Abdullatif Assalam

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Religion

8 shocking predictions for life after 2020 from Google's genius futurist

He's so influential that Google hired him to lead its artificial intelligence efforts.<p>Kurzweil is known for making predictions, which are right about 86% of the time.<p>Here are some of his most promising (and terrifying) visions of the 2020s and beyond.

Singularity

It’s Paul Krugman vs. Noam Chomsky: This is the history we need to understand Paris, ISIS

Krugman mocks idea that US imperialism’s at root of all evil. But scars of our meddling are key to the Middle East<p>Two remarks a few days apart lead straight to the question posed in this space after last Friday’s tragic events in Paris. Why? Why does the Islamic State wage war? Why does this war …

Middle East

Paris Attacks Prompt Geopolitical Shift in West

Islamic State’s success in hitting outside the Mideast has Washington, Europe rethinking options<p>Thirty minutes of terror on the streets of Paris looks to become the catalyst for a broad shift in international politics with implications that could last for years.<p>Much of the focus in the West over …

Geopolitics

Paris attacks highlight France's gun control problems

The arms used prove how difficult it is for France – which has strict weapons laws – to tackle flow of illegal weaponry across Europe’s porous borders<p>The arsenal of weapons deployed by the eight attackers who terrorised Paris on Friday night underlined France’s gun control problems and raised the …

Guns

A Grand Bargain With Putin Against ISIS?

What follows is not very pretty. But it may be the best option available in a crisis without good options.<p>Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of the fact that he would like some kind of political settlement with the West. The German magazine <i>Der Spiegel</i> has just published a leaked …

Middle East

Britain to hire 2,000 new spies at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in wake of the Paris terror attacks

The number of spies will rise by 15 per cent in what is expected to be the biggest expansion of the security services since the 7/7 terror attacks in London in July 2005<p>An additional 2,000 spies will be hired at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to fight those "who would destroy us and our values" in the wake of …

National Security Council

Thousands Use #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist To Combat Islamophobia

Champions of religious pluralism around the world used #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist to refute the idea that Friday's attacks in Paris reflect the views of most Muslims or mainstream interpretations of the Islamic faith. The hashtag was trending on Twitter on Saturday, with more than 267,000 …

Islamophobia

Myanmar’s Muslims win no seats in new parliament

Large populations from the minority group were unable to vote and major parties fielded no Muslim candidates<p>No Muslims in majority-Buddhist Myanmar were elected to parliament, final election figures show, with all the current representatives losing their seats and new Muslim candidates defeated in …

Asia

U. Minnesota student government rejects annual recognition of 9/11, citing in part “potential perpetuation of Islamophobia”

An article by Kasey Carpenter (in the Minnesota Republic, a student paper) broke this story, and reports:<p>On Tuesday, November 10, the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) — the undergraduate student government at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN) — rejected a resolution for a moment of …

Student Government

Israel to annex Golan Heights after 'billion barrel' oil find

After a massive oil find in Syria's Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967, Israel is asking President Obama to recognise its annexation of the …

Israel

The world nearly ended in 1983, a secret American document has revealed

In 1983, the world nearly ended, a recently declassified American report has revealed.<p>The Soviets became convinced that a NATO nuclear training …

Cost of El Chapo Guzman escape

Arely Gomez, Mexico's attorney general, crouching at the entrance of a tunnel connected to the Altiplano prison and used by drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán.Attorney General's Office<p>The price Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán paid to escape from a high-security prison seems to have …

Mexico

Britain's government wants to sell even more weapons to Saudi Arabia

His comments follow closely after the lucrative arms trade between the UK and Saudi Arabia fell under greater scrutiny because of Saudi Arabia's involvement in the conflict in Yemen.<p>Saudi Arabia is using planes and bombs, which were bought from British companies, in its air campaign against the …

Saudi Arabia

What ordinary Palestinians think about Jews, Israel and violence

Since early last month, more than 80 attacks by Palestinians have claimed the lives of a dozen Israelis and wounded nearly 200. The perpetrators, generally "lone wolves," have commandeered kitchen knives or cars en route to stabbing or running over as many civilians and soldiers as they could until …

The US and Iran's Common Interests in Syria

<i>The conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen cannot be resolved unless Iran is at the negotiating table.</i><p>For decades, consecutive US administrations pursued a foreign policy in the Middle East designed to "contain" the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of …

The death threat at Virginia Tech points to a larger problem of Islamophobia in the US

A threat “to kill all muslims” at Virginia Tech University has raised fears that an attack directed against the campus Muslim community may be imminent.<p>In an email to the university’s student body, the university’s police unit wrote: “On Monday [Nov. 2], the Virginia Tech police department received …

Virginia Tech

Myanmar election: Aung San Suu Kyi's party on track for majority

Fresh results from Myanmar’s election on Tuesday showed Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party winning dozens more seats in parliament as observers declared the poll “credible and transparent”.<p>The National League for Democracy (NLD) said its own tally of results posted at polling stations around the …

Asia Pacific

The Top This Woman Wore to a Jerusalem Holy Site Was Offensive to the Faithful — Wait Till You See the Sign She’s Holding

Two American activists with the anti-Israel women’s group Code Pink traveled all the way to Israel to hold signs in Jerusalem Tuesday calling for a boycott of the Jewish state.<p>But it was the site where they held their demonstration — the Western Wall — and the way one of the two was dressed that …

Israel

Majority of British Muslims have witnessed Islamophobia – study

60% of respondents to survey say they have seen abuse or discrimination directed at fellow Muslims, up from 40% in 2010<p>The majority of British Muslims say they have witnessed discrimination against followers of the Islamic faith and that a climate of hate is being driven by politicians and media, a …

Religion

Israel fury after EU orders labels on goods from occupied territories

Israel accuses Brussels of "discrimination" and anti-semitism after new guidelines issued for labelling products from Israeli settlements on occupied land<p>Europe has incurred the wrath of Israel after it announced that all member states must clearly label goods that have been manufactured in Israeli …

Israel

Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD wins historic majority in Myanmar election

<b>(CNN) —</b> <b>[Breaking news update 1:08 a.m. ET]</b><p>Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has won a historic majority in Myanmar's parliament, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw. The result means the NLD will choose the country's next president.<p><b>[Last update posted at 4:00 p.m. ET November</b> …

Asia Pacific

This chart shows where the US's $5.9 billion in foreign-military aid goes each year

In fiscal year 2014, the US spent $5.9 billion on foreign-military aid, according to a congressional report. This funding represents 17% of the US's total global aid. Of that aid, nearly 75% went to just two countries: Egypt and Israel. Israel was the largest recipient, receiving an estimated $3.1 …

Middle East

Portugal on collision course with EU as centre-Right government falls after 11 days

Leftist anti-austerity forces wait in the wings after bringing down shortest government in Portugal's history<p>Portugal's centre-right government has collapsed after 11 days after Left-wing forces bought down prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho, putting the country on a collision course with the EU.<p>In …

Splinterlands: The View From 2050

<i>Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com</i><p>Let me start with a confession. I’m old-fashioned and I have an old-fashioned profession. I’m a geo-paleontologist. That means I dig around in archives to exhume the extinct: all the empires and federations and territorial unions that have passed into history. I …

Geopolitics

Halal: Islamic groups and meat processors at odds over government role

Group of 10 processors has called on the government to intervene in regulation, but Muslims Australia says its current role is sufficient<p>One of Australia’s peak Muslim organisations has defended the country’s halal certification process, after a group of meat processors called on the federal …

Agriculture

UN privacy chief: UK surveillance bill is 'worse than scary'

The UK government's proposed surveillance legislation is "worse than scary", the United Nations privacy chief has said.<p>Joseph Cannataci, the UN's …

Surveillance

Henry Kissinger’s genocidal legacy: Vietnam, Cambodia and the birth of American militarism

Nixon introduced us to permanent, extrajudicial war in Southeast Asia, and it continues today in the Middle East<p>In April 2014, ESPN published a photograph of an unlikely duo: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and former national security adviser and secretary of state Henry …

National Security