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IAVA Daily News Brief – July 30, 2015

DNBjuly30

Sgt. Gregory Padilla, team leader assigned to C-Troop, 1st Battalion, 126th Cavalry Regiment, shouts out a status report to his platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Randy Jozwiak, during a combined live-fire exercise as part of Northern Strike 2015. | Military Times >>

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

House passes new VA reforms, but veto threat looms
House Republicans on Wednesday passed new rules to speed the firing of problematic Veterans Affairs Department employees, despite a veto threat from the White House and objections from Democratic lawmakers. | Military Times >>

Death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar confirmed by Afghan officials
The report – long rumored but never publicly acknowledged by high-level officially – pointed to possible shake-ups within the militant group that could complicate recently opened peace talks. | Washington Post >>

Who will provide the muscle for a Syrian ‘Islamic State-free zone’?
As the U.S. and Turkey begin clearing Islamic State fighters from Syria’s northwestern border, their ambitious mission raises a new set of troubling questions, chief among them: Who will provide the military muscle to oust the extremists and protect civilians sheltering in the new buffer zone? | Los Angeles Times>>

AFGHANISTAN

A spokesman for the Afghan president said Wednesday that the government has confirmed news that circulated widely as a rumor in the region for at least two years: that Mullah Mohammed Omar, the one-eyed figurehead of the Taliban, is dead. | CBS News >>

A police official says a car bombing in northern Afghanistan has killed two civilians and wounded 11. | Fox News >>

Afghanistan and Taliban to Hold Second Round of Talks, Pakistani Officials Say. | New York Times >>

IRAQ

White House To Kurds: Please Just Stay In Iraq. | Huffington Post >>

A searing heatwave forecast to sweep through Iraq prompted the government to declare a four-day holiday starting on Thursday and order regular power cuts at state institutions. | ABC News >>

Iraqi officials were challenged on Wednesday to name a single person the country had jailed for torture by a U.N. committee investigating suspected human rights abuses in a justice system that had “gone astray”. | Reuters >>

MILITARY AFFAIRS

When the Evil Queen looks into the magic mirror and asks the fateful question, “Who’s the fairest of them all?” she really just wants confirmation of what she already believes. | Defense News >>

This summer, United States Army engineers have spread out across Eastern Europe to help American allies build roads and training facilities to reassure them of U.S. commitment to the region. | Breitbart >>

China’s navy carried out a “live firing drill” in the South China Sea Tuesday in a bid to improve its maritime combat ability, state media reported, as tensions flare over the disputed waters. | Defense News >>

#VETSRISING

A steady stream of hands shot in the air as the speaker asked audience members to indicate if they had served their country, beginning with Vietnam and ending post-9/11. | Gotham Gazette >>

Lisamarie Wiley lost her left leg below the knee when she stepped on a mine in Afghanistan. Wiley and three other veterans detailed their needs at the VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, where they discussed their challenges to a diverse gathering of would-be problem solvers. | Military.com >>

Jeff Boss, a Former Navy SEAL, has four questions that will help you determine if your daily work activities are aligned with broader goals or if you’re just trying to stay busy. | Task and Purpose >>

INSIDE WASHINGTON

The Pentagon’s unclassified email network was shut down following the detection of suspicious activity over the weekend. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes use of the email network, as do countless other military personnel and civilian contractors. | Daily Caller >>

A Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist said he regrets a Facebook post suggesting that a gun-rights supporter “off” himself. | Washington Times >>

The House approved legislation that would increase rates of benefit compensation for veterans with disabilities caused by their military service. | The Hill >>

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