“Many antique collectors unwillingly support terrorists like Islamic State, ” Michel van Rijn, one of the most successful smugglers of antique artifacts in the past century, told German broadcaster Das Erste this month.
The Great Debate
With widespread accusations of repeated errors rampant in the media, it is easy to see how the public may feel the system’s response to the Ebola threat is one big mess.
Negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program have not even concluded yet some members of Congress are preparing to manufacture a political crisis over a deal. Their beef? President Barack Obama may initially bypass Congress and suspend sanctions imposed on Iran to make a deal possible and only later ask lawmakers to end them permanently when it is determined that Iran has complied fully with its obligations under the deal.
The last time I saw Maria Baronova on Nikolskaya Street in Moscow, she was taking part in a silent anti-government demonstration before being bundled into a police bus with a half dozen other protesters. Now, almost three years later, we meet for a beer in an English pub on that same ancient street near the Kremlin. So much has changed. The Moscow protest movement fizzled out after Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency; activists like Baronova were prosecuted, and a blanket of repression is muffling the last voices of dissent.
Last week British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond said the struggle against Islamic State was “effectively Iraq’s last chance as nation state.”
from John Lloyd:
This month, Pope Francis had to come clean.
Time’s Man of the Year for 2013, the object of seemingly universal affection, is a liberal: and that means a season – perhaps a papacy – of struggle. His honeymoon as the Amiable Argentinian is over.
If you told me a few years ago that a synod of bishops would make the front page of almost every newspaper, be featured prominently on almost every news website, and be the topic of heated conversation among Catholics worldwide, I would have said that you were — to use a theological term — crazy.
from Jack Shafer:
One of the great payoffs of having lived a long life arrives on the day the newspapers publish your obituary. By out-lasting your competitors and foes, the storyline naturally bends your way. Time blurs precise recollection in favor of generous feelings, which we tend to bestow upon most famous survivors, no matter what sort of lives they lived.
On Sept. 10, President Barack Obama outlined an overall strategy for countering the al Qaeda’ist movement that grandiosely calls itself the Islamic State. The president vowed to defeat and ultimately destroy it.