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What Patrick Shanahan’s nomination for secretary of defense would mean for U.S. foreign policy


What Patrick Shanahan’s nomination for secretary of defense would mean for U.S. foreign policy

The national security advisor can roll over Shanahan, who is inexperienced and doesn't even seem to be "part of the foreign policy conversation."



SCROLL DOWN

What Patrick Shanahan’s nomination for secretary of defense would mean for U.S. foreign policy


What Patrick Shanahan’s nomination for secretary of defense would mean for U.S. foreign policy

The national security advisor can roll over Shanahan, who is inexperienced and doesn't even seem to be "part of the foreign policy conversation."



ThinkProgress
May 2019

Nearly five months after appointing a former Boeing executive as interim Secretary of Defense, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday announced the president’s intention to nominate Patrick Shanahan permanently to the position.

In the tweet announcing the decision, Sanders said President Donald Trump’s decision was based on Shanahan’s leadership qualities and his “outstanding service to the Country.”

If Shanahan is actually nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, he will be among the very few to hold the post while lacking military, foreign policy, government, and national security experience. Experts and veterans worry that this lack of experience means he will leave key policy discussions to National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom are considered to be among the more hawkish figures in the administration. Read more →

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Trump considers military options in Venezuela that experts say will ‘freak out’ the hemisphere


Trump considers military options in Venezuela that experts say will ‘freak out’ the hemisphere
Rolling in with soldiers is one thing -- stabilizing Venezuela is another.

Trump considers military options in Venezuela that experts say will ‘freak out’ the hemisphere


Trump considers military options in Venezuela that experts say will ‘freak out’ the hemisphere
Rolling in with soldiers is one thing -- stabilizing Venezuela is another.

ThinkProgress
May 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro addressed 4,000 troops in a televised message on Thursday, saying that they must be prepared to fight the “traitors” supporting opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s failed attempt to take power this week.

“How many dead would there be if a civil war started here because of the foolishness of coup mongers and traitors? And how long would the war last if there was an invasion? Because we would never surrender,” said Maduro, who has been accused of fraud and corruption by his critics. Read more →

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John Bolton is inflaming US-Iran tensions for no good reason


John Bolton is inflaming US-Iran tensions for no good reason

The move "raises the stakes for everybody" in the region.

John Bolton is inflaming US-Iran tensions for no good reason


John Bolton is inflaming US-Iran tensions for no good reason

The move "raises the stakes for everybody" in the region.

ThinkProgress
May 2019 

When President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year, he drew the U.S. back into an antagonistic posture from which it had taken years to step out. On Sunday, his national security adviser, John Bolton, increased tensions even further, when he announced that the U.S. “is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime.”

Bolton, who has a long record of being hawkish on Iran, said the move was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He offered no specifics about what those indications or warnings might be. He added that while the U.S. “is not seeking war,” it wants to show it is “fully prepared to respond to the attack.”

It’s possible that this was a response to a perceived threat — real or imagined — to U.S. troops in places like Iraq, where Iranian-backed Shia militias hold sway. And that has grown ever more likely, said Richard Nephew, senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy, as, “The policy choices of this administration have escalated things with the Iranians.” Read more →

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Here’s why Trump’s upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un is more likely to ‘go wrong than right’


Here’s why Trump’s upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un is more likely to ‘go wrong than right’

Forget hopes for a step-by-step approach with North Korea. U.S. will push for "very big bites."

Here’s why Trump’s upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un is more likely to ‘go wrong than right’


Here’s why Trump’s upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un is more likely to ‘go wrong than right’

Forget hopes for a step-by-step approach with North Korea. U.S. will push for "very big bites."

ThinkProgress
February 2019

If all goes as planned, President Donald Trump is set to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27 and 28 to, once again, discuss Pyongyang’s ballistic and nuclear weapons programs. And until then, Trump administration senior officials are trying to temper expectations.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, State Department officials could not share if they knew how North Korea would define “complete denuclearization.” In fact, one official said, “I don’t know if North Korea has made the choice yet to denuclearize.”

“Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to,” said one of the officials, making it clear that no agreement may come from next week’s summit at all. Read more →

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Discussing rising tensions between the US and Iran


Discussing rising tensions between the US and Iran


CGTN America
October 2018

CGTN's Elaine Reyes speaks to D. Parvaz about the contentious relationship between the U.S. and Iran. Watch →

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Refugees fled to Greece for safety. They arrived at a living hell.


Refugees fled to Greece for safety. They arrived at a living hell.

Thousands of asylum seekers continue to arrive in Greece. Many of them are living in horrific conditions unimaginable in the European Union.

Refugees fled to Greece for safety. They arrived at a living hell.


Refugees fled to Greece for safety. They arrived at a living hell.

Thousands of asylum seekers continue to arrive in Greece. Many of them are living in horrific conditions unimaginable in the European Union.

ThinkProgress
March 2018

LESBOS, GREECE – Roohina sits in a room the size of a minivan with her daughter, Hosna, who is one and a half years old. Only the room isn’t so much a room as an indoor tent: The back wall is the only actual wall in their new home in the Moria refugee camp on the island. Blankets create a division between their space and the space where other families live in in the container housing. Another blanket functions as a door.

Roohina, who had a job at a U.N. agency in Kabul, has been living in Moria with Hosna and her husband, who she did not name and was not there at the time, for six days. The family decided to leave after his place of employment, Roshan, a telecommunication company, was among the businesses hit with a massive suicide attack in the capital’s diplomatic district in May. The attack was one of the deadliest in Kabul in years. Read more →

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Journalists allege threat of drone execution by US


Journalists allege threat of drone execution by US

Fearing assassination, Al Jazeera's Ahmad Zaidan and independent journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem file US legal complaint.

Journalists allege threat of drone execution by US


Journalists allege threat of drone execution by US

Fearing assassination, Al Jazeera's Ahmad Zaidan and independent journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem file US legal complaint.

Al Jazeera
April 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Two journalists who say they have been targeted by the United States have filed a complaint against the American government, accusing it of putting them on a "kill list" and demanding to be taken off it.

The complaint was filed in the US District Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday on behalf of Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan - a dual Pakistani-Syrian citizen who works for Al Jazeera and Bilal Abdul Kareem, an American, who has occasionally contributed to Al Jazeera and other media organisations. Read more →

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Combating domestic violence in Iraq's Kurdish region


Combating domestic violence in Iraq's Kurdish region

Faced with tough choices and social pressures, some women in the region are paying the ultimate price.

Combating domestic violence in Iraq's Kurdish region


Combating domestic violence in Iraq's Kurdish region

Faced with tough choices and social pressures, some women in the region are paying the ultimate price.

Al Jazeera
October 2016

ERBIL, IRAQ - Jaleh has spent a total of one year inside an unmarked women's shelter in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region.

Before coming here, the 19-year-old woman with long, dark hair had fallen in love with a man she hoped to marry - but one of her five brothers did not approve.

"So he killed my boyfriend and shot me with a Kalashnikov in our home," Jaleh told Al Jazeera, speaking under a pseudonym. Hearing the shots and her screams, neighbours called the police, and Jaleh was taken to a hospital, where doctors had to amputate her right leg at the knee.

 UN agreement reached on ending violence against women

To this day, Jaleh does not know why her brother objected to her boyfriend: "He never told me why ... he still has not." Read more →

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Yazidis hope to rescue ISIL-held family members


Yazidis hope to rescue ISIL-held family members

Yazidi families hoping to free relatives from ISIL fighters face grim prospects as the battle for Mosul nears.

Yazidis hope to rescue ISIL-held family members


Yazidis hope to rescue ISIL-held family members

Yazidi families hoping to free relatives from ISIL fighters face grim prospects as the battle for Mosul nears.

Al Jazeera
October 2016

QADIYA, IRAQ — Nova and her sister, Bafareen, did not think they’d ever see each other again. The two - along with their entire family - were captured by ISIL fighters when trying to leave their village of Kocho in August 2014.

The two girls, members of Iraq's Yazidi religious minority, described how the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) separated the men from women and children, and then separated Nova, 24, from Bafareen, 18. Read more →

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A hard winter: Afghan refugees return from Pakistan


A hard winter: Afghan refugees return from Pakistan
Two million more refugees are expected to return to a country mired in violence and braced for a bitter winter.

A hard winter: Afghan refugees return from Pakistan


A hard winter: Afghan refugees return from Pakistan
Two million more refugees are expected to return to a country mired in violence and braced for a bitter winter.

Al Jazeera
November 2016

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Caught in the middle of political tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan are some two million Afghan refugees - registered and unregistered - who now face the option of either returning voluntarily or being deported from Pakistan.

And it couldn't happen at a worse time.

Winter in Afghanistan can be bitterly cold. The country is also experiencing a spike in violence, with increased attacks from the Taliban and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters, leading to peak levels of civilian casualties and internal displacement as people flee the fighting.  Read more →

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'Massive crisis' as 1.5m expected to flee Iraq's Mosul


'Massive crisis' as 1.5m expected to flee Iraq's Mosul

Number of displaced Iraqis in Kurdish region about increase within a month with the battle to retake Mosul set for mid-October.

'Massive crisis' as 1.5m expected to flee Iraq's Mosul


'Massive crisis' as 1.5m expected to flee Iraq's Mosul

Number of displaced Iraqis in Kurdish region about increase within a month with the battle to retake Mosul set for mid-October.

Al Jazeera
September 2016

DIBAGA CAMP,  IRAQ — In a stifling hot office with more flies than oxygen, Rzgar Abed does not hesitate when asked about the biggest challenge in managing the camp for Iraq's internally displaced people (IDPs).

"Space ... we're at 31,000 and that is our capacity. Thirty-one thousand," said Abed, who works for the Barzani Charity Foundation, whicg oversees a number of camps, populated by Iraqis displaced people fleeing fighters belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the Kurdish region.

That number is set to increase rapidly. Read more →

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Selling American Girls


Selling American Girls

Until recently, the victims were the ones being arrested

Selling American Girls


Selling American Girls

Until recently, the victims were the ones being arrested

Al Jazeera America
April 2015

Part 1: The Streets

LOS ANGELES, CA — On a cool, quiet Thursday night, crimes of all types unfurl on South Figueroa Street.

This is one of the main tracks for prostitution in Los Angeles, a strip where sex can be purchased from teenage girls on almost any given corner, where pimps, some of them gang affiliated, carefully guard their turf and property.

At about 200 blocks, most of them rough, the Fig, as it’s called, can hide a lot. In April it was hiding a 16-year-old named Stacey, missing since December.

She contacted a cousin on Facebook earlier that month, using someone else’s phone. She was with a pimp, she said. Then a big break: She called her mother from a blocked number, saying she didn’t know where she was and that she was scared. Read more →

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Can Japan revive its nuclear ghost towns?


Can Japan revive its nuclear ghost towns?
The instability of the Fukushima Daiichi plant continues to keep evacuees away from the disaster zone.

Can Japan revive its nuclear ghost towns?


Can Japan revive its nuclear ghost towns?
The instability of the Fukushima Daiichi plant continues to keep evacuees away from the disaster zone.

Al Jazeera
March 2014

NIHONMATSU, JAPAN   It's from a distance that Naoki Kobayashi tries to manage the reformation of his town Namie, which sits empty 10km away from the leaking nuclear plant that has wrought chaos on the lives of those in its radioactive reach.

In the relocated town office in Nihonmatsu, roughly 66km west of Namie, Kobayashi and his colleagues are wrestling with a major dilemma: How do you rebuild a town when you're not sure anyone - especially the young - even wants to go back?

At least that's the upshot from questionnaires sent to former residents.

Of the 60 percent who responded, about 30 percent said they don't plan to return to Namie, and another 30 percent indicated they're not sure they'll ever go back.

"We had 21,000 people in Namie, but it's impossible to rebuild for 21,000 … It's mostly the younger people who don't want to come back, and the main reason is fear of radiation," said Kobayashi, an administrative officer for Namie's revitalisation and recovery department. Read more →

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New Libyan media challenge: Covering first ever post-Gaddafi electionsage


New Libyan media challenge: Covering first ever post-Gaddafi electionsage


Al Jazeera — Listening Post
July 2012 

When Libyans vote in the country's first free elections in almost five decades, will they have had the benefit of a free and independent media to help them make an informed decision? Watch here →

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Smell of death lingers in Cairo's Iman mosque


Smell of death lingers in Cairo's Iman mosque
Hundreds of bodies line floors of makeshift morgue, some of them charred and impossible to identify.

Smell of death lingers in Cairo's Iman mosque


Smell of death lingers in Cairo's Iman mosque
Hundreds of bodies line floors of makeshift morgue, some of them charred and impossible to identify.

Al Jazeera
August 2013

CAIRO, EGYPT — One day after Cairo police cleared two sit-ins held in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, the capital city was slow to wake.

Hours after the state-of-emergency curfew was lifted, traffic and signs of life began to appear by late morning on Thursday.

But in some quarters, life was not going back to normal after at least 525 people were killed in the clearings in Cairo and ensuing clashes here and across the country.

In Giza, hundreds of Morsi supporters set fire to the local government offices, prompting the government to authorise the use of live ammunition on anyone attacking state buildings.

And in the al-Iman mosque in Nasr City, the neighbourhood where a massive, 47-day vigil was held at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, hundreds of bodies from Wednesday’s violence still lined floors of the makeshift morgue.

Wrapped in shrouds and kept cool with blocks of ice, most of the bodies bore gunshot wounds, but a number were charred, making them hard to identify for family members. Read more →

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Dorothy Parvaz: Inside Syria's secret prisons


Dorothy Parvaz: Inside Syria's secret prisons
'We could clearly hear the interrogator pummelling his fists into his subject,' writes our correspondent.

Dorothy Parvaz: Inside Syria's secret prisons


Dorothy Parvaz: Inside Syria's secret prisons
'We could clearly hear the interrogator pummelling his fists into his subject,' writes our correspondent.

Al Jazeera
May 2011

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — I was standing in two fist-sized pools of smeared, sticky blood, trying to sort out why there were seven angry Syrians yelling at me. Only one of them - who I came to know as Mr Shut Up during my three days in a detention center, where so many Syrians 'disappeared' are being kept - spoke English.

Watching them searching my bags, and observing the set of handcuffs hanging from the bunk bed wedged behind the desk in the middle of the room, I guessed that I was being arrested - or, at the very least, processed for detention.

"Why are you doing this?" I asked.

"Shut up! SHUT UP!" said Mr Shut Up.  Read more →