John Hayward

John Hayward

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Syria’s Assad Denies War Crimes, Says He Is Ready for Dialogue with U.S.

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."
Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Elon Musk: A.I. Advances Are ‘Summoning the Demon’

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.
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Report: Germanwings Co-Pilot Tore Up Doctor’s Note Excusing Him from Flight

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.
AP Photo

Germanwings Co-Pilot Took Training Break to Deal with Depression and Burnout

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."
AP Photo/Karim Kadim

US To Control The Skies Over Tikrit… While Iran Takes The Ground?

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.
Reuters

Missing Pieces Of the Germanwings Puzzle

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?
AP Photo

Harvard President Tells China Universities Have ‘Special Role In Addressing Climate Change’

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.
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Prosecutor: Germanwings Co-Pilot Crashed Plane Deliberately

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.
AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon

Australia Blocks 230 Would-Be Jihadis from Traveling to Iraq and Syria

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.
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Syrian Christians Look To Assad Regime For Protection From Jihadis

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.
AP

New Ford Auto Will Force European Drivers To Obey Speed Limit

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."
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani Addresses Congress

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.
VICE News/YouTube

Video Reveals Hellish ‘Migrant Prisons of Libya’

Things are going so well in Barack Obama's big foreign-policy "success," Libya, that people are literally dying to get out. Vice News recently posted a 27-minute documentary video on the hideous conditions in Libya's "migrant prisons"—internment camps where refugees are left to rot after their attempts to flee the country across the Mediterranean fail.
AFP PHOTO / ZEIN AL RIFAI

Jordan to Train Syrian Rebels to Fight ISIS

The Associated Press reports that Jordan has announced plans to help train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State. "The training is part of a regional effort also involving Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as hosts of training sites. The U.S. Congress has passed legislation providing $500 million for training about 5,000 rebels over the next year," writes the AP.
REUTERS/Feisal Omar

ISIS Reaches Out to Somali Terror Group Al-Shabaab

It has long been feared that ISIS could ally with Somali terror group al-Shabaab, which has been tied to al-Qaeda. As Osama bin Laden's gang fades and the Islamic State rises, ISIS might look like a better partner for the Somalian militants. ISIS recently accepted an oath of fealty from Boko Haram in Nigeria.
AP Photo

God-Given Rights: The Most Inclusive, Tolerant, Fair Idea Humanity’s Had

If we don't acknowledge an authority higher than politics and bureaucracy, we'll never have an inclusive, tolerant, fair nation, because those virtues will always be subject to the flawed and fickle judgment of imperfect men and women, who are always influenced by personal passions and ambitions, no matter how loud their claims to the contrary.

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