One look at today's headlines will tell you that events around the world seem more unpredictable and chaotic than ever. Russia is showing no sign of backing down in Ukraine, even under increasing sanctions. The terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continues to wreak havoc in the Middle East, energized by up to $2 million a day in captured oil revenues. And political violence from Iraq to Libya continues to escalate. Americans are stuck wondering what, if anything, we can and should be doing.
In the midst of all this chaos, oil prices were expected to rise. Instead, they have dipped in recent months, thanks primarily to lower global demand and increased production here at home. Gasoline prices have dropped for the moment too, prompting some to call this a "new era" of oil abundance, where our fuels are cheap and plentiful, even in the face of multiple international crises.
Don't fall for it. The global oil market still holds our economy hostage, threatening our national security and challenging our values. more >>
The U.S. military targeted sites of an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist extremist group, the Khorasan, in Syria by airstrikes overnight after intelligence officials warned this group is as big a threat to the U.S. as the ISIS, or Islamic State, and has the ability and inclination to attack Western targets.
The Pentagon said early Tuesday that the U.S. military targeted not only ISIS but also the Khorasan overnight "to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qaeda veterans."
The airstrikes on Khorasan were conducted by the U.S. military alone, but five Arab nations that include Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, "participated in or supported" the attacks on ISIS, the Jordanian army said, according to Reuters. more >>
Militant Muslim jihadist group ISIS, which is also known as the Islamic State, recently issued a threat to the U.S. warning that the "flag of Allah" will be raised in the White House and charged that American soldiers will be humiliated in Syria as they were in Iraq.
The threats were made via a documentary produced by Vice News in which the group allowed Vice News reporter Medyan Daireh to spend three weeks learning about ISIS, travelling from the group's power base in Al Raqqa, Syria, to Iraq.
"I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established. And we will not stop. Don't be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead, send your soldiers. The ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing. And we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House," said Abu Mosa, an Islamic State press officer. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini, is set to pray outside the White House on Thursday to mark the two-year anniversary of her husband's imprisonment in Iran for his faith, and to urge President Barack Obama to do more to help.
Abedini will also bring attention to the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, while prayer vigils in 493 cities in over 33 countries will mark the two-year anniversary of her husband's imprisonment.
A press release stated that the pastor's plight "remains urgent as he faces physical torture, malnourishment, death threats and psychological abuse at the hands of the Iranian regime and fellow inmates, including those affiliated with the Islamic State." more >>
Thousands of Russians marched through Moscow on Sunday in what was the first anti-war protest against President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine. Some protesters held up signs asking the Russian president to "stop lying."
"The Peace March," as it is called, came as Putin's government continues to deny any responsibility for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels in the eastern parts of the country have captured several cities.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke before Congress Thursday and asked the U.S. to provide military assistance against Russian aggression. Poroshenko described the critical situation in eastern Ukraine, where several towns have been captured by pro-Russian forces, and said that Ukrainians are fighting a "war for the free world."
"If they are not stopped now, they will cross European border(s) and they will absolutely spread throughout the world," Poroshenko said, according to USNews. "The choice is simple: It is between civilization and barbarism."
The Ukrainian president said that his country appreciates the help the U.S. has sent in terms of supplies, but said that more will be needed in order to combat separatists who are tearing the country apart. more >>