13 December 2020 Military News
- Three Killed In Bomb, Gun Attacks in Afghan Capital RFE/RL Gandhara 13 Dec 2020 -- Kabul police say that at least three people have been killed in separate bomb and gun attacks in Afghanistan's capital.
- Scores of Taliban killed in clashes with Afghan forces in Kandahar Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- Scores of Taliban militants have been killed in clashes with Afghan government forces in the militants' southern stronghold of Kandahar.
- Afghan Security Forces Kill Over 60 Taliban Militants in Kandahar Sputnik 13 Dec 2020 -- The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) said on Sunday that 63 Taliban militants, including seven suicide attackers, had been killed and 29 others injured in the southern province of Kandahar over the past 72 hours.
- Afghanistan Battered by COVID, Conflict, Climate Change VOA 13 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations is calling for increased support for Afghanistan in response to increasing humanitarian needs due to COVID-19, conflict and climate change.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Trump threatens to veto Pentagon budget bill, calling China its 'bigger winner' Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- US President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the fiscal 2021's massive defense spending bill that has already passed both houses of Congress.
- US Navy's First DDG 51 Flight III Destroyers to Be Equipped With SPY-6 Radars - Report Sputnik 13 Dec 2020 -- The SPY-6, which is now integrated on the first Flight III Destroyer, the USS Jack Lucas, is a next-generation highly-sensitive, long-range radar system designed to significantly improve threat tracking, identification, and counterattack.
- US Sub Fleet to Be Surpassed by China's Before the End of the 2020s, Report Claims Sputnik 13 Dec 2020 -- The People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) of China was forecast to have become the world's navy in late 2019, although it still lacks the global power projection capabilities of its US counterparts. The Pentagon has responded with plans for a dramatic increase in the size of the US Navy using smaller ships and advances in artificial intelligence.
- Russian nuclear submarine test-fires 4 ballistic missiles Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- A Russian nuclear submarine has successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Defense Ministry said.
- Newly commissioned PLA destroyers form combat capability with intensive exercises Global Times 13 Dec 2020 -- Two Type 052D destroyers that entered Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) naval service only a few months ago are gaining combat capabilities at a very fast pace, as they were brought to the fore in a recent round of highly intensive exercises that put the ship's hardware and personnel to the test.
- UK navy boats on standby to protect fishing waters in case of no post-Brexit trade deal: report People's Daily 13 Dec 2020 -- British Royal Navy boats are being prepared to patrol Britain's fishing waters as Sunday's deadline for Brexit trade negotiations between Britain and the European Union (EU) draws near, British media reported Saturday.
- Turkish-backed militants attack areas in northeastern Syria Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- Turkish-backed Takfiri militants have launched a series of artillery attacks in the northwestern Syrian city of Raqqah.
- Government Troops Target Rebels, Jihadists in Syria's Idlib VOA 13 Dec 2020 -- Syria's government forces and allied militias have continued their assault on targets belonging to rebels and jihadist factions in the northwestern province of Idlib.
- Moroccan foreign minister says Israel ties 'already normal' Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- The Moroccan foreign minister says the country already enjoys special friendly relations with the Israeli regime, and this goes back to even before the two sides reached an agreement on normalization of ties.
- Poverty Alleviation: China Forcing Tibetans Into Mass, Military-Style 'Training' Programs (Part I) Radio Free Asia 13 Dec 2020 -- China declared in late November that it had officially met the target of eliminating extreme poverty by 2020, one of Communist Party chief Xi Jinping's signature initiatives to reach the CCP's goal to build a "moderately prosperous society" before the party's 100th anniversary in 2021. In a three-party series, Rita Cheng of RFA's Mandarin Service examines the impact of poverty alleviation policies on ethnic minorities.
- US Launches Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution VOA 13 Dec 2020 -- Super-cooled shipments of a newly approved coronavirus vaccine rolled out of a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sunday for rapid air freight distribution to regional hubs across the United States.
- U.S. states to start getting COVID-19 vaccine Monday: media People's Daily 13 Dec 2020 -- The first shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in U.S. states Monday, U.S. media quoted an official as saying on Saturday.
- US National Security Officials Investigating Hacker Intrusions VOA 13 Dec 2020 -- U.S. National Security Council officials met Saturday at the White House to discuss reports that a "sophisticated hacking group," believed to be working for Russia, has infiltrated the country's Department of the Treasury and other government agencies and stolen information related to internet and telecommunications policymaking.
- US Treasury Hacked by 'Sophisticated' Foreign Government-backed Actors, Report Says Sputnik 13 Dec 2020 -- The alleged hack attack comes following reports last week that FireEye, a major US cybersecurity firm, had been attacked by a "nation with top-tier offensive capabilities," which was said to have made off with its internal hacking tools.
- Indonesian Police Arrest Militant Leader Associated with al-Qaida VOA 13 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in Indonesia announced on Saturday the arrest of a top leader of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, an extremist group that has carried out deadly attacks in pursuit of an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia.
- Kremlin Refutes Rumors on Presidential Bunker, Says Putin Lives in Novo-Ogaryovo Residence Sputnik 13 Dec 2020 -- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Sunday refuted rumours alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin was staying inside some kind of a bunker, adding that the president lived in his Novo-Ogaryovo suburban residence west of the city of Moscow.
- Compete and Coexist: US, China could develop new concept of relationship between great nations, Graham Allison says Global Times 13 Dec 2020 -- The Global Times reporter Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi (GT) interviewed Graham T. Allison, the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, to look into where China-US relations are heading and if these two can find their way to a new form of great power relations.
- China's mission to EU confirms detention of Bloomberg's Chinese employee suspected of 'jeopardizing national security' Global Times 13 Dec 2020 -- The mission of China to the EU on Sunday confirmed the detention of a Chinese national for national security reasons in response to a question regarding the actions of a Bloomberg employee.
- China extends full open gesture to imported coal except for Australia Global Times 13 Dec 2020 -- China's top economic planner on Saturday gave approval to power plants to import coal without clearance restrictions, except for Australia, in a bid to stabilize coal purchase prices.
- HK to require oath-taking procedures from civil servants in late Dec. or early Jan. Global Times 13 Dec 2020 -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is going to announce the oath-taking procedures for its public officials, which requires all civil servants to take an oath or sign a declaration of support for the Basic Law and allegiance to the HKSAR, local media reported.
- China's further commitments inject impetus for global climate actions People's Daily 13 Dec 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday announced the country's further commitments for 2030 to contribute more to tackling the global climate challenge, when addressing the Climate Ambition Summit via video link.
- Poverty Alleviation: China's 'Anti-Poverty' Drives Leaves Mongolian Herders Out in Cold (Part II) Radio Free Asia 13 Dec 2020 -- China declared in late November that it had officially met the target of eliminating extreme poverty by 2020, one of Communist Party chief Xi Jinping's signature initiatives to reach the CCP's goal to build a "moderately prosperous society" before the party's 100th anniversary in 2021. In a three-party series, Rita Cheng of RFA's Mandarin Service examines the impact of poverty alleviation policies on ethnic minorities.
- Poverty Alleviation: China's Anti-Poverty Drive in Sichuan Sparks Fears of Cultural Erosion (Part III) Radio Free Asia 13 Dec 2020 -- China declared in late November that it had officially met the target of eliminating extreme poverty by 2020, one of Communist Party chief Xi Jinping's signature initiatives to reach the CCP's goal to build a "moderately prosperous society" before the party's 100th anniversary in 2021. In a three-party series, Rita Cheng of RFA's Mandarin Service examines the impact of poverty alleviation policies on ethnic minorities.
- Countdown to Chang'e-5's grand return: breaking free from moon gravity Global Times 13 Dec 2020 -- China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe has officially embarked on the journey back to Earth amid earnest expectations from fans across the world, after the spacecraft carried out another successful maneuver that allowed it to break free from the moon's gravity and enter the lunar-Earth transfer orbit.
- Iran summons German envoy over EU sympathy for executed propagandist Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry has summoned Germany's ambassador to Tehran after the European Union expressed strong sympathy for the former administrator of an anti-Iran website, who was executed earlier for a crime punishable by death under Iranian law.
- Iran Summons German, French Envoys Over EU Condemnation Of Journalist's Hanging RFE/RL 13 Dec 2020 -- Iran has summoned the German and French ambassadors to Tehran after the European Union condemned the execution of an Iranian journalist whose online work helped inspire anti-government protests in 2017, Iranian state media report.
- Turkish top diplomat holds phone talks with FM Zarif ISNA 13 Dec 2020 -- Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu called his Iranian counterpart to give an assurance that Ankara respects the Islamic Republic's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Scores Detained In Latest Belarus Protests RFE/RL 13 Dec 2020 -- Security forces in Belarus detained scores of people as opposition demonstrators staged scattered marches and rallies in Minsk and other cities on December 13 to pressure strongman leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka to make political concessions.
- Opposition Supporters Rally In Pakistan To Renew Calls On PM To Resign RFE/RL Gandhara 13 Dec 2020 -- Tens of thousands of Pakistani opposition supporters gathered in central city of Lahore, defying coronavirus restrictions, to renew calls on Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down to pave the way for fresh, "transparent" elections.
- More Than 20 People Wounded In Pakistani Blast RFE/RL Gandhara 13 Dec 2020 -- Pakistani officials say that at least 23 people were wounded in an explosion near a police station in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on December 13.
- UK and EU agree to extend negotiations beyond Sunday deadline Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- Against all expectations Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, have agreed to extend post-Brexit trade talks beyond the previously agreed Sunday (December 13) deadline.
- UK ministers warn supermarkets to stockpile food on no-deal Brexit fears Press TV 13 Dec 2020 -- Supermarkets in the United Kingdom have been warned to stockpile food as talks to reach a deal between the UK and the EU have so far been unsuccessful.
- No-Deal Brexit Likelihood Forces Stores to Stockpile Medicines, Food, Reports Say Sputnik 13 Dec 2020 -- Stores in the UK are stocking up on food, medicine and other goods as British ministers predict that a no-deal Brexit is highly likely, The Sunday Times reports.
- EU, Britain Make Last Attempt for Post-Brexit Trade Deal VOA 13 Dec 2020 -- The European Union and Britain said Sunday they would discard their self-imposed deadline to complete post-Brexit trade negotiations, declaring they would "go the extra mile" to clinch an agreement to avert costly trade chaos at the start of 2021.
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