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Russia’s Sanctions Against The West Are Hurting Russians More Than The West

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against the West are  is having an impact on the average Russian’s food budget: Russia’s embargo on imported Western food is hitting its own people, as food prices in Moscow shops have jumped by up to 6% in just a week. Moscow officials say frozen fish prices in the capital’s major supermarkets have […]

Gaza Cease Fire Extended, But Prospects For Bigger Peace Deal Seem Dim

Gaza Rockets

The two sides in Gaza keep extending the humanitarian cease fire, but remain miles apart on the major issues dividing them.

Ebola Death Toll In West Africa Hits 1,200

Ebola Virus

The Ebola epidemic in western Africa continues to spread: LONDON — As West African nations grapple with the worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the death toll had exceeded 1,200 and announced increased efforts to forestall hunger in areas isolated by quarantine measures. The figure offered a […]

Fighting over Mosul Dam

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Iraq crisis: Military claims control of Mosul dam Iraqi military spokesman Lt-Gen Qassim Atta told state TV the dam – Iraq’s largest – had been "fully cleansed". Troops had been backed by a joint air patrol, he added, without specifying if there had been any US air strikes. However, journalists in the […]

Nouri Al-Maliki Agrees To Step Aside

Nouri al-Maliki  Photo

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has apparently agreed to abandon his bid to stay in power: BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Thursday night said he agreed to relinquish power, state television reported, a move that came after days of crisis in which Mr. Maliki’s deployment of extra security forces around the capital […]

Germany Ready To Take A Harder Line Toward Russia Over Ukraine?

German Russian Flags

The New York Times’ Alison Smale notes that the Ukraine crisis seems to be finally causing the Germans to reconsider their country’s relationship with Russia: BERLIN — Over recent months, something significant has happened in Europe: In the crisis over Ukraine, Germany has assumed leadership not just in its familiar fashion of trying to coax Russia […]

Despite Pressure, Malaki Unwilling To Step Aside In Iraq

Nouri al-Maliki

Iraq continues to appear to be headed toward a political crisis, notwithstanding the fact that everyone seems to be trying to pressure Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step aside: BAGHDAD — Iran’s supreme leader threw his weight behind Iraq’s newly appointed prime minister Wednesday, but incumbent Nouri al-Maliki denounced efforts to oust him as “a […]

Arming The “Good” Syrian Rebels Would Not Have Prevented The Rise Of ISIS

syria-obama

Dispelling a rising myth,

Scottish Independence Losing In The Polls

Scotland and UK flags

If recent polling is to be believed, the bid for Scottish independence is going to go down in flames.

No, Obama Isn’t Seeking ‘Regime Change’ in Iraq

iraq-protest

The United States is, in fact, doing the exact opposite.

NATO: “High Probability” Russia Will Invade Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

The rebels in eastern Ukraine continue to suffer setbacks, and Russia is massing troops on the border again.

The Case Against American Action In Iraq

Iraq US Flag

Iraq’s problems cannot be fixed by the United States.

Muslim Brotherhood’s Political Party Banned

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Via the BBC:  Egypt court bans Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing Dissolving the Freedom and justice Party (FJP) was expected. The political wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement can no longer compete in the next parliamentary elections, expected to be held before the end of this year. Its members can run either as individual candidates […]

Santos Sworn in

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Via the BBC from last week:   Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sworn in. Santos was re-elected to a second term back in June and is the second Colombian president to be re-elected (after the constitution was reformed to allow Santos’ predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, to run for and win a second term). The main issue confronting […]

Obama’s Iraq Policy Is Open-Ended, Directionless, And Likely To Fail

Barack Obama

President Obama doesn’t seem to have any idea what he wants to do in Iraq.

Ukrainian Forces Reportedly Have Rebels In Donetsk Surrounded

Russia Ukraine Flags

End game? Or the potential spark of a wider war?

Italian Senate Reform?

Italian-flag

Institutional reform does take place in other democracies.

Gaza Truce Ends As Hamas Refuses To Extend Humanitarian Ceasefire

Gaza Rockets

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Russia Extends Edward Snowden’s Asylum For Three More Years

Edward Snowden 2

Edward Snowden will be allowed to stay in Russia for at least the next three years: MOSCOW — Edward J. Snowden, the American intelligence contractor who published a raft of secret documents and then fled to Russia, has been granted a three-year residence permit, his lawyer announced Thursday. Anatoly G. Kucherena, the lawyer, told a […]

Russia Imposes Sanctions Of Its Own

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

In response to the multiple rounds of sanctions that the West has imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Russia has banned the importation of a broad range of Western food and agricultural products: MOSCOW — Russia announced on Thursday that it was banning the import of a wide range of […]

As Gaza War Winds Down, What Happens Next?

Israel-Palestine-Flags

The war in Gaza seems to be winding down, but the underlying issues remain.

Africa’s Ebola Crisis Hits 1,300 Cases

Ebola Virus

With one of the Americans infected with the Ebola virus headed for Emory University’s hospital as we speak, we have reached the first time that a disease that has ravaged Africa in the past is being knowingly brought to North America. By all accounts, the steps that medical professionals are taking to ensure that the […]

Republicans Block Additional Funds To Israel For Iron Dome Over Deficit Concerns

US Israel Flags

In a move you don’t see everyday, Senate Republicans blocked a measure that would have increased aid to Israel, specifically directed to the Iron Dome anti-missile shield, because of concerns about the deficit: In the end, the Senate couldn’t even agree to deliver emergency aid to one of the United States’ closest allies. A last-ditch effort to […]

Ugandan Anti-Gay Law Struck Down By Court

F2-uganda

A court in Uganda has declared that country’s controversial law against homosexuality, which has drawn widespread international condemnation, is unconstitutional: Uganda’s Constitutional Court has annulled tough anti-gay legislation signed into law in February. It ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal. Homosexual acts were already […]

72 Hour Gaza Ceasefire Collapses In Less Than Two Hours

Gaza Attack 2

A glimmer of hope in Gaza is quickly snuffed out.

Debt Default In Argentina

money-investing

To our south, the nation of Argentina has just defaulted on billions of dollars in loans thanks largely to a dispute with at U.S. hedge fund: The hedge fund firm of billionaire Paul E. Singer has about 300 employees, yet it has managed to force Argentina, a nation of 41 million people, into a position where it […]

Scottish Independence Referendum A Nailbiter

travel-suitcase

Scottish independence may be more likely than many think.

Despite International Pressure, Israeli Public Supports Netanyahu On The War In Gaza

Benjamin Netanyahu

The Israeli public if overwhelmingly behind the war in Gaza, and that means it will probably continue for awhile.

New Sanctions Announced Against Russia, But It’s Unclear Russia Will Care

Russia Ukraine Flags

The U.S. and Europe have announced a new round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, but it’s not clear that the Russians will be motivated to change course.

Ukraine Is A Test For Europe. Does It Have The Will To Even Make The Effort To Pass?

Ukraine Russia European Union Flags

What the West does in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine is largely up to Europe, not the United States.

Initial Flight 17 Investigation Finds Evidence Consistent With Missile Strike

Malaysia Air Flight 17 Crash Scene

No surprises so far.

Taliban Making Gains In Afghanistan

afghanistan_flag_map

As Afghanistan’s political factions continue to squabble, there are some indications that the Taliban are having some success on the battlefield: MAHMUD RAQI, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters are scoring early gains in several strategic areas near the capital this summer, inflicting heavy casualties and casting new doubt on the ability of Afghan forces to contain […]

Americans Divided On Israel’s Actions In Gaza

US Israeli Flags

A new poll shows that Americans are divided over Israel’s actions in Gaza, but this most likely will not impact relations between the two countries.

U.S. Evacuates Embassy In Tripoli Amid Renewed Violence

Libya

Add Libya to the list of the world’s trouble spots.

Afghan Political Deal Falling Apart?

afghanistan_flag_map

It was just about two weeks ago that the various political faction in Afghanistan seemingly resolved the crisis that had developed in the wake of a Presidential election that was clouded in allegations of fraud with a political deal that would result in changes to the way Afghanistan’s government works. Now, though, it appears that […]

World War One And Ukraine

Ukraine Flag

History matters.

Israel Rejects Temporary Cease Fire Plan As Gaza Conflict Continues To Rage

Gaza Attack 2

Hopes for a temporary respite in the Gaza conflict faded away today.

Russia Getting Ready To Escalate In Ukraine?

Russia Ukraine Flags

Things are getting serious in eastern Ukraine.

F.A.A. Halts Flights From U.S. To Israel For 24 Hours

US Israel Flags

The Federal Aviation Administration has halted all flights from the U.S. to Israel for 24 hours in response to a rocket attack near Ben Gurion Airport: Major American airlines stopped flying to Israel on Tuesday after a rocket fell near Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, and after the Federal Aviation Administration told the carriers […]

Iran’s Nuclear Program And The Incentives Created By U.S. Policy

iran-nuclear-weapons

George Will has come under criticism for pointing out what seems to be an undeniable fact.

Russians Are Getting A Very Different Version Of The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Story

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

If you live in Russia, you’re getting a different version of the story of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

A Partisan Divide Over Israel? Not Really.

U.S. Israeli Flags

Recent polls notwithstanding, Republicans and Democrats remain largely in lockstep when it comes to U.S. policy toward Israel.

Some Facts for the Immigration Crisis Discussion

travel-suitcase

NBC Bay Area has a pretty good run down of the situation here:  Kids Crossing the Border: What to Know About the Immigration Crisis. A key fact that is useful in trying to determine whether the simplistic narrative that is all about Obama administration policies on immigration or not is the following: Migrant children aren’t […]

Russians Really, Really Like Vladimir Putin, And That Makes Ending The Ukraine Crisis Harder

Putin Smirk

Vladimir Putin has become immensely popular in Russia again, and its not hard to figure out why.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 And The Future Of The Conflict In Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

Yesterday’s events are likely to be a game changer, but how the game plays out depends largely on how Europe reacts.

Italian Appeals Court Overturns Berlusconi Conviction On Underage Sex Charges

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had his June 2013 conviction on underage sex charges overturned by an Italian appeals court: ROME — An appeals court in Milan on Friday overturned the conviction of the former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, for paying for sex with a minor, and revoked his seven-year prison sentence […]

Why Were Commercial Jets Flying Over Eastern Ukraine To Begin With?

Ukraine Airspace After MH17

Basically, the answer is that nobody really thought there was much of a risk that a plane could be shot down.

U.S. Intelligence Sources Confirm Malaysia Airlines Flight Hit By Surface-To-Air Missile

Malaysia Air Flight 17 Crash Scene

Someone took down a Boeing 777 over Ukraine today.

Israel Begins Ground Operations In Gaza

Gaza Rockets

The next phase of Israel’s attack on Hamas has begun.

Malaysia Airlines 777 Crashes In Eastern Ukraine, May Have Been Shot Down

Malyasia Airlines 777

Another incident involving a Malaysia Airlines 777, but this one could be far more serious.

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