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World News / Thank God for western values | The Spectator
« Last post by TomSea on Today at 10:38:19 PM »
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Thank God for western values | The Spectator

Tom Holland

Declarations of hope that Notre Dame can be resurrected have been much in evidence this Holy Week. Such is the lesson of Easter: that life can come from death. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, that other great emblem of Paris, Notre Dame provides the French with evidence that their modern and secular republic has its foundations deeply rooted in the Middle Ages. Notre Dame has always been more than just an assemblage of stone and stained glass. It is a monument as well to a specifically Christian past.

Last summer, one of the world’s best-known scientists, a man as celebrated for his polemics against religion as for his writings on evolutionary biology, sat in another cathedral, Winchester, listening to the bells peal. ‘So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar”,’ Richard Dawkins tweeted. ‘Or is that just my cultural upbringing?’ A preference for church bells over the sound of Muslims praising God does not just emerge by magic. Dawkins — agnostic, secularist and humanist that he is — absolutely has the instincts of someone brought up in a Christian civilisation.

Perhaps, then, the debt of the contemporary West to Christianity is more deeply rooted than many — believers and non-believers alike — might presume.

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Three decades of terror, racism and genocide come to an end in Sudan. But what comes next? - AIJAC

On April 11, Omar al-Bashir’s three decade reign of terror, racism and genocide in Sudan came to an abrupt end. Massive protests across the country against Bashir’s regime ultimately convinced the military to remove him and assume power as part of a Transitional Military Council (TMC), which is meant to last for up to two years before democratic elections can take place. Given the general dysfunction and chaos in fractious Sudan, including within the Military Council itself, what will actually happen is impossible to predict. There is not even completely reliable information on where Bashir himself is, much less what he is doing, although sources say he is being held in the high-security Kobar prison.

Sudan has undergone an interesting transformation since the rise of the Islamist Bashir regime in 1989. In the early 1990s, it functioned as the primary hub for transnational terrorism, sheltering a diverse array of terrorists. From Osama bin-Laden and Carlos the Jackal to the Abu Nidal Organization, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hezbollah, Bashir’s regime proudly housed and facilitated all of the world’s terrorists and encouraged them to network and interface.

It was in Sudan, after all, that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Lebanese branch Hezbollah, which maintained a substantial presence in the country, intersected with Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin-Laden and began training Al-Qaeda to conduct spectacular suicide attacks in the style of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh, who oversaw the initiative. This landed Sudan on the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list in 1993, where it remains to this day.

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Note the last paragraph. It's often counter-intuitive to couple Iran (Shi-ite) with al-Qaeda (Sunni) but that is what it says.

So, that's the connection or one connection and it happened in Sudan and that leader was thought to be the worse.
ISIS offshoot in Afghanistan willing, able to strike US, says intelligence official
Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
Published 6:00 a.m. ET April 17, 2019 | Updated 8:39 a.m. ET April 17, 2019

WASHINGTON – ISIS-affiliated terrorists in Afghanistan, noted for their brutality in a brutal land, pose the top threat for spectacular attacks in the United States, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official.

The group known as ISIS-K, like al-Qaeda, which plotted the 9/11 terror attacks from Afghanistan, also has designs on striking targets in Western nations, said the U.S. intelligence official, who is not authorized to speak publicly.

ISIS-K has hundreds of fighters and has shown increasing effectiveness in its tactics and recruiting in Afghanistan, said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee who recently visited Afghanistan.

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Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., again, for foreign relations, the guy seems okay. Domestically, I'm sure he's like most other Democrats.
General Discussion / Re: The Good Friday Story
« Last post by TomSea on Today at 10:24:59 PM »
Great, thanks for posting. @jmyrlefuller
Libya crisis: PM Fayez al-Serraj condemns ‘silence’ of allies

The UN-backed PM of Libya has condemned the "silence" of his international allies as opposing forces advance on the capital Tripoli.

Fayez al-Serraj is facing down an insurgency led by eastern commander Gen Khalifa Haftar.

More than 205 people have been killed since fighting began on 4 April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

As violence continues, Mr Serraj told the BBC his people were starting to feel abandoned by the world.

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New York Slimes alert

The Battle Over Artificial Intelligence


Your reporting on the use of facial recognition in China for “minority identification” is a stark reminder that the battle over the future of artificial intelligence will not simply be about who gathers the top scientists or who is first to innovate. It will also be about who is able to preserve fundamental rights during a period of rapidly changing technology.

The White House has already made some progress on this front, highlighting American values, including privacy and civil liberties, in an executive order earlier this year, and backing an important international framework at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But there is much more to be done.

The United States must work with other democratic countries to establish red lines for certain A.I. applications and ensure fairness, accountability and transparency as A.I. systems are deployed.

The administration should open the American policy process to ensure that the voice of civil society is heard. And the United States should be prepared to make oppressive uses of A.I. a trade issue that could trigger sanctions and more.
World News / US man could face death penalty over Thailand 'sea home'
« Last post by TomSea on Today at 10:21:01 PM »
US man could face death penalty over Thailand 'sea home'
    18 April 2019

A US man and his partner could face the death penalty after they were accused of building a "sea home" off Thailand.

Chad Elwartowski has gone into hiding with his girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet, after the navy said they had threatened the country's sovereignty.

Their home, which sits atop a 20m (65ft) platform, is located around 12 miles (19km) off the coast of Phuket.

But Mr Elwartowski insists it is 13 miles from the shore and therefore outside of Thailand's jurisdiction.

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He's gone into hiding, he should get the hell out of Dodge.

The fact that the rats were not prepared with a unified message speaks volumes about their state of disorganization.


feigned, insincere, false, affected, mannered, unnatural, stilted, contrived, pretended, put-on, exaggerated, actorly, overdone, overripe, forced, labored, strained, hollow, spurious....


No Collusion!  Trump failed at that too?  I long for the good old days when Presidents knew how to collude.

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