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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.


Obama's Second Term

Republican Paul Ryan Dares Obama to use Veto Power

September 5th 2014

Republicans plan to test President Obama’s willingness to use the veto pen if they capture control of the Senate in November, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an interview with The Hill.

The Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee said Obama hasn't had to make tough decisions on vetoing legislation because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has shelved most of the bills sent over by the GOP-led House.

“Right now, Harry Reid is protecting the president from making difficult decisions,” Ryan said Thursday, “and I believe that we can unblock a number of things that should at least get to the president’s desk and make him make a decision.” Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Al-Qaeda Leader Announces New India Branch

September 5th 2014

Ayman al-Zawahiri

In a new video, al-Qaeda announced the establishment of Qaedat al-Jihad or al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent. The new organization comes as rival Islamist groups, including Islamic State (IS), have gained attention from graphically violent operations in Iraq and Syria. Analysts say al-Qaeda is trying to remain relevant as IS makes territorial advances and has released video of the executions of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. In the hour-long al Qaeda video, current leader Ayman al-Zawahri said the terrorist organization would take back land "occupied" by unbelievers.

Al-Zawahri also explained that "This entity was not established today, but it is the fruit of a blessed effort for more than two years to gather the mujahideen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity to be with the main group," suggesting extremists have already established roots in the region. Read more ..

Palestinians on Edge

Abbas Reportedly Tells Emir of Qatar: Hamas Tunnelers Tried to Assassinate Me

September 3rd 2014

Meshaal and Abbas

At a recent Qatari-hosted summit, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly asserted that rival group Hamas has attempted to assassinate him in the past, Israel’s NRG News said on Monday.

“In 2006, they tried to take my life, placing a bomb on the route I was supposed to have traveled – they tried to blow me up,” he claimed. “They dug a tunnel that reached beneath my residence in Gaza – I have photographic proof!” Abbas contended, suggesting that the evidence was on a CD he held.

The embarrassing newly leaked details of the August 21st summit between Fatah and Hamas leaders hint at the sour state of relations behind the “Palestinian Unity Government,” NRG said. Read more ..

The 2016 Vote

Will His Father's Bribery Scandal Dim Rand Paul's Presidential Prospects?

September 3rd 2014

The bribery scandal surrounding former Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) 2012 presidential bid is threatening to damage his son’s 2016 White House prospects.

The saga took down Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) likely campaign manager, Jesse Benton, who was running Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reelection bid. And the implications of wrongdoing two years ago could still further trickle down and hobble the younger Paul’s developing presidential campaign apparatus.

Benton, a longtime aide to both Pauls, resigned Friday from the GOP Senate leader’s campaign amid controversy sparked by former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson’s admission in court that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from representatives associated with Paul’s and Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) campaigns for his endorsement. Read more ..

The Caliphate

ISIS Militant Vows to Return Home to 'Conquer' Spain

September 2nd 2014

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Calling himself Abu Tasnim al-Magribi, a combatant fighting for the Islamic State says he is ready to return to Spain in order to “conquer it.” According to ABC, a Spanish daily, the young man is originally from Ceuta – one of the two cities controlled by Spain on the Mediterranean shore of north Africa. Also known as Kokito Castillejos, the Muslim terrorist was married by proxy to a young Muslim women who, reportedly, asked for a suicide explosive belt as part of her wedding endowment.

The 28-year-old Muslim has shared his exploits on various social media. In one of his most recent appearances on social media, he is seen photographing a smiling boy who holds a head of a decapitated victim for all to see. Read more ..

The Caliphate

Islamic State Terrorists Behead Another American

September 2nd 2014

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Members of the Islamic State or Caliphate, also known as ISIS and ISIL, have reportedly beheaded another American. The latest victim is believed to be U.S. reporter Steven Sotloff. A video that emerged on September 2 on the internet appears to show Sotloff's beheading by the Muslim group.

When asked by the press corps, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that he had no information about the incident. The mutiliation is believed to have turned up the pressure for President Barack Obama to take more military action in the Mideast where, in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State holds sway.

Before his mutilation by the knife-wielding masked man in the video, Sotloff was heard to address Obama directly. In the video, Sotloff said, "I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing. Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?" He had been missing since August 2013. Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

Russia Says No 'Military Intervention' Foreseen in Ukraine Despite NATO Fears

September 1st 2014

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on September 1 that the Russian military would not intervene in Ukraine, something Kyiv and the West say it has already done. Lavrov told students and teachers at Russia's premier international affairs university that there would be no "military intervention" in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since April in a conflict the UN says has killed more than 2,600 people.

NATO said last week it believed more than 1,000 Russian soldiers had entered Ukraine in what U.S. President Barack Obama called an "ongoing incursion" by Moscow.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on September 1 that the events of the past few days show Russia has launched a "direct and open aggression" against Ukraine. He suggested a shake-up of the Ukrainan military leadership could be imminent. Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

Russian Armored Units Battle Ukrainian Forces for Control of Eastern Ukraine

September 1st 2014

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Troops loyal to the Ukrainian government battled Russian tanks in Lugansk, a city in the eastern part of the country that is the apple of discord between Ukraine and Russia. Ukrainian military spokesman Leonid Matyukhin declared on his Facebook page on September 1, "The battle between Ukrainian paratroopers and a reinforced tank battalion of the Russian armed forces is continuing with the goal of controlling the Lugansk airfield.”

Defense Ministery Valeriy Geletey said that Russian troops are advancing towards other towns and cities in the disputed region, including Donetsk. "We are fighting Russia and it is Russia which is deciding what will happen in Donbass," he said on television on the evening of August 31. Donbass is the informal name of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. "We are holding talks not with terrorists but with representatives of the Kremlin," he added. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Israel Downs UAV from Syria and is now 'Ready for Any Scenario

August 31st 2014

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The Israeli Air Force’s downing of a UAV from Syria that strayed into its airspace over the Golan Heights on Sunday underlined remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Jewish State was “ready for any scenario both in [the Gaza region] and in others including – of course – the Golan Heights.”

Speaking at the outset of the weekly Cabinet session, held in rocket-battered Ashkelon in identification with its residents, Netanyahu said Israeli forces had “struck Hamas very hard,” during the 50-days of Operation Protective Edge, meant to foil both rocket fire and terror tunnels into Israeli territory.

“The IDF and the ISA (Israel Security Agency – the Shin Bet) killed almost 1,000 terrorists, struck at the heads of the organizations, and struck at their network of tunnels and their terrorist high-rises. We foiled their rocket attacks, and their aggression from land, sea and air. We hit their command centers and delivered blows that Hamas has not experienced since it was founded. At the same time, Hamas withdrew from all of its demands for a ceasefire, with neither time constraints nor other conditions,” Netanyahu said. Read more ..

The Caliphate

U.S. Airstrikes Hit Islamic State Combatants Near Iraq's Mosul Dam

August 31st 2014

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The U.S. military says fighter aircraft and unmanned drones have struck Islamic State militants near Iraq's Mosul Dam.

In a statement issued on August 30, U.S. Central Command says the five latest U.S. air strikes were in support of operations conducted by Iraqi security forces. Officials say the air strikes destroyed an armed vehicle, a fighting position, and weapons and heavily damaged an Islamic State building. Central Command says it has conducted a total of 115 air strikes across Iraq.

Elsewhere, Iraqi army and Kurdish forces closed in on Islamic State fighters on August in a push to break the Sunni militants' siege of the northern Shi'ite town of Amerli. Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

Ukraine Approves of New EU Sanctions on Russia

August 30th 2014

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the EU summit in Brussels has agreed to prepare new sanctions on Russia, conditional on progress of his peace plan.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels as EU leaders meet on August 30, he also said he thinks the crisis over Russia's intervention in Ukraine is "very close to the point of no return, [of) full-scale war."

He said he hoped the contact group meeting on September 1 with Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE in Minsk could result in a cease-fire.

Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier on August 30 in a telephone talk with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka that it was important to organize consultations of the contact group in Minsk with the participation of representatives of Kyiv, of Ukraine's southeastern regions, the OSCE, and Russia. Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

EU Offers Strong Words for Putin over Ukraine Imbroglio

August 30th 2014

Russian T 72 tank in Ukraine

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the EU is ready to take "very strong and clear measures" against Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Barroso told a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Brussels on August 30 that he would propose a broad range of options to member states. "What I can tell you now on behalf of the European Commission is that we have already prepared some options, so we have done our work in case the member states decide to go for further levels of sanctions," he said. Barroso added that the EU was "keeping our doors open to a political solution" and that any tightening of sanctions was intended not to escalate the crisis but to push Moscow to negotiate.

"Sanctions or restrictive measures are just ways, means, or instruments to show to the Russian leadership that the current situation is not acceptable and that we urge them to come to reason, to work constructively," he said. Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

NATO Chief Demands Cessation of Russian Activity in Ukraine

August 29th 2014

Russian tank in Ukraine

NATO has called on Russia to cease its "illegal military operations" in eastern Ukraine, which it says are aimed at destabilizing the country.

The comments by NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday followed an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the worsening crisis.

Rasmussen, referencing satellite images released by his organization Thursday, said it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern Ukraine. He said this is not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern over many months to destabilize Ukraine as a sovereign nation. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Paycheck for Terrorism: $5,300 for Suicide Attack

August 29th 2014

Money Bands=Happiness

For the first time, startling details are being made public about the millions of dollars funneled from Middle East charities to Islamic terrorists and their families. The money was used to reward terrorists and their families after attacks on Israelis and U.S. nationals visiting Israel between 2000 and 2005 during the second intifada or Palestinian uprising.

The evidence was presented today in a landmark case in New York federal court. Three hundred U.S. nationals claim Arab Bank knowingly provided financial services to terrorists and their financiers in violation of the U.S. anti-terrorism law. Arab Bank contends it did not knowingly serve terrorists.

Bank documents reveal an elaborate system for which Amman, Jordan-based Arab Bank served as the center point. Some Israelis refer to the bank as the “Grand Central Station of terrorist financing.” Read more ..

The Battle for Baghdad

U.S. Forms Coalition Against the Islamic State and Investigates Reports of Second American KIA

August 28th 2014

The United States Wednesday said it is seeking to build an international coalition to confront the threat posed by Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq. U.S. officials are also trying to determine whether a second American fighting alongside jihadists in Syria has been killed.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States is working to put together a coalition of countries in Europe, the Arab world and beyond who might contribute to taking on the threat posed by IS Sunni militants. She said there are many ways for nations to contribute. Read more ..

Ebola Outbreak

CDC Director Friedan Says Ebola Outbreak is Getting Worse

August 28th 2014

According to Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will get worse before it gets better, needing an "unprecedented" response to bring it under control.

Dr. Frieden met Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on August 27 to discuss ways to fight the disease. "The cases are increasing. I wish I did not have to say this, but it is going to get worse before it gets better," he admitted.

"The world has never seen an outbreak of Ebola like this. Consequently, not only are the numbers large, but we know there are many more cases than has been diagnosed and reported," he said. Read more ..

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