23 December 2020 Military News
- Iran-Backed Iraqi Militants Deny Involvement in US Embassy Attack VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- This week, two Iran-backed militias in Iraq denied responsibility for a rocket attack Sunday on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
- Trump accuses Iran of being behind rocket attacks in Iraq Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- US President Donald Trump has accused Iran of being behind the recent rocket attack on the highly fortified Green Zone and the US Embassy in Baghdad.
- US, UN Slam Targeted Killings of Prominent Afghan Civilians VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Officials in Afghanistan say gunmen Wednesday killed the head of an independent elections watchdog in Kabul, the latest casualty in a string of mostly unclaimed recent attacks against prominent civilians.
- UN Expresses Alarm After Head Of Afghan Election-Monitoring Group Killed RFE/RL Gandhara 23 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations' mission in Afghanistan is alarmed over the "deeply disturbing" numbers of targeted killings in the war-torn country after the head of an Afghan independent election-monitoring group was slain in Kabul.
- Gunmen kill head of Afghan election monitoring group in Kabul Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- The head of an independent Afghan election monitoring organization has been killed in an ambush by unknown gunmen in the capital Kabul.
- Idaho Guard continues to assist with COVID-19 response Army News 23 Dec 2020 -- The Idaho National Guard has partnered with agencies and organizations across Idaho in a renewed push against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Iraq denounces Trump's pardon of Blackwater guards Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- Iraq's government and the Hezbollah Brigades have denounced a decision by US President Donald Trump to pardon Blackwater contractors jailed for the killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.
- Iraq: Trump pardons for Baghdad Blackwater guards 'contributes to impunity' says UN rights office UN News 23 Dec 2020 -- The UN human rights office OHCHR, has voiced deep concern over the decision by United States President Donald Trump to grant pardons to four security guards who were tried and convicted for the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, in 2007.
- Presidential Veto Message to the House of Representatives for H.R. 6395 The White House 23 Dec 2020
- DOD Awards $15 Million Firm Fixed Price Contract to Corning Incorporated to Increase Domestic Production Capacity of Robotic Pipette Tips DoD 23 Dec 2020 -- On December 23, 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD), in coordination with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded a $15 million Firm Fixed Price contract to Corning Incorporated to expand domestic production of pipette tips for robotic liquid handling instruments.
- HHS, DOD Collaborate With Merck to Continue the Development and Large-Scale Manufacturing of Investigational COVID-19 Treatment DoD 23 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Department of the Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD) jointly announced an agreement with Merck to support advanced development and large-scale manufacturing of their investigational therapeutic MK-7110 to treat hospitalized patients with severe or critical COVID-19.
- Trump Administration Purchases Additional 100 Million Doses of COVID-19 Investigational Vaccine From Pfizer DoD 23 Dec 2020 -- The Trump Administration, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD), will purchase an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.
- Operation Warp Speed Leader Provides Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery DoD News 23 Dec 2020 -- Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, briefed the media today on the progress of COVID-19 vaccine delivery.
- Eielson AFB exercises rapid combat readiness, demonstrates arctic ability US Air Force 23 Dec 2020 -- The 354th Fighter Wing and the 168th Wing Air National Guard completed a readiness exercise Dec. 18, verifying the wing's ability to rapidly generate combat airpower at Eielson Air Force Base. More than 30 fighters and two refueling aircraft participated in the exercise.
- Marines Use Sensor Buoys to Better Understand Ocean Battlespace US Navy 23 Dec 2020 -- During the recent 2020 Trident Warrior exercise, Office of Naval Research-funded scientists dropped sensor buoys to study underwater conditions.
- Russian fighter intercepts Japanese military plane People's Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- A Russian fighter jet intercepted a Japanese military aircraft over Far Eastern seas, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
- Russia urges US to renew New START, expects no good from Biden Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- Russia has called on the outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump to extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Moscow, as a senior Russian diplomat says Moscow does not expect "anything good" from the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.
- New Russian Base in Syunik Province Can Help Ensure Armenia's Security, Politician Says Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- Opposition politician Edmon Marukyan says Armenia won't be able to ensure security on its borders without help.
- China's second Type 075 amphibious assault ship starts first sea trial: reports People's Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- China's second Type 075 amphibious assault ship reportedly embarked on its first sea trial on Tuesday, just eight months after its April launch.
- PLA Navy's pilot recruitment program enters new phase as demand on the rise Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- The annual pilot recruitment program of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently entered a new phase, in which candidates' physical and psychological potential will be put to test.
- PLA Army helicopters switch role from support to main force in cross-sea operations Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Army helicopters are reportedly switching from their original supporting role to a main force in cross-sea operations, as helicopters are expected to play vital roles in amphibious landing operations in regions like the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, analysts said on Wednesday.
- H-6K variant seen at China-Russia strategic patrol Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- A new variant of China's H-6K bomber, which experts said on Wednesday is more powerful than the original version, was spotted in the second joint aerial strategic patrol by the air forces of China and Russia on Tuesday.
- Xi signs order to publish regulations on military logistics PLA Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, has signed an order to release regulations on military logistics, which will serve as the main rules in relevant field.
- China, Russia hold 2nd joint aerial strategic patrol in Asia-Pacific PLA Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- The air forces of China and Russia have held their 2nd joint aerial strategic patrol in the Asia-Pacific region on December 22, according to an announcement jointly released on Tuesday night by the Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
- China-Russia strategic ties to be strengthened, sending strong signal to new US govt Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- China and Russia recently sent strong messages, through moves such as having joint aerial strategic patrols and criticizing US unilateralism together, to the US when the Trump administration is setting obstacles for the incoming Biden government to repair US relations with other countries.
- Chinese Defence Ministry Says Joint Air Patrol With Russia No Threat to Other States Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- The recent joint Russian-Chinese air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region is part of the annual military cooperation plan between Moscow and Beijing aimed at strengthening bilateral strategic cooperation and global security, and does not target any other state, the Chinese Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
- Successful Maiden Launch of MRSAM India PIB 23 Dec 2020 -- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved a major milestone today with the maiden launch of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), Army Version from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the Coast of Odisha around 1600 hrs. The missile completely destroyed a high speed unmanned aerial target which was mimicking an aircraft with a direct hit.
- India Conducts Trials of Medium Range Surface-to-Air Barak-8 Missile for Army Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- The army version of the medium range surface-to-air missile is developed by India's state-funded Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
- Commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces Launches Multi-Mission Helicopters (MH-60R) SPA 23 Dec 2020 -- Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces Lieutenant General Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghafili launched here today the Multi-Mission Combat Navy Helicopters (MH-60R) in the presence of Commander of the US Central Command, Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Samuel Paparo.
- Kazakhstan - King Air B300ER Scorpion Aircraft with Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Mission Systems DSCA 23 Dec 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kazakhstan of King Air B300ER Scorpion Aircraft with Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Mission Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $128.1 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on yesterday.
- 23 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 23 Dec 2020
- UNHCR Seeks $455 Million to Keep Refugees, Displaced Safe From COVID-19 VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency is appealing for $455 million to help protect millions of refugees and displaced people from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Ports in aggressor states will be targeted if Saudi-led siege continues: Yemeni FM Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- Foreign Minister in the Yemeni National Salvation Government, Hisham Sharaf Abdullah, has warned Saudi Arabia and its regional allies against continuation of the sea, land and air blockade on Yemen, stating that their ports and economically strategic sites will be targeted if such crippling measures are not abolished.
- U.S. slaps sanctions against Syrian individuals, entities People's Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- The United States on Tuesday announced more than a dozen of sanctions against Syrian individuals and entities to further pressure the Syrian government.
- Syria's Afrin Yazidis Are Fearful Following Recent Attacks VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Yazidi community members in northwest Syria say they are in a state of fear after Turkey-backed Islamist rebels in control of the area launched a weeklong blockade and arrest campaign against the religious minority in Afrin.
- The United States' Humanitarian Assistance Response to Conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray Region US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2020 -- The United States is providing more than $18 million in assistance to respond to the growing humanitarian needs caused by conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region.
- Iran ready to help resolve Baku-Yerevan dispute permanently: Vaezi ISNA 23 Dec 2020 -- Chief of staff of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Vaezi expressed pleasure over termination of military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, saying that Iran is ready to help resolve Baku-Yerevan dispute permanently and definitively.
- City seized by rebels in CAR back under government control: UN Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations (UN) says the key city of Bambari in the Central African Republic, which had earlier been seized by rebels, is now in the hands of UN peacekeepers and national security forces.
- WFP to Cut Refugee Food Rations in Uganda for Lack of Cash VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- The World Food Program says for the second time in a year, it will have to cut food rations for more than one million refugees in Uganda due to a shortage of cash.
- Uganda: UN food assistance programme hit as COVID-19 dries up funding UN News 23 Dec 2020 -- The UN World Food Programme (WFP) will have to further reduce food rations and cash assistance for more than 1.2 million refugees in Uganda due to a funding shortfall, the agency has said, calling for urgent resources to sustain aid efforts.
- Uganda's Health Care System Struggling Against Second COVID Wave VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- A second wave of COVID-19 infections in Uganda is overwhelming hospitals. The country has close to 32,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and at least 238 people have died.
- Tibetan Diaspora to Vote For Next Government-in-Exile Leader on Jan. 3 Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- Tibetans living outside their China-ruled homeland are set to hold a vote on Jan. 3 to seat a new political leader, or Sikyong, for their Dharamsala, India-based government-in-exile as the current officeholder's five-year term in office nears its end.
- Families of 17 Missing Rakhine Men Get No Help From Myanmar Rights Body Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar's human rights body said it will not investigate the case of 17 villagers allegedly abducted by the government military nine months ago in war-torn Rakhine state, angering family members of the men who say they were lied to and given the runaround by authorities.
- Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Results of Operation Legend US Dept. of Justice 23 Dec 2020 -- Earlier today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the results of Operation Legend, which was first launched in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 8, 2020, and then expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 14, 2020.
- Contested Vote in Central African Republic Risks Another Crisis, Presidential Candidate Says Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- The Central African Republic must create a safe environment for voters this Sunday to avert a surge in violence that lack of confidence in the general election results may cause, presidential candidate Martin Ziguele said in an interview.
- Central African Republic: UN rights office warns of 'escalating violence' ahead of Sunday poll UN News 23 Dec 2020 -- Just days before elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), an uptick in armed violence is threatening the safety of civilians and their right to vote, according to the UN human rights office.
- Interview: Russia Blocking Visas For U.S. Diplomatic Staff, Forcing Closure Of Consulates, U.S. Ambassador Says RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Russian visa restrictions for U.S. diplomatic personnel forced the closure of two consulates, the U.S. ambassador said, blaming Moscow for shutdowns that will leave Russians and American citizens living in Russia with a single diplomatic outpost to turn to in the sprawling country.
- Russia Sees Relations With U.S. Going 'From Bad To Worse' RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has accused the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden of "Russophobia" and says he expects relations with the United States to go "from bad to worse."
- Russian Lawmakers Expand Scope Of 'Foreign Agents' Law Limiting Press Freedom, Work Of NGOs RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- The Russian parliament's lower chamber has approved several controversial bills that human rights watchdogs and the opposition have said undermine democratic processes.
- Moscow Court Hands Two-Year Suspended Sentence To Opposition Politician Galyamina RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- A court in Moscow has handed local opposition politician Yulia Galyamina a two-year suspended sentence for her involvement in anti-Kremlin rallies.
- German Hospital's Final Statement Says Navalny Poisoned With Novichok Nerve Agent RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- The German hospital that treated Aleksei Navalny has posted its final statement on the case of the Russian dissident's acute illness, saying he was poisoned with the chemical nerve agent Novichok.
- Russia Plans to Supply US with 10 Engines for Atlas V, Antares Carrier Rockets in 2021 Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- Russia's Energomash research and production association (part of Roscosmos state space corporation), a major rocket engine manufacturer, plans to supply the US with six engines for Atlas V carrier rockets and four engines for Antares launch vehicles in 2021, according to information posted on the state procurement website.
- Russia expels two Colombian diplomats in tit-for-tat move Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- Russia has expelled two Colombian diplomats in response to the expulsion of two of its diplomats from the South American country.
- Russia Expels Two Colombian Embassy Employees In Tit-For-Tat Move RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Russia's government has declared two employees of the Colombian Embassy in Moscow diplomats "personae non gratae" following the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from the South American country due to what local media reported was espionage.
- Russian Foreign Ministry Declares Two Colombian Diplomats Persona Non Grata Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- Earlier, the Colombian Foreign Ministry said that two Russian diplomats had to leave Colombia due to non-compliance with the Vienna Convention, but the Latin American country was determined to maintain good relations with Moscow.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on December 23, 2020 PRC MofA 23 Dec 2020
- Chinese Actions Awaken 'The Quad': A Four-Country Indo-Pacific Grouping Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- The Economist magazine recently reported that when the United States, Australia, India, and Japan met in 2007 for a quadrilateral dialogue on security matters, many bet that the new grouping would "fizzle."
- China's Rift with Australia Raises Regional Risks Radio Free Asia 18 Dec 2020 -- China's growing concern over energy security may complicate plans to punish Australia for its investment restrictions and political policies toward Beijing.
- UK Lawmakers Urge Action to Hold Chinese Officials Accountable For Rights Abuses in Xinjiang Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- A group of lawmakers in the U.K. called on the government Wednesday to "act urgently" in holding Chinese officials accountable for rights abuses against minorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
- Ministry blasts US for visa policy attacks People's Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- Beijing slammed the United States on Tuesday for using visa policy as a weapon to disrupt normal bilateral people-to-people exchanges, and it vowed to take necessary and legitimate measures to safeguard its interests.
- Central govt not discussing HK-related issues: NPC delegate Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- The nerve of Hong Kong pan-democratic legislators has been touched after local media said that China's top legislative body is mulling to handle "troublemakers" directly, which later proved to be false as experts said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government should and is able to handle it after recent legislation.
- HK Justice Department appeals HK$10m bail to Lai Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying was granted a HK$ 10 million ($1.29 million) bail on Wednesday by the Hong Kong High Court after being charged with fraud and violating the national security law for Hong Kong.
- HK-related issues not being discussed in Beijing: HK delegate to NPC Standing Committee Global Times 23 Dec 2020 -- Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong's delegate to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), told the Global Times on Wednesday that no Hong Kong-related issues are on the agenda of the ongoing meeting of China's top legislative body.
- China's draft law revision safeguards rights, interests of national defense investors PLA Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- Chinese lawmakers on Tuesday began deliberating a new draft revision to the National Defense Law, proposing safeguarding the rights and interests of investors in the national defense sector.
- Hong Kong Media Mogul Jimmy Lai Released on Bail Under House Arrest Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- A court in Hong Kong on Wednesday granted bail to pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai, who is awaiting trial under a draconian national security law imposed on the city by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), placing him under house arrest until his next court appearance in April.
- Hong Kong Media Tycoon and Pro-Democracy Activist Granted Bail VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai has been granted bail after nearly three weeks behind bars.
- Hong Kong Legislator Reflects on Pro-Democracy Struggle as He Seeks Asylum VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- For Hong Kong activists, the past year has been one of despair and dread. Facing possible persecution under the new National Security Law, many have been forced to choose between their political causes and their homes. Former legislator Baggio Leung is one of them.
- China's Tax Breaks Hope to Lure Investors to Boost Semiconductor Sector Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has announced a slew of tax breaks for semiconductor makers, in an apparent bid to lure investors from around the world, campaign experts said reflects China's vulnerability to tightening U.S. export controls on technology exports to China.
- Casinos, COVID or Drugs? Why China Is Building a Fence on Myanmar Border VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Media reports say Chinese authorities are putting up a barrier along their southeastern border with Shan State, a volatile part of Myanmar, a move some analysts believe will stop coronavirus-infected people from sneaking in while deterring Chinese casino gamblers and their debt-collection gangs from sneaking to the other side.
- 'Mutual reassurance' needed to avoid Taiwan Strait crisis: U.S. NGO CNA 23 Dec 2020 -- Amid ongoing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan, China and the United States must seek out ways to clearly and peacefully signal their intentions and reduce mistrust in order to prevent conflict, a report issued Tuesday by a U.S. policy organization has argued.
- Chinese envoy asks for efforts to bring Iran nuclear deal back on track People's Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called for efforts to bring the Iran nuclear deal back on the right track and asked the United States to rejoin the agreement as early as possible.
- Senior UN official calls for efforts to preserve Iran nuclear deal People's Daily 23 Dec 2020 -- UN Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo on Tuesday called for efforts to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.
- Iran rejects renegotiation of JCPOA as 'absolutely not acceptable' Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has rejected as "absolutely not acceptable" any proposal for the renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Iranian Intelligence Found Clues About Nuclear Physicist's Assassination, Reports Suggest Sputnik 22 Dec 2020 -- Iranian security and intelligence services found some new information shedding light at the notorious assassination of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday, citing the chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Mojtaba Zolnouri.
- US General Sees 'Heightened Risk' From Iran as One Year Anniversary of Soleimani Killing Approaches Sputnik 23 Dec 2020 -- Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on 3 January 2020 in a US drone strike while on a clandestine goodwill trip to try to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Tehran responded by bombing a pair of US bases in Iraq, injuring over 100 soldiers, and has gone on to threaten more attacks.
- Top US commander continues to see 'heightened risk' from Iran Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- The head of US Central Command says there is a "heightened risk" of an Iranian threat to the US interests in the Middle East.
- Treasury, State Department Slap Sanctions on Belarus VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. departments of Treasury and State on Wednesday announced sanctions and visa restrictions on dozens of Belarusian citizens and several entities for their alleged roles in what the U.S. calls a fraudulent Aug. 9 election and the violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters that followed.
- U.S. Puts Sanctions On Belarusian Police, Official Over Crackdown RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- The United States has imposed sanctions on Belarusian police units and a senior security official in Minsk over their violent crackdown on mass demonstrations against the contested reelection of strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Imposing Sanctions and Visa Restrictions on Additional Individuals and Entities Undermining Belarusian Democracy US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2020 -- Today, the United States is taking action against individuals and entities involved in efforts to undermine Belarusian democracy. Specifically, the U.S. Departments of State and of Treasury have exercised their respective authorities against 40 individuals and four entities involved in electoral fraud and human rights abuses surrounding the fraudulent election in Belarus in August, and the authorities' subsequent, brutal crackdown.
- Treasury Sanctions Additional Belarusian Regime Actors for Undermining Democracy US Treasury 23 Dec 2020 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual and four entities for their roles in the fraudulent August 9, 2020, presidential election in Belarus and the subsequent violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests.
- Tunisian Foreign Ministry Denies Plans to Establish Diplomatic Relations With Israel Sputnik 22 Dec 2020 -- Tunisia has no intention to establish diplomatic relations with Israel or participate in any initiatives that directly or collaterally violate the rights of Palestinians, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
- Israel Heads to Fourth Election in Less Than 2 Years VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Israel is headed for a fourth election in under two years, as the government failed to pass a budget and also faces a third lockdown because of spiking COVID-19 cases.
- Turkey sentences exiled journalist to 27 years in jail for espionage, terror charges Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- A Turkish court has sentenced the former editor-in-chief of the opposition daily Cumhuriyet to more than 27 years in prison on charges of supporting terrorism and engaging in military or political espionage.
- No Brexit trade deal yet as serious issues remain, British minister Press TV 23 Dec 2020 -- The United Kingdom and the European Union have still not clinched a Brexit trade deal to avoid a turbulent split in just eight days time because of serious disagreements about competition and fishing, a British minister said on Wednesday.
- Romania's New Parliament Approves Pro-Western Government RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Romanian lawmakers have approved a new center-right pro-Western coalition government headed by U.S.-educated banker Florin Citu, a former finance minister who has pledged to overcome the coronavirus crisis and the economic woes it has caused.
- Georgian Lawmakers Advance Bill To Halt Funding Of Parties Boycotting Parliament RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- In an ongoing stand-off between the ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition parties refusing to take their seats in parliament, Georgian lawmakers have approved the first reading of a bill that withholds state funding for parties boycotting parliament.
- Kyrgyz Lawmakers Approve Controversial Economic-Amnesty Bill RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Kyrgyz lawmakers have approved an economic-amnesty bill that allows individuals who obtained financial assets through illegal means to avoid prosecution by turning the assets over to the State Treasury.
- Moldova Lurches Toward Snap Elections After PM, Cabinet Resign RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Chicu and his government have resigned in a move to help push one of Europe's poorest countries toward early parliamentary elections.
- Bulgarian Ex-Wrestler Linked To Drug-Money-Laundering Case Against Swiss Bank RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- Former Bulgarian wrestler Evelin Banev was facing trials in three countries for money laundering and drug trafficking when he was last seen in public at a hearing in the Sofia Court of Appeals in September 2015.
- Haiti Pushes Back on US Lawmakers' Call for Transitional Government in 2021 VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, is outraged about a statement issued Tuesday by three Democratic U.S. congressmen calling for a "Haitian-led transition back to democratic order."
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