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The Caliphate

Kurds Retain Tenuous Control of Key Border Town in Fight with ISIS Forces

October 22nd 2014

The U.S. Defense Department said that while the situation in the Syrian border town of Kobani remains tenuous, Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants remain in control of most of the city. Coalition airstrikes are also supporting Kurdish forces defending the Mosul Dam complex in Iraq, as well as Iraqi security forces trying to push back IS fighters in Anbar province.

U.S. Central Command said seven airstrikes were carried out Monday and Tuesday, with four targeting IS fighting positions, a building and an IS unit near Kobani in northern Syria. Three in Iraq destroyed an IS fighting position south of the Baiji oil refinery, an IS fighting position south of the Mosul Dam and suppressed an IS attack north of Fallujah.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby acknowledged the situation in Kobani remains fragile as Kurdish defenders continue to battle IS fighters: Read more ..


The 2014 Vote

'Clinton Democrats' Falling Flat with Mid-Term Voters

October 20th 2014

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Self-proclaimed Clinton Democrats are struggling this election cycle, and not even their powerful namesakes may be enough to save them.

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have tried to turn on their charms to help centrist Democrats in Kentucky and Arkansas. But as candidates in both states are slipping, help from the party’s preeminent power couple is falling short.

In Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes has clung tightly to the Clintons as she tries to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).

The former president has already campaigned with the Democratic hopeful twice and will head to the Bluegrass State again next week. The former secretary of State held a rally with Grimes on Wednesday, as Grimes kept emphasizing she was a "Clinton Democrat through and through” after flatly refusing to say whether she voted for President Obama. Read more ..


The 2014 Vote

Senate Republican Leader Pays Volunteers for 'Enthusiastic Atmosphere'

October 20th 2014

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events.

In an email sent earlier this month and obtained by The Hill, Taylor Bumgardner, a Kentucky Republican Party regional political director, offers volunteers the opportunity to join McConnell on his tour, which launched Monday. Meals, lodging and transportation are included in the trip.

"Senator McConnell is seeking volunteers to join him on a 3-day campaign bus tour around the state on October 20-22 to show our support for Kentucky coal. You would join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events," she wrote. Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

Obama Huddles with Staff to Consider Ebola Disaster

October 19th 2014

President Obama on Saturday evening met with members of his national security and public health teams for an update on the administration's response to the Ebola outbreak.

The president's advisers briefed him on the contact tracing process to identify and monitor individuals who may have come in contact with the two Dallas patients who've contracted the virus, according to a White House readout of the meeting.

Obama's team also reviewed measures to ensure that Dallas has resources to diagnose any additional cases safely and effectively.

Participants included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Counselor to the President Neil Eggleston, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas Frieden, Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco among others.


Ebola Pandemic

White House and Congress Clash over Ebola Response

October 16th 2014

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Debate over banning travel from West Africa dominated a House hearing on Ebola Thursday as Republicans clashed with federal health officials on the need to suspend flights.

"Administration officials still refuse to consider any travel restrictions for the more than 1,000 travelers a week entering the U.S. from Ebola hot zones," said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

"Screening and self-reporting at airports have been a demonstrated failure, yet the administration continues to advance a contradictory reason for this failed policy that frankly doesn't make sense." Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

An Ebola Anchor Weighs Down a Sinking Obama Administration

October 16th 2014

The Ebola crisis in the United States has become an anchor threatening to sink the Obama presidency.

Already under fire from critics who saw the federal response to the outbreak as disorganized and timid, things went from bad to worse on Wednesday when it was revealed a second nurse had contracted the disease while treating a Liberian man at a Dallas-area hospital.

More alarmingly, the diagnosis was made just hours after the nurse, 29-year-old Amber Vinson, had flown from Cleveland to Dallas on a commercial airliner, despite reporting to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that she had a fever. Read more ..


After Fukushima

Tritium Up Tenfold in Fukushima Groundwater after Typhoon Phanfone

October 15th 2014

Rad monitor Japan

The radioactive water woes at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant got worse over the weekend after the tritium concentration in a groundwater sample surged more than tenfold this month. A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that heavy rain caused by Typhoon Phanfone probably affected the groundwater after the storm whipped through Japan last week. Some 150,000 becquerels of tritium per liter were measured in a groundwater sample taken Thursday from a well east of the No. 2 reactor. The figure is a record for the well and over 10 times the level measured the previous week.

In addition, materials that emit beta rays, such as strontium-90, which causes bone cancer, also shattered records with a reading of 1.2 million becquerels, the utility said of the sample. The well is close to the plant’s port in the Pacific. Read more ..


The Edge of Terororism

Suicide Bomber Kills Five People at Peace Meeting in Khyber District of Pakistan

October 15th 2014

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In Pakistan, local officials said at least five people were killed and seven wounded in a suicide attack that targeted a peace committee meeting in a restive mountainous tribal area. The bombing took place in Pir Mela village of the Khyber district, some 100 kilometers southwest of Peshawar on October 15.

The officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up killing and wounding tribesmen attending a meeting of anti-Taliban elders. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

Khyber is located in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt near the Afghan border. Militant groups linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda have a strong presence in the area and stage attacks both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read more ..


The Caliphate

ISIS within 8 miles of Baghdad Airport Armed with MANPADS

October 13th 2014

IS with Missile

Islamic State’s offensive on the Iraqi capital intensified as the jihadist fighters advanced as far as Abu Ghraib, a suburb only 8 miles away from Baghdad’s international airport. The outer suburb of Abu Ghraib is also the site of the infamous prison the US military used to humiliate and torture Iraqi detainees.

There are reports by the Iraqi military that the militants are in possession of MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles. The short-range, shoulder-fired missiles can shoot down airplanes within a range of 15,000 feet.

The Iraqi military, aided by US military personnel, have so far failed in foiling the advance toward Baghdad of the Islamic State militia (also known as ISIS, or ISIL), which has expanded its control of huge swathes of Iraq and Syria despite the increase in US-led airstrikes. Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

Obama Takes Fire from Left Flank for 'Protecting' Wall Street

October 12th 2014


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) accused President Obama and his team of protecting Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial collapse.

In an interview with Salon, Warren said the administration repeatedly favored Wall Street when it came time to draft rules and punish wrongdoers.

“He picked his economic team and when the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street,” she said. “They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs…And it happened over and over and over.” Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

Top Democrat Unsatisfied by White House Explanation of Prostitution Scandal

October 11th 2014

The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee is accusing the Obama administration of conducting a cursory investigation into the prostitution scandal surrounding the president's visit to Colombia in 2012.

The White House defended its handling of the incident this week after a new Washington Post report suggested that a member of the White House advance team – and not just members of the Secret Service – hired a prostitute ahead of Obama's visit to the Colombian city of Cartagena.

But Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Friday that the probe was insufficient. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

Satellite Images Detect Damage at the Military Research Complex at Parchin

October 9th 2014

Iran Nuclear Equipment centrifuges


Some 24 hours after the reports from Iran regarding a mysterious explosion at the military compound in Parchin, evidence has been received that refutes the denials of the Iranian government. Satellite images of the Parchin area, to the east of Tehran, prove: the explosion reported by the Iranian media had, indeed, occurred inside the military compound in Parchin, where, according to western intelligence agencies, trials are being conducted on nuclear missile fuzes. Satellite images obtained by Israel Defense clearly show damage consistent with an attack against bunkers in a central locality within the military research complex at the Parchin military compound.
 
The locality in question is situated at the center of the compound, adjacent to another installation where, according to intelligence sources, the trials being conducted involve controlled detonation of fuzes intended to serve as triggers for nuclear devices. The locality consists of a sizable testing center and what appears to be an area with bunker-shaped structures. "Before and after" images indicate that a complete section of structures was simply eliminated by an unexplained explosion.
Read more ..

Iran's Nukes

Massive Explosion Rocks Iranian Nuke Site on Eve of Inspectors' Visit

October 6th 2014

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The Iranian Students News Agency reported today that detonations were witnessed at an explosive material production unit at the Parchin nuclear facility near Tehran. The facility is not far from the Iranian capital. According to Sahamnews – a news site opposed to the Islamist regime – the explosion occurred on the evening of October 5, and was so intense that windows of buildings nine miles away were shattered. According to the BBC, "The glare from the blast could also be seen from a great distance." ISNA, quoting defense sources, reported that two workers lost their lives in the incident.

For a number of years, Israel has alleged that the Parchin military base is used by Iran for testing technology to be used for detonating a nuclear weapon. Israel has frequently criticized negotiations conducted by the U.S. and other major powers, citing fears that the Islamic Republic is merely trying to buy time in order to develop enough nuclear know-how to develop a weapon and thus obviate the need for negotiation. Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

Democrat says Secret Service Shortcomings 'Alarm all Americans'

October 5th 2014

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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Sunday said a series of security breaches by the Secret Service should “alarm all Americans.”

“I think it’s very bad. And I think there’s culture that has developed, the culture of complacency – we see it with these security breaches,” Cummings said on CBS's "Face the Nation." “Morale is down. And we’ve had a series of events ... that should alarm all Americans. And certainly the question has become: Is this the Secret Service that we all thought it was? And I’m beginning to wonder about that.”
Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said the agency’s problems have been slow to develop. Read more ..


Ebola Pandemic

Ebola-Quarantined Family in Dallas Now Under Armed Guard

October 3rd 2014

The four-member family that hosted the Dallas Ebola patient is now under armed quarantine after disobeying a request from authorities not to leave their home.

Crews have yet to decontaminate the apartment due to inadequate permitting, according to the Associated Press.

"We didn't have the confidence we would have been able to monitor them the way that we needed to," Texas State Health Commissioner David Lakey said about the need for the unusual order.

The family — including a woman, her 13-year-old son and two nephews in their 20s — were ordered Wednesday to stay in their apartment for 21 days, the incubation period for Ebola, unless local or state health officials approved them to leave, USA Today reports. Read more ..


The Caliphate

Despite Airstrikes, IS One Hour from Baghdad

October 1st 2014

Iraq ISIL double file of militants

The Iraqi army, plagued by corruption, absenteeism and supply failures, has little chance against Islamist fanatics using suicide bombings and fluid tactics. And US air strikes are making little difference. US air strikes are failing to drive back Isis in Iraq where its forces are still within an hour’s drive of Baghdad.

Three and a half months since the Iraqi army was spectacularly routed in northern Iraq by a far inferior force of Isis fighters, it is still seeing bases overrun because it fails to supply them with ammunition, food and water. The selection of a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, to replace Nouri al-Maliki last month was supposed to introduce a more conciliatory government that would appeal to Iraq’s Sunni minority from which Isis draws its support.

Read more ..

America on Edge

Knife-carrying Intruder Made it Farther into White House than Reported

September 30th 2014

The veteran carrying a knife who scaled the White House fence and sprinted inside the executive mansion made it far farther than was originally known, according to multiple media reports. Originally, it was suggested that 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez was detained in the building's foyer, almost immediately after entering the front door. But Gonzalez was able to overpower a female Secret Service agent and proceed through the entirety of the 80-foot East Room. He was finally tackled as he attempted to enter the Green Room, a small ceremonial parlor on the southern side of the building, according to the The Washington Post and CBS News.

Secret Service agents had also muted an alarm box near the front of the building that would have alerted them of the intruder and signaled them to lock the doors, an agency official told the Post. Secret Service spokeswoman Laura Topolski said the agency was not commenting on the reports "due to the ongoing investigation." Read more ..


Campus Jihad

Students for Justice in Palestine at Loyola Univ. Chicago Temporarily Suspended

September 29th 2014

boycott Israel t-shirt

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Loyola University was temporarily suspended by the university administration for verbally assaulting a student group tabling for Birthright Israel according to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.

The Brandeis Center, which seeks “to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and to promote justice for all,” noted in a press release that the university presented SJP “with a letter indicating that SJP is temporarily prevented from hosting any on-campus activities or events until their leadership meets with Loyola University Chicago representatives and the group complies with stated policies and procedures that apply to all student organizations.” 

"By all reports, this appears to have been a serious incident, and we are glad that Loyola University Chicago is taking it seriously. More work must still be done, and we hope that Loyola University Chicago will follow-up and take appropriate further action,” Brandeis Center President Kenneth L. Marcus stated in a letter to university President Michael J. Garazini. “Sadly, we have seen a pattern of incidents in which SJP has violated the rights of other students and the rules of other universities. We are glad that Loyola University Chicago is upholding its standards and values." Read more ..


The Caliphate

Obama Blames U.S. Intelligence Community for Islamic State fracas

September 28th 2014

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President Obama largely blamed the United States' intelligence community in an interview broadcast Sunday for giving an incorrect assessment of the capabilities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," Obama said on CBS’s'"60 Minutes."

Obama said ISIS, also known as ISIL, went "underground" when United States forces fought al Qaeda in Iraq in the last decade.
That, along with Syria's civil war, allowed ISIS to regroup and recruit fighters from all over the world, including Europe, the United States, Australia and the Muslim world, Obama said in an excerpt from the interview. Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

Obama's Emotional Farewell to Departing AG Erick Holder

September 26th 2014

President Obama credited Eric Holder for a decline in the crime and incarceration rates Thursday at an emotional White House ceremony formally announcing the attorney general’s resignation. Obama credited Holder with reinvigorating the department's Civil Rights division, fighting for gay rights, and spearheading sentencing reform.

“Thanks to his efforts since I took office, the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have gone down by about 10 percent,” Obama said, noting that it was the first time the two had fallen in tandem in 40 years. “We could not be more grateful for everything you've done — not just for me and the administration, but the country,” the president added.

Obama and Holder are close friends, and the bond between them was apparent in their remarks. “You have been there for me,” Holder said, his voice wavering. “I'm proud to call you my friend.” Obama hailed Holder's “proud career of public service” and credited his longtime friend with a "deep and abiding fidelity to one of our most cherished ideas as a people: and that is equal justice under the law." Read more ..


Obama's Second Term

Holder to Resign

September 25th 2014

AG Holder B4 Congress

Attorney General Eric Holder, one of President Obama’s longest serving lieutenants, will announce his resignation Thursday, according to the Justice Department.

Holder, widely rumored to have been planning his departure before the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., thrust the Justice Department into the national spotlight, will announce his resignation Thursday afternoon, according to a Justice Department official.

The country’s first African-American attorney general, Holder presided over an ambitious agenda that included the administration’s decision to stop its defense of the federal ban on same-sex marriage and dramatic policy shifts meant to end disparities in the federal criminal justice system. Read more ..


The Caliphate

Islamic State Terrorists Behead Children

September 22nd 2014

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Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) painted a gruesome picture of the violence being carried out by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists, describing a photo she had seen of a beheaded child dressed up for a party.

“I have a picture of what I estimate to be a 6-year-old girl in a gingham party dress, white tights, a little red band around her wrist, Mary Janes [shoes], and she’s lying on the ground, and her head is gone,” Feinstein said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“This could be an American child. It could be a European child. It could be a child anywhere,” the chairwoman added. “This is the mentality of the group that we are so concerned with. They have killed thousands; they are marching on; they have an army; they are well organized.” Read more ..


Terror at Home

White House is Concerned about Home-Grown Muslim Terrorists in America

September 22nd 2014

Douglas M McCain, American who died fighting for Islamic State

Some of an estimated 100 Americans who have traveled to the Middle East and joined terrorist organizations like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have returned to the United States, a senior administration official said Monday.

At a Monday briefing previewing an administration push for a United Nations resolution to prevent the flow of foreign citizens into conflict zones to join terrorist groups, a senior administration official said that an estimated 15,000 individuals had entered Iraq and Syria to join groups like ISIS and the al Nusra Front. The official said that 2,000 of those foreign fighters were European, and that 100 were Americans. Read more ..


Ukraine on Edge

U.S. Provides $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees to Prop Up Ukraine

September 19th 2014

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President Barack Obama met with visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House, offering support and reportedly agreeing on $1 billion in financial guarantees but apparently stopping short of any pledge of weapons.

Poroshenko went into the meeting hoping to convince the U.S. president to provide arms to Ukrainian government forces battling pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Before the September 18 meeting with President Obama, Poroshenko noted the United States has been giving Ukraine non-lethal supplies and equipment but Poroshenko said, "Blankets and night visions goggles are important, but one cannot win a war with a blanket." Read more ..


The Caliphate

U.S. Investigates Somali-Americans Fighting for the Islamic State

September 17th 2014

President Barack Obama is due to get a briefing today on "operational details" of a military campaign to combat Islamic State militants. The president will meet with General Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, to discuss the ongoing effort to build an international coalition to meet his stated goal of degrading and destroying the Islamic State group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is also participating in the meeting, a day after he told a congressional panel that the effort is "complicated" and will take time. He also highlighted the need for "effective partners." Read more ..


The Edge of Tolerance

Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Demanded Removal of Senator Cruz After Pro-Israel Comments at Christian Conference

September 15th 2014

Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassoun (L) and Orthodox patriarch Gregory Laham III

A prominent Syrian cleric threatened to walk out of a conference for Middle Eastern Christians after Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) defended Israel in a speech before demanding that the Texas Republican leave the event on the evening of September 10.

While organizers for the In Defense of Christians summit said that only “a few politically motivated opportunists” disrupted Cruz’s remarks, and that they were “made no longer welcome,” the videotaped tirade indicates that top attendees protested Cruz’s speech.

Patriarch Gregory III Laham of the Antioch Church was one of the six Middle Eastern patriarchs who attended the conference, and part of a small delegation that met with President Barack Obama on September 11. Read more ..


The 2014 Vote

Republicans Rally their Ranks for a Congressional Take-Over

September 15th 2014

Fifty days before the midterm elections, Republican leaders are getting their troops in line as the GOP eyes something it hasn’t had in eight years: Control of both chambers of Congress.

The party’s recruitment of strong candidates has resulted in no serious gaffes and has produced polling leads in several key swing states in the bare-knuckle brawl for the Senate. On Capitol Hill, Tea Party insurgents who forced a government shutdown last year are playing nice with GOP leadership in the campaign’s home stretch in a bid to keep the heat on President Obama and off a sometimes-divided GOP caucus. Read more ..


The Caliphate

Obama Promises Retaliation if Syria Downs U.S. Jets

September 14th 2014

President Obama recently vowed to retaliate against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if Syrian forces shoot at U.S. military planes, according to The New York Times.

In meetings with foreign policy experts, former government officials, journalists and columnists over the last week, Obama reportedly was heard saying that the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) won’t be immediately satisfying.

“This isn’t going to be fireworks over Baghdad,” Obama was quoted as saying by a source, the Times reported. Read more ..


The Caliphate

Arab Muslim Countries Say They will do 'Their Share' to Defeat Islamic State terror

September 14th 2014

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As Washington vows to put together a broad coalition to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, the outlines of the new alliance are beginning to take shape.

Much of the emphasis has been upon finding partners among the Arab states. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on September 11 that 10 Arab states had agreed to "do their share" in the fight. They are Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and six Gulf states: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. Read more ..


The Caliphate

Prime Minister Cameron Vows to Hunt Down Executioners of British Aid Worker

September 14th 2014

In an emotional statement at 10 Downing Street, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain will hunt down those responsible for the death of British aid worker David Haines.

Speaking after an emergency committee meeting of top military and political officials, Cameron paid tribute to the 44-year-old father of two, who was held hostage and killed by Islamic State militants.

"David Haines was a British hero. The fact that an aid worker was taken, held and brutally murdered at the hands of ISIL sums up what this organization stands for,” Cameron said. 'They are monsters' Read more ..


The Caliphate

Israeli Arabs Rally Against the Islamic State

September 13th 2014

Thousands of Israeli Arabs convened in Umm el-Fahm on Septemer 12 for a rally organized by the Islamic Movement in Israel to express their opposition to the radical Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or Caliphate. Israel Radio cited the leader of the Islamic Movement's hardline northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah, as stating that he is dead set against the extremist Islamist group that has conquered parts of Syria and Iraq and aims to overun the entire Middle East.

However, Salah noted that he also opposes the coalition led by President Barack Obama, who has pledged to "destroy" the Islamic State with military action, including air strikes in Iraq and Syria. The Arab Muslim leader said that such military action against Islamic State fighters threatens the Arab world. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

September 12th 2014

Koran and prayer beads

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.  The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society outside Washington is known for its efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and increase understanding about Islam.

Imam Mohamed Magid says U.S. Muslims are deeply disturbed by the barbaric violence Islamic State militants are responsible for in the Middle East.

“Muslim Americans are very troubled by the images they have seen of beheading innocent people, especially our fellow Americans," said Imam Magid.

U.S. Muslim leaders have been quick to condemn videos like this one released by IS. Rizwan Jaka says Islamic State fighters are terrorists. “We condemn terrorism and extremism and we pray for the safety of our country.  And we pray for the safety and peace around the world," said Jaka.

American Muslims object to the name Islamic State - saying it is an effort to hijack their religion. Nihad Awad of the group Council on American-Islamic Relations: “They exploit my faith and this is very offensive to all Muslims and we speak against it," said Awad. Read more ..


The Nuclear Edge

US, Russia to Discuss Alleged Nuclear Treaty Violations

September 11th 2014

Misslle in Silo

The State Department is leading a U.S. delegation that will meet with Russian officials in Moscow Thursday to discuss Russia's alleged violation of provisions in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces accord.

The United States says Russia has conducted tests involving ground-based intermediate-range missiles.

The move would violate provisions of the 1987 INF Treaty, which is considered the cornerstone of the U.S.-Russian nuclear disarmament agreement.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. is going to make every effort to resolve concerns and ensure the continued viability of the treaty.“The goal, of course, is for Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the INF,” said Harf.

President Barack Obama's administration formally alleged that Russia was in violation of the treaty in July, but Stephen Blank of the American Foreign Policy Council thinks getting Russia to admit to a violation will be tough. “I don't think Russia will acknowledge that this took place. I think the Russians will accuse us of violating this treaty or some other treaty. It's standard operating procedure for Moscow,” said Blank. Read more ..


The 2014 Vote

Following the Primaries, Republicans Dodge to the Left

September 9th 2014

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With primary season over, the GOP is beginning to inch back to the center.

Republican Senate and House candidates have begun to loudly embrace more moderate policies such as an increase in the minimum wage and over-the-counter birth control in an effort to win over swing voters and soften their image.

GOP strategists say the battle between now and Election Day to decide control of the Senate and the size of Republicans’ House majority will focus on that sliver of voters in the middle.

"We're starting to hear more about [these issues] than before because the voters who are at the ideological ends of the spectrum are already accounted for this election. So the moderate middle, generally, are the voters that are up for grabs," said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster who’s done work this cycle on appealing to female and swing voters. Read more ..


Islam's War Against Christianity

Nigerian Muslim Terrorists Kill 1,000 Christians in One Day

September 9th 2014

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Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram

Tens of thousands of Christians are fleeing northeastern Nigeria, in the wake of mass killings and the destruction of several churches by the Boko Haram Muslim sect. According to Fr . Patrick Tor Alumuku, Social Communications officer of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, "I spoke to priests in Maiduguri (Ed. note: the capital of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria where Boko Haram is most active) who speak of terrifying happenings." According to the priest, "Boko Haram is determined to eliminate every sign of Christian presence and many churches have been destroyed or torched. Last week in a village in the area of Maiduguri, Boko Haram took over the parish for its local headquarters."

Catholic Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, "in areas where Boko Haram is active Christians are fleeing by the thousands." He reported that at least 90,000 Catholics are now displaced by the Islamist rebels who are challenging the sovereignty of the Nigerian government. Read more ..


The 2014 Vote

The Return of Terror as a Political Football in Mid-Term Elections

September 8th 2014

The politics of terrorism have returned with a vengeance for the midterm elections. National security dominated the first election cycles after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with Democrats fearful of being labeled unpatriotic if they criticized then-President George W. Bush.

The Republican advantage eroded years later as public opinion soured against the Iraq War. By the time President Obama sought reelection in 2012, he was able to tout the killing of Osama bin Laden to portray Democrats as the party of strength in foreign policy. But now, with the 13th anniversary of 9/11 just days away, Obama and the Democrats are back on the defensive. Read more ..


The Caliphate

Arab League Meets with Arab Foreign Ministers to Discuss the Caliphate

September 7th 2014

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby called for broad-based action to confront the growing threat of Islamic State militants, as he met with Arab foreign ministers to discuss the growing list of conflicts across the Arab world during their annual September session Sunday in Cairo.

Elaraby said the number of threats facing the Arab world were unprecedented and of an existential nature.

He said the threats include social and economic troubles, revolutions, and armed insurgencies with extremist and terrorist ideologies that threaten the unity of nations and their political, social and economic orders. Read more ..


The Edge of Health

Israeli Company Reports It is Ready to Mass-Produce Ebola Cure for All of Africa

September 7th 2014

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Professor Yoseph Shaaltiel, Protalix Executive VP Research and Development stated that his company can immediately begin producing the experimental anti-Ebola ZMapp drug, the only drug that has proven to be an effective Ebola cure. Dr. Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted the disease while treating Ebola patients in Liberia made a rapid recovery after being given the drug.  Unfortunately the drug is still in an experimental stage, and experiments done after Dr. Brantly was treated exhausted supplies. The manufacturer, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., a small San Diego based biotech company requires several months before they can manufacture a new batch of the drug. Protalix, located in the northern Israeli town of Karmiel has developed biological agents effective in combatting Gauchr disease and Fabry disease.  Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Obama Says 'Rapid-Reaction' Force is Ready to Go to Ukraine

September 6th 2014

President Barack Obama said Friday that the creation of a NATO "rapid-reaction" force will serve as a signal to Russia to avoid any future potential aggression similar to the ongoing fighting in Ukraine. The force, which will consist of several thousand ground troops, with naval, air and special forces units in support, will be staffed on a rotating basis by member countries, and will be ready to deploy on a few days’ notice.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier the force would be designed in particular to bolster the security of the former Soviet satellite states that are now part of the 28-member alliance, such as Poland or the three Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Read more ..


America on Edge

NORAD Shadows Unresponsive Aircraft

September 5th 2014

F-15E Refuels

As of 11:30 a.m. EDT today, September 5, 2014, two F-15 fighter jets under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command launched to investigate an unresponsive aircraft currently flying over the Atlantic Ocean. The Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft departed Rochester, NY with a flight plan filed to land in Naples, FL, however the plane’s occupants did not respond to attempts to communicate.

The aircraft continues to be followed by NORAD jets. NORAD continues to monitor the situation in close coordination with the FAA. More information will be made available as it emerges. NORAD's mission – in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners – is to prevent air attacks against North America, safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America.

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