IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Aug 30, 2019

The 14,000 U.S. military personnel currently in Afghanistan would be reduced to 8,600 who would remain there for the foreseeable future, according to President Donald Trump. He says what happens then depends on the outcome of talks with Taliban leaders.

Aug 30, 2019

Japan's defence department has submitted a 2020-2021 budget proposal for record spending equivalent to some $67 billion. If approved by cabinet, it would be the country’s eighth consecutive annual increase.

Aug 30, 2019

U.S. Space Command has officially been stood up with 287 personnel drawn mainly from Strategic Command. President Donald Trump said after an official signing ceremony that the initiative “recognizes the centrality of space to America’s national security and defense.”

Aug 29, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has been asked by Cuba to help end U.S. sanctions on Venezuela. Cuba has been an ally of President Nicolas Maduro who is being urged by Canada and other countries to step down.

Aug 29, 2019

A week after his nationalist-dominated government collapsed, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has agreed to a new coalition, promising a “more united, inclusive” Italy, which is a member of NATO, the G7 and the European Union He promises to play a leading role in European affairs.

Aug 29, 2019

Citing family reasons, Ruth Davidson has quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives after eight years. She had been an outspoken critic of Boris Johnson’s handling of the British government’s Brexit agenda long before the Conservative MP became Prime Minister and there is speculation about her long-term political potential.

Aug 29, 2019

The overnight arrival of fresh Chinese military forces at the Hong Kong garrison is sparking widespread concern among democracy advocates in the former British colony. China insists that it is a routine activity designed to safeguard national sovereignty and security.

Aug 29, 2019

Russia has mapped five new islands in the Arctic which were discovered three years ago by a student using satellite imagery to analyze glacial retreat. The student, Marina Migunova, is now a naval oceanographic engineer in the Northern Fleet.

Aug 29, 2019

Gen. Joseph Dunfod, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says it’s too early to talk about a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Any agreement would depend on the evolving security situation.

Aug 29, 2019

The latest Angus Reid Institute national poll indicates that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s violation of ethics rules in his handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair hasn’t had much impact among potential voters. It evidently isn’t impeding the Liberals’ rebound in support in the run-up to October’s election.

Aug 29, 2019

The U.S. says it would consider Turkey rejoining the F-35 program if it gets rid of a recently-acquired Russian air defence system. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper broached the possibility during a press conference.

Aug 29, 2019

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer has sailed within 12 nautical miles of two Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea. The region is a flashpoint in the two countries’ relationship.

Aug 28, 2019

A part-time combat engineer ejected from the Canadian Forces Reserves in Winnipeg over allegations of involvement in white supremacy groups is reported missing after his termination by the Department of National Defence. He had turned in his uniforms and equipment and was never issued any weapons.

Aug 28, 2019

U.S. officials say a critical database used by Iran’s paramilitary to plot attacks against oil tankers and degraded Tehran’s ability to covertly target shipping traffic in the Persian Gulf was taken out this summer. Iran evidently is still trying to recover information destroyed in the attack and restart some of the systems taken offline, including military communications.

Aug 28, 2019

The militant Islamist group Hamas has been arresting suspected jihadist activists in Gaza after suicide bomb attacks on police posts which resulted in the deaths of three officers. Gaza's interior ministry declared a state of emergency after the bombings.

Aug 28, 2019

President Donald Trump is said to be upsetting U.S. norms by promoting his Miami golf resort as the venue for the next G7 and by continuing to advocate for Russia’s return to the economic summit despite its continued occupation of part of Ukraine.

Aug 28, 2019

A U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane designed and developed by Boeing has completed 718 days in orbit, the longest mission so far for the secretive program. Fifth in a series, it will remain in orbit for the foreseeable future, returning to Earth only after its mission is complete.

Aug 28, 2019

SpaceX has conducted a successful second run of its Starhopper testbed as part of a program to develop a methane-fuelled engine which it says will power its next-generation Starship and Superheavy rockets.

Aug 28, 2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked The Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September. Johnson says a speech from the throne would outline his “very exciting” agenda only a few weeks before the Oct. 31 withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow calls it a “constitutional outrage.”

Aug 28, 2019

A Russian news agency reports that Turkey is considering acquiring Sukhoi Su-57 and Su-35 fighters. The U.S. began removing Turkey from its list of customers for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter after the turkish government acquired Russian missile technology.

Aug 28, 2019

Former Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose is at odds with her successor, Andrew Scheer, over his claim that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had been outwitted in trade negotiations by U.S. President Donald Trump. While acknowledging that Trudeau had made concessions in negotiations about a new North American trade pact, Ambrose says he also had made important gains.

Aug 28, 2019

An all-female platoon of Jordanian troops trained by the Canadian Army could be ready for action. Master Warrant Officer Lisa Kachanowski, who has been working with the Jordanians, says deployment as part of a massive annual exercise is a key indicator of their readiness.

Aug 28, 2019

Public Service and Procurement Canada has amended its shipbuilding requirements in what’s being described as an attempt to add a third yard to the government’s list of approved yards. The correction of an “inconsistency” reportedly is in response to complaints about bias in favour of Chantier Davie in Quebec.

Aug 28, 2019

A Reserves Master Corporal has been let go from the 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg over his alleged links to a white supremacy group. The Department of National Defence says he would “no longer be a participant in military activities in any form” because of “the seriousness of the allegations and the risk to unit morale.”

Aug 27, 2019

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has met other British opposition party leaders to discuss how to avert a “no deal” exit from the European Union. “All tactics available” were on the table to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan but Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly says Corbyn offers “chaos, delay and uncertainty.”

Aug 27, 2019

Michael Fuchs, a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, says the G7 Summit planned for the U.S. next year, in a Florida resort owned by President Donald Trump, should be cancelled. Now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, he says Trump’s goals are antithetical to those of the six other G7 nations.

Aug 27, 2019

The Chinese government says it is unaware of any trade-focused calls from the U.S. after President Donald Trump said the two countries will resume talks “very shortly.” Trump said China had called to invite the U.S. back to the negotiating table after he announced further tariffs on Chinese imports.

Aug 27, 2019

President Hassan Rouhani wants U.S. sactions gone as a precursor to any renewed negotiations about Iran’s nuclear and missiles programs. “Without this step, this . . . not be unlocked,” Rouhani said a day after President Donald Trump said he was open to a meeting under appropriate circumstances.

Aug 27, 2019

Writer Yang Hengjun, a Chinese-Australian, has been formally arrested on espionage charges in China. He has been held in Beijing since January.

Aug 27, 2019

The 2015 convictions of two men sentenced to life over an alleged terrorist plot against a Toronto-bound passenger train are entitled to a new trial, according to an Ontario judge. One of the men arrested by the RCMP in 2013 was successful in arguing that the trial judge erred in how jurors were selected.

Aug 27, 2019

Canada’s military reserve units will see $250 million in repairs and upgrades to their armouries and training facilities over the next five years, changes Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says are long overdue. Sajjan announced the funding last Thursday at Artillery Park, a reserve facility in downtown Halifax.

 

Aug 26, 2019

China is “seriously making” preparations for relations with the U.S. to deteriorate further, according to Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party. He was responding to a suggestion by President Donald Trump that he might be regretting higher tariffs on imports from China, a suggestion the White House said was more that the tariffs weren’t higher.

Aug 26, 2019

The Russian Su-70 Okhotnik-B (Hunter) unmanned combat aerial vehicle, developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, had its maiden three weeks ago. Details, released by the Tass news agency suggest it is not as stealth-oriented as western UCAVs.

Aug 26, 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Defense Defense Research and Development Directorate has given a glimpse into its Carmel technology demonstration program for future combat vehicle. Three industry groups were invited to provide technology demonstrators.

Aug 26, 2019

Israel’s weekend drone attack on a Beirut suburn has prompted Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to threat retaliation against Israel forces along the border with Lebanon. “We are in a new stage,” he said in a televised speech, adding that the attack was a “very dangerous development.”

Aug 26, 2019

The Turkish state-owned Anadolu news agency quotes Defence Minister Hulusi Akar as expecting to take delivery of a second battery of the Russian S-400 missile system Aug. 27. Initial parts of the system, which the U.S. decries as incompatible with NATO hardware, were delivered in July.

Aug 26, 2019

The Israeli exoatmospheric ballistic missile interceptor, Arrow-3, successfully intercepted three medium-range missile targets over the North Pacific Ocean. The interceptors were launched from Alaska under a joint Israeli-U.S. program.

Aug 23, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada will not agree to Russia joining the G7 group until it gets out of Ukraine. President Donald Trump has mooted the idea but Freeland made Canada’s position clear during a visit to Ottawa by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Aug 23, 2019

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has announced that the Royal Canadian Air Force fleet of CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopters is to be upgraded and expanded. Leonardo SpA is partnering with IMP Aerospace and CAE.

Aug 23, 2019

South Korea has given notice that it intends to quit an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, a move rooted in historical animosity and an ongoing trade war. The decision is seen as a setback for the U.S. military presence in South Korea. 

Aug 23, 2019

Questions are looming large about how U.S. President Donald Trump will behave at this weekend’s G7 Summit on Biarritz, France. Speculation is based on, among other things, his abrupt early departure from last year’s summit in Canada.

Aug 23, 2019

Military veterans, especially those who had been deployed overseas, are at greater risk of mental health problems, according to Rand Corp. research. The California-based think-tank warns of long-lasting consequences if the problems are not addressed.

Aug 23, 2019

The Rand Corp. has released an analysis of how a new generation of jihadists might emerge from the ongoing political upheavals in the Middle East. The researchers assessed how to counter what is seen as a more technology-wise threat.

Aug 23, 2019

Widespread forest fires in Brazil’s Amazon basin is an international crisis which should be an issue at the G-7 Summit in France, say French President Emmanual Macron and German Chancellor Angela. Brazilian President Jair counters that the other leaders’ stance evokes a “colonial mindset.”

Aug 23, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denies that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, detained in Vancouver pending an extradition hearing, is a bargaining chip in his country's trade spat with China. President Donald Trump said last December that he would intervene in Meng's case if it helped with trade talks.

Aug 23, 2019

Canada has banned official travel by local employees of its Hong Kong consulate after a British consulate staffer was detained by China. The consulate doesn’t link the two developments.

Aug 22, 2019

The Department of Defense has terminated a Boeing-led Redesigned Kill Vehicle project after a “strategic pause” to reconsider options. “Technical design problems” are given as the reason for the cancellation of the ground-based exoatmospheric missile system. 

Aug 22, 2019

An Iranian tanker recently detained in Gibraltar on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria but subsequently released despite U.S. intervention, is being refused entry to a Greek port of call. Deputy foreign minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis says his country is “not willing to facilitate the course of this ship” to Syria.

Aug 22, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo evidently is trying to quell a public fuss over President Donald Trump’s postponement of an official visit to Denmark after its prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, dismissed as “absurd” the President’s mooted purchase of Greenland. Trump responded by calling her “nasty.” In a phone call with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Pompeo “expressed appreciation for Denmark’s cooperation” as an ally, and the Danish politician characterized their chat as “frank, friendly and constructive.”

Aug 22, 2019

India’s defence minister, Rajnath Singh, is suggesting that his country could re-evaluate its “no first use of nuclear weapons” as Indian and Pakistan square off over the divided Kashmir region which abuts their northern borders. Singh says that while India had “strictly adhered” to the doctrine, “what happens in future depends on the circumstances.”

Aug 22, 2019

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries has posted a link to the slide decks and speaking points from its Future Fighter Capability Project online presentation Aug. 15.

Aug 21, 2019

Two years ago, the Communist Party of China set 2030 as the deadline for catching up with the U.S. in the artificial intelligence field by 2030. Next year marks a milestone for making significant gains in fundamental research and becoming a favoured destination for new talent, potentially at the expense of the U.S.

Aug 21, 2019

Iran says the U.S. should not to try to seize an Iranian tanker which recently was released by the Gibraltar government. Tehran says any further action would have “heavy consequences."

Aug 21, 2019

Organizational and management issues in the Department of Defense are hampering internal collaboration efforts, according to a Government Accountability Office study. Congress has called on the Pentagon to address the issue but the GAO says the DoD is 21 months behind its target dates.

Aug 21, 2019

Iranian preparations for what it says is an imminent satellite launch are being described by the U.S. as key to Iran’s development of ballistic missile capabilities. Satellite images of the Imam Khomeini Space Center in show increased activity at the site.

Aug 21, 2019

As the U.S. and the Taliban seem closer to a peace agreement which would withdraw NATO forces from Afghanistan, a report cautions that warlords are “dangerously poised” for a new civil war. The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War says that would be like the one which ensued after the Soviet Union pulled out in 1989.

Aug 21, 2019

The Department of Defense plans to stand up the U.S. Space Command Aug. 29. Confirmed by Gen. Joe Dunford, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it will be the first combatant command to be fully stood up since Africa Command was created in 2009.

Aug 21, 2019

Even as the U.S. administration promises to withdraw 14,000 troops from Afghanistan, President Donald Trump says intelligence assets will remain. “We’ll always have someone there,” he said, calling Afghanistan “the Harvard University of terrorism.”

Aug 21, 2019

U.S. companies involved in the sale of F-16 Viper fighters to Taiwan are being threatened with sanctions. A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the US$8 billion sale of 66 aircraft should be stopped.

Aug 21, 2019

The U.S. administration has formally cleared the potential sale of F-16 Viper fighters to Taiwan. Posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency website, the notice of the US$8 billion sale of 66 aircraft by Lockheed Martin requires congressional approval but there has been broad bipartisan support.

Aug 21, 2019

Commenting on calls by some Democrats for sanctions against Israel for its continued occupation and development of West Bank territories, President Donald Trump says Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats display “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Aug 21, 2019

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela says he has been talking with the U.S. for months even as Washington ramps up economic sanctions against the embattled Maduro, whose leadership is considered illegitimate by more than 50 countries, including Canada.

Aug 21, 2019

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou, the senior Huawei executive detained pending a legal decision on whether she should be deported to the U.S., says she was the target of a “covert criminal investigation.” The allegation is detailed in B.C. court documents.

Aug 21, 2019

A trade and investment officer at the British consulate in Hong Kong is being detained in neighbouring Shenzhen, the Chinese foreign ministry confirms. Simon Cheng was detained during a regular cross-border visit for allegedly violating a law which covers offences not considered criminal.

Aug 21, 2019

Twitter has taken down a network of nearly 1,000 accounts the social media company says are tied to the Chinese government. Many tweets had criticized pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Aug 21, 2019

The U.S. says Russia should be reinstated into the main Economic Summit group of nations, which also includes Canada as well as Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. “It's much more appropriate to have Russia in,” President Donald Trump said at the White House ahead of the Aug. 24-26 G7 summit in France. “If somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favourably.”

Aug 21, 2019

Analysis of medical visits and prescriptions indicates that when a military parent is injured, their children often require psychological help, including medication. Details are set out in the latest edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Aug 21, 2019

The rural Manitoba residence of a Canadian Armed Forces reservist has been raided by the RCMP in response to allegations that he had been recruiting for a neo-Nazi organization. No charges have been laid against the member of 38 Canadian Brigade Group.

Aug 20, 2019

China says Canada should “stop meddling” in Hong Kong affairs, namely a recent spate of sometimes violent protests by residents of the former British colony. In a note posted to its embassy’s website, China was reacting to a statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her European Union counterpart, Federica Mogherini, that “the right of peaceful assembly ... must continue to be upheld.”

Aug 20, 2019

Supported by Russian forces, the Syrian military has forced its jihadi opponents out of Khan Sheikhoun, in the heart of rebel-held Idlib province. However, the main militant group calls its withdrawal a “redeployment.”

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