Saturday, April 29, 2017
   
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EU approves 'divorce' guidelines for Brexit process Leaders meet and approve eight pages of negotiating guidelines hammered out by diplomats over the past month.
Pope urges unity against fanaticism at Cairo mass Pope Francis celebrated an open air mass that gave Egypt's embattled Christians an occasion to be joyful.
Philippine leader says N Korea 'wants to end world' Rodrigo Duterte says North Korean leader Kim wants to 'finish everything' and 'drag us all down' in a nuclear war.
Turkey blocks Wikipedia for 'not removing content' Wikipedia rejected removing content describing Turkey's cooperation with 'terror groups', officials say.

A Dilemma For the Intelligence Agencies

CIAGovernment intelligence agencies, particularly those in the United States, have a problem. Its nature was spelled out by the retired British diplomat Alastair Crooke in an article entitled “Trump's 59-Tomahawk Tweet,” appearing 8 April 2017. As the title suggests, Crooke was reacting to President Trump’s precipitous attack on a Syrian government airbase, following the chemical weapons episode of 4 April 2017 at the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.

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Trump’s Redemption at Putin’s Expense?

trump-declareDonald Trump may have been told by his advisers that launching fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles, at a $15 million cost, against the small Shayrat air base in Syria was “necessary” and morally significant in retaliation for the recent chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun. A way to show Bashar al-Assad America’s outrage at the dictator’s presumed deeds… even if results from such action prove to be materially insignificant.

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Analysis

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The pope in Egypt: Tiptoeing through a minefield

Pope Francis paid homage to the scores of victims of the bombing earlier this month of two Coptic churches shortly after becoming the first head of the Vatican to set foot in Egypt in 17 years.

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Trump versus International Liberalism: Should We Care?

The pre-Trump establishment is anxiously discussing among themselves such questions as ‘is this the end game of liberalism’ and ‘how best to revive liberalism under present conditions?’ The contrary question I pose is the one assumed by the Washington/New York elites, that is, whether liberalism in its present and recent forms is worth saving.

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Trump and China risk sparking dangerous Middle East arms race

Trump’s strategy stems from the realization that the United States would render itself impotent if he were to unilaterally terminate the agreement with Iran.

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The Unity of Pakistani State and Islamism

The way the new ruling elites of Pakistan brought in Islam arbitrarily as a sectarian force in a multi-religious country has bedevilled the social fabric of Pakistan.

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Palestine's Nelson Mandela

I have a confession to make: I like Marwan Barghouti. I have visited him at his modest Ramallah home several times. During our conversations, we discussed Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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The Zookeeper’s Wife: Reflections on Past and Present

I found “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” the 2017 film version of Diane Ackerman’s 2007 non-fiction construction of a tale of heroic resistance to Nazi brutality in Warsaw, deeply moving for several reasons.

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Politics

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Europe's nationalist international

Europe's far-right groups and ideologues have long been collaborating across national borders to further their agendas.

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Talk to, Don’t Provoke, North Korea

There’s little more we can do than hope that some cool heads around Donald Trump are telling him he’d be nuts to attack North Korea. I don’t know who they might be. Still, we must hope.

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A disavowal of George Monbiot’s witch-hunt

In a post on his website, called simply “Disavowal”, he dismisses those who have raised doubts about the official western narrative.

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Bad Hair Wars

Enterprising entrepreneurs out there might want to invest in a fleet of tractor backhoes and partial ownership of a limestone quarry, because it’s starting to look like bunker- digging time in America. The threat of nuclear war is spiking like the needle of a meat thermometer on a lava- flow.

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CIA Director Pompeo Doesn’t Understand the First Amendment

You would think that by the time a person becomes the Director of the CIA, he would have a correct understanding of the Constitution, which is the founding document of the federal government, which the CIA is part of. This should be especially true when the CIA Director is a former member of Congress, a graduate of West Point, and the holder of a law degree from Harvard.

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Axon to the Rescue

Should a taser company control children’s public records?

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