17 Dec 14
The Syrian Army Is Shrinking, And Assad Is Running Out Of Soldiers
When the U.S. launched an airstrike campaign in Syria to “degrade and destroy” the so-called Islamic State, some were concerned that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad would indirectly benefit from the destruction rained down on its enemies by America and its allies. Now, nearly three months later, Assad is desperate for manpower to maintain control in areas where pro-regime support is dwindling.
Reports of U.S. Ground Fighters Emerge as ISIS Gains in Iraq
No matter how many bombs Americans drop on ISIS forces, Iraqi troops are losing ground. If al-Anbar is lost, the entire Iraqi front dynamic will shift to favor ISIS again, and months of the U.S.-led air campaign will have been wasted.
Maybe that’s why we had reports from an Iraqi field commander on Tuesday that U.S. forces had their first ground clash with ISIS terrorists at midnight on Monday, Baghdad time. ISIS fighters were forced to withdraw after U.S. air force fighters bombed enemy positions.
Russians rush to stores to pre-empt price rises
Russian consumers flocked to stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items as they looked to pre-empt price rises following the staggering fall in the value of the ruble over recent days.
Volcano Erupts Destroying Cape Verde Villages
The eruption of the volcano Pico do Fogo has destroyed two villages and threatens a forest reserve.
Around 1,500 people fled their homes before the lava flow reached the villages of Portela and Bangeira on Fogo Island, Cape Verde, fire brigade chief Arlindo Lima said.
"The lava front, (which was) more than 500 metres north of outlying houses in Bangeira a week ago, has swept over much of the village and continues to move forward," Mr Lima added.
Pentagon confirms military buildup along Russian borders for ‘peace and stability’
The Pentagon has confirmed the military buildup along Russia’s borders to ensure long-term “peace and stability” in the region. Earlier Moscow accused NATO of a sharp increase in air activity and intelligence flights in the border zone.
White House: ruble plunge has Russia between 'rock and hard place'
"It's a serious economic situation that is largely of their own making and largely reflects the consequences of not following a set of international rules," Furman said.
Sony Hackers Vow There’s More to Come: ‘Remember the 11th of September 2001′
“Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear,” the message reportedly reads. “Remember the 11th of September 2001.”
The “full message,” which Variety published Tuesday, infers in somewhat broken English that its next strike (or strikes) will occur in movie theaters.
"it's amazing how this comet is developing and increasing in brightness," says Ligustri. Indeed, it is brightening faster than experts predicted. Originally the comet was supposed to reach naked-eye visibility in January or February 2015. It may be crossing that threshold now.
European Parliament Votes to Recognize 'Palestine'
EU parliament votes to recognize Palestinian state 'in principle', just hours after removing Hamas from terrorism blacklist.
Active sunspot AR2242 erupted on Dec. 17th, producing an M9-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash.
Radio emissions from shock waves billowing away from the blast site suggest that a CME is emerging and possibly heading toward Earth.
NASA Voyager: 'Tsunami wave' still flies through interstellar space
The "tsunami wave" that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing earlier this year is still propagating outward, according to new results. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space.
Three Questions for Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush has declared he is officially looking at running for the Presidency in 2016. He is not my first pick. But I would gladly vote for him against any Democrat.
Rouble's tailspin sparks fears for Russia
A free-falling Russian rouble on Tuesday prompted fears that the nuclear-armed nation could be entering a deep economic recession with the potential for unrest, as citizens and investors try to get their hands on cash amid crippling international sanctions and sinking oil prices.
M6.0 earthquake jolted the sea area near S. Sumatra Wed., the quake hit at a depth of 10km.(CENC)
Magnitude 4.6 quake jolts Misamis Oriental
A magnitude 4.6 earthquake shook the province of Misamis Oriental on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Obama issues 'executive orders by another name'
President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders.
When these two forms of directives are taken together, Obama is on track to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman...
EU court says Hamas should be removed from terror blacklist
Hamas should be removed from the European Union's terrorist list, an EU court ruled on Wednesday, saying the decision to include it was based merely on media and internet reports.
However, the General Court of the European Union, the bloc's second highest tribunal, said EU member states could maintain their freeze on Hamas's assets for three months to give time for further review or to appeal the ruling.
Russia invites North Korea leader for May visit: paper
TOKYO - Russia has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to attend a May ceremony marking the end of World War Two, in what would be Kim's first foreign visit since taking the helm of the reclusive state in 2011, Japan's Asahi Shimbun daily said on Wednesday.
Syria moves to ensure Iranian oil supplies do not falter
BEIRUT/DUBAI - The Syrian government took steps on Tuesday to ensure oil imports from major ally Iran will continue to meet its needs as winter approaches, sending a high-level delegation to Tehran for talks with Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani.
More than 100 children among the dead in Taliban attack on Pakistan school
At least 126 people, including more than 100 children, were killed Tuesday when Taliban gunmen stormed a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, taking hundreds of students hostage in the bloodiest insurgent attack in the country in years.
66 journalists killed in past year as attacks grow more barbaric: report
Paris - Attacks on journalists have grown more barbaric and kidnappings have soared, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday, after a year when violence against the media took centre stage and 66 reporters were killed.
Palestinians to push UN vote despite US veto warning
Ramallah (Palestinian Territories)- The Palestinians will press ahead Wednesday with a UN bid to boost their hopes of statehood, despite a warning that the US will block the move, officials said.
The Assad Regime Is Facing Its Most Severe Crisis In Years
After three years of grueling warfare against armed opposition fighters, the Syrian regime faces a dire internal crisis not witnessed since the initial months of the conflict. Despite reinforcement from tens of thousands of foreign volunteers, Lebanese Hezbollah militants, and pro-government militias, regime forces have proven unable to decisively overcome rebel brigades on the battlefield.
Judge declares Obama immigration action unconstitutional
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's new plan to ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge found on Tuesday, handing down the first legal ruling against the plan.
The ruling has no immediate impact, with the government saying there was no reason for Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania to address the issue in the case, which concerns 42-year-old Honduran immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.
16 Dec 14
U.N. sending thousands of Muslims to America
The federal government is preparing for another “surge” in refugees and this time they won’t be coming illegally from Central America. The U.S. State Department announced this week that the first major contingent of Syrian refugees, 9,000 of them, have been hand-selected by the United Nations for resettlement into communities across the United States. The announcement came Tuesday on the State Department’s website.
Putin’s ‘shock and awe’ puts the markets on high alert
In the wee hours of a Moscow morning, Russia took a massive step toward protecting the ruble and defending its ailing economy against a currency crisis. The country’s central bank, in a surprise move, raised its key interest rate to 17% from 10.5%, effective today. That’s the biggest bump since the government defaulted on debt back in 1998.
Leaking his 2016 plans: How Jeb Bush is working the media refs
It wasn’t exactly subtle, and that was the point. After more than a year of playing Hamlet, Jeb Bush had left most media and political players wondering if he was just too ambivalent to mount a presidential campaign. And he needed to send a clear, unambiguous signal that he wants to be a contender in 2016. Voila: the magic leak.
World set to end year in brittle economic state
The global economy is ending the year in a fragile state with factory activity shrinking in China, euro zone business growth remaining weak, and emerging market giant Russia in a spiraling currency crisis. "These are uncertain times again and there is a risk of another global downturn," said Stephen Webster, chief European economist at 4CAST.
Over 120 Pakistanis, mostly children, killed in Taliban high school attack
At least 126 people, most of them children, were killed on Tuesday when Taliban gunmen stormed a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, taking hundreds of students hostage in the bloodiest insurgent attack in the country in years.
After these gun rights poll numbers, Bloomberg might have a Big Gulp
By a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent, Americans say protecting the rights of gun owners is more important than gun control, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center released Wednesday. It is the first time Pew found more support for gun ownership than gun control in more than two decades of surveys on the issue.