News Roundup 3/14/17

by | Mar 14, 2017

  • The White House has ordered the State Department to look for up to a 50% cut to the funding the US gives to the UN. The US currently spends $10 billion to fund the UN each year. [Link]
  • Seema Verma has been approved by the Senate to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid. She was confirmed on a 55-43 vote. [Link]
  • Border agents are more frequently searching traveler’s phones as they enter the US. Many of these travelers are American citizens. Border agents will demand that travelers unlock their phones if they are password protected. Border agents searched less than 5,000 phones in 2015, they searched 25,000 in 2016, and searched over 5,000 phones in February of 2017. [Link]
  • Arkansas plans to execute eight death row inmates in a ten-day stretch in April. The state is rushing to carry out executions because the state’s supply of the lethal injection drug is expiring soon. [Link]
  • Thousands of refugees from the Middle East arriving in Greece are showing heightened rate of mental illness. Many refugees are suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. The refugees are having symptoms including psychosis, severe trauma, self-harm and suicide attempts. [Link]
  • Rand Paul has introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act in the Senate. Rep, Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a similar bill in the House. If signed into law, this bill would prevent the US from arming Syrian rebel group who give their weapons to al-Qaeda/ISIS or are controlled by al-Qaeda/ISIS. [Link]
  • China is deploying anti-radar countermeasures to combat the new missile defense system deployed in South Korea. China fears the US buildup of anti-missile defense systems throughout the Asia Pacific. [Link]
  • As tensions heighten between the Netherlands and Turkey, Turkey claims that the refugee deal the country has with Europe has ended. Under the deal, Turkey was given $3 billion in exchange for Turkey holding 2 million refugees from the Middle East inside of Turkey. [Link]
  • The Islamic State has set up checkpoints in the city of Al-Arish. That city is located in Egypt’s North Sinai. [Link]
  • Russia appears to have deployed special forces troops to an airbase in West Egypt. It is being suggested those troops may be used in Libya. [Link]
  • Heavy fighting continues in Benghazi between Islamic militias and forces controlled by General Haftar. [Link]
  • An Iraqi Sunni politician said that 3,500 civilians have died since the invasion of West Mosul started. [Link]
  • Erdogan claims that that Turkish troops seized several villages around Manbij. There is no evidence that Turkish troops actually seized these villages. [Link]
  • This article describes how the US invaded Syria without the American people noticing. [Link]
  • Patrick Cockburn explains why there is no winning for the US in Yemen. [Link]

On Foreign Policy Focus #13, I discuss several stories regarding Trump’s foreign policy. Trump is looking to loosen restrictions on the Terror War, is planning to use Gitmo more, is hoping to collect on debt from Cambodia, and he does not know what the plan for Raqqa is. I also give updates on Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the South China Sea. LISTEN HERE!!

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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