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Caliphate of Fear: The Curse of the Islamic State

Photo Gallery: A State of Evil
REUTERS

Images of Yazidis fleeing parts of Iraq and Syria have shocked the world and the battle against the jihadists with the Islamic State has united Americans, Europeans, Kurds and Iranians. Can the Islamists be stopped? In Raqqa, Syria, the Islamic State's "caliphate" has already become a reality. All women in the city are required to wear the niqab veil and pants are banned. Thieves have their hands hacked off and opponents are publicly crucified or beheaded, with the images of these horrific acts then posted on social networks.

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Europe's Malaise: The New Normal?

Russia and Ukraine continue to confront each other along their border. Iraq has splintered, leading to unabated internal warfare. And the situation in Gaza remains dire. These events should be enough to constitute the sum total of our global crises, but they're not. On top of everything, the German economy contracted by 0.2 percent last quarter. Though many will dismiss this contraction outright, the fact that the world's fourth-largest economy (and Europe's largest) has shrunk, even by this small amount, is a matter of global significance.

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No Winners in Unhinged, Disintegrating Syria

It’s time to accept that the Syrian Arab Republic established in 1946 is no more. In its place totter small regions with constantly fluctuating communal and geographical boundaries. Within those temporary enclaves, some leaders attempt to maintain or expand influence by force and ideology; others try to do so by bringing safety, food, shelter, and fuel to people caught up in havoc. Rebels of disparate religious, political, and ethnic shades—some backed by Saudi and Gulf Arab money, others inspired by nationalistic ideologies—shuffle the conflagration and the persons caught up in it back and forth as they fight to the bitter end against the Syrian army and militias like Hezbollah, who are buttressed by Iranian and Russian resources. Yet all sides are losing, for stability is gone in Syria and from there instability is rippling outward.

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A Grotesque Pantomime of Repression and Redemption: Activists and journalists are stuck in the racial resentments of the 1960s.

Photo by Josh Nezam

The American understanding of riots and racial violence was shaped a half-century ago, during the insurrections of the 1960s. To judge by the responses to the current rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, little has changed since then.

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Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who ranks as the world’s second-richest person, has introduced a campaign to integrate illegal immigrants into the U.S.

Think about the sentence referenced above for a minute.  A native of Mexico who is not a US citizen has a plan to integrate ILLEGAL MEXICANS into the US workforce! Notice the "undocumented workers" moniker that has formally been adopted rather than calling a spade a spade of "ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT". What do you suppose Switzerland or France or So Korea or Japan or Finland or the UK would call and do if, say, Bill Gates decided to do likewise with Americans who decided for one reason or another to move to those sovereign nations? What does Spain do with North Africans who wash up on its shores? What does Italy do? What does Australia do? What would these countries do if Li Ka Shing, the Hong Kong magnate, decided to pull a "Carlos Slim" and use his wealth and influence to try to "integrate" Malay boat people into the Australian economy? The arrogance of Slim and his ilk is staggering.  They see themselves as global overlords, recognizing no borders, no powers, no political party, no sovereignty.  I have come to believe that the MOST dangerous thing in this world is an uber-wealthy global-progressive, as they have come to believe they have just the tonic to cure the ills of the world, if only the world would listen & compliantly follow…cue the music to the Pied Piper...

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The new Islamic caliphate and its war against history

The restoration of a caliphate is the stated objective for many jihadist organizations, eager to overthrow the 20th century nation-state system grafted onto the Middle East after World War I.

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The Most Wanted Man In The World

Edward Snowden, the most wanted man in the world. For almost nine months, I have been trying to set up an interview with him—traveling to Berlin, Rio de Janeiro twice, and New York multiple times to talk with the handful of his confidants who can arrange a meeting. Among other things, I want to answer a burning question: What drove Snowden to leak hundreds of thousands of top-secret documents, revelations that have laid bare the vast scope of the government's domestic surveillance programs? In May I received an email from his lawyer, ACLU attorney Ben Wizner, confirming that Snowden would meet me in Moscow and let me hang out and chat with him for what turned out to be three solid days over several weeks. It is the most time that any journalist has been allowed to spend with him since he arrived in Russia in June 2013. But the finer details of the rendezvous remain shrouded in mystery. I landed in Moscow without knowing precisely where or when Snowden and I would actually meet. Now, at last, the details are set.

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Scotland Divided By Independence Vote

They've been together for more than 300 years, but for many proud Scots, their relationship with the English has run its course. This report brings you the mood on the ground, less than 6 weeks before the vote.

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Putin Has Stumbled in Ukraine

Putin's departure from his usual realistic approach thrust Russia into a serious international crisis. The civil war in eastern Ukraine brought Moscow back from the global level to the local. Russia is now bogged down in an internecine conflict in a neighboring country with unclear goals and questionable methods. Most importantly, the end result of the internal conflict will not impact global politics on a large scale or the current global balance of power.

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Iraq Redux

Barack Obama is now the fourth U.S. President to bomb Iraq, and his decision is deepening political debate over when and how to use the American military.

Yezidis protest the Islamic State outside the U.N. offices in Erbil.

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Snowden leaks prompt firms to focus cyber security on insider threats

Edward Snowden

At this week’s Def Con hacker gathering in Las Vegas, Tess Schrodinger sounded almost annoyed. “The whole insider-threat phenomenon, they act like it’s this new thing,” the cyber security expert told the crowd. Schrodinger then spent an hour ticking off a long string of insider threats long before Edward Snowden's famous leaks, from Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up Britain's House of Lords, to Brian Patrick Regan, an American Air Force sergeant convicted of trying to sell secrets to Saddam Hussein. “Suddenly we have to worry about this,” Schrodinger told the Def Con crowd, even citing Judas to make her case. “If you know your history, insider threat has been an issue before the beginning of time.”

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The Media’s Role in Hamas’ War Strategy: Hamas’ PR strategy can only work if international news media follows the script, whether willingly or under coercion

In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause—a strategy that might actually be working, at least in some quarters.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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Erdogan wins Turkey's 1st direct presidential vote

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
 
Selahattin Demirtas
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
 

Erdogan wins Turkey's 1st direct presidential vote - please do not forget that he and his sons were found to have squirreled BILLIONS in cash in their personal homes and into foreign bank accounts last year...the people have spoken and they have clearly said that a corrupt leader is their preference as long as he "represents" their interests.  Turkey and the US are quite similar in this regard!

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Obama’s Treachery and Republican Silence: When will they stop pretending this is a normal presidency?

Barack Obama deliberately set out to lose the war in Iraq, and he did. He defied the advice of his joint chiefs of staff to secure America’s formidable military presence and keep 20,000 troops in country, and left Iraq to its own devices and the tender mercies of Iran. In doing so, he betrayed every American and Iraqi who gave his life to create a free Iraq and keep it out of the clutches of the terrorists.

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How Apple and Google could soon dominate the culture war

Our lives are increasingly dictated by our gadgets and social networks. And Silicon Valley just happens to be dominated by a distinct mindset. 

Computers are smart now. Soon they could be way too personal.
Computers are smart now. Soon they could be way too personal. (iStock)       
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Europe Declares War on Facebook

FACEBOOK TWITTER LOGOS
TED ALJIBE via Getty Images

Throughout history, Europe has shown an inclination to declare war on itself. Now in the 21st Century, Europe has found a new enemy to rally against: Facebook. 

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Global Warming Pause Puts 'Crisis' In Perspective

Much has been written and argued, from all sides in the global warming debate, about the meaning of the asserted 17-year pause in global warming. Is a 17-year pause significant? Is a pause even occurring? Does the pause signal a longer-term halt to global warming or even a long-term cooling trend? Would a resumption of global warming to pre-pause rates end the global warming debate? A look at recent temperatures and their appropriate context provides helpful meaning to the much-discussed global warming pause.

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The Geography of Horror: We are in effect at war with Islamist radicalism. It is very unhelpful if this reality is denied, as the Obama administration has tried to do.

al-qaeda-lessons

One of the ugliest actions of radical Islam has been its important role in the revival of anti-Semitism in Europe. Islam is not the enemy. Radical Islamism is. It has spawned unspeakable horrors, a veritable “axis of evil”.

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Thomas Sowell: Is Thinking Obsolete?

Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.

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The Shocking Secret Government Watchlisting Guide: The Intercept's Ryan Devereaux

"It's been more than a decade since the September 11th attacks. The question is whether we're on this pendulum and we're going to swing back to some semblance of sanity when it comes to civil liberties," says The Intercept's Ryan Devereaux, who along with Jeremy Scahill, co-authored a shocking expose on the secret government guide to placing people on terrorist watchlists. Devereaux spoke with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie about the 166 page document, approved by the Obama administration in March 2013 and developed by no less than 19 government agencies, which greatly expands the scope of the national terror watchlist. It also substantially lowers the bar for placing a person on the list, definitively stating that "concrete facts are not necessary" for someone to be deemed reasonably suspicious and worthy of government surveillance.

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