News Roundup 1/17/20

by | Jan 17, 2020 | News Roundup

US News

  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has issued two memos this year reorienting the Pentagon towards great power competition with China and Russia. [Link]
  • The Air Force is looking to improve the Jan Mayen Airbase. The base is located in the Norwegian Sea between Norway and Greenland. The US will improve the runway so it capable of handling B-2 bombers. [Link]
  • A US official says Saudi Arabia has paid the US $500 million for US troops deployed in Saudi. Trump claims Saudi has already paid the US at least $1 billion. [Link]


  • In a move supported by the US, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque plans to expand coca eradication projects. [Link]


  • Putin delivers a speech laying out his proposition to change the Russian constitution in a national referendum. The changes include shifting more power to the Russian parliament. The Russian prime minister resigned to give Putin space to complete his proposed change. [Link]


  • A South Korean official says the country does not have to wait for the US to engage in inter-Korean talks. [Link]

Middle East

  • Iran is now enriching more uranium than before the Nuclear Deal was signed. [Link]
  • The US will allow a 90-day wind-down period before sanctions on Iran mining, textile, manufacturing, and construction industries take effect. [Link]
  • The Pentagon says 11 US soldiers were treated for concussions after Iran’s January 8th missiles strike on Iraqi bases hosting US soldiers [Link]
  • The Syrian government says Israel bombed its T4 base in Homs causing significant damage. Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks in Syria throughout the war. [Link]
  • The UN says about 350,000 have left the Idlib province of Syria since Russia and Syria restarted an offensive against the al-Qaeda affiliate group that controls the area. [Link]
  • The outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister says he will not push US troops to leave and will let the next government handle those questions. [Link]


  • The German Foreign Minister says the leader of the Libyan National Army, Haftar, has agreed to a ceasefire. [Link]
  • Germany will host a summit between the warring parties in Libya. Pompeo will attend the conference. [Link]
  • Egypt has released five employees of a Turkish news organization that operated in Cairo. Earlier in the week the offices were raided and the five employees were detained. [Link]
  • Islamist militants in Niger released three aid workers and other civilian hostages. [Link]

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