Summaries of podcasts, lectures, and interviews.

October 23, 2015


American soldier dies in rescue mission

An American service member was killed in a rescue mission that saved 70 Kurdish Iraqis. It was the first American combat death in Iraq since 2011. The name of the soldier hasn’t been made public. ISIS likely would have executed all of them.

The operation was conducted by US Special Forces, the Iraqi military, and Kurdish Peshmerga. In Kirkuk province, whose territory is bitterly disputed by rival ethnic sects, ISIS threw hostages and prisoners in a previously state-run prison. Read Mas

String of arson fires terrorizes St. Louis

Seven churches have been burnt down in the last two weeks. The police don’t have any information about what the culprit’s motive is. It’s very possible that the attacks are racially-motivated. The targeted neighborhoods are predominately black. However the latest victimized church, the Shrine of St. Joseph, has mostly white parishioners. Read Mas

Ultra-right Caucus supports Paul Ryan for Speaker

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will almost certainly be the next Speaker of the House. The House Freedom Caucus is a far-right and mostly young anti-establishment group. He won 2/3 of their votes. He needed a 4/5 victory to get the Caucus’ official endorsement. But still, that number of votes gives Ryan the support he needs to secure one of Congress’s most powerful positions.

The House Republicans have been mired in a leadership crisis. Obstinate young conservatives forced out John Boehner because they thought he wasn’t stubborn enough with Congressional Democrats. This has drawn the ire of older establishment Republicans. Kevin McCarthy, who had been the presumed next speaker, removed himself from consideration because the environment is too fractured. Read Mas

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