News Roundup 1/20/21

by | Jan 20, 2021

News Roundup 1/20/21

by | Jan 20, 2021

News Roundup from The Libertarian Institute by Kyle Anzalone

US News

  • The US has filed an appeal in UK court in hopes to overturn a judge’s decision not to extradite Assange to the US. [Link]
  • In his final day in office, Trump failed to pardon Julian Assange or Edward Snowden. He did pardon Steve Bannon and Lil Wayne. [Link]
  • The US sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals, and ships accused of helping to bring Venezuelan oil to Asia. [Link]
  • Russia says it is hoping for a quick extension of the New Start Treaty that expires on February 5th. [Link]

Confirmation Hearings

  • Biden’s Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken says his State Department will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem. [Link]
  • Blinken said the US needs to revitalize alliances to combat foes like Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. [Link]
  • Blinken says Biden will maintain Trump’s Venezuela policy and recognize Juan Guaido as president. [Link]
  • Biden’s Director of National Intelligence nominee Avril Haines said the US should take an aggressive stance against China. Blinken said that Trump was right to take a hardline stand against China. [Link]
  • Avril Haines says the US is a long way from returning to the JCPOA. [Link]
  • Blinken said the US is a long way from returning to the JCPOA and the US will consult with Israel and Gulf states before returning to the deal. [Link]
  • Biden’s Department of Homeland Security nominee says Biden will stop building the wall but not abolish ICE and CBP. [Link]

Biden’s Political Appointments 

  • Biden picked Ely Ratner to advise the Pentagon on China. Ratner is from the hawkish CNAS think tank that is funded by weapons makers. He led a report that concluded the US needed to strengthen ties with Indo-Pacific countries, especially India. [Link]
  • A list of Biden’s political appointments to the Pentagon. [Link]


  • The Pentagon employs about 18,000 contractors in Afghanistan. About a third are Americans. [Link]
  • At least 40 members of the Afghan security forces and 40 Taliban members have been killed in recent fighting. [Link]


  • The Israeli government announced it was building 780 new settler homes in East Jerusalem. [Link]
  • Israel is looking to rein in rights groups that call out Israel for being an apartheid state. [Link]


  • About 700 US troops withdrew from Somalia and redeployed in the region. After pulling out the troops, the US carried out several airstrikes. [Link]
  • The Ugandan government said the US is trying to subvert the recent election result by sending the US envoy to the loser of the election’s home. [Link]

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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