Friday, April 22, 2016

Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 - NYTimes

NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: 12:46 PM 4/22/2016 – Headlines Review: Shooter reportedly on the loose after 7 killed in southern Ohio | Fox News | Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 | U.S. split deepens over Putin’s intentions in Syria civil war | Reuters | US weighing military force against Russia? | Fox News Video 

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Source: NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: 12:46 PM 4/22/2016 – Headlines Review: Shooter reportedly on the loose after 7 killed in southern Ohio | Fox News | Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 | U.S. split deepens over Putin’s intentions in Syria civil war | Reuters | US weighing military force against … Continue reading "NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: 12:46 PM 4/22/2016 – Headlines Review: Shooter reportedly on the loose after 7 killed in southern Ohio | Fox News | Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 | U.S. split deepens over Putin’s intentions in Syria civil war | Reuters | US weighing military force against Russia? | Fox News Video"

Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 

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Study shows rates jumped 24 percent between 1999 and 2014; hike peaked with onset of 2008 economic recession
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At least 7 people, mostly children, reportedly shot to death in Ohio | Fox News 

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A shooting or series of shootings killed at least seven family members, five of them children, in southern Ohio Friday, local news agencies report.

Barack Obama visit: Stick with EU, US president urges UK – BBC News 

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Barack Obama urges the UK to stick with the EU, as he starts his last trip to Britain as US president by meeting the Queen.

Girl, 16, Dies After Fight in a High School Restroom in Delaware – 

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The girl’s death led to an outpouring of grief, bewilderment and soul-searching on Twitter and Facebook.

FBI Paid More Than $1 Million for Help Hacking San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone – ABC News 

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The price tag for help hacking into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters was more than $1 million, according to FBI Director James Comey.
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Migrant flow from Turkey to Greece picking up again: IOM | Reuters 

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The numbers of migrants landing in Greece from Turkey is starting to creep up again, showing efforts to close off the route are coming under strain, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

Brussels bomber Laachraoui ‘guarded IS Syria hostages’ – BBC News 

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Journalists who were held hostage by so-called Islamic State say one of the Brussels airport bombers was their prison guard in Syria.

Donald Trump ‘promises to change image’ – BBC News

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Donald Trump has promised to change his image, in a closed door meeting with Republican party leaders, according to the Associated Press.

Islamic State mines kill dozens of civilians returning to Ramadi | Reuters 

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Explosives planted by Islamic State have killed dozens of Iraqi civilians who returned to Ramadi despite warnings that much of the western city remains unsafe nearly four months after its recapture from the militants.

No chance of NATO expansion for years, U.S. ambassador says | Reuters 

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There is no chance of NATO expansion in the near future because of fears it could destabilize Russia, the U.S. ambassador to the military alliance said on Friday, a prospect which could disappoint Georgia and a number of Balkan states.

Prince’s Autopsy Begins to Determine Cause of Death – ABC News 

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One day after Prince Rogers Nelson was pronounced dead at the age of 57, an autopsy began this morning at 9 a.m. Central, conducted by the Chief Medical Examiner for Midw
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Why Bankrupt Oil Companies Are Still Pumping | TIME

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Analysts argue that as more firms go bankrupt the oil markets will rebalance

Obama Explains Why He Removed Churchill Bust from Oval Office | TIME 

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“There’s only so many busts you can have before it starts looking a little cluttered”

ПАСЕ приняла резолюцию о санкциях против россиян из "списка Савченко" - ТВ Центр - Официальный сайт телекомпании

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ТВ Центр - Официальный сайт телекомпании

ПАСЕ приняла резолюцию о санкциях против россиян из "списка Савченко"
ТВ Центр - Официальный сайт телекомпании
Парламентская ассамблея Совета Европы приняла резолюцию "Гуманитарные проблемы людей, захваченных в плен во время войны на Украине". ПАСЕ призвала страны-участницы ввести санкционный "список Савченко" в отношении всех лиц, участвовавших в похищении, ...

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HRW Draws Attention to Torture, Disappearance of Children in Egypt 

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A rights group says Egyptian security forces tortured a group of 20 people, eight of them children. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday that the torture happed in February after the subjects were arrested in the city of Alexandria. According to the information gathered by HRW from relatives and lawyers, authorities used torture to force people to confess to crimes or give the names of other suspects. The rights organization said Egyptian authorities also refused to acknowledge holding them or disclose their whereabouts for more than a week. Three boys, 16 and 17-years-old, and three men, 18 to 21 years old, were detained during the raid for allegedly demonstrating without permission, committing vandalism and arson, and joining a banned organization, HRW said. “Some Egyptian officials have disappeared children and apparently tortured them, then faked arrest records to cover it up,” said Zama Coursen-Neff, children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, adding that “the authorities have turned a blind eye to the reports of abuse and refused to investigate.” Rights groups have repeatedly accused Egypt's security services of carrying out illegal detentions, forced disappearances of people, including children, and torture of detainees and called on the country to stop such practices.

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Immigrants Own More Than Half of NYC Businesses

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There are close to 5 million small businesses in the United States, and approximately one of every five is owned by an immigrant. But in New York City, that figure is more than 50 percent. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports on the New York's immigrant-owned businesses.

Armenians Protest Visit By Russian Foreign Minister

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From: rferlonline
Duration: 00:50

Activists in Armenia's capital protested the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. They marched on April 21 from Yerevan's Liberty Square to the Russian Embassy, where scuffles with police took place. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Originally published at -
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Госдеп исключил расширение сотрудничества по Сирии с российским Минобороны - Росбалт.RU

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Госдеп исключил расширение сотрудничества по Сирии с российским Минобороны
«Мы сейчас не проводим активного сотрудничества с российскими военными по Сирии и в будущем не собираемся делать это», — сказал на брифинге представитель Госдепартамента США Джон Кирби. Адмирал напомнил, что сейчас двустороннее сотрудничество на военном уровне ...
Госдеп: планов военного сотрудничества с РФ в Сирии по-прежнему нетРИА Новости
Госдепартамент назвал отношения с Россией "важными, но сложными"ТАСС 
США не намерены расширять сотрудничество с военными РФ в СирииИнтерфакс

Федеральное агентство новостей No.1-НТВ.ru НеваИнфо
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Two US Congressmen Want Justice in Death of Nemtsov

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Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for an investigation into the 2015 assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Representative Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, have introduced a resolution urging the U.S. government to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring Nemtsov's murderers to justice. "The circumstances surrounding Boris' murder are highly questionable but have yet to receive a proper investigation," said Ros-Lehtinen. "Boris' murder deserves a full and transparent investigation and I urge the administration to do everything it can to press the Putin regime." The February 2015 killing of such a high-profile government critic in an area near the Kremlin continues to reverberate throughout Russia. Members of the opposition have pointed blame at the government, with suspicions high that Nemtsov's murder was ordered as retaliation for his fierce criticism of Putin. In addition to the plea to find Nemtsov's killers, Engel said the resolution calls for "an increase in American support for democratic and civil-society groups inside Russia - groups that have been under increasingly vicious attack by authorities." Russia has detained five suspects in the murder of Nemtsov. Allies of Nemtsov expressed skepticism after the arrests, believing it is difficult to determine whether suspects are the real perpetrators. Allies believe it is equally important to find and detain those who ordered the killing. The Kremlin has denied involvement in Nemtsov's murder. President Putin labeled the killing "a provocation" and vowed the government would do everything to ensure those responsible are "properly punished."

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Seven Reasons Why Putin’s War in Ukraine is a Turning Point in

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Isis documents leak reveals profile of average militant as young, well-educated but with only 'basic' knowledge of Islamic law 

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Military analysts in the US said the importance of insight gained using the documents 'cannot be overstated'

White House Launches Data Sharing Initiative With Local Police

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The White House has announced it will launch a new database with information from 53 police departments across the United States as part of an effort to make policing in the country more transparent. In 2014, President Barack Obama began the Task Force on 21st Century Policing as a way to identify the best ways to reduce crimes in local communities and increase trust between police and citizens. The Police Data Initiative was launched in May last year as a response to several recommendations made by that task force. All told, the 53 police jurisdictions oversee more than 41 million people, and to date more than 90 data sets have been released. The jurisdictions participating in the program come from many regions of the country, including several major cities like New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. “These commitments represent concrete steps toward building trust and speak to a larger shift in the culture of policing that is at the core of the Task Force’s recommendations,” the White House said in a release early Friday. The White House will host several law enforcement and city leaders Friday at an event to share ideas on improving the initiative moving forward and highlight successes seen over the past year in using open data to build community trust. The Obama administration is also set to announce the creation of two new offices within the Department of Justice aimed at reforming police practices based on the data gathered through the initiative.

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Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli military aircraft: newspaper - Reuters

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Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli military aircraft: newspaper
Russia mounted its military intervention in Syria in September to shore Damascus up amid a now 5-year-old rebellion. Separately, Israel's Channel 10 TV said a Russian warplane approached an Israeli warplane off the Mediterranean coast of Syria last ...
Israel Urges Russia To Tighten Coordination Ties in
Russia fired on Israeli jets at least twice despite security cooperation: reporti24news
'Russian forces fired on Israeli jets at least twice'The Times of Israel
Jerusalem Post Israel News -Haaretz
all 171 news articles »
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Russia, Saudi to pump as much as possible: IEA - CNBC

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Russia, Saudi to pump as much as possible: IEA
Ahead of the doomed Doha talks last weekend, Russia and Saudi Arabia said they were willing to discuss freezing oil output, but less than a week later both have threatened to ramp up production. On Friday, the head of the Oil Industry and Markets ... 
Russia benefits from crude production freeze talks despite failure to reach dealRT

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СМИ сочли пренебрежительным прием Обамы в Саудовской Аравии - - ЭРА Новостей

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СМИ сочли пренебрежительным прием Обамы в Саудовской Аравии - ЭРА Новостей
Президент США Барак Обама напомнил королю Саудовской Аравии о правах человека. Отсутствие короля Салмана в аэропорту не было воспринято как оскорбление, сообщает канал ссылаясь на американского депутата, который также обозначил, что Обама также редко встречает ...

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Turkey, A Nation Divided -- Politics (Part 1)

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Three major things deeply devide Turkish society: politics, religion, and ethnicity.

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Personal Army (Transcript)

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This regime is clearly frightened. And that just makes it all the more dangerous.

Russia defends assault on Aleppo - Arkansas Online

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Arkansas Online

Russia defends assault on Aleppo
Arkansas Online
GENEVA -- Russia defended an offensive near Syria's Aleppo as a response to "provocations" by an al-Qaida wing, and the opposition blamed President Bashar Assad's forces for the near collapse of an almost two-month truce and warned they are seeking ...
White House concerned by Russia's military moves in SyriaReuters
US accuses Russia of positioning artillery around Aleppo for assaultMiddle East EyeRussia Moves Artillery to Northern Syria, US Officials Say Wall Street Journal 
 -Fox News

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London Becomes a Leading Destination for French Jews After Attacks 

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The Anshei Shalom Synagogue in St. John’s Wood, a Sephardic synagogue, opened 13 years ago with very few French Jews. Today, 70 percent of the 160-member congregation is French.
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The Daily Vertical: Putin's Personal Army

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The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday.

Former Prime Minister Kasyanov Stifled by Both Kremlin and Allies 

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Sitting on a deep leather sofa in his office, Mikhail Kasyanov looks much like he always has. There's the same no-nonsense demeanor, the expensive suit and his smooth, deep voice.

Russia denies report that forces fired on Israeli military aircraft over Syria - i24news

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Russia denies report that forces fired on Israeli military aircraft over Syria
Russia on Friday denied a report that its military forces have fired on Israeli Air Force planes on at least two occasions over Syria in recent weeks, calling them "far from reality." "In this case, Israeli press reports are far from reality," Kremlin ...
Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli military aircraft: newspaperReuters
'Russian forces fired on Israeli jets at least twice'The Times of Israel
Israel Urges Russia To Tighten Coordination Ties in
Jerusalem Post Israel News
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Close Encounters Between Israeli And Russian Warplanes - Breaking Israel News

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Breaking Israel News

Close Encounters Between Israeli And Russian Warplanes
Breaking Israel News
It was reported on Friday morning that Russia fired on Israeli Air Force (IAF) planes at least twice in the past six months. The unsourced report in Yedioth Ahronot included no details of where or when the incidents occurred, or whether the planes were ...
Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli military aircraft: newspaperReuters
Russia denies reports of altercations with Israeli aircraftThe Times of Israel
Israel Urges Russia To Tighten Coordination Ties in
Jerusalem Post Israel News
all 203 news articles »

Stratfor: Russia persistently applies pressure against the West - Pravda

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Stratfor: Russia persistently applies pressure against the West
Stratfor analysts shared their mixed feelings after the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council. The sides appear to have strong disagreements both on Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts. The meeting has not led to any agreements and yielded zero results. Yet ...

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В Азербайджане в автомобиль заместителя посла США попала пуля - РИА Новости

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РИА Новости

В Азербайджане в автомобиль заместителя посла США попала пуля
РИА Новости
Причиной инцидента стал конфликт, произошедший рядом с местом, где была припаркована машина дипломата. По данным дипмиссии, никто из сотрудников не пострадал. Баку. Архивное фото. © РИА Новости. Владимир Песня | Перейти в фотобанк. БАКУ, 22 апр – РИА Новости, ...
В Баку пуля из ресторана прилетела в автомобиль американского дипломатаИА REGNUM
Автомобиль американского дипломата обстреляли в БакуФедеральное агентство новостей No.1
Во время конфликта в Баку пуля попала в машину заместителя посла СШАMail.Ru
Московский комсомолец -Российская Газета -Газета.Ru -Интерфакс
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Boris Johnson’s Essay on Obama and Churchill Touches Nerve Online 

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It did not attack the president directly, but it suggested that the U.S. would not surrender its sovereignty as, Mr. Johnson argued, Britain had done with the European Union.

Путин и золотая рыбка. Такие новости №21 

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From: SvobodaRadio
Duration: 05:04

Такие новости! Смотрите еженедельно по пятницам самые актуальные "такие вот" новости. Предлагайте "такие вот" новости в социальных сетях Радио Свобода с хэштегом #большеада.

Reports of Russia Firing at Israeli Planes 'Far From Reality' - Kremlin 

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The Kremlin has denounced reports of Russian jets firing on Israeli planes in Syria, the RBC news website reported Friday.

Obama, on 2-Day Visit to Britain, Has Lunch With Queen Elizabeth II 

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The gathering at Windsor Castle is a ceremonial start to the president’s stay, during which he will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron as well a group of young people.

Russia denies its jets had close calls with Israeli aircraft - Fox News

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The Times of Israel

Russia denies its jets had close calls with Israeli aircraft
Fox News
Russia fought back Friday against reports that one of its aircraft intercepted an Israeli plane near the Syrian border in recent days. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the reports in Israeli media were inaccurate and said Israeli Prime Minister ... 
'Russian forces fired on Israeli jets at least twice'The Times of Israel

Close Encounters Between Israeli And Russian WarplanesBreaking Israel News
Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli military aircraft: newspaperReuters Moscow Times (registration)-i24news
all 220 news articles »

Syrian Jet Shot Down West of Damascus; Reports Russia May Have Fired At Israeli Aircraft 

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The previous post in our Putin in Syria column can be found here.

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Page 8

Solar Plane Slowly Soaring From Hawaii to California

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A solar plane on an around-the-world journey has reached the point of no return over the Pacific Ocean after departing Hawaii, and now it's California or bust. The plane was cruising over the cold northern Pacific early Friday — Earth Day — an occasion the team planned to mark with a live call between pilot Bertrand Piccard and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to the website that's documenting the journey of Solar Impulse 2. After some uncertainty about winds, the plane took off from Hawaii Thursday morning and was on course to land in Mountain View, California, over the weekend. The crew that helped it take off was clearing out of its Hawaiian hangar and headed for the mainland for the weekend arrival. "We have passed the point of no return," the team wrote on the website. "From this point onwards, Bertrand Piccard will only be moving forward with Si2." At one point passengers on a Hawaiian Air jet caught a glimpse of the Solar Impulse 2 before the powerful airliner sped past the slow-moving aircraft. The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii in July and was forced to stay in the islands after the plane's battery system sustained heat damage on its trip from Japan. The aircraft started its around-the-world journey in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan. It's on the ninth leg of its circumnavigation. Piccard, said the idea of crossing the ocean in a solar-powered plane a few years ago stressed him out, but Thursday he was confident things would go according to plan. Piccard also said the destination in the heart of Silicon Valley is fitting, as the plane will land "in the middle of the pioneering spirit." Piccard's co-pilot Andre Borschberg, who flew the leg from Japan to Hawaii, told Piccard he greatly admires his dedication and strength. He said the plane "represents what we could do on the ground in our communities." The team was delayed in Asia, as well. When first attempting to fly from Nanjing, China, to Hawaii, the crew had to divert to Japan because of unfavorable weather and a damaged wing. A month later, when weather conditions were right, the plane departed from Nagoya in central Japan for Hawaii. The trans-Pacific leg is the riskiest part of the plane's global travels due to the lack of emergency landing sites. The plane's ideal flight speed is about 28 mph, though that can double during the day when the sun's rays are strongest. The carbon-fiber aircraft weighs more than 5,000 pounds, or about as much as a midsize truck. The wings of Solar Impulse 2, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. The plane runs on stored energy at night.

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The Early Edition: April 22, 2016 

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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.
Fierce clashes broke out between Syrian government forces and Kurdish militias yesterday in Syria’s northeastern tip, the latest violence as renewed fighting spreads across Syria, reports Anne Barnard. Before this fighting, forces loyal to Assad and the Kurds had largely avoided direct conflict, the Kurds focused on pushing back ISIS. [New York Times]  Wladimir Van Wilgenburg provides insights from the front lines of this new “sideshow conflict.” [The Daily Beast]
Moscow has deployed troops to fight alongside Kurdish forces in the northwest of Syria and is providing weapons to Kurds in Iraq, part of efforts to maintain a foothold in the region and potentially threatening the long-standing US alliance with Kurdish groups. Thomas Grove and Ben Kesling provide the details. [Wall Street Journal]
Russia has also deployed artillery close to Aleppo, deepening US concerns about the Kremlin’s agenda in Syria, and whether President Vladimir Putin really backs the UN-brokered peace process or whether it is a mask for continued support of the Assad regime. [Reuters’ Jonathan Landay and Phil Stewart]
The partial Syrian ceasefire – President Obama’s “most tangible success” in the intractable Syrian conflict – is quickly unraveling, comments Nahal Toosi, writing that the Obama administration is facing “I told you so” criticisms from bipartisan lawmakers. [Politico]
Iraq’s parliament is in “turmoil,” writes Erika Solomon, discussing a row over attempted reforms of the “government’s deeply corrupt patronage system.” [Financial Times]
Iraqi forces based south of Baghdad are prepared to fight ISIS in Mosul, but are waiting for the government to provide the heavy weapons needed. Missy Ryan discusses a visit paid by Gen Joseph F. Dunford Jr, the chief US military officer, who was reviewing training efforts at the base at Besmaya yesterday. [Washington Post]
US-led airstrikes continue. The US and coalition nations carried out three strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on April 20. Separately, partner forces conducted a further 21 strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
President Obama in Saudi Arabia. At the end of a two-day summit on security, President Obama said that he intends to continue to strengthen security cooperation with US allies in the Persian Gulf, while also encouraging the Arab nations to conduct domestic reforms and develop their ability to defend themselves. [New York Times’ Michael D. Shear and Ben Hubbard]  Obama added that the US and its Gulf allies share a “common vision” for the Middle East, while differing on tactical issues. [Wall Street Journal’s Colleen McCain Nelson et al]  Full statement available here.
Sen Chris Murphy has expressed skepticism over Saudi Arabia’s commitment to fighting groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, warning that the war in Yemen is distracting Riyadh from fighting extremists. Zaid Jilani and Alex Emmons report. [The Intercept]
The Economist comments on the brevity of President Obama’s trip to Riyadh, noting that the president did little to reassure America’s Arab allies, who “in turn can’t wait to see him go.”
“The 28 pages should be released immediately.” The New York Times editorial board argues for the full declassification of the Congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks, even should it implicate Riyadh and Saudi citizens in the terrorist attack.
“A nation’s immunity from lawsuits in the courts of another nation is a fundamental tenet of international law.” Curtis Bradley and Jack Goldsmith make the case for why Congress should not pass a bill exposing Saudi Arabia to lawsuits in American courts over purported links to 9/11. [New York Times]
The FBI paid the group that helped it hack into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers “at least $1.3 million,” or more than Director James Comey will earn over the remainder of his time in the job, he admitted at a technology conference in London yesterday. [New York Times’ Eric Lichtblau and Katie Benner; Financial Times’ Murad Ahmed]
Edward Snowden has asked a Norwegian court for a ruling that the espionage charges filed against him by the US will not constitute grounds for extradition. The former NSA contractor, who has been charged with leaking classified documents to the media, is hoping to travel from Russia to Norway to collect a free-speech prize. [Wall Street Journal’s Kjetil Malkenes Hovland]
“The ruling has mocked [international] law.” A spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry reacted angrily to Thursday’s US Supreme Court ruling that Iran’s central bank must pay almost $2 billion to US victims of terror attacks, stating that it “amounts to appropriation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s money.” [New York Times’ Rick Gladstone]
US sanctions are undermining one of the main goals of the nuclear deal: “to draw Iran out of its international isolation,” Europeans say, because they are preventing them from doing business with Iran. They also blame US visa restrictions, which make it harder for them to enter the US if they have previously traveled to Iran, for making it virtually impossible to reach agreements with Iranian businesses . [New York Times’ Thomas Erdbrink]
The teenager accused of detonating a bomb on a bus in Jerusalem this week does not fit the profile of a Hamas operative, reports William Booth, who has been speaking to Abdel Hamid Abu Srour’s family, who are well-to-do merchants. [Washington Post]
France intends to arrange a meeting of European, US, Middle Eastern and Asian foreign ministers to lay the groundwork for renewed peace talks between Israel and Palestine at the end of May. If the meeting is a success, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, he will then host an international conference including Israeli and Palestinian leaders later this year during which peace talks will begin. [Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Dalton]
The UK will be “more effective” at fighting terrorism if it remains part of the EU, according to President Obama, who landed in the UK last night for a three-day visit during which he is expected to voice his support for the UK’s continued membership of the EU ahead of the June 23 referendum. [BBC]  Obama’s “undemocratic” intervention has caused outrage among those politicians campaigning to exit. [Wall Street Journal’s Colleen McCain Nelson and Jenny Gross]
“Here in Europe, reassurance is good but what we really need to focus on is deterrence.” US Air Force officials met with French counterparts in Paris this week to discuss increased military exercises and an assessment of recent drills to improve their ability to deter increasing Russian aggression. [Wall Street Journal’s Julian E Barnes]
The 2003 invasion of Iraq “undoubtedly increased the threat” of terrorist attacks in the UK, then-head of MI5 Lady Manningham-Buller said in evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, whose report has finally been delivered to the Cabinet Office after years of delay, reports Richard Norton-Taylor. [The Guardian]
CIA Director John Brennan arrived unannounced in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina to speak to officials from the country’s anti-terrorism group, today. [AP]
Islamic State has “left” Derma, a key city in eastern Libya, rival group Hafeth al-Dabaa has said. Derma has been the site of a three-way conflict between the two militant groups and Libyan eastern government forces. [BBC]
A long-running lawsuit seeking access to details of US drone operations was dismissed yesterday, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit citing “national security” as justification for the government’s continued withholding of the information. [Washington Post’s Ann E Marimow]
An Islamic State operative instructed a US citizen to kill Pamela Geller, organizer of a “Muhammad cartoon contest” in Texas, last year, the Justice Department revealed yesterday. Usaamah Abdullah Rahim and two others had been in contact with Junaid Hussain, a British Islamic State militant, and had agreed to behead Geller. Rahim later changed his mind and attacked a police officer instead, at which point he was shot and killed. [Washington Post’s Adam Goldman]
Nicholas Rovinski, a surviving plotter, operated from inside jail, having met Rahim and the third man, David Wright, online. [NBC News’ Pete Williams]
World leaders are “scared” of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to US officials, who say that Trump is the first topic of conversation at government-to-government meetings, foreign leaders desperate to know what Trump’s winning would mean for US foreign policy. [Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Bryan Bender]
Genuinely better relations driven by trade and economics between the US and Cuba may be “a question of ‘when,’ rather than ‘if’,” suggests John Culhane, despite Fidel Castro’s speech over the weekend urging Cubans to remain “alert, today more than ever.” [Politico]
Read on Just Security »
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· · · · · ·

Today's Headlines and Commentary 

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Russia has started to move artillery to areas in northern Syria where Syrian government forces have begun to group up, potentially in preparation for a return to fighting. The Wall Street Journal reports that the moves have increased the United States’ concern that Syria and Russia may be preparing for a return to full-scale fighting as the “cessation of hostilities” falters. The potential return to full-scale fighting will throw a wrench into the peace negotiations in Geneva aimed at ending the 5 year civil war. Reuters has more on Russia’s military equipment move here.
The BBC shares that “relief agencies evacuated 500 wounded people from four besieged Syrian towns, in what has been described as the largest such operation so far in the five-year conflict.” Half of the people evacuated were brought out of towns blockaded by pro-government forces while the other half from towns besieged by rebels. The BBC has more.
Meanwhile, the Guardian tells us that the British parliament unanimously declared that the Islamic State’s actions against Yazidis and Christians qualify as genocide. The British parliament joins the United States Congress, the U.S. administration, the European parliament, and the Council of Europe in declaring the Islamic State’s genocide. However, the Guardian writes that “the Foreign Office directed ministers and parliamentary aids to abstain, saying it was wrong for the government to prejudge the issue or act as a jury on a case that may yet be referred to the international criminal court.”
Tuesday’s blast in Kabul now ranks amongst the deadliest strikes on the Afghan capital since the Taliban insurgency began in 2001. According to the Washington Post, the Taliban’s attack indicates that the insurgent group “could be acquiring more powerful explosives.” Additionally, the New York Times writes “questions have been raised about how the insurgents managed to take large amounts of explosives into the city, detonating a bomb behind the walls of an elite force that is supposed to protect the government’s top officials.”
The Guardian reports that “drones are firing more weapons than conventional warplanes for the first time in Afghanistan and the ratio is rising, previously unreported U.S. Air Force data for 2015 show, underlining how reliant the military has become on unmanned aircraft.” The new numbers may provide clues to the U.S. military’s strategy as it considers withdrawing more troops from the region.
China is eyeing a deeper military bond with Afghanistan which may include counterterrorism intelligence cooperation and joint drills, according to Reuters. While China is jointly working with both Pakistan and the United States to broker peace negotiations between Afghanistan and the Taliban, it is actively looking to play a “huge” role in helping to rebuild Afghanistan amidst the deadly insurgency.
Over in Pakistan, 7 police officers guarding a polio vaccination campaign were shot and killed in two separate attacks in a suburb of Karachi. The New York Times tells us that there has been no initial claim of responsibility, but police officials were investigating whether the attacks were connected to the immunization campaign.
President Obama met with Gulf Leaders in Saudi Arabia yesterday seeking to “steady what have become rocky relationships and to reassure unsettled allies.” The Wall Street Journal shares that President Obama “aimed to use his 28-hour visit to address a wide range of concerns voiced by frustrated allies, including opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and qualms about U.S. policy in Syria. With just nine months left in office, this trip may be the president’s last chance to secure his foreign policy legacy in the region.”
Hamas has claimed responsibility for its deadly bomb attack on a Jerusalem bus earlier this week. The Washington Post reports that “Hamas said 19-year-old Abdel Hamid Abu Srour carried out the bombing, which has raised fears that a new round of violence could include suicide attacks and bus bombings - hallmarks of the violent Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in the early 2000s.”
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera tells us that a top Israeli military leaders issued a warning to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, indicating that a war between the two enemies would be “devastating” for Lebanon. According to Major General Yair Golan, Israel’s deputy chief of staff, Hezbollah has developed capabilities that present an “unprecedented” threat to Israel.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-to-2 decision that Congress acted constitutionally when it passed a law making it easier for plaintiffs to recover damages from Iran awarded as part of a civil suit filed by the families of victims killed in the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing in Lebanon. At issue was a 2012 federal law, the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act, which specified assets of the Iranian central bank that could satisfy the plaintiff's judgements, which amounted to nearly $2 billion in frozen Iranian funds. NPR has more on that story here, while Matt Ford of the Atlantic breaks down the implications of the ruling. You can read the full opinion here.  
The German federal constitutional court “ruled that critical antiterrorism laws were partly unconstitutional and demanded tighter control of surveillance.” The New York Times reports that the 6-to-2 ruling “reflected a familiar desire to balance public safety against violations of privacy and the safeguarding of intelligence data - a characteristically German concern, forged by the experience of Nazi and Communist rule.” However, the court’s ruling also interfered with the increasing public fear of more terrorist attacks on European soil. The Times writes that “the ruling may inhibit further the sharing of intelligence, which has already proved deeply inadequate in Europe and has been exploited by terrorist networks.”
President Obama will convene with European leaders next Monday to discuss terrorism. The counterterrorism strategy session held in Germany will include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The Hill has more.
The Wall Street Journal tells us that the Belgian government announced that some 200 Belgian fighters are still in Syria fighting for the Islamic State and could be returning to Europe soon to carry out terrorist attacks. Belgium's Interior Minister Jan Jambon earlier today said that “from Belgium, there are a lot of Syria fighters, about 200 are still in Syria. We know these people are possibly coming back.” His comments come just one month after the terrorist attack on the Belgian capital that left 32 people dead and injured hundreds more.
Yesterday, Russia accused the United States of intimidation for sailing a naval destroyer close to Russia’s border in the Baltics and also warned that their military would respond with all “necessary measures” to any future incidents. Reuters shares that Moscow’s ambassador to NATO, after a meeting with NATO envoys and Russia in nearly two years, “said the April 11 maritime incident showed there could be no improvement in ties until the U.S.-led alliance withdrew from Russia’s borders.”
Eric Schmitt of the New York Times reports that Russian attack submarines are increasingly on the prowl in the waters off the coasts of Scandinavia and Scotland, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic. According to Admiral Mark Ferguson, the United States Navy’s top commander in Europe, the number of Russian submarine patrols has risen 50 percent in the last year. Defense Department officials are using the renewed Russian patrols to underscore the need for more ships, planes, and subs as the Pentagon has requested $8.1 billion over the next five years for “undersea capabilities,” including the procurement of nine new Virginia-class attack submarines. However, the Times notes that “there is hardly parity between the Russian and American submarine fleets.” There’s even more on NATO’s anti-submarine strategy in the Times, including the renewed importance of the GIUK (Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom) Gap.   
Details of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act are starting to trickle out of the House of Representatives and Politico has the scoop. The bottom line? There’s a lot to like if you are a contractor who builds jets and ships or if you oppose cuts to the Army or Marine Corps. The bill also “instructs the Pentagon to study restarting production of F-22 fighters,” suggesting the Congress may believe that a previous decision to cut the number of F-22s was a mistake.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is now the “commander in chief” of China’s Joint Operations Command Center, providing him a more direct role over the country’s powerful armed forces. The Associated Press describes President Xi’s move as “displaying both his strong personal authority and China’s determination to defend its interests” and “bolsters his status as China’s most powerful leader in decades and comes at a time when Beijing is becoming increasingly bold in its territorial assertions, despite a growing pushback from Washington and others.”
Speaking of some pushback, during his visit to Vietnam, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken questioned China’s intentions and urged it to follow international law. The Associated Press reports that Mr. Blinken stated, “the United States and Vietnam share an interest in maintaining peace and stability in the region. So does China. But its massive land reclamation project in the South China Sea and increasing militarization of these outposts fuel regional tension and raise serious questions about China’s intentions.”
Despite these tensions, it appears both the United States and China have stronger cooperation and stand united in their opposition to North Korea’s nuclear tests. According to the Washington Post, Sung Kim, the U.S. government’s top envoy for North Korea, “told reporters in Beijing that China took as much part in drafting the U.N. Security Council’s March resolution as Washington or the Security Council did.” Kim also told reporters that both countries “remain united in our firm opposition to North Korea’s provocative and irresponsible behavior.”
While China and the United States enjoy strong cooperation, North Korea appears to be continuing with its nuclear ambitions. Reuters reports that “satellite images show that North Korea may have resumed tunnel excavation at its main nuclear site, similar to activity seen before the country’s most recent nuclear test in January.” The website 38 North, run by the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, indicated that the tunneling activity could be carried out as part of preparations for another nuclear test.
Boko Haram and the Islamic State have begun to collaborate more closely, according to U.S. military personnel. The New York Times writes that the increased coordination between the two deadly terrorist organizations raises new alarms that the groups may be working together to attack American allies in North and Central Africa. The Times shares that, yesterday, Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, commander of the U.S. military’s Special Operations in Africa, had “cited a weapons convoy believed to be from Islamic State fighters in Libya that was headed for the Lake Chad region, an area devastated by Boko Haram.” Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State last year.
Major technology firms are aligning together to oppose the encryption bill that would require them to aid the government in decrypting customer data. The Hill reports that the “coalition that includes Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter blasted the legislation as ‘unworkable’ in a letter sent Tuesday to the bill’s backers, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).” The Hill also tells us that the letter, signed by the coalition calling itself ‘Reform Government Surveillance,’ states that the “bill would weaken the very defenses we need to protect us from people who want to cause economic and physical harm.”
The Intercept delves into the questions of “lawful” hacking and what rules should apply to government hackers. Check that piece out here.
Meanwhile, the United States is wary to reopening the data pact agreed earlier this year with the European Union. Recently, E.U. privacy watchdogs have raised concerns over elements within the deal. Reuters tells us that “the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield was agreed in February after two years of talks and will help companies move Europeans’ data to the United States without setting up complex legal contracts to comply with strict E.U. data transfer rules.”
The Guardian reports that Britain’s intelligence agencies have secretly been collecting personal data since the late 1990s. Additionally, the personal data collected belong to people who are “unlikely to be of intelligence or security interest.” According to the Guardian, “disclosure of internal MI5, MI6, and GCHQ documents reveals the agencies’ growing reliance on amassing data as a prime source of intelligence even as they concede that such ‘intrusive’ practices can invade the privacy of individuals.” To make matters even more controversial, the Financial Times shares that senior British politicians have known about the secret data collection for at least 15 years and, in some cases, signed off on the agencies’ access to the personal information.
In an effort to speed up the war court proceedings, the Obama administration is proposing to hold parts of the Guantanamo trials by video feed. The move would allow war court judges to outsource some of the legal decisions to secondary military judges. The Pentagon has already submitted its request for a Skype court session to Congress for approval. The Miami Herald has more.
Parting Shot: Boko Haram is offering loans to young entrepreneurs. But there is a catch. The beneficiaries either have to join the terror group or risk being killed if they fail to pay the loan when it's due. The other catch? The Nigerian military says that the payment program is programmed to fail. Read more of Boko Haram’s latest business deal from CNN here.
ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare
Nicholas Weaver debuted his series Nick Asks the NSA with a question about Signaling System 7 (SS7).
Helen Klein updated us on the nine Yemeni Guantanamo detainees transferred to Saudi Arabia.
Cody flagged three FISC opinions released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Yishai Schwartz commented on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Bank Markazi v. Peterson case.
Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.
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12:46 PM 4/22/2016 - Headlines Review: Shooter reportedly on the loose after 7 killed in southern Ohio | Fox News | Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 | U.S. split deepens over Putin's intentions in Syria civil war | Reuters | US weighing military force against Russia? | Fox News Video

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Shooter reportedly on the loose after 7 killed in southern Ohio | Fox News | 

Report: US Suicides Up Significantly Since 1999 |
U.S. split deepens over Putin's intentions in Syria civil war | Reuters |
US weighing military force against Russia? | Fox News Video

The Russian reassertion of military backing has prompted some U.S. officials to warn that a failure to respond would be seen by Moscow as a fresh sign of American timidity. That, they say, could encourage Russia to escalate challenges to U.S. and allied militaries through more provocative Russian air and naval maneuvers.

They also contend that a U.S. failure to respond would further damage Washington’s relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states seeking to oust Assad, and with Turkey, which has been firing artillery at Islamic State targets in Syria.

The answer, they argue, is stepped-up U.S. support for moderate Syrian rebel factions with more anti-tank missiles and grenade launchers sent through third countries.

However, other officials, including National Security Advisor Susan Rice, have vetoed any significant escalation of U.S. involvement in Syria, the officials said.

“Rice is the fly in the ointment,” said a person familiar with the internal debate.

Obama himself has long been reluctant to deepen U.S. involvement in the war, saying last October that Washington would not get drawn into a "proxy war" with Moscow. His administration has focused more on pressing the fight against the militant Islamic State group, which controls a swathe of northeastern Syria.

Prince, Grammy Awards

US Suicides up 25%

Report: Third of Suicides in US Are Among Middle-Aged Whites - ABC News
U.S. suicide rates up, especially for women -

Obama in UK

Barack Obama visit: Stick with EU, US president urges UK - BBC News
The Latest: Queen greets Obamas at castle in low-key fashion - The Washington Post
London Mayor Boris Johnson Slams President Obama's 'Brexit' Position - ABC News
Anger as London mayor tells 'part-Kenyan' Obama to butt out - TheUnion |
Obama and Cameron confront ISIS amid political furor -
Obama's royal holiday: Lunch with the queen, dinner with princes - LA Times
Boris Johnson’s Essay on Obama and Churchill Touches Nerve Online -
Queen Elizabeth II Hosts President Barack Obama & Michelle Obama for Lunch After Her 90th Birthday | E! Online Mobile


'Multiple people found dead' at home in Ohio - BBC News
Multiple fatalities at Ohio, media reports say seven dead | Reuters
Multiple victims in rural shootings east of Cincinnati
Girl, 16, Dies After Fight in a High School Restroom in Delaware -
Girl dies after fight at Delaware high school -
Police bust minivan filled with over 300 pounds of pot | Fox News Video

FBI pays 1.4M for Apple Hack

FBI pays highest ever fee to hack iPhone of San Bernardino shooter | News | DW.COM | 22.04.2016
FBI Paid More Than $1 Million for Help Hacking San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone - ABC News
FBI paid over $1M to unlock San Bernardino attacker's iPhone | Fox News Video


Migrant flow from Turkey to Greece picking up again: IOM | Reuters
Brussels bomber Laachraoui 'guarded IS Syria hostages' - BBC News
ISIS Ex-Hostages Identify Brussels Suicide Bomber as Captor -
Former al-Qaida hostage recounts bitter return to France - The Washington Post
Hear someone insult Erdogan? Report it to us, says Turkish consulate in the Netherlands. - The Washington Post


Donald Trump 'promises to change image' - BBC News
Is Clinton's tone towards Sanders softening? | Fox News Video

Middle East

Islamic State mines kill dozens of civilians returning to Ramadi | Reuters
Deadly airstrikes hit Syria′s Aleppo as ceasefire unravels | News | DW.COM | 22.04.2016
Syrian peace talks limp on to next week with opposition absent | Reuters
Frozen Life in Wartime Syria -
Turkish streets 'turned into battlefields' -


No chance of NATO expansion for years, U.S. ambassador says | Reuters
Belarus Criminalizes Participation In Military Operations Abroad
Russia Elects Retired Police Chief as Human Rights Ombudsman


Prince's Autopsy Begins to Determine Cause of Death - ABC News
Prince Found Dead: Singer and Pop Icon Was 57 | E! Online Mobile
Inside Prince's Private World: The Man Behind the Legend From Those Who Knew Him | E! Online Mobile
TMZ reports Prince may have overdosed days before death | Fox News Video
A Timeline of Prince's Final Days - ABC News
The Private Life of Music Legend Prince - ABC News

Other News

The Latest: Illinois Judge Dismisses 1957 Murder Case - ABC News
Why Bankrupt Oil Companies Are Still Pumping | TIME
Drone whistleblowers step out of the shadows - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition
Video of Army airborne drop shows Humvees falling from sky - The Washington Post
Brazil president ducks scandal talk, impeachment at UN - The Washington Post
Mexico explores regulating opium to fight drug violence | Reuters
Sears to Close 78 Stores This Summer - ABC News
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Don’t rush to judgment on Stars and Stripes funding