News Roundup 12/16/19

US News

  • The US is withholding crucial evidence in the Assange case from his defense team. [Link]
  • Peter Thiel’s Palantir gets a $111 million contract to provide software to the Army. [Link]
  • The 2020 NDAA includes a requirement of Trump to sanction the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The bill also gives $300 million in military assistance to Ukraine in 2020. $100 million will be lethal aid. This will include Javalin anti-tank missiles and possibly anti-ship missiles. [Link]
  • Twenty million dollars of the $20 million in military aid allotted to Ukraine in the 2019 budget has not yet been spent. [Link]
  • Five sources say Erik Prince traveled to Venezuela to meet with officials close to Maduro. [Link]

OPCW

  • Wikileaks publishes more evidence that that OPCW lied in their report on Douma in an attempt to blame Assad for a gas attack. [Link]

Russia

  • The Senate confirms John Sullivan as ambassador to Russia. [Link]
  • The EU extends sanctions on Russia for another six months. [Link]

North Korea

  • North Korea says it carried out another test at its satellite site. [Link] 
  • The US Envoy to North Korea makes it clear that the US is not taking Kim Jong-un’s end of year deadline seriously. The envoy also said Kim needs to reach out to restart talks. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • The US says it is taking a brief pause in talks with the Taliban because of the Taliban’s attack on the Bagram base. [Link]
  • During the attack on the Bagram base, the Taliban entered a nearby hospital. The US bombed the hospital, saying they had no other choice. [Link]
  • Trump is expected to announce a 4,000 troop level reduction in Afghanistan. [Link]
  • A Taliban insider attack kills 25 Afghan government soldiers. [Link]

Turkey 

  • The Senate passes a resolution recognizing the Armenia genocide. [Link]
  • Turkey threatens to close the Incirlik Airbase over US threats of sanctions and position on the Armenian genocide. The airbase houses US nukes. [Link]
  • Turkey and Libya more forward with a military agreement for Turkey to provide support for the UN-backed government in Libya. The Turkish parliament must approve the agreement that could include sending Turkish troops to Libya. [Link]
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