Wednesday, October 15, 2014

US and Russia Agree to Share More Intelligence on ISIS - New York Times

US and Russia Agree to Share More Intelligence on ISIS - New York Times

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New York Times

US and Russia Agree to Share More Intelligence on ISIS
New York Times
Just six months ago, Obama administration officials suggested that their goal was to isolate President Vladimir V. Putin following Russia's decision to annex Crimea and provide military support to separatists in eastern Ukraine. But Mr. Kerry made it ...
US, Russia Vow Intel-Sharing on Islamic StateABC News 
Divided over Ukraine, but US & Russia band together to fight ISISRT
US and Russia Agree to Share Intelligence on Common Enemy: ISISNewsweek

Wall Street Journal 
all 272
 
Russia to help fight Islamists in the Middle EastWashington Post

all 245 news articles »

Медведев: Без отмены санкций не будет перезагрузки отношений с США - Российская Газета

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Российская Газета

Медведев: Без отмены санкций не будет перезагрузки отношений с США
Российская Газета
Санкции - явление временное и Россия с ними справится, но, пока они действуют, говорить о перезагрузке отношений России и США не приходится. Такую позицию высказал Дмитрий Медведев в интервью телекомпании CNBC. "Мне, например, очень грустно, что президент Обама, ...
Медведев: перегрузка отношений с США невозможна из-за «глупых» санкцийBFM.Ru
Медведев заявил о невозможности перезагрузки отношений с СШАИнтерфакс
Медведев попросил не считать отвод войск с учений «сигналом Вашингтону»РБК
РИА Новости -Дни.Ру -Газета.Ru
Все похожие статьи: 121 »

В Луганской области попали в окружение более ста силовиков - Lenta.ru

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Lenta.ru

В Луганской области попали в окружение более ста силовиков
Lenta.ru
В районе населенного пункта Бахмутка (Луганская область) в окружение попали более ста украинских военных и бойцов Национальной гвардии. Об этом сообщает «РБК-Украина» со ссылкой на главу областной администрации Геннадия Москаля. Накануне в этом районе, по данным ...
На Луганщине более ста военных попали в окружение боевиков, есть убитые и пленныеУНИАН
Луганский губернатор заявил о взятии в окружение более 100 силовиковВзгляд
Москаль: Под Бахмутовкой сотня военных в окружении, есть убитыеКомсомольская Правда в Украине
Комитет избирателей Донбасса -Подробности -Главред
Все похожие статьи: 602 »

New York Times: США скрыли найденное в Ираке химоружие 13:11 - МИР и Политика

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Актуальные новости - периодическое издание о событиях в мире

New York Times: США скрыли найденное в Ираке химоружие 13:11
МИР и Политика
Американские и иракские военные обнаружили в Ираке с 2004 по 2011 год порядка 5 тысяч единиц химического оружия, включая боеприпасы, оснащенные отравляющими веществами, пишет The New York Times. По данным газеты, власти США пытались скрыть информацию об этих ...
Армия США все же нашла химическое оружие в Ираке, выяснила прессаNEWSru.com
США обнаружили на территории Ирака 5 тысяч единиц химического оружияУтро.Ru
СМИ: Запад помогал Саддаму Хусейну производить химическое оружиеGorod.lv
Независимое интернет-издание "ДНИ" -Актуальные новости - периодическое издание о событиях в мире -Lenta.ru
Все похожие статьи: 40 »

Vladimir Putin 'unlikely' to meet with Tony Abbott at G20, says Kremlin 

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Russian president does not intend to meet with his G20 host but will wait for a more diplomatic and pleasant time for talks
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is unlikely to seek bilateral talks with Tony Abbott following his shirtfront comment and his office will wait for a more diplomatic and pleasant occasion to communicate with the Australian prime minister, according to the Kremlin.
In a statement to Guardian Australia, the presidents spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Russian government did not intend to respond to the Australian prime ministers colourful language but that as a part of the G20, the Russian president was free to visit the summit in Brisbane.
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Кто победил? 

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Российско-украинская война: кто победил? Как показали себя во время войны в Донбассе армия России, "ополчен...
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Hints Emerge That Fight Against IS Moving U.S., Russia Closer On Syria

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There have been signals in the past weeks that advances made by Islamic State are moving the U.S. and Russia closer together in their positions toward Syria, amid talk of increased cooperation in the fight against the militant group.

Ukraine Liveblog Day 240: Ukrainian Forces Attacked And Surrounded In Lugansk Region 

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Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.
Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?
Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.

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Falling Oil Prices Spell Trouble For Some, But Could Also Boost Global Growth 

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Suddenly, the world seems to be awash in oil, with benchmark Brent crude that sold for $110 a barrel in June dropping to under $88 a barrel on October 13.
That's a 20 percent price plunge and one that bodes serious economic trouble for countries whose revenues depend heavily on their oil exports. 
Here are four things to know about the drop.
1. Why is the oil price falling?
Prices have fallen about 20 percent on world markets since June for two main reasons.
One is a boom in U.S. shale-oil production, which has added 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to U.S. output in each of the past three years. 
Thanks to shale oil, the United States this year surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest crude-oil producer in the world.
The boost in U.S. production, added to the usual output of oil by OPEC countries and Russia, has created an excess of oil supplies on the market, meaning producers must compete through lower prices to retain their customers.
Russia's Prirazlomnoye oil platform in the Pechora Sea
The second reason for plunging prices is weak demand. Buyers are holding back on orders amid tepid economic growth around the world. 
That slowdown in economic growth is most notable in Europe, where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says expansion in the eurozone remains too weak to compensate for the preceding two years of recession. 
It also is apparent in China, where the IMF says Beijing is unlikely to reach its target growth rate of 7.5 percent this year.
2. What countries will be hardest hit?
The countries hardest hit by the oil price drop will be those oil producers that rely most on high oil prices to fuel their economic growth.
One is Russia, where experts say the government needs an oil price of about $104 a barrel to balance its budget. Currently, Russian oil is selling for about $92 a barrel.
According to the U.S. financial news service Bloomberg, an average oil price of $90 a barrel would give Russia a budget deficit of 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product. If it dropped another $10 a barrel to $80, the budget deficit would double to 2.4 percent.
Alexei Kudrin, Russia's finance minister from 2000 to 2011, told the "Los Angeles Times" on October 13 that "in the short-term, the falling oil price will be a big blow to the economy." 
Russian officials have already warned that Moscow will have to scale back on spending plans. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on October 7 that due to Western sanctions and plunging oil prices, the Kremlin would not be able to afford a new initiative to spend $576 billion on defense in the next six years.
The drop in oil prices also raises questions about how Moscow now will be able to provide much needed capital to its state banks and companies that have been cut off from Western financial markets. Oil sales account for half of the Russian government's revenues.
Another country that will feel the pinch of lower oil prices is Iran, which needs to earn $140 a barrel to balance its budget. 
Tehran has been able to increase its oil sales under an interim deal to suspend many Western sanctions as it negotiates with world powers over its nuclear program. As a result, its economy has shown new signs of life, with the IMF predicting growth of 1.5 percent this year and 2.3 percent next year.
But that recovery, which depends on oil revenues to inject new capital into Iran's economy, could now be weakened as the price of oil drops.
Yet another country to feel the brunt is Iraq, which needs oil prices of around $106 a barrel to break even. Baghdad is currently under intense pressure to spend more money on its military after Islamic State militants took over one-third of the country in June. Lower oil prices could make mounting an effective counter-offensive more difficult.
Although falling prices will hurt countries which depend on oil to provide a large share of their state revenues, a lower oil price could help global economic growth.
One oil producing country that does not look worried by the plunging prices is Saudi Arabia. It needs an oil price of just around $80 a barrel to balance its budget and, with huge reserves of oil, can afford to sell indefinitely at a lower price. While Riyadh in the past has cut production to raise the price of oil, it now seems intent on preserving its own market share while waiting for prices to stabilize.
Still, Saudi Arabia is under pressure from some other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that have less oil and cannot afford to sell their stock so cheaply.
Venezuela, whose economy is widely believed to be in recession, called last week for OPEC to take immediate action to limit oil supplies and bring the price back above $100 a barrel.
OPEC is scheduled to meet on November 27 in Vienna. The group, which controls about one-third of the world's oil, has so far given no indication of what steps it might take.
3. Who will benefit?
Although falling prices will hurt countries that depend on oil to provide a large share of their state revenues, a lower oil price could help global economic growth. According to Capital Economics, a London-based financial consultancy, a $10 drop in the price of crude could bring a 0.5 percent increasein the world's gross domestic product.
"Initially, [a lower oil price] will provide a boost to an economy that already has some momentum," says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago.
That should benefit countries like the United States, China, and India, which are now experiencing positive economic growth. The lower price could also help the ailing eurozone from falling back into recession. 
But it may not provide a windfall for any of these countries because it comes at a time when the global economy as a whole is sluggish, reducing the demand for their exports.
The IMF on October 7 lowered its prediction for global economic growth due to weakness in the eurozone and slowdowns in several major emerging markets. It said it expects the global economy to grow by 3.8 percent next year, down from its July forecast of 4 percent.
4. Are low prices the new normal?
Global demand for oil is likely to increase again once the global economy picks up. But even an increase in demand might not drive up prices if new production sources like shale oil, plus more fuel efficient technologies in industrialized countries, maintain a glut of oil on the market.
The big unknown is how long shale-oil producers can continue to operate if the price of oil keeps dropping. Some experts have predicted that if the price were to drop below $90 a barrel, shale-oil extraction would become less economical because producers often break even around $80 to $85.
But so far, such theories have never been put to the test because the shale-oil market itself is so new and because the amount of oil recovered from each drill hole can vary substantially.
"Shale gas and shale oil are produced by continuous drilling and the output of each drill hole is fairly short-lived and then declines," says John Mitchell, a fellow of the U.K.-based think tank Chatham House  and a research adviser at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies. 
"The effect of that is that over a five-year period, production can vary quite a lot depending on the economic circumstances. If money is coming in, they will continue to drill. If money is not coming in, they won't. And for every producer, that [break-even] number is going to be different."
Oil prices have grown steadily since the 1980s and leapt as high as $147 a barrel in 2008 before the global recession. They grew again with the global recovery after 2011 to between $100 and $120 a barrel before beginning to plunge in June this year.
Mitchell thinks that the days of ever-rising oil prices may now be over and governments will have to get used to having less oil revenue in the future.
"The most important thing about the long term is that it is very uncertain," says Mitchell. "But the combination of new supplies and new technology on the supply side and a lot of regulation and investment [in energy efficiency] on the demand side means that we cannot rely on a perpetually rising oil price."
He predicts that the oil price will bottom out somewhere between $80 to $100 a barrel but says just where in that range it will stabilize is impossible to predict.
Read the whole story
 
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Police use of Tasers continues to rise

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Home Office figures show officers used stun guns 5,107 times and fired them 826 times in first six months of year
The relentless rise in the police use of Tasers, the American electroshock stun guns, is confirmed with Home Office figures showing they were used more than 5,100 times in England and Wales in the first six months of 2014.
The official figures show that officers fired their Tasers at suspects on 826 of the 5,107 occasions they used them between January and June this year. They used them on a stun setting a further 123 times.
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Conservative bishops balk at synod's gay-acceptance proposal - The Globe and Mail

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Conservative bishops balk at synod's gay-acceptance proposal
The Globe and Mail
Conservative Catholic bishops distanced themselves Tuesday from a document showing an unprecedented opening toward gays and divorced people, saying it doesn't reflect their views and vowing to make changes to the final version. The provisional ...

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As ISIS advances on Kobani, Turks hit Kurdish rebels - Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Free Press

As ISIS advances on Kobani, Turks hit Kurdish rebels
Detroit Free Press
Kurds attend a funeral ceremony for fighters in Suruc, in Sanliurfa province, on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, near the area where Turkish jets bombed targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), officials said. They were the first strikes on the outlawed group ...

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Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014: Can Pets Spread It? | Ask Well | The New York Times 

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Donald G. McNeil Jr. answers reader questions about the Ebola virus. Produced by: Colin Archdeacon Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1w3AhXT Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for...
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The Islamic State does not discriminate when it comes to killing journalists 

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Islamic State has executed an Iraqi Kurdish journalist held for two months — the militants’ second such killing in three days.

Gunman kills American defence-company worker in Saudi capital - The Globe and Mail

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Gunman kills American defence-company worker in Saudi capital
The Globe and Mail
A gunman on Tuesday opened fire on two American employees of a U.S. defence contractor, killing one and wounding the other at a gas station in Saudi Arabia's capital, security and diplomatic officials said. Saudi security forces tracked down the gunman ...

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New airstrikes hit Islamic State targets in Kobani - video

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The US-led coalition launches fresh air strikes on Islamic State (Isis) in the Syrian town of Kobani as Kurdish fighters continue to hold off insurgents. Several explosions erupt across the city on Tuesday and a fighter jet is seen streaking through the sky. Turkish locals watch on from a hill in Mursitpinar as the strikes occur across the border Continue reading...

Pistorius Could Be Victim of Prison Rape, Says Defence Witness - Newsweek

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Newsweek

Pistorius Could Be Victim of Prison Rape, Says Defence Witness
Newsweek
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria October 14, 2014. Themba Hadebe/Pool/Reuters. Tweet. AA. Filed Under: World, Oscar Pistorius, Pistorius Trial, Reeva Steenkamp, ...

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WHO: Ebola Cases Will Top 9,000 Soon

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The World Health Organization reported the number of cases in the West Africa Ebola outbreak will top nine-thousand this week. As of October 14, there have been 8,914 Ebola cases and 4,447 deaths have been reported to the agency. The WHO gave an update on the crisis on Tuesday. The briefing wasgiven  by Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director-General in charge of the operational response to the Ebola outbreak. He said that 95-percent of the cases are...

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American's Slaying in Saudi Arabia Prompts 'Security Message' - ABC News

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ABC News

American's Slaying in Saudi Arabia Prompts 'Security Message'
ABC News
Officials are issuing a “security message” to U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia after two Americans employed by a U.S. defense contractor supporting Saudi National Guard military programs were shot today in Riyadh, one of them fatally, according to the U.S. State ...

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JPMorgan CEO says more to be done on cyberattacks - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

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JPMorgan CEO says more to be done on cyberattacks
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Dimon on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 said that more coordination between businesses and government is ...

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Ebola World View: Who Has It and Where - ABC News

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ABC News

Ebola World View: Who Has It and Where
ABC News
There have been at least 16 cases of Ebola treated outside of West Africa since the current outbreak began in April. Here is a look at the individuals who have been diagnosed with the virus and how they have treated around the world. 
Latest Updates / Ebola death rate increases to 70 percentHaaretz
In the world of Ebola, no room for errorPolitico
World Health Organization: Ebola cases could soar to 10000 a week in worst-hit ...fox6now.com
The Guardian-Brattleboro Reformer-CBC.ca
all 7,720 news articles »

Ebola deaths rise to nearly 4500 as WHO warns cases will increase to 10000 ... - Fox News

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Fox News

Ebola deaths rise to nearly 4500 as WHO warns cases will increase to 10000 ...
Fox News
Kande-Bure Kamara from WHO has a discussion with community leaders in Kamasondo Village at Port Loko District October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via Reuters. The number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has risen to nearly ...

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Reeva Steenkamps parents received payments from Pistorius, court told 

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Steenkamps have promised to return every cent of money sent by the man who killed their daughter, prosecutor Gerrie Nel says
The parents of Reeva Steenkamp have been receiving secret monthly payments of 6,000 South African rand (£341) from Oscar Pistorius since her death, but have turned down a lump sum of 375,000 rand (£21,299) as blood money.
The cash transfers have not been made public over the past 18 months but emerged on Tuesday during the Paralympians trial, to the surprise of many in court. It was said the Steenkamps have promised to return every cent of the money sent by the man who killed their daughter.
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Mr. Putin goes to Belgrade 

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BELGRADE — The Russian leader's visit this week is highlighting Serbia's east-west dilemma.
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Gunman in Saudi Arabia Shoots Two Americans

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Saudi security forces wounded and arrested the suspect after the shooting in Riyadh, which left one of the victims dead.

UN confirms 5,000 Yazidis men were executed and 7,000 women are now sex slaves

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Thousands of Yazidi men in Iraq were murdered in scenes reminiscent of the Bosnian Srebrenica massacre when Islamic State jihadists swept through in August, according to researchers.

Conservatives want changes to Vatican document on family, gays - Reuters India

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Reuters India

Conservatives want changes to Vatican document on family, gays
Reuters India
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Conservative Roman Catholic prelates on Tuesday vowed to change a controversial Vatican document that held out the possibility of a major shift in the Church's attitude towards homosexuals. The document, issued on Monday, ...

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Russian hackers suspected of Kremlin ties used Windows bug to spy on west 

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Cyber-threat intelligence firm iSight says Sandworm Team used unknown bugs from 2009 to steal EU and Nato documents
Russian hackers suspected of ties to the Kremlin have spied on the Ukrainian government, European Union, Nato and others through a previously unknown bug in Microsoft Windows, researchers say.
The cyber-threat intelligence firm iSight Partners said on Tuesday it had found a zero-day vulnerability an unaddressed security breach affecting almost all versions of the Windows operating system since the 2007 Vista. ISight notified Microsoft of the vulnerability before publishing its findings, and the software multinational said it would release an automatic update to fix it.
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Iran's ugly role in ME - Arab News

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Iran's ugly role in ME
Arab News
This is with reference to the report “KSA: Tehran is occupying force in Syria” (Oct. 14). I fully agree with the views of Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. It is an open secret that Tehran is meddling in the affairs of neighboring countries. Iran's sectarian ...

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Oscar Pistorius vulnerable to gang rape if sent to prison, court told - Irish Independent

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Irish Independent

Oscar Pistorius vulnerable to gang rape if sent to prison, court told
Irish Independent
Oscar Pistorius would be vulnerable to gang rape if sent to prison and should serve house arrest instead, a court was told during sentencing procedures for the South African double-amputee sprinter. Share. Facebook · Twitter · Google · Email. Go To.

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Saudi Prince Disagrees With Oil Minister on Petroleum Prices

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A rare public dispute over oil policy in Saudi Arabia emerged Tuesday as billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal disagreed with the kingdom’s energy minister over the potential impact of falling oil prices on the Arab state’s economy.

US worker killed by ex-colleague in Saudi Arabia - Washington Post

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US worker killed by ex-colleague in Saudi Arabia
Washington Post
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A Saudi-American dual national who was recently fired from a U.S. defense contractor shot two American ex-colleagues in Saudi Arabia's capital, killing one and wounding the other in what appeared to be a settling of scores, security ...

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Europeans have joined the US in bombing Isis but what comes next? 

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It is a mistake to let Washington drive the anti-Isis strategy. This war is in Europes neighbourhood
Five European countries have so far been taking part in air raids against Islamic State (Isis): France, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.
They have joined the US, which has been striking targets in Iraq for just under a month. None of the five is involved in the US air campaign over Syria. The international coalition of 20 western and Arab states is clearly dominated by one actor, as the US is reportedly carrying out 90% of the air strikes.Barack Obama gathered military chiefs from 20 countries at Andrews air force base outside Washington on Tuesday to discuss the operation. It is not clear whether the Europeans came with a specific message.
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US Contractor Killed by Ex-Colleague in Saudi Capital - Businessweek

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US Contractor Killed by Ex-Colleague in Saudi Capital
Businessweek
A U.S. citizen working for an American defense contractor was shot dead and another was wounded at a gas station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital. Both worked for Vinnell Arabia, according to the U.S. State Department. The subsidiary of Northrop ...

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US, Russia vow stronger cooperation on many issues - Businessweek

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The Moscow Times

US, Russia vow stronger cooperation on many issues
Businessweek
PARIS (AP) — The United States and Russia are vowing to cooperate more closely on a broad array of global security matters even as they remain deeply at odds over the crisis in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey ... 
'No discrepancy' between US and Turkey over Islamic State, Kerry saysJerusalem Post
Kerry: Int'l Community Will Not Recognize Any Independence Referenda in East...RIA Novosti
European firms in Russia say they fear being 'sacrificed' in Ukraine standoffReuters
ITAR-TASS-euronews
all 129 news articles »

The age of loneliness is killing us 

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For the most social of creatures, the mammalian bee, theres no such thing now as society. This will be our downfall
What do we call this time? Its not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void filled by marketing and conspiracy theories. Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me its obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness.
When Thomas Hobbes claimed that in the state of nature, before authority arose to keep us in check, we were engaged in a war of every man against every man, he could not have been more wrong. We were social creatures from the start, mammalian bees, who depended entirely on each other. The hominins of east Africa could not have survived one night alone. We are shaped, to a greater extent than almost any other species, by contact with others. The age we are entering, in which we exist apart, is unlike any that has gone before.
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Syrian rebels unpack new surface-to-air missiles from China

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Taken in a remote area north of the city of Aleppo, the photographs show fighters from the Free Syrian Army assembling FN-6 anti-aircraft missile launchers.

We need to stop talking about Ebola like its just another Dustin Hoffman germ-thriller 

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Americans are both taking the outbreak too seriously and not seriously enough some rage about closing borders while the rest are gripped by a gory scenario thats unlikely to touch us
I must confess: I was initially concerned that I am perhaps not sufficiently qualified to weigh in on our planets current Ebola panic, seeing as I am neither a doctor nor a nurse nor a scientist of any kind nor an African fruit bat nor Dustin Hoffman.
But then I discovered that singer and odious woman-puncher Chris Brown had recently offered his opinion on the matter (he thinks this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control, which is technically true, I guess, though not in the intentional, cosmic way I suspect he means); and so has bleating conspiracy theorist Dinesh DSouza, who called Obamas African roots a more dangerous infection than the virus itself; and so has psychiatrist and large animatronic thumb Keith Ablow, who alleged that President Obama may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations allowing illegal immigrants and, potentially, even diseases to flow through and I realised that I am more qualified to comment than at least three famous idiots who have already inflicted their opinions on millions and millions of people. After all, I read The Hot Zone when I was 14. I bet Chris Brown hasnt even seen Outbreak. And you call yourself an armchair epidemiologist, sir. The gall.
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Australian Leader Serves an Unsportsmanlike Warning to Putin

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s vow to “shirt-front,” or confront, President Vladimir V. Putin is the latest jab the Russian leader has inspired from peers.

Islamic State Militants Redraw Iraqi Borders

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Since Islamic State militants swept into Iraq, new geographic and political boundaries are fracturing Iraq’s fragile cohesion by separating thousands of families from their markets, schools and jobs.

US, Russia vow intel-sharing on Islamic State - Businessweek

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US, Russia vow intel-sharing on Islamic State
Businessweek
PARIS (AP) — The United States and Russia vowed Tuesday to renew cooperation on a broad array of global security matters — including intelligence sharing on Islamic State militants — the even as the two powers remained deeply at odds over the crisis in ...

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ISIS surrounds Iraqi airbase

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CNN"s Ben Wedeman reports that another airbase in Iraq's Anbar province is surrounded by ISIS fighters.
    
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Obama, allies plot anti-ISIS strategy

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and military chiefs from more than 20 nations gathered Tuesday in a show of strength against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. But the alliance faced a fresh test as Turkey launched airstrikes against Kurdish rebels inside its borders, defying pleas from the U.S. to instead focus on the IS....

Cops: Boy, 10, fatally beat woman, 90, in her bed - The Sentinel

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Cops: Boy, 10, fatally beat woman, 90, in her bed
The Sentinel
TYLER HILL, Pa. (AP) — A 10-year-old boy apparently angry that a 90-year-old woman had yelled at him held a cane against her throat and repeatedly punched her, killing her in her bed, prosecutors said. The boy was being held without bail Tuesday, ...

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White House insists anti-Isis strategy is on track despite setbacks on the ground

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  • Isis advances on Baghdad and Kobani despite 21 air strikes 
  • Turkey bombs Kurdish targets in south-east of country
The US-led campaign to combat Islamic State (Isis) fighters in Syria and Iraq is facing a growing crisis of confidence as setbacks on the battlefield coincide with efforts to improve allied coordination and calls for President Barack Obama to escalate the military attacks.
White House officials insist their twin strategy of air strikes and support for local ground forces is still working despite advances by Isis outside Baghdad and in the Syrian town of Kobani, but concede they will consider calls for additional bombing if requested by the Pentagon.
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Kerry, Lavrov Meet, Discuss Ukraine

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called for the withdrawal of all "foreign forces" from eastern Ukraine, after meeting Tuesday in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Kerry called for a halt to fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists around eastern Ukraine's Donetsk airport. He said that "sovereignty" must be restored along the Ukraine-Russian border, and that independence referendums held by the separatists...

China, Russia Sign Landmark Energy, Finance, Tech Deals

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Chinese leaders are in Moscow forming a range of deals and collaborations with Russian companies. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang personally attended meetings that saw signings more than 40 agreements across many sectors and industries. The deals cover energy, finance and technology. They also extend credit lines from Chinese banks and arrange for currency swaps. Some analysts say these cooperation agreements provide a lifeline to Russia amid sanctions from the West. Russian and...

Turkey Decides to Hit Kurdish Rebels Instead of ISIS

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Turkish fighter jets pounded positions held by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast Monday, according to Turkish media reports, adding to the deadly fallout from the war raging in neighboring Syria and bringing a 2-year-long peace process to the verge of collapse.
The airstrikes by F-4 and F-16 jets took place after a military outpost near the Iraqi border came under PKK fire for three consecutive days, local news sources said. “In an immediate response, the terrorists were silenced through the military means available,” said a statement posted on the Turkish Armed Forces website.
The airstrikes were the first since a ceasefire took hold in March 2013, the result of peace talks between the Turkish government and the Kurdish rebels. The PKK and the Turkish army have waged war for thirty years over Kurdish demands for greater autonomy, at a cost of more than 30,000 lives.
Tensions between the two sides have simmered over the past few months as the peace process appeared to stall, but came to a head last week after Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) forces tightened their stranglehold over Kobani, a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria within sight of Turkish troops massed on the other side of the border.
Kurdish protesters, enraged by Turkey’s refusal to provide military assistance to the besieged city, clashed with police, nationalists, and Islamist radicals in several Turkish cities last week, leaving at least 30 dead.
In the wake of the violence, the PKK’s leadership announced that its militant forces, who partially withdrew from Turkey under the terms of the 2013 ceasefire, were now poised to return. “Because Turkey has continued to pursue its policies without any changes, we have sent back all our fighters that were pulled out of Turkey,” Cemil Bayik, a senior PKK commander, told a German news channel in aninterview aired Friday. The group’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan, warned earlier that the peace process would be as good as dead if Kobani was to fall to ISIS.
The People’s Protection Units (YPG), the outgunned PKK offshoot defending the city, has repeatedly asked the Ankara government to open the border with Kobani to Kurdish fighters from Turkey and Syria, as well as to heavy weapons needed to destroy the jihadists’ Humvees and tanks.
Turkish officials have allowed more than 180,000 refugees from Kobani to cross into Turkey, but insist on preventing volunteers from going in the other direction. “Turkey cannot actually give weapons [to] civilians and ask [them] to go back to fight with terrorist groups,” foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview Saturday. “Sending civilians to the war is a crime.”
Turkey has also refused to consider pleas to take armed action against ISIS in Syria. “Turkey will not embark on an adventure at the insistence of some countries unless the international community does what is necessary and introduces an integrated strategy,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saidTuesday. Before ousting ISIS, he said, the U.S. and its allies ought to commit themselves to removing Bashar al Assad’s regime in Damascus.
Officials in Ankara denied reports that they had allowed the U.S. to use Turkish air bases, including Incirlik, a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border, to launch attacks against ISIS. “We are holding intense negotiations with our allies. But there are not any new developments about Incirlik,” Bulent Arinc, the deputy minister said Monday.
Turkey appears yet to decide which of its enemies, the Kurdish militants or the jihadists, might be the lesser of two evils. “For Turkey, the PKK and ISIS are the same,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week. “We need to deal with them jointly.”
But the airstrikes seem to give a more definitive answer. The bombardment of Kurdish rebels, says Cengiz Candar, a veteran columnist with Turkish newspaper Radikal, can be considered a “political statement” as the peace process begins to fall apart.
“To [PKK leader] Ocalan, it says that nothing is for certain when it comes to the future of the peace process, so keep on board, behave, and don’t raise the bar too high,” he says. “And to the U.S. and other coalition members, it says that the PKK is still a priority for us, and not ISIS, as much as you’d want it to be otherwise.”
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