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The Disturbing Heroes of Dutch Muslim Youth

For American teens these days, the biggest heroes are no longer baseball players or even Lady Gaga: they are mostly You Tube stars, like the comedy team Smosh, followed by Katy Perry and – surprisingly – 92-year-old actress Betty White. But for hundreds of thousands of Dutch youth, the heroes of the day are neither film stars nor comedians: they are the jihadists of the Islamic State. 25 Nov 2014

Iraqi Kurds Prepare Sinjar Mountain Offensive

(Reuters) - Kurdish forces in northern Iraq are drawing up plans to break Islamic State's siege of Sinjar mountain, where hundreds of minority Yazidis remain stranded months after fleeing their homes. 25 Nov 2014

Cheaper Oil Is Squeezing Iran

The recent drop in oil prices is making American consumers happy as they enter the holiday season. As fuel prices go down, consumer confidence and spending go up, and the economy strengthens. The opposite is true in Iran, where both the state and private sector are heavily dependent on high oil prices. Indeed, while President Barack Obama resists calls to restore some sanctions on Iran, the low oil price operates as a sanction by default. 25 Nov 2014

Bubonic Plague Kills 40 in Madagascar

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported at least 119 cases of the bubonic plague in Madagascar with at least forty deaths. The situation could become worse since the disease is now in the capital of Antananarivo, the country’s largest city, and deltamethrin, the leading insecticide against fleas, is not working. 24 Nov 2014

Ukraine Announces Intention to Join NATO

Ukraine is taking steps to formally join NATO after President Petro Poroshenko met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, a day after she called Russia a “terrorist state.” Lithuania is also a former USSR state and a member of NATO and the European Union. 24 Nov 2014

Canadian Watchdog Report Chastises RCMP for Islamist Engagement

new report by Canada's Point de Bascule takes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to task for participating in a panel discussion Wednesday sponsored by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of Windsor. RCMP Superintendent Doug Best, who heads the Canadian law-enforcement agency's national security operations in Ontario, will appear alongside two Canadian Islamists. 24 Nov 2014

Egyptian Cyber Hackers Target ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood

A new cyber hacking unit believed to be loosely affiliated with the Egyptian military called the “Egyptian Cyber Army” has emerged to combat the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) and other Islamist terror groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood; doing so on social media sites and other Web channels. 24 Nov 2014

If Hagel is Being Fired for 'Ebola,' Why Does CDC Head Have a Job?

The New York Times reports that one of the reasons the administration is supposedly offering for firing Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense is the Pentagon's slow response to the Ebola crisis. There can be no clearer sign that Hagel is being fired for reasons unrelated to his (obvious) incompetence. After all, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), still has a job after his glaring Ebola failures. 24 Nov 2014

Obama: Helping Terror Go Nuclear

Last Tuesday’s terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue killed five people: four rabbis (including three born in the USA) and a Druze police officer. Two Palestinians entered during morning prayers and attacked worshipers with knives, meat cleavers, and a handgun.  24 Nov 2014

China Makes Diplomatic Overture to Vatican

In its bid for formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican, Beijing is now ready to offer a compromise in the contentious issue of how Catholic bishops are appointed in China. This represents an important departure from Beijing’s hardline position of “no interference” from the Vatican in religious affairs as a condition for relations. 24 Nov 2014

Yemeni Al Qaeda: Houthis Will Pay for Push into Country

(Reuters) - Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, reacting to the loss of its strongholds to Shi'ite Houthi fighters, has accused its opponents of acting as a proxy for the United States and threatened renewed violence against them. 24 Nov 2014

Tunisia Presidential Election Polls Give Ex-Regime Figure the Edge

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A veteran politician from the previous regime that ran on a platform of restoring the prestige of the state took the lead in Tunisia's first free and fair presidential election Sunday, according to exit polls. But there will still likely be a runoff next month. 24 Nov 2014

Hagel Firing: Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

The New York Times reports that President Barack Obama is about to dismiss Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The reason given? That the White House recognized that "the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ." In other words: Hagel was brought on to downgrade the military radically, but now the military turns out to be necessary, after all. 24 Nov 2014

NY Times: US Defense Secretary Hagel to Resign

(AFP) US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to resign under pressure on Monday, the New York Times reported Monday, after criticism of the campaigns in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group. 24 Nov 2014

Turkish President Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

(AFP) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday declared that women are not equal to men and launched a bitter attack against feminists in Turkey, claiming they reject the concept of motherhood. 24 Nov 2014

Iran Talks Extended to June 2015; The Least-bad Option

The nuclear talks between Iran and the international community have likely failed to reach a deal by the Nov. 24 deadline, and will reconvene next month, according to Reuters and other sources. The extension will likely be negotiated without offering Iran any new sanctions relief as a condition for its continued participation in talks with the P+5 nations (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany). 24 Nov 2014


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