16 December 2020 Military News
- Afghan Taliban Delegation in Pakistan to Discuss Peace Negotiations VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- A political delegation of the Afghan Taliban visited Pakistan Wednesday to discuss the Afghan peace process.
- Thirteen Afghan Police Officers Killed As U.N. Warns Of Humanitarian Crisis RFE/RL Gandhara 16 Dec 2020 -- Afghan officials say at least 13 police officers have been killed in an attack on a security checkpoint in the northern province of Baghlan.
- Oklahoma National Guard completes first COVID-19 vaccine delivery Army News 16 Dec 2020 -- The Oklahoma National Guard, in cooperation with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, delivered the first COVID-19 vaccines in the state on Dec. 15.
- Virginia National Guard staged for winter storm response Army News 16 Dec 2020 -- The Virginia National Guard has staged approximately 60 Soldiers and 20 vehicles in the northwest area of the state to help respond to the impact of heavy snow along the I-81 and I-66 corridors on Dec. 16.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Army installations set to modernize through 2035 Army News 16 Dec 2020 -- The Army plans to modernize its 156 installations through 2035, as part of a strategy that aims to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and families, combat climate change, and deter would-be attacks by adversaries.
- Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Is Off to Successful Start, Officials Say DoD News 16 Dec 2020 -- COVID-19 vaccine shipments are being delivered to every site identified by public health jurisdictions in Operation Warp Speed's first wave of shipments this week, Health and Human Service Secretary Alex M. Azar told reporters today.
- Tiberius Platform Aids COVID-19 Logistics, Delivery DoD News 16 Dec 2020 -- While Star Trek's Capt. James Tiberius Kirk said he grew tired of explaining the origins of his middle name, Operation Warp Speed officials are eager to highlight their version of Tiberius — a software platform designed to guide the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- The Patriots defending ASAB CENTCOM 16 Dec 2020 -- Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, is home to thousands of U.S. Air Force Airmen, U.S. Army Soldiers and coalition forces.
- AI Copilot: Air Force achieves first military flight with artificial intelligence US Air Force 16 Dec 2020 -- Signaling a major leap forward for national defense in the digital age, the Air Force flew with artificial intelligence as a working aircrew member onboard a military aircraft for the first time Dec. 15.
- Stronger Together: USS William P. Lawrence Gets Second Opportunity to Train with Brazilian Navy US Navy 16 Dec 2020 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and BNS Brasil (U 27) executed a passing exercise (PASSEX) in the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 15.
- Russia tests direct-ascent anti-satellite missile USSPACECOM 16 Dec 2020 -- Russia has conducted a test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile.
- US Space Command Claims Russia Conducted Anti-Satellite Missile Test Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- The United States' Space Command on Wednesday accused Russia of testing a missile intended to target satellites in orbit.
- 4th Chinese-built littoral mission ship completed for Malaysian Navy PLA Daily 16 Dec 2020 -- Malaysia will take its fourth delivery of the Chinese-built littoral mission ship (LMS) following its completion, the Malaysian Navy said on Wednesday.
- China ensures comprehensive winter supplies for frontier troops in Tibet PLA Daily 16 Dec 2020 -- Since the beginning of this winter, the Chinese PLA Tibet Military Command has conducted thorough surveys on the demand of the frontier troops and spared no efforts to solve problems related to power supply, drinking water, heating, oxygen supply, healthcare and toileting to ensure winter supplies for troops stationed on the plateau.
- Navy plans to build three more missile corvettes by 2023 CNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Taiwan's Navy has decided to build three more of the upgraded version of its Tuo Chiang-class missile corvette by 2023 amid a growing military threat from Beijing.
- Taiwan military launches new corvette, 'target of PLA aircraft' Global Times 16 Dec 2020 -- The island of Taiwan launched its first heavily armed Tuo Chiang-class corvette on Tuesday, with Taiwan media calling it an "aircraft carrier killer," but Chinese mainland military experts said on Wednesday that the corvette's threat to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is limited and will only become a target of PLA aircraft.
- U.S. permits sale of key component for Taiwan indigenous submarine project CNA 16 Dec 2020 -- The United States has officially approved an export permit for a key component to Taiwan needed for the ongoing building of the nation's first indigenous submarine, a senior military official said Wednesday.
- Iran concluded contracts for exporting arms IRNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Defense Minister General Amir Hatami said on Wednesday that contracts have been concluded in the field of arms exports to other countries, adding that negotiations are underway with various countries in the field of purchasing arms.
- U.S. sanctions harm alliance with Turkey: minister People's Daily 16 Dec 2020 -- Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday that the U.S. sanctions against Turkey over its procurement of Russian-made S-400 defense systems undermine the values of the alliance between the two NATO allies.
- Erdogan denounces US sanctions as 'hostile attack' on Turkey's sovereign rights Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced the US sanctions imposed on Ankara over its purchase of advanced Russian S-400 missile defense systems as a "hostile attack" on the sovereign rights his country.
- Top US House Foreign Affairs Lawmakers Accuse Turkey of Undermining NATO Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- The chairman and ranking Republican on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee urged other NATO nations to join the US in demanding in a press release that Ankara halt actions that damage the Western alliance.
- Royal Navy Warships May Be Stranded in Plymouth by Tugboat Strike in Latest Maritime Fiasco Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- The Royal Navy has used Plymouth in the west of England as one of its major bases since at least the 14th century. But the navy's warships rely on being towed out to sea by tugboats.
- Sweden Railroads Through 'Largest Defence Investment Since 50s' Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- One of the stated goals of formally non-aligned Sweden's rearmament is to be able to endure a possible military crisis for three months until international aid arrives, including from NATO.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany | 12/15/2020, #41 The White House 16 Dec 2020
- Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Serious Human Rights Abuse and Corruption The White House 16 Dec 2020
- Message to the Congress on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Serious Human Rights Abuse and Corruption The White House 16 Dec 2020
- Contracts For Dec. 16, 2020
- Saab delivers upgrade Gotland-class submarine to Sweden SAAB 16 Dec 2020 -- Saab has today, on Wednesday 16th of December, delivered the second submarine of Gotland-class to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) after a Mid-life upgrade.
- 16 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 16 Dec 2020
- Why a Voice from China Admitted That Disputed Artificial Islands Are Hard to Defend VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- A magazine with ties to the Chinese armed forces has acknowledged China would have difficulty in defending its artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea. Analysts see the article as a signal to the incoming U.S. administration that it should not force Beijing to further fortify the islets.
- Encouraging parties to engage with the UN-led political process to achieve a peaceful end to conflict in Syria UK FCDO 16 Dec 2020 -- Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on Syria
- Syria: Millions displaced, impoverished and traumatized, Security Council hears UN News 16 Dec 2020 -- As the end of another year of war looms, "families in Syria remain without respite after almost a decade of conflict", the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council on Wednesday.
- UNSC calls for withdrawal of mercenaries from Libya Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has demanded the exit of all foreign combatants and mercenaries from war-torn Libya.
- Russia Backs UN Security Council Call For Withdrawal Of Foreign Fighters From Libya RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- The UN Security Council reiterated a call for all foreign fighters to leave Libya in a unanimous statement on December 15 that included the backing of Russia, which has been accused of helping a military contractor send mercenaries into the country.
- Peace dividend for Libya economy, as oil flows and Central Bank unifies exchange rate after years of deadlock UN News 16 Dec 2020 -- The ceasefire that halted Libya's civil war in October has begun to pay economic dividends that should improve living standards for ordinary Libyans, with a first central bank board meeting in five years and a full resumption of oil production helping to build momentum for political change.
- EU withholds $100mn budget support for Ethiopia over Tigray conflict Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- The European Union (EU) has decided to put a hold on funding to Ethiopia due to the month-long conflict in the country's Tigray region, which has triggered a refugee crisis and a humanitarian disaster.
- Dozens Of Armenian Soldiers 'Captured' In Nagorno-Karabakh Raid RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- The de facto authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh say dozens of ethnic Armenian soldiers have been captured in a raid by Azerbaijani forces in the breakaway region following last month's cease-fire that ended six weeks of fighting.
- Two-Year-Old War in Myanmar's Rakhine Takes Toll on Children Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2020 -- Two years of war between the government military and a rebel ethnic army have made Rakhine state Myanmar's deadliest place for children, who suffer trauma and hunger on top of violence, local civil society groups said Wednesday.
- Joint Statement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) CISA 16 Dec 2020 -- Over the course of the past several days, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have become aware of a significant and ongoing cybersecurity campaign.
- US Security Adviser O'Brien Cuts Trip Short to Address Hacking Incident Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has cut his diplomatic trip in Europe short to return to the United States to address the recent hacking incident that targeted multiple federal agencies, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a statement.
- White House National-Security Adviser Cuts European Trip Short To Deal With Major Cyberattack RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- White House national-security adviser Robert O'Brien has cut short a European trip and returned to Washington to deal with the fallout from a major cyberattack by suspected Russian hackers.
- Kenyan National Indicted for Conspiring to Hijack Aircraft on Behalf of the Al Qaeda-Affiliated Terrorist Organization Al Shabaab US Dept. of Justice 16 Dec 2020 -- Cholo Abdi Abdullah Obtained Pilot Training and Researched How to Hijack Aircraft in Order to Conduct a 9/11-Style Attack at the Direction of al Shabaab
- Suspected Al-Shabab Operative Brought to US to Face Terror Charges VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- An al-Shabab terror group operative accused of conspiring to carry out a 9/11-style attack in the United States has been brought to New York to face terrorism charges, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.
- In blow to US, Mexico passes law curbing activities of foreign agents Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- The Mexican congress has approved a new law curbing the activities of foreign agents in the country, in a blow to US agencies that maintain a robust presence there under the pretext of the so-called war on drugs.
- Mexican Congress Passes New Security Law Restricting Foreign Law Enforcement in Country Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- Although the newly-passed Mexican legislation does not target a particular country, some have voiced concern that law enforcement agencies of the United States will be those most impacted by the new rules.
- French Court Convicts Accomplices of Charlie Hebdo Attackers VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- A French court has convicted 14 accomplices in connection with the January 2015 attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
- France Expels 75 More Foreign Extremists as Part of Counter-Terrorism Response, Minister Says Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- France has expelled 75 more foreigners listed for radicalisation within the state-backed roadmap to curb the terrorist threat, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Wednesday.
- New EU Cybersecurity Strategy Suggests Special Cyberintelligence Working Group, Borrell Says Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- The European Union's new cybersecurity strategy envisages setting up a special cyberintelligence working group, EU high representative for the foreign policy, Josep Borrell, said Wednesday.
- NASA Selects Blue Origin's New Glenn Rocket for Launch Services Catalog Blue Origin 16 Dec 2020 -- Today, NASA awarded Blue Origin a NASA Launch Services II (NLS II) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to launch planetary, Earth observation, exploration, and scientific satellites for the agency aboard New Glenn, Blue Origin's orbital reusable launch vehicle.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 16, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 16 Dec 2020
- 'Funny To Read': Russia's Lavrov Dismisses FSB Involvement In Navalny Poisoning RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on December 16 dismissed a joint investigation between Bellingcat and several media outlets that revealed evidence they say shows that the recent poisoning of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny was carried out by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).
- At Putin's Annual Press Conference, What Will -- And Won't -- Get Asked Or Answered RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- In past years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent the bulk of his multi-hour annual news conference embracing friendly questions, deflecting problematic ones, trying to show empathy for average Russians, extolling new weapons, and lambasting the West, among other things.
- The Bishop's Gambit: What's Behind The FSB's Case Against A Russian Orthodox Clergyman? RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- In March, a strange story swept through Russian online media: Police and agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB) had raided the St. Petersburg apartment of the bishop of Cherepovets and Belozersk.
- Aussie daily 'turns' Chinese service bureau to spying agency overnight Global Times 16 Dec 2020 -- Australian media reports on the Australian embassy's recruitment of Chinese nationals via a Beijing agency as "putting spies into consulates" again exposed their ignorance and sinister motive, insiders and observers said.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 16, 2020 PRC MofA 16 Dec 2020
- Chinese Diplomats' Aggressive Twitter Strategy on Display in Australia Dispute VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- China and Australia have seen tensions rise over the past year, after Canberra demanded an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic and China responded by escalating tariffs on Australian imports.
- Australia to File Formal Complaint at WTO over China's High Tariffs on Australian Barley VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- Australia is launching a formal challenge to the World Trade Organization over heavy tariffs imposed by China on its barley exports.
- Prosecution of illegal border crossing suspects in Shenzhen a 'decisive warning shot' to Hong Kong secessionists Global Times 16 Dec 2020 -- Twelve Hong Kong residents who had been detained in August for illegally entering into the mainland waters since they wanted to escape to the island of Taiwan to avoid being charged for their acts during the 2019 turmoil in Hong Kong, were formally charged by Shenzhen Yantian People's Procuratorate on Wednesday.
- HK officials pledge allegiance to SAR, vow to uphold Basic Law Global Times 16 Dec 2020 -- All undersecretaries and political assistants of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government took the oath of allegiance to the HKSAR Basic Law and the HKSAR on Wednesday morning, a move that will be completed by all Hong Kong civil servants by the end of next month, Hong Kong media reported.
- China Indicts Hong Kong 12 For 'Illegal Border Crossing' Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have indicted 12 Hong Kong protesters detained as they fled to the democratic island of Taiwan on charges relating to "illegally crossing a border," the state prosecutor's office said in a statement on Wednesday.
- China Has More Than 100 Journalists Behind Bars Amid 'Total Control' of Media Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2020 -- China was among the world's biggest jailers of journalists in 2020, continuing a pattern of total state control over the media begun under ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) "core" leader Xi Jinping.
- China undermining human rights by locking up rights lawyers, UN independent expert says UN News 16 Dec 2020 -- China has mounted a "shocking" five-year assault on lawyers who stand up for human rights, putting them in prison and even torturing them, an expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council said in a statement on Wednesday.
- China Crackdown on Illegal Construction Hits Wealthy Homeowners in Beijing Suburb VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- Last week in Xiangtang Village, a suburb of Beijing, hundreds of men dressed in black arrived, accompanied by a fleet of excavators. They handed residents notices, informing them the government concluded that their properties were illegally built, and that they had seven days to pack their belongings and move out as their homes would be demolished.
- China's Chang'e 5 Successfully Returns to Earth Carrying Lunar Samples Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- Named for a mythological goddess of the moon, Chang'e 5 is a part of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Programme. China began the project in 2003, and four years later saw its first spacecraft launched.
- China State Media Reports Lunar Probe Landed Back on Earth VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- Chinese state media says a lunar probe containing the first samples of moon rocks and soil since the moon missions of the 1970s has returned to Earth.
- Four Chinese military planes enter Taiwan's ADIZ CNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Four Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, the most planes to engage in such maneuvers on any day in December, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).
- National reunification law? Mainland Taiwan Affairs Office says secessionism will be resolutely smashed Global Times 16 Dec 2020 -- The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on Wednesday that the Chinese mainland will take all necessary measures to resolutely smash any secessionism attempts and safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, in response to a question on whether the mainland will introduce a national reunification law.
- Interview: Seoul's Leaflet Ban a Problem Because 'North Korea Hasn't Changed at All' Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2020 -- Ji Seong-ho, a former North Korean refugee who is now a lawmaker in South Korea's opposition People Power Party, is currently in the United States on a visit to discuss the North Korean human rights situation with government officials and policy makers.
- Increased Electricity Production Witnessed in DPRK KCNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Officials, workers and technicians in the field of hydro-electric power industry all out in the 80-day campaign have achieved successes in the electricity production.
- Russia: JCPAO parties voice readiness for its full implementation IRNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Russian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Wednesday that participants in the 17th meeting of JCPOA Joint Commission voiced readiness for intensive diplomatic efforts to fully implement the agreement.
- Diplomat: Iran cannot bear all costs of implementing JCPOA IRNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi stressed on Wednesday that Iran cannot pay all the costs of implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) due to the illegal behavior of other parties.
- Iran urges all JCPOA parties to work towards safeguarding 2015 nuclear deal Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- A senior Iranian official says safeguarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is not a one-man job, urging other signatories to keep their side of the bargain.
- Gov't spox: Supreme Leader orders reviewing FATF IRNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Government spokesman Ali Rabiee said on Wednesday that given the importance of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issue on improving international banking and financial relations, Iran's Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) has also ordered a re-investigation of the issue.
- Leader: Revenge for General Soleimani murder certain, will come in due time Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says revenge for Iran's senior commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the United States, is certain and will be exacted at the right time.
- Leader: Avenging murder of General Soleimani is certain IRNA 16 Dec 2020 -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said overcoming the hollow strong image of hegemonic powers through soft power and expelling the US from the region are the harshest blows to be inflicted on enemies.
- Iran not excited about Biden win, but happy with Trump departure: Rouhani Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is not excited about the election of Joe Biden as US president, but is happy with the departure of Donald Trump, the "most rogue" and "law-breaking" American leader so far, who did not even abide by humanitarian principles in dealing with the Iranian nation.
- US sanctions four Chinese, UAE-based companies over sale of Iranian petrochemicals Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- The United States has blacklisted four Chinese and UAE-based companies over supporting the sale of Iranian petrochemicals as US President Donald Trump increases pressure on Tehran in the final days of his administration.
- Sanctioning Supporters of Iran's Petroleum and Petrochemical Sectors US Dept. of State 16 Dec 2020 -- Petroleum and petrochemicals are major sources of revenue for the Iranian regime, revenue it employs to oppress the Iranian people and to advance its malign foreign agenda.
- Treasury Sanctions Companies for Supporting the Sale of Iranian Petrochemicals US Treasury 16 Dec 2020 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four entities for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemical products by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance), an entity designated by Treasury in January 2020.
- Iranian Dual Nationals Banned From Presidential Elections Radio Farda 16 Dec 2020 -- A new bill ratified by Iran's Majlis parliament has banned dual citizens from running as candidates in presidential elections in Iran.
- Canada Questions Iran's Probe Into Downing Of Ukrainian Passenger Jet RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- An independent Canadian report published on December 14 has questioned Iran's investigation into its own military's downing of a Kyiv-bound passenger plane that killed 176 people.
- U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves New Ambassador To Belarus RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the appointment of Julie Fisher, deputy assistant secretary for Western Europe and the European Union, as the new ambassador to Belarus.
- EU Agrees On New Belarus Sanctions As Tsikhanouskaya Accepts Sakharov Prize RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- EU ambassadors have agreed on a package of economic sanctions on Belarus over its crackdown on opposition protesters, targeting 29 individuals and seven firms or organizations, diplomats say.
- Kazakh Activists Mark Independence Day With Unsanctioned Rally In Almaty RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- Opposition activists in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, have marked the Central Asian nation's Independence Day with an unsanctioned rally.
- An Old Refrain: Russian Lawmakers Question Kazakhstan's Territorial Integrity, Statehood RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- Many Kazakhs are likely upset and perhaps a bit worried by some of the comments and actions heard in Russia recently that have questioned Kazakhstan's existence as a country.
- Armenia's Pashinian Says Early Elections 'Cannot Be Held Based On My Will Alone' RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- Armenia's embattled prime minister, Nikol Pashinian, who is facing mounting opposition calls for him to step down over last month's cease-fire deal with Azerbaijan, says he alone cannot decide to call early parliamentary elections.
- Royal Decree on State's General Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 SPA 16 Dec 2020 -- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal decree today on the State's General Budget for the Fiscal Year 2021, stating the following:
- 'Next Days Decisive': EU Chief von der Leyen Says There's a Path to a Brexit Deal Now Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- Earlier, the European Union's chief negotiator for relations with London, Michel Barnier, called for giving a new trade deal with the United Kingdom "every chance of success", noting that the next few days were crucial for securing a new pact by the end of the year, when the Brexit transition period is set to expire.
- Former Venezuelan National Treasurer and Her Spouse Charged in Connection with International Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme US Dept. of Justice 16 Dec 2020 -- A former Venezuelan National Treasurer and her spouse were charged in a superseding indictment filed Tuesday for their alleged participation in a previously indicted billion-dollar currency exchange and money laundering scheme. An alleged co-conspirator was previously charged in the original indictment.
- The United States Supports the Voices of the Venezuelan People US Dept. of State 16 Dec 2020 -- "We congratulate the Venezuelan people on the success of the Consulta Popular or 'People's Referendum.'"
- Bolivian court closes election fraud case against Morales Press TV 16 Dec 2020 -- A court in Bolivia has closed the October 2019 election fraud case against former president and party leader Evo Morales due to a lack of evidence.
- Bolivian Court Closes Case Against Morales Over 2019 Election Fraud Sputnik 16 Dec 2020 -- A Bolivian court closed the October 2019 election fraud case against ex-President Evo Morales due to a lack of evidence, a spokesman for the court in La Paz, Jorge Cino, said on Wednesday.
- US-Backed Mekong Dam Monitor Project Offers Data and Transparency to Mekong Region Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2020 -- The United States and partners have launched a new program to monitor the Mekong River, to track the impact of Chinese and other hydropower projects and climate change on Southeast Asia's main river system.
- Despite Somalia Severing Ties, Kenya Says It Won't Expel Somalis VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- In the wake of Somalia's announcement this week that it is severing diplomatic ties with Kenya, the Nairobi government says it will not expel Somali diplomats and instead will seek talks with its neighbor.
- Guinea President Appeals for Peace, Unity After Being Sworn In for disputed third term VOA 16 Dec 2020 -- Guinea President Alpha Conde is appealing to citizens of the West African nation to unite as he begins his third term in office.
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