Wednesday, October 14, 2015

News Roundup and Notes: October 14, 2015 by Nadia O'Mara

News Roundup and Notes: October 14, 2015 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
IRAQ and SYRIA 
Iraq’s military along with allied militia have launched a ground offensive to reclaim Baiji from the Islamic State,Reuters reports. 
ISIS has confirmed the death of its second-in-command, Abu Mutaz Qurashi, in an airstrike in Iraq earlier this year. The White House said on August 21 that he was killed by an American attack. [Reuters] 
The US and Russia plan to hold a third round of deconfliction talks aimed at avoiding accidental conflict between their respective air forces in Syria, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said yesterday. [Wall Street Journal’s Felicia Schwartz and Thomas Grove]  The new talks come in the wake of a near miss between combat aircraft from the two nations on Saturday; the planes were in visual contact, 10 to 20 miles apart. [BBC]
Syrian government forces will soon launch a ground attack backed by Russian airstrikes against rebel groups in the Aleppo area, Reuters has learned.
Intelligence shared between Syria, Iran, Russia and Iraq has been used to attack ISIS, an Iraqi official confirmed. [Al Jazeera] 
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the US of failing to cooperate with the Russian campaign in Syria, claiming that his government had asked for coordinates of groups it should not target but the US had failed to respond. [New York Times’ Neil MacFarquhar] 
Syria’s rebel groups have been left confused by the delivery of US military aid to established anti-ISIS groups in Syria. Michael Pizzi provides the details. [Al Jazeera America] 
Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders were killed in Syria during fighting with Islamic State militants, Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported. [Reuters]  Phillip Smyth writes that Tehran’s “agents are being offed at a rapid rate” fighting in the Syria conflict, profiling some of the top military leadership who have been killed. [The Daily Beast] 
The Islamic State has shifted the focus of its propaganda, attempting to demonstrate that “it is energetically building the utopian state its puritanical ideology promises.” Margaret Coker and Alexis Flynn provide the details at the Wall Street Journal.
Hillary Clinton defended her vote in favor of the Iraq War in 2003, during the first Democratic presidential debate last night. [The Hill’s Ben Kamisar]
Military intervention in another state is one of the “most serious” decisions a parliament can make,“but equally nobody should be in any doubt that inaction is also a decision that will have consequences in Syria,” opines British MP Hilary Benn. [The Guardian]  And Patrick Wintour comments on Benn’s article, which presents a more “flexible” approach by the Labour party to Syria military intervention. [The Guardian]
It is unlikely that President Putin’s intervention in Syria will actually serve Russian interests, suggests Kimberley Martin, providing an explanation for why, despite this, Putin has gone ahead. [Ballots & Bullets]
ISRAEL and PALESTINE 
Israeli authorities have been granted permission to seal off “parts of Jerusalem” in an attempt to stop the recent wave of fatal attacks. The Israeli cabinet also ordered that soldiers be deployed to help police in some urban areas. [BBC]
Roadblocks in Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem have begun to be set up by Israel today. [Reuters]
Further steps have been authorized by the security cabinet, including revoking permanent residency status of suspected terrorists. [Haaretz’s Barak Ravid] 
Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Israel in an effort to diffuse tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, he announced yesterday. [Haaretz’s Barak Ravid and Reuters]
The American media has been criticized for failing to present Israeli-Palestinian violence in its context, “predictably, partisans on both sides are targeting media coverage for different reasons,” reports Ehab Zahriyeh. [Al Jazeera America]
The current wave of Palestinian violence “consists of spontaneous outbursts by individual young people unaffiliated with any formal political movement,” reports Jodi Rudoren. [New York Times]
IRAN 
There are “strong indications” than Iran violated UN Security Council Resolutions by testing a new ballistic missile, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday, adding that violations by Tehran are “unfortunately” not new. [AP]  Earnest added that the move would not impede efforts to implement the nuclear accord with Iran, reports Carol E. Lee. [Wall Street Journal]
America will raise its concerns over the missile test announced by Iran at the UN, the State Department said yesterday. [Reuters]
Secretary of State John Kerry called on Iran to release three Americans currently detained, including Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian. Kerry also defended the decision not to make their release a condition for the Iran deal, speaking before a news conference in Boston yesterday. [Washington Post’s Carol Morello]
AFGHANISTAN 
President Obama appears increasingly willing to consider stalling the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and keep a sufficiently large force in the country to hunt for al-Qaeda and ISIS militants, senior officials said. [New York Times’ Matthew Rosenberg]
The New York Times editorial board ask whether the Pentagon is being honest about the situation in Afghanistan, citing “alarming” new data from the UN on a resurgent Taliban. 
The Taliban has completely pulled out of Kunduz, the insurgent group announced yesterday, drawing to a close their first takeover of an Afghan city during the last 14 years of conflict. [New York Times’ Rod Nordland]
“Inside the MSF hospital in Kunduz.” Andrew Quilty provides images and an account of the “horrific aftermath” of the US strike in northern Afghanistan. [Foreign Policy] 
The Islamic State’s emergence in Afghanistan has “ushered in a new age of brutality” in a country which has become used to violence after three decades of war, reports Sudarsan Raghavan. [Washington Post]
UKRAINE and RUSSIA 
Efforts were made to cover up the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, according to the Dutch Safety Board report into the incident over Ukraine last year. These efforts included a botched autopsy on the body of the plane’s captain. [The Guardian’s Luke Harding]
Moscow has consistently “thrown smoke” over evidence that Russian-backed rebels downed MH 17. Alec Luhn provides further details at Foreign Policy.
“Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: what we know,” from the New York Times.
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS 
Psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen are the targets of a lawsuit brought by survivors of the CIA torture program for their role in its design. [The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman]  The complaint brought by ACLU on the survivors’ behalf is available here.
The prosecutor at the ICC will investigate possible war crimes arising out of the Russia-Georgia conflict in 2008. [BBC]
Pakistan’s leadership was aware that Osama bin Laden was in their country at the time of his death in 2011, a former Pakistani defense minister appeared to confirm during an appearance on Indian TV yesterday. [Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor] 
The heads of Ankara’s police force have been fired over accusations of security lapses connected with Saturday’s bomb attack in the city, along with the intelligence and public security chiefs, the Turkish interior ministry announced as the president paid respects to those killed. [AFP]  And Tim Arango provides a Q&A on Turkey and the aftermath of the attack. [New York Times]
China rejected suggestions that it has militarized the South China Sea and said that there are some nations which need to stop hyping the issue. [Reuters]
Hillary Clinton “got off easy” on her use of a private email server while in office as secretary of state during the first Democratic presidential debate. [Politico’s Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein]  During the debate, chief rival Bernie Sanders even commented that the “American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” [Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau]
The Democratic presidential debate failed to cover ground on a number of national security issues, suggests Dov Zakheim at Foreign Policy.
As part of a search for potential alternatives to hold prisoners from Guantánamo Bay, a team of Pentagon officials began scouting sites in Colorado yesterday, reports Carol Rosenberg. [Miami Herald]
Frustration with all parties to the Yemeni conflict is widespread in Saada, the Houthi stronghold where the rebel movement began, reports Kareem Fahim. [New York Times]
Senator Ron Wyden has praised President Obama on his decision not to pursue legislation requiring that tech companies provide law enforcement access to encrypted data. [The Hill’s Katie Bo Williams]
The head of UN Women has criticized the low level of women’s inclusion at peace negotiating tables, 15 years after a UN resolution called for their inclusion at every level of peacemaking and peace building. [AP]
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Union: Chronic shortage of air traffic controllers a crisis

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A chronic shortage of controllers has reached a crisis that will lead to widespread flight delays if left unchecked, officials for the union that represents air traffic controllers said Tuesday.
     

Pakistani leaders knew bin Laden was in Pakistan, says former defense minister

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A former Pakistani defense minister appeared to confirm on Indian television on Tuesday that both his country's senior military and civilian leadership knew of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's presence in their country at the time of his death in 2011.
     

Israel eases gun license restrictions to help citizens defend themselves

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October 14, 2015, 3:18 PM (IDT)
Internal Security Mnister Gilad Erdan announced the easing of certain restrictions on gun ownership on Wednesday in an effort to allow more citizens to bear arms in light of the ongoing wave of Palestinian terror. One of the new measures is a requirement for training once a year, rather than three times a year, as a condition for renewal of gun licenses.   

Iran shows off underground missile base

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Iran's Revolutionary Guard opened the doors of a secret underground missile base to state TV, showing off medium- and long-range missiles.
     

U.S. and Russian fighter jets fly within miles of each other over Syria 

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U.S. and Russian fighter jets flew within just 10 or 20 miles of each other in the skies over Syria on Saturday, U.S. military officials confirmed.
Pentagon spokesman Col Steve Warren said that two combat aircraft flown by the U.S. and two flown by Russia "entered the same battle space" ...
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Turkey warns US, Russia over support to Syria Kurds

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Turkey has complained to the U.S. ambassador about possible weapons aid to Syrian Kurdish forces and has also warned Russia not to support the militia group that is affiliated with Turkey's Kurdish rebels, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday.
     

Peru's military questioned over drug flight plague

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MAZAMARI, Peru (AP) - It happens about four times a day, right under the nose of Peru's military: A small single-engine plane drops onto a dirt airstrip in the world's No. 1 coca-growing valley, delivers a bundle of cash, picks up more than 300 kilos of cocaine and flies to ...

Using Russia's cover, Iran begins sending fighters to Syria

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A regional official and Syrian activists say Iran and its proxy militia in Lebanon have poured in hundreds of fighters to central and northern Syria in recent days.
     

Russia says US rejects talks on tightening Syria cooperation

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October 14, 2015, 4:33 PM (IDT)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Washington has turned down an invitation by Moscow to send a high-ranking defense delegation for talks on coordination of military operations in Syria. In his speech to the lower house of Russia's parliament, Lavrov also said Russian President Vladimir Putin made the invitation during his recent visit to New York.  

The Significant Firsts of an ICC Investigation in Georgia

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Yesterday the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court filed a request seeking authority from its Pre-Trial Chamber to begin an investigation into possible war crimes and/or crimes against humanity during the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. If the Prosecutor gets the green light from the judges (which she certainly will), then two potentially important precedents will be set: It will be the first ICC investigation outside of Africa and the first involving (in any significant way) a non-State Party (aside from Sudan and Libya, both of which were referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council). Is the ICC “showing a readiness to tackle politically sensitive conflicts involving powerful actors after a decade in which it was criticized for being involved only in crimes committed in Africa,” as one commentator suggested?
The development is indeed significant, but for different reasons. While the ICC Prosecutor can and should be strategic in her decision-making, the Georgia case in fact shows the limits of strategy. The Prosecutor is moving forward on Georgia not because she is necessarily eager to do so, but because after seven years the case demands it. The Georgia case also tells us something about what is likely to happen in some of the other sensitive cases that are still in the preliminary examination phase at the ICC (AfghanistanPalestineUkraine), all of which also involve non-State Parties. Now that the Prosecutor has moved on Georgia, it is not likely that she will open any of these other situations anytime soon. But, while the Court may not rush to start investigations in those cases, the day will come when the Court will likely feel compelled to move forward in each of these situations, unless domestic authorities are able to find a path to achieving accountability on their own (admittedly an unlikely prospect). American policymakers will be particularly interested in the ICC’s Georgia case because of close ties between the US and Georgia and because of what this case indicates about other cases in which the US has an even more direct interest (such as Afghanistan).
Georgia joined the ICC in 2003 and therefore the Court has jurisdiction over any war crimes or crimes against humanity subsequently occurring on its territory. The ICC quickly opened a preliminary examination into the Georgia-Russia conflict in South Ossetia on August 14, 2008, just days after a cease-fire agreement was reached. In 2011, the Prosecutor determined that there was a reasonable basis to conclude that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed during the brief but intense conflict. But for at least the past four years, the Prosecutor has held off on opening an investigation because both Russia and Georgia claimed to be investigating the allegations themselves. Predictably, these “investigations” have produced no results, and finally the Prosecutor reached a point where she had to say, enough is enough and proceed with her own investigation.
If the Prosecutor simply wanted to use the Georgia case to get out of Africa or to take on a major power, she could have done so years ago. Instead, she sat on the case for nearly half a decade. Why? Part of the answer is that the Prosecutor’s office does not think about cases in these terms. A prosecution strategy that simply tried to respond to criticisms from the outside, many of which are politically motivated, would be doomed to fail. The other part of the answer is that neither Russia nor Georgia has shown any particular interest in seeing the ICC take up the investigation, which is why the Prosecutor must rely on her proprio motu power to commence the investigation, the only avenue for starting an investigation that requires judicial authorization. It is no surprise that Russia, a non-State Party to the Rome Statute, has not asked the ICC to intervene. But why hasn’t Georgia? No doubt because an ICC investigation would include a look at alleged crimes by Georgian forces, in particular attacks on Russian peacekeepers at the beginning of the conflict, and also perhaps because the government has concluded that investigations are not now in its political interest.
Therefore, it is not because the Prosecutor sees a sure success in Georgia that she has moved forward. As the ICC has few independent investigative powers, it depends on state cooperation to conduct its investigations. Where there is little support in the situation country and no pressure to cooperate from influential outside actors, the prospects of success for the ICC are greatly diminished. Moreover, while the allegations that Georgian forces illegally attacked Russian peacekeepers on the night of August 7, 2008, resulting in 10 deaths and 30 injuries, may be making the Georgian government nervous, those allegations will be very hard to prove. The evidence about who fired first is highly contested, and proving criminal intent on the basis of a single episode is extremely difficult. There are also allegations of attacks on Georgian peacekeepers by South Ossetians in the weeks preceding the conflict, but the evidence is also disputed. The best case for the ICC, the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from South Ossetia, is much stronger evidentially but the probable targets of the investigation — South Ossetians — are almost certainly out of the Court’s reach since South Ossetia is now occupied by Russia. The history of international criminal justice is full of unexpected twists and turns (who ever thought that Slobodan Milošević or Charles Taylor would face justice?), but I certainly would not count on an accused in a Georgia case appearing at The Hague anytime soon. Nonetheless, even though the Georgia case will be challenging, to say the least, the Prosecutor has moved forward because at the end of the day, the law requires it. Strategic considerations may shape the timing of investigations and the Prosecutor’s priorities, but not their ultimate outcomes. Cases have their own internal momentum and logic that drive them forward.
What does the Georgia case signal about the other sensitive cases on the Prosecutor’s docket? First, it likely means that the Prosecutor will not move on these other cases until next year at the earliest. Over the summer, the Prosecutor issued The Report of the Court on the Basic Size of the Office of the Prosecutor in which she outlined her vision of the ordinary workload of her office. According to the report, she expects to open one new investigation a year. Because the Afghanistan preliminary examination has been open since 2007, it is likely at the top of the list as the next investigation to be started. Second, since Palestine and Ukraine also involve non-State Party actors and pose other significant investigative challenges, the Prosecutor will not likely rush into either investigation and may keep both in the preliminary examination phase for a number of years. Third, while the Prosecutor will not jump into these cases, neither will she avoid them forever. The day will come when, as with Georgia, she will feel compelled to move forward on investigations in these cases unless domestic authorities step up with their own investigations.
Finally, a point worth noting about the preliminary examination. Although Russia is not a State Party to the ICC, it has apparently cooperated with the Court’s inquiry to date. According to the OTP’s request to the judges, Russia provided information to the OTP, responded to requests for assistance, and welcomed three missions by ICC officials. Presumably, Russia calculated that it was in its interest to engage. Will Russia continue to cooperate, now that the Prosecutor has moved forward with an investigation? And will other non-State Parties cooperate with ICC inquiries that potentially implicate their nationals?
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Democratic Aide Arrested for Beating Boyfriend with Shovel

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An aide to Democratic Rep. Sander Levin (Mich.) was arrested by Baltimore police early last Thursday for allegedly beating his boyfriend with a shovel.
Tim Foster, who is reportedly married to a woman and serves as online communications director in Levin’s Washington, D.C., office, is accused of beating his boyfriend with a small shovel, according to the police report. His lover was hospitalized with wounds and bruises on his back, neck, and torso.
Roll Call reported:
The dispute started around 12:30 a.m. inside a Northwest Baltimore home, when Foster, 32, got into a verbal argument with the 39-year-old black male identified as his boyfriend. Foster put his boyfriend in a choke hold and stated, “I want to kill you. Die dirty faggy,” the man later told police. Foster released him, then allegedly grabbed a stainless kitchen knife. As the boyfriend fled toward the stairs, Foster chased him and warned, “When you reach the fifth step, I am going to stab you.” Foster lunged at his boyfriend with the knife. But Foster’s wife “got in the way” and the knife then fell to the floor, the report states.
According to Foster’s lover, he tried to leave the house and was then beaten by Foster with the shovel. The boyfriend eventually escaped and ran to his car. Foster has been slapped with second degree assault and dangerous weapons charges.
The aide, who has worked for Levin for seven years, has since been placed on unpaid leave.
“We have no comment on a private legal matter at this time,” Hilarie Chambers, Levin’s chief of staff,said Tuesday.
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Ex-CIA agent convicted in Italy has asked for a pardon - 12NewsNow.Com

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12NewsNow.Com

Ex-CIA agent convicted in Italy has asked for a pardon
12NewsNow.Com
(Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via AP). In this July 10, 2012 photo, Sabrina De Sousa poses for a portrait in Pentagon Row, Va. Virginia, on Tuesday July 10, 2012. De Sousa, a former CIAoperative convicted of the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric as.

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Afghan official: Insurgents kill 29 border police

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Taliban insurgents overran two checkpoints in southern Helmand province and killed 29 border police officers, a provincial official said.
     

Ex-CIA agent convicted in Italy has asked for a pardon

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The Italian lawyer of a former CIA operative convicted in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan as part of the U.S. extraordinary renditions program has requested a pardon from Italy.
     

МИД России: Москва не поддерживает Башара Асада - Коммерсантъ

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РИА Новости

МИД России: Москва не поддерживает Башара Асада
Коммерсантъ
Официальный представитель МИД России Мария Захарова во время брифинга заявила, что Москва не поддерживает президента Сирии Башара Асада, но считает важным сохранение государственности в стране. Она отметила, что Россию убеждают в том, что уход Башара Асада ...
Россия поддерживает государственность СирииДни.Ру
МИД: Россия считает важным сохранить государственность СирииВзгляд
МИД РФ: Требования ухода Асада соответствуют условиям террористовРоссийская Газета
Forbes Россия -Комсомольская правда -Свободная Пресса
Все похожие статьи: 74 »

МИД Турции вызвал на «ковер» послов России и США - РБК

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РБК

МИД Турции вызвал на «ковер» послов России и США
РБК
МИД Турции вызвал послов США и России. Их предупредили о недопустимости военной помощи Курдскому демократическому союзу. Сирийские курды, отряд народной самообороны (архивное фото). Фото: AFP. В этом сюжете. Россия объяснила сближение своего истребителя с ...
Премьер Турции: ИГ и РПК могут быть причастны к теракту в АнкареРИА Новости
 

Анкара разгневана - курды поссорят США и РФ с ТурциейМосковский комсомолец 
Турция выразила протест послам России и США за поддержку курдовРадио Свобода
NEWSru.com-Независимая газета
 -ИА REGNUM

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A spot rich in Russia's soulful heritage becoming billionaires' playground - Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times

A spot rich in Russia's soulful heritage becoming billionaires' playground
Los Angeles Times
The ocher leaves of the towering birch trees flutter in the warm breeze, shaking loose a confetti shower that blankets a forest promenade where Russian writers strolled for generations to drink in nature's inspiration. The birch-shaded "alley" led east ...

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Лавров: США отказались принять делегацию России во главе с Медведевым - РИА Новости

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РИА Новости

Лавров: США отказались принять делегацию России во главе с Медведевым
РИА Новости
Министр иностранных дел России Сергей Лавров сообщил, что российская делегация планировала обсудить в США координацию по борьбе с терроризмом. Однако Соединенные Штаты не приняли делегацию Москвы и заявили, что не будут отправлять в РФ свою. Глава МИД РФ ...
США отказались принять делегацию во главе с Дмитрием Медведевым для обсуждения СирииКоммерсантъ
Лавров призвал США "раскрыть карты" по СирииРоссийская Газета
США отказались принять делегацию во главе с Медведевым для обсуждения СирииИнтерфакс
Взгляд -Вести.Ru -Известия
Все похожие статьи: 132 »

Bomb Kills 7 at Pakistani Lawmaker's Office

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A bomb exploded Wednesday at the office of a lawmaker in central Pakistan, killing at least seven people and wounding several others. The blast happened in Taunsa, a town in Punjab province, at an office used by Amjad Khosa of Pakistan's ruling Pakistan Muslim League. Khosa was not at the site at the time of the attack. Police said they were investigating the blast as a suicide bombing. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban has carried out numerous bombings against officials in recent years. Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have died during the Taliban's bloody insurgency to impose its brand of Islam and avenge military attacks against its bases in the northwestern tribal areas along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. The Pakistani military launched an offensive in June 2014 in the tribal areas and other parts of Pakistan that authorities say has drastically reduced violence. 

Turkish prime minister warns US and Russia against supporting Syrian Kurds 

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Ahmet Davutoğlu says Turkey cannot accept ‘cooperation with terrorist organisations’ as ambassadors summoned over backing for groups fighting Isis
The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, has warned the US and Russia against “unacceptable” military and political support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria.
Turkey earlier summoned the US and Russian envoys over the supply of arms and support for the Syrian Kurdish forces in their battle with Isis.
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Supporters Offer Their Take on First Democratic Debate

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As Democrats seeking the presidency took the stage in Las Vegas, supporters off stage in the spin room and outside on the Las Vegas Strip were not shy about why their candidate is the best for the party. Even before the debate started, there was action on the Vegas Strip, as supporters for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied for their candidate. Clinton booster Richard Munk said the candidate’s foreign policy background is what attracted him. “She’s got a tremendous amount of experience dealing with the world affairs,” Munk said. “Not just the affairs of the U.S., but world affairs.” Health care was a top concern for Sanders supporter Deborah Thompson. “I’ve been a nurse for 30 years. I’ve worked in four different countries,” she said. “I’ve never seen such poor treatment of patients in the U.S.” Who won? It’s debatable So who won the debate from the perspective in the spin room? It depends who you ask. “Oh I clearly think that [Clinton] won this debate,” said U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California, a Clinton backer. “I think that she came across very strongly on the issues of gun violence, on immigration, on paid family leave, most importantly she would be a woman president." But liberal political commentator Ed Schultz with the Bernie Sanders campaign disagreed. “I think Bernie won the debate because of the issues that are being discussed,” Schultz said. “I think that Bernie Sanders has set the agenda for this entire campaign.  He’s the one who’s talked about the middle class.” Yvette Lewis, is the former chair of the Maryland Democratic party, and not surprisingly, supports former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “When Governor O’Malley held his own on that stage and rose on that stage I think he was the clear winner tonight,” she said. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chaffe also took the stage, but Chaffe complained some of the candidates did not get equal time. “Trying just to get the time just to answer the questions there were so many questions,” he said. “A couple of us just didn’t even get the chance to answer.” Will Biden run? One person who was noticeably absent was Vice President Joe Biden, who is still deciding whether he will run for the presidency. Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz with the Democratic National Committee said another candidate will only generate more enthusiasm. “There’s no way for it to be anything other than a positive.” Sean Spicer with the Republican National Committee said Tuesday’s debate could push Biden to enter the race. “I think after tonight Hillary Clinton had a chance tonight to really out-shine the four other folks on stage and she didn’t do it,” he said. “I think if you’re Joe Biden you look at tonight’s performance and it’s just one more reason you jump in the race.”

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Turkish prime minister warns US and Russia against supporting Syrian Kurds - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Turkish prime minister warns US and Russia against supporting Syrian Kurds
The Guardian
The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has warned the US and Russia against “unacceptable” military and political support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria. Turkey earlier summoned the US and Russian envoys over the supply ...
Turkey warns US, Russia over support for Syrian KurdsYahoo News
Turkey warns US, Russia against backing Kurdish militia in SyriaReuters
Turkey warns US and Russia against backing the Kurds in SyriaBusiness Insider
ABC Online -Mintpress News (blog)
all 1,259 news articles »

Iran Lauds Cooperation With Russia In Syria

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A leading Iranian parliamentarian has said his country's cooperation with Russia, Syria, and Iraq hasproved "successful" in fighting terrorism in the region.
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Action Outside Debate Hall, Inside Spin Room at First Democratic Debate

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As the Democrats seeking the presidency take the stage in Las Vegas, supporters off stage in the spin room and outside on the Las Vegas Strip are not shy about why their candidate is the best for the party. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas.

How Babur The Migrant Worker Became Jafar The Weeping Suicide Bomber

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A suicide bomber whose last moments were filmed in a disturbing propaganda video last month has been identified as Babur Israilov, a 21-year-old citizen of Kyrgyzstan.

Lavrov: Only Syria Has Asked For Russian Military Support

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says no country besides Syria has asked Moscow for direct military support.

Russia's 'Priest Who Came Out Of The Closet' 

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From: rferlonline
Duration: 03:10

For a decade, Orthodox priest Artyom Vechelkovsky taught at a religious seminary in the city of Samara. He says that his colleagues knew that he was gay, but accepted him and valued his work. But in the current climate of rising antigay sentiment in Russia, church officials suddenly decided to dismiss him. (RFE/RL's Current Time program)

Экипажами самолетов Су-34, Су-24М и Су-25СМ с авиабазы «Хмеймим» совершен 41 боевой вылет по 40 объектам террористической инфраструктуры ИГИЛ в провинциях АЛЕППО, ИДЛИБ, ЛАТАКИЯ, ХАМА и ДЕЙР-ЭЗ-ЗОР

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В течение суток российская авиагруппа продолжала наносить точечные удары по выявленным средствами разведки наиболее важным объектам инфраструктуры террористической группировки ИГИЛ.

China: No Plans to Send Military Ships to Syria

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China said Wednesday it had no plans to send military ships to Syria to fight with Russian forces after reports in overseas media indicated it was planning to do so. Chinese media has picked up Russian and Middle Eastern news reports that China would fight alongside Russia in Syria, and that China's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, could participate too. Chinese media has also described these reports as speculative nonsense. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, when asked if China had or would send forces to Syria, told a daily news briefing that she had also noticed the reports. "I can tell you that as for China's warships, for example the Liaoning, whether it has gone to join, for this issue, as far as I know, there is no such plan. At this time the Liaoning is in a phase of carrying out technical training and military exercises.” She did not elaborate. Russia last month began air strikes on targets in Syria in a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement in the civil war. This has been criticized by the West as an attempt to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, rather than its purported aim of attacking Islamic State. The United States and its allies have also been carrying out air strikes in Syria against Islamic State, and have supported opposition groups fighting Assad. 'Unfounded rumor' The Liaoning is generally considered by military experts to be a training carrier, while China builds its own carriers and works out how to operate them. China's Defense Ministry said it had nothing to add to Hua's comments. The Global Times, an influential tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, said in an editorial on Wednesday it was "unfounded rumor" that China would interfere militarily in Syria. "It's not China that brought chaos to Syria, and China has no reason to rush to the frontlines and play a confrontational role," it said. While China generally votes with fellow permanent United Nations Security Council member Russia on the Syria issue, it has expressed concern about interference in Syria's internal affairs and repeatedly called for a political solution. China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its dependence on the region for its oil, has warned many times military action cannot end the crisis.

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Op-Ed Contributor: Europe’s threat from within

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The refugee crisis might be an external challenge, but what really worries Brussels is the growing strength of the Continent’s regional separatists.









Moscow Says Fighter Flew Close To U.S. Jet 'Not To Scare It'

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The Russian Defense Ministry says one of its fighter jets flew close to a U.S. military aircraft over Syria to identify it, "not to scare it."

Russia's International Reserves Are Modestly Rebounding - Forbes

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Forbes

Russia's International Reserves Are Modestly Rebounding
Forbes
During the early Putin years one of the most striking things about Russia was the huge growth in its international reserves. Given the increasingly shambolic state of Russian economic policymaking, the strict macroeconomic discipline of Putin's first ...
$50 Oil for 15 Years Isn't What Scares Bank of Russia GovernorBloomberg

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Seven Killed In Pakistani Suicide Bombing

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Seven people have been killed and nine wounded in a suicide bombing in central Pakistan.

Erdogan Focuses on Mistakes in Aftermath of Ankara Bombing

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Three senior Turkish security officials have been suspended following the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack in the capital, Ankara, Saturday. Their suspension comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged mistakes were made over the attack. Turkey's Interior Ministry says Ankara's provincial police chief and the heads of the city’s intelligence and security departments were suspended Tuesday to allow what it said would be a “healthy investigation” into the bombings. The suspensions came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged that mistakes were made in preventing Turkey’s worst terror attack. There must undoubtedly be a mistake, a shortcoming in some place. Of what dimension? This will emerge after examinations, he said. Erdogan and his ruling party-led government are facing growing criticism over the twin bombings that killed nearly 100 people and injured hundreds more. The president said he is using his executive powers to initiate an investigation into the attacks. He also claimed there was intelligence from Syria indicating an attack was being prepared ahead of the bombing. The president’s comments are widely seen as putting on pressure to his AKP government, which until now claimed no mistakes were made. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday Islamic State militants remain the chief suspects for Saturday’s attack. But he added there was evidence that a second group could be involved, without revealing its identity. Ministers and pro-government media have suggested the Kurdish rebel group the PKK could be working with Islamic State. Observers say such claims have been dismissed by critics who point out the rally was attended by many pro Kurdish activists and the PKK is currently fighting the Islamic State both in Syria and Iraq.

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Ukrainian Nationalists March In Kyiv

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Activists from several Ukrainian nationalist factions marched in the capital on October 14 in honor of Defenders' Day, a newly recognized holiday honoring those who have aided the country's independence.

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