Foreign Affairs (News/Activism)

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  • U.S.-Led Forces Formally Ending Afghanistan Combat Mission [US Deaths And Treasure In Vain?]

    12/27/2014 9:31:25 PM PST · by Steelfish · 9 replies
    Wall St . J ^ | December 27, 2014 | MARGHERITA STANCATI
    U.S.-Led Forces Formally Ending Afghanistan Combat Mission Withdrawal Leaves Afghan Forces to Battle Taliban Largely on Their Own By MARGHERITA STANCATI KABUL—U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan are formally ending their combat mission on Sunday, leaving Afghan forces to battle a still-resilient Taliban insurgency largely on their own. The change in mission, which will be marked by a ceremony in Kabul on Sunday, is largely symbolic. A
  • North Korea's honey trap scheme revealed

    12/27/2014 8:44:55 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 20 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 27 Dec 2014 | Julian Ryall
    North Korea's honey trap scheme revealed North Korean defector reveals how rogue state sends female agents to have children with foreign politicians, businessmen and journalists By Julian Ryall, Seoul 8:00AM GMT 27 Dec 2014 North Korea has blackmailed dozens, if not hundreds, of politicians, journalists and businessmen after seducing them with female agents, a former elite North Korean politician has revealed. In a scheme called "the seed-bearing programme", high-level visitors to Pyongyang would be sent an attractive consort, only to find out several months later that they have a child in North Korea. Politicians would then be blackmailed to pass...
  • It’s ending purposeless, perpetual, global warfare, stupid

    12/27/2014 8:29:24 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | December 26, 2014 | Bruce Fein
    “It’s ending purposeless, perpetual, global warfare, stupid.” Republican presidential contenders for 2016 should embrace that campaign theme to demolish the ultra-hawkish Hillary Clinton and her Napoleonic complex. Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign theme, “It’s the economy, stupid,” is obsolete. Presidential strategists sermonize that voters are instinctively concerned more about jobs, mortgages, and health care than about national security policy. True enough. But that is because presidential aspirants have failed to discern and to explain the direct connection between, on the one hand, purposeless, perpetual, global warfare and the projection of military force everywhere that has created an exorbitant, inefficient, and corrupt...
  • EXCLUSIVE: Falklands defence review after military deal between Russia and Argentina

    12/27/2014 8:26:19 PM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 10 replies
    Sunday Express, UK ^ | December 28, 2014 | MARCO GIANNANGELI
    DEFENCES on the Falklands are being reviewed after it emerged Russia plans to offer Argentina long-range bombers. The aircraft, which Moscow will swap for beef and wheat, would be able to mount air patrols over Port Stanley. Ministry of Defence officials fear Buenos Aires would take delivery of the planes well before the deployment in 2020 of the Navy’s 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and its F-35B fighters, leaving a “real window of vulnerability”. Defence cuts have left the Falklands with just four RAF Typhoon fighters, Rapier surface-to-air missiles and fewer than 1,200 troops, supported by a naval warship...
  • Senator: Obama Not Popular in Israel ‘for Good Reason’ (Mitch McConnell)

    12/27/2014 8:21:21 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    INN ^ | 12/28/2014, 5:50 AM | Ben Ariel
    Future Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Barack Obama is not popular in Israel “and for good reason”. Speaking to the Israel Hayom newspaper, McConnell, who has become one of the most powerful and influential people in Washington since November’s midterm election, said, “It is no secret that president Obama isn’t popular in Israel, and for good reason.” “In my view, he has tilted on numerous occasions in a direction that would lead Israelis to believe that he is not as solemn an ally as past presidents have been,” added McConnell, a senator from Kentucky. …
  • Cubans ready to sell out convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard if they get the chance

    12/27/2014 8:14:21 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    Hotair ^ | 12/272014 | Jazz Shaw
    Before we even got out of the gate, the Cubans were saying that giving up convicted terrorist and cop killer Joanne Chesimard was a non-starter because they have the right to protect persecuted fugitives who seek asylum. (And here I was worried that this might not work out…) But even if the Castros won’t surrender her peacefully, is it possible that we might just be able to grab her once we have more of an official presence in Havana? If so, some of the regular citizens might be willing to pitch in and help, particularly if there’s a couple...
  • Air Traffic Controllers Lose Contact With AirAsia Plane [162 On Board]

    CBS NEWSDecember 27, 2014 Air Traffic Controllers Lose Contact With AirAsia Plane Indonesian officials said air traffic controllers lost contact with an AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore, Reuters reported late Saturday. Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa told Indonesian media air traffic controllers in Jakarta last heard from Flight QZ 8501, enroute from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, at 6:17 a.m. local time. Mustofa said the pilots had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, according to Reuters.
  • Air Asia Flight Bound for Singapore Lost Contact with Air Traffic: Report

    12/27/2014 7:44:11 PM PST · by kristinn · 251 replies
    The Straight Times ^ | (Sunday) December 28, 2014
    An Air Asia plane travelling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control, Indonesia's Metro TV reported on Sunday. - See more at: SNIP ...He said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, Reuters reported. There are reportedly 162 people on board.
  • Nevermind U.S. shale, Saudi Arabia’s oil power play targets Iran’s economy

    12/27/2014 6:40:43 PM PST · by Red Steel · 16 replies
    Financial Post ^ | Updated: Dec 27 7:00 AM ET | Diane Francis
    All politics are local, except for oil politics. The Russians think these low oil prices are an American-Saudi conspiracy. American commentators believe that the Saudis have driven down prices to punish North Dakota’s shale oil revolution and drive its high-cost producers out of the game. In Canada, the paranoia in Calgary is that the Saudis and other Gulf oil producers want to drive the oil sands out of business. But what are the Saudis up to and are they powerful enough to control prices? This week the Saudi minister blamed low prices on oversupply from North America. But that is...
  • Indiana Governor in Israel, Refuses Abbas Invitation to Dinner

    12/27/2014 5:35:14 PM PST · by Ooh-Ah · 30 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 27 Dec 2014 | Paul Miller
    Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence spent Christmas with his family in Israel, part of a nine-day trip that includes a three-day jobs mission to meet with government and business leaders to discuss expanding economic ties between Indiana and the Jewish State. According to a Facebook post by Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor of The Jerusalem Post:As a visiting dignitary, Pence and his family were invited to PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas’s annual Christmas dinner, where he was notified that a car would be sent to fetch him to Abbas’s office for an unscheduled and unsolicited meeting at 10:45pm.Governor Pence in his inimitable...
  • Russia's crisis has no end in sight as $50 oil looms, says OECD

    12/27/2014 4:16:00 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 12 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 12/27/14 | Szu Ping Chan
    There is no end in sight for Russia’s economic crisis, as crippling sanctions and tumbling oil prices leave the country staring into an abyss, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned. Catherine Mann, the OECD’s chief economist, said Russia was moving closer to shutting itself off from the rest of the world, while the West’s sanctions against Moscow over its annexation of Crimea in Ukraine had left no end in sight for the country’s woes.
  • 'If UN Recognizes Palestine, Israel Must Annex in Judea-Samaria'

    12/27/2014 3:49:20 PM PST · by Eleutheria5 · 14 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 27/12/14 | Ari Yashar
    Likud Central Committee chairman Danny Danon, who is challenging Binyamin Netanyahu for leadership of the party, on Saturday night called on Israel to respond to an expected UN recognition of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine" by declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. "We must clarify in the clearest terms to the world that every unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will bring Israeli sovereignty," declared Danon in a meeting with Likud activists in Judea's Gush Etzion region. Prime among the attendants at the meeting were Kiryat Arba Regional Council head Malakhi Levinger and Deputy Gush Etzion...
  • Qatar: A Change of Heart? Or merely rearranging the Camels?

    12/27/2014 3:21:02 PM PST · by Randall_S · 5 replies
    An Update from the Qatar Awareness Campaign Several recent news reports point to the possibility that Qatar, the host nation of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be genuine in their attempt to reconcile with their Arab neighbors. After expelling the Qataris and isolating them diplomatically, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt appear to have reached an accord with Doha. The Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood was long ago banished from Saudi Arabia (in the late 1920s), and Egypt has violently suppressed them many times, notably after the assassination of Sadat. Yet the daily report out of the Middle East suggests...
  • Graham: Senate will vote on Iran sanctions legislation in January

    12/27/2014 3:13:56 PM PST · by Dave346 · 4 replies
    The Hill ^ | December 27, 2014, 04:10 pm | Peter Sullivan
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Saturday that the Senate will take up an Iran sanctions bill in January, setting up a tough vote for Democrats. During an appearance alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, Graham said there will be a vote on legislation drafted by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) in January. The measure would impose additional sanctions on Iran if it violates the interim nuclear agreement or walks away from talks. "I’m here to tell you, Mr. Prime Minister, that the Congress will follow your lead," Graham said. "In January...
  • How He and His Cronies Stole Russia (Putin)

    12/27/2014 1:47:27 PM PST · by Bubba Ho-Tep · 32 replies
    For twenty years now, the Western politicians, journalists, businessmen, and academics who observe and describe the post-Soviet evolution of Russia have almost all followed the same narrative. We begin with the assumption that the Soviet Union ended in 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev handed over power to Boris Yeltsin and Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the Soviet republics became independent states. We continue with an account of the early 1990s, an era of “reform,” when some Russian leaders tried to create a democratic political system and a liberal capitalist economy. We follow the trials and tribulations of the reformers, analyze...
  • Russia's Economic Crisis: Can Putin Be Saved By His Own Propaganda?

    12/27/2014 12:49:47 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 13 replies
    NBC News ^ | 12/27/14 | Jim Maceda
    Runs on the bank. Hyperinflation. A plummeting ruble. It sounds like today's Russia, but these were also the symptoms of its last economic meltdown, in 1998. That would eventually force Russian President Boris Yeltsin out of power, and put an awkwardly shy and relatively unknown KGB official named Vladimir Putin in his place. No one believed Putin would survive more than a few months in the Kremlin. But 'Putinism' - a mix of authoritarian rule and economic prosperity based almost entirely on vast oil and natural gas reserves - has kept its namesake in power for the past 15 years....
  • North Korea slams U.S. over Internet shutdown, calls Obama a ‘monkey’

    12/27/2014 11:14:25 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 35 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 12/272014 | Simon Denyer
    <p>North Korea on Saturday compared President Obama to a “monkey in a tropical forest” as it blamed the administration for disrupting its Internet access amid a hacking dispute related to the movie “The Interview.”</p> <p>The North Korean government has been fiercely critical of the film, a comedy involving a plot to assassinate its leader Kim Jong Un, but has denied responsibility for a recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures.</p>
  • US Mission in Havana to Become Embassy Amid Thaw [Unilateral Action!]

    12/27/2014 11:07:00 AM PST · by Steelfish · 15 replies
    ABCNews ^ | December 27, 2014 | PETER ORSI
    US Mission in Havana to Become Embassy Amid Thaw HAVANA — Dec 27, 2014 By PETER ORSI A half-century after Washington severed relations with Cuba, the United States' seven-story mission looms over Havana's seaside Malecon boulevard as the largest diplomatic outpost in the country. Cuban guards stand at close intervals on the street outside, and islanders line up by the thousands each year for a shot at a coveted visa. The gleaming U.S. Interests Section suddenly is poised to become an even more important presence in Cuba as the two countries negotiate the first phase of their historic detente -...
  • Al Shabaab leader with $3 million U.S. bounty on head surrenders

    12/27/2014 9:55:55 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    maktoob news ^ | 9 minutes ago | By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar
    MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A leader of Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, who has a $3 million U.S. bounty on his head, has surrendered, a Somali government official and local media said on Saturday, although the militants said he had long left their organisation. Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi was one of seven al Shabaab leaders for whom the U.S. State Department in 2012 offered a total of $33 million in reward money for information that led to their capture. If true, Hersi's surrender would be the second major blow to al Shabaab's leadership in just a few months. In September the...
  • Putin Is Mentally Unhinged

    12/27/2014 6:12:17 AM PST · by Kaslin · 86 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 27, 2014 | Mark Nuckols
    In his annual year end press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin showed beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is in fact mentally unhinged. For three hours, by turns he demonstrated signs of schizophrenic paranoia, pathological dishonesty, deep seated passive-aggressive tendencies, woeful ignorance of world affairs and economics, and delusional confidence in Russia’s future prospects. Putin evokes the national self-image of the Russian bear. Putin’s bear is a natural hunter contentedly chasing pigs and boars, but otherwise minding his own business in his own sovereign forest. But somebody wants this bear to have a makeover, and to give up...
  • Nuland: ‘Toxic Cocktail’ Hitting Russia as State Dept. Preparing More Support for Ukraine

    12/27/2014 7:19:20 AM PST · by opentalk · 21 replies
    PJ Media ^ | December 23, 2014 | NICHOLAS BALLASY
    Victoria Nuland, U.S. secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said the U.S. has been internally preparing more financial support to Ukraine.“Senior IMF leadership was in Ukraine this week issuing a public validation of the reform program going forward but also confirming that the program agreed last year is going to need a significant adjustment – that there is a fiscal hole to the tune of $10-15 billion,” Nuland said at the American Enterprise Institute during a discussion examining the Ukrainian revolution one year later.“We expect that the IMF and the World Bank will have to increase their support...
  • Pakistani officials furious over country’s portrayal in ‘Homeland’

    12/27/2014 6:08:01 AM PST · by AU72 · 28 replies
    NY Post ^ | December 27, 2014 | Jamie Schram
    Pakistani officials are furious with Showtime after watching the fourth season of its hit show “Homeland, which they say portrays their country as an ugly, ignorant, terror-plagued “hellhole.” “Our culture embraces Western society. Pakistan believes in the democratic system of voting in our presidents.“Pakistanis never embraced the dictators who, in the past, ruled the country because they took over the presidency through violent means.
  • German Wishes Muslim Man ‘Merry Christmas’ – Muslim Pulls Knife and Stabs German in the Back

    12/27/2014 5:51:31 AM PST · by HomerBohn · 39 replies
    American Patriot Post ^ | 12/26/2014 | Bob Hammond
    Another life lesson from the religion of peace. A trio of well wishers were telling passersby “Merry Christmas” in Cologne, Germany, when they happened on a Muslim man accompanying two Muslim women. The man took offense at the greeting and proceeded to attack one of the men with a knife, stabbing him multiple times in the back and neck. Considering the attack took place on Christmas Eve, the Muslim man was probably out searching for a patsy, looking to be offended just enough so that he could carry out his cowardly attack and then claim himself as a victim of...
  • President declares combat missions in Afghanistan are over

    12/27/2014 5:39:44 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 37 replies
    Fox News ^ | Dec. 26, 2014 - 2:48 | Jennifer Griffin
    President declares combat missions in Afghanistan are over. Jennifer Griffin reports on Obama's bold prediction [VIDEO]
  • New ‘Tuo Jiang’ corvette beefs up naval firepower

    12/27/2014 4:30:19 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 1 replies
    The Taipei Times ^ | Dec 27, 2014 | Jason Pan
    Senior naval officials hinted earlier this week that the new-generation Tuo Jiang-class corvette (沱江艦) could be dispatched to beef up security measures around the disputed Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the South China Sea if the need arises. Responding to enquiries from legislators, Navy Chief of Staff Hsiao Wei-min (蕭維民) said the recently commissioned Tuo Jiang stealth missile corvette would able to reach Taiwan’s military outpost on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) within one day. Taiping, spanning 46 hectares, is the largest island in the Spratlys, and has permanent troops from Coast Guard Administration units stationed there. The...
  • Newest U.S. Stealth Fighter ‘10 Years Behind’ Older Jets

    12/27/2014 4:24:07 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 25 replies
    America’s $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can’t see the battlefield all that well. Which means it’s actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today’s wars. When the Pentagon’s nearly $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter finally enters service next year after nearly two decades in development, it won’t be able to support troops on the ground the way older planes can today. Its sensors won’t be able to see the battlefield as well; and what video the F-35 does capture, it won’t be able to transmit to infantrymen in real time. Versions of the new single-engine stealth fighter are set to...
  • Russia: NATO expansion is biggest threat we face - warns Ukraine it would be "dangerous" to do so

    12/27/2014 2:05:01 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 34 replies
    The Hill ^ | December 26, 2014 | Jesse Byrnes
    Russia has adopted a new military doctrine, keeping North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expansion first among its list of primary external threats. The revised doctrine [PDF in Russian - 29 pages with 58 sections], signed by President Vladimir Putin on Friday, is comparable to a 2010 version, which also listed NATO expansion as a primary threat. Additions to the doctrine include a highlighting of the threat from "global strategic antiballistic missile systems" and a Russian goal to protect its interests in the Arctic region, according to Russian state-funded news organization RT. The doctrine’s adoption comes days after Ukraine took a...
  • N Korea Race-Hate Outburst At Obama [Obama Called ""Monkey Inhabiting A Tropical Forest"]

    12/26/2014 9:23:41 PM PST · by Steelfish · 30 replies
    Telegraph (Belfast) ^ | December 26, 2014
    N Korea Race-Hate Outburst At Obama 27 DECEMBER 2014 North Korea has hurled racial slurs at President Barack Obama as the communist state blamed the US for shutting down its internet amid the Sony hacking row. The North's powerful National Defence Commission said Mr Obama was behind the release of Sony Pictures' film The Interview and called him a "monkey inhabiting a tropical forest". North Korea has denied being involved in the crippling cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, but expressed fury over the comedy depicting an assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un. After Sony initially called off the release in...
  • USA Offering $5 Million Reward for Terrorist Released From Club Gitmo

    12/26/2014 9:11:38 PM PST · by QT3.14 · 14 replies
    Moonbattery ^ | Declember 23, 2014
    What happens when liberal authorities release the worst-of-the-worst Muslim terrorists vacationing at Club Gitmo? They return to their terrorist activities, as any idiot would be able to foresee. What happens then? The US government attempts to capture them again — at considerable expense. Take the case of Saudi national Ibrahim al-Rubaysh:
  • UN chief urges Pakistan’s leader to stop executions

    12/26/2014 8:18:50 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 26, 2014 4:48 PM EST
    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Pakistan’s leader to stop the execution of convicts and re-impose a moratorium on the death penalty. […] In the wake of the Pakistani Taliban school massacre on Dec. 16 that killed 149 people, most of them students, the government reinstated the death penalty and has already executed six people. …
  • New Study May Add to Skepticism Among Security Experts That North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

    12/26/2014 5:15:31 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 27 replies
    New York Times ^ | 12/26/2014 | By NICOLE PERLROTH
    A number of private security researchers are increasingly voicing doubts that the hack of Sony‘s computer systems was the work of North Korea. President Obama and the F.B.I. last week accused North Korea of targeting Sony and pledged a “proportional response” just hours before North Korea’s Internet went dark without explanation. But security researchers remain skeptical, with some even likening the government’s claims to those of the Bush administration in the build-up to the Iraq war. Fueling their suspicions is the fact that the government based its findings, in large part, on evidence that it will not release, citing the...
  • China a likely factor in North Korea cyber prowess: experts

    12/26/2014 5:01:49 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    AFP Via Yahoo News ^ | 12/26/2014 | Benjamin Haas
    North Korea may be facing explosive hacking accusations, but analysts are questioning how an isolated, impoverished country with limited Internet access could wage cyber sabotage -- and many experts believe China plays a role. The US has accused Pyongyang of hacking Sony Pictures, which was intimidated into initially cancelling the comedy film "The Interview" that mocks North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, before deciding to release it online and in selected US cinemas on Christmas Day. While much of the focus has been on the so-called cyber warfare between Washington and Pyongyang -- especially after North Korea's Internet temporarily went down...
  • Demand For ‘The Interview’ Is Shooting Up In North Korea And Its Government Is Freaking Out

    12/26/2014 4:50:20 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 12/26/2014 | Eugene Kim
    More and more North Koreans are becoming aware of the North Korea-mocking movie “The Interview,” and the government is doing everything to block it from getting smuggled in to the country. According to Free North Korea Radio, an online radio network made by North Korean defectors, demand for “The Interview” has been shooting up among North Koreans. It says people are willing to pay almost $50 a copy of the movie, which is 10X higher than what a regular South Korean TV show’s DVD would cost in the black market. In response, North Korea’s State Security Department and The Ministry...
  • Israel buying 4 new warships from Germany, PM confirms

    12/26/2014 4:03:13 PM PST · by Berlin_Freeper · 44 replies
    timesofisrael.com ^ | December 25, 2014 | Ilan Ben Zion
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday confirmed that Israel had acquired four new Sa’ar-class warships from Germany, reportedly to help protect off-shore gas extraction facilities. ... A spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s Office said that for the time being the deal remained an understanding, and that Germany would be footing a “nice” part of the cost. He refused to detail the cost of the ships.
  • Panama Canal claims $737 million in cost overruns

    12/26/2014 3:41:58 PM PST · by george76 · 22 replies
    AFP ^ | 27 December 2014
    The consortium building the third set of locks for the Panama Canal is making fresh claims for cost overruns totaling $737 million ... Work began in 2007 to expand the canal with a third set of locks to enable it to handle the modern mega-freighters that global shipping companies prefer. But the $5.25 billion project has been plagued by delays, strikes and a bitter dispute over $1.6 billion in cost overruns with the consortium carrying out the upgrade, led by Spanish construction firm Sacyr. Initially scheduled for completion in 2014, the project's due date has been pushed back to early...
  • Europe is Gone

    12/26/2014 3:18:37 PM PST · by Jan_Sobieski · 22 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | Berel Wein
    What can one say about Europe? I imagine that if one wants to be bitterly truthful then one could easily say that Hitler has in effect triumphed. He branded the Jews as the root of all troubles and proclaimed that the “final” and only solution to the “Jewish problem” was to eradicate all Jews from the face of the earth. And as we all know, he followed through on his genocidal program. A great deal of Europe, its leaders, intellectuals and common folk, willfully and almost gleefully cooperated in this genocide. Many did so actively while many more Europeans did...
  • Catch and Release in the Land of Two Rivers

    12/26/2014 2:27:10 PM PST · by iowamark · 5 replies
    WarOnTheRocks.com ^ | December 18, 2014 | Craig Whiteside
    National security officials are slowly realizing that its foes in the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) look very familiar—embarrassingly so. They look an awful lot like the people in various mugshots dressed in identical, yellow, made-in-the-USA jumpsuits that were released in years past. Reports by numerous researchers revealed that ISIL’s top twenty leadership posts are almost entirely filled by former detainees held by the United States in Camp Bucca, Iraq from 2004-2009. Worse, a recent interview in The Guardian had a long time ISIL member gleefully point out how the group was able to recruit, network, and...
  • Can Russia's Vladimir Putin help deliver a Palestinian state?

    12/26/2014 2:05:57 PM PST · by Jan_Sobieski · 14 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | Shamir | Shlomo
    Russia has finally found a lever with which to gain revenge on the United States and the West for its support for Ukraine. As payback for the painful sanctions imposed on its economy, Moscow is now brandishing a new diplomatic sword. The man who handed the Kremlin this sword on a silver platter, thereby enabling it to divert the world’s attention away from what is taking place in Ukraine, is none other than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Security forces kill school massacre planner in Pakistan shootout

    12/26/2014 1:55:58 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 12 replies
    Fox News ^ | December 26, 2014
    The alleged planner of the deadly massacre at a school in Pakistan last week has been killed in a gun battle...
  • Why South Korean filmmakers would never make movie like 'The Interview'

    12/26/2014 1:25:54 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 11 replies
    La La Times ^ | December 26, 2014 | Steven Borowiec
    South Korean filmmakers have long believed that when it comes to depicting North Korea, it's best to use the utmost caution. Even with South Korea's robust film industry, there have been no notable cases of the North's leadership being depicted in a film. The bloody scene in Sony Pictures Entertainment's movie "The Interview," in which it appears that the head of an actor playing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blows up, would never happen in South Korea, film experts say.
  • Max Blumenthal: ‘America Sniper’ Chris Kyle was just a popular mass murderer [Immoral equivalency]

    12/26/2014 11:48:00 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 45 replies
    Hotair ^ | 12/26/2014 | NOAH ROTHMAN
    IÂ’ve watched the film depiction of the life of the late Chris Kyle, AmericaÂ’s deadliest sniper, Navy SEAL, and veterans advocate, twice. It is a gripping portrayal, but it is a portrayal nonetheless. While the screenplay perhaps lacks nuance, it is also a product of Hollywood and should be considered a truncated and dramatized version of one manÂ’s life story. The complexities of biography often elude filmmakers who are charged with creating dense and intricate portraits of a human being in 120 minutes. Nevertheless, the movie is quite enjoyable. The performances are stirring and the wartime themes, difficult as...
  • Third Priest Killed In Dangerous Southern Mexico [A Corrupt And Deadly Crime-Ridden Nation?]

    12/26/2014 10:47:05 AM PST · by Steelfish · 16 replies
    YahooNews ^ | December 26, 2014 | MARK STEVENSON
    Third Priest Killed In Dangerous Southern Mexico By MARK STEVENSON A priest was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, his diocese said Friday, marking the latest in series of abductions, attacks and highway robberies against Roman Catholic clerics in an area of southern Guerrero state dominated by drug cartels. Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta is the third Catholic priest to have been killed in the region this year, and the first to die since the federal government launched a special, stepped-up security operation in the area following the disappearance of 43 teachers' college students three months ago. The...
  • 13-year-old girl: My father gave me to Boko Haram to be a suicide bomber

    12/25/2014 9:48:45 PM PST · by george76 · 17 replies
    Toronto Star ^ | Dec 25 2014 | IBRAHIM GARBA
    A 13-year-old says her father gave her to Boko Haram extremists and that she was arrested after refusing to explode a suicide bomb. ... The girl told a news conference Wednesday night that she saw many people being buried alive at the Boko Haram camp where her father took her in Bauchi state, east of Kano.
  • Security intensified to keep women out of Jeddah football match ( Saudi Arabia )

    12/25/2014 8:15:53 PM PST · by george76 · 10 replies
    Gulf News ^ | December 24, 2014 | Habib Toumi
    Authorities on the alert to ensure only men attend much-anticipated football match in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian authorities have intensified security around a stadium in the Red Sea city of Jeddah to ensure no woman could sneak in to watch a football match. ... Saudi Arabia has a very strict policy regarding female attendance at sports matches. Permissions are needed to allow foreign women to watch the matches in which their home teams play.
  • UPDATE 3-Saudis to keep spending heavily in 2015 budget, shrug off oil plunge

    12/25/2014 7:28:56 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 13 replies
    Reuters ^ | Dec 25, 2014 | Andrew Torchia
    UPDATE 3-Saudis to keep spending heavily in 2015 budget, shrug off oil plunge Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:14am EST * Figures suggest Saudis could cope with years of cheap oil * State spending to edge up 0.6 pct from 2014 plan * Big economic development projects to continue * Budget slashes revenue projection by 16 pct * $39 bln deficit to be covered by fiscal reserves (Adds comments by finance minister, stock market reaction) By Andrew Torchia DUBAI, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will lift state spending to a record in its 2015 budget while covering a deficit with...
  • Harsh interrogations crucial in Osama bin Laden capture, Republicans say

    12/25/2014 6:44:41 PM PST · by jazusamo · 3 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | December 25, 2014 | Rowan Scarborough
    Senate Democrats’ ‘torture report’ claims tactics played no role in finding al Qaeda leaderSenate Democrats’ argument that harsh CIA interrogations played no role in finding Osama bin Laden revolves in crucial ways around the life of Hassan Ghul. It was Ghul, an al Qaeda operative who moved between Pakistan and Iraq, who turned out to be the most informative biographer of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. It was al-Kuwaiti who eventually led the CIA to bin Laden’s home address in Abbottabad, Pakistan. To Democratic staffers who wrote the Dec. 9 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation...
  • Report: Prisoner swap with ISIS could be possible for captured Jordanian pilot

    12/25/2014 6:11:27 PM PST · by Dave346 · 8 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 12/25/2014 | ARIEL BEN SOLOMON
    A prisoner exchange may be in the cards for a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State fighters after his plane crashed in Syria, according to a report in the Arab press. Jordanian political activists told the London-based daily Al-Quds al-Arabi on Thursday that a prisoner exchange could be possible if the Jordanian government released people affiliated with the group al-Qaida in Iraq, the precursor to Islamic State. Tareq al-Fayed, a Jordanian political activist close to the Salafist movement mentioned Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman who was caught trying to blow herself up in a failed suicide bombing during a wedding...
  • Snow globe caused charity shop fire

    12/25/2014 3:50:34 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    belfast telegraph ^ | 25 December 2014
    The sun's rays ignited fake reindeer food and snow on display in the window of the shop in Bournemouth, Dorset. Firefighters from Dorset Fire Service attended the incident at the shop in Wimborne Road, Winton, at around 11.30am. Occupants of neighbouring properties were advised to evacuate and firefighters put the flames out within 10 minutes of arriving on the scene. A fire service spokesman said: "At the risk of sounding like a Christmas tale, the cause of the fire was believed to be sun refracting through a snow globe in the shop window which then ignited 'reindeer food' and fake...
  • Little Noticed in Immigration Overhaul: A Government Hiring Rush [Funded By Republicans!]

    12/25/2014 1:51:40 PM PST · by Steelfish · 22 replies
    NYTimes ^ | December 25, 2014 | MICHAEL D. SHEAR and ROBERT PEAR
    Little Noticed in Immigration Overhaul: A Government Hiring Rush By MICHAEL D. SHEAR DEC. 25, 2014 WASHINGTON — This is how a bureaucracy grows. Only 10 days after President Obama announced in a prime-time address that millions of undocumented people would soon “be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation,” an electronic bulletin reached inboxes across Washington. In a crucial detail that Mr. Obama left out, the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency said it was immediately seeking 1,000 new employees to work in an office building to process “cases filed as a result of...
  • Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

    12/25/2014 12:17:19 PM PST · by george76 · 11 replies
    cns ^ | December 25, 2014 | AYA BATRAWY
    Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban on females driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases ... The Specialized Criminal Court, to which their cases were referred, was established in the capital Riyadh to try terrorism cases but has also tried and handed long prison sentences to a number of human rights workers, peaceful dissidents, activists and critics of the government. For example, this year it sentenced a revered Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a vocal critic of the government, to death for sedition and sentenced a prominent...