News Roundup 5/14/17

  • 57,000 computers have been infected by a new malware worm. The new malware worm was based on an NSA designed flaw in the Windows operating system. The NSA design flaw was leaked by Shadow Brokers. [Link]
  • 45,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy in 2017. The 45,000 refugees are 40% more than the number of refugees who made the trip by this time last yeat. At least 1,222 people have died attempting to make the trip in 2017. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • North Korea has conducted a missile test for the seventh time this year. The US government again condemned North Korea for testing the missile. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • In Colombia, FARC soldiers are taking the first steps to reenter civilian life. The FARC rebellions recently agreed to a peace deal with the Colombian government. [Link]
  • The government of the Ivory Coast’s inability to pay a bonus to its military has led to some members of the military to rebel. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The UN condemns the widespread use of torture by the Pakistani police, the intelligence community, and military. [Link] Pakistan/India Fyle
  • In the fight for West Mosul, the Iraqi army has not made progress in weeks along the Southern battle lines. The Iraqi army has started a new operation in the North West of Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • SDF forces are now fighting ISIS about 4 kilometers from the city of Raqqa. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The Syrian army is moving closer to taking the Qaboun district from Syrian rebels. The district is outside of Damascus. The Syria army has relied heavily on airstrikes to take the district. [Link] The rebels have agreed to a deal that will allow them to disarm and leave the district for Idlib Province. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • In Yemen, the city of Sanaa has declared a state of emergency due to a cholera outbreak. At least a few dozen people in Yemen have died from cholera. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 5/13/17

  • The White House has released a list of the 11 people Trump is considering nominating to be the next FBI Director. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Lithuania’s president calls for US troops to be permanently stationed in Lithuania. [Link]
  • The president of Somalia is asking the UN to lift a 25-year embargo against Somalia. The embargo prevents weapons from being sold to Somalia. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • Turkey has arrested the online editor of a news outlet. The arrest warrant was issued after the news outlet ran a story about the death of a prosecutor. [Link] Turkey Fyle
  • A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed 25 people in an attack on a member of the Pakistani Senate. The Senator was traveling in a convoy and survived the attack. The Islamic State group in Pakistan is claiming responsibility. [Link] Pakistan/India Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #39, I discuss US interventions across Africa and Asia. The US is going to provide support for the West African coalition fighting Islamists. The US is selling $2 billion in weapons to the UAE. The UAE is currently fighting against the US-backed government in Libya. The Afghan government nearly lost a key province to the Taliban. I also update nuclear waste, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the drug war. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 5/12/17

  • The Senate voted 84-14 to confirm Robert Lighthizer as US Trade Representative. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Nuclear waste produced by US nuclear weapons is being stored in unsafe conditions. A storage site is leaking nuclear waste, and the project to stop the leak will cost a total of $100 billion. The US government already spend $6 billion every year on the disposal of nuclear waste. [Link] Wasteful Spending Fyle
  • The US will provide financial, intelligence, and logistical support to the five country West Africa coalition. The coalition is also backed by the French government and is fighting the Islamist movement in the region. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The Afghani army recaptured key regions in the Badakhshan Province. The Badakhshan Province links Afghanistan and China. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says the situation in Afghanistan is likely to deteriorate even with a modest increase in US military involvement. Coats says the Taliban are likely to continue to make progress in the rural regions of Afghanistan. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • During the war against ISIS, 17 Canadian bombs have missed their target. In at least two of these cases, civilians were killed. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • SDF forces made a deal with ISIS fighters to allow ISIS fighters to leave the city of Tabqa. [Link] ISIS War Fyle

News Roundup 5/11/17

  • A new report claims that 23,000 homicides occurred in Mexico in 2016. [Link]
  • On the Scott Horton Show, Conn Hallinan makes the case that the US is moving towards first strike potential. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The US has been secretly training two Syrian rebel groups in South Syria. The training is occurring on the battlefield and in a camp near the border with Iraq. The rebel groups have received air support, training, and weapons from the US. These rebel groups are helping to take Deir Ezzor from ISIS. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The UN Secretary General warns the attack that killed four UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic may constitute war crimes. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The UAE is using American made plans to support the Russia-backed government in Libya. The Russian-backed Libyan government is fighting against the US-backed Libyan government. [Link] Libya Fyle
  • The YPG announced the capture of Tabqa from ISIS. The YPG also captured the Tabqa dam from ISIS. [Link] Syria Fyle


I worked with Will Porter on an article on civilian deaths in Mosul and its running on Libertarian Institute. [Link]

Check out the new episode of my podcast Foreign Policy Focus. On FPF #38, I discuss the trend of US soldiers moving towards the front lines. Obama and Trump moved US soldiers towards the front lines in Iraq and Syria. Now the Pentagon is looking to move US troops closer to the front lines in Afghanistan and Somalia. I examine the past and future outcomes of this policy. I also update South Korea, Yemen, Somalia, and Turkey. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 5/10/17

  • 250 refugees fleeing North Africa for Europe are missing and feared dead. 1,300 people are believed to have died making the trip this year. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • South Korea elected Moon Jae-in to be president. Moon said he will look to defuse tensions with North Korea. [Link]
  • This article looks at the Islamist movement in West Africa and what is being done to prevent it. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The US soldier who was killed in Somalia died fighting on the front lines with Somalian troops. Typically US troops in an advise and assist role operate behind the front lines. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • Four UN Peacekeepers were killed in the Central African Republic fighting a Christian rebel group. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The Trump Administration announced it will arm Kurdish forces as necessary to defeat ISIS in Raqqa. The US expects that the Kurdish fighters will return the weapons after ISIS is defeated. [Link] ISIS War Fyle

News Roundup 5/9/17

  • In a signing statement on the spending bill, Trump stated that he is not bound by the bill’s restrictions on transferring detainees to Gitmo. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The Egyptian government destroyed 15 trucks traveling from Libya to Egypt with air strikes. The Egyptian government claims the trucks were smuggling weapons into Egypt. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • At least 15 Malian soldiers have been killed by militants in the past week. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • In a speech, Erdogan criticized Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Israel responded by pointing out Erdogan’s poor treatment of his own people. [Link] Turkey Fyle
  • ISIS has infiltrated a refugee camp on the border between Syria and Jordan. [Link] ISIS War Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #37, I discuss the hidden costs of US military spending. The defense budget is over $500 billion. However, the US government spends an additional $250 billion on the military. By keeping the money for overseas operations, veterans, and homeland security off the Pentagon’s budget, the US can spend billions on defense without the taxpayers knowing. I also update Africa, France, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 5/8/17

  • The father of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police officer Roy Oliver is suing Oliver for killing his son. Oliver has been dismissed from his job as a police officer and charged with murder. [Link] Police Fyle
  • Israel’s leader is pushing a new bill that will make Israel a Jewish state. Critics of the bill warn that it will make Palestinians second-class citizens. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • The Nigerian government makes a deal with Boko Haram to exchange five Boko Haram leaders for 82 women kidnapped by Boko Haram in April of 2014. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • Fighting between Pakistani and Afghani forces leaves 50 Afghani troops dead. Nine civilians have also been killed in the fighting. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • ISIS fighters attacked a Peshmerga base near Kirkuk. The attack was repelled with the assistance of US air support. Two Peshmerga troops were killed in the attack. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Iraqi government troops are fighting ISIS on a new front in Mosul. The Iraqi troops are making little progress against ISIS in the heavily populated city. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Syrian YPG forces have been identified with sophisticated American military equipment including night vision goggles and advanced optics. The Pentagon denies giving these weapons to the YPG fighters. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Russia and the US will reestablish a communications channel to help avoid potential accidents in Syria. Russia disengaged from the channel after the attack on Assad. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Fighting in Syria has decreased since the safe zones were put in place last week. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 5/6/17

  • An investigator is reporting that there is gross mismanagement on an F-16 base in Iraq. The base is operated by contractors and costs taxpayers $700 million. [Link] Wasteful Spending Fyle
  • One US service member was killed, and two other were injured in Somalia. The US troops were assisting Somali troops in their fight against the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • Helicopters attack near the area where the US troop in Somalia was killed. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • At least five West Africa countries are forming a coalition to fight Islamists in the region. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • At least 15 people have been left dead after a border fight broke out between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most of the dead are civilians. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • Iraq’s Prime Minister says no US combat troops will remain in Iraq after the ISIS War. A few days ago, the Pentagon announced the US was working towards a status of forces agreement with Iraq that would allow US troops to remain in Iraq. [Link] Iraq Fyle
  • At least 68 civilians have been killed by the Iraqi army bombing a school that was being used by displaced people in Mosul. At least 47 of the dead are women and children. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • In the past week, ISIS lost ground to US-backed SDF forces and the Assad government. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • A deal has been reached between Russia, Iran, and Turkey to establish safe zones in Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The US says it will not respect the safe zones set up by Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The US is not currently operating in any of the areas that are now safe zones. [Link] Syria Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #36, I discuss the current status of the war on the Korean Peninsula. Decades ago hostilities ended in an armistice. However, the war lacks an official ending. Since Trump took office, tensions between the US and North Korea have been increasing. Leaders on both sides have threatened to restart the war. I also update Iraq, Libya, and Somalia. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 5/5/17

  • The FOMC announced the FED is not raising interest rates. The FOMC believes the FED will raise interest rates later this year. [Link] FED Fyle
  • The House has passed an Obamacare reform bill. The Senate will write their own healthcare reform bill. [Link] Healthcare Fyle
  • Mass spying in the US has expanded since Ed Snowden revealed the extent of the program. [Link] Spying Fyle
  • The US is looking for a status of forces agreement with Iraq to keep US troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle

News Roundup 5/4/17

  • Trump will sign an executive order to ease restrictions on churches and other tax-exempt organizations engaging in political activity. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Japan’s leader calls for revisions of Japan’s pacifist constitution. [Link] Japan Fyle
  • Israel withholds $1 million from the UN after a UN organization votes that Israel’s claim to Jerusalem is null and void. [Link] Israel Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #35 I discuss the story of the US running low on bombs. I examine the morality of dropping so many bombs. I also look at the practical outcomes of US air wars. I update stories on Mosul, Syria, Russia, Yemen, and Afghanistan. LISTEN HERE!!