News Roundup 7/18/2022

by | Jul 18, 2022

News Roundup 7/18/2022

by | Jul 18, 2022

US News

  • Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school, but “egregiously poor decision-making” resulted in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman who took 21 lives was finally confronted and killed. The acting police chief was placed on leave. Chicago Tribune 

NDAA

  • The House on Thursday passed its version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorizes $850.3 billion for military spending, increasing President Biden’s requested budget by $37 billion. AWC
  • The House version of the 2023 NDAA that was passed Thursday night includes an amendment that would authorize $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots on how to use US warplanes. AWC

Ukraine

  • Turkey on Wednesday said it will sign a deal next week with Russia, Ukraine, and the UN to facilitate the export of grain from Ukraine. AWC
  • A Ukrainian official proposed the idea of creating a commission to help track Western-provided weapons amid concerns over the lack of oversight. AWC
  • The Pentagon’s watchdog warned that some of the Defense Department’s practices for tracking the money being spent on Ukraine is hindering oversight efforts. AWC
  • As Western nations continue to funnel billions in weapons and other military hardware into Ukraine, some within the NATO bloc and the EU are calling for a system to track the arms, raising concerns they will disappear into the black market. The Institute 
  • President Biden reiterated that he wants to see Russia fail in Ukraine, declaring that Russian President Vladimir Putin must suffer a “strategic failure” in his war. AWC
  • The US announced that it will be expanding its diplomatic presence in the Pacific and increasing aid to the region as part of its strategy to counter Chinese influence. AWC
  • The US announced it was sending $1.7 billion in new aid to fund the Ukrainian government that is meant to pay Ukrainian healthcare workers and support other “essential services.” AWC
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued executive orders sacking Ukraine’s prosecutor general and the head of the powerful Security Service of Ukraine
  • The EU said on Wednesday that Lithuania has an obligation to allow all non-military sanctioned goods to travel from Russia through its territory by rail to Kaliningrad. AWC

China

  • The US sailed a warship near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in the South China Sea in Washington’s latest challenge to Beijing’s claims in the disputed waters. AWC
  • The Biden administration reminded China that the US will intervene to defend the Philippines if Manila’s vessels come under attack in the South China Sea. AWC

Afghanistan 

  • The US State Department says the goal is to see the Taliban give rise to a stable and sustainable Afghanistan and that as such they do not support organized violence against them. AWC

Biden’s Middle East Trip

  • Biden arrived in Israel, kicking off his short tour of the Middle East. In remarks made after his plane landed, the president said the connection between Israelis and Americans is “bone deep” and voiced his staunch support for the Jewish state. AWC
  • President Biden said he believes the “vast majority” of Americans are committed to Israel’s security. AWC
  • The Times of Israel reported Thursday that President Biden will announce during his visit to Saudi Arabia this weekend a deal between Riyadh and Cairo that will see the Saudis take steps toward normalization with Israel. AWC
  • Biden told reporters on Sunday that one of Saudi Arabia’s top diplomats did not give a truthful account of his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom’s de facto leader. Biden met with MbS in Saudi Arabia on Friday and told reporters afterward that he raised the issue of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who was killed by Saudi agents at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018. US intelligence later concluded that MbS ordered the killing. Biden said he confronted MbS about the killing and made clear that he views the crown prince as personally responsible. But Adel al-Jubeir, a top Saudi diplomat who attended the meeting, said he didn’t “hear” Biden directly blame MbS. “I didn’t hear that particular phrase,” al-Jubeir told Fox News. AWC
  • President Biden on Wednesday toured a display of Israeli air defense systems at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, as the Israelis are seeking American investment in its new laser-based system, known as the Iron Beam. AWC

Iran

  • French FM Catherine Colonna offered the latest assessment of the stalled process out of the EU, warning that there are “only a few weeks” left to save the deal before the window of opportunity closes. AWC
  • Biden said the US will not wait endlessly for Iran to return to the nuclear deal. AWC
  • President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint declaration in Jerusalem on Thursday that included strong language against Iran. AWC

Middle East

  • Iraqi Cleric Sadr called for all militias outside of Baghdad’s control to be disbanded. AWC
  • US officials have issued a statement claiming a drone strike on Tuesday killed top Syrian ISIS leader Maher al-Agal. The attack was near Jindayris, in northwestern Syria. AWC
  • The US plans to train 3,500 Syrian Kurdish rebel fighters in 2023. AWC
  • The UN Security Council voted to extend the mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement in Yemen by another year. AWC
  • Locals in northern Yemen are reeling after a weekend Saudi attack in the Saada Province. At least 17 people were reported either killed or wounded in the raid on the city of Manbe. AWC

About Kyle Anzalone

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

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