World

The Plight of Arab Israeli Christians

By on 5.22.14 | 3:53PM

Arab Israeli Christians of military age will now receive a non-binding invitation to volunteer for the Israeli army, partly because of efforts by an Arab Israeli priest.

The Greek Orthodox priest, Father Gabriel Naddaf of Nazareth, has faced tremendous opposition from the Christian and Muslim communities alike, some of whom see this as Israel's latest attempt to "divide and conquer" along religious lines, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Christians represent 2 percent of the Israeli population and 10 percent of Arab Israelis, but the number of Christians in the Israeli army has tripled to 150 since Father Naddaf's campaign began.

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Deposed Egyptian President Mubarak Faces Prison After Graft Conviction

By on 5.21.14 | 3:48PM

The deposed president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was convicted of graft and sentenced to three years in prison today. 

You read right—graft. It’s a little like getting Al Capone for tax evasion, although Mubarak doesn’t have anything near the popular support of the late gangster.

This was his second trial, as Mubarak’s earlier sentencing for his role in the deaths of 900 protesters during the 2011 protests had been overturned. Then-president Mohammed Morsi’s attempt to reopen the case was interrupted by his own ouster at the hands of the Egyptian military, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Take the World Cup Away From Qatar

By on 5.20.14 | 11:45AM

It's not often that I see eye to eye with the New Republic and Slate, but they have both picked up on the scandal of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup. ESPN was the first to give real attention to this story through their E:60 documentary on the plight of migrant workers in Qatar. Due to working conditions and the outrageous heat, it is estimated that 1,200 of those workers have died while helping build one of the needed twelve soccer stadiums. At that rate, 4,800 will die in order to finish all of the facilities. Worse, through Qatar's kafala system, employers confiscate their workers' visas and passports, making them de facto forced laborers. 

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The Putin Problem

By on 5.7.14 | 3:53PM

Today Vladimir Putin announced he will pull back Russian troops from the Ukrainian border. However, The White House stated that it has yet to see these words produce any meaningful action:

A White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters traveling with President Obama aboard Air Force One that while the United States would welcome a Russian military pullback from the Ukraine border region, “there has been no evidence that such a withdrawal has taken place.”

Regardless, this message from Putin has to be a relief for the Obama administration, as the options to respond to Russia's aggressive maneuvers were limited at best. Narrow sanctions against high-profile individuals close to Putin had already been levied, and any wider sanctions would have risked economic damage not only to Russia, but all nations dependent on Gazprom exports. Any military options are fraught with peril at best.

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Flashback

A Lonely Visionary

By From the December 1987 issue

“Sorry to bother you, but haven’t we met before? Aren’t you…what’s his name?”

“I doubt you’d know my name,” he said. “Nobody does these days.”

There was a trace of bitterness in his voice, just enough to prod my curiosity. On the whole, he was quite an ordinary looking old man, around seventy-five I would guess, with a flabby face and a bald head. But there, right on the top of his forehead, was the painfully familiar huge purple mark resembling the outlines of some exotic land on the globe. Perhaps South America, or even India…. I could swear I’d seen him before.

We were sitting in a bar on Fisherman’s Wharf, the most crowded spot in San Francisco, where you can run across anybody from this or the next world. California, as you know, has the reputation of a weird planet: if there are ghosts, this is their homeland. There is no way of knowing who you might see across the table. Was this fellow one of Hollywood’s old faces, a character from a great but unjustly forgotten movie? He looked a bit like Edward G. Robinson, or someone from The Untouchables.

“Have I seen you on television?”

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Letter From Paris

Mugging the Family

By From the April 2014 issue

France’s pseudo-bolshevikian government has discovered a new problem in urgent need of a socialist solution: what to do about women. In the land where influential dames, if not dames,have for centuries dominated their menfolk beyond the wildest dreams of American feminists, where medieval knights were on their knees before their lady-loves while kings doted on their maîtress en titre, where today’s president, François Hollande, compromises his country’s reputation and his own authority by succumbing to an irresistible yen for a new mistress, this may seem paradoxical to say the least. Surely in France, of all places, woman’s role has been defined to the satisfaction of all, and especially the femmes themselves. 

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A Further Perspective

America’s Bad Optics Invite Adventurism

By 4.16.14

The remaining two and a half years of the Obama Administration are a dangerous period for the world. There is a window of opportunity for rogue nations and adversaries to take advantage of an administration that has yielded on the world stage and put our foreign policy, if you can find it, into disrepair. Further, the president seems disengaged from foreign affairs, narcissistically absorbed with himself, and inciting class warfare and social unrest to cover for lack of success elsewhere.

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Special Report

Regrets Over Rwanda

By 4.11.14

On April 6, 1994, a plane was hit by a missile over the Rwandan capital of Kigali. Everyone onboard was killed, including Rwanda’s president, Juvénal Habyarimana.

Even twenty years later, it remains uncertain who shot down the plane. But what happened immediately afterwards is very much known, seared into the minds of those who bore witness and branded forever on Rwanda’s soul. Hutu extremists blamed the Tutsi ethnic minority for the president’s killing and began a program of mass extermination. By the time they were finished, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were dead, most of them hacked apart with medieval weapons like machetes and axes.

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Celebrity, Social Media, and War

By on 4.3.14 | 1:30PM

It’s finally happened. Kim Kardashian weighed in on the situation in Syria. Spoiler alert: She gets it all wrong. It shouldn’t come as a shock that silly people have stupid opinions about important issues that confound them. Still, let's investigate. It all speaks to a bigger point about celebrities, social media, and war.

Tweets Kardashian:

Please let's not let history repeat itself!!!!!! Let's get this trending!!!!

#SaveKessab

#ArmenianGenocide

Moments later:

If you don't know what's going on in Kessab please google it, its heart breaking! As an Armenian, I grew up hearing so many painful stories!

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Crimes in Crimea

By on 3.18.14 | 4:55PM

In 1853, Russia invaded the Danubian Principalities, just west of its empire on the Black Sea. Britain and France responded by allying with the Ottoman Empire and declaring war on Russia. Much of the fighting over the next three years would take place in Crimea, as allied forces tried to break Russia’s grip on the city of Sevastopol. The Crimean War would leave about 375,000 allied troops and anywhere from 143,000 to 522,000 Russian troops dead—mostly from disease—and devastate the Crimean Peninsula.

During the Russian Civil War, Crimea would become a stronghold for the anti-Bolshevik White Army and its sympathizers. But by 1920, the White Army was evacuating and the Bolsheviks stormed the peninsula. The communists distributed questionnaires and, foreshadowing Nazi tactics that would one day be used against them, used the answers to divide the population into those to be killed, imprisoned, or saved. More than 50,000 people, most of them civilians, were slaughtered over about six weeks.

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