15 April 2021 Military News
- Reed Floor Statement on President Biden's Decision to Withdraw All Forces from Afghanistan Senator Reed 15 Apr 2021
- US Secretary of State Visits Afghanistan to Discuss Troop Withdrawal VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken carried American assurances to Afghanistan during an unannounced visit Thursday to discuss the coming withdrawal of all 2,500 U.S. troops by September 11.
- Blinken Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan to Sell Biden Troop Withdrawal VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit Thursday to Kabul where he told Afghan leaders that while the United States will soon begin withdrawing its remaining troops from the country, it remains committed to Afghanistan.
- US Allies Announce Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- U.S. allies have announced they will begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan following Washington's confirmation that it intends to withdraw all its armed forces by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, which triggered the U.S.-led invasion.
- Secretary Blinken's Meeting with Afghanistan High Commission for National Reconciliation Chair Abdullah Abdullah US Dept. of State 15 Apr 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani US Dept. of State 15 Apr 2021
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken At a Press Availability US Dept. of State 15 Apr 2021
- Afghans To Face 'Greatest Challenge' After U.S. Withdrawal RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Apr 2021 -- The dramatic announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan poses existential challenges for a country where the government is still largely dependent on international funding as it struggles to fight an emboldened Taliban insurgency.
- Blinken Makes Unannounced Visit To Afghanistan For Troop Withdrawal Talks RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Apr 2021 -- Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made an unannounced visit to Kabul to brief officials on Washington's plans to withdraw all U.S. troops by September 11 -- the 20th anniversary of the attacks that triggered the American and NATO intervention in Afghanistan.
- NATO initiates full withdrawal from Afghanistan People's Daily 15 Apr 2021 -- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies on Wednesday agreed to pull out all of their armed forces from Afghanistan after the United States announced that all U.S. troops would leave the country by Sept. 11.
- Taliban spokesman to Press TV: US has violated deal on withdrawal of troops Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- The Taliban say the United States has breached its agreement with the group for the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Jolly Green II completes developmental testing US Air Force 15 Apr 2021 -- The Air Force's new combat search and rescue helicopter, the HH-60W Jolly Green II, completed its developmental test program at Eglin Air Force Base, April 13.
- Mercy departs San Diego for Dynamic Interface Exercise US Navy 15 Apr 2021 -- Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and its embarked Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) departed San Diego for a Dynamic Interface (DI) exercise Apr. 13.
- U.S., French Carrier Strike Groups Conduct Dual Carrier Operations in 5th Fleet US Navy 15 Apr 2021 -- The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG), began dual-carrier flight operations with the French Navy (Marine Nationale) Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group in the Arabian Sea, April 13.
- Navy decommissions USS Bonhomme Richard US Navy 15 Apr 2021 -- The U.S. Navy held a decommissioning ceremony for the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base San Diego on April 14.
- Partnerships Are Vital to U.S. Military, Security Challenges in Europe DoD News 15 Apr 2021 -- U.S. partnerships and alliances are critical to combatting unwelcome actions by adversaries, such as those stemming from Russian aggression, two key defense officials told the House Armed Services Committee today.
- U.S. Must Get 'On the Field' in Arctic to Defend National Interests There DoD News 15 Apr 2021 -- As changes in climate affect ice melt, opportunities are developing in the Arctic for both resource development and transportation. Russia is already there defending what's theirs and seeking out new opportunities. China is a player as well, as a "near-Arctic nation." But the U.S. is going to need to develop more "persistence" in the region if it wants to be a player there, according to the commander of U.S. Northern Command.
- Pentagon: US Consulting With Allies Over Open Skies Treaty, But Sees 'Very Limited Intel Value' Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- The United States is in consultations with allies regarding its participation in the Open Skies Treaty, but sees limited intelligence value in it, Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper said on Thursday.
- Southcom Can Use More ISR Capacity, Security Cooperation DoD News 15 Apr 2021 -- With transnational criminal organizations trafficking drugs, guns and people in South and Central America and China, Russia, Iran and Cuba meddling and peddling influence in the region, U.S. Southern Command has its hands full working to keep the neighborhood safe. Increased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capacity and a greater ability to offer security cooperation opportunities to partner nations can help with that, Southcom's commander said today.
- North Atlantic Council Statement following the announcement by the United States of actions with regard to Russia NATO 15 Apr 2021 -- NATO Allies support and stand in solidarity with the United States, following its 15 April announcement of actions to respond to Russia's destabilising activities. Allies are taking actions individually and collectively to enhance the Alliance's collective security.
- Deputy Secretary General participates in NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference NATO 15 Apr 2021 -- NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană outlined NATO's adaptation to cyber threats in a keynote speech at the NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference 2021 on Thursday (15 April 2021).
- Satellite Photos Show China's Forthcoming Type 003 Carrier Comparable in Size to USS Ford Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- With its flight deck and command island yet to be installed, it seems increasingly unlikely China's Type 003 aircraft carrier will be launched this year. However, the supporting technologies, including a new generation of carrier-based aircraft, are all well underway in their development.
- Iran's strong naval presence thwarts threats to territorial waters: Cmdr. Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi says the enemies of Iran do not dare violate the country's territorial waters thanks to the powerful presence of the naval forces of the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in international waters.
- Sweden, Finland to Hold Anti-Submarine Drills, Finnish Navy Says Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- The Swedish and Finnish navies will hold annual anti-submarine exercises from April 15 to 20 off the eastern coast of Sweden, the Finnish navy said.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, April 15, 2021 The White House 15 Apr 2021
- 15 April 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Apr 2021
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition: Royal Saudi Air Defense Intercepts and Destroys (4) Bomb-laden UAVs, (5) Ballistic Missiles Launched by the Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward (Jazan) to Target Civilians and Civilian Objects SPA 15 Apr 2021 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki
- Houthis Claim Attacks on Saudi Aramco Facility, Other Targets in City of Jazan Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- Yemen's Shia rebel Houthi movement said on Thursday that it had used drones and missiles to attack refineries of the Aramco oil giant, a Patriot missile system, and other strategic targets in Saudi Arabia's southern city of Jazan, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said.
- Houthis Attack While the International Community Commits to End Conflict in Yemen US Dept. of State 15 Apr 2021 -- The United States strongly condemns the Houthi complex attacks against Saudi Arabia this week, including the most recent attack today in Jizan, which threatened civilian infrastructure.
- UN envoy highlights diplomatic unity, as key to help end Yemen war UN News 15 Apr 2021 -- The UN Special Envoy for Yemen appealed on Thursday for warring parties to implement a nationwide ceasefire and agree a date for peace talks, in line with a plan to end their conflict.
- Syria rejects 'fabricated' OPCW report on alleged 2018 gas attack in Saraqib Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Syria has dismissed as "false and fabricated" the results of a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into an alleged chemical attack in the northwestern city of Saraqib on February 4, 2018.
- Several civilian killed, 21 others injured in car bomb explosion in Iraq's Baghdad Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- At least five civilians have lost their lives and nearly two dozen others sustained injuries when a powerful explosion ripped through a crowded area in the eastern flank of the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.
- Officials: At Least One Dead, Multiple Injuries in Baghdad Bombing VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- Iraq military officials say a powerful explosion rocked a market in Baghdad's Sadr City district Thursday, killing at least one person and injuring at least 12 others.
- Treasury Sanctions Russian Persons in the Crimea Region of Ukraine US Treasury 15 Apr 2021 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five individuals and three entities related to Russia's occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and its severe human rights abuses against the local population.
- US General Sees 'Low to Medium' Risk of Russian Move on Ukraine VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- The U.S. military commander keeping close watch on Russia's massing of military forces in Crimea and along the border of Ukraine says there is only a "low to medium" likelihood that Moscow's forces will invade.
- Ukraine Wants NATO's Action to Match Words on Russia VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- Brussels has been the focus this week of a full court diplomatic offensive by U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken who arrived earlier this week and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who landed in Belgium Wednesday for his first in-person meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
- Russia stresses solution to Ukraine crisis should be peaceful Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Russia has stressed that the crisis in Ukraine should be resolved peacefully, as the United States and other NATO countries deploy military personnel and equipment to the country, where government forces are fighting ethnic Russians in the east.
- Lebanon demands Israel halt gas exploration in its territories Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun has demanded that the Israeli regime stop all exploration in an offshore gas field on its southern border with occupied Palestinian territories.
- Slovenia Raises Uncomfortable Questions With Talk Of Bosnia's 'Dissolution' RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Its provenance was unexpected, the underlying motives unclear, and its seriousness questioned.
- Turkey Expects to Resolve Maritime Issues With Greece Through Dialogue, Foreign Minister Says Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- Turkey highly regards the revival of dialogue with Greece and supports resolving existing issues between the two countries through constructive negotiations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Ankara on Thursday.
- Shooting Stops in West Darfur but Thousands Need Help After Ethnic Clashes VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- Violence in the West Darfur capital of El Geneina has stopped after days of deadly ethnic and tribal clashes, but people who fled their homes urgently need food, water, shelter, and sanitation, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
- New U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for the South Sudan Crisis Response US Dept. of State 15 Apr 2021 -- Today, the United States announced more than $95 million to support the response to the South Sudan humanitarian emergency. On behalf of the American people, this funding will provide critical protection, economic opportunity, shelter, essential healthcare, emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services to some of the nearly four million South Sudanese refugees and internally displaced people in South Sudan.
- UN: Hunger, Rape Rising in Ethiopia's Tigray VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- The U.N. humanitarian chief warned Thursday that an already dire situation in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region is getting worse five months into the conflict, with hunger and sexual violence rising and no sign of an Eritrean troop withdrawal.
- Russia will give 'inevitable' response to new US sanctions: Moscow Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- The Kremlin says there will be an "inevitable" response to a fresh round of sanctions imposed by the United States against Russia, as a result of which Moscow has summoned the American ambassador in protest at the provocative move.
- Remarks by President Biden on Russia The White House 15 Apr 2021
- Holding Russia To Account US Dept. of State 15 Apr 2021 -- "Today, we announced actions to hold the Russian Government to account for the SolarWinds intrusion, reports of bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections."
- Treasury Sanctions Russia with Sweeping New Sanctions Authority US Treasury 15 Apr 2021 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury took multiple sanctions actions under a new Executive Order (E.O.) targeting aggressive and harmful activities by the Government of the Russian Federation. Treasury's actions include the implementation of new prohibitions on certain dealings in Russian sovereign debt, as well as targeted sanctions on technology companies that support the Russian Intelligence Services' efforts to carry out malicious cyber activities against the United States.
- Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on Russia The White House 15 Apr 2021
- A Letter on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation The White House 15 Apr 2021
- Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation The White House 15 Apr 2021
- FACT SHEET: Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government The White House 15 Apr 2021
- US Further Punishes Russia for Cyberattacks, Election Meddling VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- The United States cannot allow a foreign power to intervene with impunity in American elections, President Joe Biden said Thursday, after he took action to punish Russia for that and a major cyberattack.
- U.S. To Expel 10 Russian Intel Officers, Target Debt With Sanctions RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- U.S. media reports say sanctions looming against Russia in retaliation for alleged election interference and hacking will include the expulsion of 10 intelligence officers from the United States as well as targeting all Russian debt issued after April 14.
- U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Targets Debt Market As Kremlin Vows Retaliation RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- The United States has imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia in retaliation for election interference, cyberattacks, and what Washington described as Moscow's other "harmful" foreign activities.
- Poland Expels Three Russian Diplomats In 'Solidarity' With U.S. RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Poland has ordered three Russian diplomats to leave the embassy in Warsaw in what it said was an act of solidarity with the United States.
- Poland Expels Three Employees of Russian Embassy in Warsaw Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- Three employees of the Russian Embassy in Poland were declared personae non-gratae, the Polish Foreign Ministry said.
- Biden administration imposes sweeping sanctions on Russia Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- The administration of US President Joe Biden has announced sweeping sanctions against Russia accusing it of being involved in a recent major cyber espionage operation against the United States.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, April 15, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 15 Apr 2021
- Treasury Escalates Sanctions Against the Russian Government's Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections US Treasury 15 Apr 2021 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took sweeping action against 16 entities and 16 individuals who attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government.
- Russia: UK and US expose global campaign of malign activity by Russian intelligence services UK FCDO 15 Apr 2021 -- The UK and US share US concerns about malign activity by Russia and have attributed a cyber attack to the Russian intelligence service.
- Russia: UK exposes Russian involvement in SolarWinds cyber compromise UK FCDO 15 Apr 2021 -- The UK government has for the first time today exposed details of the SVR's cyber programme.
- Navalny Ally Sobol Handed One-Year Suspended Sentence For Trespassing RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has been handed a one-year suspended sentence of correctional labor for trespassing in what she described as a decision designed to silence her.
- 'Criminal In A Cassock': Russian Clergy Quarrel Over Navalny After A Priest Speaks Out In His Support RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Since his return to Russia and subsequent jailing in January, opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has been the subject of heated debates amid a wave of criminal cases and harassment against those who publicly endorse him.
- West-backed color revolution a 'top threat' to China's national, political security Global Times 15 Apr 2021 -- The sixth National Security Education Day falls on Thursday, with the Chinese national security agency releasing a series of cases related to the threat against China's political security. Experts on international intelligence and security said under the intensifying China-US competition, foreign hostile forces have increased efforts to target the political security of China rather than merely conducting regular espionage activities.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on April 15, 2021 PRC MofA 15 Apr 2021
- Senior Chinese official warns foreign powers against interfering in Hong Kong Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- A senior Chinese official has warned foreign powers against any interference in Hong Kong, saying they will face countermeasures if they try to use the semi-autonomous city as a "pawn."
- Hong Kong Protesters Call For Repeal of Security Law Amid Warnings Over 'Confrontation' Radio Free Asia 15 Apr 2021 -- Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong on Thursday marched in protest calling for the immediate repeal of a draconian national security law, as the city's leader warned that the law will increasingly affect journalism, the arts, internet, and education.
- Beijing Revises 'Correct' Version of Party History Ahead of Centenary Radio Free Asia 15 Apr 2021 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has set up a hotline for people to report each other to the authorities for failing to toe the party's freshly revised line on matters of history.
- Xinjiang Authorities Uphold Jail Term For Uyghur Turkish National in Secret Prison Retrial Radio Free Asia 15 Apr 2021 -- Authorities in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have upheld a 15-year jail term for an ethnic Uyghur Turkish national convicted of "terrorist activities" following a secret prison retrial, according to sources, who say little is known about his well-being despite repeated inquiries from Ankara.
- New indigenous fighter jet under development CNA 15 Apr 2021 -- The head of the military's top research unit said Thursday that a new generation of indigenous fighter jets is currently under development, with the engine and overall design expected to be finalized in 2024.
- U.S. security cooperation with Taiwan to strengthen: State Department CNA 15 Apr 2021 -- The United States will continue deepening its security cooperation with Taiwan to ensure that it has the means to defend itself against a growing threat from China, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said Wednesday.
- Tsai receives U.S. delegation, commits to regional peace efforts CNA 15 Apr 2021 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday received an American delegation, led by former Senator Chris Dodd, at the Presidential Office, and she reiterated Taiwan's willingness to work with the United States to preserve peace and stability in the region.
- PLA shows determination in opposing Biden's double-dealing trick of sending 'close friends' to Taiwan Global Times 15 Apr 2021 -- While the US and the island of Taiwan attempt to expand the "grey zone" of their "diplomatic ties" through an unofficial visit by Joe Biden's "close friends," including two former deputy secretaries of state, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) responded with a live-fire exercise on the southwest waters of the Taiwan Straits.
- US urged not to escalate use of Taiwan card People's Daily 15 Apr 2021 -- The United States has been escalating its move to play the Taiwan card and making the Taiwan question a hot spot as US President Joe Biden's first delegation of former US senior officials arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, an expert said.
- Iran Nuclear Talks End In Vienna Under Shadow Of Alleged Sabotage RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal ended in Vienna amid renewed tensions as Tehran prepares to ramp up uranium enrichment following an alleged sabotage attack on the country's main nuclear site.
- Iran not after talks of attrition: Deputy FM IRNA 15 Apr 2021 -- The head of the negotiations team of Iran in Vienna nuclear talks between Iran and 4+1 said on Thursday that Tehran is not after time-consuming talks of attrition.
- Iran chief negotiator says Tehran not seeking protracted negotiations, rejects talks for sake of talks Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Iranian chief nuclear negotiator says Tehran does not seek protracted negotiations on the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, warning that the country would take action if the talks are not constructive.
- Iran's top leader insists U.S. lifts sanctions first to revive nuclear deal People's Daily 15 Apr 2021 -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday reiterated Tehran's position that U.S. sanctions must be lifted before Iran returns to its compliance with the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Iran FM: Biden only committed to Trump's 'maximum pressure', as Iran sticks to diplomacy Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Iran has criticized the administration of US President Joe Biden for casting doubt on Tehran's seriousness in pursuing diplomacy while it has itself persisted with the failed "maximum pressure" campaign initiated by former president, Donald Trump.
- Iran's deputy FM: EU's new so-called rights sanctions JCPOA-related, meant to undermine JCPOA talks Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Iran's deputy foreign minister for political affairs says the Iranian delegation took the European countries to task during Thursday talks on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for imposing so-called right-related bans and ignoring a recent terrorist attack on an Iranian nuclear site, saying the new sanctions are meant to undermine talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the deal altogether.
- President downgrades US, EU concern about Iran's 60% uranium enrichment IRNA 15 Apr 2021 -- President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday downgraded the US and EU concern about 60% uranium enrichment by Iran.
- Rouhani rejects US, EU 'concerns' about Iran's 60% enrichment level Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- President Hassan Rouhani has rejected the "concerns" of the Europeans and the United States about Iran's recent decision to start enriching uranium to 60-percent purity, saying the two sides have a false perception of Tehran's latest remedial step away from the 2015 nuclear deal.
- Iran Capable of Enriching Uranium to 90% But Not for Creating Nuclear Weapons, Rouhani Says Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- Tehran is capable of bringing the level of uranium enrichment to 90 percent but not for the purpose of creating nuclear weapons, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday.
- Iran rolls out major gas processing project in south Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Iran has launched a major refinery to process the natural gas extracted from its major gas fields in the south.
- Brazilian Supreme Court Upholds Earlier Decision to Overturn Sentence for Former President Lula Sputnik 15 Apr 2021 -- In early March, a federal supreme court judge dismissed all of Lula's criminal convictions and restored his political rights, allowing the former president to run for president again.
- Myanmar security forces detain prominent anti-coup leader Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- In the latest crackdown on protests, security forces have detained one of the main leaders of the campaign against military rule during an anti-coup rally in central Myanmar.
- Political Punch But no Legal Merit Seen in Charges Against Myanmar Leader Radio Free Asia 15 Apr 2021 -- The charges that Myanmar's junta has piled on leader Aung San Suu Kyi since deposing and arresting her in February – ranging from possession of unlicensed walkie-talkie radios, to taking bribes, to sedition – lack legal merit but appear designed to end her political career, lawyers and analysts said Thursday.
- Myanmar Security Forces Ram Bike Rally Leader with Unmarked Car Radio Free Asia 15 Apr 2021 -- Security forces in Myanmar arrested the leader of an anti-coup motorcycle rally Thursday after ramming him with an unmarked car, while police and military killed eight and arrested 30 protesters nationwide in the past 24 hours, sources in the country told RFA.
- France Advises Citizens To Leave Pakistan Due To 'Serious Threats' RFE/RL Gandhara 15 Apr 2021 -- France is advising its citizens and companies to temporarily leave Pakistan following violent anti-French rallies in the South Asian nation.
- France Advises Citizens to Leave Pakistan for Security Reasons VOA 15 Apr 2021 -- France advised its citizens and companies Thursday to temporarily leave Pakistan, citing "serious threats to French interests" in the South Asian nation.
- Pakistan to ban religious group as supporters hold violent street protests Press TV 15 Apr 2021 -- Supporters of a Pakistani religious groups have held street protests after the government announced it mulled outlawing a religious group that has been organizing violent protests against France over publication of cartoons against the Prophet of Islam.
- Moldova's Top Court Rules Pro-Western President Can Dissolve Parliament RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Moldova's Constitutional Court has ruled that President Maia Sandu can dissolve parliament, paving the way for early elections.
- Turkmenistan's Authoritarian Leader Expands Grip On Power RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Turkmenistan's authoritarian president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who is also the head of the government in the tightly controlled state, has added another title to his name: the speaker of the newly established upper chamber of parliament, the Halk Maslahaty (People's Council).
- Kyrgyz Powerbroker Matraimov Released From Custody, Case Closed RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Raimbek Matraimov, the controversial former deputy chief of the Kyrgyz Customs Service who was placed on the U.S. Magnitsky sanctions list for his involvement in the illegal funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars abroad, has been released from custody and the investigation has been closed.
- Kyrgyzstan's Hydropower Problems Causing Concern In Neighboring Nations RFE/RL 15 Apr 2021 -- Any farmer can explain the problems that come with being dependent on generous rain clouds to water the crops.
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