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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 held northern Syria. Turkey has threatened to invade northern Syria if the US did not establish safe zones along the border that prevent the US-backed Kurdish militia from being within several miles of the border. [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 disagreement with the Houthi over who countoled 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 say the strikes killed Chadian militants. [Link]