News Roundup 8/6/19

Venezuela

  • Trump suggests the US may blockade Venezuela. [Link]
  • Trump signs an executive order freezing all Venezuelan assets. Some analysts believe this will allow the US to sanction anyone who does business with Venezuela. [Link]

Korean Peace

  • North Korea says planned US and South Korean joint military drills violate the agreement between the US and North Korea. [Link]
  • South Korea reports North Korea tested two missiles. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Afghan security forces are at their lowest level since 2015. The on-the-books number of soldiers dropped by 10,000s after a biometric system began to be used to pay soldiers. ‘Ghost soldiers’ have been a rampant problem for the Afghan military. [Link]
  • The NATO Secretary-General says we are closer to peace in Afghanistan than ever before. [Link]
  • US and Taliban officials say they are nearing a peace agreement to end the war. One of the last issues to be worked out is the withdrawal of US troops. US officials are pushing for a conditions-based withdraw, and the Taliban want the withdrawal to be on a timeline. [Link]

Middle East

  • Iran says it will reduce its commitments to the JCPOA in one month if European countries do not come into compliance with the nuclear safeguards agreement. [Link]
  • The UK will join a US maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf. [Link]
  • Turkey’s president says Turkey will invade Kurdish/US held northern Syria. Turkey has threatened to invade northern Syria several times unless the US established safe zones along the border that prevents the US-backed Kurdish militia from being within several miles of Turkey. [Link]
  • The Syrian Army resumes airstrikes on al-Qaeda linked rebels in Idlib. [Link]
  • The Houthi announce a deal has been made with the UN to restart aid to Yemenis. The UN World Food Program cut some aid going to Yemen over a disagreement with the Houthi over who controlled the data from the WFP’s biometric program. [Link]

Africa 

  • At least 20 people were killed when a car packed with explosives detonated outside of a hospital. Authorities believe the hospital was not the intended target. [Link]
  • Airstrikes by Haftar’s forces kill 43 people. Haftar’s army says the strikes killed Chadian militants. [Link]
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