Summaries of podcasts, lectures, and interviews.

October 13, 2015

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Quote of the Day

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

-said Mark Twain

ISIS SUSPECTED IN TURKEY BOMBING
Over the weekend, he Turkish government said that ISIS (the Islamic Caliphate) is the prime suspect in the suicide-bombings in Ankara that killed at least 97 people. The two bombs were detonated one after the other in a trains station, targeting pro-Kurdish activists.
Context
Turkey is a NATO state (which means the members of Nation like the United States, France, etc. agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party) and for years has been a barricade against instability in the Middle-East. The relationship between Turkey and the US has strained lately, as Turkey supports Hamas, Assad, and constantly antagonizes Kurdistan. Read Mas
THE GIST
Taliban is threatening to take over another provincial capital
Violence in the Afghan city of Ghanzi, 80 miles southwest of Kabul, is getting even worse. Taliban might regain control of the city. A couple weeks ago Taliban took control of Kunduz, another Afghan capital, but were fought back by a counter-offensive. The US led the way with airstrikes, but that came with a heavy cost: they bombed a hospital ran by Doctors Without Borders, drawing international ire. As international troops leave Afghanistan, the onus for keeping control and stability falls on the Afghan military, a notoriously unreliable group. Read Mas
Fate of ISIS leader unknown
 
On Sunday the Iraqi military bombed the convoy of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. According to Reuters, the attack killed 8 ISIS leaders. Baghdadi was on his way to a meeting at the Syrian border. The Iraqi air force bombed both the convoy and the meeting site. He was rushed away in a vehicle. We don’t know whether he was injured and if so, what the extent of the injuries were. Read Mas

Congressional investigator says Benghazi Committee is politically-driven  

Major Bradley Podliska, an intelligence officer in the Air Force reserve who for 10 months was an investigator for the congressional Select Committee on Benghazi, says the investigation is partisan. “I was fired for trying to conduct an objective, nonpartisan, thorough investigation,” he said. “The victims’ families are not going to get the truth, and that’s the most unfortunate thing about this.” Podliska, a Republican, says he was fired after being directed to target Clinton. Congress’s scrutiny of the 2012 attacks on the American compound in Benghazi found no cover-up, as many of the Obama Administration’s critics had accused, but did lead to revelations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton illicitly used her private email for classified government business. Read Mas

Iran sentences American journalist for espionage
Jason Rezaian, the Tehran correspondent for the Washington Post, was arrested by the Iranian government for “espionage.” Through a propaganda news outlet, they announced that his trial had reached a verdict, although they didn’t say what that verdict was. He’s been in jail for 14 months. His trial was conducted behind closed doors and ended two months ago. No explanation has been given for the delay in sentencing. The allegations of him being a spy are undoubtedly false. There’s speculation that the Iranian government wants to use him in a prisoner exchange. Read Mas
Powerful News: The “Slothful” Hero of the Year

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This Month’s Book Summary

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