News Roundup 7/13/17

  • The Atlanta Police Department is investigating a police officer who was filmed beating a woman. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The US signed an anti-terror agreement with Qatar. In the agreement, both countries will work to reduce funding to terrorists. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • 5,000 South Sudanese civilians have fled the country as government troops approach the rebel-held city Pagak. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The last power plant in Gaza has turned off due to a lack of fuel. The Palenstianas who live in Gaza will not have electricity until fuel imports resume. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • Fighting in Mosul continues after victory over ISIS has been declared. Amnesty Internation reports that 5,800 civilians may have been killed by the US coalition in West Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The US confirmed that Special Forces are in the city of Raqqa. The US said the Special Forces are in non-combat roles and are calling in airstrikes. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • 12 former al-Qaeda militants were killed by a suicide bomber in Idlib, Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The UN Special Envoy for Yemen says the situation in Yemen is getting worse daily. 14 million Yemeni citizens are in desperate need of food aid. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #65, I discuss how the FBI creates terrorists. The FBI will bribe or blackmail Arabs in the US to become informants. The informants often target disenfranchised young Muslim Arabs then radicalize or entrap them. At times, informants use US foreign policy to radicalize someone. On other occasions, informants befriend people, then leverage that friendship to get them to play a small role in a fake terror plot. The FBI always brags about the arrests, but rarely informs the US how the FBI created the “terrorist” in the first place. I also update Russia, US weapon sales, Saudi/Qatar, Syria, Mosul, and Yemen. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 7/12/17

  • Donald Trump Jr. Tweeted copies of several emails expressing his desire to meet with a Russian lawyer in hopes of getting information on Hillary Clinton. The emails say the Russian lawyer had information from the Russian government to pass to Trump Jr. [Link] The Russian lawyer said she did not have any information that Trump Jr. wanted. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The FBI arrested a US soldier after he said he supports the Islamic state. The Army warned the FBI the soldier was becoming radicalized in 2012. The soldier’s attorney said the soldier may suffer from war-related mental illness. [Link] FBI Fyle
  • The US has deployed Patriot Missile batteries in Lithuania for the first time. Lithuanian officials say the missiles are in Lithuania for war games and are expected to remain there until September. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The US State Department announces it plans to sell $4 billion worth of Patriot Missiles to Romania. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Three Defense Department officials told Nancy Yousef that the Pentagon does not have a formal role in the Syrian ceasefire. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • A Russian Senator said Russia is looking to expel 30 American diplomats and seize US State Department property. The Senator said the moves would be a response to US sanctions. [Link] Russia Fyle
  • An Emirate was arrested by the UAE for posting videos with sympathy for Qatar on Snapchat. [Link]
  • Two Afghan police officers and four insurgents were killed in a Taliban attack on an Afghan police outpost. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • Iran is negotiating oil deals worth over $200 billion with companies in 27 countries. [Link] Iran Fyle
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the ISIS leader Baghdadi is dead. [Link] US Lt. Gen. Townsend said the US sees no sign that Baghdadi is alive. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Amnesty Internation says all sides of the war in Mosul committed war crimes. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Fighting in Mosul continues. The Iraqi Prime Minister declared victory over ISIS in Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • A video of YPG fighters torturing Arab detainees has surfaced. The YPG confirmed the video was authentic and is looking to punish the torturers. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The UN is halting plans to send cholera vaccines to Yemen. The UN says the conflict will make that distribution of the vaccines in Yemen very difficult. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 7/11/17

  • The Third Circut Court of Appeals has ruled that filming police is a right protected by the First Amendment. [Link] Bill of Rights Fyle
  • A man accused of plotting a terror attack claims he was entrapped by the FBI. The man accused says FBI informants pushed him to buy machine guns. [Link] FBI Fyle
  • A mom and pop tuxedo store was seized by the IRS without the owners being charged with any federal crimes. [Link]
  • 16 bodies have been recovered from a Marine KC-130 plane crash in Mississippi. [Link]
  • Rex Tillerson says the demands Saudi Arabia made of Qatar are unrealistic. Tillerson said a resolution to the conflict may be months away. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Eight civilians were killed when an attacker threw a grenade at several people in Burundi. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • An adviser to the governor of Nineveh province said that Mosul is completely destroyed. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Iran is calling for an expansion of the US/Russia ceasefire in Southwest Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle

Will Porter comes on Foreign Policy Focus #64 to discuss journalism and Syria. Will discuss how he finds and vets news. Will list some sources he trusts and how he approaches the MSM. Will also explain how he finds fake news. Will has written several recent articles on the April 4th chemical weapons attack in Syria. Will gives us all the latest news and his theory on what actually happened. LISTEN HERE!!


News Roundup 7/10/17

  • A judge declared a mistrial in a trial for an Oklahoma police officer who killed his daughter’s boyfriend. The officer claims the boyfriend was armed, but no weapon was found. [Link]
  • A judge ordered Kevin Mallory be held without bond. Mallory is accused of selling secrets to China. Mallory has connections to the CIA. [Link]
  • A federal judge extends a ruling that prevents the deportation of Iraqi national in the US for another two weeks. The judge made the initial ruling two weeks ago to prevent the Iraqis from being deported. The ruling covers over 1,400 Iraqi nations. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • Nikki Haley said that “everyone knows Russia meddled in the election.” Haley went on to say Russia is getting involved in elections around the world. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The US flew B1 and F-16 bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Friday. North Korea called the move a reckless provocation. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • London’s mayor called on the UK to make support for Hezbollah illegal. [Link] UK Fyle
  • Over 1,600 coal power plants are planned to be built worldwide. More than 700 of the power plants will be in China. [Link]
  • The US carried out a drone strike against al-Shabaab in Somalia. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • 10,000 Polish citizens are being evacuated after an unexploded 1,000 pound WWII bomb was found. [Link]
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi arrives in Mosul to declare victory over ISIS. There are still small pockets of ISIS fighters near the Tigris River in West Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Civilians in Raqqa are struggling to get water because of fighting in the city. The temperature can reach 114 degrees in the city. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The ceasefire agreement between the US and Russian in Southwest Syrian continues to hold. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 7/8/17

  • Trump met with Putin for the first time. The meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes but lasted over two hours. Trump and Putin spoke about allegations that Russia hacked the US election, Syria, Ukraine, and North Korea. [Link] Tillerson and Russia’s Foreign Minister gave somewhat different statements on the conversation on Russian hacking. Tillerson suggested that the side agreed they needed to move past the issue, while Russia’s Foreign Minister said Trump accepted Putin’s assurances that Russia did not hack the US election. [Link]  The talks between Trump and Putin led a to a cease-fire agreement for Southwest Syria. [Link] After the talks, Trump said he had very, very good talks with Putin. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Trump did not allow HR McMaster or Fiona Hill attend the meeting with Putin out of fears they would leak information. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The New York Times issued a retraction after publishing a tweet from a parody North Korea news Twitter account. The New York Times published the Tweet in its article claiming the parody account was the official North Korean account. [Link]
  • Joe Lauria looks into the missing US journalism into a report that showed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied about the Libyan war in 2011. [Link]
  • Glenn Greenwald explains how Rachel Maddow misrepresented her claim that a forged document she received may have come from someone within The Intercept. [Link]
  • The Department of Justice is pursuing charges against former Arizona Shariff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is facing six months in prison if convicted. [Link]
  • The new NDAA will have a vote on forming a new Space Corps military branch. [Link]
  • An amendment to the NDAA that will be voted on would end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. [Link]
  • South Dakota has a policy of forcible catheterization of drug suspects who refuse a drug test. The forcible catheterization policy resulted in a three-year-old having an adult sized catheter forcibly inserted into his penis. [Link] Bill of Rights Fyle 
  • Canada has awarded an ex-Gitmo detainee Omar Khadr $8 million for wrongful imprisonment. While at Gitmo, Khadr was subject to sleep deprivation and admitted to killing a US soldier during a battle in Afghanistan. Khadr was sentenced to eight years plus the time he had already served. Khadr was suing Canada for wrongful imprisonment. Khadr denies killing the US soldier. [Link]
  • Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from jail. Navalny was recently arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail during protests. [Link] Russia Fyle
  • In Benghazi, fighting continues between the forces of General Haftar and Islamist Militants. [Link] Libya Fyle
  • 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when Islamists launched a blitz attack a security post in the Sinai. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • When Trump empowered the Pentagon to set troop levels in Afghanistan, he only empowered the Pentagon to send an additional 3,900 troops to Afghanistan. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • UNESCO made the Cave of the Patriarchs or al-Ibrahimi mosque a Palestinian heritage site. The decision by UNESCO enraged some the in Israeli government who called UNESCO anti-Semitic and called on the US to end funding to UNESCO. [Link] Israel Fyle


  • ISIS Fighters in Mosul launched a counterattack against the Iraqi army. In the counterattack, ISIS was able to take back 80 yards of Mosul from the Iraqi army and kill five Iraqi soldiers. [Link] ISIS War Fyle 
  • The US-led coalition fighting ISIS admits to killing 119 civilians in May. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Syrian rebel groups say they plan to join the coming Turkish military operation against the Kurdish YPG. The rebels groups that plan to join Turkey are groups supported by Turkey or the CIA. Turkey has moved tanks, troops, and artillery into a Syrian town near the Kurdish Afrin Enclave. [Link] Syria Fyle 
  • The recent cholera outbreak has not infected 270,000 Yemenis. The war in Yemen has destroyed medical facilities, roads, and jobs making it very difficult for people in some parts of the country to receive treatment for cholera. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #63, I talk about the first meeting between Trump and Putin. Trump and Putin met for 30 minutes and discussed several topics. Trump and Putin talked about Syria, Ukraine, cyber security, and ambassadors. I also update Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UK. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 7/7/17

  • In 2015, 15% of men aged 21-30 did not work. This is double the number of young men who did not work in 2000. [Link]
  • An Amish farmer has been sentenced to six years in prison for selling herbal health products in defiance of the FDA. [Link] Regulations Fyle
  • More than 585,000 immigration cases are waiting for a judge’s decision.It could take up to four years for all of the cases to be heard.  [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • Sir John Chilcot said Tony Blair was not honest with the UK people in the run-up to the Iraq War. [Link] UK Fyle
  • In the UK, a court has ruled that an 11-month-old baby will be taken off life support. The parents of the child fought in court to have their child remain on life support. The family has raised over $1.6 million for the care of the child, however, the court will not let the family pay for their child’s continued care. [Link] UK Fyle
  • Over 300 people reported being sexually abused by UN peacekeepers in 2017. [Link] UN Fyle
  • In response to the North Korea ICMB test, the US is calling for more sanctions on North Korea, advocating for sanctions on countries that support North Korea, and conducting missile maneuvers with South Korea. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Nikki Haley said the North Korean ICBM test was a “clear and sharp military escalation.” Haley also said the US can defend itself with military capabilities but prefers not to use that option. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Russia claims that North Korea did not launch an ICBM. At the UN, Russia said North Korea only tested a medium-range missile. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • A Saudi police officer was killed in clashes in the Saudi city of Awamiyth. The Saudi government has been trying to destroy Shi’ite homes in the city since May. Over a dozen people have already been killed in clashes. [Link] Saudi Arabia Fyle 
  • In 2016, Israel destroyed nearly 200 Palestinian homes and displaced over 1,200 people. Isreal destroyed several homes to punish family members of suspected attackers. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • The UN estimates 15,000-20,000 civilians remain in ISIS-held areas of Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Rex Tillerson said the US is open establishing no-fly zones with Russia in Syria. Tillerson also said that Russia has a responsibility to make sure that Assad does not retake territory reclaimed from terrorist groups. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 7/6/17

  • CNN uncovered the maker of a .gif that appeared in a Trump Tweet. The first statement released by CNN on the issue said CNN would reveal the identity of the user if he posted more content. [Link]
  • A court ruled that Hobby Lobby must forfeit Iraqi artifacts smuggled to Hobby Lobby via Israel and the UAE. The artifacts are valued at $3 million. [Link]
  • Chinese and Japanese demand is driving up the price of cryptocurrencies. [Link]
  • At least 14 people were left dead by gun fighting between Mexican gangs on Wednesday. [Link]
  • Tensions are increasing between civilians and the Iraqi army in Mosul. An Iraqi Lt. Gen. said that all remaining civilians are related to ISIS fighters. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The head of the YPG militia says that the movement of Turkish troops to the Syrian border is a Turkish declaration of war with the YPG. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The Philippines government claims to have captured the main financial backer of the militants controlling part of the city of Marawi. [Link]

On Foreign Policy Focus #62, I look at some polling that may give insight into how Trump won the election. Trump ran as the less hawkish candidate on foreign policy but has adopted a Hillary Clinton style Foreign Policy. I also update Iraq, Libya, Russia, and Mosul. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 7/5/17

  • Polling from the 2016 election finds that communities hit hardest by military loss were more likely to vote Trump. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Trump and Putin will meet on Friday. No agenda will be set for the meeting. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Illinois will increase income taxes 32%. [Link]
  • There are about 15,000 nuclear weapons worldwide. [Link]
  • John McCain led a group of Senators to Afghanistan to give support for the Afghanistan War. McCain said the Taliban will negotiate if they start losing the conflict. Lindsey Graham called for more US troops to help win the war. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The UK is looking into a claim that four civilians were murdered in Afghanistan by a member of the SAS in 2011. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • Rex Tillerson says the North Koreans tested an ICBM. The North Korean government also made this claim. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Forces loyal to General Haftar are close to retaking the last areas of the city of Benghazi still held by Islamists. [Link] Libya Fyle
  • The UAE Foreign Minister said the world needs to isolate Qatar. [Link]
  • Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and a Saudi Prince attended a rally in support of the MEK, a group looking to overthrow the Iranian government. [Link]

News Roundup 7/4/17

  • Gareth Porter argues against the Russia-gate narrative. [Link]
  • The mother of Philando Castile will receive $3 million from the city where her son was killed by a police officer. [Link]
  • The US carried out an airstrike against al-Shabaab on Sunday. The strike was a part of the US mission in Somalia to defeat al-Shabaab and stabilize Somalia. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • China said the US was acting provocatively when it sent a USS destroyer within 12 miles of a South China Sea island claimed by China. [Link] South China Sea Fyle
  • North Korea tested another missile it claims was an ICBM capable of reaching the US. The missile was fired in the direction of Japan. Trump responded to the missile test on Twitter. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE have extended the deadline for Qatar to meet their 13 demands till July 5th. [Link]
  • US-backed forces have breached the wall surrounding the Old City of Raqqa. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • A city controlled by the US-backed Free Syrian Army had sharia law courts. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Turkey is threatening to cross the border and attack the Kurds in Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The Syrian military has announced a temporary ceasefire for peace talks that will begin today. [Link] Syria Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #61, I update several conflicts from around the world. In Africa, I update ongoing conflicts in Mali, Libya, and Somalia. In the Middle East, I focus on US interventions in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I also update the civil war in Ukraine. LISTEN HERE!!

News Roundup 7/3/17

  • Over 40% of White House staffers earn over $100,000 per year. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • A US Court of Appeals threw out the case of two Yemeni families who were suing the US after their two innocent family members were killed in a US drone strike. The court ruled it lacked authority to question the government’s decision making. The families are not seeking money, just an admission that the strike violated international law. [Link] Drone Fyle
  • Lt. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee said that the US was not concerned about limiting civilian deaths in Iraq during the 2007 surge. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • China demands the US stop the $1.4 billion weapons sale to Taiwan. [Link] China Fyle
  • In Mali, an al-Qaeda-linked terror group released a video showing six foreign hostages. The narrator in the video wanted to start negotiations for the release of the hostages. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • The Afghan government claims to have killed 16 militants. Five of the militants are ISIS fighters, and one was a Taliban district commander. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • Over 80% of West Mosul has been destroyed since operations to retake Mosul started. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • 440,000 internally displaced Syrian civilians have returned home since the beginning of the year. [Link] Syria Fyle 
  • The YPG has announced plans to retake territory held by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels. [Link] Syria Fyle