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Max Forte

Max Forte's Public Library

    • August 25, 2015 
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  • Another war is in the making in Libya: the questions are ‘how’ and ‘when’? While the prospect of another military showdown is unlikely to deliver Libya from its current security upheaval and political conflict, it is likely to change the very nature of conflict in that rich, but divided, Arab country.

     

    An important pre-requisite to war is to locate an enemy or, if needed, invent one. The so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS), although hardly an important component in the country’s divisive politics, is likely to be that antagonist.

     

    Libya is currently split, politically, between two governments, and, geographically, among many armies, militias, tribes and mercenaries. It is a failed state par excellence, although such a designation does not do justice to the complexity of the Libyan case, together with the root causes of that failure.

  • Now that ‘IS’ has practically taken over the city of Sirte, once a stronghold for former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the bastion of al-Qadhadhfa tribe, the scene is becoming murkier than ever before. Conventional wisdom has it that the advent of the opportunistic, bloodthirsty group is a natural event considering the security vacuum resulting from political and military disputes. But there is more to the story.

     

    Several major events led to the current stalemate and utter chaos in Libya. One was the military intervention by NATO, which was promoted, then, as a way to support Libyans in their uprising against long-time leader, Gaddafi.  NATO’s intentional misreading of UN resolution 1973, resulted in ‘Operation Unified Protector’, which overthrew Gaddafi, killed thousands and entrusted the country into the hands of numerous militias that were, at the time, referred to collectively as the ‘rebels’.

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  • Sharmini Peries: The Dow Jones trading took a deep drive this week, dropping over 1,000 points in the first 20 minutes of trading. It is now slowly reversing itself, but it was the greatest loss in trading since the 2010 crash. Here to discuss all of this, we’re joined by Michael Hudson. Michael Hudson is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His latest book, which we promise to unpack in detail very soon, is Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy Global Economy. You can get a digital download of it at CounterPunch. Michael, thank you so much for joining us.
  • Michael Hudson: Good to be here. And the hard print will be out in another two weeks from Amazon.

     

    Peries: Look forward to it, Michael. So Michael, some mainstream news outlets are saying that this is the China contagion. They need someone to blame. What’s causing all of this?

     

    Hudson: Not China. China’s simply back to the level that it was earlier in the year. One of the problems with the Chinese market that is quite different from the American and European market is that a lot of the big Chinese banks have lent to small lenders, sort of small wholesale lenders, that in turn have lent to retail people. And a lot of Chinese are trying to get ahead by borrowing money to buy real estate or to buy stocks. So there are these intermediaries, these non-bank intermediaries, sort of like real estate brokers, who borrowed big money from banks and lent it out to a lot of little people. And once the small people got in it’s like odd lot traders in the United States, small traders, you know that the boom is over.

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  • The long-shot United States Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been telling the large crowds attending his rallies that American workers put in the longest hours in the industrialized world. He’s on solid ground. According to the International Labor Organization, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”
  • Eighty-six percent of employed U.S. males and 66 percent of employed U.S. females work more than 40 hours per week. In many U.S. professional sectors, work weeks of 60 to 70 hours and more are not uncommon. Add in brutal commutes and extensive car travel related to the nation’s sprawled-out residential and shopping patterns and it’s no surprise that hundreds of millions of U.S. citizens face a critical shortage of free time.

     

    It’s nothing new. Workers in the U.S. overtook their Japanese counterparts in total annual employment hours back in the early 1990s.

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  • In a recent study published in the Times Higher Education supplement, the world-renowned sociologist Zygmunt Bauman was charged with repetitive counts of “self-plagiarism”. As Peter Walsh and David Lehmann of Cambridge University claimed to have discovered, following an alleged meticulous reading of some 29 of Bauman’s works, “substantial quantities of material that appear to have been copied near-verbatim and without acknowledgement from at least one of the other books sampled. Several books contain very substantial quantities of text – running into several thousands of words, and in the worst case almost twenty thousand – that have been reused from earlier Bauman books without acknowledgement”. This recycling of prose, they argue, constitutes a monstrous “deception” on the part of the author, undermining one of the fundamental pillars of credible scholarship – the ability to cite with authenticating safeguards.
  • But what is really the charge here? Why would an emeritus reader at Cambridge University and doctoral student spend so much energy investigating and attempting to reveal questionable failures of another scholar? There was no doubt a personal agenda at work here (Walsh had already leveled such an accusation at Bauman’s work beforehand). That much is clear. This sordid affair however speaks more broadly to the tensions and conflicts so endemic to the neoliberal University today. It strikes at the heart of what passes for credible intellectual inquiry and scholarship, and reveals more purposefully the shift from engaging with the ideas that embody a life, especially one rooted in a quest for political and economic justice, to the penchant for personal attacks which seek to bring into question the character and credibility of respected authors. This is more than the passing of judgment from a moral position that is upheld by histories of elitism and privilege. It is tantamount to a form of intellectual violence wrapped in objective scholarship that plagues the academy. Within the neoliberal university not only has the personal become the only politics that matters when politics is even addressed, it has also become a strident form of careerism in which getting ahead at any costs mirrors the market itself.

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  • Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:28am EDT   
      Related:     World,   Afghanistan   
     

    In Afghanistan's Helmand, the Taliban are talking war, not peace

       
      LASHKAR GAH  |  
  • Soldiers from the U.S.-led NATO coalition have joined combat to stop a Taliban advance in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where battlefield success has given the insurgents' their biggest symbolic victory in years and made talking peace a fading hope.

    Nearly 14 years on from the U.S. invasion that toppled the Islamist regime after the Sept. 2011 attacks, the Taliban are undefeated and making gains since most foreign forces left last year, but are still far from their goal of retaking Kabul.

  • A furious counter-assault led by the Afghan army is on in the Helmand district of Musa Qala that on Wednesday fell to the Taliban for the first time since 2007.

    "The deputy defense minister is in Helmand right now and an operation is ongoing in full force to retake the district," said Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman.

    NATO's Resolute Support coalition said U.S. aircraft dropped bombs on Musa Qala nine times in the past 24 hours, and that foreign soldiers were also helping on the ground.

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  • Russia, Egypt support forming anti-ISIS coalition with Syria - Putin 

  • Russia and Egypt support the creation of a broad anti-terrorist coalition, which would include Syria, to fight Islamic State militants, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a joint media conference with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel el-Sisi. 

    “We underline the fundamental importance of the formation of a broad anti-terrorist front involving key international players and regional countries, including Syria,” Putin said on Wednesday.

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    “We have common views on the need to intensify the fight against international terrorism, which is relevant, considering the aggressive ambitions of radical structures, particularly the so-called Islamic State.”

    “Every time we meet, the Egyptian people hope to see improvements in the cooperation between us and Russia in different fields, including the economy, but also the fight against terror in a region suffering from terrorism,” Sisi said at the media conference.

    “It has an impact on our region’s stability and security. Not just in some countries, but in the entire region and possibly the whole world.”

    During Sisi’s visit to Moscow, the heads of states discussed a wide range of issues, including the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as economic cooperation.

  • At their third meeting this year, Putin reiterated Russia’s commitment to include Egypt in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) free trade zone. He repeated that the two countries intend to exclude the US dollar and use their own national currencies to settle accounts in bilateral trade.

    “We agreed to jointly foster efforts in order to weaken the impact of external factors and bring the turnover of goods to a sustainable growth trajectory. Practicable establishment of a free trade zone between the EAEU and Egypt, the use of national currencies in mutual settlements, and promotion of investment cooperation are among the specific steps for the incentivization of the economy,” Putin said.

    Putin added that Egypt has enjoyed wider opportunities in supplying food to Russia since Moscow introduced counter-sanctions related to food imports against some states last year. Egypt’s supplies to Russia rose significantly in the first half of 2015, he said.

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  • Ottawa's arms deal with Saudi Arabia contingent on secrecy Add to ... 

     
      

     OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

     
     

    Published 

  • Ottawa is contractually obliged to keep secret the details of a controversial $15-billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia – a transaction that Stephen Harper personally assured the country’s monarch will be guaranteed by the Canadian government, documents say.

    Foreign Affairs e-mails obtained by The Globe and Mail under access-to-information law indicate the Saudis have made excess publicity about the sale of armoured fighting vehicles a deal-breaker.

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    Officials were scrambling behind the scenes in January, after media coverage of the arms deal, to determine the consequences of publicly releasing the terms of the Saudi contract.

    Aliya Mawani, a Canadian diplomat based in Riyadh, the capital, told Foreign Affairs colleagues on Jan. 21 that “we [the government] would be breaking the terms of the contract” with Saudi Arabia if details were made public.

  • “The contract is under a Canadian government guarantee in terms of fulfilment,” Ms. Mawani wrote in a Jan. 21 exchange with colleagues on why Ottawa couldn’t make the terms public.

    “This was confirmed in writing by our Prime Minister in his letters to the King,” she said, speaking of Mr. Harper and the late Saudi King Abdullah.

    A cloak of secrecy surrounds this agreement, first announced in 2014, with Ottawa refusing to divulge any substantial information on the vehicles Canada is selling to the Saudi regime – or how it justifies the sale to a nation known for human-rights abuses.

    A federal agency responsible for sales to foreign military, Canadian Commercial Corporation, is actually the “prime contractor” for the transaction even though it is General Dynamics Land Systems Canada in London that manufacturers the vehicles.

    Records obtained by The Globe offer a great deal of insight into Ottawa’s role in brokering the transaction, which supports more than 3,000 jobs in Canada.

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  • Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:03pm EDT   
      Related:     World,   Syria   
     

    Hungary scrambles to confront migrant influx, Merkel heckled

       
      ROSZKE, Hungary  |  
  • Hungary made plans on Wednesday to reinforce its southern border with helicopters, mounted police and dogs, and was also considering using the army as record numbers of migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, passed through coils of razor-wire into Europe.

    In Germany, which expects to receive 800,000 of them this year, Chancellor Angela Merkel was heckled by dozens of protesters as she visited an eastern town where violent anti-refugee protests erupted at the weekend.

    The surge in migrants seeking refuge from conflict or poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia has confronted Europe with its worst refugee crisis since World War Two, stirring social tensions and testing the resources and solidarity of the 28-nation European Union.

  • A record 2,533 mainly Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis crossed from Serbia into EU member Hungary on Tuesday, climbing over or squirreling under a razor-wire barrier into the hands of an over-stretched police force that struggled to fingerprint and process them. Authorities said over 140,000 had been caught entering so far this year.

    Unrest flared briefly at a crowded reception center in the border region of Roszke, with tear gas fired by police.

    Another 1,300 were detained on Wednesday morning. More will have passed unnoticed, walking through gaps in a border fence being built by Hungary in what critics say is a futile attempt to keep them out. They packed a train station in the capital, Budapest, hundreds of men, women and children sleeping or sitting on the floor in a designated “transit zone” for migrants.

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  • Cuba’s Low Level of Internet Use: Not a Policy of Restricting the Flow of Information
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    Global Research, August 23, 2015
     
    what's left 22 August 2015
  • If you want to find examples of governments restricting the flow of information on the internet for political purposes, look to the United States and its allies, and not to the low-level of internet use in Cuba, which, notwithstanding press reports to the contrary, is a consequence of Cuba’s comparatively low-level of economic development, not communist ‘totalitarianism.’

     

    Part of the dogma of capitalist societies is that communist states are inherently restrictive and ‘totalitarian’, in contrast to liberal democracies, which are portrayed as beacons of liberty. Communist states, we’re told, suppress dissent, while capitalist states allow it to flourish. This, of course, is nonsense. All states, regardless of how they’re organized economically, suppress dissent under circumstances of grave threat, and relax repression as danger diminishes. Those that are the most free, are those that face the least danger.

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  • Cuba-US Relations: Long and Contentious History Stands In the Way of “Normalization”
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    Global Research, August 25, 2015
     
    Progreso Weekly 23 August 2015
  • President Obama’s surprise announcement last December to normalize relations with Cuba has produced a flurry of media interest in this island nation that has been off-limits to Americans for more than half a century. Much of the coverage has focused on the arduous negotiations that have transpired in the effort to re-establish a level of discourse between the long-time adversaries.

     
     
    While concrete accomplishments have been attained, including the opening of embassies in Washington and Havana as well as the removal of Cuba from the specious list of state’s that sponsor terrorism, the discussions have been frustratingly slow and challenging, regularly mired in misunderstanding and misperceptions. The root of the problem is unquestionably determined in the long and contentious history between the stubborn little socialist enclave and the capitalist giant to the north. That past, unlike how the mainstream U.S. media usually reflects upon it, cannot be viewed solely through the window of the 1959 revolution when Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista dictatorship along with American hegemony. In order to attain a precise understanding of why the two sides consistently talk past each other as they struggle to reach consensus, a more rigorous historical examination is required.

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  • Market Turmoil: Dow Dives as Analysts Warn More Chaos Ahead

     
  • Aug 25 2015
  • Stocks dived at the close on Tuesday, erasing a huge rally — and any hope that the worst of the Wall Street turmoil was over.

         

    The market soared in early trading as investors shook off fears of a slowing Chinese economy and a further plunge in Asian stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed as much as 442 points, or 1.9 percent.

         

    But the gains slowly faded in the afternoon, and a last-minute sell-off left the Dow down 204. That came after a turbulent Monday, when the Dow plunged almost 1,100 points in the morning and closed down more than 500.

         
     
     
     

    And analysts caution that the markets may not calm down anytime soon.

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  • Refugees race into Hungary as border fence nears completion
  • Thousands of refugees, mostfleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have been snaking northward through the Balkans in recent days, confronting a Europe woefully unprepared to deal with them at every step.

    Most endured a perilous crossing to Greece aboard rafts and boats, some barely fit to sail. They traversed Greece, a nation paralyzed by economic crisis and too poor to handle a flow of people that in July was the highest on record. At the border with Macedonia late last week, they trudged through a wall of riot police, who fought them back with tear gas before relenting. Now, the asylum-seekers, thousands a day, are racing into Hungary, which is rushing to complete a barbed-wire border fence by the end of the month to force them to seek other routes.

  • It is a long parade of misery unparalleled in Europe in recent years. But the continent has so far failed to agree how to respond. Amid a refugee crisis that by some measures is the worst since World War II, individual nations are being left to improvise their own measures. In Hungary, that is taking the form of 80 miles of barbed wire and fencing.

    The crisis is shaking fundamental tenets of European life, including the principle of free movement between most of the nations of the European Union. It is fueling a surge of anti-migrant sentiment in the countries that are housing the bulk of the asylum-seekers, Germany and Sweden. And it is straining the weakest countries, such as Greece, that are on migration’s front lines.

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  • Updated 

    Mark Fenton, G20 police officer behind mass arrests, guilty of discreditable conduct

     
     

    Toronto police superintendent accused of misconduct for 'kettling' mass arrests

     

        CBC News    Posted: Aug 25, 2015

  • A disciplinary hearing has found a high-ranking Toronto police officer who ordered two mass arrests of protesters at the G20 in 2010 guilty of discreditable conduct and unnecessary exercise of authority.

     

    Retired Ontario Superior Court judge John Hamilton handed down his ruling in the case of Supt. Mark Fenton on Tuesday morning at police headquarters.

  • Fenton, with Toronto Police Services, was found guilty of three of the five charges against him. 

     

    While delivering his verdict, Hamilton said Fenton is committed to serving the public, but has a lack of understanding of the public's right to protest.

     

    Fenton was a major incident commander in charge of the downtown core on June 26 and 27, 2010, when police officers used the so-called kettling tactic to surround and arrest hundreds of protesters, most of whom were never charged.

     

    Fenton's police disciplinary hearing was originally slated to begin in 2012, but was delayed for over two years before it started last November. The officer had pleaded not guilty to all Police Services Act charges against him.

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  • U.S. Army Reopens Criminal Inquiry Into Afghan Civilians’ Deaths
  • AUG. 24, 2015

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  • <header class="story-header interactive-header"><div class="story-meta"><h1 class="story-heading interactive-headline" itemprop="headline" style="white-space: normal; float: none; display: block; position: static;">Why Turkey Is Fighting the<br data-owner="balance-text">Kurds Who Are Fighting ISIS</h1><br/> <br/> <div class="story-meta-footer interactive-meta-footer"><br/> <div class="interactive-byline"><br/> <p class="byline-dateline"><span itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person" class="byline " itemprop="author creator">By <span data-byline-name="SARAH ALMUKHTAR" class="byline-author" itemprop="name">SARAH ALMUKHTAR</span> and </span><span itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person" class="byline last-byline" itemprop="author creator"><span data-byline-name="TIM WALLACE" class="byline-author" itemprop="name">TIM WALLACE</span></span> <time datetime="2015-08-12" class="dateline">AUG. 12, 2015</time><br/> </p><br/></div><br/> <p class="interactive-leadin summary"><br/> <span class="summary-text">On the same day that Turkey announced it would <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/world/middleeast/turkey-and-us-agree-on-plan-to-clear-isis-from-strip-of-northern-syria.html">help fight the Islamic State</a>, Turkish forces began an airstrike campaign against one of the very groups that has been crucial to stopping the advance of the Islamic State.</span><br/> <br/> </p><br/> </div>&lt;!-- close story-meta-footer --><br/><br/> </div>&lt;!-- close story-meta --><br/> </header><br/> <div class="interactive-graphic" id="turkey-kurds-isis"><br/> &lt;!--<br/><br/>======================================================<br/><br/>THIS IS A GENERATED TEMPLATE FILE. 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.story-header {<br/> margin-bottom: 0;<br/>}<br/><br/>.page-interactive-default .story.theme-main .story-header .story-meta {<br/> margin-bottom: 10px;<br/>}<br/><br/>/*Fixes styling on share tools at bottom of minimal interactives*/<br/>.story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal{<br/> width:auto;<br/> margin-top:11px;<br/>}<br/>.story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool {<br/> display: inline-block;<br/> border-top: 0;<br/>}<br/>.story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool:first-child a {<br/> margin-left: 0;<br/> padding-left: 0;<br/> border-left: none;<br/>}<br/>.story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool a {<br/> padding-left: 15px;<br/> padding-right: 5px;<br/> height: 20px;<br/> border-left: 1px solid #e2e2e2;<br/>}<br/>.story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool a:hover {<br/> background-color: transparent; <br/>}<br/><br/>/* uncomment to fix related content and footer layout on max_width: 720 pages */<br/>/*<br/>.related-coverage {<br/> max-width: 720px;<br/>}<br/><br/>.viewport-medium-30 .page-footer nav ul,<br/>.viewport-medium-50 .page-footer nav ul {<br/> margin-left: 28px;<br/>}<br/><br/>.viewport-medium-30 .page-footer nav.last-nav {<br/> float: none;<br/>}<br/><br/>.viewport-medium-30 .page-footer nav.last-nav ul {<br/> margin-left: 239px;<br/>}<br/>*/<br/><br/>.g-section-hedtwo h2 {<br/> font-family: 'nyt-franklin', arial, sans-serif;<br/> font-size: 1.5em;<br/> line-height: 1.25;<br/> margin-bottom: 0.6em;<br/> font-weight: 300;<br/> text-align: center;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small-10 .g-section-hedtwo h2 {<br/> font-size: 1.8em;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small-20 .g-section-hedtwo h2 {<br/> font-size: 2em;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-hed,<br/>.g-section-hedtwo,<br/>.g-section-copy {<br/> max-width: 560px;<br/> margin-left: auto;<br/> margin-right: auto;<br/>}<br/>.story-header,<br/>.story-meta,<br/>.story-heading {<br/> max-width: 560px;<br/> margin: 0 auto;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-section-quote {<br/> width: 50%;<br/> box-sizing: border-box;<br/> float: left;<br/> padding: 10px;<br/> margin: 0 auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-intro {<br/> clear: both;<br/>}<br/>.g-quotes {<br/> max-width: 720px;<br/> margin: 0 auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-quote {<br/> font-family: 'nyt-cheltenham', georgia, serif;<br/> font-weight: 500;<br/> font-size: 23px;<br/> line-height: 1.3;<br/> margin-bottom: 9px;<br/> padding-top: 3px;<br/> text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;<br/> font-feature-settings: "kern";<br/> -webkit-font-feature-settings: "kern";<br/> -moz-font-feature-settings: "kern";<br/> -moz-font-feature-settings: "kern=1";<br/> max-width: 560px;<br/> margin: 0 auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-attribution {<br/> font-family: 'nyt-franklin', arial, sans-serif;<br/> font-weight: 300;<br/> font-size: 15px;<br/> line-height: 1.35;<br/> max-width: 560px;<br/> margin: 0 auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-attribution strong {<br/> text-transform: uppercase;<br/> font-weight: 700;<br/> font-size: 12px;<br/> letter-spacing: .4px;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-hed {<br/> font-family: 'nyt-franklin', arial, sans-serif;<br/> text-transform: uppercase;<br/> font-weight: 700;<br/> font-size: 0.9em;<br/> letter-spacing: .4px;<br/> text-align: center;<br/> margin-bottom: 1.8em;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-kicker {<br/> padding: 0.6em 1.2em;<br/> border-radius: 1.2em;<br/> background-color: rgba(255, 238, 119, 0.5);<br/> border: 1px solid #bbb;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-html {<br/> margin-top: 2em;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-hed:before,<br/>#kurdfactions .g-section-hedtwo:before {<br/> content: "";<br/> margin: 3em auto;<br/> width: 50%;<br/> height: 1px;<br/> display: block;<br/> background-color: #aaa;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-section-hed:before,<br/>.viewport-medium #kurdfactions .g-section-hedtwo:before {<br/> margin: 3.5em auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-key {<br/> float: none;<br/> clear: both;<br/> overflow: hidden;<br/> max-width: 560px;<br/> margin: 0 auto;<br/> margin-top: 30px;<br/> margin-bottom: 8px;<br/>}<br/>.g-key .g-key-row {<br/> margin-bottom: 5px;<br/> margin-right: 30px;<br/> float: left;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-key .g-key-row {<br/> width: auto;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small-20 .g-key .g-key-row {<br/> width: auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-key .g-key-row .g-key-square,<br/>.g-key .g-key-row .g-key-circle {<br/> width: 13px;<br/> height: 13px;<br/> display: inline-block;<br/> vertical-align: middle;<br/> margin-right: 8px;<br/> float: left;<br/>}<br/>.g-key .g-key-row p {<br/> font-family: nyt-franklin, arial, sans-serif;<br/> float: left;<br/> margin-bottom: 0;<br/> vertical-align: middle;<br/> margin-top: -2px;<br/> font-weight: 500;<br/> font-size: .9em;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-key .g-key-row p {<br/> max-width: 92%;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small-20 .g-key .g-key-row p {<br/> width: auto;<br/> max-width: none;<br/>}<br/>.g-key .g-key-row .g-key-square {<br/> width: 17px;<br/> height: 17px;<br/>}<br/>.g-key .g-key-row .g-key-circle {<br/> border-radius: 50%;<br/> margin-left: 6px;<br/> margin-top: 3px;<br/>}<br/>.g-key .g-key-row .g-key-custom {<br/> width: 20px;<br/> height: 20px;<br/> background-size: 100%;<br/> display: block;<br/> float: left;<br/> width: 24px;<br/> height: 24px;<br/> margin-top: -4px;<br/> margin-right: 2px;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-image {<br/> margin-top: 30px;<br/> width: 100%;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-image img {<br/> width: 100%;<br/>}<br/>.g-table {<br/> width: 100%;<br/> margin-bottom: 20px;<br/> border-bottom: 1px solid #ececec;<br/> padding-bottom: 20px;<br/>}<br/>.g-table:last-child {<br/> border: none;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-table {<br/> display: block;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-table {<br/> display: table;<br/>}<br/>.g-table:first-child {<br/> padding-bottom: 5px;<br/>}<br/>.g-table:first-child .g-table-row {<br/> font-weight: 700;<br/>}<br/>.g-table-row {<br/> display: table-cell;<br/> font-family: nyt-franklin, arial, sans-serif;<br/> line-height: 1.2;<br/> padding-right: 20px;<br/>}<br/>.g-table-row:last-child {<br/> padding: 0;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-table-group {<br/> width: 50px;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-table-group {<br/> width: 5%;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-table-militarywing {<br/> width: 100px;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-table-militarywing {<br/> width: 12%;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-table-location {<br/> width: 75px;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-table-location {<br/> width: 10%;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-table-party {<br/> width: 140px;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-table-party {<br/> width: 15%;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-small .g-table-text {<br/> width: 100%;<br/> display: block;<br/> margin-top: 10px;<br/>}<br/>.viewport-medium .g-table-text {<br/> width: 45%;<br/> display: table-cell;<br/>}<br/>.g-section {<br/> margin-left: auto;<br/> margin-right: auto;<br/>}<br/>.g-section-credit {<br/> margin-top: 4px;<br/>}<br/>#kurdsturkey .g-key-square {<br/> margin-left: 3px;<br/> height: 12px;<br/> margin-top: 4px;<br/>}<br/></style><br/><link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2015/07/31/turkey-kurds-isis/da648a90d29ca58af61e2d7f5ec62cf9abd7ad3f/resizerStyle.css"><br/><br/><div class="g-graphics-stack"><br/><br/><br/> <br/><br/> <br/><br/> <div class="g-section " id="intro"><br/><br/> <br/><br/> <br/><br/> <div class="g-quotes"><br/> <br/><br/> <br/> </div><br/><br/> <br/> <div class="g-section-copy"><br/> <p><br/> <span class="g-intro">Since the July 24 announcement, Turkey has launched several waves of airstrikes against elements of a Kurdish separatist group known as the P.K.K., which is widely listed as a terrorist group. But that group and its allies in Syria, who <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/10/world/middleeast/syria-turkey-islamic-state-kurdish-militia-ypg.html">have been closely working with</a> American forces, are pushing Islamic State militants out of areas they once controlled.</span><span class="g-intro">So while the United States had long sought Turkey’s help in fighting ISIS, the events since the agreement reveal the tangle of diverging interests in the region.<br/> <br/> <br/> </span></p></div></div></div></div>
  • Coordinating Against ISIS

     
        
          
        
     

      Kurdish fighters have been coordinating with the American military since last October. From cloaked rooms in northern Syria, members of the militia known as the Y.P.G. have relayed intelligence and coordinates for potential airstrike targets to an American operations center hundreds of miles away.The resulting strikes have in turn helped the Kurds seize a broad stretch of territory along the Turkish border from the Islamic State. “The role of the coalition jets has been essential to these victories,” said Idris Nassan, a senior Kurdish official from Kobani.     

  • The Y.P.G. is perhaps America’s most effective ally in Syria against the Islamic State. But American officials, though they will broadly acknowledge that they are working with the Y.P.G., take pains not to detail just how closely the forces are working together, given the group’s ties to the outlawed P.K.K.

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  • Stock Markets Tumble as Upheaval Continues
  • AUG. 23, 2015

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  • Show me the money: Madonna’s staggering hypocrisy on gay rights
  • Published time: 23 Aug, 2015
  • Madonna co-owns fitness clubs in Russia. She is also happy to appear in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Her refusal to play concerts in Russia is opportunistic hypocrisy. 

    I met Madonna once. When I say "met," I mean “said hello to Madonna once.” It was at Berlin’s Kaffee Burger, on the famous TorStrasse, during the 2008 Berlinale Film Festival. Oddly, Kaffee Burger is famous for its ‘RussenDisko’ (Russian Disco). The Berlin institution, which exclusively plays music by Russian bands, is hosted by Vladimir Kaminer, a celebrated Moscow-born writer.

    Now, it seems that Russian Madonna fans won’t be graced by her presence. The eighties’ pop icon has announced that she will never tour the country again. “I won’t appear in Moscow or St. Petersburg anymore, because I don’t want to perform in places where being homosexual is tantamount to a crime,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

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  •  
      Inside 
       
       
       
      Supported by
       
       
       
    •  
        Inside 
         
         
         
        Supported by
         
         
         
      • Critiquing U.S. Spending in Afghanistan, to Dramatic Effect

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      •  
          
             
         
         
               
         
          Updated 

        TSX, Dow rally after China sparks huge stock sell off

         
         

        Benchmark Shanghai Composite Index sees worst day since 2007

         

            CBC News    Posted: Aug 24, 2015

          • Dow Jones loses 1,000 points at open before recovering somewhat
          •  
          • Oil loses another $2 to trade just barely above $38 a barrel
          •  
           
           
           
           

          North American stock markets tanked out of the gate before recovering as investor fears about a Chinese economic slowdown spread around the world.

           

          The TSX was down about 100 points in the afternoon on Monday, after earlier being down by as much as 750 points. The Dow Jones fared about the same, down about 100 points in the afternoon after having earlier been as much as 1,000 points in the red.

           

          The cause of the worry was a slowdown in China's economy that Beijing appears powerless to stop. Several market watchers used the phrase "Black Monday" to describe the panic selling at open. 

      • China's main index sank 8.5 per cent — its biggest drop since 2007 — amid deepening fears that the world's second-largest economy is slowing down.

         

        "The whole world is waiting for massive action from the Chinese government — a bazooka that can blast through all this market madness," market watcher Mark Grant at Southwest Securities said in a note.

        "The problem is that it doesn't have one. That's because China's growth model is broken, and it can't be fixed by cash injections or other emergency policy measures."

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