Archive for June 26, 2014

STRATFOR: The United States Has Unfinished Business in Ukraine and Iraq

White House South Lawn

(stratfor.com – George Friedman – 6.26.14) In recent weeks, some of the international system’s unfinished business has revealed itself. We have seen that Ukraine’s fate is not yet settled, and with that, neither is Russia’s relationship with the European Peninsula. In Iraq we learned that the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the creation of a new Iraqi political system did not answer the question of

NEWSLINK: Syria crisis: Obama asks Congress for $500m for rebels

Syria Map

[“Syria crisis: Obama asks Congress for $500m for rebels” – BBC – 6.26.14] BBC covers reported plans by the Obama administration to request a half-billion dollars from Congress to provide military training and equipment to Syrian rebels, specifically a subset apparently to be deemed moderate. However, one focus would be not simply assisting rebels opposing Syrian strongman Bashas al-Assad, but also countering Islamic group “ISIL,”

NEWSLINK: German government cancels Verizon contract in wake of U.S. spying row

Germany Map

[“German government cancels Verizon contract in wake of U.S. spying row” – Reuters – 6.26.14] Reuters covers the German governments planned cancellation of its relationship with Verizon, over controversies surrounding U.S. spying in Germany, including on the cellphone conversations of the German Chancellor. The German government has cancelled a contract with U.S. telecoms firm Verizon … as part of an overhaul of its internal communications, prompted

NEWSLINK: Reports: German government to drop Verizon because of U.S. spying

Germany Map

[“Reports: German government to drop Verizon because of U.S. spying” – Computer World/IDG News Service – Stephen Lawson – 6.26.14] Computer World and IDG report that the German government is backing out of a relationship with Verizon over concerns about NSA spying.  [And note that the move comes against a backdrop of past revelations of U.S. eavesdropping on cellphone conversations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.]

VIDEO & MEMO TEXT: Speaker John Boehner suing Obama over executive actions and failure to faithfully execute laws

U.S. Capitol

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has confirmed his intention to sue President Barack Hussein Obama over Obama’s misuse of executive power and failure to faithfully execute the laws of the United States. Video of Boehner’s June 25 news conference and the text of his memo to Members of Congress are below.  Boehner also discussed other issues, such as Iraq, terrorism, problems at the Department of

NEWSLINK: 19 Habits That Wreck Your Teeth

Closeup of Teeth of Smiling Woman, with Toothbrush in Foreground

[“19 Habits That Wreck Your Teeth” – WebMD – 6.25.14] WebMD sets out nineteen bad habits to avoid, if you want to keep your teeth healthy and intact, complete with slideshow. One interesting point to remember is that acid is also a problem with teeth, not just sugar.  So food or drinks that are high in acid can cause issues, as well as starchy food, because

NEWSLINK: U.S. economy collapses in first quarter, but growing again

Calculator, Pen, Ledger

[“U.S. economy collapses in first quarter, but growing again” – Reuters 6.25.14] Reuters reports on a drastic downturn in the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 2014. The news also represents a downward correction of previously-reported data from the Commerce Department. The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace in the first quarter than previously estimated, turning in one of its worst-ever non-recession

NEWSLINK: Israeli air strikes target Syria after Golan death

Map of Golan Heights and Environs

[“Israeli air strikes target Syria after Golan death” – BBC 6.22.14] BBC covers Israeli claims to have launched new attacks on targets in Syria, this time in response to the death of an Israeli youth in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The [Israeli] military said it had attacked nine targets in response to the killing of a 15-year-old boy in a strike in the occupied Golan