News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/26/21

US News

  • Forty-one Republicans introduce a bill that will prevent Biden from lifting sanctions on Iran. [Link]
  • USA Today gives a look at the massive US military operations around the world from 2018-2020. In those three years the US conducted counterterror operations in over 80 countries. [Link]
  • Global military spending reached an all time high with the US accounting for 40% of total military spending. [Link]
  • A Pentagon spokesperson said the US has no restrictions on selling weapons to the Philippines. [Link]

Middle East

  • The AP reports images show Israel is upgrading its nuclear weapons facility. [Link]
  • US officials say recent drone strikes launched at Saudi Arabia came from Iraq. [Link]
  • The US carried out an air strike against a Shia militia in Syria. [Link]
  • At least one Shia fighter was killed in the strikes. The Pentagon said the response was limited to “avoid escalation.” [Link]

Africa

  • Images reveal over 500 buildings in Tigray have been intentionally set on fire. [Link]
  • Eritrean soldiers killed 100s of Ethiopians civilians near the end of November. The killings came while the Ethiopian government was suppressing the Tigray movement in the same region. [Link]
  • Gunmen killed over 300 school girls in Nigeria. [Link]
COI #76 – Some Independent Media Repeats War Propaganda Claims of Uighur Genocide

COI #76 – Some Independent Media Repeats War Propaganda Claims of Uighur Genocide

On COI #76, Patrick McFarlane – host of Liberty Weekly – returns to the show. Kyle and Pat discuss how members of the independent media, including libertarians, are pushing anti-China propaganda. A recent report used birth data to push the claim that the Chinese government was committing a genocide against the Muslim Uyghur minority.

A recent article by Gareth Porter and Max Blumenthal looks at the data behind the claims. The figures, when analyzed alongside Chinese government policy, shows that a decline in birth rates is not due to an ongoing genocide. Kyle and Pat break down the details and other false claims against China. Pat explains how the anti-China myths make it into the American mainstream through the Epoch Times newspaper and the shady group behind it.

Just before recording, the Pentagon confirmed Biden had ordered the bombing of Shia militias in Syria. Kyle breaks down the early reporting on the strikes and the dangers of Biden’s escalation.

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News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/25/21

US News

  • YouTube removed a Consortium News video that covered election suppression in the Georgia Senate runoff. [Link]
  • Facebook plans to invest $1 billion in the news industry over the next three years. Facebook invested $600 million in the industry since 2018. [Link]
  • The Air Force wants a low cost fighter plane. The Air Force said the F-35 is a Ferrari that you only drive on Sundays. [Link]

China

  • Biden’s nominee to lead the CIA, William Burns, said the US needs to counter China to preserve our national security. [Link]
  • The US warned China not to sail ships near islands claimed by Japan, Taiwan, and China. [Link]
  • The US sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait. [Link]
  • Armenia’s president warned the military was attempting a coup. [Link]

India/Pakistan

  • India and Pakistan issue a joint statement agreeing to respect a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • The head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed, says he expects US troops to remain in Afghanistan past May 1st. [Link]
  • Germany will keep troops in Afghanistan past May 1st. [Link]

Iran

  • State Department Spokesman Ned Price said that Iran moving away from provisions of the JCPOA was an urgent challenge and the US did not have unlimited patience with China. [Link]
  • Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Israel is preparing to take action against Iran’s nuclear program. [Link]
News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/24/21

US News

  • Twitter added a ‘hacked materials’ warning to an article published by The Gray Zone detailing how BBC, Reuters, and Bellingcat were paid by the UK Foreign Office. [Link]
  • The US opened a new facility to cage migrant children. [Link]
  • The New York police officers that killed David Perdue will not face charges according to a grand jury. Police officers pinned a naked Perdue to the street until he stopped breathing. [Link]
  • Attorneys for Jessica Watkins say that after she was arrested for entering the Capitol and destroying property on the 6th. She was denied medical care, stripped naked, and forced to remain exposed for four days. [Link]
  • Hundreds of billions of spending in Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid bill isn’t even for covid relief. [Link]
  • At least $63 billion in Cares Act unemployment benefits have been improperly distributed. [Link]

Foreign Policy

  • Biden launched a classified review of US counterterror policy. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will lead the review. [Link]
  • Biden’s pick for deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, said the US needs a hardline approach against China. [Link]
  • The Senate confirms Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US Ambassador to the UN. [Link]
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants lawmakers to draft a bill to combat China’s rise. [Link]

Russia

  • Amnesty International rescinds its label of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalmy because of discriminatory and violent statements. [Link]

Myanmar

  • The US sanctioned two Myanmar military commanders for their involvement in the coup. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Vox reports Biden withdrawing from Afghanistan by the May 1st deadline is “off the table.” [Link]

Middle East

  • The US is an elected position in the UN Human Rights Council to prevent the body from condemning Israel. [Link]
  • Iran says the US must make the first move in returning to the Iran Nuclear Deal. [Link]
  • Iraqi Shia Militia, Kataib Hezbollah says it did not carry out recent rocket attacks targeting US forces. [Link]
COI #76 – Some Independent Media Repeats War Propaganda Claims of Uighur Genocide

COI #75 – Did Fauci Discredit Himself By Covering for Israeli Medical Apartheid?

On COI #75, Connor Freeman – writer at The Libertarian Institute – returns to the show to discuss the Israeli vaccination program. The program has received wide-spread praise from the US media and even Dr. Fauci. While Israel is vaccinating a lot of people, the Palestinian population is struggling to get vaccinations. Israel has denied Gaza the ability to get any vaccinations.

Dr. Fauci recently received a $1 million prize from Tel Aviv University for “speaking truth to power” about Covid-19. However, in an interview with Israeli media he glorified the Israeli vaccination regime. Fauci – having just won an award for courageous speech – refused to answer questions or comment on vaccinations going to Palestinians.

Real courageous speech came through by Michael Che at SNL. Che joked that Israel is only vaccinating its Jewish population. While obviously a joke, Che’s quip contained a lot of truth. The joke was met with claims of anti-Semitism. However, those allegations are unfounded and the real offense is Israel denying Palestinians medical care.

Connor and Kyle debunk Syrian war propaganda that recently appeared on 60 Minutes. Connor explains how Biden is moving towards more confrontation with Russia and China.

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News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/23/21

US News

  • Texas police arrested a man for walking in the street during the Texas freeze. [Link]
  • The Los Angeles school district will cut the number of police officers in schools by a third. The cuts will allow $25 million to be redirected towards support services. [Link]
  • An independent investigative report finds the police officers who stopped Elijah McClain had no right to stop him. Police killed McClain after having him injected with Ketamine. [Link]
  • Two Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to cable providers asking why they still allow Fox News and Newsmax to air. [Link]

Great Power

  • Politico reports the US is planning new sanctions against Russia. [Link]
  • China called for an effort to reset relations with the US. The US said it was a Chinese effort to avert blame. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Afghan government and Taliban negotiators met for the first time in a month. [Link]

Israel 

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his commitment to the ‘two-state solution’ in a call with Israeli officials. [Link]
  • Israel will debate the US on Iran policy “below the radar.” [Link]
  • An Israeli court ruled the corruption trial of Prime Minister Netanyahu will not resume until after the election in March. [Link]

Middle East

  • Bliken said the US is looking to “lengthen and strengthen” the Iran Nuclear Deal. [Link]
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader said Iran would enrich uranium up to 60%. [Link]
  • A rocket attack in Iraq landed inside Baghdad’s Green Zone. The US condemned the attack. [Link]
  • Sources from the Saudi-backed government in Yemen say hundreds of fighters have died in the Houthi weeks-long assault on Marib. [Link]

Africa 

  • A UN report says Erik Prince violated the UN arms embargo of Libya by shipping gun boats and attack craft to eastern military leader Hafter. [Link]
  • Libya’s Interior Minister escaped an assassination attempt unharmed. [Link]
  • The Italian Ambassador to the Congo was killed when armed men attacked his convoy. His bodyguard and WFP driver were also killed. It is unclear who is behind the attack, but the Congo interior minister said it was a Hutu militia. [Link]
News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/22/21

US News

  • Assange’s lawyers are considering a cross appeal to the UK High Court. [Link]
  • Bolivia has returned the entire US-IMF loan the country received when a coup government was in charge. The $346 million loan racked up $25 million in interest when it was paid off. [Link]
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tells NATO allies that the US would not “hasty” leave Afghanistan. [Link]

China

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says US tariffs on China will remain. [Link]
  • Senator Tom Cotton wants to change US policy to make it clear we would go to war with China if China invaded Taiwan. [Link]
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says China is a top priority for the alliance. [Link]

Myanmar

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US will take firm action against Myanmar’s military. [Link]
  • The Myanmar military’s main Facebook page was removed. The military recently took control of the government in a coup. Facebook removed the page for inciting violence. [Link]

Iran

  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said it is a “complete and utter outrage” that Iran holds Americans as prisoners. Sullivan said getting the American released is a “significant priority.” [Link]
  • The US says it will not lift sanctions on Iran before engaging in talks. [Link]
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister says Biden is continuing with Trump’s Iran policy. Iran plans to reduce the additional inspections of its nuclear energy program if the US refuses to lift sanctions. [Link]
  • The IAEA and Iran reached an agreement to scale back the IAEA’s inspections in Iran. Iran is reducing its commitments to the JCPOA because the US left the deal. The agreement reached by Iran and the IAEA will allow monitoring of Iranian sites for another three months. [Link]
  • Iran’s FM says US sanctions cost Iran $1 trillion and Iran expects compensation. [Link]

Israel

  • The UN said Palestine is $30 million short in vaccination funding. [Link]
  • Israel is starting to reopen its economy to anyone with a “green pass” or received both doses of the vaccination. Only a few thousand Palestinians have gotten their vaccination. [Link]
  • Israel financed vaccines for Syria in return for releasing a Israeli prisoner. Russia helped facilitate the agreement. [Link]

Iraq

  • A rocket attack in Iraq hit a base that houses US contractors. One Iraqi was injured in the attack. [Link]
COI #76 – Some Independent Media Repeats War Propaganda Claims of Uighur Genocide

COI #74 – Will Biden Break With Trump’s Aggression Against Iran?

On COI #74, Kyle and Will go over recent comments from the Biden administration signaling it’s ready to sit down with Iran and European powers to discuss coming back into the 2015 nuclear deal. But with US officials hinting that other “regional issues” could be shoehorned into the talks, while demanding Tehran return to “full compliance” before Washington does, Biden’s approach may quickly lead to an impasse.

In the wake of the Capitol riot, a massive display of security theater continues in Washington, DC, where thousands of National Guard troops will remain at least until March, costing taxpayers nearly $500 million. Local police have called to maintain a security barrier circling the Capitol until September, citing “threats” against lawmakers, while some Democrats have already suggested it stay up permanently. Meanwhile, at least 35 Capitol police officers are under investigation for their actions during the January 6 riot, six of them already suspended.

A woman is suing police in Hopewell, Virginia for $13 million, claiming officers are responsible for her son’s death. Troy Howlett was coerced into working as a confidential informant after a minor drug bust. Despite knowing of his drug problem, Howlett was made to purchase narcotics as a CI. He later fatally overdosed on heroin he bought while undercover, found to be heavily laced with fentanyl.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under federal investigation related to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the state’s policies toward nursing homes. A senior New York official was recently caught acknowledging that Cuomo’s team concealed data related to nursing homes, sending the administration into damage control mode.

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News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/19/21

US News

  • Legal marijuana jobs increased by 77,000 in 2020. Now over 300,000 Americans work in the weed industry. [Link]
  • Paul Sperry was suspended by Twitter. [Link]
  • Texas police killed a man by setting on fire with their tasers. The cops received qualified immunity. [Link]
  • Six Capitol police officers were suspended and 35 are under investigation related to the Capitol riot. [Link] 
  • The Capitol Police want to leave the fence up around the Capitol for several months. [Link]
  • Biden will give $4 billion aid to global vaccine relief. [Link]

North Korea

  • The US charges three North Koreans for allegedly stealing more than $1.3 billion in cyber crimes. The US says the men are associated with the North Korean intelligence service. [Link]

Iran

  • The US says it is open to talks with Iran but the talks must include regional issues. [Link]
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister says Iran will return to the JCPOA once the US lifts sanctions. [Link]
  • The US resends a claim that all UN sanctions had been reimposed on Iran. [Link]

Middle East

  • Turkey hired American firm Arnold and Porter to lobby for the country to get back into the F-35 program. Arnold and Porter will make $750,000 over the next six months. [Link]
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calls Saudi Crown Prince MbS to affirm the US strategic ties with Saudi. [Link]
  • The NATO Chief said the alliance will increase troops levels in Iraq from 500 to 4,000. [Link]
  • The Saudi-backed forces in Yemen will receive reinforcements and additional air support from the Kingdom. The Houthi have been closing in on a key city in central Yemen. [Link]

Africa

  • As many as 800 Tigrayans were massacred at a church by the Ethiopian military in late November. The people were not allowed to bury the dead and many bodies were eaten. [Link]
  • Seven years after a peace agreement was signed, South Sudan continued to struggle with violent attacks often based on ethnic lines. [Link]
  • Suspected Islamist militants killed eight people in Burkina Faso and nine people in Mali. [Link]
COI #76 – Some Independent Media Repeats War Propaganda Claims of Uighur Genocide

COI #73 – Is Biden Taking the American Empire in a New Direction?

On COI #73, Joanne Leon – host of Around the Empire – returns to the show to discuss Biden’s foreign policy. The mainstream media is pushing the narrative that Biden’s foreign policy is radically different than Trump’s. While there are some differences, like Yemen, Biden has mostly picked up Trump’s wars.

The foreign policy blob is pushing the narrative that Trump destroyed US relations with NATO allies and Biden is desperately trying to fix them. Trump only opposed NATO rhetorically and his Russia policy was more aggressive than Obama’s. NATO just announced that it believes the Taliban are not living up to the peace agreement with the US, signaling NATO forces will remain in Afghanistan past May 1st. NATO is also planning to increase troops in Iraq from 500 to 4,000.

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News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/18/21

US News

  • Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot took $281 million in Covid relief money and allocated it to police. [Link]
  • An Appeals Court rules that NYC can release the misconduct records of police officers. The police union attempted to sue to keep officers misdeeds secret. [Link]
  • The US will keep 5,000 National Guards soldiers deployed to the Capitol through March 4th. [Link]
  • The military is reporting a third of soldiers do not want the Covid-19 vaccine. [Link]
  • Several non-profit groups urge the US to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMF. [Link]

Europe

  • New documents reveal how close the NATO and the USSR came to war in 1983 because of the Able Archer war games. [Link]
  • A rapper was arrested in Catalonia for speech. The arrest caused protests to break out in Catalonia. [Link]
  • Russia intercepted three French war planes over the Black Sea. [Link]

China

  • The US sailed war ships near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a meeting with Japan, Australia, and India. Those countries make up the anti-China ‘Quad’ alliance. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • The German Foreign Minister said not enough progress has been made in inter-Afghan peace talks to withdraw NATO forces from the country. [Link]
  • A bomb blast killed a university professor in Kabul. [Link]

Middle East

  • Biden held his first phone call with Israeli PM Netanyahu. The leaders discussed pandemic, expanding the Abraham Accords, and Iran. [Link]
  • Israel says it is developing a new air defense system ‘Arrow-4’ with the US. [Link]
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader says he wants to see action from Biden on saving the JCPOA. [Link]
  • State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said whoever was behind rocket attack that killed a US contractor would be held responsible. [Link]

Nigeria

  • Gunmen kidnapped 42 students and staff from a school in Nigeria. One student was killed in the attack. [Link]
News Roundup 2/26/21

News Roundup 2/17/21

US News

  • Hedge fund Alden Global Capital will buy Tribune Publishing – publisher of the Chicago Tribune and other papers – for $630 million. Alden Global Capital already owns Digital First Media. DFM includes papers like The Denver Post and Boston Herald. [Link]
  • The FBI arrested and raided the home of a left-wing activist for posting anti-police statements online. [Link]
  • A California police officer is seeking qualified immunity after he shot at a fleeing car and killed a passenger. [Link]
  • The Covid lockdowns are pushing more young people to remain in the military. [Link]
  • Biden called the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline a “bad deal for Europe.” Biden is still deciding if he will continue to sanction the pipeline that will lower energy prices in central Europe. [Link] 

Afghanistan

  • NATO says the Taliban must do more to meet their commitments under the “peace deal.” [Link]
  • The Taliban threaten to launch an offensive against US forces if the US keeps troops in Afghanistan past the May 1st date agreed to in the US-Taliban agreement. [Link] 

Middle East

  • The White House Press Secretary says the US will recalibrate its relationship with Saudi Arabia. [Link]
  • Israel is planning to buy another squadron of F-35 and four KC-46 refueling takers. [Link]
  • Israel says it will not engage with the US on Iran if the US reenters the JCPOA. [Link]
  • Iran informs the IAEA that it will limit inspections starting on February 23rd. [Link]
  • The State Department approved a $200 million sale of rolling airframe missiles to Egypt. [Link]

Iraq

  • The Acting US Ambassador to the UN said the US must address Iran’s destabilizing activities in Iraq. [Link]
  • The Biden Administration says it has the right to respond to the rocket attack that killed a contractor and injured a US soldier in Erbil. [Link]
  • NATO is expected to increase its troop deployment in Iraq from 500 to 4,000 – 5,000. [Link]

Yemen

  • The US is urging the Houthi to end their offensive on Marib. [Link]
  • Worsening fuel shortages in Yemen are causing more people to rely on firewood. [Link]
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