Reuters reports at least 40 people were killed and 200 more wounded in an errant attack against a camp for "displaced people" in northern Yemen on Monday. Houthi insurgents claim this was collateral damage from an air attack on their positions by the Saudi-led international coalition seeking to restore the government of deposed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
ISIS released another beheading video through social media on Sunday. The new film is notable in two respects: the victims were captive Shiite Muslims in Syria who were described as "impure infidels" by their captors, and a group of teenage boys were employed as assistant executioners, continuing the Islamic State's trend of working children into their murder videos.
Religious liberty has become something believers have to beg for, on bent knee, hats in hand, while mumbling a stream of apologies about how they're not motivated by personal animosity toward anyone. Their adversaries are free to question their very humanity, dismissing matters of faith and conscience with a sneer.
The picture of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz' troubled state of mind grows more complex with the revelation, reported by International Business Times, that investigators have discovered that Lubitz "trawled the dark side of the web visiting, among other things, sites containing gay porn, suicide themes and sexual perversions."
More background information on Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his plane into the Alps after locking his captain out of the cockpit and killed 150 people, has trickled out over the weekend. Investigation of his medical history has uncovered vision problems that might have made him anxious about the impending termination of his flight career--an even-more stressful development because he reportedly had a baby on the way.
A vehicle attempted to ram the gate at the headquarters of the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Maryland at roughly 9:30 on Monday morning, initiating a confrontation with security forces that ended with shots being fired. At least one uniformed guard appears to have been injured and loaded into an ambulance.
The Saudi operation against Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen is growing into an even larger regional conflict, as Sudan announced on Thursday that it would contribute both ground troops and aircraft to the effort.
According to the Associated Press, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is open to discussing cooperating with the United States—years after President Obama's chemical weapons "red line" debacle—but demands respect as a legitimate ruler despite cementing power in an election the State Department openly called a "sham."
Humanity handled Y2K. But AI may be something bigger and more difficult. After all, we didn't have to worry about Y2K fighting back. Perhaps it's worth thinking about the safeguards that should be built into contemporary progenitors of the future's incredibly complex expert systems, before they become self-aware and acquire civil rights.
Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, every time she takes the stage, she turns people off. Polls show her popularity dropping, and now they've got another reason to think her act is not only shrill and boring, but insincere.
The Germanwings story is mutating with incredible speed. At first we were assured by the company that young co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who evidently crashed the plane on purpose and killed 150 people, was "100% fit to fly," with no physical or mental problems whatsoever. Then we were told Lubitz took an extended break from pilot training for counseling to deal with "burnout" and emotional stress, but that was back in 2008, so it wasn't necessarily relevant to his behavior this week.
"Secret files held by Yemeni security forces that contain details of American intelligence operations in the country have been looted by Iran-backed militia leaders, exposing names of confidential informants and plans for U.S.-backed counter-terrorism strikes," reports the L.A. Times.
Iran will not be the last Middle Eastern nation to get atomic weapons after President Obama formalizes the collapse of Western resistance to nuclear proliferation. Also, they probably won't be the first.
It looks as if we have an answer to one of this morning's lingering questions about Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who evidently seized control of his plane and drove it into the Alps, killing 150 people. Lufthansa earlier divulged that Lubitz took a long break from his pilot training. Now the UK Daily Mail has more details about that episode, saying he suspended training in 2008 "because he was suffering from depression and burnout."
The latest Associated Press dispatch from nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, reads like satire: "The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press."
Two weeks ago, the seemingly effective Iraqi operation to retake the city of Tikrit from ISIS ground to an abrupt halt, the "final push" delayed for an indefinite period out of concerns over collateral damage, according to Iraqi officials. It was widely speculated the more pertinent problem was that Islamic State forces proved to be much harder to dislodge than anyone wanted to admit, so time was needed to bring up reinforcements and prepare the battlespace.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration's "revisions" to the Iranian nuclear deal include abandoning crucial demands for U.N. inspection of suspected weapons sites that Iran has been resisting for years, even during the toughest of economic sanctions.
French authorities released much new information about the horrible Germanwings crash in the Alps this morning, but some vital questions remain unanswered. Why is the French prosecutor so firmly convinced that the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately crashed the plane?
Harvard's president travels to Beijing to tout the importance of environmentalism, and specifically warn the audience about "global warming." The Chinese must be laughing themselves sick at the spectacle of their geopolitical adversaries voluntarily kneecapping their economies in service to global warming mythology, while the air in Beijing can be eaten with a spoon on bad days.
At least three of five Taliban fighters swapped for the freedom of Bowe Bergdahl, a Taliban captive now being charged with desertion, are reportedly actively making efforts to join the terrorist cause once again.
Last night, we learned that black-box audio recordings appeared to show the pilot of the doomed Germanwings Flight 9525 had been locked out of the cockpit and was attempting to gain entry - politely at first, but acting with increasing urgency as the plane descended, until at the end it sounded as if he was trying to smash the armored cockpit door down.
Australia has been conducting a strong push against terrorism, which began months ago with some general comments from officials who knew they had a problem, and it quickly developed into effective action. Part of the program involves preventing would-be jihadis, including teenagers, from fleeing the country and signing up with ISIS and other ugly crews in Iraq and Syria.
Al-Monitor delivers one of the most sobering assessments of the bloody mess in Syria to date, as author Edward Dark returns to his hometown of Aleppo for a look at the plight of the dwindling Christian community, and finds them turning to dictator Bashar al-Assad for protection from the jihadis fighting to overthrow him.
Engadget's description of the new Ford S-Max car and its Intelligent Speed Limiter technology is both fascinating and creepy as hell: "A camera mounted on the windshield scans the road signs on the sides of the highway and, when the vehicle enters a 20mph zone, the system reduces the top speed to match. Rather than controlling the speed with automatic braking, the car limits its own velocity by adjusting the amount of fuel being pushed to the engine."
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani gave an hour-long address to Congress on Wednesday, in which he mused that his country's longstanding position as the graveyard of empires is quite exhausting to the Afghan people. Having established their reputation as fierce, stubborn fighters, they would really like to move on to a more productive future. "'Ordinary' is what has escaped us, and what we'd really like is to lead totally ordinary lives," he said.
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