The U.S. Air Force is training more drone “pilots” than those who will be at the controls of traditional aircraft, according to the Air Force chief of staff.

 

 

The United States' continued use of drones to kill suspected militants in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia is causing increased anti-U.S. sentiment in those countries. At a conference of top Pakistani and American officials in Aspen, Colorado, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, criticized the Central Intelligence Agency’s drone warfare in Pakistan, describing it as having reached the point of “diminishing returns” and contributing to the growing anti-American sentiment in the country.

 Mitt Romney and possible running mate Marco Rubio disagree on a few points with regard to Syria, particularly in regard to arming the rebel forces, but both men believe America should look to the UN for cues on Syrian policy.

 Even as the United Nations and human rights groups warn that the Western-backed jihadist rebels are committing war crimes and slaughtering Christians in Syria, reports indicate that President Obama has signed a secret order purporting to authorize even more “covert” U.S. government support to the armed opposition. Multiple establishment press outlets reported the latest development, citing official sources indicating that the administration likely released the news deliberately.

Representative Edward Markey (D.-Mass.) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on July 30 asking the U.S. government to block the proposed acquisition of Canadian oil company Nexen by CNOOC, China’s state-owned oil company. Because Nexen holds leases for oil drilling in U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico, which represent about 10 percent of the firm’s assets, the proposed Chinese-Canadian merger is subject to U.S. approval.

The U.S. government poured more than $200 million into an Iraqi police training program that was never authorized by local authorities, according to a new government audit. The Police Development Program (PDP) was blueprinted as a five-year, multibillion-dollar effort to prepare Iraqi security forces for when U.S. troops evacuated last December.

 As the U.S. Congress moves to grant Russia with permanent normal trade relations status, the Russian Federation continues its Cold War style naval expansion of ships and bases abroad and alliance with Syria.

 

The Australian government folded a civil case against former Guantanamo Bay prison inmate David Hicks after former Guantanamo guard Brandon Neely pledged to testify under oath to conditions at that prison. The move prompted leftists in Australia to charge that the government was “suppressing evidence” of the Guantanamo cover-up, a claim that some former Guantanamo guards have affirmed.

 

The month-long United Nations conference to draw up a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) failed to achieve consensus after the United States, Russia, and China requested more time to consider a draft treaty, according to the United Nations.

 

Citizens of Michigan continue to press for passage of a state law that would nullify the execution of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) within the boundaries of the Great Lakes State. One such effort was begun by Michigan Representative Tom McMillin on June 14 when he introduced his bill to prevent the arrest and indefinite detention of citizens of his state under the authority of relevant provisions of the NDAA.

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