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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 […]

American Public Turning Against Iran Nuclear Deal According To New Polls

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

Recent polling has shown the American public to be highly skeptical, at beast, of the Iran Nuclear Deal. That may not be enough to kill it in Congress, though.

Chinese Courts Allow Blatant Ripoff of Air Jordan Brand


China adds to its status as the honey badger of intellectual property law.

Jonathan Pollard To Be Released November 21st

Jonathan Pollard

After 30 years in prison, Jonathan Pollard will be released later this year.

Mike Huckabee’s Offensive, Idiotic Holocaust Rhetoric On Iran

Huckabee Announces His Intentions For The 2016 Presidential Race

In bringing Holocaust imagery into the debate over the Iran nuclear deal, Mike Huckabee has displayed the intellectual bankruptcy of his position.

U.S. Considering Releasing Jonathan Pollard?

Jonathan Pollard

Reports are circulating that the Obama Administration is considering releasing Jonathan Pollard, and many are seeing it as an effort to placate Israel in the wake of the Iran deal.

Afghan Army Not Doing So Well Against The Taliban


The Afghan Army isn’t doing so well against the Taliban right now.

Majority Of Americans Support Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran Nukes

Good news for the President.

Today in “Asked and Answered” (Sowell on Iran Deal Edition)

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

Any discussion of the Iran deal has to be about realistic alternatives, not fantasies.

United Nations Security Council Approves Iranian Nuclear Deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

The U.N. Security Council has approved the Iranian nuclear deal, and now the ball is in Congress’s court.

U.S., Cuba Reopen Embassies For First Time In 54 Years

Diana Nyad

There are mutual embassies in Havana and Washington for the first time in 54 years. It certainly took long enough.

Why Does Europe Want To Keep Greece?

Greek European Union Flags

It’s easy to see what Greece thinks it still needs Europe, it’s more of puzzle why Europe thinks it needs to hang on to Greece.

Iran Nuclear Deal Struck, Reactions Pretty Much What You’d Expect

Iran Nukes

Depending on who you listen to, it’s either peace in our time or an epic catastrophe.

Greece Reaches Deal With Europe That’s Quite Similar To The One Voters Rejected

Greek European Union Flags

Greece reached a new deal with European bankers that seems oddly similar to the one that voters rejected just a week ago.

Meanwhile, China’s Stock Market Has Been Crashing For The Past Month

China Flag and Skyline

In the past month, the Chinese stock market has lost more than 1/3 of its value.

Sunday Deadline for Greece


Via the BBC:   Greece debt crisis: Eurozone ‘gives Sunday debt deadline’ They had better get their act together (yes, I know) as their performance today was, well, underwhelming:  Greece turned up empty-handed to emergency bailout talks.

Greek Voters Reject Bailout Deal, Greece Still Largely Screwed

Greek European Union Flags

Greek voters rejected the latest bailout package, but that only seems likely to make things even worse for them.

Greek Priorities


Via Reuters:  Despite crisis, few Greeks ready to forgo coffee “Greeks are ready to cut anything else, but not their coffee. Customer traffic is stable,” said Kleanthis Kanellos, 34-year-old manager of the packed Old Flo cafe in a working class district of Athens. Well, one has to have one’s priorities straight (although their propensity toward […]

U.S. And Cuba To Reopen Embassies After 54 Years

Cuban American Flags

For the first time since 1961, there will soon be an American Embassy in Havana, and a Cuban Embassy in Washington. It’s well past time that this happened.

Greek Prime Minister Appears To Concede, But Europe Holds To A Hard Line

Greek European Union Flags

Greece’s Prime Minister seemed to give in to some of Europe’s demands today, but bankers are continuing to hold to the strict conditions they set last week.

Greek Banks To Remain Closed Monday As Debt Negotiations Head To The Wire

Greek European Union Flags

The Greek Government is basically shutting the banking system down tomorrow as negotiations over its debt problems continue.

It’s Time To End The Cuba Travel Ban

Diana Nyad

It’s easier for an American citizen to go to Iran or North Korea than it is for them to go to Cuba, That’s insane.

Putin Using Fear Of ISIS To Enhance Russian Influence In Central Asia

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

A well-founded fear of ISIS seems to be drawing many of the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia closer to Moscow.

Marriage Equality Is Coming To Mexico

Mexico Marriage

Thanks largely to a series of court decisions, same-sex marriage is effectively legal in all of Mexico.

Marine Le Pen Forms Far Right Bloc In European Parliament

European Union Flag

Led by Marianne Le Pen, the head of France’s National Front, far right parties in the European Parliament have formed a coalition: PARIS — More than a year after populist, far-right parties surged in elections for the European Parliament, several of them announced on Tuesday that they had finally banded together with the goal of […]

Egyptian Judge Affirms Death Sentence For Former President Morsi


Egypt’s legal system, which of course is little more than a tool for its military leaders, took another step down the road toward executing former President Mohammed Morsi: CAIRO — An Egyptian judge on Tuesday confirmed a death sentence against the deposed president Mohamed Morsi, condemning his rule as a “black night” and his Islamist […]

U.S. Poised To Store Military Equipment In Eastern Europe, Baltics

U.S. Tank Lithuania

In what seems to be a clear signal to Russia, the U.S. is considering pre-positioning military equipment in nation’s very close to Russian borders.

In Case you Want to See What Hyperinflation Looks Like…


…take a look over at the BBC:  Zimbabwe dollars phased out. Zimbabwe is phasing out its local currency, the central bank says, formalising a multi-currency system introduced during hyper-inflation. Foreign currencies like the US dollar and South African rand have been used for most transactions since 2009. Local dollars are not used except high-denomination notes […]

Supreme Court Slaps Back Congress In Jerusalem Passport Case

Old City from the Mount of the Olives

In a case that took seven months to decide, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Presidency’s broad authority in foreign affairs, and inserted itself just a little bit in the thorny politics of the Middle East.

Turkish Governing Party Loses Parliamentary Majority In Elections

Turkey Flag Map

Turkey’s governing party suffered big setbacks at the ballot box yesterday.

Saudi Supreme Court Upholds Conviction Of Blogger For “Insulting Islam”

US Saudi Flags

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a blogger sentenced to a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam”: DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld an internationally condemned verdict against a liberal blogger who was publicly flogged after being found guilty of insulting Islam, state-linked news websites […]

Cuba Removed From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism

Diana Nyad

Another step forward toward ending a U.S. policy regarding Cuba that was outdated twenty years ago.

Vladimir Putin Decrees That Russian Military Deaths Are Now A State Secret

Putin Smirk

If a Russian solider dies, it’s now a secret thanks to a new decree signed by the Russian President.

U.S. Defense Secretary Says Iraqis Have Lost The Will To Fight ISIS

Iraq US Flag

Some unusually blunt, but true, language from the U.S. Secretary Of Defense.

Saudi Arabia Wants To Be The Head Of The U.N. Human Rights Council


Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations Human Rights Council: Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, in a move that has been described as the “final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC. Reports of […]

Irish Voters Overwhelmingly Vote In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage

Ireland Marriage Referendum

Voters in Ireland have overwhelmingly approved a referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.

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