31 December 2020 Military News
- Roadside bomb explosion targets US-led coalition military convoy in southern Iraq Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- A roadside bomb has exploded in Iraq's southern province of Basra, targeting a US-led military coalition's logistics support convoy.
- China Accused of Offering Bounties to Afghan 'Nonstate Actors' to Kill US Troops VOA 31 Dec 2020 -- Media reports say U.S. President Donald Trump recently received unconfirmed intelligence information indicating that China offered money to nonstate actors in Afghanistan to attack American soldiers.
- Employee Of Afghan President's Office 'Critically Wounded,' Driver Killed In Bomb Blast RFE/RL Gandhara 31 Dec 2020 -- An Afghan official says an explosion has struck a car carrying an employee from the Afghan president's office in Kabul, critically wounding the official and killing his driver.
- Charity Says 300,000 Afghan Children Face Illness, Death In Freezing Conditions RFE/RL Gandhara 31 Dec 2020 -- British-based charity Save the Children says more than 300,000 Afghan children are struggling to survive in freezing winter conditions without proper clothing and heating.
- Afghan Health Minister Dismissed After Employees Arrested On Corruption Charges RFE/RL Gandhara 31 Dec 2020 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has fired the country's health minister after several of his employees were arrested on corruption charges.
- Mine blast kills one, wounds two in Afghan capital: Police Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- At least one civilian has been killed and two others have been wounded in a mine explosion in the Afghan capital of Kabul, police say.
- New Hampshire Guardsmen activated at 13 vaccination sites Army News 31 Dec 2020 -- Thirteen vaccination sites officially opened for New Hampshire first responders and high-risk ambulatory care providers on Dec. 29.
- Battling COVID-19 was among WVNG's many missions in 2020 Army News 31 Dec 2020 -- The West Virginia National Guard accomplished a lot in 2020, including homeland and disaster response missions, deployments around the globe, and sustained support of the state's battle against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
- Wisconsin Guard answered the call in 2020 Army News 31 Dec 2020 -- This was the "Year of the Guard" across the nation, as Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen answered the call in an unprecedented way – from traditional overseas deployments to civil disturbances, pandemic response, and election support.
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S. pardons for convicted Blackwater guards "an affront to justice": UN experts People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- The recent U.S. presidential pardons granted to four private security company Blackwater guards convicted of committing a massacre in Iraq violated U.S. obligations under international law and should be seen as "an affront to justice," a group of UN experts said here Wednesday.
- USS Nimitz Returns to Home Port DoD 31 Dec 2020 -- Following its role in providing support to American troops in Somalia and the arrival of follow-on operational capability, Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller has directed that the USS Nimitz will transit directly home to complete a nearly 10-month deployment.
- U.S. flies B-52 bombers to Middle East as show of force People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. military said on Wednesday that it had sent two strategic bombers to the Middle East as a show of force to deter attacks against U.S. interests in the region.
- US flies two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over Persian Gulf again in threat to Iran Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- The Pentagon has deployed a pair of B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in yet another provocative military posture against Iran, just weeks before US President Donald Trump is due to leave office.
- Department of Defense Statement on COVID-19 Distribution Plan DoD 31 Dec 2020 -- The Department of Defense continues to deliver on the Acting Secretary of Defense's priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect our people, maintain readiness, and support the national COVID-19 response. The phased, standardized, and coordinated distribution of vaccines to DoD personnel has expanded to additional locations in the United States and overseas.
- This Week in Operation Warp Speed - Dec. 31, 2020 DoD 31 Dec 2020
- California Mine Becomes Key Part of Push to Revive US Rare Earths Processing VOA 31 Dec 2020 -- In 2021, a more than 70-year-old mine in California's Mojave Desert will become the center of an effort to revive an American mineral refining system that some say is critical to the country's national security.
- NATO Reportedly Irate as 'Irresponsible' Trump 'Mishandles' Transition of Pentagon to Biden Team Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- In the week after Joe Biden was proclaimed the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump had originally refused to concede defeat and was slammed over ostensibly procrastinating with the transition. However, he finally granted permission for it to start "in the best interests of our country".
- New Year brings hope for enhanced Sino-US cooperation in military relations PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese military hopes the US can continue to enhance cooperation with China in strategic dialogue, risk management and conflict prevention in the new year and jointly promote the stable development of military-to-military relations between the two countries, the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.
- China's defense ministry urges US to put its hammer down and promote world peace PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- "Its intention is nothing more than to create an excuse for the US to seek absolute military superiority. China is firmly opposed to this", said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), when commenting on the US newly released maritime strategy and its accusations on China at a regular press conference on December 31.
- China, Russia military to maintain relationship cooperation PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- China and Russia will maintain close communication, enhance pragmatic cooperation, promote military-to-military relations to new heights, and contribute more to world peace and stability in the new year, the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.
- PLA ship berths at Hongkong Central Military Dock to test facilities: Spokesperson PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- Recently the Chinese PLA Hong Kong Garrison is debugging and testing relevant facilities of the Central Military Dock. The berthing of the Garrison's ship is part of the testing process, said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), when responding the first berthing of the Garrison's ship at the Central Military Dock at the regular press conference on Thursday.
- China and Japan to build direct telephone line under maritime and air liaison mechanism PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), briefly introduced the latest progress of the China-Japan maritime and air liaison mechanism on Thursday, when answering the reporter' s question about the construction of maritime and air liaison mechanism mentioned in a recent video call between the Chinese and Japanese defense ministers.
- Chinese, Indian militaries discuss holding ninth round of talks: Spokesperson PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- China and India are holding consultations on the ninth round of Corps Commander Level Meeting, said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.
- China-Pakistan relations can only get better: Defense Spokesperson PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- The all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan can only get better in the future, said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.
- Photo: Chinese Navy Ship Tests Out New Dock in Downtown Hong Kong Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been rushing to meet its annual drilling requirements after the COVID-19 pandemic halted exercises at the start of 2020. For the PLA's garrison in the southeastern city of Hong Kong, that has meant naval, aerial and marine drilling across the region.
- China Amends National Defense Law to Clarify PLA's Defensive Nature Amid Souring US Relations Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- An updated version of China's National Defense Law was recently adopted and will enter effect on January 1, 2021, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced on Tuesday. The law reiterates the defensive nature of the Chinese military and elaborates on the roles of civilians in a national crisis.
- MoD signs contract with BEL to supply indigenously developed 10 Lynx U2 Fire Control systems for Indian Navy India PIB 31 Dec 2020 -- Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for procurement of 10 Lynx U2 Fire Control systems for frontline warships of Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 1,355 crore under Buy (Indian) category in New Delhi today. The Lynx system has been designed and developed indigenously that would further the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- BEL signs contract with Indian Navy for Initial supply of indigenously developed Laser Dazzlers India PIB 31 Dec 2020 -- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed a contract with Indian Navy for initially supply 20 Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Dazlers (Laser Dazzlers) in New Delhi today. The BEL had earlier this month won the contract beating global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in buy global category. These would be manufactured by BEL, Pune plant.
- Joint Statement of the United States-Bahrain Strategic Dialogue US Dept. of State 30 Dec 2020 -- The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
- South China Sea not an arena for major-power wrestling: Defense Spokesperson PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- The South China Sea should be neither an arena for major-power wrestling nor a sea dominated by warships, a Chinese defense spokesperson said on Thursday.
- 3 massive explosions rock Aden's airport in Yemen, kill at least 7 People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- Three massive explosions rocked the Aden International Airport in southern Yemen on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, a security official and medical sources said.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by the Terrorist Houthi Militia In An Attempt to Target Al-Maashiq Palace in (Aden) SPA 31 Dec 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- Syria urges UNSC to take firm action against Israeli acts of aggression Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- In the wake of a new Israeli aerial assault, Syria has called on the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibility and take "firm and immediate" action to end such acts of aggression by the Tel Aviv regime.
- Russia warns against escalation of tensions in Libya Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Russia has warned against the resumption of hostilities in conflict-ridden Libya, after rebel commander Khalifa Haftar called for the continuation of fighting, which has been halted thanks to a United Nations (UN)-brokered truce.
- Renewed Clashes as Karen Chafe at Stepped-Up Myanmar Military Presence in Kayin State Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- The Myanmar military's increased encroachment into territory inhabited by ethnic Karen people in southeastern Myanmar's Kayin state has caused fresh armed clashes that have forced more than 3,000 villagers to flee their homes, a Karen activist group said Wednesday.
- Amid Fragile Ceasefire, Frustration Over Missed Election in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- Rakhine's ethnic army and politicians blamed Myanmar's ruling party and electoral authorities Thursday for the failure to hold elections in the war-torn state, as analysts warned that holding a vote will be critical to keeping a fragile ceasefire going into 2021.
- UN: Still No Permission From Bangladesh to Access Rohingya Island Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations confirmed on Thursday that Bangladesh had not yet permitted it to assess the habitability of an island where the government has relocated nearly 3,500 Rohingya refugees, although Dhaka said it was prepared to facilitate U.N. participation.
- NPC condemns US meddling in Tibet People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- China's top legislature on Wednesday strongly opposed the United States signing into law a funding bill for the 2021 fiscal year which contains China-related negative content.
- Indian forces kill three Kashmiri men in Srinagar Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Indian security forces have killed three suspected militants during an exchange of gunfire in Srinagar, the main city of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
- Sudan Announces Retaking Border Area Once 'Occupied' by Ethiopian Forces, Farmers Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- Ethiopia was thrust into a localised civil war in early November after federal troops began an operation to take control of the Tigray region after local authorities disobeyed orders to postpone elections. As many as 50,000 civilians are believed to have fled to neighbouring Sudan, with which Ethiopia has a 744 km border.
- United Nations, African Union reiterate commitment to Sudan, as joint mission ends operations UN News 31 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission have reiterated their commitment to continue to support Sudan consolidate peace as the AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping mission in the country's Darfur region ends its operations on Thursday.
- UNAMID Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan's Darfur Ends Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was a peacekeeping mission established by the UN Security Council (UNSC) in July 2017 as a joint UN-AU response to events in the war-torn region of Western Sudan.
- Azerbaijan Kicks Off Gas Exports To Russia-Dominated European Market RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- Azerbaijan has started commercial natural-gas supplies to the European Union via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), as the region seeks to diversify energy supplies away from Russia.
- Is Boko Haram Gaining Foothold in Nigeria's Northwest? VOA 31 Dec 2020 -- Boko Haram's claim of responsibility for a recent kidnapping of more than 300 students in Nigeria's northwestern state of Katsina signals that the militant group is expanding its terror activities beyond its traditional stronghold in the West African country's northeast, experts warn.
- Guinea-Bissau: UN chief commits to continued support as peacebuilding office closes UN News 31 Dec 2020 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reaffirmed the Organization's commitment to the people of Guinea-Bissau on Thursday, the final day of operations for the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the West African country (UNIOGBIS).
- Microsoft Says Solarwinds Hackers Were Able to View Its Source Code Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- US tech giant Microsoft said in a blog post on Thursday that hackers who breached the SolarWinds tech company were able to view its source code when they carried out a wide-ranging cyber intrusion of US government agencies.
- The Week In Russia: New Year, New Era, New Exile? RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- In the Soviet era, and particularly during dictator Josef Stalin's purges, one of the many fears was of a knock on the door when no guests were expected. Night or day, it could mean that agents of the state had come for you -- and that you could be arrested, condemned in a cursory trial, and sent to the gulag.
- Putin Says Goodbye To 2020, Which 'Carried The Burden Of Several Years' RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said goodbye to 2020, which he said "carried the burden of several years."
- Jonathan Pollard, Israel spy freed by Trump, greeted by Netanyahu Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Jonathan Pollard, an American jailed for 30 years in the United States for spying for Israel, landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to a hero's welcome led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- Taiwanese national found guilty of working with Chinese intelligence CNA 31 Dec 2020 -- A Taiwanese businessman was found guilty of working with Chinese intelligence and handed a three-month jail sentence or payment of a fine by the Taipei District Court Thursday, though the case can still be appealed.
- Full text of Xi Jinping's 2021 New Year address Global Times 31 Dec 2020
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 31, 2020 PRC MofA 31 Dec 2020
- China, EU complete investment agreement negotiations People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and European leaders on Wednesday announced that the two sides have completed investment agreement negotiations as scheduled.
- China, EU complete investment agreement negotiations PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and European leaders on Wednesday announced that the two sides have completed investment agreement negotiations as scheduled.
- EU-China Pact Sparks Concern Over Labor Standards, Human Rights Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- A major investment pact between China and the European Union, which wrapped up negotiations on the deal this week, has sparked concerns that it will give the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a free pass on human rights and labor standards, while locking the E.U. into allowing market access to Chinese companies.
- Europe finalizes major investment deal with China despite US concerns Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Europe and China have finalized an investment agreement aimed at rebalancing trade with the world's second largest economy, in spite of a request for talks on the issue by the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.
- On the Fate of the "Hong Kong 12" US Dept. of State 31 Dec 2020 -- "Hong Kong was a thriving territory until the Chinese Communist Party and its local lackeys destroyed its rule of law and eviscerated the Hong Kong people's freedoms."
- Hong Kong's Highest Court Revokes Bail for Media Tycoon and Pro-Democracy Activist VOA 31 Dec 2020 -- Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai is heading back to detention after the city's highest court revoked his bail Thursday.
- Jimmy Lai back to jail; legal experts see latest ruling 'a wise move' that aligns with Natl Security Law gist Global Times 31 Dec 2020 -- The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal revoked the bail order of Jimmy Lai, Apple Daily founder and a notorious anti-government figure, on Thursday, ending his short eight-day bail period as his case concerning the violation of the national security law for Hong Kong has been processing.
- Pro-Democracy Media Mogul Jimmy Lai Back in Jail As Bail Revoked Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in Hong Kong on Thursday put pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai back behind bars after a decision to grant bail was overturned by the city's Court of Final Appeal.
- China to US: Stop using Xinjiang issues to interfere in our internal affairs Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- China has strongly urged US politicians not to interfere in its domestic affairs through using issues in the Chinese region of Xinjiang after Washington demanded the release of a Uighur physician charged with terrorism.
- China's Power Shortages Threaten Recovery Plans Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- An outbreak of electricity shortages has taken China's government by surprise, exposing cracks in the country's energy policies and economic recovery plans.
- U.S. Navy destroyers transit through Taiwan Strait CNA 31 Dec 2020 -- Two U.S. Navy destroyers transited through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the second such mission this month.
- US 'two-warship' transit of Taiwan Straits last, desperate move by Trump admin: observer Global Times 31 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Defense Ministry firmly opposed two US Navy warships that sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Thursday, the last day of 2020. Amid incumbent US administration's desperate destructive acts, Chinese observers regarded the ministry's strong response as a warning that the Taiwan question is China's core interest and no one is allowed to challenge China over the question.
- Chinese defense ministry opposes U.S. warships' sailing through Taiwan Strait People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese military spokesperson on Thursday voiced resolute opposition to the sailing of two U.S. warships through the Taiwan Strait.
- US flexes muscles and stirs up troubles in Taiwan Strait: defense spokesperson PLA Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- The provocative actions of the US military vessels sent erroneous signals to the "Taiwan Independence" forces and severely jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, said Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry on Thursday.
- China slams US warships' passage through Taiwan Strait Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- China has slammed the sailing of two US warships through the strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from mainland China, calling the move a provocation.
- Locals Suffer as North Korea Ramps up Security on Chinese Border Ahead of Party Congress Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea are further tightening security on the Sino-Korean border ahead of a ruling party gathering in January, the latest of a series of increasingly harsh border strictures made in 2020 which the government claims are to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, sources in the country told RFA.
- Iran Army issues statement on 1st anniversary of Gen. Soleimani assassination IRNA 31 Dec 2020 -- Islamic Republic of Iran's Army issued a statement on the occasion of martyrdom Soleimani and condemned the heinous terrorist act against Iran's anti-terror commander.
- No expiry date for retaliation of heinous crime against Gen Soleimani IRNA 31 Dec 2020 -- Chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on Thursday that there is no expiry date for taking revenge on assassination of Iranian Commander Lt General Qasem Soleimani.
- President says enemy will surely lose from brutal terror of Lt. Soleimani IRNA 31 Dec 2020 -- President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that the enemy will surely lose from brutal terror of Iranian Commander Lieutenant-General Qassem Soleimani.
- Rouhani: Iranians, regional nations will avenge assassination of Gen. Soleimani, his companions Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the Iranian nation and other nations in the region will never forget the assassination of top anti-terror commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and will avenge them in due time.
- Iran top general: Revenge for Soleimani's assassination has no expiry date Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says revenge for the assassination of anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani "has no expiry date," stressing that the withdrawal of American forces from West Asia is "inevitable."
- FM Zarif: Iran doesn't seek war, but will 'openly & directly' defend its people Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- As the US tries more provocations in the run-up to the anniversary of its assassination of Iran's top anti-terror military commander, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warns that the Islamic Republic avoids military conflict, but is prepared to put up effective defense.
- Zarif Says U.S. Is Aiming To 'Fabricate Pretext For War' RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump of seeking to fabricate a "pretext for war" between the two countries.
- UN Condemns Iran's Execution Of Juvenile Offender, The Fourth This Year RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations has condemned Iran for executing a man convicted of murder when he was 16 years old, saying the punishment violated international law.
- U.S. Vote Against the United Nations 2021 Program Budget US Dept. of State 31 Dec 2020 -- "Today, the United States called for a vote in the UN General Assembly to register strong objections to certain elements of the UN's annual Program Budget."
- General Assembly approves $3.2 billion UN budget for 2021 UN News 31 Dec 2020 -- United Nations Member States, on Thursday, approved $3.231 billion to fund the global Organization's regular budget for 2021.
- Belarus Charges Leaders Of Independent Press Club With Tax Crimes As Crackdown Continues RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- The founder of an independent Belarusian press group and several associates taken into custody last week have been charged with tax evasion and related crimes in a case that comes against the backdrop of a continuing state crackdown on dissent.
- Dozens Arrested In Pakistan After Mob Demolishes Hindu Shrine RFE/RL Gandhara 31 Dec 2020 -- Pakistani officials say at least 31 people have been arrested after a mob of hundreds of people attacked and set ablaze a century-old Hindu shrine.
- Mysterious Death Of Baluch Activist In Canada Blamed On Pakistan's Powerful Army RFE/RL Gandhara 31 Dec 2020 -- The mysterious deaths this year of Karima Baloch and Sajid Hussain - both exiled Pakistani dissidents - were strikingly similar.
- Madrid Strikes Initial Deal With London on Gibraltar, Spanish FM Says Sputnik 31 Dec 2020 -- Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya stated on Monday that the United Kingdom and Spain must reach an agreement on the status of Gibraltar's border before the end of the year to avoid a "hard Brexit" that would see the introduction of strict controls.
- UK-Gibraltar-Spain agreement: statement from the Foreign Secretary UK FCDO 31 Dec 2020 -- The UK government is providing extra support and reassurance to Overseas Territories excluded from the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
- UK lawmakers approve post-Brexit trade deal by large majority People's Daily 31 Dec 2020 -- British lawmakers on Wednesday approved the post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union (EU) by a large majority, paving the way for an orderly Brexit when the transition period ends on Thursday.
- Venezuela Supreme Court rules opposition assembly's extension 'invalid' Press TV 31 Dec 2020 -- Venezuela's Supreme Court has ruled as "invalid" a move by the opposition-controlled parliament to extend its term for an additional year.
- Watchdogs Call For Transparency as Cambodia Strikes Oil Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- Civil society organizations and Cambodia's banned opposition party have called on the government to release detailed information about revenue it is earning from the petroleum industry, days after the country struck oil following a decades-long quest.
- Lao Dams Lower Water Levels on a Scenic River, Harming Tour Boat Operators and Other Local Businesses Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- Water levels lowered by seven dams along a stretch of the Nam Ou River in Laos are blocking boat travel in a scenic area popular with tourists, impacting tour and passenger boat operators and other local businesses, Lao sources say.
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