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The Wars Rage On During Christmas

Kyle covers news from around the world

On FPF #434, I update the most important news of the last week.

I discuss Kim’s upcoming end of year deadline and what could happen if the US fails to engage North Korea in meaningful talks.

Trump signed the 2020 NDAA this week. The bill will sanction European energy projects like the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

In Libya, regional powers continue to escalate the civil war.

Links

  • Senator Rand Paul airs his Festivus grievances. Including the US spending $22 million on Serbian cheese and $700,000 on smoking fish. [Link]
  • Trump signs the 2020 NDAA. [Link]
  • A judge’s ruling will allow the US government to seize the money Snowden has made from his book. [Link]
  • Daniel Larison explains the Trump travel ban continues to ruin peoples’ lives. [Link]
  • ICE is using contractors to detect and arrest illegal immigrants on social media. [Link]
  • At least 61 soldiers stationed at a base in Uzbekistan in the early days of the Afghanistan War are suffering or have died from cancer. The vets are struggling to get care from the VA. [Link] 
  • Russia extends American Paul Wheelen’s detention another three months. Wheelen is accused of espionage by Russia. [Link]
  • Russia and Ukraine come to an agreement on the amount Ukraine will change Russia to transit gas through Ukraine to the rest of Europe. [Link]
  • Russia officially opens a rail route from Russia’s two largest cities to Crimea. [Link]
  • Russia’s foreign minister says the Nord Stream 2 and Turkstream pipeline will be completed despite US sanctions. [Link]
  • Russia says it is willing to include its new hypersonic nuclear missiles in a renewal of New Start. [Link]
  • The US and South Korea carry out military drills simulating capturing high value North Korean targets. [Link]
  • The Indian government will conduct a census in 2020. [Link]
  • At least 13 people have been killed during protests in India. Muslims are protesting a law that discriminates against Muslims by granting citizenship to non-Muslims who live in India. [Link]
  • The Taliban kill 15 Afghan government forces in an attack. [Link]
  • The Independent Election Commission claims that Afghanistan’s President Ghani won with just over 50% of the vote in the September 28th election. The result is only a preliminary and contested by the second-place finisher. [Link]
  • Afghan officials say a runoff in September elections is likely. Preliminary results show Afghanistan’s president won reelection with a narrow majority. Thousands of election complaints have already been filed, that will dip his vote total below 50%. [Link]
  • Taliban elders agree to a short term ceasefire that will take effect once a deal with the US has been finalized. [Link]
  • The Taliban kill a US soldier in northern Afghanistan. [Link]
  • Iran reopens part of its AROK nuclear reactor in compliance with the JCPOA. [Link]
  • Iran, Malaysia, Tukrey, and Qatar agree to trade more and discuss the possibility of trading in gold. [Link]
  • The bomb sniffing dogs the US sends for foreign countries are subject to mistreatment, leading to death. Ten percent of the dogs sent to Jordan died and ten dogs sent to Egypt died. [Link]
  • As Assad’s forces advance on the last major al-Qaeda holdout in Syria, 10,000s of Syrians are fleeing into Turkey. [Link]
  • The opposition in Syria fired rockets at Syria’s oil refinery in Homs, causing minor damage. [Link]
  • Twitter permanently suspends 10,000s of accounts associated with a Saudi man accused by the US of spying. [Link]
  • Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to long prison sentences for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The court ruled it was not a premeditated decision. A top adviser to de facto ruler MbS was not among the punished. Evidence suggests MbS was involved in the planning of the murder. [Link]
  • Iraq’s parliament passed a new election law. Under the new law, voters can choose individual members of parliament. Previously, Iraqis could only choose off party lists. [Link]
  • Two Iraqi soldiers were killed by a car bomb. [Link]
  • Warring parties in Yemen exchange 135 POWs. [Link]
  • Twelve aid agencies withdrew from a Yemeni town after their offices came under attack by unknown militants. [Link]
  • A car bomb kills seven civilians in Somalia. [Link]
  • Haftar’s forces seize a ship with a Turkish crew off of Libya’s coast. [Link]
  • Haftar’s government claims that Turkey is moving military equipment into Libya with civilian aircraft. It warned it could shoot down civilian plans with military equipment. [Link]
  • Turkey’s parliament recognizes an agreement with Libya’s UN-backed government that allows Turkey to deploy forces to Libya. [Link]
  • Israel announces its opposition to Turkey and Libya’s eastern Mediterranean agreement. [Link]
  • The US will create an Envoy to Combat Terrorism in Sahel region of Africa. The envoy will coordinate with the intelligence community, State Department, and Pentagon to ramp up the fight against Islamist groups in the Sahel. [Link]
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