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Turkey Downs Russian Jet

Turkey Russia Flags

A potentially big complication in an already complicated situation.

New President in Argentina


Via the BBC:  Argentina’s President-elect Macri lays out new course Mr Macri won Sunday’s run-off election by a narrow margin over Daniel Scioli, who was backed by outgoing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. He said one of the key problems was the lack of accurate information about the state of Argentina’s economy. […] Mr Macri, […]

Kim Young-Sam, President Who Led South Korea Out Of Military Rule, Dies At 87

South Korean Flag

Kim Young-Sam, the former President of South Korea whose time in office marked the beginning of that nation’s turn away from military rule, died early Sunday at the age of 87: SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Young-sam, the former president of South Korea who replaced the last of the country’s military leaders, purged politicized generals […]

Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian Sentenced By Secret Iranian Court

Iranian And American Flags

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter who has been held by Iran on espionage charges that most everyone agrees are nonsense, has apparently been sentenced, although it’s unclear what his sentence actually is: TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has sentenced detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges […]

ISIS is Winning


The United States and Europe are giving everything the perpetrators of the Paris attacks hoped for.

Brussels On ‘High Alert’ Over Fears Of Paris-Style Attack

Another European capital is on edge over fears of a terror attack.

Up To 170 Taken Hostage In Hotel In Capital Of Mali


An apparent ongoing terrorist attack in Central Africa.

Jonathan Pollard Released From Federal Prison After Thirty Years

Jonathan Pollard

After thirty years in Federal Prison, Jonathan Pollard is a free man. Make no mistake, though. Pollard is not, and never has been, a hero and he deserves to be remembered as nothing but the criminal that he is.

Chief Suspect In Paris Attacks Killed In Police Raid, French Authorities Report

Paris Attack November 13-2

French officials have confirmed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the man believed to be the plotter of last Friday’s attacks in Paris, was killed in a police raid early Wednesday morning. This doesn’t mean authorities in France or elsewhere in Europe are any less concerned about future attacks, though.

Thanks To Pandering And Fearmongering, Syrian Refugees Are Now Pawns In American Politics

Syrian Refugees Coming Ashore In Greece

Syrian refugees have quickly become political footballs in the United States in the wake of the Paris attacks, and it’s become an exceedingly shameful display of pandering and fearmongering by a group of largely Republican politicians.

Russia Confirms Metrojet 9268 Brought Down By Bomb

Metrojet A321 Wreckage

Confirming speculation that had already been all but confirmed, we now know that it was a bomb that brought down a Russian passenger jet on October 31st.

Even After Paris, A Syrian No-Fly Zone Is A Foolish Idea

Obama ISIS

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, there’s a strong impulse to do “something,” but that doesn’t mean we should do something utterly foolish. And a no-fly zone would be utterly foolish.

France Strikes ISIS As Investigation Into Paris Attacks Continues

Paris Attack November 13-2

France launched its first attacks against ISIS even as the investigation into Friday’s attacks continues, but it’s not clear that the retaliation really accomplished anything.

Attack on France Is an Attack on the United States

A man holds up a sign which reads, "Je Suis Paris" ("I Am Paris") during a rally of solidarity outside the Consulate of France in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, to show his support to victims of the Paris attacks. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

We are legally, morally, and practically obligated to respond. Let’s not do so stupidly.

In Case Anyone Asks…


…via Quartz:  Muslims around the world condemn terrorism after the Paris attacks and USAT:  Muslims strongly condemn Paris terror attacks.

An Account of ISIS Activity


An list and map via the NYT:  click. On the one hand, a concerning list.  On the other, most of the items seems to be arrests linked to people trying to join the group rather than being specific plots or threats. The more concerning issue is the number of countries where the group currently has military […]

Something to Consider Going Forward


We can draw a rather direct line from the Iraq war to the rise of ISIS.

French President Blames ISIS For Paris’s Night Of Terror, Vows French Response

Paris Attack November 13-2

France’s President blames ISIS, vows response, as death toll from Paris terror attacks stands at at least 127.

Legislators In Catalonia Push Measure For Independence From Spain

People hold "estelada" flags, Catalan separatist flags, during a gathering to mark the Calatalonia day "Diada" in central Barcelona

Legislators in Spain’s Catalonia region took a step toward independence, but Madrid apparently wants nothing to do with it.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Opens The Door To Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Plant

A decision from Mexico’s Supreme Court has opened the door to legalization of marijuana south of the border, but it’s likely to proceed much slower than in the United States or Canada.

Russia Appears Ready To Deliver Sophisticated Anti-Aircraft System To Iran

Iran Nukes

With the Iran nuclear deal in place and sanctions being slowly lifted, Russia is announcing that a stalled weapons deal with Tehran is moving forward: MOSCOW — Russia’s most senior arms executive said Monday that a contract to supply Iran with powerful S-300 air defense missiles was now active. But with no delivery date or […]

Consensus Continues To Grow That Russian Airliner Was Taken Out By A Bomb

Metrojet A321 Wreckage

The investigation continues, but the consensus seems to be growing that Metrojet 9268 was taken out by a bomb.

America’s ‘Alliance’ Against ISIS Exists Mostly On Paper, Not In Reality

Obama ISIS

America’s much touted international coalition against ISIS is, essentially a Coalition In Name Only.

Obama Apparently Giving Up On Quixotic Bid For ‘Middle East Peace’


President Obama has apparently come to the same realization as many of his predecessors, that trying to craft a legacy by single-handedly bring about “Middle East Peace” is largely a waste of time.

U.S. Intelligence: Russian Passenger Jet Likely Brought Down Over Sinai Peninsula By A Bomb

Metrojet A321 Wreckage

American intelligence officials are saying that a Russian passenger jet that went down over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula was most likely brought down by a bomb.

Leaders Of China And Taiwan To Meet For First Time In 66 Years

Chinese Taiwanese Flags

For the first time since Chang Kai-Shek escaped across the Taiwan Strait, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China will meet this weekend.

Electoral Reform Coming to the Great White North?


Will Canada ditch FPTP?

China Ends ‘One Child’ Policy Over Demographic Concerns

China Flag and Skyline

Thanks mostly to well-founded demographic concerns, China is ending the ‘One Child’ policy, but it is probably too late for them to avoid the consequences of the forty year program.

Obama Considering Plan That Would Get U.S. Ground Troops Closer To Front Lines In ISIS War

Obama ISIS

President Obama is reportedly considering a plan that would put American forces much closer to the ground war in the war against ISIS.

Argentine Election Time


Via the BBC:  Argentina elections: Voters pick new president. Candidate basics: President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has served two consecutive terms and, under Argentina’s constitution, cannot run again. Her hand-picked successor, left-winger Daniel Scioli, is leading polls. But he is expected to face stiff competition from Mauricio Macri, the centre-right mayor of Buenos Aires. Another […]

U.S. And Russia Reach Deal On Syrian Airspace

U.S. Russia Syria

The U.S. and Russia have reached a much-needed deal to avoid inadvertent confrontations over the skies of Syria.

Canadian Voters Kick Stephen Harper Out Of Office After Nine Years

Ottawa Shooting 20141022

A political earthquake north of the border.

Canadian Elections Q&A


Via the CBC:  What if? Election outcome scenarios…

Malaysian Air Flight 17 Inquiry Finds Plane Most Likely Taken Down By Russian Missile

Malaysia Air Flight 17 Crash Scene

A Dutch inquiry has largely confirmed what was widely believed about the fate of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

Early Voting in Canada


Via the Toronto Star:  Elections Canada reports higher voter turnout for advance polls this weekend The opening day of advance polls brought out a big increase in the number of voters casting ballots ahead of the Oct. 19 election. Elections Canada says it estimates some 850,000 people voted on Friday, the first day of advance […]

Russia Aims For Syria, Hits Iran

Putin Smirk

Missed it by that much.

Neither The United States Nor Russia Have A Coherent Policy In Syria

Obama and Putin

With Russia now launching its own airstrikes in Syria, it’s become obvious that U.S. policy in the Syrian Civil War is irrational and contradictory. And Russia’s policy isn’t any better.

Taliban Capture Major Afghan City For First Time Since 9/11


The Taliban dealt a major defeat to a numerically superior Afghan Army force, raising questions about just how well Afghanistan can defend itself on its own.

More Terms for Bolivia’s Morales?


Via the BBC:  Vote may allow Bolivia president to seek re-election Bolivia’s Congress has voted to amend the constitution to allow the country’s President Evo Morales to run for re-election again in five years’ time. The vote went through by a two-thirds majority in a congress dominated by his supporters. He has been in power […]

Background on the FARC (and Remembering the FARC’s Terrible, Horrible, no Good, very Bad Year+)


The seeds of the current peace deal date back to 2007-2008 (plus some longer-term background notes).

Major Step Forward for Colombian Peace Process


Peace between the FARC and the Colombian state appears nigh.

U.S. To Increase Number Of Syrian Refugees Accepted Into The Country

Syrian Refugees

The U.S. is set to ramp up its contribution to dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, but there’s a lot more we can do.

British Labour Party Takes A Strong Tilt Left In Leadership Election

Jeremy Corbyn

Britain’s Labour Party has taken a hard tilt left with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

Brazil Officially in Recession


The economic news has been poor in Brazil for a while now, and with the release of new GDP figures the country is officially in recession, the BBC reports: Brazil has entered recession after official figures showed the country’s economy contracted by 1.9% between April and June compared with the previous three months. Analysts had […]

As Far As Europe Is Concerned, The Debate Over The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Over

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

Congress is set to debate the Iran nuclear deal next month, but as far as Europe is concerned the debate is already over.

Stock Market Drop Leads Trump And Walker To Say Dumb Things About China

Chinese and U.S. flags fly along Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House in Washington

Yesterday’s stock market drop led some Republican candidates to say some particularly dumb things.

Majority Of Americans Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal, But It Will Likely Go Into Effect Anyway

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

Another poll shows that a majority of Americans oppose the Iranian nuclear deal, but the effort to defeat it in Congress is still likely to fail.

The Wrong Iraq Question

Iraq US Flag

To lose something one has to have it in the first place. (It is pretty basic logic).

Symmetry in Cuba


Via CNN:  Marines who removed flag at U.S. Embassy in Havana see it raised again The gap between the flag coming down and going back up (54 years) was such that my first reaction was to to be mildly surprised that the three marines in question were still alive.

North Korea Setting Clocks Back A Half-Hour For Some Reason

North Korea

North Korea is going back in time, literally: SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea, a hermetic country stuck in the Cold War and obsessed with its long-dead founder, now wants to turn back time. By a half-hour. The government announced on Friday that it would create its own time zone — “Pyongyang time” — and […]

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