ISIS Kid Kills, Forced Confession, Two-Year Timelapse

ISIS VIDEO SHOWS CHILD KILLING TEEN
A video posted online by ISIS shows a young boy fatally shooting 19-year-old Muhammad Musallam, an Israeli Arab whom the terrorist group accused of being a spy for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence services, Reuters

  • Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Musallam is seen saying he had been recruited and trained by Mossad after his father and brother encouraged him.
  • He is then escorted to a field with the young boy and an older, French-speaking man who, according to France 24, may the half-brother of Mohamed Merah, who carried out the Toulouse and Montauban shootings in 2012.
  • Musallam’s father denied his son was a spy, saying last month he had gone missing while on a tourist trip in Turkey.
  • An Israeli security official said he had left for Syria to fight with ISIS.

IRAQI FORCES ENTER TIKRIT
The Iraqi military, in alliance with private Shia militias, have entered parts of Tikrit, a city northwest of Baghdad that has been under ISIS control since June 2014. This is part of a major offensive against the Sunni jihadist group.

  • The Iraqi forces had already surrounded Tikrit on Tuesday along the Tigris River, Al Jazeera reports.
  • Government troops and Shia fighters are now allegedly stationed in the main streets, as they are expected to retake the entire city in the coming days.
  • Meanwhile, key ISIS communication and supply lines between Syria and Iraq were allegedly destroyed by the U.S-led coalition against the terrorist group Tuesday, Al Arabiya reports.
  • Reuters also reported Wednesday that hundreds of ISIS fighters had launched an attack on Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, triggering fierce fighting that has killed dozens on both sides.

SNAPSHOT
Photo above: David Fisher/Rex Features/ZUMA
American actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprised their roles as models from Zoolander Tuesday at the Valentino show during Paris Fashion Week. Their humorous appearance was part of an announcement that a sequel to the 2001 movie is in the works.

NEMTSOV MURDER SUSPECT’S CONFESSION “FORCED”
Zaur Dadayev, one of two suspects charged with the murder of the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, told Andrei Babushkin, a member of Russia's Human Rights Council he confessed under duress. After visiting Dadayev in a Moscow prison Tuesday, Babushkin said “numerous wounds” on his body suggested he had been tortured, the BBC reports. The suspect, who was allegedly tied up for two days with a bag over his head, said he only confessed so a friend with him would be freed. According to the Human Rights Watch representative, Dadayev intended to say this in a court hearing Sunday but was never given a chance to speak.

VERBATIM
“Russia is still in eastern Ukraine,” said NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a news conference Wednesday in Mons, Belgium, Le Figaro reports. “"We still see Russian presence and strong support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine. We see the delivery of equipment, forces, training ... Therefore we call on Russia to withdraw all its forces from eastern Ukraine and to respect the Minsk agreement."

EXTRA!
Likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is fighting back the latest controversy over her use of a private email account while serving as U.S. Secretary of State. Her press conference to (sort of) defend herself and (sort of) apologize was splashed across American front pages. Here’s how it looked on The Wall Street Journal.

9 MILLION
Around 15 armed robbers attacked two armored vans as they stopped at a highway turnpike on Wednesday night in France, in what seemed like a well-prepared raid. They left with 9 million euros worth of cash and jewelry, France Info reports.

ON THIS DAY
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We mark the 1931 birth of this mogul, who says he’s not “bad-tempered at all.” Plus dark days in Spain and Japan on your 57-second shot of history.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
Christophe Boltanski of French weekly L’Obs (Le Nouvel Observateur) tells the story of three young Syrians who, despite death threats, are fighting the jihadists terrorizing their country with the only weapon they have: pure mockery: “They create their videos with bits and pieces. A camera, a bright green curtain, a computer. Not forgetting the panoply of the perfect terrorist: a plastic Kalashnikov, fake knives, beards, and dynamite sticks. Jihad, in its prank version.
Since January, they have posted a new sketch every Friday. A dark background, macabre titles, Hollywood-like music, their opening credits spoofing the propaganda films of the Al-Hayat Media Center, the communications department of ISIS. Their logo shows a blindfolded hostage.
Read the full article, Making Fun Of ISIS, Syrian Activists Strike Back With Humor.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
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THIS BEAUTIFUL TIME-LAPSE TOOK TWO YEARS TO MAKE
The Austrian photographers Thomas Pöcksteiner and Peter Jablonowski made an astonishing timelapse of their country that took two years, 600 sequences and 5 terabytes of photos to shoot.

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Geopolitics

Taliban Redux, Cleaned-Up Image Can't Mask Their Cruel Reality

Twenty years later the Islamist group is back in power in Afghanistan, but trying this time to win international support. Now that several months have passed, experts on the ground can offer a clear assessment if the group has genuinely transformed on such issues as women's rights and free speech.

The Taliban have now been in power for almost five months

Atal Ahmadzai and Faten Ghosn

The international community is closely monitoring the Taliban, after the group re-seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

There is legitimate reason for concern. The Taliban are again ruling through fear and draconian rules.

The Taliban’s last regime, in the mid-1990s, was marked by human rights violations, including massacres, mass detentions and rape. The regime collapsed on Nov. 14, 2001, shortly after the U.S. launched its global war on terrorism.

Even after the Taliban officially fell from power, their subsequent two decades of insurgency produced various gross human rights violations, an encompassing term under international human rights law.

Keep reading... Show less
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