News Roundup 8/3/2022

by | Aug 3, 2022

News Roundup 8/3/2022

by | Aug 3, 2022

US

  • World governments made a record number of requests to Twitter to reveal users’ data. The requests include a 100% increase of governments seeking information on journalists. Tech Dirt
  • President Joe Biden and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks met virtually with the CEO of Lockheed Martin and representatives from other companies to discuss advancing a piece of legislation that would subsidize the domestic manufacturing of semiconductors. AWC
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.” AWC
  • British National Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove warned there is a greater risk of nuclear war today than there was during the Cold War due to a lack of communication channels. AWC

Ukraine

  • The US Air Force is sending F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Lask, Poland to support NATO’s “air shielding” mission and bolster deterrence against potential Russian threats. Business Insider
  • The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain left Odesa as a result of the deal meant to facilitate exports signed between Kiev and Moscow that was brokered by Turkey and the UN. AWC
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Sunday said that Moscow will help the Ukrainian people “get rid of the regime” in Kiev. AWC
  • The Ukrainian government asked Washington to provide Kiev with a “lend-lease” program to import natural gas from the US to ensure Ukraine has enough gas for heating this winter. AWC
  •  Biden authorized an additional $550 million in military aid for Ukraine, marking the 17th arms package the US has pledged since Russia invaded. AWC
  • A Ukrainian official said Tuesday that Kiev doesn’t want American A-10 Warthog planes after a Air Force official suggested the US might send older aircraft to Ukraine. AWC
  • Moscow-installed authorities in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson closed a key bridge after Ukraine’s forces struck the area using US-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). AWC
  • A drone attack hit the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, causing an explosion that wounded six people, and making the city of Sevastopol cancel its Russian Navy Day celebration. AWC
  • The Russian Defense Ministry said Washington was “directly involved” in the war in Ukraine after a Ukrainian official detailed Kiev’s cooperation with the US before launching strikes with US-provided HIMARS rockets. AWC

Russia

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced he held a call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on a potential bilateral prisoner exchange. Washington and Moscow’s top diplomats discussed the Ukrainian grain export deal brokered by the UN and Turkey with Kiev and Moscow. Reportedly, also part of their dialogue was the role U.S. sanctions play in preventing the movement of Russian food supplies and fertilizer. This is the first time Blinken has spoken to Lavrov since February 15th. AWC
  • The Senate passed a non-binding resolution that calls for Blinken to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” AWC
  • The United States imposed sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reported romantic partner. WashPo
  • Most EU member states on Tuesday agreed on a plan to reduce natural gas consumption by 15% to prepare for the coming winter and potential further cuts of Russian gas supplies. AWC
  • Biden said his administration “is ready to expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026,” but then suggested he wouldn’t negotiate with Russia while it was fighting in Ukraine. AWC
  • The Kremlin said that Washington hasn’t shown interest in negotiating a replacement for the New START. AWC
  • A spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council said that the US has not seen any signs of Russia purchasing drones from Iran despite earlier claims from Washington. AWC
  • Putin signed a new naval doctrine for Russia that names the US as Moscow’s main rival on the seas. AWC

China

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Biden held a two-hour call that came amid simmering tensions over Taiwan as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to visit the island. According to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Xi told Biden that China was committed to resisting “interference by external forces” on Taiwan. “Those who play with fire will perish by it,” he said. AWC
  • The Pentagon is developing a security plan to use ships and aircraft to keep Pelosi safe should she decide to lead a congressional delegation to Taiwan. CNN
  • China conducted live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid soaring tensions over Pelosi’s vitist to Taiwan. AWC
  • China is reportedly planning large-scale military drills around Taiwan after Pelosi’s trip. The Hill
  • Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday. Business Insider
  • In reaction to Pelosi’s trip, Chinese airr craft buzzed the dividing line in the Taiwan Strait and the US moved four warships into the region. Reuters
  • Pelosi accused China of threatening “democracy itself” in an op-ed in The Washington Post that was published shortly before she arrived in Taiwan. AWC
  • A growing number of Republican China hawks have come out in support ofPelosi’s plans to visit Taiwan. AWC
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 25 other Republican senators issued a statement supporting Pelosi for visiting Taiwan. AWC
  • A group of Japanese lawmakers met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a rare high-level visit to the island. AWC
  • The House passed a massive $280 billion spending bill meant to counter China in a vote of 243-187, with no Democrats voting against the legislation and 24 Republicans voting in favor. The bill has already passed through the Senate. AWC
  • Adding India as the sixth country to the NATO plus would move New Delhi towards a Defense Security alignment with the United States,” said American Congressman Ro Khanna. NDTV
  • The US is sending a delegation to the Solomon Islands next week that will be led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. AWC

Afghanistan 

  • Biden claimed that a US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, that was carried out over the weekend killed top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. AWC

Israel

  • Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Monday signaled that Israel has no plans to change its policy around its undeclared nuclear arsenal while a conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty. AWC
  • A senior Biden administration official said Thursday that there is still no framework for creating integrated missile defense systems between Israel and the US’s Arab allies. AWC
  • In late May, Russia fired S-300 missiles at Israeli jets attacking Syria. Israeli DM Benny Gantz confirmed this, calling it a “one-off.” The incident was reported when it happened, but this is the first time officials are discussing it. AWC 
  • Gantz says that Israel has the ability to cause serious damage and delay Iran’s nuclear program, and expects international support if they do. AWC

Iran

  • Biden’s aide Brett McGurk continued to be pessimistic, saying it is “highly unlikely” that there will be a deal any time soon. AWC
  • Iran’s leading nuclear negotiator said that Tehran has responded to a proposal from the EU aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal. AWC
  • The US issued fresh sanctions against Iran meant to target the Islamic Republic’s oil and petrochemical sales to East Asia. AWC
  • Iran’s atomic energy chief Mohammed Eslami reported that the nation has the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb, but that they have no intention of trying to do so. AWC
  • Blinken sidestepped the question of if the US was willing to return to talks with Iran at all. AWC
  • IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said Iran’s comments saying it will not build nukes is not enough, and that Iran need to be transparent and compliant to convince him the program is non-military. AWC

Middle East

  • the State Department approved two potential arms deals to Saudi Arabia and the UAE worth over $5 billion combined. The sale to the Saudis is for Patriot surface-to-air missiles and is worth an estimated $3.05 billion. The UAE will purchase THAAD missiles and related equipment, worth about $2.2 billion. AWC
  • Iraq’s political crisis reached a boiling point when demonstrators, mostly supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, stormed the Iraqi parliament to protest against corruption and one of the candidates running for prime minister. AJ
  • At least 17 people have been killed and dozens wounded in the southern Syrian province of Sweida in clashes between armed residents and gangs aligned with the government security agencies. AJ
  • Syrian rebels destroyed a Syrian Army base near Aleppo. AWC
  • Turkish FM Mevlut Cavosoglu reported Turkey was willing to ally with the Assad government against the Kurdish SDF. AWC
  • Turkey threatens to further invade northern Syria. AWC
  • The UN says Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to renew an existing truce for another two months, the UN envoy has said. AJ

Ethiopia

  • US and EU special envoys for the Horn of Africa have called on Ethiopian authorities to restore basic services to the Tigray region in order to encourage peace talks with rebels. VOA

About Kyle Anzalone

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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