Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Islamic State Praises Brussels Suicide Bombers

Islamic State Praises Brussels Suicide Bombers

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Islamic State praised the Brussels suicide bombers and urged jihadists in the West to stage similar attacks, an extremist-monitoring group said Wednesday.

Israel investigating 2 senior lawmakers 

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Israeli authorities are investigating two senior lawmakers in what local media say are separate corruption cases.









Assad, buoyed by a win over the Islamic State, dismisses opposition’s demands 

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The Syrian president supports U.N. peace talks — but even more so now on his own terms.















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UN chief: world must resettle 480,000 Syrian refugees

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As Europe prepares to deport refugees to Turkey, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon calls for global solidarity to meet crisis.











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Vladimir Putin sent Russian mercenaries to 'fight in Syria and Ukraine' 

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Fighters from a private military company called Wagner were used for deniable military operations abroad, finds an investigation by a Russian newspaper











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Blood Test Detects Concussions

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A new blood test has been developed to tell doctors whether someone has had a concussion up to a week after the injury.  Head trauma symptoms can often be subtle, and even delayed, especially in children.  Treatment in the form of rest is important in helping to heal the brain after injury. The blood test, developed by physicians at Orlando Health system in Florida, detects a biomarker called glial fibrillary acidic protein or GFAP.  GAFP is unique to the brain and nervous...

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US Treasury Chief Warns Against Excessive Use of Sanctions

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U.S. Treasury chief Jack Lew warned Wednesday against the excessive use of economic sanctions on other countries to change their behavior, saying they could imperil the U.S. role in the world economy. The United States has imposed sanctions on foreign countries for decades, most recently successfully to push Iran into negotiations to block its development of nuclear weaponry and so far unsuccessfully to overturn Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The U.S. and...

US to deploy armored brigade combat teams to Europe - Reuters

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Reuters

US to deploy armored brigade combat teams to Europe
Reuters
WASHINGTON The U.S. military said on Wednesday that it would deploy rotations of U.S.-based armored brigade combat teams to Europe, part of a wider effort to counter what the United States sees as Russian aggression on the continent. The teams will be ...
Army plans 9-month deployments for armored brigades in EuropeMilitary Times
Pentagon Readies More Robust US Military Presence in Eastern EuropeWall Street Journal
Pentagon lays out plan for increased US military presence in Eastern EuropeFox News
The Guardian -BBC News
all 24 news articles »

Kerry welcomes Argentina counterpart to U.S., hails 'restoration'

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday welcomed Argentina's "restoration" since the election of Mauricio Macri as the country's new president and said he looked forward to collaboration on the economy, energy, climate change, trade and regional issues.









  

U.S. to deploy armored brigade combat teams to Europe

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Wednesday that it would deploy rotations of U.S.-based armored brigade combat teams to Europe, part of a wider effort to counter what the United States sees as Russian aggression on the continent.









  

Obama, Xi seen discussing North Korea, cybersecurity on sidelines of nuclear summit

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to discuss North Korea, cybersecurity and human rights when they meet on Thursday before the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, the White House said on Wednesday.
  

Turkey's Erdogan to meet with Biden, possibly Obama at White House: spokesman

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will sit down with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden this week on the sidelines of a nuclear summit, and will likely have a chance to speak with President Barack Obama as well, the White House said on Wednesday.
  
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Thousands attend funeral for controversial Toronto mayor Rob Ford

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Thousands of people turned out on Wednesday for the funeral of former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, whose tumultuous four years as the leader of Canada's largest city included an admission that he smoked crack cocaine and a history of erratic behavior.
  

U.S. Commander: Increased Rotation of U.S. Combat Units To Europe Beginning Next Year

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A top U.S. military commander has announced more frequent rotations of U.S. combat units to Eastern Europe beginning early next year, citing an "aggressive Russia" as the main reason for the increase.

'Local Leader' Of Banned Islamic Group Jailed In St.Petersburg

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A court in the Russian city of St Petersburg has sentenced a man to 12 1/2 years in prison on charges of being a leader of the banned Hizb-ut-Tahrir organization.

US to boost army presence in east Europe

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The US is to step up its troop presence in eastern Europe in response to an "aggressive Russia", the military announces.

U.S. to deploy armored brigade combat teams to Europe | Reuters 

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U.S. to deploy armored brigade combat teams to Europe | Reuters

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of the  U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, arrives to testify before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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America Needs Frank Talk on ISIS - The New York Times - Headlines 

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Mr. Trump’s Dangerous Babble on Foreign Policy

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Donald Trump might use nuclear weapons to go after Islamic State terrorists. Or maybe not. In a recent spate of interviews, including with The Times, he was unable or unwilling to clarify his disturbing views on this and other critical national security issues, which sometimes shift from one minute to the next.
The recent horrific terrorist attacks around the world have provided a new opportunity for Mr. Trump to fan fears and throw out his alarming prescriptions for dealing with the world’s most complex challenges. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump was asked if he would use tactical nuclear weapons against the Islamic State. “I’m never going to rule anything out — I wouldn’t want to say. Even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them,” he said on the Bloomberg Politics program “With All Due Respect.”
He was more measured in his comments to The Times on Friday, saying nuclear weapons are “the biggest problem the world has” and he would use such weapons only as “an absolute last step.” Even if Mr. Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, doesn’t really believe that nuclear weapons should be used against a terrorist group, the fact that he has voiced it lends weight to this insane notion and could make it easier for other nuclear-armed states to think about that possibility.
The consequences of using a nuclear weapon in terms of lives lost, physical destruction and cost to American moral standing would be devastating. The United States and Russia have significantly reduced their nuclear arsenals, and the threat that either would ever use the weapons has greatly receded, in part because advanced conventional weapons can destroy almost any military target. Equally bizarre was Mr. Trump’s casual attitude in endorsing the idea of Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear weapons, which would reverse America’s longstanding efforts to prevent the number of nuclear-armed states from expanding.
Mr. Trump also challenged decades of American policy by calling NATO “obsolete.” Since the Cold War, the alliance has undergone reforms and remains the primary organization that can deal with military threats. It is central to the stability of Europe, which is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, weak economies and the flood of refugees from the Syrian war. With Russia’s aggressive movements in Ukraine and threats to the Baltics, this is no time to suggest that Washington is rethinking its strongest commitments to its allies. Although Mr. Trump said he doesn’t want to pull America out of NATO, he said it has to be changed so the United States bears less of the cost.
Mr. Trump is confronting most of these issues for the first time, and many of his thoughts are contradictory and shockingly ignorant. In speaking with The Times, for instance, he complained that one problem with the Iran nuclear deal is that American businesses are now losing out to Europe on lucrative deals with Iran. He did not know that that is because Congress has insisted on keeping American sanctions in place.
Mr. Trump claims he is not an isolationist and wants to “make America great again.” It is hard to see how he achieves that when he describes a completely unhinged view of international engagement that denigrates Muslims and other foreigners and international organizations, including the United Nations. Mostly, his vision of cooperation with allies depends largely on how much they would pay the United States for protection.
In his interviews, Mr. Trump has said “unpredictability” is central to his thinking. He seems to have no inkling that operating in a dangerous world — one in which the United States is militarily involved in many conflict zones — requires some ability to communicate intelligently and forthrightly with both allies and enemies. It also seems to have escaped him that American voters deserve to know what a candidate is actually proposing.
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12:35 PM 3/30/2016: “Nadiya for Boot”(?!) 

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Russia ‘will release pilot Nadiya Savchenko if US releases world number one arms dealer Viktor Bout’ by Allison Quinn

Russia 'will release pilot Nadiya Savchenko if US releases world number one arms dealer Viktor Bout' 

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Ms Savchenko may be exchanged for Mr Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, both currently serving lengthy prison sentences in the US for illegal arms sales and drug trafficking











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Analysis: Russia Is Shipping More to Syria, Despite Draw Down - NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com

Analysis: Russia Is Shipping More to Syria, Despite Draw Down
NBCNews.com
MOSCOW — When Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of most of Russia's military contingent from Syria there was an expectation that the Yauza, a Russian naval icebreaker and one of the mission's main supply vessels, would return home to its Arctic ...
The Latest: Russia sending sappers to Syria's PalmyraWashington Post
Syria's Assad rejects key opposition demandCBS News
Assad: New Government Should Include Opposition and RegimeVoice of America
Reuters -BBC News -Yahoo News -The Guardian
all 415 news articles »

Uncertainty in Turkey as migrant returns set to start under EU deal

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Five days before Turkey is due to start taking back illegal migrants from Greece under a landmark deal with the European Union, uncertainty remains over how many will come, how they will be processed, and where they will be housed.









  

UK's Hammond Says Russia's Conduct 'A Threat To All Of Us'

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British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Russia represents a threat to everyone because it disregards international norms. Answering questions at a news conference during a visit to Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, Hammond said it was time for Russia to play a constructive role on the world stage. (Reuters)