09 December 2020 Military News
- VOA Exclusive: 21-Point Code of Conduct Hailed as Breakthrough in Afghan Peace Talks VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- Negotiation teams from the Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed to refer differences in interpretation of Sharia law to a joint committee, protect the confidentiality of ongoing peace talks, and carry out the process with “truthfulness, sincerity, and determination,” according to a code of conduct agreed upon by both sides last week.
- Afghan Security Forces Hit By Surge Of Taliban Suicide Car Bombings RFE/RL Gandhara 09 Dec 2020 -- The Taliban is employing a fight-and-talk strategy in Afghanistan, seeking to gain leverage in peace talks through gains on the battlefield.
- North Atlantic Council statement on the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations NATO 09 Dec 2020 -- Press Release (2020) 126
Issued on 09 Dec. 2020
- Taliban kill two Afghan soldiers in Ghazni: Ministry Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry says the country’s security troops have foiled a Taliban car bomb attack on a military base in the province of Ghazni, adding that two forces were killed in the ensuing clashes with the militants.
- What's behind Washington's frequent troop withdrawal orders? People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- The Pentagon said Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered the majority of American military forces out of Somalia by early 2021.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Department of Defense Reinforces National Space Policy DoD 09 Dec 2020 -- The White House released the National Space Policy today, which highlights the Department of Defense as a key agency in implementing and achieving the nation’s goals in this important domain.
- Statement from the President on the National Space Policy The White House 09 Dec 2020
- DOD Officials Provide Briefing on the Department's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan DoD 09 Dec 2020 -- Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery; Army Lieutenant General Ronald J. Place, Director, Defense Health Agency; Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Assistant To The Secretary Of Defense For Public Affairs
- DOD Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan DoD 09 Dec 2020 -- Today, the Department of Defense announced its deliberate and phased plan to distribute and administer initial and subsequent allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- First COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Distributed Next Week DoD News 09 Dec 2020 -- An assessment by the Food and Drug Administration shows the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. drug company Pfizer is around 95% effective. The vaccine will soon be considered by the FDA for emergency use authorization. If that happens, Operation Warp Speed is ready to distribute the vaccine immediately. It could happen by next week, the secretary of Health and Human Services said.
- DOD Officials Announce Distribution Plan for Initial Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine DoD News 09 Dec 2020 -- Regarding the initial COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Defense Department officials announced a phased and coordinated strategic plan for distributing and administering the initial COVID-19 vaccines.
- Statement from Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller on Fort Hood Review Findings DoD 09 Dec 2020
- 1st Infantry Division combined-arms Soldiers test Joint Assault Bridge Army News 09 Dec 2020 -- 1st Infantry Division Soldiers here recently finished operational testing of a new heavy assault bridge designed to cross wet and dry gaps, both natural and man-made.
- Statement on New Appointments to the Defense Policy Board DoD 09 Dec 2020
- US Senate Fails to Block Arms Sale to UAE VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Senate voted on two resolutions of disapproval Wednesday, failing to block the Trump administration’s planned sale of more than $23 billion in military equipment to the United Arab Emirates.
- US House overwhelmingly passes $740 billion defense bill, defying Trump veto threat Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly backed a defense policy bill worth a $740 billion that Republican President Donald Trump has opposed and pledged to veto.
- US Senate Defeats Attempt to Prevent Trump Administration's Sale of Reaper Drones to UAE Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- The US Senate on Wednesday thwarted an effort to block a major arms deal between the United States and the UAE. Senators voted 47 to 49 on the measure, falling short of the majority required to prevent the sale of over $23B worth of Reaper drones to the United Arab Emirates.
- Defense Secretary Miller Pledges to Enhance Peace and Stability in the ASEAN Region Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has visited the Philippines and Indonesia during a two-country visit in Southeast Asia. As Beijing vows to tighten its control over the South China Sea water areas, the Trump administration seeks to re-enhance its presence in the region.
- US Mulls Leasing Polar Icebreakers From Finland to Compete With Russia, Coast Guard Says Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- The United States is considering a plan to lease ice-breaking security cutters from other nations to expand its current fleet of a single icebreaker, to a flotilla capable of protecting American interests in the far north, Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Ray told Congress.
- Montana National Guard 1051st Firefighter Tactical Group train for 2021 mobilization Army News 09 Dec 2020 -- Seven Montana Army National Guard Soldiers with the 1049th Firefighter Detachment, 1051st Firefighter Tactical Group completed pre mobilization training in November on Fort Harrison, Montana. The Soldiers are preparing for a year-long mobilization to Romania next spring to provide fire fighting support.
- Russia Deployed Ground-Based Laser to Blind American Space Sensors, US Intelligence Chief Says Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- Russia has already deployed a ground-based laser weapon which could disable or blind US space-based sensors on orbiting surveillance satellites, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe said on Wednesday.
- Russia Opens Criminal Case Into 'Doomsday' Plane Theft RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Russian authorities say they have opened a criminal case into the theft of equipment from a military aircraft dubbed the "doomsday plane" that was designed to shield top officials from the effects of a nuclear explosion.
- PLA introduces new, highly mobile assault vehicle-based howitzer: report Global Times 09 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently introduced a type of newly developed assault vehicle-based howitzer, which experts said on Wednesday is more mobile than truck-based howitzers and can operate in challenging, off-road terrains where other types of other artillery cannot.
- Military-civilian joint environment emergency response drill conducted in southwest China PLA Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- Military and civilian departments in Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province jointly launched a large-scale drill for environmental emergencies in the Jialing River basin of southwest China on November 26.
- Chinese Defence Industry Reportedly Became World's Second Largest in 2019 Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- Even the limited amount of available data suggests that Chinese military companies' share on the global arms market is second only to that of their American rivals.
- Three people injured in explosion at military arsenal plant in Kaohsiung CNA 09 Dec 2020 -- Three people sustained extensive burns in an explosion Wednesday at a military weapons factory in Kaohsiung, which appeared to have been caused by the ignition of raw materials, the city government said.
- U.S. House passes defense bill with provisions supporting Taiwan CNA 09 Dec 2020 -- The United States House of Representatives on Tuesday passed an annual defense policy bill, which contained sections supporting continued arms sales to Taiwan and establishing an initiative to bolster the U.S. military's presence in the Asia Pacific region.
- Chinese defense ministry firmly opposes U.S. arms sale to Taiwan People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese military spokesperson on Tuesday voiced firm opposition to the U.S. sale of military communications systems to Taiwan.
- Chinese defense ministry denounces $280 million US arms sales to Taiwan PLA Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- “China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan and urges the US to immediately cancel the projects of selling weapons to Taiwan,” said Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Tuesday night, when commenting on the sale of about $280 million worth of military communications equipment to Taiwan region approved by the US State Department on December 7.
- Communiqué_First launch of the renovated ASMPA strategic missile Ministere des Armees 09 Dec 2020 -- Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, expresses her great satisfaction after the success, on December 9, 2020, of the first firing of the renovated strategic air-to-ground medium-range missile (ASMPA).
- France to build new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, says Macron People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- France will replace its Navy's flagship Charles de Gaulle with a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by 2038, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.
- France Unveils Design for Nuclear-Powered Supercarrier to Replace Aging Warship De Gaulle Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- The new warship will be the largest France has ever built, just as the UK Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is its largest ever. However, Paris’ newly announced carrier isn’t expected to enter service for nearly 20 years.
- Japan's plans to build new Aegis-equipped ships, improve missile capability deemed unconstitutional People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- The Japanese government's plan to build two naval vessels equipped with Aegis missile interceptors has met with resistance from opposition parties who believe, along with plans to enhance missile capability, that the plans might be unconstitutional.
- More uprooted, fewer return, pushing forcibly displaced above 80 million UN News 09 Dec 2020 -- The number of people forcibly displaced around the world has doubled in the past decade and is estimated to have passed 80 million in mid-2020, as few could go home and more were uprooted, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a report published on Wednesday.
- China, ASEAN vow to jointly safeguard South China Sea PLA Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- Attending the 14th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting, which started on Wednesday morning via video link, the Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said that China and countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have the wisdom and ability to properly handle the South China Sea issue and jointly safeguard the peace and stability in the region.
- How China’s Offshore Oil Driller Will Keep Grip in Disputed Sea Despite US Sanctions VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- The United States imposed sanctions this month on a major Chinese offshore oil driller that Washington considers aligned with the Chinese military. But some regional experts say the oil and gas company, which counts U.S. citizens among its investors and does billions of dollars of work including in the contested South China Sea, will find ways to remain China’s commercial flagbearer.
- 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 09 Dec 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- Iran urges permanent solution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict IRNA 09 Dec 2020 -- Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh on Wednesday said that Iran calls for everlasting resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
- Iran ready to help to strengthen ceasefire between Azerbaijan, Armenia: President Rouhani ISNA 09 Dec 2020 -- Iran President described the relations with the friendly and neighbourly country of Azerbaijan good and brotherly and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to develop relations with the Republic of Azerbaijan and we hope to seize the opportunity in the new international conditions to further develop relations between the two countries."
- Rouhani voices Iran’s readiness to help consolidate Karabakh truce as Tehran stresses permanent solution to dispute Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has welcomed the establishment of a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Narabakh region, announcing Tehran’s readiness to help strengthen the truce and establish security in the region.
- Erdogan Visit to Azerbaijan Could Stoke Russian Rivalry, Observers Say VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- A two-day visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Azerbaijan marks his latest bid to expand Turkey's influence in the Caucasus, and analysts are warning his ambitions could stoke a rivalry with Russia.
- Turkey's Erdogan Arrives In Baku After Nagorno-Karabakh Truce RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, for a two-day visit with officials of Ankara's close ally.
- Turkey’s president downplays EU sanctions threat Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has downplayed any economic sanctions the European Union might impose on Ankara over the dispute in the eastern Mediterranean.
- Ethiopia confirms shooting at UN team in Tigray for defying checkpoints Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Ethiopia’s government has justified shooting at a United Nations vehicle visiting refugees in the war-ravaged Tigray region because it failed to stop at two checkpoints, saying the country did not need a “babysitter.”
- UN Chief Seeks Immediate Aid Access for Ethiopia’s Tigray VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that humanitarian access in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is his immediate priority.
- UK Minister reiterates UK commitment to Somalia and the region’s response to the threat of Al-Shabaab UK FCDO 09 Dec 2020 -- Minister for Africa James Duddridge visited Mogadishu where he announced new UK contributions to support Somalia’s long-term security and stability.
- Widespread regional challenges pervasive in Central Africa UN News 09 Dec 2020 -- Insecurity continues to plague Central Africa, the UN envoy for the region told the Security Council on Wednesday, highlighting concern for cross-border violence.
- Pakistan: Kashmir Border Clashes with India Kill 2 Pakistani Troops VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- Pakistan said Wednesday that two of its soldiers had been killed in “intense” military clashes with India in disputed Kashmir.
- Spain willing to provide military support to Mozambique on antiterrorism People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- Spain's ambassador to Mozambique Alberto Cerezo said Tuesday in Maputo that his country is willing to offer military support to Mozambique for fighting insurgents in the country's northern province Cabo Delgado.
- Treasury Sanctions Corrupt Actors in Africa and Asia US Treasury 09 Dec 2020 -- "Today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is targeting corrupt actors and their networks across several countries in Africa and Asia. Today’s actions are taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and targets perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuse."
- Russia's State Duma Approves Bill Giving Ex-Presidents And Their Families Lifetime Immunity RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Russia’s lower house of parliament has approved the final reading of a bill that would grant sweeping lifetime immunity to former presidents.
- Putin signs law on imprisonment for attempts to split Russia Global Times 09 Dec 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Tuesday in a move that provides imprisonment for those that attempt to alienate Russian territories or incite the public to such acts.
- Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the Russian citizen detained in Denmark Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 09 Dec 2020 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry is monitoring the situation concerning the Russian citizen who was detained in Denmark in July of this year and charged with working for the Russian security services. He has been provided with a lawyer. He pleads not guilty.
- Moscow decries Denmark’s ‘groundless’ spy charges against Russian citizen Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry has denounced the detention and investigation of a Russian citizen in Denmark over espionage charges as "anti-Russian hysteria" on the part of Copenhagen.
- Denmark Charges Russian Citizen With Espionage RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in Denmark say they have charged a Russian citizen living in the Scandinavian country with espionage for allegedly providing information about Danish energy technology to Russia.
- Nigeria intelligence agency using Israeli spyware to monitor dissidents, other citizens: Report Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- A new report has revealed that Nigeria’s Defense Intelligence Agency has acquired Israeli spyware to monitor phone calls and text messages of dissidents and other citizens.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on December 9, 2020 PRC MofA 09 Dec 2020
- US Visa Restrictions on China to Pose Test for Biden VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- As tensions between Beijing and Washington have worsened over the past year, U.S. officials have tightened visa restrictions, kicking out hundreds of Chinese researchers accused of hiding military ties and branding some Chinese technology companies security threats.
- The Chinese Communist Party on the American Campus US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2020 -- Speech by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- China, US should strive to resume dialogue, return to right track and rebuild mutual trust: Chinese FM Global Times 09 Dec 2020 -- A most pressing issue for China and the US is to work together to remove all obstacles and achieve a smooth transition in bilateral relations and to resume dialogue, return to the right track and rebuild mutual trust, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
- China declares bid to uphold rights of firms against US sanctions Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Tension between the Chinese and American governments seems to be nowhere near the end. Beijing has reacted to Washington's blacklisting of its companies and ships over accusations of defying sanctions against North Korea, saying China is sure to adopt measures to sustain the rights of the targeted firms.
- 'Reciprocal sanctions' in NPC's high-level warning likely apply to Pompeo, anti-China congressmen Global Times 09 Dec 2020 -- A spokesperson of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) on Wednesday slammed the US for its brutal and despicable sanctions on top officials of China's top legislature over the national security law for Hong Kong, the highest-level warning to the US since 1999.
- China summons U.S. embassy official, protests against U.S. sanctions on NPC officials People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang on Tuesday summoned Robert Forden, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in China, to lodge solemn protest and strong condemnation over the U.S. so-called sanctions against 14 vice chairpersons of China's National People's Congress Standing Committee.
- Religious Groups Fear Crackdown After Raid on Hong Kong Protest Church Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong religious groups, seen by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as hotbeds of foreign influence, are now in danger of being targeted for political reasons under China's draconian national security law, Christian community leaders warned on Wednesday.
- FM refutes US accusations about suppressing Xinjiang ethnic minorities' cultures and languages Global Times 09 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US government over its accusations that China is wiping out languages, cultures and religions of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
- Rights Group Details Role Of Big Data To Target Uyghurs In China's Xinjiang RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Human Rights Watch (HRW) says it has analyzed a leaked list of more than 2,000 Uyghur detainees in China's Xinjiang suggesting that the authorities are using an expansive data-collection program to "arbitrarily" select Turkic Muslims in the region for possible detention.
- China to ensure sustainability of macro policies: Premier Li People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- China will ensure the continuity, stability, and sustainability of its macro policies and try to keep the economy running within a reasonable range, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.
- Taiwan authority ‘persecutes mainlanders, pro-reunification activists’ Global Times 09 Dec 2020 -- The local authority of Taipei, in the island of Taiwan, has investigated a Chinese mainland woman, who is the head of a pro-reunification female NGO on the island, with the excuse of "threatening national security."
- North Koreans Mobilized for ‘80-Day Battle’ Told to Pay Cash Instead of Labor Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea are pushing people to donate money instead of contributing free labor to the latest “80-day battle” military-style mobilization scheme, making ordinary citizens suspect that the program’s goal from the beginning was to squeeze them for extra cash.
- Statement of First Vice Department Director Kim Yo Jong of WPK Central Committee KCNA 09 Dec 2020 -- Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, released the following statement on Tuesday:
- Whenever JCPOA parties fulfill their obligations, we will too: President Rouhani ISNA 09 Dec 2020 -- Iran’s President called the 1400 budget bill a strategic one and enumerated the important messages of this budget, emphasizing that the basis of this budget is the announcement of better economic conditions for the next year 1400 in the Iranian calendar.
- China says US should 'unconditionally' lift Iran sanctions, return to 2015 nuclear deal Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says the US should “unconditionally” and immediately return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and lift all sanctions against Tehran.
- Iran announces sanctions against US envoy to Yemen, cites pivotal role in humanitarian catastrophe Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- The Iranian Foreign Ministry has announced sanctions against US Ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel for his pivotal role in the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in the conflict-plagued, impoverished Arab country.
- Iran Blacklists U.S. Envoy To Yemen In Tit-For-Tat Move RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Iran has blacklisted the U.S. ambassador to Yemen in retaliation to sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran's envoy to the Huthi rebels fighting in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
- Opinion: Biden Must Prioritize Iran’s Human Rights Abuses In Future Talks Radio Farda 09 Dec 2020 -- In his new memoir, Barack Obama recalls a moment that shocked the world.
- Alleged Satellite Photo Suggests Iran Built New Underground Nuclear Site at Natanz Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- The main building of the Natanz nuclear site was severely damaged in a blast this summer, which Tehran attributed to sabotage without delving into details about who was responsible and how it was carried out.
- Iran’s Rouhani positive crude sales will surge in next calendar years Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he is sure oil exports from the country will surge several-fold in the next calendar year beginning March 21 amid expectations that a new administration in the United States would seek to lift sanctions imposed on Tehran’s energy trade.
- Rouhani: Iran will export some 2.3m bpd oil next year IRNA 09 Dec 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran will export some 2.3 million bpd oil in the next fiscal year envisaged by the budget plan.
- Democracy Icon’s Myanmar Holds ‘Not a Small Number’ of Political Prisoners Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi – for decades arguably the world’s most admired prisoner of conscience -- is facing calls to strike down harsh laws that have kept the population of political prisoners embarrassingly high for an emerging democracy run by a Nobel laureate.
- Briefing with Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ambassador Michael G. Kozak On Human Rights Concerns in Cuba US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2020
- Pakistan Rebukes US on Religious Freedom Designation VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- Pakistan has criticized the United States for designating the South Asian nation as a violator of religious freedom, saying the move was “arbitrary” and the outcome of a “selective assessment.”
- US judge orders partial disclosure of Khashoggi's murder files Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- A US judge has ordered the partial disclosure of murder files related to dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in a ruling hailed by rights activists as a victory against "the shameful cover-up" of the killing by the US administration.
- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Virtual Session SPA 09 Dec 2020 -- The Cabinet held here today its session via visual communication under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Prime Minister.
- Remarks by Vice President Pence at the 8th Meeting of the National Space Council | Cape Canaveral, FL The White House 09 Dec 2020
- Remarks by Vice President Pence at Installation Renaming Ceremony | Cape Canaveral, The White House 09 Dec 2020
- US Developing New Nuclear Systems to Power Space Missions, New Bases, Energy Chief Says Sputnik 09 Dec 2020 -- The United States is developing different versions of nuclear power to use on lunar and other space bases and for long-range interplanetary manned and unmanned probes, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette told the National Space Council.
- Jury Convicts Man in Minnesota Mosque Bombing VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- A federal jury Wednesday convicted a man of civil rights and hate crimes charges related to the 2017 bombing of a mosque in the Midwestern state of Minnesota.
- Member of Neo-Nazi Group Sentenced for Plot to Target Journalists and Advocates US Dept. of Justice 09 Dec 2020 -- Johnny Roman Garza, 21, a member of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced today to 16 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.
- Individual Pleads Guilty to Participating in Internet-of-Things Cyberattack in 2016 US Dept. of Justice 09 Dec 2020 -- An individual, formerly a juvenile, pleaded guilty to committing acts of federal juvenile delinquency in relation to a cyberattack that caused massive disruption to the Internet in October 2016.
- U.S. Cybersecurity Firm FireEye Hit By 'Nation-State' Attack, Russia Suspected RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Prominent U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye says it has recently been targeted by hackers with “world-class capabilities,” believing that the hacking was state-sponsored.
- Post-Brexit trade talks "very difficult" at the moment: UK PM People's Daily 09 Dec 2020 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that the post-Brexit trade talks between Britain and the European Union (EU) are "very difficult" at the moment.
- PM Boris Johnson arrives in Brussels in combative mood Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has arrived in the Belgian capital, Brussels, for what have been widely billed as “make or break” talks with European Commission boss, Ursula von der Leyen.
- Britain, EU Down to Wire on Trade Deal VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- The European Union had hoped to have been finished with Brexit months ago. But when leaders of the 27 member countries meet Thursday for a summit, they will have to once again consider what kind of future trade and security relationship they are prepared to have with Britain.
- Venezuela's Maduro says alerted to assassination attempt by neighboring Colombia on election day Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- There has been a fresh assassination attempt against Venezuela's president. Nicolas Maduro has unveiled there was an attempt against his life on the day of the parliamentary elections, which his ruling socialist party won by a landslide.
- Kyrgyz Parliament Approves Constitutional-Amendments Law In First Reading RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Kyrgyz lawmakers have approved in the first reading the controversial law on holding a referendum on constitutional amendments that would decide between the parliamentary and presidential systems of governing in the Central Asian state.
- U.S. Places Former Kyrgyz Customs Official Matraimov Under Magnitsky Sanctions RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- The United States has imposed sanctions against former Kyrgyz customs official Raimbek Matraimov, a wealthy and influential political player who is currently under house arrest in Kyrgyzstan.
- Georgia's Ruling Party, Opposition Fail To Reach Deal After Fourth Round Of Talks RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- The ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition politicians have failed again to agree on a deal after another round of talks at the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Tbilisi as they look to solve an ongoing political crisis sparked by disputed parliamentary elections in October.
- Albright Tells Congress Corruption 'Crippling' Western Balkans, Says U.S. Needs To Step Up Regional Presence RFE/RL 09 Dec 2020 -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told a congressional committee on December 8 that corruption is “crippling” the Western Balkans and urged Washington to devote more attention to the strategically important region to counter Russian and Chinese influence.
- UN Official: Sudan Needs World's Support in Transition to Democracy VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- A U.N. official says Sudan is at a critical juncture as it transitions to a democracy and needs the support of the international community to overcome its myriad economic challenges.
- Ghanaian Voters Re-Elect President Nana Akufo-Addo VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- Official results from Ghana’s election Monday show incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo has won a second term.
- Tajikistan Accused of Intimidating Activists Abroad by Targeting Relatives Back Home VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- Sharofiddin Gadoev, 35, a Tajik political activist from the Netherlands, was arrested in February 2019 during a visit to Moscow and forcibly deported to his native Tajikistan. About two weeks later, the Tajik government, under pressure from human rights organizations and European countries, released him from prison in the capital, Dushanbe, and allowed him to return to Europe.
- Vietnam's Crackdown on Freedom of Expression Intensifies in 2020 Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2020 -- Vietnam has stepped up arrests and harsh gag orders on activists, independent journalists, bloggers and Facebook commenters who raise concerns or criticism of their government in 2020, rights groups said.
- Cameroon Opposition Leader’s De Facto House Arrest Ends VOA 09 Dec 2020 -- Hundreds of supporters of Cameroon opposition leader Maurice Kamto have gathered at his home after his months-long de facto house arrest suddenly ended. Heavily armed police stationed at his home since September 22 left on Tuesday, but authorities are giving no explanation.
- Millions vote in Indonesia regional polls amidst COVID-19 concerns Press TV 09 Dec 2020 -- People in Indonesia are heading to the polls to cast their ballots in regional elections, despite warnings the vote could worsen the nation's COVID-19 crisis.
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