09 December 2021 Military News
- US Officially Ends Combat Operations in Iraq VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- The responsibility for leading the fight against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq has now shifted from the United States and its coalition allies to Iraqi security forces.
- Iraq security official: US ends combat mission but troops remain on ground Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Iraq's national security adviser says the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh terrorist group has ended its combat mission in the country, but still maintains presence there under a different name.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Department of Defense (DoD) Support to the Presidential Initiative for 21st Century Democracy DoD 09 Dec 2021 -- The Department of Defense is proud to support President Biden's Summits for Democracy through programs that bolster democratic norms and further the professionalism of military and security forces in partner nations.
- Readout of Performing the Duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Mara Karlin Meeting with Sweden and Finland DoD 09 Dec 2021
- Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds an Off-Camera Press Briefing DoD 09 Dec 2021
- Readout of Performing the Duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Mara Karlin Meeting with Sweden and Finland DoD 09 Dec 2021
- NATO Secretary General: NATO needs a strong Germany NATO 09 Dec 2021 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday (9 December 2021) welcomed the new German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to NATO headquarters in Brussels.
- NATO Secretary General highlights the Alliance's role as the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security NATO 09 Dec 2021 -- Pointing to the unpredictable security environment, the Secretary General underlined that "we must deal with this new reality and the best way to do that is together, Europe and North America, together in NATO".
- Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Bucharest Forum (online) NATO 09 Dec 2021
- NATO Secretary General joins Summit for Democracy NATO 09 Dec 2021 -- On Thursday (9 December 2021), NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg joined a virtual meeting of world leaders, hosted by the United States, to address the challenges and opportunities facing democracies.
- SACEUR, CMC visit Kosovo NATO 09 Dec 2021 -- Accompanied by the Chair of the NATO Military Committee (CMC), Admiral Rob Bauer, General Tod D. Wolters Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), travelled to Camp "Film City" in Pristina for a short visit with NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) Commander, Major General Ferenc Kajári on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021.
- SACEUR stresses Deterrence and Defence in Estonia NATO 09 Dec 2021 -- The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Tod D. Wolters, visited Estonia on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 where he stressed strengthening NATO's deterrence and defence posture while meeting with Estonian Minister of Defence, H. E. Mr. Kalle Laanet in Tallinn.
- Chinese space-tracking ship back from satellite monitoring missions PLA Daily 09 Dec 2021 -- The Chinese space-tracking ship Yuanwang-6 returned to its home port on Thursday morning after completing three satellite monitoring missions.
- French Military Reports Second 'Interaction' Between Russian Jets & French Aircraft Over Black Sea Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- The Russian Ministry of Defence reported a day earlier that Sukhoi Su-27 fighters had been scrambled to intercept and accompany French Rafale and Mirage-2000 jets, as well as a French Air Force C-135 refuelling aircraft, as they flew over the Black Sea.
- Russian Fighters Escort 5 US, French Military Aircraft Over Black Sea - Video Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- Russian fighters on Thursday escorted the US and French warplanes over the Black Sea as they tried to approach the Russian borders, the Russian Defence Ministry's National Defence Control Centre (NDCC) told reporters.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin 'Benny' Gantz DoD 09 Dec 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Gantz US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Pakistan Begins Construction of China's AIP-Powered Submarine Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- The Indian Navy considers China's exports of military hardware like ships and submarines to Pakistan a significant challenge for its dominance in the Indian Ocean Region. Pakistan has signed a contract with China to receive four frigates and eight submarines by the end of the decade.
- Combined Space Operations Initiative principals board meeting Australia DOD 09 Dec 2021 -- On 8-9 December 2021 (AEDT), the Combined Space Operations (CSpO) Initiative Principals Board - comprising representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States - met in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to discuss cooperation on space security.
- Towards accountability and the verifiable destruction of Syria's chemical weapons programme UK FCDO 09 Dec 2021 -- Statement by Fergus Eckersley, UK Political Coordinator at the UN, at the Security Council briefing on Syria's use of chemical weapons
- UK to provide engineering support to Poland amid border pressures UK MOD 09 Dec 2021 -- 140 military engineers are deploying to Poland to provide specialist support in response to the pressures from irregular migration at the Belarus border.
- HMS Queen Elizabeth returns home as historic global deployment comes to an end UK MOD 09 Dec 2021 -- Royal Navy's flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to Portsmouth today after her global seven month maiden operational deployment leading Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21). Sailors, aviators, ships and aircraft have returned to their home bases in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States of America.
- Ukrainian Navy Ship Heading Toward Kerch, Ignores Demands to Change Course, FSB Says Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- The Ukrainian Navy's command ship Donbass later turned back, but did not respond to requests, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said.
- Taiwan to implement new, current military reservists training policies in tandem CNA 09 Dec 2021 -- The new mobilization training policy for males discharged from military service in Taiwan will be implemented alongside the old regulations, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday.
- Bolstering Taiwan's defenses an 'urgent task': senior Pentagon official CNA 09 Dec 2021 -- Bolstering Taiwan's defenses is an "urgent task" amid mounting concerns over potential Chinese aggression, said a top American defense official on Wednesday at a Senate committee hearing.
- U.S. House passes annual defense policy bill with Taiwan provisions CNA 09 Dec 2021 -- The United States House of Representatives passed its annual defense policy bill on Tuesday, which includes recommendations for inviting Taiwan to the 2022 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhancing cooperation between the U.S. National Guard and Taiwan.
- US views boosting Taiwan's military as 'urgent task:' Pentagon official Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- A Pentagon official says boosting Chinese Taipei's military is an "urgent task" and crucial to deterring what the United States perceives as the threat of invasion by China.
- Biden Acknowledges US Democratic Vulnerabilities at Summit Opening VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden acknowledged his own country's vulnerabilities as he hosted a virtual Summit for Democracy that brings together world leaders, civil society and the private sector to "set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action."
- Democracy under threat around the world, Biden tells summit Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- Democratic countries worldwide are under growing pressure from autocratic competitors and challenges at home, and must now come together to show democracy can work, U.S. President Joe Biden told world leaders at a virtual summit meeting on Thursday.
- Biden Warns Of 'Backward Slide' In Democracy At Global Summit RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden has warned of a "backward slide" in rights and democracy around the globe as he opened a virtual summit with representatives from some 100 countries.
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken At a Virtual Panel Discussion on Bolstering Democratic Resilience: Building Back Better Together from COVID-19 US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken Opening Remarks at the Virtual Summit for Democracy Leaders' Plenary Session US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Treasury Issues Sanctions on International Anti-Corruption Day US Treasury 09 Dec 2021 -- Today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is targeting fifteen individuals and entities across several countries in Central America, Africa, and Europe.
- Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at the Summit for Democracy US Treasury 09 Dec 2021
- Remarks By President Biden At The Summit For Democracy Opening Session The White House 09 Dec 2021
- Marking 'International Anti-Corruption Day,' Biden Administration Announces Raft of Sanctions VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- To mark "International Anti-Corruption Day," the Biden administration announced a raft of sanctions Thursday on 15 foreign government officials and companies it says are involved in corruption.
- Elevating Anti-Corruption Leadership and Promoting Accountability for Corrupt Actors US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021 -- On International Anti-Corruption Day 2021, the United States reiterates its commitment to elevating anti-corruption as a core national security priority and a key pillar of the Summit for Democracy.
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Deputy Secretary Sherman's Meeting with Finnish MFA Permanent State Secretary Anttonen US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Secretary Blinken's Meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Huitfeldt US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Readout of President Biden's Call with the Leaders of The Bucharest Nine Eastern Flank NATO Allies The White House 09 Dec 2021
- Readout of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala The White House 09 Dec 2021
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, December 9, 2021 The White House 09 Dec 2021
- Department Press Briefing with Spokesperson Ned Price – December 9, 2021 US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021
- Contracts For Dec. 9, 2021
- GA-ASI Announces New Mojave UAS General Atomics 09 Dec 2021 -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is unveiling a new Unmanned Aircraft System called Mojave, named for one of the harshest and most austere areas the world, where deadly rattlesnakes and horned lizards adapt to survive the extreme forces of nature.
- 9 December 2021 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 09 Dec 2021
- UN: Genocide Remains Threat, Must Be Prevented VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- The United Nations marked the day of remembrance of victims of genocide with a warning that the crime has not been relegated to the history books but remains a threat today.
- 'Genocide remains a very real threat', Guterres warns UN News 09 Dec 2021 -- Genocide "remains a very real threat" around the world, said the UN chief on Thursday, marking the UN International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide, and of the Prevention of this Crime.
- Climate change 'aggravating factor for terrorism': UN chief UN News 09 Dec 2021 -- Environmental degradation enables armed groups to extend their influence and manipulate resources to their advantage, the UN chief told the Security Council on Thursday, highlighting that conflict-prevention initiatives need to factor in climate risks.
- Taliban Accused Of Forcibly Evicting Ethnic Uzbeks, Turkmen In Northern Afghanistan RFE/RL Gandhara 09 Dec 2021 -- Taliban fighters have been accused of helping to forcibly evict more than 1,000 people in northern Afghanistan, with the evictions targeting members of the ethnic Uzbek and Turkmen communities.
- Afghanistan: Political affairs chief has 'frank and useful exchanges' with the Taliban UN News 09 Dec 2021 -- The UN's Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, concluded a three-day visit to Afghanistan on Thursday in which she met with senior Taliban representatives, urging them not to "erase" gains made by women and girls across the country in recent years.
- Yemeni air defense forces repel Saudi air raid against Ma'rib region: Army spokesman Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- A Saudi F-15 fighter jet sought to bombard areas in the al-Jubah district of the province, located 173 kilometers (107 miles) northeast of the capital Sana'a, on Thursday evening, when the launch of a domestically-built and long-range Fater-1 (Innovator-1) surface-to-air missile forced the jet off the Yemeni airspace, Saree wrote in a post on his Twitter page.
- Houthis Claim 'Major Collapse' of Coalition Forces Defending Ma'rib, Predict City's Capture in Days Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- After more than ten months of fighting, Yemen's Houthi movement may be poised to capture the final pockets of Ma'rib still defended by forces loyal to Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Amid the latest offensive, Riyadh has launched a new air blitz, bombing targets in Ma'rib, Jouf, and Sana'a.
- Pakistan Taliban Declares End To Cease-Fire With Government RFE/RL Gandhara 09 Dec 2021 -- The Pakistani Taliban, a militant group fighting a guerrilla war in the northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, says it will not extend a cease-fire agreed to last month, accusing Islamabad of failing to respect terms of the truce deal.
- Militant Alliance Says It Will Not Extend Truce With Pakistan VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- An outlawed militant alliance waging terrorist attacks in Pakistan has decided against extending a 30-day cease-fire with the government, accusing the other side of not honoring the terms of the deal.
- Biden vows US 'unwavering' commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- US President Joe Biden has reaffirmed the United States' "unwavering" commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday.
- Biden Seeks to Allay Ukraine's Concerns of Possible Russian Invasion VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- The United States is seeking to reassure Kyiv that Washington's strategy to prevent a Russian military invasion will work, despite Washington's refusal to send ground troops to help defend Ukrainian soil.
- Readout of President Biden's Call with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine The White House 09 Dec 2021
- Biden Says Further Meetings Planned To Lower Temperature Along Ukraine-Russia Border RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- U.S. President Joe Biden says he hopes to announce a meeting soon between the United States, its major allies in Europe, and Russia for talks on Moscow's concerns about NATO expansion.
- Russia Ratchets Up Pressure On Ukraine As Biden Consults Zelenskiy RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- Russia continued to ramp up rhetoric against Kyiv as U.S. President Joe Biden held talks with Ukraine's leader and was to offer security reassurances nine eastern European NATO allies amid a Russian military buildup near the Ukrainian border.
- Kiev Deploys Heavy Weapons Near Donbass Contact Line, Moscow Says Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- Kiev is deploying heavy weapons near the contact line in Donbass, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) confirms it, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, said on Thursday.
- Russian Chief of General Staff Slams Reports About 'Imminent Invasion of Ukraine' as Fake Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- Weeks before Presidents Putin and Biden had a video call on 7 December to discuss the most pressing bilateral and international issues, speculation appeared in the Western media alleging Russia has been building up military forces near Ukraine to "invade".
- Russia: Tensions with US over Ukraine risk repeat of Cuba missile crisis Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says the escalation of tensions between Moscow and Washington over the situation around Ukraine could culminate in a repeat of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that pushed the world to the brink of a full-scale nuclear war.
- Azerbaijan says soldier killed in act of 'provocation' by Armenian army Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Baku says an Azerbaijani soldier has been killed near the border with Armenia in an act of "provocation" by Armenian troops, nearly two weeks after the neighbors held talks to ease tensions left over from last year's war.
- Reports Of Shelling As Tensions Between Armenia And Azerbaijan Appear To Boil Over RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- Azerbaijan and Armenia have accused each other of violating a cease-fire along their shared border as lingering tensions following their war last year over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh appeared to boil over.
- Armenia Says Border Positions Attacked by Azerbaijan Military Forces Overnight Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- The Armenian Defence Ministry on Thursday claimed that its positions came under artillery fire from the Azerbaijan side of the border overnight and the attacks were repelled.
- US Court Denies Trump Appeal to Stop House Probe From Getting White House Records Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- The US District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit denied former President Donald Trump's bid to prevent the release of White House records from his administration to the US House Select Committee leading a probe into the events at the Capitol on January 6, a court ruling said.
- Russian National Sentenced for Providing Crypting Service for Kelihos Botnet US Dept. of Justice 09 Dec 2021 -- A Russian national was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for operating a "crypting" service used to conceal the Kelihos malware from antivirus software, which enabled hackers to systematically infect approximately hundreds of thousands of victim computers around the world with malicious software, including ransomware.
- State-backed China hackers targeting South China Sea claimants, US cyber firm says Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- Throughout 2021 Chinese hackers with suspected links to the state have targeted government and private sector organizations across Southeast Asia, especially South China Sea claimants, a U.S. cybersecurity company says in a new report.
- 'Unlawful Intrusion:' Kazakh Activists' Mobile Devices Infected With Pegasus Spyware RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- Amnesty International says four Kazakh activists have had their mobile devices infected with Pegasus spyware in what it said further shows that the malicious software is being used by governments to try to "silence social movements and crush dissent."
- Latvian Parliament Allows Probe Against Lawmaker Suspected Of Spying For Moscow RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- Latvia's parliament has voted to allow a probe against Janis Adamsons, a former interior minister and a lawmaker from the opposition Social Democratic Saskana (Harmony) party, who is accused of spying for Russia.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 9, 2021 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 09 Dec 2021
- US, Russia clashes to continue after 'candid, tough-toned' Putin-Biden meeting Global Times 09 Dec 2021 -- In what analysts described as a "candidate and tough-toned" video meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden, it ended with a US caveat of Russia on the Ukraine issue. Analysts warned that the US should be cautious of turning those threats into action, as Russia is unlikely to concede over this core-interest issue that threatens its national security, and that any provocative move from Washington and its NATO allies will eventually backfire.
- Rifts continue to dominate ties following Putin-Biden summit People's Daily 09 Dec 2021 -- No breakthrough was achieved after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, met via video link on Tuesday, which touched upon such topics as the situation in Ukraine, the Iran nuclear deal, and bilateral ties between the two countries.
- The 'Nuclear Option': What Is SWIFT And What Happens If Russia Is Cut Off From It? RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- Some call it the "nuclear option." It doesn't involve weapons though.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 9, 2021 PRC MofA 09 Dec 2021
- Arrogance and bias are reasons why the US and Western countries label China as 'non-democratic' Global Times 09 Dec 2021 -- The arrogance and bias of the West against other civilizations are the reasons why the US and certain Western countries have been labeling China and other developing countries as non-democratic, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the 14th Bali Democracy Forum on Thursday.
- China warns US, allies will 'pay price' for Olympics boycott; France rebuffs US campaign Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- The Chinese foreign ministry has warned that the United States and its allies will "pay the price" for their diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
- Canada, UK announce political boycott of China Winter Olympics, imitating US Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Canada and Britain have announced a political boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, following similar decisions by the United States and Australia over alleged human rights violations in China.
- Experts: Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Games Needs More Nations for Impact VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- Experts say that for the U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics to be effective, more countries will need to participate. But that could be challenging given some countries' economic ties to China or recognized prowess in winter sports.
- UN Chief to Attend Beijing Games Despite Boycotts VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- Despite a growing number of Western countries announcing diplomatic boycotts of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, will attend the Games.
- 5 Western Nations Join Together in Diplomatic Boycott of China's Winter Olympics VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- A small but influential group of Western nations has announced diplomatic boycotts of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, citing its record of human rights abuses.
- China Condemns Australia's Boycott of Winter Olympics VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- China has condemned Australia's diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics as "political posturing." China's treatment of its Uyghur minority spurred Australia's decision, which followed a similar U.S. move.
- Hong Kong court finds Jimmy Lai guilty of 'incitement' over banned vigil Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- A Hong Kong court on Thursday found pro-democracy media magnate Jimmy Lai and barrister Chow Hang-tung guilty of "inciting others" to join a banned candlelight vigil marking the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen massacre.
- 3 including Jimmy Lai convicted over unauthorized assembly in HK, joining 21 others Global Times 09 Dec 2021 -- HK media tycoon, secessionist Jimmy Lai, HK Alliance's Chow Hang Tung and former opposition politician Gwyneth Ho were found guilty on Thursday over an unauthorized assembly held on June 4, 2020.
- Judgment made by fake tribunal is doomed to be swept into trash can by history, spurned by people: FM spokesperson Global Times 09 Dec 2021 -- The so-called final ruling by the "Uyghur Tribunal" is nothing but a political farce staged by a handful of contemptible individuals, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement released on Thursday after the fake tribunal "ruled" that China "commits genocide" in its Xinjiang region.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Statement on the "Final Ruling" of the So-called "Uyghur Tribunal" PRC MofA 09 Dec 2021 -- "The anti-China, separatist organization "World Uyghur Congress", manipulated and sponsored by anti-China forces in the US and the West, has rallied a handful of anti-cChina elements to set up the so-called "Uyghur Tribunal"."
- Uyghur Tribunal finds China committed genocide in Xinjiang Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- An independent tribunal in London said Thursday that China committed genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in its western Xinjiang region and that President Xi Jinping shared primary responsibility for the atrocities.
- Interview: 'Do they really need to be doing these terrible things?' Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- Prominent U.K. attorney Geoffrey Nice, chair of the Uyghur Tribunal, delivered the panel's judgment on Thursday that China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in its far-western Xinjiang region. The decision came after the independent tribunal assessed evidence of China's alleged rights abuses against the predominantly Muslim minority.
- 'Uyghur Tribunal' Says China Committed Genocide In Xinjiang RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- A London-based independent, unofficial panel investigating alleged human rights abuses in China's northwestern Xinjiang region has concluded that the government committed "genocide, crimes against humanity and torture" against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of the region's other indigenous, mostly Muslim ethnic groups.
- Nicaragua Ends Diplomatic Relations With Taiwan, Recognizes 'There Is Only One China' Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- Managua announced on Thursday it was ending its policy of recognizing Taiwan, also called the Republic of China (ROC), and would begin solely recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing as the representative of all of China.
- Nicaragua's Breaking of Diplomatic Relations with Taiwan US Dept. of State 09 Dec 2021 -- "The Ortega-Murillo regime has announced it has severed diplomatic relations and ended official contact with Taiwan, but the sham election on November 7 did not provide it with any mandate to remove Nicaragua from the family of American democracies."
- Taiwan, Slovakia sign agreement, 9 MOUs to deepen cooperation CNA 09 Dec 2021 -- Taiwan and Slovakia signed an agreement on Thursday to deepen two-way exchanges in various areas, a day before a visiting delegation led by the central European country's deputy economic minister is set to conclude its high-level visit to Taiwan.
- Mainland spokesperson slams DPP for sowing discord across Taiwan Strait People's Daily 09 Dec 2021 -- A Chinese mainland spokesperson on Wednesday denounced Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority for slandering the mainland and sowing discord across the Taiwan Strait.
- Beijing Winter Olympics Test US-South Korea Cooperation on China VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- As South Korea decides whether or not to join the Biden administration's diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, experts said its decision could signal its commitment to Washington's coalition-building strategy centered on human rights.
- North Koreans scour farms for burnable waste to cope with fuel shortage Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- A severe firewood shortage and rising fuel costs in North Korea have left citizens scrounging harvested cornfields for anything burnable to keep warm this winter, sources in the country told RFA.
- U.S. Warns Iran Of 'Additional Measures' If Nuclear Diplomacy Fails RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- As Tehran and world powers seeking to revive the moribund 2015 nuclear deal resumed talks in Vienna, the United States warned that it would take "additional measures" to block Iran's ability to earn revenue if diplomacy over the country's nuclear program fails.
- Russia Warns US-Israeli Exercises Against Iran Would Destabilize Situation in 'Explosive Region' Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- On Wednesday, Reuters reported that US and Israeli officials planned to discuss possible joint military exercises in preparation for a 'worst-case scenario' to destroy Iran's peaceful nuclear facilities if diplomatic efforts to salvage the Iran nuclear deal fell through.
- Iran Top Priority for U.S., Israel DoD News 09 Dec 2021 -- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met today with Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin "Benny" Gantz during a closed meeting at the Pentagon. A top priority for both defense leaders was a shared concern regarding the aggressive actions of the Iranian government.
- Top negotiator: Iran serious about sanctions removal talks in Vienna, sticks to its declared positions Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Iran's top negotiator in Vienna talks on the removal of sanctions imposed on the country says the Islamic Republic is serious about taking part in the negotiations in the Austrian capital, but insists on the positions it declared during previous meetings.
- Iran urges P4+1 to give 'documented, well-founded' response to proposals in Vienna Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Iran's chief negotiator has described as "documented and well-founded" the proposals submitted to the five other signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal in the course of the latest round of talks in Vienna, saying the P4+1 group is now expected to offer a response in a similar vein.
- 'No Bomb Threat:' Polish Probe Into Ryanair Diversion Dismisses Belarusian Account RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- A Polish investigation has established that there was "no bomb threat" on a Ryanair plane that made an emergency landing in Minsk earlier this year, allowing Belarusian authorities to arrest opposition blogger Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend.
- U.K. To Send Army Engineers To Poland Amid 'Migration Pressure' From Belarus RFE/RL 09 Dec 2021 -- Britain says it will send 140 military engineers to NATO ally Poland this month to provide support at its border with Belarus, where the West says Minsk is orchestrating on ongoing migration crisis.
- UK Defence Ministry Says Will Send 140 Military Engineers to Poland Over Migration Crisis Sputnik 09 Dec 2021 -- The UK will send 140 military engineers to Poland to help the country suffering from "irregular migration at the border with Belarus," the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday,
- Telephone conversation with Angela Merkel President of Russia 09 Dec 2021 -- Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Angela Merkel, who completed her term of office as Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany on December 8.
- Scholz takes reins from Merkel, ushers in new era for Germany People's Daily 09 Dec 2021 -- Olaf Scholz from Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) was sworn in Wednesday as the new Federal Chancellor, taking the baton from his predecessor Angela Merkel who bowed out from the political stage after a 16-year run.
- Pakistan's PM Urges US, China to Reduce Tensions VOA 09 Dec 2021 -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday that instead of siding with so-called Cold War-like "blocs," his country would like to help de-escalate tensions between the United States and China.
- Burkina Faso's prime minister resigns amid security crisis Press TV 09 Dec 2021 -- Burkina Faso's Prime Minister Christophe Dabire has resigned amid a security crisis and protests calling for a government reshuffle.
- Cambodia's Hun Sen dismisses US sanctions on military, elites Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2021 -- Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen on Thursday denied concern over foreign sanctions imposed against senior Cambodian officials, including in the country's military, saying none of those sanctioned officials hold assets in foreign banks.
- $1.79 billion needed to help Venezuelan refugees and migrants UN News 09 Dec 2021 -- The increasing needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela have worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic, say UN rights experts. The number of Venezuelans worldwide who've gone on the run has now topped six million, with the vast majority hosted by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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