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Assassination puts Egypt on high alert

Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s prosecutor-general, was assassinated in Cairo today when his motorcade was hit by what appears to have been a car bomb. Although there’s been no accepted claim of responsibility for the attack as far as I am aware, it’s probably safe to assume that it has something to do with all the death sentences that Egypt’s judicial system… 376 more words

Furriners

How war is changing Iraqi names

How we name our children is informed by our community and our sense of history, isn’t it? I mean, at least it can be. We might name our children after older family members, or after a particularly admired figure from the past; even naming our kids after ourselves is meant for posterity, although saddling a kid with the word “junior” after his name seems cruel to me, and don’t get me started with “III” and “IV” and so on. 718 more words

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The worldwide refugee/displaced situation is terrible and getting worse

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees issued a report today and the findings aren’t pretty:

Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to a new report from the UN refugee agency.

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ISIS and the Turks (!) take a hit in northern Syria

Tal Abyad sits right along the Turkish-Syrian border in Syria’s Raqqa Province, which has been ISIS’s base of operations in Syria for two years now (the provincial capital, the city of Raqqa, is ISIS’s “capital city,” inasmuch as an unrecognized “state” can be said to have a capital). 468 more words

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Iran and the Taliban: not-so-strange bedfellows

The Wall Street Journal is reporting (behind a paywall; here’s a summary) that Taliban commanders in Afghanistan are getting money and weapons from Iran. This is newsworthy in that, as has been… 742 more words

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Nusra's moderate face

Here’s a strange story. Just a couple of weeks ago, Jabhat al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, told Al Jazeera and anybody listening that he and his men were not looking to cause trouble with religious minorities like the Alawites, as long as those minorities weren’t looking to cause trouble with Nusra. 458 more words

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Second order crimes against humanity

When groups like ISIS move into your neighborhood, the effects can last long after they leave in the form of the reprisal attack, the gift that… 225 more words

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