A U.S. official has said that there are ongoing talks to free the over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by terror group Boko Haram earlier this year, after a ceasefire was reportedly reached late last week. Fresh attacks from the Islamic militants have made some Nigerian elders question this deal, however.
"We can confirm reports that a ceasefire has been announced (and) appears to have been put into place," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Monday.
"We would welcome that ceasefire, call on all parties both to implement and maintain such a ceasefire, and hope that such a ceasefire would herald the return of peace to the northeast," Harf added. "This is a region that has had far too little of that." more >>
The U.S. military has air-dropped weapons, medical supplies and other aid on Sunday to Kurdish forces in their fight against terror group ISIS over the Syrian border town of Kobane, despite protests from Turkey. ISIS has reportedly suffered heavy losses in the battle, with at least 70 bodies of its fighters dropped off at a Syrian hospital in the past week.
The Associated Press reported that the government of Turkey opposes the aid to the Kurdish forces fighting in Syria, because it sees the group as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party. Turkey and the PKK have been in a state of war for the past 30 years.
The U.S. and its allies have been aiding for months Kurdish forces that are battling ISIS, though mostly in the Kurdish regional government in Iraq. In the past few weeks, the Islamic terror group has concentrated its efforts on capturing the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane for strategic purposes. U.S.-led airstrikes have helped in pushing back the jihadists, who had initially made big gains in the town. more >>
Several years ago, the Israeli satirical series, Latma, produced this funny sketch on the Iranian mullahs' push for a nuclear bomb. "The bomb, the bomb, I'll get the bomb. Listen to me, Honey, it ain't gonna be too long" sings the frolicking mullah in the online version of this humorous look at a most serious subject.
The Israelis can joke about an Iranian nuclear bomb because they are on the front line. They know what it would mean. They don't go on and on about "stability" in the Middle East the way our State Department types do. There hasn't been stability in the Mideast in our lifetime and there is no likelihood of stability being achieved there in the future. All the Western journalists' gushing about the "Arab Spring" has produced not one country with a semblance of stability, freedom, or genuine change.
Egypt has settled down for the moment into a familiar pattern of military dictatorship. more >>
A conservative legal group has sent a letter to a California hotel arguing that their hosting of an event by an organization that advocates a complete boycott of Israel may violate state law.
The American Center for Law and Justice sent the letter on Monday to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites of Los Angeles regarding their hosting of the American Studies Association's annual meeting.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is featuring a display showing graphic photos of murder and torture that are said to have been committed under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. A Syrian pastor has warned against using the images to justify expanding the war in the country, however.
The Associated Press reported that the photos are from an archive of 55,000 images smuggled out of Syria by a photographer, who has testified in Congress about witnessing the mass killing of prisoners. The journalist, who was only named by the codename "Caesar," said that the massacre was committed under the Assad regime.
"They show a side of the Syrian regime that hasn't really been really seen. You might have heard about it, read about it, but when you're confronted with these images, they're impossible to ignore," said Cameron Hudson, director of the museum's Center for the Prevention of Genocide. more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England leader the Most Rev. Justin Welby has shared his views on the global war against terror group ISIS, and admitted that there may be no other choice but to use force to protect people under attack. He also called on religious leaders to stand up against religious extremism that seeks to justify violence.
"Within Christian teaching there is a strong and brave tradition of absolute pacifism. Yet there are calls from Christian leaders in the Middle East for armed help. They seek temporary support while their own governments get their act together. They do not want the Middle East emptied of its Christian populations, essential to its culture, critical in many areas of life and there since before the time of St Paul," Welby wrote in an article for Prospect Magazine, to be released in November 2014.
"It may be that we cannot avoid some use of force, but that must be done in the context of a greater and more selfless ideal that renews the vision that rebuilt our own continent after the long wars that began in 1914," Welby continued. more >>