News Roundup 7/19/21

by | Jul 19, 2021

News Roundup 7/19/21

by | Jul 19, 2021

News Roundup from The Libertarian Institute by Kyle Anzalone

US News

  • TurboTax and H&R Block are leaving the IRS Free File Alliance. The program required companies to allow some Americans to file taxes for free and in exchange, the IRS has not created an online portal to file taxes. TurboTax has routinely exploited the system to collect billions in what should be offered as free services. [Link]
  • Biden’s nominee to be the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, Michael Brown, withdrew his nomination. DOD IG received an ethics complaint about Brown claiming he posts to funnel jobs and money to his friends as head of the Defense Innovation Unit. Brown continues his post at DIU. [Link]
  • House Republicans introduced a bill to repay the National Guard over $500 million for the deployments to the Capitol. [Link]
  • NATO opened a new command in Virginia. [Link]

Latin America 

  • The Department of Homeland Security warns boaters in Florida it is illegal to travel to Cuba. A flotilla was planned, some suggested the goal was to bring “aid” to Cubans. [Link]
  • A Honduran army intelligence officer – who was trained by the US – was found guilty of assassinating an indigenous, environmental activist. [Link]
  • The Venezuelan government is seeking access to the $1 billion of gold that it has stored in London’s central bank. The UK government announced it recognized self-proclaimed Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido as president. The reaffirmation of Guaido’s baseless claim to power suggests the UK will deny Venezuela access to its gold. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Russia reports Putin offered Biden the use of Russia’s central Asian bases for intelligence collection in Afghanistan. [Link]
  • The Afghan government accuses Pakistan of giving support to the Taliban. [Link]
  • The Taliban and Afghan government met in Qatar for peace talks. The sides agree to meet again and an expedited process. [Link]

Middle East

  • Israeli spyware is being used to surveil hundreds of corporate press journalists and editors. [Link]
  • Iran says the US agreed to a prisoner swap during talks to save the JCPOA in Vienna. The US is denying the prisoner swap is happening. [Link]
  • Iran says the indirect talks with the US to save the JCPOA will begin once its new president takes office on August 9th. [Link]
  • A US drone attacked a truck operated by a Shia militia near the Iraq/Syria border. The Syrian state media claimed the truck was carrying food. [Link]

Africa 

  • Ethiopia’s Tigray fighters are reported to have crossed into a neighboring region and attacked local forces. The local Tigray fighters recently pushed the Ethiopian military, Eritrean military, and ethnic Ethiopian militias out of Tigray. [Link]
  • Gunmen raided a Nigerian village, killing one and kidnapping 60. [Link]
  • Militants in Nigeria downed a light military aircraft. [Link]
  • A Nigerian regulator instructs the media to tone down the reporting on violence. [Link]

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

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