Despite the impassioned pleas of several congressmen, both the U.S. Senate and House voted on Wednesday to tighten sanctions against Iran’s energy, shipping, and insurance sectors, in an effort to cut off the necessary funding for Iran to develop its nuclear program.
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.
Outraged U.S. members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are speaking out against the United Nations “World Intellectual Property Organization” (WIPO) after it was caught providing potentially dangerous American technology to the regimes ruling Iran and North Korea. The UN agency reluctantly promised to “review” the issue, but GOP and Democrat lawmakers on Capitol Hill say that is simply not enough.
“We have written to WIPO demanding an independent, external investigation of how WIPO could have provided sophisticated U.S.-origin technology to rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran,” explained Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.), the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Instead, the WIPO leadership has announced that it will institute a mere ‘review,’ which falls far short.”