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Category Archives: Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 3:11 PM

The number of Assyrian Christians kidnapped by the Islamic State continues to rise. The New York Times reports that, according to one local Assyrian leader, 287 people have now been captured by the militant group, and dozens of villages in northeastern Syria have been emptied of residents. Other counts put the number captured nearer 350. . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 3:16 PM

The number of Syrian Christians kidnapped by ISIS in northeastern Syria over the past three days has increased to 220, according to activists. The Associated Press reports that the fate of the hostages remains unknown, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that mediated negotiations were taking place between local Arab tribes and an . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 3:50 PM

ISIS has kidnapped scores of people from Assyrian Christian villages during raids in northeastern Syria. Reuters reports that, according to accounts by Syrian Christian activists, 150 people were kidnapped; the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights earlier placed that number at 90. ISIS’s Libyan affiliate recently executed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, raising fears over the fate . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Islamic State militants abducted some 70 to 100 Syrian Christians yesterday in a series of raids in Hassakeh province. Neighbors, friends, and relatives are unsure who has been taken or what will be their fate. According to the Associated Press, the targeted Assyrian group “trace their roots back to the ancient Mesopotamians.” Newly installed Defense Secretary Ash . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Nuclear talks between the United States and Iran continued today in Geneva. The New York Times points out that these talks are the first time that the “top nuclear officials” from both nations have joined their diplomatic counterparts at the negotiating table. But there may be a bump in the road. Bloomberg informs us that, . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 20, 2015 at 1:42 PM

In an address at a White House summit on countering violent extremism yesterday, President Barack Obama asserted that defeating ISIS will require a stable Syria and a political transition in the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. If that is true, it seems we are a long way from defeating ISIS, as fighting continues to . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 1:51 PM

In Guantanamo Bay, a military appeals court voided the conviction of David Hicks, an Australian who pleaded guilty in 2007 to providing material support to a terrorist group. (We posted the decision here). The conviction was the first ever by a Guantanamo military commission, and the CMCR’s decision to overturn is just the latest in . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 1:11 PM

Today, the White House hosts a summit to discuss the steps the United States can take towards “Countering Violent Extremism.” The Washington Post writes that “Obama is hoping to concentrate the world’s focus on the need to combat the underlying ideologies” that persuade individuals to engage in violent extremism. Already though, the summit has come . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 1:44 PM

Yesterday, Egypt launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya. These bombings came in response to recently released Islamic State videos, depicting the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, who had been captured in Libya. According to the Associated Press, these developments affirmatively involve Egypt in its neighbor’s “turmoil.” Indeed, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:23 PM

ISIS militants have seized Al-Baghdadi, a town in western Iraq, and have begun advancing toward nearby Ayn Al-Assad Air Base, which houses U.S. military personnel, CNN reports. Already, eight suicide bombers suspected to be from ISIS were able to make it onto the base, though they were shot by Iraqi security forces almost immediately upon . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Yesterday, President Barack Obama sent a draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force for ISIS to Congress. The New York Times describes the proposal as an attempt to let Congress limit the activities of the commander-in-chief while at the same time building himself (or his successor) an escape hatch if the limits become too . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 1:41 PM

This morning, the White House sent a draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS to Congress. We’ve posted both the text of the proposal as well as the accompanying transmittal letter. While long awaited, the proposal is already facing significant political opposition, Politico reports. Senate Democrats have panned the draft for not . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 1:41 PM

President Obama confirmed today that Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who had been held hostage by the Islamic State, has been killed. Over the weekend, the militant group sent photos of Mueller’s body to her family, and the FBI has confirmed the authenticity of the images. According to Mueller’s parents, “Kayla was a compassionate . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, February 9, 2015 at 1:36 PM

Jordan hit ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria with airstrikes 56 times over three days, the BBC reports. The uptick in strikes, focused on the ISIS center of Raqqa, come after the militant group burned a Jordanian pilot to death. U.S.-led coalition forces also continued their air campaign against ISIS over the weekend, launching a . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:59 PM

ISIS claims that Jordanian airstrikes have killed a U.S. hostage held by the group, the New York Times reports. However, a senior U.S. official said that Jordan’s targets had been carefully vetted beforehand, with no indication that any hostages were present. Shane Harris reports that Jordanian officials have disparaged the claim, calling it “just another . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense nominee Ash Carter appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing. Republicans were concerned over micromanagement by the Obama administration; Politico reports that Carter emphasized that he would maintain independence from the White House even under pressure. The Guardian provides a summary of the hearing, noting that Carter . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter began his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee today. Politico reports that, in his opening statement, Carter would insist on the proper chain of command. (The comment aimed to allay Republican criticisms of alleged micromanagement of the Secretary of Defense by the Obama administration.) Carter also was to . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 12:19 PM

Following the beheading of Japanese reporter Kenji Goto by the Islamic State, McClatchy informs us that the fate of captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al Kasasbeh remains unclear—though, per the BBC, ISIS claims in a video to have burned the Jordanian alive. Reuters reports on social media photos, depicting the distribution of United Nations World Food Program . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9:40 AM

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executed Kenji Goto, a Japanese hostage, over the weekend. The Los Angeles Times reports on the atrocity. The Atlantic tells us more about Goto’s life and work. The BBC covers Japan’s reaction to the country’s recent tragedy. Here’s Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s short but pointed statement. . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, January 30, 2015 at 2:11 PM

Hezbollah asked for a ceasefire with Israel through UN intermediaries yesterday. The request came after several days of fighting and heightened tensions between the two sides. The Wall Street Journal reports that, while some Israeli officials are still calling for more retaliation, the request may serve to defuse the situation. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin . . .
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