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News and Analysis (10/17/14)

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"'One of the things that Obama wanted to know was: Did this ever work?' said one former senior administration official who participated in the debate and spoke anonymously because he was discussing a classified report. The C.I.A. report, he said, 'was pretty dour in its conclusions'": "[D]uring the waning days of Iraq's war with Iran,  ... [having learned] that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage.... U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein's military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent": Kerry parrots "Sissi that 'the central issue to Egypt’s future is economic.' That facile conclusion overlooks the fact that substantial reform in Egypt — from the reduction of subsidies to the attraction of foreign investment — won’t be workable under a regime that holds thousands of political prisoners and denies basic rights" ... ... but Jimmy Carter says, "The current environment in Egypt is not conducive to genuine democratic elections and civic participation. I hope that Egyptian authorities will reverse recent steps that limit the rights of association and assembly and restrict operations of Egyptian civil society groups":  "There are many Muslims throughout the world who stand up for equality, peace, and women's rights. But they are usually the first to be shut down by America's allies and other extremists' voices": Contra the claims of Thomas Friedman, the poor economic status and low level of political participation of India's Muslims suggests that being left free to pursue their life and religion is what really accounts for their resistance to radicalization; in that case the rise of Hindu nationalism may threaten to change everything: When Hourani and her volunteers campaigned in a neighborhood, "a resident called police after he told her to leave the neighborhood but she refused. When the police arrived, she told the paper that she left peacefully." Among deleted offensive comments on the story: "don’t elect a Muslim SOB, you should start shooting them!" : Extremists in Syria are apparently encouraging jihadis traveling to join them to bring children, intent upon proving they can establish an Islamic caliphate, compete with devout families ... ... while "Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time the militant group had taken to the air": "Boko Haram negotiators "assured that the schoolgirls and all other people in their captivity are all alive and well," Mike Omeri, the government spokesman on the insurgency, told a news conference. The chief of defense staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, announced the truce and ordered his troops to immediately comply with the agreement": "Almost anywhere else in the world, hiring local people in the place of immigrants would pass unnoticed. But in a country where women are often housebound and many men prefer to do nothing rather than accept a low-grade job, the changes at the store are significant. They reveal trends that are gradually modernising the country":


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