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Posts by Clara Spera

Clara Spera is a first-year student at Harvard Law School. She worked as a summer intern at the Brookings Institution in 2013. Prior to law school, she also interned at the Legal Resources Centre in Durban, South Africa, the American Civil Liberties Union and worked as a research assistant at Columbia Law School. She graduated with an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge in 2014, and with a B.A. from the University of Chicago in 2012.

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 8:01 AM

The Islamic State has executed another American hostage. This weekend, ISIS released a video documenting the beheading of humanitarian aid worker and former Army Ranger, Peter Kassig, also known by is Muslim name, Abdul-Rahman Kassig. The New York Times reports that President Obama was quick to condemn the “act of pure evil.” Some outlets have picked . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The United States carried out a series of airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria this weekend. The New York Times reports that the strikes hit “a convoy of 10 armed trucks of the Islamic State … as well as vehicles and two of the group’s checkpoints near the border with Syria.” Per the AP, it is . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM

A new set of monitoring guidelines for people arriving to the United States from West Africa has been put in place by the federal government. The New York Times reports on new measures that are supposed to prevent Ebola from entering into the United States.  Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal further explains the new Center for . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, October 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM

The US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched new airstrikes in Kobani, a Syrian town along the Syrian-Turkish border. Reuters reports on the airstrikes. CNN reports that at least 70 ISIS militants were brought to a western Syrian hospital over the weekend, a direct result of the US-led airstrikes in . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, October 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM

CNN has put together a kind of “family tree” that helps us understand how ISIS is organized. The structure of the organization is expanding, and looking more and more like a country’s executive structure, as opposed to a confused terrorist organization, perhaps lending credibility to its name, the Islamic State. The New York Times reports . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, September 29, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Over the weekend, the United States continued its offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Reuters tells us that U.S.-led air strikes are reported to have destroyed oil refineries in Syria. President Obama spoke on the continuing developments in Syria and Iraq as he sat for an interview with “60 Minutes” . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, September 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

After more than two months of uncertainty and tension in Afghanistan over a presidential election gone awry, the two presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, have reportedly agreed to a power-sharing deal. The New York Times explains that the deal, brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry, will make Mr. Ghani the president of the country, . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, September 15, 2014 at 8:49 AM

The Islamic State released another horrifying beheading video this weekend. A video posted on Saturday shows brutal murder of David Haines, a British aid worker who was working in Syria when he was captured by members of IS. CNN covered the news. The video incited renewed international outrage targeted at the terrorist group. The AP . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The Washington Post reports that the Islamic State has anti-tank weapons that have been seized from Syrian rebels. The news comes from a report by Conflict Armament Research, which concluded that ISIS fighters have captured a “significant” number of U.S.-manufactured arms. The L.A. Times tells us that President Obama is slated to announce his strategy to . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, August 29, 2014 at 1:36 PM

If there were any doubt as to who Russian President Putin is supporting in Ukraine, there sure isn’t now: today, Putin directly applauded pro-Russian separatist rebels there. Putin attributed the offensive to the rebels—and made no mention of Russian involvement—but did address his remarks to something he called  “New Russia.” The New York Times explains that the . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

The New York Times reports that rockets may have been fired from Gaza into Israel today. If the reports are correct, this action would break the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that was reported to have been renewed for an additional twenty-four hours yesterday. But, as the Globe and Mail explains, there hasn’t been much progress . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Prime Minister Racap Tayyip Erdogan has won Turkey’s first direct presidential election. The Wall Street Journal explains that the landmark victory will secure Erdogan’s power in Turkey for another five years, adding to the twelve years he has served as the country’s Prime Minister. The BBC reports that Erdogan wants to transfer more power to . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

The Gaza-Israel ceasefire enters into its second day today. The Guardian reports that formal negotiations to secure a permanent ceasefire are scheduled to begin today, in Cairo. The New York Times explains that, as the bloody conflict appears to draw to close, the “battle over casualty statistics rages on.” Israel, Palestine, and the U.N. all . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has intensified. The AP reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that Israel should prepare itself for a drawn-out conflict, and that he has no immediate plans to end the violence. The BBC, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post all cover the most recent violence, including destruction of the home of Hamas’ . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 12:40 PM

The bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas continues. The Washington Post reports that Hamas has announced that it has captured an Israeli soldier, after a long battle on Sunday in an East Gaza neighborhood. But it is unclear whether or not this claim is true; the Israeli army is still investigating. Meanwhile, the New York . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Yesterday, Jane caught us up on the tensions between Israel and Palestine, in the wake of the brutal killing of a Palestinian teenager. Today, the New York Times reports that Israel “began an intensive aerial offensive in Gaza” early this morning. The Israeli defense minister defended the action—codenamed Operation Protective Edge—as necessary to contain Hamas. . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Abu Khattala, the man suspected of playing a key role in the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, is scheduled to appear in a Washington, D.C. district court for a detention hearing this morning. The prosecution is fighting for pretrial detention, arguing “[t]here is no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

We start with the current crisis in Iraq. The New York Times reports that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has its sights set on the second largest dam in the country, the Haditha Dam. Destruction of the structure, which sits 120 miles northwest of Baghdad on the Euphrates River, would cause crippling floods throughout . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Civil strife and bloody violence rage on in Iraq. NPR reports that the country has “slipped into chaos” and that support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has all but vanished. New York Times reporting backs up that characterization of the current situation in Iraq, explaining that the reinvigorated Sunni militias threaten the future of the country. Another . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, June 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

President Obama announced yesterday that the United States will send military advisers to Iraq. CNN has the details of President Obama’s announcement, and accompanying video. It seems Congress is going to take a step back and allow President Obama to act, without securing further statutory backing. Evan McMorris-Santoro of Buzzfeed points out that the reaction . . .
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