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World Monthly Headline News December 2019 Page 3

By Mustafa Salim and Liz Sly

Supporters of an Iranian-backed militia besieged the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes, breaking through the first layer of security at the embassy compound and damaging a reception area before being expelled by Iraqi security forces. Here’s what we know:

●The U.S. Defense Department is sending two Apache helicopters and a “small contingent” of Marines to reinforce security at the embassy.

●President Trump accused Iran of “orchestrating an attack” on the embassy, where protesters ransacked a reception area and set fires.

●Iraqi security forces later intervened and set up a barricade, but protesters threw gasoline bombs into the compound.

●The Kataib Hezbollah militia vowed to force the embassy to shut down, and protesters set up tents outside the gates as night fell.

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (CNN) When news arrived early Sunday that President Donald Trump had spoken to his Russian counterpart, it didn't come from the White House. Instead, word came from Moscow, where the Kremlin issued a brief statement saying Vladimir Putin had initiated a call to thank Trump for information provided by the United States that helped foil a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. It would be more than 24 hours before the White House officially confirmed the conversation in its own statement. The 63-word American description of the call largely echoed the Russian version, with the addition that the men discussed arms control.

"The Presidents also discussed the state of relations between the United States and Russia," the statement read. Neither side provided additional details about the information the US had provided. It's not the first time a foreign government, including the Kremlin, has gotten a jump on announcing a call with Trump. In his conversations with Putin, Trump has previously insisted upon unusual secrecy that obscured the content of their discussions even from those inside the administration -- including asking for his translator's notes back after a one-on-one meeting. Congressional investigators have tried without success to obtain more information about Trump's meeting with Putin, including going to court for records from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In December, a court ruled that the case could move forward, denying the Trump administration's request to dismiss it.

By Kareem Khadder, Arwa Damon and Angela Dewan, CNN

(CNN) Protesters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, scaling the walls and forcing the gates of the compound, as hundreds demonstrated against American airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq. Two sources at the demonstration witnessed the attempt to break into the premises -- the US' biggest embassy in the world -- adding that security personnel fired tear gas to repel the attack. Video footage shows demonstrators smashing windows, burning items outside and throwing rocks over the walls.

The pro-Iranian demonstrators were mostly from Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a coalition of predominantly Shiite militias. Three leaders of powerful militia groups were also seen at the protest, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who heads the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah, targeted by the American strikes on Sunday. The strikes and protests come at a time of high tensions between the US and Iran, and have stoked fears of a new proxy war in the Middle East.

By Henry Meyer and Jake Rudnitsky

A new hypersonic nuclear missile that Russia says it has deployed is fueling concerns of a new arms race with the U.S. as the clock ticks down on the expiry of the last treaty limiting the strategic arsenals of the two former Cold War foes. Russia’s first regiment of Avangard missiles was commissioned in the Urals region of Orenberg, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Dec. 27, days after President Vladimir Putin boasted that the new weapon could penetrate any defensive shield. “Not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons,” Putin told military chiefs. “They’re trying to catch up with us.”

“Just the presence of the American army on the territory of Ukraine, in my opinion, already scares the enemy — even without any other aid.”
By Mac William Bishop, Mariana Henninger and Oksana Parafeniuk

YAVORIV COMBAT TRAINING CENTER, Ukraine — This summer's delay in releasing nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine — allegations at the center of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump— may have been temporary, but the incident is not far from the minds of those training on a wintry base in the west of the country.

Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden has also exposed the cracks in the West’s response to an emboldened Russia, inflicted permanent damage on Ukraine and heightened the risk of Moscow extending its influence in the country, according to democracy advocates and military experts.

U.S. support, in particular, is seen as essential in keeping what is widely seen as a bully in the East at bay. “Just the presence of the American army on the territory of Ukraine, in my opinion, already scares the enemy — even without any other aid,” said Ukraine Ground Forces Sgt. Maj. Yevhen Mokhtan, who works in this multinational training facility in western Ukraine.

By Jack Guy, CNN

(CNN) Iran has warned the US of "consequences" after Washington carried out airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq.
The US has "openly shown its support to terrorism and shown its negligence to the independence and national sovereignty of countries," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mosavi , according to the state-run IRNA news agency. "It must accept responsibility of the consequences of the illegal attacks," added Mosavi.

At least 25 people were killed and 51 wounded in the airstrikes that targeted five facilities controlled by Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria on Sunday. Kataib Hezbollah is a militia group that falls under the Iran-backed Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq. The strikes represent the first significant US military response in retaliation for attacks by the militia group that have injured numerous American military personnel, according to US officials.
Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant and political group with links to Iran, also condemned the US airstrikes.

By Barbara Starr, Kevin Bohn and Ross Levitt, CNN

(CNN) US forces conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against five facilities the Pentagon says are tied to an Iranian-backed militia blamed for a series of attacks on joint US-Iraq military facilities housing American forces. The strikes occurred at about 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. They stand as the first significant military response in retaliation for attacks by the Shia militia group, known as Kataib Hezbollah, that have injured numerous American military personnel, according to US officials.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman described the strikes against the group as "precision defensive strikes" that "will degrade" the group's ability to conduct future attacks against coalition forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper briefed President Donald Trump Saturday before carrying them out with the President's approval, according to a US official familiar with the strikes.

At least 19 people were killed in the US airstrikes, according to a statement Sunday from the Popular Mobilization Units, a Tehran-backed Shiite militia also known as the Hashd al-Shaabi. Kataib Hezbollah is a group under the Popular Mobilization Units. Jewad Kadum, a PMU official, said in a statement earlier Sunday that the rescue operations were still ongoing as well as the evacuation of the wounded, recovery of the dead bodies and the extinguishing of the fire caused by the airstrikes.

Al Jazeera English

Russia says its new hypersonic weapon is a technological breakthrough on the scale of Sputnik - the first satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. The Avangard is launched on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile. But unlike a regular missile warhead it can sverve sharply, making it much harder to intercept. That's worrying the U.S. - that's also having to contend with China's development of hypersonic arms. Beijing displayed the Dong Feng 17 at a military parade in October. The U.S. defence secretary has said developing the technology is a priority. So will the Avangard, which Russia says can fly at 27 times the speed of sound, change the balance of power?

Russia's first regiment of Avangard hypersonic missiles has been put into service, the defence ministry says. The location was not given, although officials had earlier indicated they would be deployed in the Urals. President Vladimir Putin has said the nuclear-capable missiles can travel more than 20 times the speed of sound and put Russia ahead of other nations. They have a "glide system" that affords great manoeuvrability and could make them impossible to defend against.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed the "Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle entered service at 10:00 Moscow time on 27 December", calling it a "landmark event". Mr Putin said on Tuesday the Avangard system could penetrate current and future missile defence systems, adding: "Not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons." The West and other nations were "playing catch-up with us", he said.

Mr Putin unveiled the Avangard and other weapons systems in his annual state-of-the-nation address in March 2018, likening it to a "meteorite" and a "fireball". In December 2018, the weapon hit a practice target 6,000km (3,700 miles) away in a test launch at Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. "The Avangard is invulnerable to intercept by any existing and prospective missile defence means of the potential adversary," Mr Putin said after the test.

By Matthew S. Schwartz

More than 100 Gold Star families are suing several major defense contractors, alleging they made illegal "protection payments" to the Taliban — thereby funding the Taliban's insurgency efforts that killed or wounded thousands of Americans in Afghanistan.

It's illegal under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act to provide material support to the Taliban. The U.S. has warned defense contractors that protection payments are against the law, but according to the lawsuit, the practice has proliferated because defense contractors feel it's a cost of doing business.

"Defendants supported the Taliban for a simple reason: Defendants were all large Western companies with lucrative businesses in post-9/11 Afghanistan, and they all paid the Taliban to refrain from attacking their business interests," the complaint says. "Those protection payments aided and abetted terrorism by directly funding an al-Qaeda-backed Taliban insurgency that killed and injured thousands of Americans."

Following years of tests, first missile unit equipped with Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle enters combat duty.

Russia's defence minister reported to President Vladimir Putin that a new hypersonic weapon of intercontinental range became operational Friday following years of tests. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed Putin that the first missile unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle entered combat duty, the Defence Ministry said.

The military has said that the Avangard is capable of flying 27 times faster than the speed of sound. "I congratulate you on this landmark event for the military and the entire nation," Shoigu said during a conference call with top military officials. The Strategic Missile Forces chief, General Sergei Karakayev, said during the call that the Avangard was put on duty with a unit in the Orenburg region in the southern Ural Mountains.

Putin unveiled the Avangard among other prospective weapons systems in his state-of-the-nation address in March 2018, noting that its ability to make sharp manoeuvres on its way to a target will render missile defence useless. "It heads to target like a meteorite, like a fireball," he said then.

Netanyahu corruption charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed a "huge win" in a vote that challenged his leadership of the Likud party. Mr Netanyahu secured 72.5% as opposed to his rival Gideon Saar, who polled 27.5%. Mr Saar admitted defeat, saying he would now back Mr Netanyahu in a general election due in March.

The internal party vote was seen as a test of Mr Netanyahu's hold on power at a time of mounting difficulties. Mr Netanyahu, 70, faces trial on bribery and corruption charges, as well as a third national election within a year. Previous elections held in April and September saw Likud deadlocked with the centrist Blue and White party - with neither able to form a government.

By Nathan Hodge, CNN

Moscow (CNN) Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted Tuesday of his country's "unique" advances in hypersonic weaponry, saying other countries were "trying to catch up with us." Putin made the remarks at a Russian Defense Ministry board meeting, adding that "not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons," according to a transcript released by the Kremlin. Like Russia, both the US and China are also working on hypersonic projects. Beijing said earlier this year that it tested a hypersonic aircraft, while the US Air Force has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to develop a missile.

Court exonerates crown prince’s inner circle of involvement in murder of dissident journalist
By Bethan McKernan

Saudi Arabia has been accused of engaging in a mockery of justice by shielding the alleged masterminds of the killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after a court effectively exonerated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s inner circle of involvement in the murder. The gruesome killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 stunned Saudi Arabia’s western allies, plunging the kingdom into its worst diplomatic crisis since the 9/11 attacks.

Five of the 11 officially unidentified men on trial were sentenced to death and three more were handed a combined 24 years in prison, the deputy public prosecutor, Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. The investigation also concluded that Saud al-Qahtani, one of the crown prince’s most trusted advisers, was investigated and found to have no proven involvement in Khashoggi’s death, Shalaan added.

The findings contradict the conclusion of the CIA and other western intelligence agencies that Prince Mohammed directly ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, an allegation the kingdom has strenuously denied. Qahtani, along with 16 other Saudis, was sanctioned by the US last year for his alleged role in the killing.

By Barbara Starr and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

(CNN) North Korea has warned the United States it "will be made to pay dearly" for any criticism of the country's human rights record, North Korean state news agency said Saturday. The statement is just the latest in a slew of threats coming from North Korea. Earlier this month, a top North Korean official said the country will send a "Christmas gift" to the US, but what that present contains will depend on the outcome of ongoing talks between Washington and Pyongyang. A US administration official told CNN Friday that North Korea may be preparing to test engines and other components of its missile program, but senior military commanders said that the US is ready for "whatever" Pyongyang might do. On Saturday, the KCNA news agency said: "If the US dares to impair our system by taking issue over the 'human rights issue,' it will be made to pay dearly for such an act."

By Daniel Politi

Military and intelligence officials are nervously keeping close tabs on activity in North Korea as they prepare for what many experts believe will be a major missile test in the near future. That test could very well be of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach U.S. shores.
And for now, all officials are able to do is wait and hope for the best as they “appear resigned to the fact that President Trump has no good options to stop it,” reports the New York Times.

Pyongyang has promised to deliver a “Christmas gift” if there is no progress on easing up on sanctions. But any movement on that front seems nearly impossible at this stage considering talks with Washington have stalled and the North Korean regime is once again insulting Trump regularly. As tensions with North Korea increase, and especially if there is a test around the holidays, it would mark a huge blow to one of President Donald Trump’s major foreign policy initiatives. And it would happen right as he gears up for the presidential campaign. Some North Korea experts say Pyongyang may be watching the electoral calendar as well. There Is speculation that Kim could be using “Trump’s intense focus on his re-election next November as leverage to pressure him into lifting sanctions and striking a deal that favors Pyongyang,” notes Politico. The impeachment proceedings may also make Pyongyang feel that Trump is particularly vulnerable.

By Deirdre Shesgreen and David Jackson USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has not settled on a new North Korea strategy even though Kim Jong Un seems poised to abandon diplomatic talks, restart provocative weapons tests and deliver an unwanted "Christmas gift" to the United States.

While North Korea engages in a series of increasingly threatening actions, President Donald Trump and his top advisers say they are still committed to pursuing negotiations with Kim – hoping he will come around on the U.S. offer for sweeping sanctions relief in exchange for complete North Korean denuclearization. And two of Trump's top foreign policy appointees have recently emphasized the administration's willingness to be flexible in how, and how fast, to reach that end goal.

“We have offered any number of creative ways to proceed with feasible steps and flexibility in our negotiations to reach balanced agreements that meet the objectives of both sides,” Stephen Biegun, Trump's special representative for North Korea, said during a news conference in Seoul on Monday. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Biegun as the No. 2 at the State Department.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Over 267 million Facebook users have had their personal information exposed by another massive data breach. Security researcher Bob Diachenko reportedly made the disturbing find on Dec. 14. Diachenko and U.K. technology research firm Comparitech believe the unprotected database was left open on the dark web for nearly two weeks. During that time, the names, phone numbers, and Facebook user IDs were exposed in the latest embarrassing mishap for the social media giant.

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) A Chinese woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with trespassing on President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property, according to Palm Beach Police, in the second time this year that a Chinese national been arrested for intruding on the premises. Lu Jing, 56, allegedly trespassed on the Palm Beach resort and was asked to leave by security, Palm Beach Police spokesman Michael Ogrodnick said in a statement.

Lu returned to Mar-a-Lago and began to take photos when Palm Beach Police Department responded and arrested her, according to Ogrodnick. Lu made an initial court appearance Thursday morning and plead not guilty to all charges.During their investigation, authorities discovered Lu, a Chinese national, was in the US on an expired visa.

By Charlie Bradley

SOUTH CHINA SEA militarisation has led many in the region to fear conflict between China and the US, which might be why a fake news story about a supposed Chinese nuclear bomb test fooled many around the world, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. An extreme radio host in the US posted a fake news story on his website claiming that Beijing had exploded a nuclear bomb in the South China Sea region. The publisher attributed the article to "military sources", but a Pentagon spokesperson in the US called the story "silly fiction", and the website at the centre of the fake news story tweeted an apology saying the story "might not be credible".

The fake news culprit cited 'uRADMonitor Global Network for Environmental Monitoring', claiming that increased radiation pointed to the explosion. The story was retweeted 2000 times, reaching millions across the world. This included the Russian government, who even released a statement citing the exact same source as the original poster of the fake news story: the uRADMonitor Global Network for Environmental Monitoring.

Russian president raised the prospect of dropping clause restricting ”two consecutive terms” – though confusion remained as to what exactly he meant by it.  
By Oliver Carroll

Vladimir Putin has suggested a constitutional rule limiting the number of consecutive presidential terms may be scrapped – potentially paving a way to him staying on in post. But confusion remained about what exactly he meant by the comments, with others suggesting it was in fact a signal he would be leaving at the end of his current term.

According to the Russian constitution, the president is obliged to leave his post at the end of two successive terms. That would mean the longtime leader leaving in 2024. Over the last few years, Moscow has speculated about the manoeuvres he may take to get around this restriction: a repeat of the switch he carried out with Dmitry Medvedev in 2008; a new role, perhaps as head of an overarching security council; even as head of a new unified state with Belarus.

This was the first time that he suggested that the clause itself could be amended, or removed. "Your humble servant completed two terms, then left the post and had the constitutional right to return to the post of president," he said. "Because it wasn't two successive terms. Some of our experts, public figures were bothered by that [clause]. We could, of course, remove it."

By Mary Ilyushina and Nathan Hodge, CNN

Moscow (CNN) At least one person has been killed after a gunman opened fire near the headquarters of Russia's main intelligence agency in Moscow, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. At least five people were injured in the shooting near the Federal Security Service (FSB) building on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health. Two FSB officers suffered severe injuries, the Ministry of Health said. One FSB officer was shot dead, RIA said, citing an FSB representative. Social media footage from the scene captured the sounds of gunshots and screams as people fled the area. Russian state TV channel Rossiya 24 said that the perpetrator had been "neutralized." Traffic in the area was blocked in the wake of the incident, according to the Center for Traffic Management (DPC).

By Bill Chappell

The people of Scotland have already rejected the U.K.'s political agenda, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says – and now she wants them to vote in a public referendum on leaving the U.K. altogether. Sturgeon says she's sending Prime Minister Boris Johnson a letter formally requesting that Scotland be allowed to hold a vote on its future. "Let's assert our rights as an equal nation and partner," Sturgeon told Scotland's residents as she began the push for what's widely being called #IndyRef2.

Scotland held a landmark independence vote in 2014, when roughly 55% of voters chose to remain in the U.K. But Sturgeon says times have changed drastically since then – most notably, Scotland voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 Brexit vote. She also notes that in the U.K.'s recent general election, her pro-independence Scottish National Party had one of its best showings ever at the polls.

"Scotland made very clear last week that it does not want a Tory government led by Boris Johnson taking us out of Europe and down a path that we haven't chosen," Sturgeon said.

As far right backs PM, BAME communities already worried about lack of will to tackle racism fear further discrimination.
by Samira Shackle

London, United Kingdom - On December 12, the Conservative Party won 365 seats to Labour's 203, giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson a huge parliamentary majority. Among those to congratulate the party for its victory were some notorious figures from the United Kingdom's extreme right. Tommy Robinson, the founder of the violent street movement the English Defence League, wrote to his followers on the messaging platform Telegram: "OK, I have just joined the Conservative Party. Good work everyone that went out and voted for the Conservatives today."

The far-right commentator, Katie Hopkins, who has previously called for a "final solution" for Muslims, went a step further. On Twitter, she addressed former Conservative Party chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi, who has repeatedly called for an investigation into Islamophobia within the party. Hopkins wrote: "I think you will find it's OUR party now. Britain has Boris and a blue collar army. Nationalism is back. British people first." On Wednesday, the Independent newspaper reported that the far-right Britain First group urged its supporters to back the Conservative Party to boost Johnson's leadership.

Echoing Republican talking points, the Russian president mocked the moves against his U.S. counterpart as a baseless bid by Democrats to reverse their 2016 defeat.
By Andrew Higgins

MOSCOW — Besieged in Washington, President Trump found an eager friend in Moscow on Thursday. At his annual end-of-year news conference, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia parroted Mr. Trump’s talking points, mocking Wednesday’s impeachment vote as a partisan effort by Democrats to reverse their defeat in the 2016 presidential election.

He also took up Mr. Trump’s argument that there was no solid evidence to justify his removal from office. Offering an analysis of American political dynamics, Mr. Putin said that Mr. Trump was unlikely to be removed for “highly speculative reasons” by the Republican-controlled Senate.

“This is nothing but a continuation of an internal political struggle, with the party that lost the election, the Democratic Party, trying to reach its goal by different means,” Mr. Putin said during the 15th edition of a news conference that has often tended to be more a carnival of flattery.

By Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that U.S. Democrats had impeached President Donald Trump for "fabricated" reasons in order to reverse his 2016 election victory. Putin, speaking at his annual year-end news conference, said he expected Trump to survive the proceedings and stay in office. The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach Trump, but Putin, like most observers, said he expected the Republican Senate to acquit him.

"It's unlikely they will want to remove from power a representative of their party based on what are, in my opinion, completely fabricated reasons," said Putin. "This is simply a continuation of the (U.S.) intra-political battle where one party that lost an election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results using other methods and means. "They first accused Trump of a conspiracy with Russia. Then it turned out there wasn't a conspiracy and that it couldn't be the basis for impeachment. Now they have dreamt up (the idea) of some kind of pressure being exerted on Ukraine."

By Jennifer Jacobs, Nick Wadhams and Lars Paulsson

The U.S. has little leverage to prevent the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany from being completed, two administration officials said, acknowledging the failure of a years-long effort to head off what officials believe is a threat to European security.

The massive $11-billion project is just weeks away from completion and has led President Donald Trump to call Germany “a captive to Russia.” He has criticized the European Union for not doing more to diversify imports away from the nation that supplies more than a third of its gas.

Senior U.S. administration officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the administration’s take on the project, said sanctions that passed Congress on Tuesday as part of a defense bill are too late to have any effect. The U.S. instead will try to impose costs on other Russian energy projects, one of the officials added.

The web analysis firm Graphika has linked posts to a 'known Russian operation’
By Isaac Stanley-Becker

The story that appeared on The Hill website on March 20 was startling. Marie Yovanovitch, the American ambassador to Ukraine, had given a “list of people whom we should not prosecute” to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, according to a write-up of an interview Lutsenko gave to the conservative columnist John Solomon.

Five days later, an image of that purported list appeared in a post on the website Medium and on a number of other self-publishing platforms in locations as disparate as Germany, South Africa and San Francisco. In less than a week, the Medium essay had been translated into Spanish and German and posted to other websites.

Now, a social media analysis firm, Graphika, has traced those posts to a Russian disinformation campaign — in the first evidence that a network of accounts involved in spreading disinformation before the 2016 election also participated in circulating the false claims about Yovanovitch that led earlier this year to her recall from the U.S. embassy in Kyiv.

By Helen Regan and Adeel Raja, CNN

(CNN) Former Pakistan President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been sentenced to death in absentia for high treason following a six-year legal case. A three-member special court in Islamabad on Tuesday convicted Musharraf of violating the constitution by unlawfully declaring emergency rule while he was in power, in a case that had been pending since 2013.

The 76-year-old former leader, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for more than three years, has the option to appeal the verdict. Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 and ruled Pakistan as President until 2008. He was indicted in 2014 on a total of five charges, including three counts of subverting, suspending and changing the country's constitution, firing Pakistan's chief justice, and imposing emergency rule.

It's the first time in Pakistan's history that an army chief has been tried and found guilty of treason. Under Pakistan's constitution, high treason is a crime that carries the death penalty or life imprisonment. The special court ruled on the death sentence by a two to one majority, with one of the three judges not backing the death sentence but agreeing on a conviction. Musharraf has been living in Dubai since 2016 after Pakistan's Supreme Court lifted a travel ban allowing him to leave the country to seek medical treatment. From his hospital bed in Dubai earlier this month, the former leader said in a video statement that he was innocent and the treason case was "baseless."

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