08 December 2020 Military News
- US Slams New Study on Afghan Civilian Casualties VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- The United States military Tuesday refuted as "one-sided" a new report that civilian casualties caused by American and coalition airstrikes in Afghanistan had spiked to record levels.
- U.S Military Rejects Report On Jump In Afghan Civilian Deaths After ROE Relaxed RFE/RL Gandhara 08 Dec 2020 -- The number of Afghan civilians killed in air strikes increased dramatically after the U.S. military relaxed its rules of engagement in 2017, according to a study by a U.S. university researcher that was rejected by the U.S. military as "one-sided."
- Number of Afghan civilians killed by US-led airstrikes rose by 330%: Study Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- The number of civilians killed in US-led airstrikes across Afghanistan climbed by nearly 330 percent between 2016 and 2019, and 1,357 civilians perished in such strikes in the 2015-2019 period, a new study has found.
- Number of Afghan Civilians Killed in Int'l Airstrikes Up by 330% Since 2016, Study Claims Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- The number of civilians killed in airstrikes conducted by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan increased by about 330 percent from 2016-2019, and 1,357 civilians were killed in these airstrikes between 2015-2019, a fresh study revealed.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Biden Nominee for Pentagon Chief Is Veteran Commander of Iraq, Afghanistan Wars VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- President-elect Joe Biden has officially nominated retired U.S. Army General Lloyd Austin as his pick for defense secretary, potentially making him the first African American to hold the post if he is confirmed by the Senate.
- Army Leaders and Committee Members Brief Reporters on Findings and Recommendations of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee DoD 08 Dec 2020 -- Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy; Army Chief of Staff General James C. McConville; Chris Swecker, Chair, Fort Hood Independent Review Committee; Jonathan Harmon, Fort Hood Independent Review Committee; Carrie Ricci, Fort Hood Independent Review Committee; Queta Rodriguez, Fort Hood Independent Review Committee; Jack White, Fort Hood Independent Review Committee
- US Army Fires, Suspends 14 Senior Officers at Fort Hood, Texas VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- The U.S Army dismissed or suspended 14 senior officers Tuesday and ordered policy changes following a sweeping independent investigation into sexual harassment and violence at the base, including the murder of a female soldier earlier this year.
- Army Secretary Releases Results of Fort Hood Review DoD News 08 Dec 2020 -- Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy and the five civilian members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee today unveiled the results of a three-month examination of the command climate and culture at Fort Hood, Texas, and the surrounding military community.
- Secretary McCarthy holds Fort Hood Leaders Accountable, Announces New Investigations US Army 08 Dec 2020 -- The Secretary of the Army today directed the relief or suspension of 14 Fort Hood commanders and other leaders down to the squad level based on the findings of an independent review of the command's climate and culture.
- Secretary of the Army announces missing Soldier policy, forms People First Task Force to implement Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (FHIRC) recommendations US Army 08 Dec 2020 -- The Secretary of the Army today announced a new Army policy on missing Soldiers and formed the People First Task Force to address the recommendations of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 08 Dec 2020
- Acting Pentagon Chief Visits Indonesia, Philippines Amid South China Sea Tensions Radio Free Asia 08 Dec 2020 -- The acting U.S. defense secretary on Tuesday wrapped up a visit to Indonesia and the Philippines, during which he emphasized Washington's commitment to enhancing their defense capabilities as well as ensuring a free and open South China Sea and Indo-Pacific.
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller's Meeting with Philippines Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodore Locsin DoD 08 Dec 2020
- Ultra-Low Cost Simulation Program Augments Pilot Training DoD News 08 Dec 2020 -- A simulation program that can be installed on ordinary computers and laptops — the Joint Immersive Training System, or JTS — is currently being used to support pilot training.
- Mission Engineering Guidance Provides Framework for Work With Industry DoD News 08 Dec 2020 -- Many businesses, large and small, want to work and partner with the Defense Department to assist with the identification and development of innovative, cross-cutting technologies to meet joint warfighter needs and support the priorities in the National Defense Strategy.
- The US Air Force Becomes First Military Branch to Exclude Tape Measurement From Fitness Tests Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- The list of necessary physical fitness tests for members of the Air Force service includes waist measurement to measure body fat. The military has been critical of this method, as it doesn't represent their actual physical condition.
- US Air Force Gives Three Firms Contracts to Build 'Skyborg' Drone AI Prototypes Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- The US military is looking toward fielding more advanced artificial intelligence systems in future conflicts, including autonomous drones flying under the command of a human pilot. AI pilots have already bested humans in dogfights.
- Russian fighter jet intercepts U.S., French planes over Black Sea People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- A Russian Su-30 fighter jet of the Southern Military District was scrambled Monday to intercept U.S. and French aircraft over the Black Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
- The Great Plane Robbery: Thieves Steal Radio Equipment From Russian 'Doomsday' Plane Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- Russia and the US are the only two nations in the world to possess 'Doomsday' planes, which earn their nickname from the fact they're designed to survive a nuclear war while acting as an airborne command post for top brass.
- PLA holds drills in South China Sea amid US warship transits Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- Warships of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently conducted real scenario-oriented exercises in the South China Sea and comprehensively honed their combat capabilities, media reported on Monday, a day after the US sailed warships into the region.
- US plans latest arms sale to Taiwan, 'PLA will be ready' Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- The US is planning the sale of a battlefield communications system to Taiwan island, marking the sixth US arms sale to the island this year, as the Taiwan authorities claimed on Tuesday such exchanges have become "routine."
- Naval Group welcomes the decision of the President of the French Republic to launch the studies of a future Aircraft Carrier Naval Group 08 Dec 2020 -- The President of the Republic announced the launch of studies for the replacement of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier by a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by 2038.
- France won't condition defense cooperation with Egypt on human rights, says Macron People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that France will not condition its defense cooperation with Egypt on human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo's ability to fight against terrorism.
- Royal Saudi Land Forces, US Forces Joint Maneuvers' Exercise Hawk Claws 2 (2020) Kicked off SPA 08 Dec 2020 -- Maneuvers of the joint Hawk's Claws 2 (2020) Exercise of the Royal Saudi Land Forces, with the participation of the friendly US forces, at the Northwestern zone, were kicked off.
- UK Royal Navy's New Aircraft Carrier Flooded For Second Time, Reports Say Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- In 2020 the newest British aircraft carrier, the HMS Prince of Wales, had been due to sail to the US to carry out tests with F-35 jets.
- Thai Air Force to use aerial drones over natural borders to detect illegal crossings People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- Thailand's Royal Thai Armed Forces on Monday said more drones will be flown over natural borders between Thailand and Myanmar to detect illegal entries in the lead up to the New Year festive season.
- Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy hold aeronautical exercise People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- An aeronautical exercise involving forces from Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy took place in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Cypriot Defense Ministry said on Monday.
- Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper Briefing on FY 2020 Arms Sales Figures and Regional Security In the Middle East US Dept. of State 08 Dec 2020
- Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D. Brownback Briefing on Rollout of U.S. Actions Against Religious Freedom Violators US Dept. of State 08 Dec 2020
- 8 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 08 Dec 2020
- US can't 'instigate new conflicts in S. China Sea' Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- With about a month to go before the end of US President Donald Trump's administration, the US still sent its acting secretary of defense to visit some countries around the South China Sea, with observers speculating that the move is meant to add difficulties for the new administration to adjust its strategy in the region.
- The United States Sanctions IRGC Facilitators in Iran and an IRGC Official in Yemen US Dept. of State 08 Dec 2020 -- "Today, the United States is designating Hasan Irlu, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officer Iran recently sent to Sana'a Yemen to serve as the group's liaison to the Houthi Movement. The United States is also designating Al-Mustafa International University, an Iranian university with over 50 international branches which provide a platform for the IRGC-QF's operations, and Yousef Ali Muraj, who has supported IRGC-QF recruitment operations in the Middle East and United States."
- Treasury Sanctions Iran's Envoy in Yemen and University Facilitating Recruitment for Qods Force US Treasury 08 Dec 2020 -- "Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating Hasan Irlu, an official in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and the Iranian regime's envoy to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF."
- US sanctions Iranian Yemen envoy, Islamic studies university Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- The United States Treasury Department has added the names of Iran's ambassador to Yemen and an Islamic Republic-headquartered religious studies university to the list of its sanctions as Washington sustains its campaign of economic terrorism against Tehran.
- Fresh U.S. Sanctions Target Iranian Envoy To Yemen's Huthi Rebels RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- The outgoing administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has stepped up its pressure on Iran by imposing sanctions on the country's ambassador to Yemen's Huthi rebels.
- Zarif outlines details of talks with Syrian counterpart IRNA 08 Dec 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a Twitter message outlined details of negotiations with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad here in Tehran.
- Iran determined to help Syria in reconstruction era IRNA 08 Dec 2020 -- Iranian Minister of Defense Brigadier General Amir Hatami stressed on Tuesday that Iran is determined to cooperate in rebuilding Syria.
- Iran stands by Syrian people, gov't until final victory: President Rouhani ISNA 08 Dec 2020 -- Iran's President described the relations between Iran and Syria as brotherly and strategic and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been by the side of the Syrian government and people and will be on this path until the final victory."
- Iran resolute on reconstruction of war-ravaged Syria: Defense minister Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- The Islamic Republic is determined to continue cooperation with Syria on the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country, the Iranian defense minister says.
- Iran's Rohani Vows To Continue Supporting 'Strategic Ally' Syria RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rohani says his country will continue to support the Syrian government as a "strategic ally" until its "final victory" in the country's civil war.
- Iraqi forces arrest senior Daesh commander in Anbar Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) has arrested the so-called deputy governor of Daesh the Iraqi province of al-Anbar, a senior military spokesman said.
- LNA Naval Forces Detain Turkish Ship Violating Libya's Territorial Waters, Spokesman Says Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- The naval forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, have detained a Turkish merchant ship sailing under the flag of Jamaica and violating Libya's territorial waters, LNA spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmad al-Mismari told Sputnik.
- UN General Assembly Passes Nonbinding Resolution Urging Russia To Withdraw From Crimea RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution urging Russia to end its "temporary occupation" of Crimea and immediately stop transferring weapons to Ukraine.
- FM slams US political manipulation on Tibet issues, points to improvement in people's lives Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed stigmatization from a US "special coordinator for Tibetan issues" on Tuesday, stressing that the political manipulation aims to meddle in China's internal affairs and destroy the steady development of Tibet.
- Russia seeks prompt solution to humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh: FM People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- Russia is interested in resolving urgent humanitarian issues in Nagorno-Karabakh as soon as possible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday in a press conference following talks with the newly appointed Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan.
- Ethiopia Says Forces Fired on UN Team in Embattled Tigray Region VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- The Ethiopian government says its forces shot at United Nations staff members in the country's embattled Tigray Region on Sunday after the staffers breached two checkpoints.
- UN Renews Appeal for Humanitarian Access to Civilians Inside Tigray VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations is renewing its appeal for humanitarian access to civilians in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region. Hundreds of thousands are believed to be in dire need of assistance after more than a month of conflict in the area.
- US Offers Resources to Help 'Contain, Degrade and Defeat' Mozambique Insurgency VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- A top U.S. counterterrorism official has expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in Mozambique, where an Islamic State-affiliated terror group has captured territory in the country's northeast since appearing three years ago.
- Turkey calls on EU to be honest broker in Greece maritime dipsute Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Turkey has called on the European Union (EU) to be an honest broker in the country's standoff with Greece over oil and gas exploration rights in the east Mediterranean Sea.
- Seven Bosnian Serbs Arrested For Alleged War Crimes RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Seven former Bosnian Serb police officers and army fighters were arrested on December 8 on suspicion of committing atrocities against non-Serbs during the 1992-95 Bosnian War.
- Sudan at critical juncture in path towards democratic transition, Security Council hears UN News 08 Dec 2020 -- International support for Sudan is critical as the country continues on the path to democratic transition, amid challenges that include political disagreements, economic decline, and the COVID-19 pandemic, UN political affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday.
- Europe Targets Human Rights Abusers With 'Magnitsky' Laws VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- Human rights abusers will face asset freezes and travel bans under new legislation adopted by the European Union.
- Sanctions Under New EU Regime Could Jeopardize Cambodia's Ties to West: Rights Campaigner Radio Free Asia 08 Dec 2020 -- Cambodia should act quickly to reverse rollbacks on democracy and human rights to avoid sanctions under a new regime adopted by the European Union that could jeopardize the Southeast Asian nation's critical ties to the West, a rights campaigner said Tuesday.
- Iran, Tajikistan Among 10 Countries Designated By U.S. Over Violations Of Religious Freedom RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- The United States has included Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan on a list of 10 countries designated for "particular concern" over religious freedom.
- Inquiry Says New Zealand Mosque Attacks Were Unpreventable but Finds Mistakes Were Made VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern apologized for failings in the lead-up to the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attacks, after a royal commission recommended a raft of legislative changes to prevent another massacre in the future.
- Russian Hacker Group 'Fancy Bear' Accused Of Cyberattack On Norwegian Parliament RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- An investigation by Norway's Police Security Service (PST) has concluded that a cyberattack and data breach of the country's parliament was likely carried out by Fancy Bear, a hacker group that has ties to Russian military intelligence.
- Russia, China will not succumb to US-led world order: Lavrov Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says his country and China will not yield to Western pressure or accept a world order that is being led by the United States and its close allies.
- Western Sanctions Have Had 'Outsized Impact' On Russian Companies, Economist Says RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Western sanctions have had an "outsized impact" on targeted Russian companies but may have actually strengthened President Vladimir Putin's grip on the country's tycoons, an economist and former State Department official says.
- Report: Putin Has Been Secretly Working From Identical Office In Sochi At Times RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- A report from a Russian news outlet claims that the Kremlin has built an office for President Vladimir Putin in Sochi that is identical to his office outside Moscow, and that Putin has frequently -- and secretly -- worked in the Black Sea resort city in recent months.
- Leaked Emails Unearth Russian 'Wedding Gift' of $380 Million VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- The wedding ceremony and reception in February 2013 was a glitzy three-day affair at a ski resort near St. Petersburg, Russia.
- China's 'wolf warrior sentiment' shows confidence, correction to 'irrational worship of the West' Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- China's diplomatic style is increasingly more assertive and confident as it faces up against stigmatization and provocative behaviors from the West, even becoming more significantly active in condemning Western nations over blatant violations of human rights worldwide, but now the West has become very uncomfortable by using the term "wolf warrior diplomacy" to accuse China of acting more "aggressively" and hyping its "nationalism."
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 8, 2020 PRC MofA 08 Dec 2020
- China: US sanctions over Hong Kong 'hysterical political bullying' Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- China has condemned the new US sanctions against top Chinese legislators over their alleged role in devising Hong Kong's national security law, describing the bans as "hysterical political bullying."
- Hong Kong Police Charge Eight Pro-Democracy Figures Over July 1 Protest Radio Free Asia 08 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong police on Tuesday charged eight pro-democracy activists, including three former democratic camp lawmakers, in connection with protests against a draconian national security law imposed on the city by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on July 1.
- Jailed Hong Kong Media Boss Jimmy Lai Wins Press Freedom Award Radio Free Asia 08 Dec 2020 -- Jailed Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai has been awarded a 2020 Press Freedom Award by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
- Chinese Foreign Ministry Summons US Diplomat After Fresh US Sanctions Over Hong Kong Sputnik 08 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned the US charge d'affaires in Beijing in the wake of US sanctions against 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
- Hong Kong Police Arrest Eight Over 'Unauthorized' Protest VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong police on Tuesday arrested eight activists in connection with a July protest, the latest in a widening crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
- US stages 'final hysteria' with sanctions over HK Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- China on Tuesday summoned the charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in Beijing to protest US new sanctions on senior Chinese lawmakers and vowed to retaliate what has been called the most serious provocation and gross interference in China's internal affairs related to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) by the US government.
- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister summons US embassy official over Hong Kong sanctions Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned Robert W. Forden, chargé d'affaires at the US Embassy to China, on Tuesday to express solemn opposition to the US State Department announcement of sanctions on 14 vice chairs of China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
- Sanctions on 14 NPC officials 'direct confrontation' with China's highest organ of power Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- Putting 14 Chinese officials from the country's top legislature on the new sanction list over the Hong Kong issue shows that the Trump administration, with its final act of hysteria against China, is now bypassing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and directly confronting China's highest organ of power, Chinese scholars said, suggesting that Beijing come up with more countermeasures such as further reducing staff of the US consulate in Hong Kong.
- Hypocritical for US to pass bill protecting 'freedom' of HK residents: Chinese FM Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- As the world closely watches how the US deals with the raging COVID-19 epidemic, the superpower passed a bill related to China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the name of protecting its "freedom" and "choice," which was slammed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry as a hypocritical move that only aims to contain China.
- China vows powerful countermeasures against US' latest sanctions on Chinese officials over HK affairs: FM Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- China vows to take resolute and powerful countermeasures against the US' latest sanctions against 14 Chinese senior officials, and strongly urges the US to immediately revoke its wrong decision, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Tuesday.
- US sanctions 'hysterical political bullying:' Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- US' decision to place 14 top Chinese officials on its sanctions list is an act of "hysterical political bullying," which goes against international law and basic norms of international relations, said China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, condemning US' latest move on Tuesday.
- Update: HK police arrest 8 over unauthorized assemblies Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- Eight pro-secession activists were arrested in Hong Kong on Tuesday, on suspicion of involvement in unauthorized protests in June and July, including fomer opposition lawmakers Wu Chi-wai, Chu Hoi-dick and Leung Kwok-hung.
- China has suspended timber logs imports from the Australian states of Tasmania and South Australia Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- China has suspended imports of timber logs from the Australian states of Tasmania and South Australia as of December 3, said a statement published by General Administration of Customs of China on Monday.
- China Big Data Program Identifies Uyghurs for 'Arbitrary' Detention-HRW Report Radio Free Asia 08 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China use a big data program that “arbitrarily selects Turkic Muslims for possible detention” in internment camps based on behavior that is legal, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Thursday.
- MOFCOM hits US' detention order on Xinjiang's cotton products Global Times 08 Dec 2020 -- The US' claim of the use of "forced labor" in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to manufacture cotton products is "sheer fiction" and "confuses right and wrong," China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) spokesperson on Tuesday said, refuting the recent issue of a detention order by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
- Ethnic Kazakh From Xinjiang Receives Asylum-Seeker Status In Ukraine RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese citizen of ethnic Kazakh origin from China's northwestern province of Xinjiang told RFE/RL that he has obtained asylum seeker status in Ukraine.
- US envoy arrives in South Korea in last-ditch effort to revive North Korea talks Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- A US envoy has arrived in South Korea in a last-ditch attempt by the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump to renew stalled nuclear talks with North Korea.
- Treasury Sanctions Shipping Companies Transporting North Korean Coal US Treasury 08 Dec 2020 -- "Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six entities and identified four vessels related to the transport of North Korean coal. Such actions address the transportation and exportation of North Korean coal in violation of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2371 and underscore that entities within the People's Republic of China (PRC) have continued to engage in activities prohibited under the UNSCRs."
- JCPOA needs no renegotiation, no new members: Official IRNA 08 Dec 2020 -- Iranian government Spokesman Ali Rabiei unrscored that the Iranian nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was fully discussed in detail five years ago is in need of no fresh renegotiations.
- Iran's foreign minister advises neighbors to exclude US, E3 regional talks Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on the neighboring countries to the Islamic Republic to hold talks about regional developments without foreign interference.
- Borrell: US must rejoin Iran nuclear deal as landmark of successful diplomacy Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has said the United States needs to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - Iran's nuclear deal - commending the multilateral agreement for perfectly exemplifying a successful diplomatic strategy.
- Iran never accepts regional states presence in talks with US IRNA 08 Dec 2020 -- In the Middle East region, Iran is among the few countries which has not welcomed role of foreign powers or any presence in the area of regional cooperation or the question of security and does not accept presence of regional states in talks with the US.
- Belarus's Lukashenka Labels IOC A 'Gang' After Olympics Ban RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka has called the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a "gang" after being handed a provisional suspension that could exclude him from the Tokyo Olympics next year amid a violent crackdown against protesters following a disputed presidential election.
- Shadowy Turkish Ultra-Nationalist Group Under Scrutiny in Europe VOA 08 Dec 2020 -- A shadowy Turkish ultra-nationalist group is under increasing scrutiny in Europe after French officials banned them for violent actions and inciting hate speech in November.
- UK, EU leaders say conditions for finalizing post-Brexit trade deal "not there" People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that the conditions for finalizing a trade agreement "are not there due to the remaining significant differences" between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU).
- Romania's PM resigns amid failure to achieve election goal People's Daily 08 Dec 2020 -- Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced his resignation late Monday, after the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) he leads failed to achieve its goal of scoring the best in Sunday's parliamentary election.
- Romanian PM Orban quits after party loss in elections Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has resigned following the defeat of his Liberal Party in legislative polls, though his centrist camp is in a position to form a ruling coalition against triumphant leftists.
- Surprise 'Gold' Rush For Right-Wing Party Reflects Despair Of Romanian Voters RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- The support that propelled Romania's little-known, right-wing AUR party into parliament in its inaugural national race may have shocked many, including the more established parties of an ex-president and former prime minister that fell short.
- Protesters Block Yerevan Streets After Pashinian Ignores Deadline To Resign RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Opposition supporters have blocked streets in the Armenian capital after they launched a "civil disobedience" campaign to force Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to step down over last month's cease-fire deal with Azerbaijan that ended fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Protest held in Armenia to call for resignation of PM Pashinyan Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Armenians have taken to the streets in the capital, Yerevan, to call on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign over a controversial ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Hezbollah rejects ex-Lebanese minister's claims about intel apparatus Press TV 08 Dec 2020 -- Hezbollah has dismissed a claim by Lebanon's former interior minister Ahmad Fatfat that the Lebanese resistance movement operates a security and intelligence apparatus independent of the national General Security Directorate.
- Uzbek President Marks Constitution Day With Pardons, Easing Sentences Of Dozens Of Convicts RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has pardoned or eased the sentences of 104 convicts as part of the commemorations of Constitution Day, the national holiday marked on December 8.
- The United States Applauds the Interim Government's "People's Vote" US Dept. of State 08 Dec 2020 -- The United States continues to support Interim President Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people in their struggle to restore democracy in their country.
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