News Roundup 9/21/17

  • Trump says he has made a decision on the Iran nuclear deal. Tillerson says no one knows what decision Trump made. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Two Oklahoma police officers shot and killed a deaf man who was carrying a pipe on his own property. Witnesses were yelling at the police that the man was deaf and could not understand the officers’ commands. The officers say they did not hear that information. The deaf man was shot and tased several times. [Link] Police Fyle
  • A video has been posted on Facebook showing Pittsburg police officers beating a man on the ground. [Link] Police Fyle
  • A video has been released of a police officer confronting and handcuffing a 14-year-old boy with autism who was self-soothing. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The US will provide $32 million in aid to the Rohingya people. The total the US has given to the Rohingya in aid for the fiscal year 2017 is $95 million. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Spanish police continue to carry out raids and arrests to try to prevent the Catalonian independence vote. [Link] Spain Fyle
  • Ann Jones explains why US policy in Afghanistan has failed for 16 years and will continue to fail. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • US-backed forces have recaptured 90% of Raqqa. 10,000 – 25,000 civilians remain in the city. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Airwars says more than 1,000 Raqqa civilians have been killed by coalition airstrikes since June. [Link] 433 civilians were killed in the month of August. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The US deputy commander of forces in Iraq said ISIS is collapsing faster than expected. [Link] ISIS War Fyle


News Roundup 9/20/17

  • Trista Parsi explains how Trump conflated Iran and North Korea in his speech to the UN. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Someone used Bitcoin to buy a home for the first time. [Link]
  • Families of victims of the US drone program are suing in court for the US to admit the strike was unlawful and to apologize. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The Spanish government is searching for ballots to try to seize them to prevent the Catalonian independence vote. Police have also questioned several mayors from the Catalonian region. [Link] Spain Fyle
  • Myanmar’s leader says she is not afraid of claims that her country is engaging in ethnic cleansing. She says over 50% of Rohingya villages are intact. [Link]
  • Iran’s President says no one will trust the US again if the US backs out of the nuclear deal. [Link] Iran Fyle
  • The US closed a military outpost in southern Syria near the border with Iraq. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The Pentagon is working to improve communications with Russia in Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Marko Marjanovic sets the stage for the race for eastern Syria. Both the Assad backed forces and US-backed forces are looking to take as much ground from the Islamic State as possible. [Link] Syria Fyle


News Roundup 9/19/17

  • Hillary Clinton says she will not rule out challenging the results of the 2016 election in Russia involvement is deeper than she thought. [Link] 2016 Fyle
  • Donald Trump suggested the US should hold a military parade in Washington DC. Trump also said the message is to make the UN great. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The Trump Administration is looking to change the Presidential Policy Guidance to allow new detainees be sent to Guantanamo Bay and removing safeguards on the drone program that protect civilians. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The Senate passed the 2018 NDAA to give the military more than $700 billion in funding next year. [Link]
  • A Soviet officer who saved the world by deciding not to launch nuclear weapons in 1983 had died. [Link]
  • The US carried out a show of force against North Korea by dropping live bombs near the DMZ. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Spain will not rule out using exceptional measures to prevent the Catalonian secession vote. [Link] Spain Fyle 
  • Officials say the London subway bombers have no ties to any militant group. [Link] UK Fyle
  • US Special Operations forces were within a couple of miles of the SDF position hit by a Russian airstrike. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Assad allied forces and US-backed forces are nearing each other in Deir Ezzor, Syria. US officials say that both sides are keeping lines of communication open to prevent any conflicts. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 9/18/17

  • FEMA auctioned relief trailers just before Hurricane Harvey. FEMA said they were unsure if they had enough relief trailers to meet the demand created by recent hurricanes. [Link]
  • The Justice Department is ending a program that critiques local police departments. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The Innocence Project helped free an innocent man who was convicted of murder in 1996. [Link]
  • Harvard canceled plans to make Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow. The plans were canceled after CIA Director Pompeo refused to speak at the school. [Link] Whistleblower Fyle
  • Congressman Rohrabacher attempted to offer Trump a deal where Assange provides Trump proof that Russia did not provide the leaked emails. In exchange, Trump would give Assange a pardon. [Link] Whistleblower Fyle
  • A Federal judge says the Justice Department cannot withhold money from sanctuary cities. [Link] Immigration Fyle
  • A bomb exploded on a UK subway injuring 30. Two men have been arrested in connection with the bombing. [Link] UK Fyle
  • Trump says the US is prepared to “defend our civilization” from North Korea. North Korea says it is seeking weapons to achieve equilibrium with the US. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Isreali settlers destroyed 70 Palestinian olive trees in two raids. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • The Iraqi government is beginning a military operation against the Islamic State in the Anbar Province. The US will support the operation. [Link] Iraq Fyle
  • Bin Laden’s son calls for jihadists to continue the fight against Assad. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria said they would not allow Assad government troops to cross the Euphrates River. Russia said Assad allied troops have already crossed the river. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Reports have claimed that Russia carried out airstrikes against SDF forces outside of Deir Ezzor. Several SDF soldiers were injured. [Link] Russia disputes the claim they carried out the airstrikes. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Reports claim that the US has given YPG and SDF militias $2.2 billion in Soviet-style weapons. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 9/15/17

  • Civil rights groups have filed a legal challenge against Trump’s pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • A judge has revoked Martin Shkreli’s bail and placed him in jail. The judge said that Shkreli could have facilitated an assault against Hillary Clinton. Shkreli posted on Facebook that he would give $5,000 to someone who could get a hair from Hillary Clinton’s head. [Link]
  • The US imposed sanctions against 11 people and companies for their ties with Iran. [Link] The Trump Administration also extended the sanctions relief that is a part of the P5+1 Nuclear Agreement. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Myanmar’s political and military leaders are unified on the Rohingya. [Link]
  • A video shows South African riot police marching on protesters and firing rubber bullets. A 14-year-old was shot in the mouth at close range. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • North Korea fires another intermediate range ballistic missile. The missile flew over Japan. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • The South Korean president says South Korea will not allow the US to deploy nuclear weapons in South Korea. A South Korean delegation in the US asked the US to pressure South Korea to take US nuclear weapons. The members of the delegation were members of the opposition party of South Korea. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Pakistan says the US can cut off aid to Pakistan. The statement was a response to Trump Afghanistan War extension speech. In the speech, Trump said the US has given Pakistan billions of dollars, but Pakistan needs to do more to fight against terror. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The Australian Federal Police found that an Australian Special Forces soldier who cut off the hands of dead Taliban members did not commit any war crimes. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The Islamic State carried out an attack on a popular Shi’ite restaurant in Iraq killing at least 83. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • An American, fighting for the Islamic State, has surrendered to Kurdish forces in Syria. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Russia is firing cruise missiles at Islamic State targets near Deir Ezzor. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • US and Russian air strikes near Deir Ezzor have hit civilian targets and killed several civilians. [Link] ISIS War Fyle

Foreign Policy Focus #92 – Killing the 2001 AUMF

On Foreign Policy Focus #92, I discuss the attempt by Senator Rand Paul to repeal the 2001 AUMF. The 2001 AUMF was passed in the week after 9/11 and was intended to be a war resolution for Afghanistan. Since 2001, the AUMF has been used to justify military actions in at least 14 countries. The repeal vote failed but gained some traction. I also update Myanmar, Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan.

News Roundup 9/13/17

  • The Department of Justice announced it would not prosecute six police officers involved in the death of Freddy Gray. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The US army has moved two tank brigades to northern Poland. The US says it is responding to concerns about Russia war games. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US needs to retain all three parts of the nuclear triad. In January, Mattis questioned the need for ground based missile silos. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The US State Department and Russian Foreign Ministry issued statements saying that they feel no need for further escalation of hostilities. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Russia’s Zapad war games have begun. About 13,000 troops are involved in the war games. [Link] Russia Fyle
  • This article looks at the jihadist support for the Rohingya. [Link]
  • Myanmar’s location between India and China should discourage the West from intervening in the conflict. [Link]
  • After 9/11, the US developed a surveillance centers in Ethiopia to spy on Ethiopians and others in the Horn of Africa. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • This article profiles what the possible Iraqi Kurdish state could look like. [Link] Iraq Fyle
  • The US declassified a map that identified the location of 81 unexploded US bombs in Mosul. [Link] Iraq Fyle
  • Dozens of Islamic State defectors have crossed into Turkey from the Idlib Province of Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The US used a base in Germany as a route to get weapons to Syrian rebels. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • This article explains the logistics of the US weapons support to Syrian rebel groups. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • China backs a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights plan to investigate atrocities in Yemen. The US and Saudi Arabia continue to oppose the plan. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 9/13/17

  • The Henry A Wallace Police Crime Database is a new database dedicated to tracking crimes committed by police officers. [Link]
  • A former Cleveland police officer has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two women at an illegal traffic stop with a sex toy. The officer was fired from his police job two weeks after the incident. [Link]
  • The House approved three amendments to a spending bill that will reduce the power of Attorney Sessions Directive on civil asset forfeiture. [Link]
  • Rand Paul is making an effort to have a vote on repealing the 2001 AUMF in the Senate. [Link]
  • The Wall Street Journal explains how war games are carried out. [Link]
  • Trump says the latest UN sanctions against North Korea pale in comparison to what will happen to North Korea in the future. [Link]
  • 370,000 Rohingyan refugees are now in Bangladesh. [Link]
  • John McCain has withdrawn Armed Services Committee plans to expand US military ties with Myanmar. [Link]
  • The Indian government is looking at deporting 40,000 Rohingyas who currently live in India as refugees. These refugees fled to India from Myanmar years ago to escape violence. [Link]
  • At an Arab League meeting in Cario, diplomats from Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia traded heated words. [Link]
  • Islamic State fighters in Marawi continue to hold out. The Philippine’s military insists the militants will soon be defeated. [Link]
  • The Philippines government gave an annual budget of $20 to the committee tasked to investigate the country’s war on drugs. [Link]
  • The US dropped more than 500 bombs on Afghanistan in August. August was the most active month for bombings in Afghanistan in five years. [Link]
  • The Iraqi Kurds say they plan to move forward with their independence vote on September 25th. The Iraqi Parliment passed a measure that gave the Prime Minister the power to prevent the Kurds from seceding from Iraq. [Link]
  • 69 civilians have been killed by airstrikes in eastern Syria since Sunday. Russia likely carried out the airstrikes. [Link]
  • Iran signed a deal with Syria for Iran to be contracted to rebuild Syria’s power grid. [Link]
  • The Saudi coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen have killed 26 children with airstrikes since June. [Link]


News Roundup 9/12/17


  • Paul Ryan, John Kelly, and H.R. McMaster are all pushing Trump to sign a law to grant amnesty to DREAMERS. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • A video shows a California police officer writing a street vendor a ticket and taking money from his wallet. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The ATF created an unregulated illegal slush fund. The slush fund paid two informants $6 million each. [Link]
  • The simplistic viewpoint the media has on Myanmar is incorrect, in reality, the situation is much more complex. Refugees are fleeing Islamic militias and the Myanmar government. [Link]
  • Over 300,000 refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. [Link]
  • The UN imposed new sanctions on North Korea. However, the sanctions did not include the oil embargo the US was pushing for. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • The IAEA defends the Iran Nuclear Deal. The head of the IAEA says the watchdog group is carrying out more inspections in Iran. [Link] Iran Fyle 
  • US coalition forces were injured in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. The injuries were minor and several civilians were killed in the attack. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and cited an offensive US leaflet for the attack. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The US Ambassador to Afghanistan said the US would never allow Afghanistan to be an ungoverned safe haven for enemies of the US. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The Islamic State has released a new video showing ISIS fighters using US weapons. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The Israeli Justice Minister says Assad needs to keep Iran out if he wants to survive. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The US backed Kurdish forces clashed may clash with the Syrian Arab Army while fighting for oil fields near Deir Ezzor city. [Link] Syria Fyle

On FPF #91, I share my experience of growing up after 9/11 and the Terror War. I was 10 when the 9/11 attacks happened. I share some myths I believed, I debunk those myths, and talk about how I was led to believe them. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 9/11/17

  • The State Department approved of $3.8 billion in weapons sales to Bahrain. Most of the weapons in the sale are anti tank missiles and F-16s. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Israel has supplied the Myanmar army with weapons including 100 tanks. The UK has assisted in training the Myanmar army. [Link]
  • The Diplomat podcast looks at the recent history of Myanmar. [Link]
  • At least four people were killed by a suicide bomber in Somalia. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • Israeli military planes flew low over Lebanon. When the planes broke the sound barrier it caused damage on the ground. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • An Iranian Navy ship confronted a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian ship prevented the American ship from approaching a disabled Iranian fishing ship. [Link] Iran Fyle
  • Recently, 35 people have been kidnapped by the Islamic State or the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The Iraqi forces are holding 1,300 women and children related to Islamic State fighters in a refugee camp. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The US destroyed an Islamic State prison in Syria near the border with Iraq. Five Islamic State fighters and 18 prisoners were killed in the attack. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • At the request of Russia, the US has called off surveillance of a convoy of Islamic State fighters and their families who surrendered to Hezbollah. The convoy was traveling through Syria to Islamic state held territory in the east of the country when the US used airstrikes to prevent the convoy from continuing. The convoy has been stranded in the desert for the past several days. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • 34 civilians were killed by Russian airstrikes as the civilians attempted to flee Deir Ezzor. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The SDF have started an operation to retake northern Deir Ezzor Province from IS. The Syrian army recently broke the IS siege of Deir Ezzor. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Russia has used the country’s largest non-nuclear weapon on an Islamic State target outside of Deir Ezzor Syria. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Moon of Alabama argues that claims that Assad is a neo-nazi are lies. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The US has ordered Syrian rebel groups in southern Syria to leave Syria and move into Jordan. [Link] Syria Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #90, I discuss some recent reporting in the media. The fictions told be the media lead to a false understanding of foreign policy. I blast the media and reveal the truth. LISTEN HERE!!