Today's Headlines and Commentary

Clara Spera
Monday, September 8, 2014, 9:00 AM
The Washington Post reports that the Islamic State has anti-tank weapons that have been seized from Syrian rebels. The news comes from a report by Conflict Armament Research, which concluded that ISIS fighters have captured a “significant” number of U.S.-manufactured arms. The L.A.

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The Washington Post reports that the Islamic State has anti-tank weapons that have been seized from Syrian rebels. The news comes from a report by Conflict Armament Research, which concluded that ISIS fighters have captured a “significant” number of U.S.-manufactured arms. The L.A. Times tells us that President Obama is slated to announce his strategy to combat the Islamic State on Wednesday. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, the president hinted that he is likely to announce a more aggressive policy, stating that the United States would “start going on some offense” to push back against ISIS. As we wait for President Obama, senior administration officials have indicated that successfully defeating ISIS could take years. The New York Times takes a look at the plan that the Obama administration is putting together---a plan that could extend well beyond President Obama’s time in office and through to the next president’s term. David Carr of the Times explains that ISIS has used social media and video technology unlike any other terror organization has before. Writing on the recent videos of members of the terrorist group beheading foreign journalists, Carr insists that the footage is “spread[ing] fear and terror” unlike any other virtual campaign from similar groups in the past. The New Yorker has a follow-up piece on the “failed raid to save [journalists] Foley and Sotloff” in Syria. (The Post, among other outlets, reported on the failed operation back in late August.) Denmark is offering a form of amnesty to Danish Muslims who have gone to Syria to fight alongside extremist rebel factions. Al Jazeera reports that the Danish government is offering its citizens safe passage home and to help them find job opportunities to reintegrate back into Danish society. The Times informs us that the Iraqi parliament is scheduled to proceed with a vote to confirm the new cabinet proposed by Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi. The United States had previously pledged support of a new Iraqi government, provided that Mr. al-Abadi took the Prime Minister post, and that the cabinet was multisectarian. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, the new United Nations human rights chief, released a statement today urging action in Iraq and Syria to end the conflicts there. The Times covers the remarks. Libya has expelled the Sudanese military attaché to the country over allegations that Sudan is helping to support extremist rebels in Libya. Al Jazeera reports that Libya intercepted a Sudanese military plane loaded with weapons, which the Libyan government determined was intended to reach rebel groups inside the country. Sudan confirmed that the plane was sent to Libya, but explained that the actual intended recipient was the Libyan government, and that the arms were meant for a joint Libyan-Sudanese border force. The unity pact between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is apparently on shaky ground. President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking after a meeting of the Arab League, threatened to break off the unity agreement with Hamas if the movement doesn’t allow the Palestine Authority proper governance over the Gaza Strip. The Times has the story. Reuters reports that a large of group of Palestinians rioted in East Jerusalem yesterday after hearing the news that a young Palestinian had died of wounds from a clash with Israeli police that took place last week. Afghanistan remains leaderless, and President Obama is urging the country’s two presidential candidates to enter into a power-sharing deal as soon as possible. The AP reports that President Obama spoke to both candidates, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah, over the weekend. The Senate has been delayed in publishing its CIA “torture report” that will declassify an enormous cache of CIA documents detailing CIA interrogation practices after 9/11.  While the Senate continues to deal with numerous hurdles on the way to final publication, the Telegraph has had an exclusive look at what the report might contain. The paper has had contact with two sources familiar with the contents of the report and the details are expected to be “deeply shocking.” For example, one source explained that the water-boarding tactics employed were vastly more brutal than than earlier thought: some detainees were apparently drowned in water baths, and thus brought close “to the point of death”. A new exhibit in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum displays artifacts from the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Newsweek has the details. The ceasefire in east Ukraine appears to be unraveling, as fighting broke out early yesterday morning in the outskirts of Donetsk. Reuters reports that a woman died from the shelling. North Korea has announced that its supreme court will try detained American Matthew Todd Miller on September 14. CNN has the story. The United States is stepping up its role in the global fight against the ebola virus. The Post tells us that President Obama has announced that the U.S. military will begin to assist efforts to fight against the epidemic growing in west Africa.

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Clara Spera is a 3L at Harvard Law School. She previously worked as a national security research intern at the Brookings Institution. She graduated with an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge in 2014, and with a B.A. from the University of Chicago in 2012.

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