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Stratfor: The Sunni Ramadan Offensive and the Lessons of Tet

Iraq Map

(stratfor.com – George Friedman – 7.1.14) In February 1968, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong launched a general offensive in Vietnam during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. From mid-1966 onward, the North Vietnamese had found themselves under increasing pressure from American and South Vietnamese forces. They were far from defeated, but they were weakening and the likelihood of their military victory was receding.

NEWSLINK: ISIL crucifies eight rival fighters, says monitoring group

Iraq Map

[“ISIL crucifies eight rival fighters, says monitoring group” – Reuters 7.1.14] Reuters reports on the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) crucifying eight of their own militants for being too moderate, and publicly displaying their bodies: Eight rebel fighters have been crucified in Syria by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because they were considered too moderate, a monitoring

NEWSLINK: Obama administration warns states that road funds near gone

Highway Interchange

[“Obama administration warns states that road funds near gone” – Reuters 7.1.14] Reuters reports that declining revenues from gas taxes could result in a slowing or hypothetical drying up of federal funds for state road projects. The Obama administration warned states on Tuesday that federal highway funds will be largely depleted in August, limiting the money states can expect to pay for road and bridge projects

NEWSLINK: Israel finds bodies of three missing teenagers in West Bank

Map of Israel and Palestine

[“Israel finds bodies of three missing teenagers in West Bank” – Reuters 6.30.14] Reuters covers the discovery, in the West Bank, of the bodies of three Israeli teenage Jewish seminarians. The seminarians previously had been missing for several weeks. Israel blames Palestinian faction Hamas and vows a response. The bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers were found in the occupied West Bank on Monday and Israel

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


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

NEWSLINK: Hillary energized, but voters show signs of Clinton fatigue

Hillary Rodham Clinton file photo, adapted from image at rwanda.usembassy.gov/

[“Hillary energized, but voters show signs of Clinton fatigue” – Washington Times 6.22.14]  The Washington Times covers signs of “Clinton fatigue.”  Poll numbers have been declining for former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator from New York, First Lady and Arkansas lawyer Hillary Rodham Clinton. Significant questions arise about where the trend will lead by 2016. As Hillary Rodham Clinton prepares for an expected presidential run,

STRATFOR: Jordan Could Be the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s Next Target

Jordan Map and Flag

(Stratfor.com - 6.19.14) Summary The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, buoyed by its recent successes in Iraq, wants to expand its regional reach. Reports that Iraq has withdrawn forces from western towns close to its 180-kilometer (110-mile) border with Jordan have left Amman feeling vulnerable, and the Hashemite kingdom, certainly a target of interest for the jihadist movement, has deployed additional security personnel along the

VIDEO: Defense Department Briefing on Capture of Benghazi Terrorist Suspect Khattala and other subjects

Pentagon file photo

Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, briefed reporters about the capture of alleged terrorist Ahmed Abu Khatallah for civilian prosecution over the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Khattalah is now being held at a secure location outside of Libya and will be prosecuted in Washington, D.C.  Kirby avoided providing details about the capture, or how

NEWSLINK: Benghazi attack suspect to face 3 criminal counts, could carry death penalty

Libya Map

[“Benghazi attack suspect to face 3 criminal counts, could carry death penalty” – Fox News 6.17.14] Fox News covers announcements by the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense regarding the capture and planned civilian prosecution of alleged terrorist Ahmed Abu Khattala.  Khattala will be prosecuted in Washington, D.C., in connection with the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed