Iota Army News 07 Dec 2020 -- With two major hurricanes hitting the Central and South American region less than two weeks apart from each other, the nation found itself dealing with the devastation of a humanitarian crisis. U.S. Southern Command immediately coordinated disaster relief efforts, pushing elements from U.S. Army South to support Joint Task Force-Bravo in responding to the emergency in the aftermath of Hurricanes Eta and Iota.
- Wind tunnel tests will help design future Army tiltrotor aircraft Army News 07 Dec 2020 -- After more than three years in development, a team of U.S. Army researchers and industry partners completed the construction of a testbed that will help to inform the design of future Army rotorcraft.
- Defense Department Brings Small Business Innovation to Research & Engineering Support DoD 07 Dec 2020 -- The Department of Defense announced on November 19, 2020, a new contracting vehicle for procuring research, engineering, and technical expertise from small businesses to promote innovation and advance the Department's technological superiority.
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller's Meetings with Indonesian Officials DoD 07 Dec 2020
- Special Operations Strives to Use the Power of Artificial Intelligence DoD News 07 Dec 2020 -- U.S. Special Operations Command hopes to increasingly use artificial intelligence and machine learning in all aspects of warfare, its commander said.
- USS Ralph Johnson Conducts Maritime Interdiction in North Arabian Sea US Navy 07 Dec 2020 -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of more than 2,000lbs (900kgs) of suspected narcotics from a stateless dhow in the international waters of the Arabian Sea, Dec. 4.
- Space Agency Hopes to Gain Industry's Trust With Proliferated Satellite Marketplace DoD News 07 Dec 2020 -- BY The National Defense Space Architecture will include hundreds of satellites in orbit around earth dedicated to gathering targeting and tracking information and instantly transmit it to war fighters. Getting the defense industry on board with this, means gaining their trust. Part of that will require the creation of a stable market for those satellites and technologies, the director of the Space Development Agency said.
- Composite Special Operations Component Command reaches full operational capability NATO 07 Dec 2020 -- Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands declared their Composite Special Operations Component Command (C-SOCC) headquarters as fully operational on Monday 7 December 2020.
- Russia's Su-30 Intercepts US, French Spy Planes Over Black Sea Sputnik 07 Dec 2020 -- Russian fighter Su-30 intercepted the US and French reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea on Monday, the Russian Defence Ministry's National Defence Control Centre (NDCC) told reporters.
- Mercenary Says Kremlin's Wagner Group Recruiting Inexperienced Fighters VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- A war memoir written by a former Russian paratrooper who fought in Syria for the Kremlin-backed mercenary Wagner Group, owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a plutocrat nicknamed "Putin's chef," had been eagerly awaited.
- Chinese troops go to Pakistan for "Shaheen (Eagle) - IX" joint air force exercise PLA Daily 07 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese air force's troops set off on Dec. 7 for the Pakistani Air Force's air base in Bholari at Thatta District in Sindh, northeast of Pakistan's Karachi to participate in the China-Pakistan Joint Air Force Exercise "Shaheen (Eagle) - IX".
- Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) - Field Information Communications System (FICS) DSCA 07 Dec 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of a Field Information Communications System (FICS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $280 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
- More arms procurements from U.S. in pipeline for 2021: MND CNA 07 Dec 2020 -- Taiwan has two defense procurement deals with the United States in the pipeline for 2021, worth approximately US$8 billion, Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (張哲平) said Monday during a legislative hearing.
- Russia waiting for Turkey to work out second S-400 missile system deal: Official Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Russia's state-owned hi-tech conglomerate, Rostec Corporation, says the country is waiting for Turkey to negotiate the acquisition of another batch of advanced S-400 missile defense system.
- Royal Navy warships monitor significant Russian presence close to UK waters UK MOD 07 Dec 2020 -- The Royal Navy has monitored nine Russian vessels around the UK in recent weeks.
- 7 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 07 Dec 2020
- UNICEF appeals for $2.5bn to help kids of Mideast amid wars, pandemic Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, has appealed for 2.5 billion dollars in emergency funding, a record high figure, to respond to the needs of about 39 million children and provide life-saving assistance in the Middle East and North Africa.
- 54 million women and youth face staggering humanitarian challenges UN News 07 Dec 2020 -- As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact women and girls hit by multiple humanitarian crises, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency appealed on Monday for $818 million to provide 54 million women and youth with essential and life-saving services throughout 2021.
- Beijing's Military Bases in Contested South China Sea Vulnerable to Enemy Attack, Claims Report Sputnik 07 Dec 2020 -- China, which lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea, despite overlapping territorial claims in the waterway from at least six other governments, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Taiwan, has been building up reefs and sandbars into fortified man-made artificial islands since 2014.
- Yemeni army launches drone attack against Saudi positions Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- The Yemeni army, backed by popular committees, has launched a fresh drone attack against the positions of the Saudi-led coalition, whose war on Yemen's Ansarullah movement has killed thousands of civilians since 2015.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia toward the Kingdom SPA 07 Dec 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki "Joint Coalition Forces have intercepted and destroyed this afternoon (Monday) a bomb-laden UAV launched systematically and deliberately by the terrorist Houthi militia to target civilians and civilian objects in the Southern Region."
- Iraqi Security Forces Detain High-Ranking Member of Daesh Sputnik 07 Dec 2020 -- Iraqi security forces detained a high-ranking Daesh* militant in the western province of Al Anbar, Yehya Rasool, a spokesman for the Iraqi military, said on Monday.
- Transfer of Rohingya refugees to Bay of Bengal island 'must be voluntary': UN refugee agency UN News 07 Dec 2020 -- The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), has voiced concerns over the reported relocation of some Rohingya refugees by Bangladeshi authorities, to an island off the country's coast, in the Bay of Bengal.
- Ex-Saudi spy chief rips Israel after Netanyahu trip exposé Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Saudi Arabia's former influential spymaster has laid into the Israeli regime in strong-worded remarks after Israel's media outlets exposed a trip by the Israeli prime minister to the kingdom.
- Minister: Sudan junta forging Israeli ties without informing civilian government Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Sudan's Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Salih has criticized the military for developing relations with Israel without informing civilian officials of the country's ruling council.
- Israel evicts Syrians in occupied Golan Heights to establish wind turbines Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Israeli forces have closed a number of the main entrances to the villages in the occupied Golan Heights of Syria, barring the locals from reaching their farms, where the Tel Aviv regime wants to set up wind turbines.
- Turkey will not bow to threats in Eastern Mediterranean, wants negotiation: Erdogan Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will not cave in to threats and blackmail over its energy exploration rights in the contested Eastern Mediterranean waters, stressing that Ankara is willing to resolve the dispute through negotiation.
- 'Quickly restore the rule of law' in Ethiopia's Tigray, urges Guterres UN News 07 Dec 2020 -- The UN Secretary-General said on Monday it was "essential to quickly restore the rule of law" in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray, where Government forces and those loyal to the ruling Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have been engaged in fighting for more than a month.
- Ethiopia's PM downplays 'risk of protracted insurgency' in Tigray mountains Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has dismissed claims by rebel forces in the northern Tigray region of mounting a guerrilla war against government troops.
- Interview: Thomas De Waal On What's Next For Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian-Azerbaijani Relations RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- Following the latest fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan has retaken control over all seven districts around Karabakh that had been occupied by Armenian forces since the early 1990s.
- EU to decide on sanctions as Turkey highlights 'sovereign rights' Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- The European Union, which has for long been involved in an ongoing maritime row between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, is now assessing ways and means of penalizing Ankara for refusing to stop exploring in the disputed waters.
- United States Takes Action Against Violators of Religious Freedom US Dept. of State 07 Dec 2020 -- Religious freedom is an unalienable right, and the bedrock upon which free societies are built and flourish. Today, the United States – a nation founded by those fleeing religious persecution, as the recent Commission on Unalienable Rights report noted – once again took action to defend those who simply want to exercise this essential freedom.
- EU Adopts 'Magnitsky' Sanctions Regime To Target Rights Abusers RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- European Union foreign ministers have given the final green light to establishing a system that would allow the 27-nation bloc to impose sanctions on human rights violators worldwide.
- On the EU's Adoption of a Human Rights Sanctions Framework US Dept. of State 07 Dec 2020 -- The United States welcomes the European Union's adoption of its global human rights sanctions framework. Today, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, we note that this groundbreaking accomplishment will further protect human rights worldwide.
- Russian Businessman Received Flood Of Billion-Dollar Deals After Marrying 'Putin's Daughter,' Report Shows RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- A young Russian businessman received a host of proposals to buy stakes in some of the nation's largest companies shortly after marrying a woman reported to be President Vladimir Putin's youngest daughter, a new investigative report shows.
- Ukrainian National Gets 12 Years In Prison In Moscow On Espionage Charges RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- A Ukrainian national and former professional soccer player has received 12 years in prison in Russia on espionage charges.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 7, 2020 PRC MofA 07 Dec 2020
- China, US likely to prioritize business dialogues, diplomatic exchanges to come after Biden takes office: expert Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- China and the US are likely to prioritize trade and business dialogues, while diplomatic dialogues could reopen after Joe Biden takes office in January, meanwhile it would be a slow process for the two countries' return to cooperation.
- High alert needed with Biden administration on S.China Sea, Taiwan Straits Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- US warships once again entered the South China Sea on Sunday, a bluff and muscle-flexing action that pundits believe would damage regional stability.
- Chinese Foreign Minister urges China, US to open dialogues at all levels Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- China and the US should launch dialogues at all levels, as all issues can be brought to the table for discussion, whether they are strategic, comprehensive and long-term tasks or specific ones, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a video conference with the US-China Business Council board of chairs on Monday.
- Designations of National People's Congress Officials Undermining the Autonomy of Hong Kong US Dept. of State 07 Dec 2020 -- Beijing's unrelenting assault against Hong Kong's democratic processes has gutted its Legislative Council, rendering the body a rubber stamp devoid of meaningful opposition.
- Outgoing Trump administration sanctions 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- The administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on a number of Chinese officials for what Washington claims to be their role in Beijing's disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.
- US preparing new sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- The United States is gearing up to impose sanctions on a number of Chinese officials for what Washington claims to be their role in Beijing's disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong National Security Police Arrest Eight Over Slogans at Graduation Protest Radio Free Asia 07 Dec 2020 -- Police in Hong Kong on Monday arrested eight people -- including two directly elected members of the District Council -- over a peaceful graduation protest at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), three of them under the national security law for "inciting secession."
- US Designates 14 Chinese Officials in New Sanctions Over Hong Kong Sputnik 07 Dec 2020 -- The United States has targeted more than a dozen Chinese officials in a new round of sanctions over Hong Kong, the Department of the Treasury announced on Monday.
- China strongly opposes looming US sanctions on Chinese officials over disqualification of HK lawmakers Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- Following media reports that the US government has been mulling new sanctions on at least 12 Chinese officials for the recent disqualification of Hong Kong Legislative Council lawmakers, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reiterated China's position of opposing US interference in China's internal affairs through Hong Kong-related issues.
- HK's framework for fighting money laundering in compliance with intl standards: HKMA Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong's framework for fighting money laundering and its specific anti-money laundering efforts are in compliance with international standards, a spokesperson with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said on Monday, after local police revealed ex-lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung is being investigated for money laundering.
- HK police arrest 8 involved in CUHK graduation pro-secession parade Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) arrested at least eight people on Monday who were involved in the pro-secession parade in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on November 19, including District Council member Eason Chan Yik-shun and CUHK graduate Arthur Yeung.
- China slams looming sanctions on officials in HK Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- Several Chinese officials and prominent academics on Hong Kong affairs said the looming US sanctions on at least 12 Chinese officials would not be as meaningful as several Hong Kong-related bills passed by the US Congress since the social turmoil in the Chinese city in 2019. Those so-called punitive moves made by Washington are purely political gestures.
- HKSAR gov't official stresses education on Constitution, Basic Law People's Daily 07 Dec 2020 -- A senior official of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Sunday stressed the education on the Constitution and the Hong Kong Basic Law to correct the misunderstanding of some people about "one country, two systems."
- Rare-earth exports plunge in first 11 months: Chinese customs Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- China's rare-earth exports plunged 26.7 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2020, despite some improvement in November, according to customs data released on Monday. Experts said the decline reflected dropping demand as major export markets, including the US, were still mired in the COVID-19 pandemic.
- China's rare earth exports plunge for eight months in Nov, narrowing from previous drops Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- China's rare earth exports plunged for the eighth consecutive month in November, to 2,611.1 tons, according to customs data released on Monday.
- Chang'e 5 set to start journey to Earth People's Daily 07 Dec 2020 -- Lunar samples collected by China's Chang'e 5 robotic probe will soon start their journey toward Earth, according to the China National Space Administration.
- Taipei court rejects CTiTV's effort to prevent closure of news channel CNA 07 Dec 2020 -- The Taipei High Administrative Court on Monday rejected a request by CTiTV for an injunction to prevent the shutdown of its CTi News channel when its six-year broadcast license expires on Dec. 11.
- China urges US to rejoin JCPOA, to lift anti-Iran sanctions IRNA 07 Dec 2020 -- China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying described current situation of Iran nuclear deal as complex, urging the United States to return to Iran nuclear deal and to lift sanctions against Iran.
- China: US must return to JCPOA unconditionally, resume compliance Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- China has called for an 'unconditional' return of the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and resumption of Washington's compliance with its obligations under the accord.
- European trio: Iran plan to ramp up enrichment 'deeply worrying' Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- France, Germany and Britain say they are worried by an Iranian plan to install additional, advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at Natanz nuclear facility.
- European Powers 'Deeply Worried' By Iran's Uranium Enrichment Plans RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- Britain, France, and Germany say Iran's apparent plan to install additional advanced centrifuges at its main nuclear enrichment facility is "deeply worrying" and contrary to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
- France, Germany & UK 'Concerned' Over Iran's Plan to Set Up New Centrifuges at Natanz Nuclear Site Sputnik 07 Dec 2020 -- Iran stopped adhering to the requirements of the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2019 after the US withdrew from the accord and imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
- Iranian Official Rejects Rumors Of Supreme Leader's Failing Health RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- An Iranian official has rejected online rumors that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is gravely ill, saying that the 81-year-old cleric was going about his business as usual.
- Remote-Control Killing: Iran Says Top Nuclear Scientist Assassinated By Gun Guided Via Satellite RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- A machine gun equipped with a "satellite-controlled smart system" was used to kill Iran's top nuclear scientist, a senior official with the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said.
- Iran neither negotiating nor compromising on its national security: Khatibzadeh ISNA 07 Dec 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that European countries must know that Iran is neither negotiating nor compromising on its national security and national interests.
- More Detentions Made In Belarus In Latest Crackdown On Postelection Protests RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- Belarusian security forces have detained at least 10 people in the center of the capital, Minsk, where hundreds of demonstrators had gathered for a march demanding the resignation of authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Macron dismisses calls to get tough with Egypt's Sisi on human rights Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- French President Emmanuel Macron has defied widespread criticism of his close ties with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over flagrant human rights violations in the African country, saying Paris will not take a tough line on the government in Cairo and would not condition the sale of weapons as well as military equipment to Egypt.
- France's Macron Says Human Rights Not a Condition for Egypt Arms Sales VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday he would not make human rights a condition for the sale of weapons to Egypt because he did not want to weaken Cairo's ability to counter terrorism in the region.
- Human Rights Issues Cloud France's Dealings With Egypt VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Monday to boost economic and military ties with France. The dealings present a dilemma for the French government in light of Egypt's poor human rights record.
- Hayabusa2 Capsule With Samples From Ryugu Asteroid Delivered to Japan, Report Says Sputnik 07 Dec 2020 -- The Hayabusa2 capsule containing samples from near-Earth asteroid Ryugu has been delivered from Australia to Japan for detailed analysis, the NHK broadcaster reports.
- The United States Condemns Venezuela's Fraudulent Legislative Elections US Dept. of State 07 Dec 2020 -- "On December 6, the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela staged a political farce intended to look like legislative elections. Fortunately, few were fooled. The United States, along with numerous other democracies around the world, condemns this charade which failed to meet any minimum standard of credibility."
- Venezuela's Maduro calls on opposition to resume dialogue after legislative elections Global Times 07 Dec 2020 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday praised the peacefulness of the country's legislative elections, saying that a new era is being born in the nation, and called on the opposition to resume political dialogue.
- Maduro's ruling Socialist Party wins control of Venezuela legislature Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's ruling party has won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections, further consolidating his grip on the Latin American country's power institutions.
- US Condemns Venezuela Election as 'Charade' VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- The United States said Monday that the legislative elections held in Venezuela on Sunday in which President Nicolas Maduro's socialist political alliance is set to gain control of the National Assembly were a sham.
- Kyrgyz Supreme Court Cancels Prison Sentence Of Former PM, Calls For Retrial RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan has canceled an 18-year prison sentence handed to former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov after he was convicted on corruption charges.
- Romanian PM claims victory for pro-EU liberals in parliamentary elections Press TV 07 Dec 2020 -- Romania's pro-European liberal Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has claimed victory in the country's national elections.
- Romania's Social Democrats Take Lead In Key General Elections Amid Low Turnout RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- Romania's opposition Social Democrats (PSD) have taken the lead in the country's parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results, riding a wave of voter discontent over the ruling Liberals' mixed results in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Romania's Pro-Western PM Resigns After Disappointing Election Results RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- Romania's pro-Western Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has resigned after his National Liberal Party (PNL) came second in parliamentary elections at the weekend, despite the party appearing well-placed to stay in power.
- DR Congo: Political tensions, armed attacks, displacement and COVID threats continue UN News 07 Dec 2020 -- There is a critical need for State institutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to provide more stability and safety for citizens facing multiple threats, the head of the UN mission there told the Security Council on Monday.
- Retired Spanish Officers Say Socialist-led Government Threat to National Unity VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- Former members of Spain's armed forces have published an open letter accusing the country's Socialist-led minority government of threatening national unity.
- Voters in Ghana Choose Between Familiar Faces VOA 07 Dec 2020 -- Voters in Ghana are going to the polls today to decide whether to keep President Nana Akufo-Addo or to bring back former President John Mahama. While surveys show the incumbent is likely to retain power, Akufo-Addo's party is expected to lose seats in Parliament.
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