News Roundup 12/22/16

  • Obama will use a 1953 law to prevent future offshore drilling in large areas of the Atlantic and Artic oceans. Trump would not be able to simply undo this move by Obama. [Link] Regulations Fyle
  • The California DMV has issued a statement saying they are revoking the registration for Uber’s 16 self-driving cars. Uber has been testing its new self-driving cars in California and Uber says it will now test the cars in a different state. [Link] Regulations Fyle
  • The European Court of Justice rules against the mass collection and retention of data by the British surveillance program. [Link] Spying Fyle
  • The NSA is eroding American’s internet privacy by using a distorted definition of the word search to justify the spying program on Yahoo’s user’s emails that was exposed earlier this year. The NSA said that because computers scanned the emails before they were read not all emails were searched. [Link] Spying Fyle
  • Russia says that nearly all lines of communication between the US and Russia have been frozen. The US denies these claims and reports there are several diplomatic channels between the US and Russia. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Five of Beijing’s districts plan to put population caps in place in the next five years. [Link] China Fyle
  • On Tuesday, Russian Diplomat Petr Polshikov was shot dead in his Moscow home. [Link] Russia Fyle
  • The European Court of Justice rules that Spanish banks have to pay out over 4 billion Euros to customers. [Link] Spain Fyle
  • The evacuation of Aleppo is nearly completed. Reports are saying the Syrian rebels are only holding one final position in East Aleppo. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The Taliban kill 8 people in an attack on the home of an Afghani Member of Parliment. The MP was not killed, but two of his grandchildren were killed. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle

Check out the Weekly Freedom File Podcast where I talk with the host of the show about several important news stories from the past week. [Listen Here]

News Roundup 12/21/16

  • The General in charge of the F-35 project criticized Trump for his Tweet saying the F-35 is too expensive. The General reports that the project only needs another half a billion dollars. The F-35 project will cost over $1 trillion dollars total. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The US government is taking money from Social Security recipients checks to recover unpaid student loan debt. So far the government has collected $1.1 billion. [Link]
  • 27 IRS agents who travel for more than half the year racked up $1.4 million in expenses. The taxpayers footed the bill for the IRS agents to stay in 5-star hotels and rent luxury apartments. [Link] Wasteful Spending Fyle 
  • The average life expectancy in the US decreased in 2015. Experts predicted that this would be an effect of Obamacare. [Link] HealthCare Fyle
  • Congressman Thomas Massie starts the Second Amendment Caucus. There are currently 14 members of the Caucus. [Link] Bill of Rights Fyle
  • The NSA Inspector General George Ellard has been fired for retaliating against a whistleblower. Ellard has been critical of Edward Snowden for leaking the documents proving the NSA’s illegal surveillance program and has insisted that if Snowden had come to him, he would not have been retaliated against. [Link] Whistleblower Fyle
  • A professor at the University of Kentucky was reprimanded for singing the Beach Boys song California Girls. The school said singing the song was sexual misconduct. [Link]
  • German police have released the man who was arrested and accused of being the terrorist who crashed a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin. That man was a 23-year-old refugee from Pakistan. Police say the driver of the truck is still at large. [Link] Germany Fyle
  • The US announced that its campaign in Libya to defeat ISIS is over. The campaign started in August, and the US used about 500 airstrikes against ISIS. In the statements, the US government did say that the US will continue to support the Libyan Unity Government’s fight ISIS. [Link] Libya Fyle
  • Egyptian police catch amateur journalists creating fake news. The journalists showed children in red paint in a soon to be demolished building. Egyptian police report the journalists were going to post the videos on social media and claim they were taken in East Aleppo. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • The evacuation of civilians from East Aleppo continues with about 37,500 civilians having already left the city. The rebels say they will leave after the civilians are all gone. The Syrian government is pushing the rebels to hurry up and leave. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 12/20/16

  • Trump nominates Vincent Viola to be Secretary of the Army. Viola was a paratrooper and currently owns an NHL team. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Donald Trump officially wins the election after the Electoral College voted for him yesterday. Ron Paul received one electoral vote. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The FDA will decide if Nutella is a dessert or a product like a jam or jelly. If Nutella is a product like a jam or jelly, the serving size can change. [Link] Regulations Fyle
  • Congressmen Justin Amash and Walter Jones write a letter to President Obama asking for Obama to have Congress briefed on the evidence of Russian hacking. [Link]
  • The Hemp Industries Association is looking at legal action against the DEA for the DEA rescheduling CBD oil to a schedule 1 drug. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • President Obama granted clemency to 231 people on Monday. This set a record for the most acts of clemency granted in a single day. Obama has given clemency to over 1,100 people while in office. Most of the people Obama has granted clemency to have been low-level drug dealers serving long sentences. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • The city of New Orleans settles police brutality cases from Hurricane Katrina for $13.3 million. [Link] Police Fyle
  • Dozens of Cuban migrants land in Florida. Cuban migrants who land in the United States get to remain in the country. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • The Russian Ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back by an off-duty Turkish police officer. After shooting the Ambassador, the shooter yelled: “Don’t forget Aleppo.” The shooter was killed. Five members of the shooter’s family and his roommate have been detained by police. The US has closed 3 of its missions in Turkey. [Link] Turkey Fyle
  • At least 12 people have been killed by a truck driving into a Christmas market in Berlin. The attack is being called an act of terror, and the driver of the truck has been identified as a 23-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan. While investigating the attack, police have raided a hanger at an airport that is being used as a refugee camp. [Link]
  • The evacuation of civilians from Aleppo is going more smoothly than in the past week. At least 7,000 have been evacuated. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Kurdish forces have taken 5 villages North of  Raqqa from ISIS. This is part of the operation to surround Raqqa and liberate the city from ISIS. [Link] ISIS Fyle
  • Cluster bombs made in the UK and sold to Saudi Arabia have been used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. [Link] Saudi Arabia admits to using the weapons and agrees to stop using them. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 12/19/16

  • California puts emergency regulations in place that ban high-capacity magazines. Citizens will have until July 1 to give up their high-capacity magazines. [Link] Bill of Rights Fyle
  • US Police have killed 86 people in the past 2 years who had guns that were fake but looked real. 38 of those people had mental illnesses. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The Director of National Intelligence has refused two requests from the House Intelligence Committee Chairman to brief the committee on Russian hacking. [Link]
  • China is looking to place conditions on the return of the US Navy’s underwater drone that was seized by China last week. China is setting the conditions that the US scale down its surveillance of the South China Sea and expanding the code for unexpected encounters between the two countries to deal with unmanned underwater drone encounters. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Gunmen attacked police in Jordan killing 10 people including one Canadian citizen. [Link]
  • A report from Human Rights Watch shows that 600 people died while in police custody in India from 2010-2015. [Link] India/Pakistan Fyle
  • The IAEA reports that Iran is continuing to follow the Iran Nuclear Deal. [Link] Iran Fyle
  • Al-Qaeda attacked and burned some of the buses that were meant to evacuate civilians from towns in the Idlib Providence. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Some evacuations begin in Aleppo and other cities in Syria. The deal with the rebels to evacuate East Aleppo also requires the Syrian rebels to allows civilians to leave cities they have under siege. Busses full of civilians began leaving Aleppo and these other cities. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • John Kerry told the Boston Globe that disagreements within the ranks of the American government made the Syrian ceasefire implementation very difficult. The last ceasefire in Syria fell apart after the US bombed Syrian troops fighting ISIS and a humanitarian aid convoy was destroyed. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Patrick Cockburn reports that most of the reporting coming from Aleppo is propaganda. He reports that this has been accomplished by Syrian rebels kidnapping and killing journalists who may be unbiased. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundups 12/18/16

  • Judge Napolitano says Russia was not behind the DNC/Podesta hacks and people within the US intelligence agencies would have had the motivation to leak the emails. [Link]
  • The DEA makes CBD oil a schedule 1 drug. CBD oil is a non-psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant. Many people use CBD to treat seizures. Making CBD a schedule 1 drug puts it in the same category as heroin. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • Venezuela deploys its national guard to stop rioters. The Venezuelan government eliminated the 100 Bolivar bill as currency but failed to exchange the bill for smaller bills as promised. The Venezuelans started to riot after the banks did not open to exchange the bills. [Link] Venezuela Fyle
  • Reports surface of Iraqi militias killing prisoners suspected of being members of ISIS. The group accused of killing prisoners is made up of Sunni tribal fighters and Popular Mobilization Forces. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • In Yemen, a suicide bomber blows himself up in a crowd of soldiers waiting to collect paycheck killing at least 49. A week ago a similar attack killed 50 soldiers. Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks and both attacks occurred in the port city of Aden. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle
  • The government backed by Yemeni President Hadi has been kicked out of power in the city of Taiz. A group of militias known as the Popular Resistance felt the Hadi backed government was taking resources from the city and not assisting the city in its fight against the Houthi. The Houthi have had Taiz under siege since early this year. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 12/17/16

  • Trump picks South Carolina Congressman Mike Mulvaney to be Budget Director. Mulvaney is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, an advocate for not raising the debt ceiling, and has supported budgets that reduce government spending. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Trump’s choice for Ambassador to Israel is David Friedman. Friedman is opposed to a two-state solution and believes Israel should annex the West Bank. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Ben Swann points out 5 problems with the CIA’s assessment that Russia hacked the US election. [Link]
  • This article looked into the questionable methods Prop or Not used to compile its blacklist. [Link]
  • This article points out places where the Pentagon wasted money in 2016. The Pentagon spent another $11 billion on the F-35 project, $2 billion on LCS ships that continue to break down, and $13 billion on a aircraft carrier that is already two years behind schedule. [Link] Wasteful Spending Fyle
  • In the South China Sea, a US Navy underwater drone was operating in international waters when Chinese military ships took the drone. [Link] South China Sea Fyle
  • At least 13 Turkish soldiers have been killed and over 50 injured in a car bombing in Turkey. [Link] Turkey Fyle
  • About 8,000 civilians were evacuated from rebel-held Aleppo before the deal fell apart on Friday. A new deal was reached on Saturday to evacuate civilians from rebel-held Aleppo and a few other villages in Syria. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 12/16/16

  • Trump nominates Montana Rep Ryan Zinke to head the Department of the Interior. Zinke is a strong supporter of coal. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Facebook is partnering with Snopes and ABC to identify, mark, and demote fake news stories. [Link]
  • Twitter blocks government spy centers from having special access to Twitter data. [Link] Spying Fyle
  • The entire police department of Bunker Hill Indiana has quit. They walked off the job after budget cuts and members of the town council asking them to run background checks on other members of the town council. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The police officer who killed Sylville Smith has been charged with reckless homicide. [Link] Police Fyle
  • In Libya, the city Sirte has been liberated from ISIS. The US intervened in Libya with Operation Odyssey Lightning were the US dropped nearly 500 bombs on the city. Despite the initial operation objective being completed the US government says the mission is ongoing and plans to continue to provide support to troops fighting ISIS. [Link] Libya Fyle
  • There is a provision in the NDAA 2017 that will allow the US to send shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebels. Past weapons that have been sent to Syria rebels have ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked groups. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • Reports from Syria that at least 3,000 civilians were able to leave rebel-held Aleppo. [Link] The Syrian government stopped the evacuation of civilians from rebel-held Aleppo Friday because they report rebels have broken the deal. As part of the deal, rebels would allow civilians to leave other cities to evacuate but are not allowing this to happen. An estimated 50,000 civilians are still in rebel-held areas of Aleppo. [Link] Syria Fyle

News Roundup 12.15.16

  • Georgia’s Secretary of State confirms that someone from DHS attempted to hack into their voter database ten separate times. [Link] Spying Fyle
  • The FED announced a rate hike yesterday. Rates will increase .25% and will now be between .5%-.75%. This is the FED’s first rate hike since last December. [Link] FED Fyle
  • Uber began testing their self-driving cars in San Francisco. The California DMV sent Uber a letter telling them to stop testing and get a permit to test. [Link] Regulations Fyle
  • Youth smoking continues to decline. Researchers now conclude that vaping is replacing the smoking culture among youth and not leading youth to smoke cigarettes. [Link]
  • An Army sergeant admits to selling weapons to a Mexican drug cartel. He pleaded guilty to the crime this week. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • The DEA says that positive news stories about marijuana has made it harder to prosecute and enforce marijuana laws. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard says the CIA has been giving weapons to Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Those countries then give the weapons to al-Qaeda and ISIS. She believes both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are aware of this. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The ceasefire never went into effect yesterday, and fighting in Aleppo continued for most of the day. The rebels said today that the ceasefire was back on and reports are that fighting stopped in Aleppo this morning. [Link] [Link] Syria Fyle
  • A US drone strike kills a family of nine in Mosul. At least 40 civilians were killed in fighting around Mosul on Monday. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using US made cluster bombs against civilian targets. In one attack, Saudi Arabia attacked fishing boats and killed a civilian. The US continues to support Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 12/14/16

  • Trump selects Rick Perry to be Energy Secretary. When Perry was a presidential candidate in 2012, he ran on a platform that said he will shut down the Department of Energy. Perry famously could not remember the name of this agency during a debate when he was asked what departments he planned to shut down. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Trump picks John Bolton to be Deputy Secretary of State. Bolton was Ambassador to the UN under Bush. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Trump has picked Stephen Miller to be a senior policy advisor to the President. Miller was an aide on the Trump campaign. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The Supreme Court declines to hear a case about a Colorado law that requires out of state companies to give records of online purchases to the government. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law did not violate the Commerce Clause earlier this year, upholding the law. [Link] Bill of Rights Fyle
  • Police in Bakersfield California kill a 73-year-old man with dementia. The police officer shot the man 7 times. The officer believed the man was holding a gun, but he was actually holding a wooden cross. [Link] Police Fyle
  • The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund halts all withdrawals from the fund as too many people were trying to get their share of the pension before the pension was out of money. This announcement came after $500 million had been withdrawn from the fund since August. Dallas police report that many officers have resigned over the past few months because of the problem with the pension fund. [Link] Economy Fyle
  • Flint Michigan will switch its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Residents are warning that the Flint River is equally polluted. [Link]
  • The White House has approved $700 million in weapon sales to Qatar. The sale will go through unless blocked by Congress. [Link]
  • A deal has been reached between the Syrian rebels and the Syrian government to end the 4 year battle for Aleppo. The rebels will give up their remaining territory in Aleppo and leave the city. [Link] While a deal has been reached, some rebels have not left Aleppo yet. They have concerns about the government supported Shia militias not implementing their portion of the deal yet. Some reports of fighting continue to come from Aleppo. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • An estimated 450,000 people have been killed in the Syrian Civil War that started in 2011. [Link] Syria Fyle
  • A report from UNICEF says, “At least one child dies every ten minutes in Yemen because of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition, and respiratory tract infections.” [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle
  • The US will stop some weapon sales to Saudi Arabia out of concerns for Saudi’s indiscriminate bombing of Yemen. Officials say the US will not sell Saudi Arabia guidance systems that turn dumb bombs into smart bombs. The US made no announcement about ending other weapon sales, stopping America’s role in the Saudi blockade of Yemen, or not refueling Saudi warplanes going to Yemen to drop bombs. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle