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Articles Posted by MinorityRepublican

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  • The Unserious Air War Against ISIS

    10/14/2014 7:32:59 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 8 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 14, 2014 | MARK GUNZINGER And JOHN STILLION
    Since U.S. planes first struck targets in Iraq on Aug. 8, a debate has raged over the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s air campaign against Islamic State. The war of words has so far focused on the need to deploy American boots on the ground to provide accurate intelligence and possibly force ISIS fighters to defend key infrastructure they have seized, such as oil facilities. But debate is now beginning to focus on the apparent failure of airstrikes to halt the terror group’s advances in Iraq and Syria—especially Islamic State’s pending seizure of Kobani on the Syrian border with Turkey....
  • Syria air strikes: Reaction from small town America

    09/23/2014 7:36:28 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 10 replies
    BBC News ^ | 23 September 2014 | Anthony Zurcher
    At the Main Event Bar and Grill in Yuma, Colorado, on Tuesday morning, locals took their usual tables to eat breakfast and talk, as country music played over the speakers. The crowd was a mix of farmers, ranchers and retirees, many of whom have spent their whole lives in the tiny town (population 3,500) on the plains in the eastern part of the state. While some of the bar's televisions showed sport highlights, several were tuned to Fox News, with talking heads analysing the previous night's air strikes against Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria. "Either just let them wipe...
  • ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State?

    09/09/2014 6:28:54 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 17 replies
    CNN ^ | Tue September 9, 2014 | Ray Sanchez
    Is it ISIL, ISIS or Islamic State? Whatever you call the jihadist group known for killing dozens of people at a time, carrying out public executions, beheadings, crucifixions and other brutal acts, there is no denying they have captured the world's attention. On the eve of President Barack Obama's speech outlining Washington's strategy against the group, in which he will likely refer to it as ISIL, we ask: What's in a name?
  • Brutal Efficiency: The Secret to Islamic State's Success

    09/03/2014 6:57:14 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 7 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | Sept. 3, 2014 | SIOBHAN GORMAN, NOUR MALAS and MATT BRADLEY
    Islamic State's stunning success this summer as it swept across northern Iraq and Syria flows from a highly organized structure controlled by a tightknit cadre led by an Islamist zealot who learned from the mistakes of his al Qaeda predecessors. Blending familiar terrorist acts such as car bombings with conventional military tactics, the group bolsters its strength with local tribal connections and the skills of former generals in Saddam Hussein's army, said Western and Middle Eastern officials tracking the extremist movement. Thrown into the mix is an effective recruitment strategy—join us or die, some young men in captured areas are...
  • Iraq crisis: Shia and Kurdish forces move against IS

    09/01/2014 8:11:19 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 9 replies
    BBC News ^ | 1 September 2014
    Iraqi Shia militias and Kurdish forces are continuing their advance against Islamic State militants after breaking the siege of Amerli in northern Iraq. A BBC team entered the town on Monday, finding residents who had endured more than two months under siege. The joint forces have also seized the militant stronghold of Suleiman Beg. Meanwhile Amnesty International says that it has uncovered new evidence that Islamic State have launched a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the north.
  • #BBCTrending: Canada and Russia in Twitter fight over map

    08/28/2014 6:24:35 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 5 replies
    bbc ^ | 28 August 2014
    Russia posted this map in response to Canada's Twitter That's the message the Canadian Nato delegation tweeted, in map form, to Russian soldiers "who keep getting lost and 'accidentally' entering Ukraine". "Geography can be tough," it notes snarkily. On Tuesday Ukraine released video of Russian paratroopers it says it captured within its eastern border. In response, Russian military sources said the men had crossed an unmarked portion of the border "by accident". Canadian officials, it seems, aren't buying the story. Since the tweet went live, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has alleged that Russian troops have been "deployed" in eastern Ukraine...
  • U.N.: 'Unspeakable' suffering in Iraqi town besieged by ISIS fighters

    08/23/2014 3:14:38 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 14 replies
    CNN ^ | Sat August 23, 2014 | Jomana Karadsheh, Laura Smith-Spark and Chelsea J. Carter
    Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- As violence CONTINUES to wrack Iraq, the United Nations warned Saturday of another ethnic slaughter in the making by Sunni extremists from ISIS. ISIS fighters have besieged the ethnic Turkmen Shiite town of Amerli in the north for two months, and its fewer than 20,000 residents are without power and running out of food, water and medical supplies. "The situation of the PEOPLE in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens," said Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative for Iraq. He said the suffering was "unspeakable" and...
  • EMBOLDENED ISIS THREATENS AMERICANS ON TWITTER

    08/22/2014 8:45:25 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 21 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 26 July 2014 | JOHN ROSSOMANDO AND RAVI KUMAR
    Supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have launched a viral propaganda campaign on Twitter threatening to attack the United States and its interests if America acts militarily against the group in Iraq.
  • Was Putin right about Syria?

    08/22/2014 7:58:34 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 20 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | Aug. 22, 2014 | Ishaan Tharoor
    What a difference a year makes. Around this time last year, the West was gearing up for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was accused of carrying out chemical weapons attacks on his own people. That intervention never came to pass, not least because domestic public opinion in countries such as Britain and the United States was opposed to further entanglements in the Middle East. Now, the U.S. is contemplating extending airstrikes on Islamic State militants operating in Iraq in Syria — fighters belonging to a terrorist organization that is leading the war against Assad....
  • Assad Policies Aided Rise of Islamic State Militant Group

    08/22/2014 7:43:34 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 15 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 22, 2014 | MARIA ABI-HABIB
    The Islamic State, which metastasized from a group of militants seeking to overthrow the Syrian government into a marauding army gobbling up chunks of the Middle East, gained momentum early on from a calculated decision by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go easy on it, according to people close to the regime. Earlier in the three-year-old Syrian uprising, Mr. Assad decided to mostly avoid fighting the Islamic State to enable it to cannibalize the more secular rebel group supported by the West, the Free Syrian Army, said Izzat Shahbandar, an Assad ally and former Iraqi lawmaker who was Baghdad's liaison...
  • Russia's Total Fertility Rate Is Rapidly Converging With America's

    08/22/2014 7:33:22 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 7 replies
    Forbes ^ | Mark Adamonis
    In the long term any country’s demographic trajectory is ultimately reliant on its Total Fertility Rate (TFR) the number of children born to the average woman. Mortality matters, but if a country has a super low TFR it can have the best healthcare in the entire world and nothing will prevent its population from collapsing. Anyone who doubts this should consider the example of Japan, which boasts extremely high life expectancy but which is nonetheless caught in a demographic “death spiral.” Despite it’s excellent healthcare and the outstanding health of its people, Japan’s TFR has been so low for so...
  • Washington DC from murder capital to boomtown

    08/06/2014 9:24:00 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 16 replies
    BBC News ^ | 6 August 2014 | Aidan Lewis and Bill McKenna
    A quarter of a century ago, Washington DC had a fearsome reputation for crack abuse and rampant gun violence - it was the "murder capital" of the US. But now, once-blighted neighbourhoods close to the centre of the capital are thriving. When Ruben Castaneda moved to the US capital in 1989 to take up a job with the Washington Post, he was struck by how easy it was to score crack. Days after arriving in the city, he was taken to S Street Northwest by a "strawberry" - a streetwalker who offered sex in return for drugs. "The moment she...
  • Will the U.S. Help the Kurds Fight ISIS?

    08/05/2014 7:13:26 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 44 replies
    New Yorker | AUGUST 4, 2014 | Dexter Filkins
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  • Iraq jihadists seize another town from Kurdish forces

    08/03/2014 7:01:37 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 46 replies
    AFP ^ | 8/3/2014 | By Shwan Mohammed
    Sulaimaniyah (Iraq) (AFP) - Jihadists raised their black flag in Iraq's northern town of Sinjar Sunday in a second straight day of advances against Kurdish forces, sparking mass displacement the UN called a humanitarian tragedy. The Islamic State's capture of Sinjar raised fears for minority groups that had found refuge there and further blurs the border between the Syrian and Iraqi parts of the "caliphate" which the IS declared in June. "The (Kurdish) peshmerga have withdrawn from Sinjar, Daash has entered the city," Kurdish official Kheiri Sinjari told AFP, using the former Arabic acronym for the IS. "They have raised...
  • Winds of War, Again

    07/31/2014 2:25:27 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 10 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | July 30, 2014 6:56 p.m. ET | DANIEL HENNINGER
    If it's true that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, then maybe we're in luck. Many people in this unhappy year are reading histories of World War I, such as Margaret MacMillan's "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914." That long-ago catastrophe began 100 years ago this week. The revisiting of this dark history may be why so many people today are asking if our own world—tense or aflame in so many places—resembles 1914, or 1938. Whatever the answer, it is the remembering of past mistakes that matters, if the point is to...
  • Islamic State video wages psychological war on Iraqi soldiers

    07/30/2014 3:15:25 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | 7/29/2014 | BY MICHAEL GEORGY
    (Reuters) - Islamic State, the al Qaeda spin-off that seized wide swathes of Iraq almost unopposed last month, has released a video warning Iraqi soldiers who may still have some fight in them that they risk being rounded up en masse and executed.
  • Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq: sources

    07/30/2014 2:53:02 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 15 replies
    Reuters ^ | 7/30/2014
    BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Hezbollah commander has died during a mission in Iraq, sources familiar with the incident said on Wednesday, indicating the Lebanese group that is already fighting in Syria's civil war may be involved in a second conflict in the region. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite Islamist group, has not previously announced any role in the conflict in Iraq, which escalated last month when radical Sunni militants seized large areas of territory from the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad.
  • Losing Iraq: A First Look at Frontline's New Documentary

    07/29/2014 5:45:39 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 10 replies
    The Wire ^ | july 29, 2014 | David Luwig
    In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein. During the subsequent eight years, the U.S. spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives fighting an insurgency waged against the new government. Today, two years after the last American combat forces left Iraq, the country is teetering on the edge of total chaos and threatening to pull the U.S. back into war. The Islamic State (ISIS), with the help of disenfranchised Sunnis, is gaining ground.
  • Frustrated husband creates spreadsheet detailing reasons why his wife would not have sex

    07/21/2014 9:55:20 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 118 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 21 July 2014 | Richard Spillett
    A spreadsheet that a man emailed his wife detailing her reasons for turning him down for sex has been shared by thousands of people online. For a whole month, the 26-year-old sexually-frustrated husband jotted down every response from his other half when he asked her for intimacy. He then collated the information and put it into an Excel document before cruelly emailing her as she arrived at an airport ahead of a ten-day business trip.
  • Kobe Bryant: Thinking about life after basketball is 'scary as hell'

    07/20/2014 10:27:03 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 15 replies
    Fox Sports ^ | July 19, 2014
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant says he's "scared" about his future after basketball, although he's embracing the challenge of finding something that he can be as passionate about as sports. Bryant turns 36 next month and is under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for two more years. He was limited to just six games last season because of two major leg injuries, leaving him with the kind of idle time he never had before in his career. Bryant gives a peek into his life in a Showtime documentary airing in November. "Kobe Bryant's Muse" covers much of last...
  • Fighting intensifies in Libya, airport control at stake

    07/20/2014 8:45:50 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 12 replies
    CNN ^ | Sun July 20, 2014 | Jomana Karadsheh
    Fierce fighting raged on the outskirts of Tripoli on Sunday as militias continued to battle for control of the airport in what's being called the worst fighting in Libya since the 2011 revolution. Clashes were concentrated around the airport, the airport road and a number of residential areas where militias have fought over the past week, residents said. At least five people have been killed, one local official said. The latest assaults were launched by militias from the city of Misrata and an Islamist militia umbrella group in the capital known as the "Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room."
  • Insurgents attack Kabul airport in predawn raid

    07/16/2014 7:28:31 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 3 replies
    CNN ^ | Wed July 16, 2014 | Qadir Sediqi
    The airport in the Afghan capital of Kabul came under insurgent attack before dawn, the interior ministry said Thursday. Rapid response teams were deployed to the area of the airport where a firefight was underway, Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
  • Death toll in three-year Syria conflict crosses 170,000

    07/10/2014 10:45:56 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 4 replies
    Gulf News ^ | July 10, 2014
    The death toll in Syria’s three-year war has eclipsed 170,000 people, one-third of them civilians, a monitoring group said in a new toll released on Thursday. “Ever since the first casualty of the Syrian revolution was registered on March 18, 2011 in Daraa province, the deaths of 171,509 people have been documented,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Among the dead were 56,495 civilians, including 9,092 children, according to the toll, which included casualties documented up to July 8 this year. Another 65,803 were regime troops and pro-regime militiamen, while 46,301 were rebels seeking President Bashar Al Assad’s ouster...
  • World Cup 2014: Brazil mourns a humiliating defeat – in pictures

    07/08/2014 9:07:49 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 29 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Tuesday 8 July 2014 | Jonny Weeks and Steven Bloor
    In one of the most shocking World Cup semi-finals ever, Brazil, the host nation, conceded five goals in the first half an hour as they were utterly humiliated on home soil by Germany. Fans across the country reacted in shock and horror, while the players themselves could scarcely believe the magnitude of the defeat.
  • Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul

    07/05/2014 6:35:49 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 7 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | July 5, 2014 | Hannah Strange
    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, emerged from the shadows to lead Friday prayers at Mosul’s Great Mosque, calling on the world’s Muslims to “obey” him as the head of the caliphate declared by the Sunni jihadist group. The notoriously secretive jihadi, who has never before been seen in public, chose the first Friday prayer service of Ramadan to make an audacious display of power in the city that the Sunni Islamists have now controlled for three weeks. Speaking from the balcony in his new incarnation as self-anointed “Caliph Ibrahim”, al-Baghdadi announced himself as “the leader who...
  • Germany Shelves Shale-Gas Drilling For Next Seven Years

    07/05/2014 6:26:52 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 25 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | July 4, 2014 | JAN HROMADKO and HARRIET TORRY
    BERLIN—Germany plans to halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over concerns that exploration techniques could pollute groundwater. "There won't be [shale-gas] fracking in Germany for the foreseeable future," Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said Friday. The planned regulations come amid a political standoff with Russia, Germany's main natural gas supplier, and following intensive lobbying from environmentalists and brewers concerned about possible drinking-water contamination. The production of shale gas requires the application of the hydraulic fracturing technology known as fracking, which involves using a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to break apart rocks to release the gas. The...
  • Baby bust: US fertility rates hit all-time lows

    07/04/2014 10:21:42 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 30 replies
    Al Jazeera America ^ | June 26, 2014 | Haya El Nasser
    The impact of the U.S. recession will reverberate for generations to come as women — both Anglos and Hispanics — continue to postpone having children. For the second year in a row, deaths of non-Hispanic whites outnumbered births from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2013, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. “These are the only two years in U.S. history when more non-Hispanic whites died than were born,” said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute. Births have been fewer for some time, “but the decline since the onset...
  • Iraqi capital nervously awaits Isis attack

    07/03/2014 8:51:28 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 50 replies
    FT ^ | July 1, 2014 | Borzou Daragahi
  • Why we stuck with Maliki — and lost Iraq

    07/03/2014 8:34:30 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 46 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 7/3/2014 | ALI KHEDERY
    To understand why Iraq is imploding, you must understand Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — and why the United States has supported him since 2006. I have known Maliki, or Abu Isra, as he is known to people close to him, for more than a decade. I have traveled across three continents with him. I know his family and his inner circle. When Maliki was an obscure member of parliament, I was among the very few Americans in Baghdad who took his phone calls. In 2006, I helped introduce him to the U.S. ambassador, recommending him as a promising option for...
  • Could Saudi Arabia Be the Next ISIS Conquest?

    06/23/2014 11:55:31 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 20 replies
    Vocativ ^ | 06/23/14 | Rachael Levy
    ISIS is continuing its blitz-like offensive in Iraq, conquering more and more territory. With its sights set on Baghdad and the Shiite shrine cities, the prospect of the capital falling to the terrorist group is causing international panic. And Iraq’s neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, could be the next trophy in ISIS’ expanding cabinet. The extremist Sunni group wants to reestablish the Islamic caliphate, and has made it abundantly clear that its territorial ambitions are not limited to Syria and Iraq. Maps circulating online over the weekend, allegedly from ISIS but whose provenance could not be established, show large swathes of...
  • Mayor Aims to Reverse Detroit Exodus

    06/22/2014 11:26:02 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 35 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | June 22, 2014 | Matthew Dolan
    DETROIT— Mike Duggan wants to do what no mayor of Detroit has done in more than half a century: attract more people than the city loses. "The single standard a mayor should be defined on is whether the population of the city is going up or going down," Mr. Duggan said in an interview at his City Hall office six months after he was sworn in. If he fails, he says he doesn't expect to run in 2017 and win—marking the boldness of his undertaking, considering the long odds he faces. Other former industrial powerhouses including Cleveland and St. Louis...
  • Kurdistan defies Baghdad and delivers a million barrels of oil to Israel

    06/22/2014 10:15:48 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 29 replies
    Quartz ^ | June 21, 2014 | Steve LeVine
    In a step that cements the impression of a de facto independent Kurdistan, a million barrels of Kurdish oil were delivered to a client in Israel today, despite threats by Baghdad to sue anyone buying it. The US government, fearing another blow to embattled Baghdad, had also worked to prevent anyone from buying the oil. 1 Reuters broke the story in a scoop, followed a few hours later by a statement on the Kurdish government website. “We are proud of this milestone achievement, which was accomplished despite almost three weeks of intimidation and baseless interferences from Baghdad against the tanker-ship...
  • In Iraq, militants press on toward Baghdad

    06/22/2014 9:54:18 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 39 replies
    CNN ^ | Sun June 22, 2014 | Chelsea J. Carter, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Hamdi Alkhshali
    Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Militant fighters tightened their grip Sunday on western Iraq as security forces withdrew from a handful of towns in Anbar province, moving closer to Baghdad. The news that Iraqi forces withdrew from at least three towns in the province raised questions about whether Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government is giving up on the region. It also comes the same day that Iran's religious leader condemned any U.S. involvement in Iraq, saying al-Maliki's government can handle its own problems. "The United States is trying to portray this as a sectarian war. But what is happening in Iraq...
  • ISIS just stole $425 million, Iraqi governor says, and became the ‘world’s richest terrorist group’

    06/12/2014 9:08:49 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 33 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | June 12, 2014 | Terrence McCoy
    Of the many stunning revelations to emerge out of the wreckage of Mosul on Wednesday — 500,000 fleeing residents, thousands of freed prisoners, unconfirmed reports of “mass beheadings” — the one that may have the most lasting impact as Iraq descends into a possible civil war is that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria just got extremely rich. As insurgents rolled past the largest city in northern Iraq, an oil hub at the vital intersection of Syria, Iraq and Turkey, and into Tikrit, several gunmen stopped at Mosul’s central bank. An incredible amount of cash was reportedly on hand,...
  • Alabamians Divided on Jefferson Davis Holiday

    06/01/2014 7:51:02 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 27 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | une 1, 2014 | IANTHE JEANNE DUGAN
    Alabama state offices will be closed Monday for an annual holiday that some residents celebrate, others would like to eliminate and some just don't understand: Jefferson Davis's birthday. The Confederacy's first and only president was captured in Georgia in 1865 and accused of treason and helping to plot to kill President Abraham Lincoln. He was imprisoned for two years but never tried, and shortly before his death in 1889, he advised Southerners: "The past is dead; let it bury its dead, its hopes and its aspirations."
  • After final inspection, 3 Brazil World Cup stadiums worry FIFA

    06/01/2014 1:54:31 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 15 replies
    AP ^ | May 29, 2014
    FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke expressed his concern about preparations at three of the 12 World Cup stadiums during his final inspection of host cities. During a two-week trip that ended Thursday, Valcke sent warnings to organizers in Natal, Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo, which will host the World Cup's opening match in two weeks. He said it was a ''race against the clock'' in Natal and there was a lot ''yet to be done'' in Porto Alegre. In Sao Paulo, FIFA requested a second test event at the delayed Itaquerao Stadium that will host the Brazil-Croatia match on June...
  • Best state in America: North Dakota, for its economic recovery

    05/30/2014 8:41:04 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 33 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | Friday, May 30, 2014 | Reid Wilson
    The Great Recession ended in 2009. But millions of Americans remain unemployed, make less than they did before the recession and are stuck in homes valued below pre-recession levels. While the worst seems behind us, the data show that we have a long way to go. But in a handful of states, the unemployment rate has fallen well below its recession-era apex, home values are up and the median income has risen. And no state has recovered better than North Dakota. There are plenty of ways to measure the nascent recovery. But let’s examine three key indicators: the drop in...
  • ‘Leggings are NOT pants’: Qatar puts its foot down with dress code

    05/28/2014 3:01:33 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 35 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 28 May 2014 | COREY CHARLTON
    Qatar has issued a decree advising tourists that leggings are not considered pants and are not modest enough to wear in public. Leggings have been singled out in pamphlets distributed by the Gulf state as inappropriate attire for tourists in the notoriously strict Islamic country. The Reflect Your Respect campaign, launched by the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center, has listed some advice and tips for tourists on how to dress modestly in preparation for the 2022 Football World Cup it is hosting. Mail on Facebook
  • America is a violent country (my title)

    05/26/2014 12:46:05 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 10 replies
  • Syria civil war deaths top 160,000, opposition group says

    05/20/2014 4:16:47 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 13 replies
    CNN ^ | Tue May 20, 2014 | Faith Karimi and Salma Abdelaziz,
    The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating. The dead include 8,607 children, according to the the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said the total numbers included civilians, military members, defected soldiers and foreign fighters, among others. United Nations officials said they stopped updating their death toll in July because of lack of access and the inability to verify information from sources. At the time, it said that well over 100,000 people, including many civilians, have been killed in the war pitting government forces...
  • Two and a Half Men to end 12-year run

    05/14/2014 6:22:53 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 54 replies
    Toronto Star ^ | Wed May 14 2014 | Christopher Palmeri Edmund Lee Bloomberg
    Two and a Half Men, once the highest-rated TV comedy in the U.S., is ending its run with a 12th and final season as broadcaster CBS revamps its lineup to win back younger viewers. The show, which starred Charlie Sheen until he was replaced by Ashton Kutcher in 2011, will retain its slot on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT, the network said in a statement. Series creator Chuck Lorre “will be creating a season-long event to send it off,” said Nina Tassler, the network’s head of entertainment. “It’s important to keep your fans engaged,” she said Wednesday at a CBS...
  • WHO says deadly MERS virus does not constitute global emergency

    05/14/2014 6:06:48 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 20 replies
    Reuters ^ | Wed May 14, 2014
    Concern about the deadly new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus has "significantly increased" but the disease does not yet constitute a global public health emergency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday. The virus, which causes coughing, fever and sometimes fatal pneumonia, has been reported in more than 500 patients in Saudi Arabia alone and has spread to neighboring countries and in a few cases, to Europe and Asia. It kills about 30 percent of those who are infected. The WHO's emergency committee, which met on Tuesday, said on Wednesday that based on current information, the seriousness of...
  • White voters voice unease with South Africa's ruling ANC

    05/12/2014 5:27:57 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 14 replies
    AFP ^ | 5/7/14
    Holding his green identity book tight in his hand, Adriaan Courdier stands in line to cast the first vote of his life. He is one of a minority of poor whites using Wednesday's election to voice their unease with today's South Africa. The 23-year-old aluminium factory worker is voting with the "born frees," a generation of South Africans born after the end of apartheid, white minority rule, in 1994. "My family all agree, for 20 years already nothing has happened," said Courdier, a resident of Danville, a destitute suburb in Pretoria, South Africa's administrative capital. "Some of my family are...
  • Actually, Russia's Population Isn't Shrinking

    05/08/2014 8:46:54 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 24 replies
    Japan's The Diplomat ^ | May 01, 2014 | Ankit Panda
    Russia has its problems, but they don’t include a negative population growth rate — contrary to common wisdom. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, birth rates among native Russians tanked and death rates began slowly climbing. Around 1992, deaths in Russia exceeded births. Analysts of Russian affairs have ever since taken it for granted that Russia faces a demographic crisis that will slowly but surely thrust the country into a perilous state of affairs where its economy shrinks as population declines (Western sanctions over Crimea are a drop in the bucket in this picture). The only problem with this...
  • Fighters surrender city of Homs to Assad's troops after three-year siege

    05/08/2014 3:20:33 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 6 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 8 May 2014 | CHRIS PLEASANCE
    Syrian rebels have surrendered the city of Homs to forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, bringing a three-year siege of the city by government troops to an end. According to Homs Gov. Talal Baraz, more than 1,500 troops have left the city since Wednesday, giving up their positions in the Old Homs district. The city will be declared 'secure' when government troops move in later today.
  • 20 Years After Apartheid, South Africa Asks, 'How Are We Doing?'

    05/07/2014 8:27:29 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 12 replies
    NPR ^ | May 06, 2014 | GREG MYRE
    When South Africa buried apartheid with its first all-race election in 1994, the Rev. Desmond Tutu danced with joy as he cast his ballot. He called it "a religious experience, a transfiguration experience, a mountaintop experience." As the country votes Wednesday, here's what he recently told the Sunday Times newspaper: "I didn't think there would be a disillusionment so soon. I'm glad that (Nelson Mandela) is dead. I'm glad that most of these people are no longer alive to see this," a reference to a host of chronic problems such as corruption and poverty. Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate...
  • Post-apartheid South Africa still struggling

    05/06/2014 7:56:37 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 33 replies
    The Augusta Chronicle ^ | Tue, Apr. 22, 2014 | Damon Cline
    This week marks the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa. You may remember the United States was intensely interested in South African affairs during the years the Afrikaners, the country’s European-descended population, ruled under a racist policy called apartheid. Then, on April 27, 1994, after years of international pressure, South Africa held its first open elections. The black majority population overwhelmingly chose Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist and former political prisoner, as the nation’s first black president. America soon lost interest. It was as if a war had ended, and we could concern ourselves with other things. Twenty years...
  • The 'Russian Cross' Is Continuing To Reverse

    05/06/2014 7:01:08 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 43 replies
    Forbes ^ | 4/30/2014 | Mark Adamonis
    Russian demography isn’t exactly known for being a meme generator, but one short-hand term for the country’s demographic problems has caught on in a serious way: “the Russian cross.” This name doesn’t have anything to do with religiosity or with Orthodox Christianity’s famously unique way of rendering the crucifix, but with Russia’s sudden plunge into catastrophic population decline during the 1990′s. When you graphed the absolute number of births and deaths, they changed course so radically that they bore a striking resemblance to a cross.
  • Egypt's Sisi vows Muslim Brotherhood 'will not exist'

    05/05/2014 7:26:26 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 19 replies
    BBC News ^ | 5 May 2014
    Egyptian presidential favourite and former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has vowed that the banned Muslim Brotherhood group "will not exist," should he win. In his first interview with Egyptian TV, he added that two assassination plots against him had been uncovered. Mr Sisi removed Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi from power last July. He is widely expected to win the presidential election on 26-27 May. Mr Sisi had denied he had any political ambitions when he ousted President Morsi and launched a crackdown on the Brotherhood - which supported him - last year. In a joint interview...
  • ‘Simpsons predicted Syrian civil war’

    05/05/2014 3:22:04 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 6 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | May 5, 2014 | ILAN BEN ZION
    An Egyptian television station claims that an episode of The Simpsons from 2001 was part of a global conspiracy to overthrow Arab governments during the Arab Spring which began a decade later Al-Tahrir TV on Sunday broadcast a report in which it showed that in the “New Kids on the Blecch” episode of the Simpsons, originally aired on February 25, 2001, Bart Simpson and his boy band drop bombs on Arab-dressed men in a music video. On one of the Arab trucks is a clearly visible flag currently used by the Syrian opposition.