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Israel

Ukraine Refugees Attacked, Gaza Talks Resume, British Humor

Workers clean the clock face of Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, in London yesterday.
Workers clean the clock face of Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, in London yesterday.

Aug. 19, 2014

ISIS THREATENS AMERICANS
In an online video message, ISIS terrorists threaten to attack Americans “in any place” in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against them in Iraq, The Independent reports. In the gruesome video, a statement reads, “We will drown all of you in blood.” This comes as Kurdish Peshmergas and Iraqi troops fully recaptured the strategic Mosul Dam yesterday with the help of U.S. fighter jets, bombers and drones. U.S. President Barack Obama praised the fighters for their victory, which he described as a “major step forward” in the fight against the Islamist jihadists.

ANOTHER NIGHT OF FERGUSON CHAOS
U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will travel to Ferguson, Mo., tomorrow to oversee the investigation into the fatal police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. Last night, the St. Louis suburb was again the stage of violent clashes between protesters and the police, supported by the National Guard, AP reports.

Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol said during a press conference early this morning that two people in the crowd had been wounded by gunshots fired by protesters, claiming that “not a single bullet was fired by officers despite coming under heavy attack.” He explained that 31 people had been arrested overnight, including some who had come from New York and California. Among those arrested were two German reporters and Scott Olson, a Getty photographer who took some of the best pictures from Ferguson.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International weighed in this morning, tweeting, “US can't tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won't clean up its own human rights record.”

GAZA TALKS RESUME IN CAIRO
Negotiators from the Palestinian territories and Israel have resumed talks in Cairo after both sides agreed to extend a five-day ceasefire that expired last night for 24 hours. Discussions are again expected to focus on Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, while Israel wants a disarmament of the territory. Haaretz reported yesterday that Israel has been barring Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch workers from entering Gaza to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Israeli army.

$2 MILLION
That’s how much a Seinfeld-inspired Israeli entrepreneur raised with a slideshow about nothing.

UKRAINE REFUGEE CONVOY ATTACKED
At least 15 bodies have been recovered from the site of a rocket strike on a refugee convoy near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luhansk yesterday. But according to The Guardian, “dozens of people, including women and children” are believed to have died in the attack, which Kiev authorities blamed on pro-Russian rebels. A representative of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said rebel forces did not have the ability to send such missiles to that specific area, and replied that the Ukrainian army had been bombarding the same road the convoy of buses was traveling on with similar rockets.

FAREWELL
Legendary Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo died Monday at age 96. Pardo introduced the acts for the late-night show, introducing the opening credits, from October 1975 until last season's May finale.

EBOLA DEATH TOLL TOPS 1,200
The World Health Organization has updated its figures on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, saying that at least 2,240 cases have been reported this year, resulting in 1,229 deaths. The WHO also announced a partnership with the UN's World Food Programme to ensure food delivery to one million people living in Ebola quarantine zones in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Reuters reports. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, explains that an experimental drug is showing encouraging signs, with an American Ebola patient “gaining strength.”

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD

INDIA CALLS OFF PAKISTAN PEACE TALKS
Recently elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled a planned meeting between India’s and Pakistan’s Foreign Ministers about the disputed Kashmir region because of what he sees as “interference” in internal affairs, the Indian Express reports. The decision came after Pakistani leaders met with Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of the talks, something the Pakistani foreign ministry said was “longstanding practice.” Daily newspaper The Times of India commented that while “previous governments preferred to overlook these meetings, Modi has signaled he will not,” choosing to show his “tough side.”

BRITISH HUMOR
As the BBC reports, a joke by comedian Tim Vine about a vacuum cleaner has been voted the funniest at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “I've decided to sell my Hoover. Well, it was just collecting dust," the comedian quipped.

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eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. – American Diplomacy Is Unable (Or Unwilling) To Adapt To A New World

Crises worldwide mean we need less nationalism and more cooperation, but the U.S., a weakened superpower, won't accept its diminished status.

Close up photo of a somber-looking flag of the U.S.

America the not-so-Great anymore

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, Ginevra Falconi, Renate Mattar

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — There is widespread international consensus that the post-Cold War period, which began around 1990, is over. Initially, it heralded a "new order" under the guidance of the United States, which promised stability, justice and equity but became instead a run of crises, challenges, conflicts and failures.

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