News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 5/7/21

US News

  • Six people received over three million in fraudulent Covid relief payments claiming to run churches. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken warns Western countries about allowing Chinese investment. [Link]
  • Ukraine says it met with State Department officials and was told the US supports Ukraine joining NATO. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says the US is planning to withdraw all contractors from Afghanistan. [Link]
  • Gen. Mark Milley says the US could train Afghan soldiers outside the country. [Link]
  • The US deploys more B-52 to Qatar to attack the Taliban as the US withdraws troops. [Link]

Middle East

  • Israel carried out attacks against Syria for the second straight day. [Link]
  • Palestinians who are being evicted from their homes so Israelis can have the land attacked an Israeli base. Two men were killed and a third was injured. [Link]
  • Iran says there is a wide gap between the US and Iran as indirect talks resume in Vienna. [Link]
  • The State Department says Iran is making unrealistic demands. [Link]
  • The Iraqi Shia militias are moving away from Iran, fearing they will lose support from the Islamic Republic. [Link]

Somalia

  • Qatar mediated an agreement between Kenya and Somalia for the countries to resume diplomatic relations. [Link]
COI #106 The Empire Loses a Key Pawn in Africa guest Danny Sjursen

COI #106 The Empire Loses a Key Pawn in Africa guest Danny Sjursen

On COI #106, Danny Sjursen returns to the show to discuss the death of Chadian President Idriss Deby, who was killed in fighting with rebels in late April. While Chad is a key player in US and French ‘counter-terrorism’ operations across Africa’s Sahel region, Danny explains how the country has overextended its forces on multiple fronts and faces increasing instability, all compounded by Deby’s demise. Washington and Paris, who propped up the late president for decades despite credible allegations of election-rigging and severe political repression, are likely to continue their support for the Chadian state.

Danny is a retired US Army Major, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP), contributing editor at Antiwar.com and director of the new Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Nation, Huff Post, the Hill, Salon, the American Conservative, Mother Jones, Scheer Post and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, ‘Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.’

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News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 5/6/21

US News

  • The Biden administration says it supports allowing the WHO to distribute the IP for covid vaccines. [Link]
  • New DNA evidence strongly suggests Ledell Lee was wrongly executed in 2017. [Link]
  • Police officers got qualified immunity after they bullied a 13-year-old boy into confessing to a murder he did not commit. Police threatened him and fabricated evidence. The police also denied the boy access to a lawyer. The court denied the officers qualified immunity for that crime. [Link]
  • The police officer who shot Rayshard Books is back on the job. [Link]
  • The Attorney General is looking for an additional $85 million to combat domestic terrorism. [Link]

Foreign Policy

  • The Space Force is looking to develop super-soldiers. [Link]
  • Cyber Command is repurposing its counterterrorism task force to combat China. [Link]
  • Biden is planning to release a list of corrupt Central American officials that could be sanctioned by the US. [Link]
  • Biden waives restrictions on providing military aid to Azerbaijan. [Link]

Afghanistan 

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that while US troops are leaving, the US is not withdrawing or disengaging from Afghanistan. [Link]
  • The Afghan government reports 200 killed in recent fighting. [Link]
  • The US carried out airstrikes in Helmand, Afghanistan. [Link]

Middle East

  • Israel carried out a military attack on Syria. [Link]
  • The Houthi invite Senator Chris Murphy to Yemen. [Link]
COI #106 The Empire Loses a Key Pawn in Africa guest Danny Sjursen

COI #105 – Executing the Wrong People

On COI#105, Kyle discusses the US government executing the wrong people, either overseas or in the US. Ledell Lee was executed by Arkansas in 2017. A new report shows another person’s DNA on the murder weapon and other evidence. The report showed Lee was unlikely the murderer, yet the state executed him and allowed the actual murder to remain a free man.

The Biden Administration released a report on Trump-era drone strikes. The report showed Trump’s Administration loosed the rules for carrying out raids and drone strikes outside of war zones. While Trump required “near certainty” civilians would not be killed, reporting on the US strikes in Somalia showed frequent civilian deaths.

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News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 5/4/21

Foreign Policy

  • Biden releases documents showing Trump loosened the rules on drone strikes. [Link]
  • The US will put more pressure on the Salvadoran government. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the G7 needs to work against China and Russia. [Link]
  • China denounces a meeting between American and Taiwanese officials in France. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • The Pentagon describes Taliban attacks over the weekend as “harassment” and said the attacks did not have an impact on the US withdrawal. [Link]
  • The Afghan government said the Taliban launched a large offensive in Helmond. [Link]
  • The Biden administration is seeking an agreement with the Taliban that will see US troops leave by July. [Link]
  • Biden says the US will be able to address any threat from Afghanistan after withdrawal. [Link]
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley says the Afghan Army is well trained and equipped. [Link]

Iraq

  • At least two rockets landed in an Iraqi base that houses US soldiers. No injuries were reported. [Link]

Burkina Faso

  • Militants killed 30 people in Burkina Faso. [Link]
News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 5/2/21

US News

  • Two Texas police officers were fired for committing crimes on the job. One officer punched a teenage boy for no reason. The other officer pulled his gun and threatened to kill people without cause. [Link]
  • The US announced it will cut its embassy in Moscow staff by 75%. [Link]
  • Biden’s North Korea policy calls for a phased process that leads to denuclearization. [Link]

Central Asia

  • Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agree to withdraw forces from their shared border after fighting killed about 40. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Foreign contractors employed by the US in Afghanistan fear they will be targets of the Taliban and are asking for US assistance leaving the country as the US withdraws. [Link]
  • The Taliban protected US bases after the peace agreement was signed. [Link]
  • The Taliban appear to be taking more control over Afghanistan. [Link]
  • The AP breaks down the massive amount of lives the US took and the money the US spent to lose the War in Afghanistan. [Link]
  • The Taliban warns against attacks on occupying forces because the US violated the May 1st withdrawal deadline. [Link]
  • At least seven and as many as 30 died in a Taliban attack on an Afghan Army position. [Link]

Middle East

  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says US-Iranian indirect talks are in an unclear place. [Link]
  • The Senate anti-China bill now has a provision that could undermine the US negotiations with Iran to save the JCPOA. [Link]
  • Biden tells Israeli intelligence there is a long way to go before the US reenters the JCPOA. [Link]
  • A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian village after a shooting wounded three Israelis. [Link]

Africa

  • Biden announces he will continue to recognize Western Sahara as Moroccan territory. Trump first made the change in US policy to get Morocco to normalize ties with Israel. [Link]
  • Sixteen Niger soldiers were killed in an attack near the border with Mali. [Link]
COI #106 The Empire Loses a Key Pawn in Africa guest Danny Sjursen

COI #104 – The Media Amplifies Pro-War Tropes in Attempt to Extend Afghan War

On COI #104, Kyle and Will update the progress of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soon after the White House announced the exit was finally underway, CNN published a scare story hyping up threats from two anonymous al-Qaeda operatives, insisting that ending the longest war in American history would invite new terrorist attacks. CNN is joined by countless other media outlets in making dire warnings about ending the war.

The Biden team has finished a policy review on North Korea, opting to strike a balance between Donald Trump’s “grand bargain” and Barack Obama’s policy of “strategic patience,” but the approach draws all the long lessons from prior administrations.

Despite Biden’s vows to end all US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in Yemen, recent reporting shows that American aircraft maintenance has not stopped, continuing to enable Riyadh’s lethal bombing campaign and crimes against humanity.

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News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 4/30/21

US News

  • A woman has been charged with a felony for not returning a VHS tape from 1999. [Link]
  • A CA study found massive racial bias in the child welfare system. Half of the black and Native American children received a visit from the state at some time during their childhood. [Link]
  • A US watchdog questions the US attempt to send aid into Venezuela in 2019. The report says the aid could have been an attempt to fuel regime change rather than help the Venezuelan people. [Link]

Afghanistan 

  • The White House announces the withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun. [Link]

Middle East

  • Palestinian leader Abbas postpones upcoming elections. [Link]
  • Biden is considering a rollback of some sanctions on Iran. [Link]
  • Iraq held talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia. [Link]

Africa

  • The US is planning war games with Morocco in June. [Link]
  • Libya’s interim government is pushing for foreign fighters to leave the country. [Link]
COI #106 The Empire Loses a Key Pawn in Africa guest Danny Sjursen

COI #103 – An Overextended Empire

On COI #103, Kyle discusses America’s overextended empire. The Coast Guard just deployed the USCGS Hamilton to the Black Sea. A US Navy ship fired warning shots at Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf. China reports US operations in its territorial waters have increased since Biden took office. The US has a warship trailing a Chinese aircraft carrier group that is doing military drills.

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News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 4/29/21

US News

  • The state of Michigan’s multi-million fund to pay out settlements for wrongful convictions is facing a $7 billion deficit. [Link]
  • The FDA is considering a ban on menthol cigarettes this week. [Link]
  • Sam Power was confirmed to head USAID. [Link]

Great Power

  • Russia says its relations with the US are worse than during the Cold War. [Link]
  • China says US naval activity is up 20% in Chinese waters and air activity is up 40% in Chinese skies since Biden took office. [Link]
  • US warships followed a Chinese aircraft carrier strike group in The Philippines Sea. [Link]
  • Biden said the US will compete with China to win the century. [Link]

Asia

  • Myanmar’s military carried out airstrikes against two ethnic militias. [Link]
  • Fighting broke out on the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, killing one. [Link]
  • The Taliban proposed direct talks with the Afghan government. The head of the Afghan government negotiations team said it was an effort to sow discord. [Link]

Middle East

  • NSA Jake Sullivan said the US and Israel have a policy of “no surprises.” [Link]
  • The US is deploying a team of diplomats, led by Brett McGurk, to the Middle East. [Link]

Africa

  • Ethiopia has rounded up thousands of Tygrayans, accusing them of being traitors. [Link]
  • Eighteen people were killed by militants in Burkina Faso. [Link]
News Roundup 5/7/21

News Roundup 4/28/21

US News

  • Louisiana police placed a GPS tracker on a woman’s car. When she removed it, they demanded the tracker back. [Link]
  • In addition to the $2 trillion covid relief bill and the proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill, Biden now wants to pass a $1.8 trillion bill to support children and families. [Link]
  • Private asset funds are starting new finds to buy assets from the older funds. [Link]
  • The F-35 program will be at an 800 engine deficit by 2030. The lack of engines will ground half of the fleet. [Link]
  • A US Coast Guard ship is in the Black Sea. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • The US Ambassador to Afghanistan says the US is helping the Afghan government replace the American contractors who are withdrawing. [Link]
  • The US will continue to provide financial support to the Afghan Army so it can hire contracts to maintain aircraft. [Link]
  • Biden is pushing the Afghan government to include women and minorities in peace talks. [Link]
  • The US ordered any staff out of its Kabul embassy if they can work elsewhere. [Link]

Middle East

  • A US ship in the Persian Gulf fired warning shots at an Iranian ship for getting too close to the American ship. [Link]
  • Iran calls for a prisoner swap with the US. [Link]
  • Saudi Crown Prince MbS says Saudi has worked out 90% of their differences with Biden. [Link]
  • Turkish warplanes attacked PKK targets in northern Iraq. [Link]
  • The US continues to provide maintenance on the Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen. [Link]

Africa

  • Al-Shabaab killed seven people with a suicide bomb in Somalia’s capital. [Link]
  • Somalia’s president announced he will not extend his term by two years and agrees to hold elections. He did not resign from the presidency. [Link]
  • Nigeria’s President calls on the US to move AFRICOM HQ to Africa. [Link]
COI #106 The Empire Loses a Key Pawn in Africa guest Danny Sjursen

COI #102 – The Israeli and American Police States Are Out of Control

On COI #102, Kyle discusses the rampant police abuse by American and Israeli security forces. In the US, a police officer dislocated an elderly woman’s arm, then was recording laughing about it. Another officer shot a man ten times after he mistook a phone for a gun, while a group of officers in New Jersey confiscated bikes from several teenagers for lacking licenses.

Human Rights Watch said Israel is committing crimes of apartheid. The HRW report comes after Israeli authorities blocked access to Palestinian religious and cultural sites during Ramadan for more than a week. While protesting the injustice, Israeli counter-protesters gathered to chant “death to Arabs.” Israeli soldiers executed a Palestinian man in his car. Initially, the soldiers claimed the man was attempting to ram a checkpoint, but evidence shows the car came to a stop when the soldiers asked.

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