IAVA Daily News Brief 7.29.11
Posted by Caitlin Kenney on July 29
Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom or subscribe at www.IAVA.org/DailyNewsBrief.
PFC Naser Jason Abdo of the U.S. Army has been arrested for a “terror plot” on Fort Hood, the site of a November 2009 shooting that left 13 service members dead and 32 more wounded. Abdo had been absent without leave from his base in Tennessee for several weeks, and was arrested in Texas after a store clerk alerted the authorities to a suspicious gun purchase. A Muslim, Abdo gained national prominence in 2010 after he filed for conscientious objector status and refused to be deployed to Afghanistan with his unit.
Coming off a meeting with veteran service organizations on Tuesday, the White House has announced that the Treasury will outline details on the impact of a U.S. default on military and veterans payments in the next few days. Efforts by lawmakers to protect military paychecks in the event of a federal fiscal crisis remain stalled on Capitol Hill – much like the larger debt-limit negotiations.
Coalition forces have published data claiming that for the first time in five years, attacks by insurgents have not increased with the start of the new fighting season. The report suggests that the situation in Afghanistan is finally improving after years of endemic violence, and that the Taliban threat has been seriously handicapped by the surge strategy of General Petraeus.
On Friday, 18 Afghan civilians were killed when their minibus ran over an enormous IED. In a separate incident, 1 Afghan was killed and four were wounded when a tractor ran over another roadside bomb.
After months of accusing Iran of clandestinely supplying Iraqi insurgents with shelter and weapons, the U.S. government has accused Iran of aiding al Qaeda by transferring funds on its behalf to militants in Pakistan. The U.S. Treasury department has released documents which implicate Iran in money transfers sent by donors in the Middle East to al Qaeda leadership in the remote provinces of Pakistan.
Over 300,000 Iraqis have fled into Syria since the war in Iraq began, and they continue to view Syria as an oasis despite an authoritarian regime and the chaotic environment of social protests.
After six years of legal-wrangling, the Army Corps of Engineers is paying damages to a former contracting official who claimed that she was demoted after protesting a $7 billion, no-bid contract to repair oil fields in Iraq.
The amount of retired generals advising the Pentagon has dropped dramatically after new procedures placed a cap on pay and forced them to disclose other sources of income.
After an appearance on “The David Letterman Show,” Iraq veteran, advocate and author Luis Carlos Montalvan has been accused by comrades of deliberately embellishing the combat incidents that lead to his injuries as detailed in his best-selling book, Until Tuesday.
The Veterans Affairs Department was in the hot seat before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday after an audit found it had awarded at least 1,400 contracts intended for veteran-owned companies to ineligible businesses.
After a former Army corporal was barred from a VA appointment because his service dog was not permitted at the facility, a bill is going through the House which would allow service dogs at all VA hospitals.
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