Headlines 

2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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Why the U.S. and Turkey Are Suddenly in a Major Standoff

Relations between the U.S. and Turkey, allies since the aftermath of World War II, have soured in the 15 months since an Fethullah Gulen, whom the U.S. has so far refused to extradite. Further increasing tensions, the U.S. and Turkey are at odds over the war in Syria. This backdrop may help explain why the arrest of a U.S. consular employee in Turkey, on charges of involvement in the coup attempt, blew up so quickly into a major diplomatic rift, with the two nations suspending visa services for each other’s…

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Headlines 

Islamic State Claims Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Cairo (AP) — Without providing any evidence to support the claim, the Islamic State group on Monday said the gunman in the mass shooting in Las Vegas was "a soldier" from its ranks who had converted to Islam months ago. Authorities have yet to identify a motive for the shooting, and said initially there was no evidence of any connection to international terrorism. The extremist group has a history of exaggerated or false claims, including earlier this year, when it claimed an attack on a casino in the Philippines that…

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Odds and Ends 

He Was Selling Pens on the Street to SurviveThen a Man Snapped a Photo of His Daughter…

Just one picture changed everything. Abdul Halim al-Attar is a Syrian refugee who was selling pens in the streets of Beirut in order to make a living for hischildren But once a photo of Abdul selling his pens while holding his daughter hit the Internet, it went big-time viral. The picture featured his daughter Reem sleeping on his shoulder as he triedto market his pens to passerbys in the scorching heat. It touched people’s hearts across the globe. The heartbreaking picture of his little oneslumbering on her struggling father was…

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Headlines 

‘We lost our houses, our cars, our men’: call to protect Mosul civilians

Human rights organisations call for Iraqi government to protect innocent people and investigate civilian deaths Mosuls civilians remain at grave risk and have endured a catastrophic ordeal, human rights organisations have said as they urge the Iraqi government to take steps to protect innocent people and investigate large-scale civilian deaths in the city. The calls by aid workers and human rights activists came as Iraqi troops fought to reclaim a final sliver of territory controlled by Islamic State in the city where the extremist groups leader, Haider al-Abadi, UK has…

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Headlines 

Thousands of Mosul civilians trapped in Isis territory as Iraqi forces close in

For civilians held as human shields by the extremists, supplies have run low and drinking water is scarce Hundreds of civilians fled Mosuls Old City on Friday as on Thursday, Iraqi forces retook the symbolic site where the al-Nuri Mosque once stood. It was from the pulpit of the 12th century mosque, which the militants blew up last week along with its famous leaning minaret, that their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had proclaimed the caliphate in 2014. During the evening, al-Abadi announced the full liberation of Mosul was near and…

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Headlines 

Austria jails two couples for taking their children to Isis-controlled Syria

Two men and two women took their eight children to Syria in 2014, where children watched gruesome initiation videos and one saw a beheading An Austrian court sentenced two couples to up to 10 years in jail for taking their children to live in an Islamic State-controlled part of Syria and showing them execution videos. The couples travelled to Syria with their eight children the youngest of whom was two years old in December 2014, the trial in the southern city Graz heard. Housed by the Isis, the children had…

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Headlines 

Syria safe zones hit by clashes on first day

Reports of bombing in Hama province as Russian-led agreement intended to stop conflict between government and rebel forces comes into force Syrian government forces and rebels clashed in the north-western province of Hama on Friday shortly after a Russian-led deal to establish safe zones took effect, a monitor and a rebel official said. The zones, agreed to by Russia, Turkey and Iran, went into effect at midnight on Friday. The plans details will be worked out over the next few weeks but the zones appear intended to halt conflict in…

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Headlines 

No peace in Syria until Assad is ousted, says Nikki Haley

In a departure from the administrations previous stance, US ambassador to the UN suggests regime change is now one of its priorities Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, has said that she sees regime change in Syria as one of the Trump administrations priorities in the country wracked by civil war. Defeating Islamic State, pushing Iranian influence out of Syria, and the ousting of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are priorities for Washington, Haley said in an interview on ordered the missile strike after watching television images of infants…

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Headlines 

Hillary Clinton: misogyny ‘certainly’ played a role in 2016 election loss

In first post-election interview, former Democratic presidential candidate calls for US intervention in Syria and says misogyny was factor in her loss In her first interview since losing the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton said misogyny had played a role in her election loss. Clinton spends a lot of time wrestling with the fact that 53% of white women voted for Trump and the impact of her gender on her loss, she said at the Women in the World summit. Certainly misogyny played a role, she said. In a wide-ranging interview,…

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Headlines 

US strikes Syrian airfield in first direct military action against Assad

Dozens of Tomahawk missiles have been launched at a government airfield in the wake of the Syrian leaders use of chemical weapons against civilians The US military has launched a heavy cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield, in retaliation against Bashar al-Assads latest indiscriminate abruptly switched course after seeing images of children gassed to death in Idlib province after Assad unleashed sarin gas on civilians. The strike, which comprised 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the guided-missile destroyers USS Ross and Porter in the eastern Mediterranean, marked the first…

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Headlines 

Trump’s response to Syria chemical attack exposes administrations volatility

President has touted an America first policy, but his staff gave plenty of hints that the administration was at least considering a direct response to the atrocity Donald Trumps our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had argued the Syrian presidents future will be decided by the Syrian people, ignoring the fact that many of those people were under relentless bombardment by Assad and unable to voice an opinion. Even more confounding was Trumps declaration that the Idlib gas…

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