10 December 2020 Military News
- US Backed Troops in Syria With Armor to 'Show Teeth' to Russians, CENTCOM Chief Says Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The US military augmented its contingent in Syria with a platoon of armored fighting vehicles to show strength and intimidate Russian troops, Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Frank McKenzie said on Thursday.
- Bomb explosions target US-led coalition military convoys in south Iraq, near capital Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Separate roadside bomb attacks have struck two convoys of trucks carrying logistical equipment belonging to the US-led military coalition in Iraq's southern province of Muthanna near the border with Kuwait, and south of capital Baghdad.
- President celebrates inauguration of Khaf-Herat railway with Afghan president IRNA 10 Dec 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday celebrated inauguration of Khaf-Herat railway with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani saying it is benevolent for both Iranian and Afghan nations.
- Iranian, Afghan presidents to open Khaf-Herat railway today IRNA 10 Dec 2020 -- Iranian and Afghan Presidents are expected to open Khaf-Herat railway today linking Iran to Afghanistan, the landmark project which ensures Afghanistan's access to outside world laying foundation of Afghanistan's foreign trade and economic development.
- Iran, Afghanistan Inaugurate First Rail Link In Key Infrastructure Project RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Iran and Afghanistan have officially inaugurated their first railway link, an achievement the two countries' presidents said would help enhance trade across the region.
- All Aboard! Afghanistan, Iran Open First Rail Link VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- Afghanistan and Iran Thursday inaugurated the first railway link between them, expressing hope the landmark move will boost trade and travel links across the region.
- US Kills 8 al-Shabab Fighters in 2 Airstrikes Amid Troop Reduction in Somalia VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. military killed eight al-Shabab fighters and wounded two others in airstrikes Thursday in Somalia, Lt. Cmdr. Christina Gibson, U.S. Africa Command spokeswoman, told VOA.
- Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. target al-Shabaab explosives makers AFRICOM 10 Dec 2020 -- In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two (2) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab explosives experts in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Dec. 10.
- USS Gabrielle Giffords Interdicts $7 Million in Drugs US Navy 10 Dec 2020 -- The Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) with embarked U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) seized 200 kilograms of suspected cocaine, Dec. 2.
Defense Policy / Programs
- The President's National Space Policy US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- "The President's National Space Policy, released yesterday, outlines America's principles and goals regarding our national interests and activities in space."
- Statement From Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist on the Department of the Navy's Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels DoD 10 Dec 2020 -- Today, the Department of the Navy released the annual 30-year shipbuilding plan. Over the last four years, the Trump administration has steadily increased the number and readiness of battle-force ships. This plan moves to continue that buildup and is resourced to achieve a 355-ship naval fleet.
- Study Calls for Building Navy Force Structure to Counter Great Power Competitors DoD News 10 Dec 2020 -- The world of great power competition requires a United States Navy and Marine Corps capable of deterring foes, reassuring allies and ensuring trade. To continue to maintain U.S. maritime superiority, the Department of the Navy released the annual 30-year shipbuilding plan, Dec. 10.
- AFLCMC awards contract for Skyborg prototypes US Air Force 10 Dec 2020 -- The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has awarded contracts to three companies to produce missionized unmanned aerial vehicle prototypes with the ability to fly in experimentation events while teaming with manned aircraft.
- U.S. 4th Fleet Patrol Aircraft Aids in Successful Search and Rescue Operation US Navy 10 Dec 2020 -- Crewmembers assigned to the "Golden Eagles" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 assisted in the rescue of 18 mariners in distress, Dec. 4.
- USS Ross Completes NATO Exercise US Navy 10 Dec 2020 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completed a multi-warfare exercise with Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG-1), Dec. 9.
- View from the Bridge: U.S. Navy and Royal Navy partner in newly launched London Tech Bridge US Navy 10 Dec 2020 -- The United Kingdom's Royal Navy and the United States Navy announced a new partnership to accelerate the adoption of novel ideas and technologies, marking a unique chapter in the historic relationship between the two nations.
- US Africa Command to Get Budget Boost Amid Somalia Withdrawal Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The Pentagon and Congress have been debating for more than a year about what to do with the nearly 6,000 US military and civilian personnel in Africa. While US President Donald Trump recently ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Somalia, a leading Pentagon figure clarified they weren't leaving the continent.
- US Sends Bombers to Middle East as Signal to Iran VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. military dispatched two B-52H bombers from the United States to the Middle East on Thursday as part of an ongoing effort to deter Iran from potential attacks amid increased risk in the region, according to a senior U.S. military official.
- U.S. Bombers Operate In CENTCOM CENTCOM 10 Dec 2020 -- A pair of U.S. Air Force B-52H "Stratofortresses" assigned to the Barksdale Air Force Base-headquartered 2nd Bomb Wing operated in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility with other U.S. Air Force and regional partner aircraft in the second mission in as many months.
- US Sent Two Nuclear Bombers to Middle East Reportedly to Flex Muscles Near Iran's Border Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The demonstration of aerial might comes amid media reports that US President Donald Trump gave his administration carte blanche to pressure Iran by any means necessary as long as it doesn't start "World War 3".
- US flies two B-52s over Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- The US military has flown two B-52H bombers from Louisiana to the Middle East as tensions mount in the region following the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist.
- Read-Out of U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Miller's Virtual Meetings With ASEAN and ADMM-Plus Counterparts DoD 10 Dec 2020
- DOD and New Zealand Ministry of Defence Conduct 7th Annual Policy Dialogue DoD 10 Dec 2020
- Pentagon Considers Halting Support for CIA's Counterterrorism Missions - Report Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The partnership between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has stood for decades and often involves Pentagon officials offering a variety of support, including logistics and transportation, to the spy agency.
- Building transatlantic resilience: Why critical infrastructure is a matter of national security NATO 10 Dec 2020 -- Panel discussion with NATO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Mircea Geoană participating in a webinar with the American Enterprise on Resilience
- NATO's Success Depends on Ability to Change As Needed DoD News 10 Dec 2020 -- NATO's secretary general discussed a wide range of issues facing the alliance, particularly threats from China, and what he expects the alliance to achieve going forward.
- Operation Sea Guardian ends action-packed patrol in Mediterranean Sea NATO 10 Dec 2020 -- NATO Operation Sea Guardian has finished its last focused security patrol for 2020 today (10 December). As part of this activity (known as a focused operation), which started on 24 November, NATO maritime assets have been helping provide an accurate maritime picture to NATO commanders, enforcing counter-terrorism measures, and working with partners.
- Remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press point with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa NATO 10 Dec 2020
- Russia conducts large exercise of its strategic nuclear forces People's Daily 10 Dec 2020 -- An exercise of Russia's strategic nuclear forces was held Wednesday under the leadership of the supreme commander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
- Russia to take part in joint military drills with NATO off Pakistan Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Russia says it will send its Navy to join drills by members of the Western military alliance of NATO, in a rare move for the first time in a decade.
- Russian Navy to Take Part in 1st Drills With NATO Ships in a Decade Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The Russian Navy last participated in joint drills with NATO back in 2011, when the Bold Monarch exercise was held off the coast of southern Spain.
- PLA border troops in Tibet receive exoskeleton suits: report Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) border defense troops in Ngari, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, recently received a type of exoskeleton suit that enables them to conduct tasks in harsh, high altitude environments more efficiently, state media reported.
- Chinese Defense Ministry Denounces Potential $280 Million US Military Sale to Taiwan Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- After news of yet another potential weapons sale from the United States to Taiwan, China's Defense Ministry warned the US the move could only further damage relations between Washington and Beijing.
- Successful Trials of 5.56 x 30 mm Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC) India PIB 10 Dec 2020 -- Defence Research and Development Organsiation (DRDO) designed 5.56x30 mm Protective Carbine has successfully undergone the final phase of User trials on 7th December 2020 meeting all the GSQR parameters.
- German government extends ban on exporting arms to Saudi Arabia Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Germany has decided to extend until the end of next year an embargo on exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, which was adopted due to the Saudi-led war against Yemen and the 2018 killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- US is about to sanction Turkey over Russian defense system Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- The United States is ready to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems last year, four sources including two US officials told Reuters on Thursday.
- US To Sanction Turkey for Acquiring Russia's S-400 Air Defense System, Report Says Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The United States is set to sanction Turkey over the acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense system, Reuters reported on Thursday citing four unnamed sources.
- US Senate backs massive arms sales to UAE after Trump veto threat Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- The US Senate has failed to block the planned sale of billions of dollars of weapons to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in a move that gave President Donald Trump a last-minute victory to further arm his allies in the Middle East.
- Rebranding United States Foreign Assistance US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- "On December 10, President Trump signed the Executive Order on Rebranding United States Foreign Assistance, directing departments and agencies to deploy a single U.S. Government logo on all U.S. foreign assistance."
- 10 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 10 Dec 2020
- UN: Time Running Out to Avert Yemen Famine VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- As the World Food Program was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday for its work to eliminate hunger, its chief urged the world to prevent famine.
- Official Source at the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Completion of necessary arrangements to accelerate the implementation of Riyadh Agreement SPA 10 Dec 2020 -- An official source at the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen stated that all necessary arrangements have been completed to carry out the mechanism to accelerate the implementation of Riyadh Agreement. It was agreed to form the Yemeni government with 24 ministers, including ministers of the Southern Transitional Council and various Yemeni political figures.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden USV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia from Hodeida Governorate SPA 10 Dec 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- Turkish forces start withdrawing from 3 bases in N Syria People's Daily 10 Dec 2020 -- The Turkish forces on Wednesday started withdrawing from three military bases in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo provinces in northern Syria, a war monitor reported.
- Tajikistan Prepares To Repatriate IS Families From Camps In Syria RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Tajikistan is preparing to bring home hundreds of its citizens from refugee camps in Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria -- mostly Tajik wives and children of slain or imprisoned Islamic State (IS) fighters.
- Two Employees Of Foundation Linked To Russian Troll Farm Released From Libyan Custody RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Two employees of the Moscow-based Foundation for the Protection of Traditional Values with links to a notorious Russian "troll farm" have been released from Libyan custody where they had been held since May 2019.
- PM Netanyahu's remarks on the establishment of relations between Israel and Morocco Israel MFA 10 Dec 2020 -- PM Netanyahu: We'll resume liaison offices quickly between Israel and Morocco and work as rapidly as possible to establish full diplomatic relations. This will be a very warm peace. Peace has never shone brighter than today in the Middle East.
- US Brokers Deal Establishing Ties Between Morocco, Israel VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- In a U.S.-brokered deal, Israel and Morocco have agreed to recognize each other.
- Morocco, Israel reach US-brokered normalization amid Palestinians' condemnation Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Morocco and Israel have reached a US-brokered agreement on normalizing relations, making Morocco the fourth Arab country - after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Sudan – to agree to a normalization deal with the Tel Aviv regime since August.
- US Senator Says Trump's Turnaround on West Sahara Shocking Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- US Senator Jim Inhofe said in a statement that he is shocked by President Donald Trump's decision "to trade away" the rights of the West Saharan people and recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the disputed region.
- Hamas pledges resistance against Israel, vows full liberation of Palestine Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- A senior official from Hamas says the Palestinian resistance movement will continue to uphold the path of resistance against the occupying Israeli regime until the full liberation of the occupied territories.
- U.S. Position on Relocation of Rohingya Refugees to Bhasan Char US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- "The United States has long noted its appreciation for the Government of Bangladesh's commitment to hosting the Rohingya refugees but is concerned about the relocation of 1,642 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char and plans to carry out further relocations. The United States concurs with the UN that any such relocations must be fully voluntary and based on informed consent without pressure or coercion."
- US Expresses Concern About Bangladesh's Transfer of Rohingya to Remote Island Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- The United States on Thursday joined the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations in expressing concern about Bangladesh moving more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island that critics say is uninhabitable.
- EU Backs Move to Implement Sanctions on Turkey, Sources Say Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- Earlier, Brussels imposed individual sanctions for illegal drilling in the territorial waters of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean. In November, the EU extended these sanctions for a year, until 12 November 2021.
- Proposed Boost of EU Sanctions on Turkey 'Disappointing', Turkish Presidential Spokesman Says Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- Turkish presidential spokesman Professor Ibrahim Kalin has decried the EU's consideration of toughening the sanctions against Turkey over the Eastern Mediterranean crisis during an online event organized by the US German Marshall Fund (GMF) on Wednesday.
- Probe Sought Into Nagorno-Karabakh 'Decapitations,' Other 'War Crimes' RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- International human rights groups are urging both Azerbaijan and Armenia to urgently conduct investigations into war crimes allegedly committed by both sides during weeks of recent fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Azerbaijan Holds Military Parade to Mark Success in Nagorno-Karabakh War VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- Azerbaijan has held a military parade to mark the country's declared victory over Armenia in a recent war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region that ended with a Moscow-brokered truce that handed back several parts of the region to Baku.
- Azerbaijan Holds Military Parade To Mark Declared Victory In Nagorno-Karabakh War RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Azerbaijan has held a military parade to mark the country's declared victory over Armenia in a recent war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region that ended with a Moscow-brokered truce that handed back several parts of the region to Baku.
- Expert: No Evidence UAE Drones Are Being Used in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- Forces in Ethiopia's Tigray region have accused the federal government of partnering with the United Arab Emirates to use weaponized drones stationed in Eritrea. A security analyst tells VOA the drones are in an Eritrean port city but there is no evidence they are being used in the Tigray conflict.
- Pakistani army on high alert amid reports of Indian plan to conduct surgical raid Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Pakistan's army has been put on high alert after reports alleged India was preparing to launch an attack on the de facto border that divides the disputed Kashmir region between the two countries.
- Tibet's Dalai Lama Affirms Plan to Live a Long Life Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama declared his intention on Thursday to live a long life, citing an eighteenth-century prophecy that he could live to the age of 113.
- Public Designations of Current and Former Government Officials Under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- "Promoting and advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms continues to be a top priority for the United States. On this Human Rights Day, the United States proudly reaffirms its commitment to using every appropriate tool and authority available to draw attention to violations and abuses of human rights no matter where or when they occur, and to promote accountability for those responsible for those violations and abuses."
- United States and Partners Promote Accountability for Corruption and Human Rights Abuse US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- Yesterday and today the United States imposed sanctions under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program on corrupt actors and human rights abusers worldwide. These actions target actors across the globe who disregard individuals' human rights and international standards to prevent and combat corruption.
- Treasury Sanctions Serious Human Rights Abusers on International Human Rights Day US Treasury 10 Dec 2020 -- Today, on International Human Rights Day, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is targeting perpetrators of serious human rights abuse across several countries in the Western Hemisphere, Middle East, and Eurasia.
- US Sanctions 17 Foreign Officials for Rights Violations VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- The United States announced sanctions Thursday against 17 government officials in China and other foreign countries for human rights violations.
- US Supreme Court Allows 3 Muslim Men to Sue FBI Agents in 'No Fly' Case VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that three Muslim men who were put on the U.S. government's no-fly list for allegedly refusing to serve as FBI informants could sue FBI agents for monetary damages.
- EU unveils new agenda to ramp up anti-terrorism actions People's Daily 10 Dec 2020 -- The European Commission on Wednesday proposed stepping up the European Union's (EU) fight against terrorism and violent extremism by, among others, strengthening the role of security forces.
- Federal Jury Convicts Illinois Man for Bombing the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center US Dept. of Justice 10 Dec 2020 -- Yesterday, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict against Micheal Hari, 49, for his role in the bombing of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Aug. 5, 2017.
- Legislative Offer Would Ease Sudan's Removal From Terror List VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- Two U.S. lawmakers who sit on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations are offering a compromise with the Trump administration that would clear the way to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
- Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in connection with statements by US special presidential envoy for arms control Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 10 Dec 2020 -- We have noted remarks by US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea, published on December 8 by the US NGO, the National Institute for Public Policy.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 10, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 10 Dec 2020
- EU Leaders Back Extension Of Economic Sanctions Against Russia RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- European Union leaders on December 10 gave the green light for a six-month extension of the economic sanctions that were imposed against Russia over its role in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
- U.S. Imposes Additional Sanctions Against Chechen Leader Kadyrov RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- The United States has imposed another set of sanctions targeting Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya and a loyal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Netherlands Orders Expulsion Of Two Alleged Russian Spies Who Targeted Tech Sector RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- The Netherlands has ordered the expulsion of two Russians with diplomatic accreditation after a Dutch intelligence agency accused them of espionage targeting the country's science and technology sectors.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 10, 2020 PRC MofA 10 Dec 2020
- China not aggressive nor servile: FM Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Thursday responded to accusations from some Western media and politicians who recently used the term "wolf warrior" to describe China's diplomacy. Hua stressed that China has no tradition of being aggressive, but will also not flinch in the face of bullying and provocations.
- Xi, Macron reach important consensus on China-France cooperation in next stage People's Daily 10 Dec 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron reached important consensus on China-France cooperation in the next stage during a phone conversation on Wednesday evening.
- Former Macao triad boss sanctioned by US is not a CPPCC member: FM Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Thursday refuted that Wan Kuok Koi, a former Macao-based crime boss is a member of China's top advisory body, as US authorities and media reported.
- US coercing other countries to join 'Clean Network' is dirty business: FM Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- Officials from the Trump administration have lobbied all around the world, coercing or luring other countries to shun Chinese high-tech firm Huawei's 5G, and to join US' so-called "Clean Network" scheme, which is actually very dirty, said China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday.
- China Revokes Visa Exemption for US Diplomatic Passport Holders Visiting Hong Kong, Macau Sputnik 10 Dec 2020 -- The US moved the other day to impose financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials over their purported part in adopting a national security law for Hong Kong earlier this year, among other roles.
- China Limits Travel by Some US Officials to Hong Kong VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry said Thursday it is restricting travel by some U.S. officials to Hong Kong after the U.S. placed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials.
- China to sanction US executive officials, targeted retaliation 'may be permanent' Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- China on Thursday announced decisions to impose reciprocal sanctions against US officials in its executive and legislative branches, non-profit organization (NGO) representatives and their family members in response to the latest US sanctions on 14 Chinese deputy state-level officials.
- China revokes US officials' visa exemption over 'vile' attitude concerning Hong Kong Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- China says it is to revoke American diplomatic passport holders' exemption from the need to obtain visas to travel to Hong Kong over their "vile" behavior concerning the Chinese territory.
- HK firms see new growth in mainland as city regains stability with national security law Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- The first winter after the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong didn't chill local business as some Western media have claimed; rather, local companies have welcomed hard-won stability and peace in the city, and many businesses have decided to expand their markets beyond Hong Kong.
- U.S. bullying acts draw strong opposition in Hong Kong People's Daily 10 Dec 2020 -- People from various sectors in Hong Kong have voiced strong opposition to and condemned recent U.S. bullying acts aimed at messing up the situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China and damaging "one country, two systems."
- Hongkongers in Exile Seek Political Asylum Amid National Security Crackdown at Home Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- Pro-democracy activists who have fled Hong Kong amid a city-wide crackdown on peaceful dissent, political participation, and civil liberties say there is a growing need among the city's seven million residents for welcoming immigration policies, including political asylum for those fleeing political persecution in the wake of recent protests.
- Businesses Must be 'Concerned About Issues Related to Forced Labor': CBP Official on Xinjiang Goods Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that it will detain all shipments containing cotton and cotton products originating from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC)—a key paramilitary group in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)—citing forced labor abuses.
- Relocation of Ancient Uyghur Village Ruse to Assimilate Residents, Appropriate Resources: Experts Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have relocated more than 1,400 Uyghurs from an ancient desert village, citing destitution and "backwardness," but experts say the move was made to assimilate torchbearers of traditional Uyghur culture and appropriate local resources.
- CCTVs in Xinjiang do not target any particular ethnic minority: Chinese FM Global Times 10 Dec 2020 -- Responding to an inquiry to Intel and NVIDIA CEOs by US Senator Marco Rubio on the sale of advanced computer chips that allegedly power a so-called supercomputer used in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying denounced such a claim, saying the US politician has no sincerity.
- China Puts Rights Lawyers, Families Under House Arrest on Human Rights Day Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in the Chinese capital have placed a number of prominent rights lawyers and their families under house arrest on Human Rights Day, RFA has learned.
- China Opens Trial of Veteran Activist on International Human Rights Day VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- China opened the trial of a famous lawyer and veteran legal advocate on Thursday, International Human Rights Day, in a move that rights activists denounced as a show of Beijing's defiance of human rights and universal values.
- Chinese electronic warfare aircraft enters Taiwan's ADIZ CNA 10 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese Y-8 electronic warfare plane entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) Thursday morning -- the eighth such intrusion this month, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
- President Tsai speaks on Taiwan's democracy at U.S. think tank event CNA 10 Dec 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in a pre-recorded speech delivered Thursday morning (Taipei time) at a virtual event hosted by a Washington-based think tank that Taiwan is determined to safeguard its freedom despite China's efforts to block Taiwan's participation in international organizations.
- The Future of the United States and the Korean Peninsula US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- Remarks by Stephen Biegun, Deputy Secretary of State
- Zarif says Iran ready to see US return to JCPOA IRNA 10 Dec 2020 -- United States is responsible for its commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and should make effort to be a member of the JCPOA, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.
- Zarif: US must earn right to rejoin Iran deal by fulfilling obligations Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US is obliged to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, but it should first strive to earn the right to do so by fulfilling its obligations under the UN-endorsed pact that it abandoned over two years ago.
- Iran blacklists US envoy for destructive role in Yemen humanitarian crisis IRNA 10 Dec 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry in a statement on Wednesday highlighted US ambassador Christopher Henzel's pivotal role in humanitarian crisis in Yemen and placed his name on the sanctions list of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- US deliberately raising costs of humanitarian trade with Iran: Chief banker Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati says the United States keep hampering Iran's efforts to access vaccines needed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the country, saying Washington is just untrue in its claims that banks would not face punishments if they process payments related to humanitarian trade with Iran.
- Belarus To Close Land Borders Over COVID-19; Opposition Says Move Aimed At Activists RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Belarus will close several land-border crossings as of December 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that will limit the movement of people at a time when the country is being rocked by protests over authoritarian Alyaksandr Lukashenka's claim of victory in a disputed presidential election.
- 'Horrible' Homecoming: Husband Of Woman Who Returned To Belarus Slams Her Prison Sentence RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Natalia Hershe watched transfixed as protests swept her homeland, triggered by Alyaksandr Lukashenka's claim of victory in a presidential election that millions of people in Belarus believe was rigged to hand him a sixth term in the face of mounting opposition to his rule.
- Kazakh Election Campaign Kicks Off With No Opposition Parties On Ballot RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Kazakhstan has kicked off its parliamentary election campaign with five parties -- none of which is running on an opposition platform.
- Saudi crown prince asks US court to dismiss former top spy's assassination lawsuit Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has asked a US federal court to drop a lawsuit, which accuses him of trying to have a former Saudi intelligence official assassinated in Canada, saying there is no evidence to support the claim.
- Good post-Brexit trade deal "is there to be done": UK PM People's Daily 10 Dec 2020 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that "a good deal is there to be done" with the European Union (EU) on the post-Brexit trade relations, but he could not accept the terms the regional bloc is currently insisting.
- UK announces travel bans and asset freezes for human rights violators UK FCDO 10 Dec 2020 -- UK announces travel bans and asset freezes for 11 Russian, Venezuelan, Gambian and Pakistani human rights violators.
- Layoffs, Cryptocurrency, And Uncertainty At A Ukrainian Tycoon's Kentucky Factory RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- When CC Metals & Alloys (CCMA) halted operations in July, some workers at the 70-year-old plant in western Kentucky expected to be back on the job by the New Year.
- Judge Charges Lebanon's Prime Minister with Negligence in Beirut Blast VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- The judge investigating an explosion in Beirut that killed hundreds of people has charged Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers with negligence.
- Lebanon PM Diab, ex-ministers indicted over Beirut port explosion Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- A Lebanese investigating judge has charged outgoing premier Hassan Diab and three ex-ministers with negligence over the devastating August blast that killed more than 200 people.
- Turkey's Erdogan renews call for change of leadership in Armenia Press TV 10 Dec 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his call for a change of leadership in Armenia, a month after the ex-soviet country was defeated in a six-week war over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region with neighboring Azerbaijan, Turkey's close ally.
- CIS Foreign Ministers Approve Draft On Closer Military, COVID-19 Cooperation RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have approved a draft concept on further developing cooperation in several areas, including the coronavirus pandemic.
- Illicit financial flows threaten security and stability in Africa: UN deputy chief UN News 10 Dec 2020 -- At a time when Africa is mobilizing resources for pandemic recovery and sustainable development, illicit financial flows (IFFs) are robbing the continent of $50 billion annually, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a high-level virtual meeting on Thursday held under the African Union's (AU) 'Silencing the Guns' initiative.
- $1.44 billion plan to respond to Venezuela refugee and migrant needs UN News 10 Dec 2020 -- In a $1.4 billion appeal launched on Thursday, the UN migration organization IOM and the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warned that the pandemic has strained the capacity of Latin American and Caribbean countries to look after Venezuelan nationals.
- Laos' Rights Record Marred by Arbitrary Arrests, Forced Disappearances and Harsh Treatment in Custody Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- Citizens who criticize the Lao government are forcibly disappeared or arrested without due process, and endure harsh treatment and lengthy prison terms, experts said on the anniversary of key United Nations human rights pacts that the communist nation has ratified but regularly violates.
- Bangladesh Installs Last Span of Ambitious Chinese-Backed Bridge Project Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- Construction of the Padma Bridge – Bangladesh's largest-ever infrastructure endeavor, which started in 2014 – reached a milestone toward completion Thursday as workers installed the 41st and last span on the roadway section of the China-backed, 6-km-long project.
- The United States Calls for Free, Fair, and Peaceful Elections in Uganda US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- "The United States reiterates its call for a free, fair, credible and peaceful election in Uganda. Repeated violence and excessive use of force by security forces are deeply troubling."
- Somalia's Indirect Election Delayed by Political Standoff VOA 10 Dec 2020 -- There are more than 10 candidates in Somalia's indirect presidential elections, in which four big clans and other minority tribes choose members of parliament that will decide on the country's next head of state.
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