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Shooting at the Canadian Parliament

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Shots fired inside Canada parliament “Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52am today; one person injured,” Ottawa Police tweeted on Wednesday as a witness reported seeing authorities search from room to room for the suspect. The gunman fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and then ran into the parliament. The […]

More Good Ebola News

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC we find that : 1)  Nigeria has been declared Ebola free Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a "spectacular success story". Nigeria won praise […]

Nigerian Government Hopeful That Kidnapped Schoolgirls Will Be Freed Next Week

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

The Nigerian Government says it is hopeful that the schoolgirls who were kidnapped earlier this year by Boko Haram will be free early next week: Campaigners calling for the release of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls have said they are “cautiously optimistic” about a reported ceasefire between the government and al-Qaeda-linked militants that would include the […]

Senegal Declared Free Of Ebola

Ebola Virus

Following in the footsteps of Nigeria, Senegal is the latest nation in Africa to beat back the spread of Ebola from the “hot zone” countries in the western part of the continent: GENEVA — The World Health Organization declared the West African nation of Senegal to be free of Ebola on Friday, a rare success […]

It’s Time To End The U.S. Embargo Of Cuba

Diana Nyad

The U.S. embargo of Cuba, and our lack of diplomatic recognition of the government in Havana, is an outdated relic of the Cold War. It’s time to end it.

Report: Islamic State Training Pilots On Captured Syrian Jets

Obama Syria

Reuters is reporting that groups monitoring the war in Syria are saying that former members of the Iraqi military who have defected to the Islamic State are training pilots using jets captured from the Syrian military: (Reuters) – Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly […]

Turkish Forces Bomb Kurdish Positions

Turkey Flag Map

The Turks have entered the conflict in Syria. Unfortunately for the United States, it’s not on the side we would prefer.

North Korean Media Shows Kim Jong Un In Public For First Time In 40 Days

North Korea Military Parade

After an abcense of more than a month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been shown appearing in public by the country’s media: SEOUL, South Korea — The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whose prolonged absence from public view generated speculation about his health and grip on power, has visited a housing project and […]

Trouble for Rousseff

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Via the BBC:  Brazil election: Silva backs Neves in blow for Dilma The Brazilian environmentalist Marina Silva, who came third in Sunday’s presidential election, has backed opposition centrist candidate Aecio Neves in the second round. Mr Neves won 33.5% of the votes in the first round to 41.5% for President Dilma Rousseff, who is running […]

Air War In Syria Not Exactly Going As Planned

Obama Syria

So far at least, the air strikes against Islamic State positions in Syria do not seem to be having much of an impact.

Where In The World Is Kim Jong Un?

Kim Jong Un

The mystery continues.

Sierra Leone Admits ‘Defeat’ In Ebola Fight, Allows Home Care Of The Infected

Ebola Virus

Public health officials in Sierra Leone are admitting that the Ebola epidemic in that country is spreading faster than they are able to respond to it: FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Acknowledging a major “defeat” in the fight against Ebola, international health officials battling the epidemic in Sierra Leone approved plans on Friday to help families […]

Liberia Suspends Elections In Wake Of Ebola Epidemic

Ebola Virus

With various reports describing the nation in near collapse, Liberia is canceling its national elections as Ebola continues to ravage the nation: Monrovia (AFP) – Ebola-hit Liberia has suspended nationwide elections in the latest measure to combat an epidemic which has shut down society in three west African nations, restricting travel and forcing the cancellation […]

Government Cancels Hong Kong Talks As Popular Support For Protesters Wanes

Hong Kong Protests

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong continue, and may intensify, after efforts at talks between the protesters and ruling authorities collapsed: HONG KONG — The standoff between Hong Kong’s government and pro-democracy protesters intensified Thursday as the democrats demanded that the city’s top official be impeached over a multimillion-dollar payment from an Australian company and […]

Turkey Refusing to Fight ISIS Right on Its Border

turkish-troops-guard-syrian-border

A massacre is about to unfold “a stone’s throw” from Turkey’s border.

Germany Promises Expanded Military Role But Its Military Isn’t Ready

ursula-von-der-leyen-auf-dem-nato-flugplatz-hohn-

Germany’s new defense minister has promised a more robust role but lacks the ability to back her words with action.

Sweden Will Recognize Palestine

travel-suitcase

Sweden is set to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

Run-off Time in Brazil

money-bankruptcy

Via the BBC:  Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff to face presidential run-off Brazilian incumbent Dilma Rousseff has won most votes in the country’s presidential election, but has fallen short of outright victory. She received about 41% of the vote and is set to face a run-off against centrist Aecio Neves, who got 34%, near complete official results […]

Something Afoot In North Korea?

North Korea Military Parade

Once again, there’s speculation that something is up in the world’s most closed society.

The U.S. Should Stay Quiet About The Protests In Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protests

In the current situation, speaking out forcefully as some are demanding can only do more harm than good.

U.S., Afghanistan Sign Agreement To Keep 10,000 U.S. Troops In Country Past 2014

US Afghanistan

U.S. troops will be in Afghanistan for at least the next three years.

Hong Kong Rocked With Protests As China Tries To Limit Political Rights

Hong Kong Protests

The streets of Hong Kong have been filled with protesters upset over China’s efforts to control the city’s political future.

Mind-Blowing Maps

world-population-us-map

Trending on Twitter this morning is a collection of infographics compiled by Ezra Klein under the heading “22 maps and charts that will surprise you.”

Kim Jong Un Reportedly Ill, May Have Diabetes And Gout

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides field guidance during his visit to the Wonsan Shoe Factory

North Korea’s young, reclusive leader may be ill, because even the North Korean press is acknowledging that something is wrong: That Kim Jong-un is carrying a few extra pounds has been obvious since he became North Korea’s leader in late 2011. But speculation that his increasing weight – apparently partly due to a weakness for […]

After all, the Queen is a Dog Person

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  David Cameron to apologise to Queen over ‘purred’ remark Speaking in New York, Mr Cameron told Mr Bloomberg he had phoned the Queen to tell her the result. “She purred down the line,” he said. “I’ve never heard someone so happy.”

Second Term Blues?

Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush laugh on stage during a Presidential Leadership Scholars program event at the Newseum in Washington

The sixth year of a presidency leads to some predictable commentary (and some comparative notes).

CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million By January

Ebola Virus

The Centers For Disease Control has a particularly grim forecast for Africa’s ongoing Ebola epidemic: Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on […]

Yemeni Rebels Seize Portion Of Capital

Yemen Rebels

While the world pays attention to Syria and Iraq, Yemen is once against lurching into chaos.

Entire Nation Of Sierra Leone On Lockdown Due To Ebola Epidemic

Ebola Virus

The entire nation of Sierra Leone is essentially on lockdown due to the ongoing Ebola epidemic: FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The most ambitious and aggressive government campaign against the Ebola epidemic gripping parts of West Africa began on Friday when Sierra Leone ordered everyone in the country to remain indoors for three days, suspending commerce, […]

Let the Games Begin! (Institutional Reform Edition)

travel-suitcase

Now on to solving the complex puzzle of the post-referendum UK.

Catalonia Secession Movement Moves Forward

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

Despite seeing the effort fail in Scotland, Catalans say they intend to move forward with their own independence effort.

Scots Reject Independence, But The United Kingdom May Never Be The Same

Scotland and UK flags

The United Kingdom will stay united, but it may never be the same again.

Today in Comparative Ballots (“Independence or not” Edition)

election-voter-people

One of these ballots is legit. The others, not so much.

Final Election Eve Poll In Scotland Finds ‘No’ Leading By Six Points

UK and Scottish flags

As this post is being written, voters in Scotland have been heading to the polls for roughly seven hours, and polls will remain open until 10pm local time, or 5pm U.S. Eastern time. By all accounts, turnout is expected to be quite high, and neither side is claiming that they are assured of victory. However, […]

Why Did England Allow This Vote?

travel-suitcase

The thought they’d win big and silence the Scottish separatists. They were wrong.

On Eve Of Vote, Anti-Independence Forces Have Slight Lead In Scotland

Scotland and UK flags

It’s all over but the voting in Scotland.

Israel’s ‘Secret’ Nukes

iran-nukes-israel

Everyone knows that Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades. Don’t tell anyone—it’s a secret.

Iran And The U.S. On The Same Side Against ISIS?

Iranian And American Flags

Iran and the United States are on the same side in the fight against ISIS, whether they like it or not.

Chinese Airlines Rebrand ‘First Class’ as ‘Business Class’

first-class-cabin-china

A scandal erupted when the Chinese people learned their leaders were flying first class and staying in five-star hotels. Problem solved!

Comparative Smog

travel-suitcase

Via the LAT,  Beijing’s smog makes Los Angeles air look good: In the American Lung Assn.’s 2014 national State of the Air survey, the L.A.-Long Beach area ranked worst in terms of ozone concentrations and third worst in terms of particulates as measured by the standard known as PM2.5, which captures particles so small they […]

Some Observations on the Scotland Independence Referendum

UK and Scottish flags

Thoughts on the Scottish referendum (and on the issue of thresholds and decision-making).

Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition Seems To Exist Only In His Mind

obama-isil-speech

Despite the President’s assurances of an international coalition, the rest of the world doesn’t seem all that interested in joining the fight.

The ongoing Damage to the Venezuelan Economy

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Venezuela’s annual inflation rises to 63.4% Venezuela’s annual inflation rate has risen to 63.4%, the highest in Latin America, according to official figures published on Tuesday. The figures are the first released by the central bank since May, which has led critics to accuse the government of withholding data for political reasons. […]

Scottish Independence Becoming More Likely?

Scotland and UK flags

With just nine days to go, it’s anyone’s guess how the Scottish Independence vote will turn out.

Mexican State Approves Same-Sex Marriage

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Mexican state of Coahuila approves same-sex marriage The northern state of Coahuila has become the second region in Mexico to officially allow same-sex marriage. Coahuila’s congress approved changes to the civil code which give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, including adoption. In Mexico, laws on same-sex unions fall under […]

Today in Broken Irony Detectors

travel-suitcase

"I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them. One or the other."—Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty on ISIS.

Denmark’s Bestiality Brothels?!

travel-suitcase

Bestiality and prostitution are legal in Denmark. And not just separately.

King Abdullah Warns the West

abdullah

Is the West next in ISIS’s crosshairs?

Russia Has Invaded Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

A major escalation.

UK Poorer Than All US States Except Mississippi

usa-uk-puzzle

Alabamians like to exclaim, “Thank God for Mississippi.” Perhaps it’s time for that slogan to cross the Pond.

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