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.

Drones believed to belong to the United States have been spotted flying over Somalia in violation of a UN arms embargo. President Obama has issued an executive order aiming to aid the peace and stability of that nation.

The Pentagon wants bright college kids to help them design and perfect software that will allow government agents to quickly single out individuals from still photos and video footage of crowd scenes. As with most government projects, this particular operation has been given an innocuous and meaningless name: Innovation House Study.

In his July 24 address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mitt Romney declared that President Obama had exposed the military to radical and unjustified cuts in funding and compromised national security.

The Wall Street Journal reported July 22 that Mitt Romney has gathered a coterie of establishment neoconservatives interested in war with Iran, as he embarks upon a trip to Europe. “Mitt Romney is relying on both moderate and hawkish neoconservative advisers as he embarks this week on his first overseas trip as the presumptive Republican presidential candidate,” the Journal stated. 

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