Acting Secretary of Defense Miller - Initial Message to the DepartmentDoD 13 Nov 2020 -- "We are not a people of perpetual war -it is the antithesis of everything for which we stand and for which our ancestors fought. All wars must end. Ending wars requires compromise and partnership. We met the challenge; we gave it our all. Now, it's time to come home."
Communiqué on the 2020 Conference on AfghanistanUS Dept. of State 27 Nov 2020 -- The following is the text of a joint communiqué issued by the 66 countries and 32 international organizations participating in the 2020 Afghanistan Conference.
Australia to fire 13 troops over war crimes in AfghanistanPress TV 27 Nov 2020 -- Australia has sent notices of likely dismissal to a number of troops after a damning military report confirmed last week that its forces murdered dozens of civilians or prisoners in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.
Australian Army Moves to Axe 13 Troops Over Afghan War CrimesSputnik 27 Nov 2020 -- Last week, the Australian government released a redacted version of the Brereton Report – a comprehensive, four-year-long investigation into alleged war crimes perpetrated by Australian troops in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. The bombshell report concluded that at least 25 soldiers were involved in gruesome crimes including murder.
Acting US Defense Chief Pays 1st Ever Visit to SomaliaSputnik 27 Nov 2020 -- Acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Friday paid an unannounced visit to Somalia, becoming the first Pentagon chief to travel to the East African country, the Defense Department said in a press release on Friday.
AFRICOM commander travels to East AfricaAFRICOM 27 Nov 2020 -- Djibouti, DJIBOUTI -- U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, was joined by acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller on a multi-day trip Nov. 25-27 to Djibouti and Somalia.
Philippines Looking to Reverse Course on Scrapping US Military PactVOA 27 Nov 2020 -- The Philippines, an old American ally in Asia, is changing its view on whether to scrap a key U.S. military pact, as it explores new ways of benefiting from U.S. defense aid without isolating its newer superpower friend, China, analysts and officials say.
Russia test fires new ABM system that can hit satellites in spacePress TV 27 Nov 2020 -- Russia has successfully test fired an anti-ballistic missile system designed to protect against both air and space attacks, its defense ministry announced, amid Western media reports insisting that it is capable of destroying Western satellites.
Academy grads to join Navy's carrier fighter jet forcePLA Daily 27 Nov 2020 -- The first flight students-turned-pilots for the People's Liberation Army Navy's aircraft carrier-based fighter jet force have gained initial operational capability, said a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
Iran's naval power is anchor of stability in region: StatementIRNA 27 Nov 2020 -- Iran's naval deterrence and defensive power, as a point of trust and confidence in the Iranian nation, is the anchor of stability and lasting security in the strategic region of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, said a statement of Iranian Ministry of Defense on Friday.
Iran's Navy says will spare no effort to maintain securityIRNA 27 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Army's Navy in a statement on Thursday declared its full readiness to establish stability, security and hoist Iran's flag in the distant oceans and international waters, as well as spare no effort to sacrifice its life in this glorious path.
Ankara Starts Probe After German Warship Attempts to Search Turkish Cargo Vessel Off LibyaSputnik 27 Nov 2020 -- Germany and other European nations have suspected Ankara of violating the United Nations Security Council's arms embargo against civil-war-torn Libya. On Monday, German authorities confirmed that an attempted inspection of a Turkish-flagged cargo ship bound for the North African nation was stopped following a vocal protest by Turkish authorities.
Ethiopian Forces Claim Gains in Tigray RegionVOA 27 Nov 2020 -- Ethiopian forces are making gains in several towns near Tigray's regional capital, one day after the government said it was beginning the "final phase" of an offensive in the northern region, the country's news agency said Friday.
Ethiopians Flee Tigray Capital Fearing Military AssaultVOA 27 Nov 2020 -- Fearing an imminent assault, people are fleeing Mekele, the capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's order for the "final phase" of the military offensive aganist local forces.
UN Ramps Up Aid as Ethiopian Refugees in Eastern Sudan Top 43,000VOA 27 Nov 2020 -- U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi is in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to review aid operations aimed at helping growing numbers of refugees fleeing conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region. More than 43,000 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Eastern Sudan this month.
First of four UN humanitarian airlifts for Ethiopia refugees lands in KhartoumUN News 27 Nov 2020 -- An airplane loaded with humanitarian supplies for people fleeing violence in Ethiopia's Tigray region has arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the UN refugee agency (UNCHR) said on Friday, in an appeal for international assistance to cope with the growing numbers seeking shelter in Sudan.
Come February, Will Trump-Linked Lobby Firms Be Shown The Door?RFE/RL 27 Nov 2020 -- Several months after President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, SMW Partners was hired to lobby the White House on behalf of two high-profile clients from the former Soviet Union: one of Ukraine's richest tycoons and a Kremlin-controlled company building a controversial natural gas export pipeline to Europe.
Anti-dumping on Aussie wine not 'trade war,' but Canberra urged to 'grow up' or face more painGlobal Times 27 Nov 2020 -- China announced on Friday it would raise tariffs on Australian wine to 212 percent as a temporary anti-dumping measure, a decision that Chinese experts said was made in accordance with WTO regulations and not a shot for a so-called "trade war" with Australia amid deteriorating ties. Instead of staging a political performance or making "sweet talk," Canberra needs to grow up and reflect on its wrong deeds that damage bilateral ties, and make concrete moves for a better trade environment before it is too late.
Xinjiang offers real-site photos to debunk satellite images 'evidence' of 'detention centers'Global Times 27 Nov 2020 -- Locations that had been marked as "concentration camps" by some Western media and an Australian institute were found to be administration buildings, nursing homes, logistics centers or schools, as Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday offered videos and photos to debunk accusations which used satellite images as "evidences."
Top Iranian Scientist Assassinated in Attack on His ConvoyVOA 27 Nov 2020 -- One of Iran's top nuclear scientists, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed Friday when his vehicle was attacked not far from the capital, Tehran. Iranian media outlets say the country's defense ministry confirmed his death after earlier reports said he was undergoing an operation at a nearby hospital.
Zarif slams assassination of Iranian scientistIRNA 27 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a statement vehemently condemned assassination of head of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Head of the Research and Innovation Organization of the Ministry of Defense.
Veep expresses condolences over martyrdom of FakhrizadehIRNA 27 Nov 2020 -- First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri in a message on Friday expressed condolences over martyrdom of Iran's defense industry manager Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, saying that such inhumane actions are doomed to failure.
AEOI chief blasts assassination of Iran's defense industry martyrIRNA 27 Nov 2020 -- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (IAEO) Ali Akbar Salehi in message to Defense Minister expressed condolences over the martyrdom of one of the country's defense industry managers, saying that his martyrdom will further strengthen Islamic Iran.
Iranian Diplomat Goes On Trial In Belgium Over Bomb PlotRFE/RL 27 Nov 2020 -- An Iranian diplomat and three other Iranians went on trial in the Belgian city of Antwerp on November 27 accused of planning to bomb a meeting of an exiled opposition group in France in 2018, the first time an EU country has put an Iranian official on trial for terrorism.
Lukashenko Says He Won't Stay on as Belarus's President Under New ConstitutionSputnik 27 Nov 2020 -- Earlier, the Belarusian president said he would not rule out early presidential elections after referendum-approved changes to the country's basic law. Minsk announced plans to amend the constitution in the wake of large-scale protests which followed the 9 August election, which saw Alexander Lukashenko reelected for a sixth consecutive term.
Thai Protesters Vow Weekend of Rallies as Coup Rumors SwirlVOA 27 Nov 2020 -- Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators flooded a Bangkok intersection late Friday, vowing to resist any attempts at a coup amid rumors of a coming military intervention to break a deadlock between the vibrant reform movement and a stubborn royalist government.
USS John Warner Returns Home for ThanksgivingUS Navy 26 Nov 2020 -- The Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN 785) returned to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk from deployment, Nov. 25, just in time for Thanksgiving.
China's guidelines on joint operations aim for future warfare: Defense SpokespersonPLA Daily 26 Nov 2020 -- The guidelines on joint operations(trial) hold a leading, inclusive, and fundamental status as the top-level code of conduct in the combat doctrine system of the new era, and have been an integral part of the reform of military policies and systems, said Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.
NIDS' s China Security Report 2021 totally untenable: Defense SpokespersonPLA Daily 26 Nov 2020 -- Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), criticized a Japanese report for making groundless comments on China's national defense and military modernization at a regular MND press conference on November 26 when asked to comment on the so-called China Security Report 2021 released by Japan's National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) in mid-November.
UN says Israeli siege cost Gaza Strip $16.7 billionPress TV 26 Nov 2020 -- The United Nations (UN) says the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has cost the densely-populated Palestinian enclave an estimated $16.7 billion in economic losses and sent poverty and unemployment skyrocketing.
Greece Rejects Turkey's Renewed Call for TalksVOA 26 Nov 2020 -- Greece has rejected new calls by Turkey to start exploratory talks to settle their maritime differences, feeding into a long-running and dangerous energy standoff in the eastern Mediterranean. The snub comes as Greece tries to increase pressure on its European allies to impose sanctions on Turkey during a summit next week. Beyond Europe, Greece is also shoring up international support, including in the Middle East, to press Turkey to back down from what it believes are irrational and unsubstantiated claims in the region.
CIA Officer Killed in Somalia Last Weekend - ReportsSputnik 26 Nov 2020 -- A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer has died from an injury sustained during a mission in Somalia last weekend, The New York Times reported, citing a former senior US administration official familiar with the matter.
Will Biden reset China-US ties?Global Times 26 Nov 2020 -- After China officially acknowledged Joe Biden's win, the world's attention has turned to the interactions between China and the Biden administration, and where the interactions will lead China-US ties to. Are China and the US falling into the "Thucydides's Trap" during Biden's term, with the worst scenario of outbreak of war, or will the two countries reset their relations?
Lam stresses youth's role in integration with national developmentGlobal Times 26 Nov 2020 -- In her 2020 annual policy address, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam stressed the need to restore Hong Kong's constitutional order and political system from yearlong social turmoil, putting a special focus on the city's further integration into China's development plans, and creating more conditions for the young generation to achieve this goal.
Hong Kong embraces greater development opportunities with new policy address unveiledPeople's Daily 26 Nov 2020 -- As a series of support measures were unveiled in the new policy address on Wednesday, Hong Kong, still reeling from social unrest and the COVID-19 epidemic, is expected to gain momentum to revive its ailing economy, integrate into steady development of the country, and realize greater achievements in the future.
Baha'is Barred From Higher Education In IranRadio Farda 26 Nov 2020 -- "Deficient filing" is a familiar term to Baha'i youth in Iran who want to enter university and carry on their education like any other citizen enjoying one of their most fundamental rights.
Iran emerging victorious from 3-year economic war: President RouhaniPress TV 26 Nov 2020 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says during the past three years, the country has been engaged in a full-fledged economic war with its enemies, from which it has emerged victorious while those who waged that war will soon be thrown into history's dustbin.
Russia slams West for 'interfering' in Belarus internal affairsPress TV 26 Nov 2020 -- Russia has lambasted the Western countries for "interfering" in neighboring Belarus' domestic affairs, as anti-government rallies continue to plague the ex-Soviet country since President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term in office.
Russia Accuses West Of 'Meddling' In BelarusRFE/RL 26 Nov 2020 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the West of interfering in Belarus as he met Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has faced months of protests over his disputed reelection.
Terror Threats Across Africa 'Not Degraded'VOA 26 Nov 2020 -- U.S. efforts to stem the threat from terror groups across Africa are struggling as military commanders grapple with the prospect of troop reductions and shifting priorities, according to a new government report on counterterrorism operations.
Tanzania Teams Up with Mozambique to Contain TerroristsVOA 26 Nov 2020 -- Tanzania's government says is teaming up with Mozambique to launch a joint operation against violent attacks by Islamist militants along their shared border. But some opposition parties and rights groups are raising concerns about how the Tanzanian government plans to tackle the threat.
Former French President Sarkozy Faces Corruption ChargesVOA 26 Nov 2020 -- Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy went on trial Thursday to face corruption charges. Sarkozy is accused of trying to bribe a judge to obtain information about an investigation into his 2007 presidential campaign. The former head of state insists he is innocent.
Minority Killings in Pakistan Concern Rights GroupsVOA 26 Nov 2020 -- Three international human rights groups have joined hands to express concern over a surge in the targeted killings of members of the Ahmadiyya minority community in Pakistan and urged the government to take immediate action.
Hungary, Poland Pledge Mutual Support For EU Budget VetoRFE/RL 26 Nov 2020 -- The Hungarian and Polish prime ministers have signed a joint declaration pledging to support each other in blocking the European Union's next budget and its massive pandemic relief fund because of a proposed mechanism that ties it to compliance with the rule of law.
Denmark assumes command of NATO Mission IraqNATO 25 Nov 2020 -- Lieutenant-General Per Pugholm Olsen of the Danish Armed Forces is the new Commander of the NATO Mission Iraq, following a change of command ceremony held in Baghdad on 24 November 2020.
Nevada National Guard stays in fight against COVID-19Army News 25 Nov 2020 -- More than eight months into the Nevada National Guard's battle against COVID-19, the stubborn microscopic enemy shows no sign of surrender as many of the state's counties report record numbers of cases.
Chairs Speier and Langevin Issue Statement in Support of Michéle Flournoy as Secretary of DefenseCongresswoman Speier 25 Nov 2020 -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, today issued the following statement encouraging President-elect Biden to nominate Michèle Flournoy as Secretary of Defense.
Air Force selects next C-130J locationsUS Air Force 25 Nov 2020 -- The Air Force has selected Louisville Air National Guard Base, Kentucky; McLaughlin ANGB, West Virginia; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Texas; and Savannah ANGB, Georgia as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs, pending the outcome of environmental assessments.
Group of experts presents report to Secretary GeneralNATO 25 Nov 2020 -- An independent group, co-chaired by Dr. Thomas de Maizière and Dr. Wess Mitchell, handed over on Wednesday (25 November) a report to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on how to make NATO an even stronger Alliance. The group's report is one of a number of inputs into the Secretary General's NATO 2030 initiative.
Amphibious landing ships, stealth missile boats conduct exercises in South China SeaGlobal Times 25 Nov 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently sent three Type 071 amphibious dock landing ships, and multiple Type 022 stealth missile boats to two exercises in the South China Sea, sending a strong message of deterrence to Taiwan secessionists and forces with ulterior motives, analysts said on Tuesday.
US must withdraw forces from Syria unconditionally, Iran tells UNSCPress TV 25 Nov 2020 -- The US is plundering the Syrian nation's wealth and oil resources while supporting terrorist groups in the Arab country, a senior Iranian diplomat told the UN Security Council, calling for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of American troops from Syria.
Syrians Face Growing Hunger as Winter ApproachesVOA 25 Nov 2020 -- Mired in conflict and a debilitating economic crisis, more than 9.3 million Syrians are at increased risk of hunger this winter, with the price of subsidized bread doubling in the past month and humanitarian access drastically reduced.
UK response to settlements in Har HomaUK FCDO 25 Nov 2020 -- The UK is deeply concerned by the Government of Israel's decision to advance the construction of 540 new buildings in the existing settlement of Har Homa, in southern Jerusalem.
UN report finds Gaza suffered $16.7 billion loss from siege and occupationUN News 25 Nov 2020 -- Israel's military operations and prolonged closure of Gaza, has caused economic damage of $16.7 billion between 2007 and 2018, driving the poverty rate up almost fourfold compared to what it might have otherwise been, the UN trade and development agency UNCTAD said in a report published on Wednesday.
Israeli Army Says Held Drills Near Border With Gaza StripSputnik 25 Nov 2020 -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that they held a military exercise near the border with the Gaza Strip involving the Gaza Division, as well as units of the Air and Space Force, Navy, Cyber Defense and intelligence.
Ethiopia's Leaders Rebuff Foreign Appeals for Diplomatic Solution in TigrayVOA 25 Nov 2020 -- Ethiopia's prime minister has rejected calls for dialogue to end an internal conflict that has already killed hundreds and displaced more than 40,000 people in the key U.S. ally in East Africa — a stance that has alarmed diplomats from Addis Ababa to Washington about the potential for escalating conflict.
Ethiopia Rejects International Interference in Tigray ConflictVOA 25 Nov 2020 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stressed his country's sovereignty and "right to uphold and enforce its laws within its territories" as he asked the international community to not get involved in its weeks-long conflict in the Tigray region.
Chaos, Secrecy In Azerbaijan As Families Seek News Of Missing SoldiersRFE/RL 25 Nov 2020 -- Two weeks after a Moscow-brokered truce and with returnees and evacuees still flowing to and from Nagorno-Karabakh - the center of an abruptly "unfrozen" conflict two months ago - the anguished families of missing Azerbaijani soldiers are scrambling for news of their loved ones.
Chinese President Xi Jinping Congratulates Biden On Becoming US President-ElectSputnik 25 Nov 2020 -- Under the Trump administration, US-China relations have been locked in political and trade disputes. Over the last four years, the US has put protectionist tariffs on Chinese imports, pledged to develop relations with Taiwan and challenged the Chinese Communist Party in the wake of the protests in Hong Kong.
China formally acknowledges Biden win, marks possible return of new major power relationsGlobal Times 25 Nov 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday congratulated Joe Biden on his win in the US presidential election in what analysts call a well-timed, goodwill message, after China had adopted a cautious approach toward the highly disputed election results. This is believed to mark the likely return of a new major relationship between the two powers, following a tense period that saw bilateral ties in a downward spiral.
Restoring constitutional order, 'political system from chaos' is priority: LamGlobal Times 25 Nov 2020 -- In her 2020 annual policy address, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam stressed the need to restore Hong Kong's constitutional order and restore the political system from chaos, and proposed measures to improve the oath-taking process for civil servants and strengthen legal education for young people.
Carrie Lam Targets Hong Kong's Youth With Changes to Education, Job SchemeRadio Free Asia 25 Nov 2020 -- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam set out an array of policies on Wednesday targeting the city's youth, including sweeping changes to the teaching of a critical thinking program in high schools, which has been blamed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for fueling waves of youth-led political movements in recent years.
Beijing confirms jail sentence for Taiwanese professorCNA 25 Nov 2020 -- A retired university professor who was arrested shortly after visiting China in August 2018 has been sentenced to four years in prison on national security charges, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) said Wednesday.
JCPOA not to be renegotiated: OfficialIRNA 25 Nov 2020 -- Head of Iran's Presidential Office Mahmoud Vaezi said on Wednesday that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has already been negotiated and now has reached a framework that has gone through the necessary processes both in Iran and other countries.
Iran's natural gas production tops 900 mcm per day: NIGC chiefPress TV 25 Nov 2020 -- Iran's production of natural gas has reached 900 million cubic meters (mcm) per day, according to latest government figures, as the country moves ahead with plans to build out its massive energy sector despite US sanctions imposed by the United States.
Groups Urge Elections in Myanmar Conflict Zones That Missed Nov. 8 VotingRadio Free Asia 25 Nov 2020 -- Myanmar should hold make-up elections in areas where voting was cancelled this month due to armed conflicts and other security threats, including in Rakhine state, which has seen a halt in fighting since general elections, rights groups and residents said Wednesday.
Thai Protesters Direct Ire at King's Massive WealthVOA 25 Nov 2020 -- Pro-democracy activists demanded public oversight of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn's vast wealth during a protest Wednesday outside the headquarters of a major bank in which he is the largest shareholder. The demonstration amounted to a show of defiance after police summoned a dozen protest leaders over alleged royal defamation.