15 January 2021 Military News
- US Force Levels in Afghanistan, Iraq Down to 2,500 Each, Acting Defence Secretary Says Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- The Pentagon has fully carried out US President Donald Trump's order to draw down troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now has just 2,500 soldiers stationed in each country, Acting Secretary of Defence Christopher Miller said in a pair of statements on Friday.
- Statement from National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien The White House 15 Jan 2021
- U.S. Completes Troop-Level Drawdown in Afghanistan, Iraq DoD News 15 Jan 2021 -- Troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan have dropped, acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller announced today.
- Statement by Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Force Levels in Iraq DoD 15 Jan 2021 -- "Today, the United States has reduced the force levels in Iraq to 2,500 as directed by President Trump, and as I announced on November 17, 2020. The drawdown of U.S. force levels in Iraq is reflective of the increased capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces."
- US Cuts Troops in Iraq to 2,500 VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, said Friday the United States has cut troops in Iraq to 2,500, meeting a goal set by the Trump administration late last year.
- Statement by Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Force Levels in Afghanistan DoD 15 Jan 2021 -- "Today, U.S. force levels in Afghanistan have reached 2,500. Directed by President Trump, and as I announced on November 17, this drawdown brings U.S. forces in the country to their lowest levels since 2001. Today, the United States is closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war and welcoming in an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire."
- U.S. Cuts Afghanistan Troop Level To 2,500 RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Jan 2021 -- The U.S. military has reduced troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500, bringing force levels down to their lowest number in nearly two decades, the Pentagon said on January 15.
- US troops in Afghanistan at lowest level in 19 years: Trump Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- US President Donald Trump says the number of American troops in Afghanistan has reached a 19-year low while his tenure ends next week, with thousands of boots still on the ground in the county.
- Nine Afghan forces killed in Taliban attacks: Officials Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- Taliban militants have attacked two police checkpoints in the restive province of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, killing at least nine Afghan security personnel, local officials say.
- As Ordered by Trump, US Down to 2,500 Troops in Afghanistan VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- Acting U.S. Defense Secretary of State Christopher Miller announced Friday the number of American troops in Afghanistan has been reduced to 2,500, saying the move has brought Washington "closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war."
- Guns For Hire: Tribal Mercenaries Turn A Profit In The Afghan Borderlands RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Jan 2021 -- Abid has found an unlikely combat role in a country where most such jobs are taken up by the Afghan security forces and the Taliban as fighting between the two sides continues.
- At Request of Secretary of the Army & U.S. National Guard, Governor Andrew Cuomo Deploys Additional 250 Members of New York National Guard to Washington, D.C. for Inauguration Security New York State 15 Jan 2021
- Pentagon Agrees to Provide 25,000 Troops for Biden Inauguration Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- The US Defense Department in a press release said that it will provide 25,000 troops in Washington DC to ensure security during next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
- Virginia National Guard supporting 59th Presidential Inauguration Army News 15 Jan 2021 -- The Virginia National Guard has approximately 2,400 personnel on the ground in Washington D.C. as of Jan. 14, 2021, assisting civilian law enforcement in protecting property and providing a safe environment for citizens to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest leading up to the 59th Presidential Inauguration Jan. 20.
- NY National Guard helps open massive vaccination site Army News 15 Jan 2021 -- The New York National Guard is back at New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center, helping to turn what was a COVID-19 hospital in 2020 into a mass vaccination site in 2021.
- USMC, DoD commences Operation Warp Speed USMC News 15 Jan 2021 -- Nearly one year after COVID-19 arrived in the U.S., the vaccine was approved for emergency use authorization on December 19.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller on Announcement of DOD Inspector General Investigation DoD 15 Jan 2021
- Pentagon investigates white supremacists in US military after Capitol riots Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- Far-right and white supremacist extremists have been actively recruiting in the US military, the Department of Defense has acknowledged, announcing an investigation into the extent of extremist ideologies among active-duty personnel.
- Department of Defense Statement on Unified Command Plan Change DoD 15 Jan 2021 -- The United States has made a change to the Unified Command Plan. The 2020 UCP shifts Israel from the U.S European Command area of responsibility to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
- U.S. Aligns Key Partners Against Shared Threats in the Middle East DoD News 15 Jan 2021 -- In a sign of the changing political environment in the Middle East, the United States military will move Israel from the U.S. European Command's area of responsibility to that of the U.S. Central Command, DOD officials announced today.
- SECNAV Names Future Vessels while aboard Historic Navy Ship US Navy 15 Jan 2021 -- The Navy will name three future vessels after ships steeped in naval history and two others after a after a Medal of Honor recipient and a Native American tribe.
- Navy Names Future Vessel to Honor Muscogee Creek Nation US Navy 15 Jan 2021 -- A future U.S. Navy Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ship will be named USNS Muscogee Creek Nation (T-ATS 10) to honor the self-governed Native American tribe located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
- Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Conducts Bilateral Exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force US Navy 15 Jan 2021 -- The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) conducted a bilateral maritime exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on January 15.
- DOD Aims to Bring Industrial Base Back to U.S., Allies DoD News 15 Jan 2021 -- While the defense industrial base is healthy, there are single points of failure and dependencies on overseas suppliers that must be addressed, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said.
- Admiral Says U.S. Aims to Expand Competitive Space in Latin America DoD News 15 Jan 2021 -- Two key concepts of the National Defense Strategy are partnerships and expanding the competitive space in all domains — and that's what the Defense Department is doing in the U.S. Southern Command and globally, said Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller.
- U.S. Coast Guard Operation Southern Cross Builds Multilateral Cooperation To Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing in the South Atlantic US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- The Department of State is proud to support the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Operation Southern Cross as part of our efforts to build regional maritime security partnerships and counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the South Atlantic. The multi-month inaugural deployment of the new USCG Legend-class National Security Cutter, the Stone (WMSL 758), will strengthen cooperation and enhance security throughout the region.
- Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the Beginning of Domestic Procedures for the Withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Treaty on Open Skies Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 15 Jan 2021 -- On November 22, 2020 the United States of America withdrew from the Treaty on Open Skies under an artificial pretext. This essentially destroyed the balance of interests of the State-Parties reached when the Treaty was signed, inflicted a severe damage to its functioning and undermined the role of the Open Skies Treaty as a confidence and security building measure.
- Russia Starts Withdrawal From Open Skies Treaty Over Improper Implementation of Pact Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- The day before, the Russian Arms Control Delegation in Vienna demanded that the remaining parties to the Open Skies Treaty guarantee the confidentiality of data received during observation flights.
- Russia preparing to leave Open Skies Treaty after US exit Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- Russia says it is preparing to leave the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows reconnaissance flights over the participants' entire territory, months after the United States unilaterally quit the key trust-building pact.
- Russia To Exit Open Skies Treaty After U.S. Pullout RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- Russia says it is beginning the procedure to withdraw from the international Open Skies Treaty after the United States last year left the accord, which allows unarmed aerial surveillance flights over dozens of participating states.
- Photos: DPRK Unveils New Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile, Short-Range Weapon in Military Parade Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- During the recent congress of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairperson Kim Jong Un noted the country's need to improve its nuclear forces in order to guarantee an effective deterrent to attack.
- North Korea Shows Off New Submarine-Launched Missile at Military Parade VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- North Korea has unveiled what it says is a new submarine-launched ballistic missile, the latest apparent development in its fast-advancing weapons program.
- Military Parade Commemorates 8th Congress of WPK KCNA 15 Jan 2021 -- There took place a splendid military parade at Kim Il Sung Square here in the evening on January 14 to commemorate the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).
- Iran holds multiple military drills amid tensions with Washington People's Daily 15 Jan 2021 -- Iranian military has staged a series of drills since the beginning of the year, as it prepares for any possible contingencies amid its rising tensions with the U.S. government in the last days of Donald Trump's presidency.
- Iran's IRGC kicks off missile, drone exercises in massive military drills Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has kicked off massive military drills in central Iran, in which it tests its latest ballistic missiles and combat drones.
- Iran Holds Ballistic-Missile Drills Amid Heightened Tensions With U.S. RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- Iranian forces have held military exercises involving ballistic missiles amid heightened tensions over the country's nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against Tehran.
- Erdogan: Turkey Will Not Ask US for Permission to Receive New S-400s From Russia Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- Last month, the US sanctioned Turkey over its purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defence systems, a move that was harshly criticised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- Greek parliament approves purchase of French-made fighter jets People's Daily 15 Jan 2021 -- Greece's parliament approved on Thursday the purchase of 18 French-made Rafale fighter jets (6 new ones and 12 used) to the tune of 2.5 billion euros (3.04 billion U.S. dollars), national news agency AMNA reported.
- Greece to purchase advanced jets from France amid tensions with Turkey Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- Greek lawmakers have approved a government plan to purchase advanced fighter jets from France in a three-billion-dollar deal that is expected to infuriate Turkey, amid a dispute with Athens over energy resources in the Mediterranean.
- Home sweet home Australia DOD 15 Jan 2021 -- The Royal Australian Navy's new auxiliary oiler replenishment ship, NUSHIP Supply, has arrived at its homeport of Garden Island, Sydney.
- Future ready - strengthening Army's armed reconnaissance capability Australia DOD 15 Jan 2021 -- The Australian Army's armed reconnaissance capability will be strengthened following the selection of Boeing Apache Guardian to replace Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) from 2025.
- British Army trains 500th Somali soldier in infantry skills UK MOD 15 Jan 2021 -- Troops from Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment shared key military skills with Somali National Army soldiers to help them conduct effective security operations.
- Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Designations of the UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain as Major Security Partners of the United States The White House 15 Jan 2021
- United States-Eswatini Declaration on 5G Security US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- The following joint declaration was issued by the Governments of the United States of America and the Kingdom of Eswatini on January 15, 2021.
- Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Jan 2021
- Expansion of Naval Base Seen Giving China More Power in Disputed Asian Sea VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- China's People's Liberation Army has expanded a navy base on the South China Sea, giving its fleet more clout in a strategic waterway disputed by five other countries and watched closely by Washington, security analysts say.
- Yemeni issue must be resolved through UN-led peace negotiations, says Chinese envoy People's Daily 15 Jan 2021 -- A Chinese envoy said on Thursday that the Yemeni issue must be resolved through the UN-led peace negotiations.
- Saudi warplanes bomb Sana'a airport, 20 other targets in Yemen Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- Saudi warplanes have bombed the Yemeni capital's airport and about 20 other targets across the country in a fresh escalation of the kingdom's war on the impoverished nation.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of (3) Bomb-Laden UAVs Launched by the Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia From Hodeida Towards the Kingdom SPA 15 Jan 2021 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- EU adds Syria's foreign minister to sanctions blacklist Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- The European Union has added recently-appointed Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to its sanctions blacklist, as Damascus has repeatedly said the Western restrictions come in clear disregard of international law and the UN Charter.
- EU Adds New Syrian Foreign Minister to Sanctions List Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- The European Union added Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to its sanctions list, according to a decision published Friday in the official journal.
- 46 killed in suspected Daesh-related attack in eastern DR Congo Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- Armed rebels, with suspected links to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, have killed dozens of civilians in an attack in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a senior provincial official says.
- Kayin State Border Guards Resign to Protest Ouster of Top Leaders by Myanmar Military Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- At least 7,000 members of an ethnic Karen force of border guards backed by the Myanmar military resigned on Thursday to protest the ouster of their top leaders under pressure amid controversy over business dealings by the group, sources in the country say.
- UN steps up support for thousands left homeless after fire at Rohingya refugee camp UN News 15 Jan 2021 -- UN agencies have stepped up efforts to help thousands of Rohingya refugees left without shelter after a devastating fire tore through a crowded refugee camp in south-eastern Bangladesh on Thursday.
- Two Candidates Now Front-Runners in Final Vote for Tibet's Exile Leader Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- Two candidates have now emerged as finalists in a first round of voting by Tibetans living outside their China-ruled homeland for leader, or Sikyong, of Tibet's Dharamsala, India-based exile government, the Central Tibetan Administration, RFA has learned.
- Cameroon: Authorities urged to seek justice for recent deadly attacks UN News 15 Jan 2021 -- UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged authorities in Cameroon to take steps to prosecute perpetrators behind two recent deadly attacks in the Anglophone provinces of the country, his Spokesperson said on Friday.
- Central African Republic: Displacement reaches 120,000, as another deadly attack leaves one UN peacekeeper dead UN News 15 Jan 2021 -- "Worsening" election violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has forced 120,000 people from their homes, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday, as the UN Secretary-General also condemned another attack by combatants on a UN convoy, which left a peacekeeper from Burundi dead, and two others wounded.
- UN Slams Ethiopian Government for Blocking Aid to Conflict-Ridden Tigray VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- U.N. agencies are criticizing Ethiopian authorities for blocking most humanitarian aid from reaching civilians and refugees caught up in the fighting in Ethiopia's northern Tigray province.
- Sudan Accuses Ethiopia of Escalating Tensions Over Disputed Territory VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- Tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia over a contested border area rose this week, as Sudan accused its neighbor of sending military planes over its airspace.
- Al-Shabab Threat Rising in Kenya's Northeast VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- Friday marked two years since al-Shabab terrorists attacked the Dusit D2 hotel in central Nairobi, killing 22 people. The anniversary comes as Kenya's Mandera, a county bordering Somalia, is seeing increased attacks from the Islamist militants amid fears they are gaining control of the area.
- The Ministerial Conference in Support of the Autonomy Initiative Under Moroccan Sovereignty US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- The text of the following Chair's Summary was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Kingdom of Morocco.
- Pelosi seeks criminal charges for lawmakers complicit in Capitol riots Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says members of Congress found to have been complicit in the storming of the Capitol should face prosecution.
- Pelosi Warns Any Congress Member Who Abetted Capitol Riots May Face Prosecution Sputnik 15 Jan 2021 -- Suggestions that the rioters that stormed the US Capitol on 6 January were assisted by some congressional members have emerged over the week, with House Majority Whip James Clyburn alleging that the Capitol attackers were aware of certain office locations inside the building.
- Arrests Mount in US Capitol Riot With Nearly 300 Suspects Identified VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- U.S. prosecutors investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump have identified nearly 300 individuals suspected of involvement in the violent rampage that left five people dead, officials announced Friday.
- State Department Terrorist Designation Reviews and Amendments US Dept. of State 14 Jan 2021 -- The Department of State has amended the terrorist designations of Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) and ISIL Sinai Peninsula (ISIL-SP) to include additional aliases. These aliases have been added to LJ and ISIL-SP's designations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224.
- State Department Terrorist Designations of HASM and Its Leaders and Maintenance of PIJ FTO Designation US Dept. of State 14 Jan 2021 -- The Department of State has increased sanctions against Harakat Sawa'd Misr – also known as HASM – by designating the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- Mexico Exonerates Former Defense Minister of Drug Related Charges VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- Mexican prosecutors are not going to pursue criminal charges against a former defense minister arrested in the United States for allegedly collaborating with Mexico's most powerful drug cartel, the office of attorney general said in a statement.
- The Week In Russia: Risks And Returns RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- Returns can be a big deal in Russia, in art and in life.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, January 15, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 15 Jan 2021
- Navalny Says Member Of Anti-Corruption Foundation Detained On Extremism Charge RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says a member of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has been detained on a charge of inciting extremism.
- Interview: Media Lawyer Says Russia's New Laws 'Are Burying Civil Society' RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- At the end of last year, Russia adopted a number of new legal measures that many observers say are intended to further restrict the country's already state-dominated media sphere. Among other things, the government has begun placing individuals on its list of "foreign-agent" media, subjecting them to potential fines or prison sentences. The government has also criminalized online defamation.
- Germany Signs Off On Nord Stream 2 Construction In Its Waters RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- German authorities have granted permission for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline from Russia to continue despite U.S. sanctions threats and opposition from environmental groups.
- Ensuring a Transparent, Thorough Investigation of COVID-19's Origin US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- The United States has repeatedly called for a transparent and thorough investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Understanding the origin of this pandemic is essential for global public health, economic recovery, and international security.
- Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- For more than a year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic's origin, choosing instead to devote enormous resources to deceit and disinformation. Nearly two million people have died. Their families deserve to know the truth. Only through transparency can we learn what caused this pandemic and how to prevent the next one.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on January 15, 2021 PRC MofA 15 Jan 2021
- China's Energy Risk Rises Despite Oil Output Growth Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- China claims that it made gains in energy security last year although oil imports continued to rise far faster than domestic production.
- Statement from National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien The White House 15 Jan 2021
- Beijing slams new US sanctions over South China Sea Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- China firmly opposes new sanctions imposed by the United States on its officials and companies in the final days of President Donald Trump's tenure.
- China will take necessary measures to safeguard interests of Chinese firms after US invokes another round of crackdowns: FM Global Times 15 Jan 2021 -- The Trump administration has generalized the concept of national security, abused national power and repeatedly suppressed Chinese companies for no reason. China firmly opposes this, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Friday.
- US sanctions two more Chinese firms in 'final frenzy' Global Times 15 Jan 2021 -- The US Department of Commerce (DOC) said on Thursday that it has added two Chinese companies - Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and aviation firm Skyrizon to two separate blacklists, in what Chinese analysts are calling a "final frenzy" of the outgoing Trump administration's crackdown on Chinese businesses.
- 'Criminal State' China Intensifying Human Rights Abuses, Say British MPs VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- The Chinese Communist party has intensified an assault on all human rights throughout China, and those interacting with the regime should do so in the knowledge they are interacting with 'a criminal state', says a new report from the human rights commission of Britain's ruling Conservative Party.
- Hong Kong police arrest 11 people on suspicion of assisting 12 Hong Kong residents to abscond People's Daily 15 Jan 2021 -- The Hong Kong police Thursday confirmed that its national security department arrested 11 people across Hong kong on suspicion of assisting offenders.
- Chinese Activist Who Supported Hong Kong Protests Faces 'Subversion' Charge Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hunan are investigating prominent rights activist Ou Biaofeng, who is currently under criminal detention for "subversion," for supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, RFA has learned.
- Dozens of People Fleeing Hong Kong Apply For Political Asylum in Canada: Group Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- Dozens of Hong Kong residents fleeing a crackdown on public dissent and peaceful protest under a draconian national security law imposed on the city by Beijing since July 1, 2020 have applied for political asylum in Canada, with 14 applications already successful, an Alberta-based voluntary group has said.
- Designating PRC and Hong Kong Officials After Widespread Pro-Democracy Arrests in Hong Kong US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- Today, the United States is designating six PRC and Hong Kong officials in connection with the draconian National Security Law (NSL), pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13936, "The President's Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization."
- US Slaps Sanctions on Six Officials Over Hong Kong Mass Arrests VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- In response to the January 6 crackdown on pro-democracy politicians and activists in Hong Kong, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the United States was sanctioning six Chinese and Hong Kong officials for their roles in the clampdown.
- U.S. think tank lists Taiwan issue as top-tier risk for 1st time CNA 15 Jan 2021 -- The New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has listed a possible conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan as a top-tier concern for the first time in its annual Preventive Priorities Survey.
- China effectively deters US attempt to endanger Taiwan Strait situation Global Times 15 Jan 2021 -- At the very last moment of the Trump administration, officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and some diplomats in his Department of State have found that they were unwelcome abroad, whether in Taiwan or Europe, so they have lost their only remaining capability to make trouble for the incoming Biden administration, said Chinese experts.
- North Korean Leader's Sister Retains Power Despite Formal 'Demotion' Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong has been assigned a new title and removed from the country's highest decision-making body, but after she called out South Korea in an insult-laden tirade this week, experts said her relative power remains intact in the dynastic regime.
- KPA Will Ensure Party's New Historic Advance with Strongest Military Power: DPRK Minister of Defence KCNA 15 Jan 2021 -- Kim Jong Gwan, minister of Defence of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, made a speech at the military parade for commemorating the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Thursday.
- U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Firms Trading With Iran Shipping Line RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- The United States has sanctioned companies in Iran, China, and the United Arab Emirates for trading in steel with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.
- Increasing Iran Metals Sanctions Targeting Iran's Nuclear, Military, and Ballistic Missile Programs and the IRGC US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- Iran's nuclear, ballistic missile, and military programs pose continued threats to the world's safety and security.
- Imposing Sanctions Related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and Iranian Shipping Entities US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- In June 2020, the State Department sanctioned the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) pursuant to Executive Order 13382 (WMD Proliferators and Their Supporters). At that time, we underscored the fact that IRISL is the preferred shipping line for Iranian proliferators and procurement agents.
- Imposing Sanctions on Iranian Entities for Activities Related to Conventional Arms Proliferation US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- Iranian conventional arms proliferation poses a persistent threat to regional and international security, as evidenced by Iran's continued military support and confirmed arms transfers that fuel ongoing conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere.
- Outgoing US administration imposes fresh sanctions on Iran Press TV 15 Jan 2021 -- The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed more sanctions on companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.
- Washington hampering chances for dialogue between Iran, Gulf states: Russian FM People's Daily 15 Jan 2021 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the United States is doing all it can to hamper any chance for dialogue between Iran and the Persian Gulf countries.
- Iran Deems Signal 'Criminal Content,' Removes From Local App Stores RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- Iran has ordered the removal of the private encrypted messengering application Signal from local application stores after it reportedly was deemed "criminal content" by the Islamic republic's filtering committee.
- United States Places Global Magnitsky Sanctions on the Cuban Ministry of Interior and Its Minister US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2021 -- Today, the United States is imposing sanctions on the Cuban Ministry of Interior (MININT) and Minister of Interior General Lazaro Alberto Álvarez Casas for their connection to serious human rights abuse under Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
- Treasury Sanctions the Cuban Ministry of the Interior and Its Leader for Serious Human Rights Abuse US Treasury 15 Jan 2021 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Cuban Ministry of Interior and the Minister of Interior, Lazaro Alberto Álvarez Casas, for serious human rights abuse, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
- US Sanctions Cuba for Alleged Human Rights Abuses VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned Cuba's interior minister Friday for alleged human rights abuses.
- Kazakh Lawmakers Vote Mamin Back In As PM After Elections Deemed 'Not Competitive' RFE/RL 15 Jan 2021 -- NUR-SULTAN -- Kazakhstan's newly elected parliament has voted to keep Prime Minister Asqar Mamin in the post following the recent elections as the country looks for continuity to attract foreign investment into its oil, gas, and mining sectors.
- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith Elected Secretary General Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2021 -- Laos' ruling Communist Party Friday promoted Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to the office of secretary general, replacing retiring party leader Bounnhang Vorachit, state media said as the party finished its three-day congress.
- Refugee Numbers Soar as CAR Election-Related Violence Intensifies VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- The U.N. refugee agency is calling for an immediate stop to election-related violence in the Central African Republic that has sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.
- Thai Royalists Say 'Faith' in Monarchy Winning as Protests Quiet VOA 15 Jan 2021 -- As unprecedented verbal attacks rain down on the Thai monarchy, Warisanun Sribawontanakit, a supporter of that monarchy, says protecting the palace from its critics is a battle of "faith" that has set her on a crusade to patrol the internet for instances of royal defamation by pro-democracy protesters.
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