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Defence News

Climate change clouds Australia's Pacific charm offensive

Wellington - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Pacific charm offensive went off course on Friday when he was forced to defend Fiji's accusations of inaction over climate change.

Brothers in arms: S. Korea debates military service exemptions

Nonsan - Despite generating almost $4 billion a year for the South Korean economy, the seven floppy-haired members of K-pop boyband BTS will still have to perform nearly two years of mind-numbing military service.

Crashed French Air Force fighter found in mountains

Strasbourg - Search and rescue teams Wednesday found the wreckage of a French Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter which crashed in a mountainous region of eastern France, but the fate of its two-man crew was unknown.

Netanyahu says Israel ready to thwart election cyber meddling

Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that his country led the world in cyber defence, after a report that an unnamed nation planned to meddle in its upcoming general election.

Eyeing China, US to hold missile drill in Japan's Okinawa: report

Apo - The US military will this year conduct its first ever missile drill around the Japanese island of Okinawa, according to a report Thursday, as Washington seeks to counter an increasingly assertive China.

Kim warns N. Korea could consider change of tack

Seoul - Nuclear-armed North Korea wants good relations with the US but could consider a change of approach if Washington maintains its sanctions, leader Kim Jong Un warned in his New Year speech Tuesday after 12 months of diplomatic rapprochement.

Russia, Turkey to coordinate on Syria after US pullout

Moscow - Russia and Turkey on Saturday agreed to coordinate ground operations in Syria after the shock announcement of a US military withdrawal, Moscow's top diplomat said.

Belgium reviews smartphone use by troops to counter spying: media

Apo - Belgium's defense ministry is reviewing restrictions on the use of smartphones by active-duty soldiers on operations to counter potential espionage and data tracking especially by Russia, local media reported on Saturday.

Russia touts hypersonic missile speed

Moscow - Russia touted Thursday a new hypersonic missile said to hit speeds of more than 30,000 kilometres per hour, amid heightened tension with the US over arms control.

German military looks to recruit in other EU nations

Berlin - Germany's military chief said Thursday he was considering recruiting in other EU nations to target specialists like IT professionals and medical doctors.

Russia says will build up Arctic military presence

Moscow - Russia will build up its military presence in the Arctic over the next year, the defence minister said Tuesday, as Moscow seeks to assert its influence in the strategic region.

Japan to get first post-WWII aircraft carriers

Apo - Japan will get its first aircraft carriers since World War II and buy dozens of fighter jets under a new defence plan approved Tuesday that is intended to counter China's growing military power.

US urges Bosnia to stay on NATO path

Sarajevo - A senior US diplomat on Monday urged Bosnia to stay on the path to join NATO, a process one of its three newly-elected presidents is threatening to sabotage.

Kosovo says army 'irreversible' ahead of UN meeting

Pristina - Kosovo's president said the country's decision to build an army was "irreversible" before heading to a UN Security Council meeting on Monday about the move, which has drawn the ire of former war foe Serbia.

Dutch to boost defence spending for more F-35 jets

Den Haag - The Netherlands pledged Friday to boost its defence spending in the coming year to buy more F-35 fighter jets and strengthen its special forces and cyber capabilities, officials said.

Indian court backs Modi over French jet deal

New Delhi - India's top court dismissed Friday calls for an investigation into a French military jet deal that was threatening to damage Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of elections next year.

Dead stag installed at former US base in South Korea

Paju - A stuffed deer stands in a former US ammunition store just outside the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas, tree branches spreading up from its antlers towards the roof.

Kosovo votes to create its own army, enraging Serbia

Pristina - Kosovo on Friday passed laws to build an army, asserting its statehood in a US-backed move that prompted outrage in Serbia, which does not recognise its former province's independence.

NATO-led troops on the move in northern Kosovo

Kosovska Mitrovica - Kosovo's NATO-led peacekeepers moved troops through the Serb-dominated north on Thursday, an AFP correspondent reported, amid high tensions with Belgrade on the eve of a parliament vote to create a Kosovo army.

Venezuela-Russia wargames an 'alert' for region: Colombia

Apo - Venezuela's joint military exercises with Russia should put the entire South American continent on alert against an "unfriendly act", Colombia's President Ivan Duque warned Wednesday.

Germany opens negligent homicide probe in Mali Airbus chopper crash

Berlin - German prosecutors said Wednesday they had opened a probe against three individuals for negligent homicide in the 2017 crash of a German military helicopter in a UN operation in Mali.

Slovakia seals its largest-ever arms deal

Bratislava - Slovakia will purchase 14 US-made F-16 war planes in the NATO member's largest-ever military purchase, the prime minister said Wednesday, dropping his earlier objection to the deal.

US backs Kosovo's plan to create an army

Pristina - Washington supports Kosovo's plans to create its own army, the US ambassador to Pristina said Thursday, signalling a rift with NATO, which is against the move.

British middleman held in India over chopper deal

New Delhi - The alleged British middleman in a dicey helicopter deal between India and an Anglo-Italian firm was remanded in custody on Wednesday after being extradited by the UAE, authorities said.

Pompeo defends US policy, slams China, Russia and Iran

Apo - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mounted a staunch defence of US foreign policy on Tuesday, arguing that Washington is building a world order to fight cynical abuses by Russia, China and Iran.

Slovak government clashes over largest-ever arms purchase

Bratislava - Slovakia's prime minister clashed with the defence ministry on Friday over a deal to acquire US-made F-16 war planes in what is slated as the NATO member's biggest military purchase.

NATO exercises cyber defences as threat grows

Tartumaa - In a nondescript brick building on the snowy edge of Estonia's second city Tartu, soldiers in camouflage tap silently at computers. They are troops manning the 21st century's front line.

Israel finalises sale of Uzi-maker IMI Systems

Jerusalem - Israel has finalised the sale of state-owned IMI Systems, maker of the Uzi submachine gun, to defence firm Elbit Systems for some $495 million, Elbit said Sunday.

Russian FM mocks British army chief over IS comparison

Lisbon - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday mocked the "intellectual capacities" of Britain's army chief for calling Russia a bigger threat than the Islamic State group.

Russia's Rostec doing brisk arms trades despite sanctions

Moscow - Arms giant Rostec is seeing strong demand for its advanced anti-missile systems despite international sanctions against the Russian defence sector, chief executive Sergei Chemezov told AFP in an interview.
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US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins

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