Nora Harb

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Why key Arab countries have cut ties with Qatar — and what Trump had to do with it

By Michael Stephens<p>The decision by five Arab states to sever ties with Qatar marks another chapter in a multiyear saga of turbulent relations between Qatar and its neighbors. A split between Doha and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was brewing for years. At the heart of the problem lies an …

Middle East

Germany warns Gulf crisis exacerbates Middle East 'powder keg'

Germany's foreign minister has met with his Saudi counterpart, seeking to defuse the Gulf crisis around Qatar. At the same time, Berlin hinted it was …

Gulf Diplomatic Crisis: Why Trump Must Label Qatar as a State Sponsor of Terrorism

The decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar is a significant step …

Qatar terror ties: Friend, foe or both?

When Hamas released a new political document last month, the terrorist group announced it at a press conference at the Sheraton Grand Doha in Qatar, less than an hour’s drive across town from U.S. Central Command forward headquarters at Al Udeid Airbase.<p>Nearby is the Taliban “Embassy” that was …

What Happens in Tehran Doesn’t Stay in Tehran

The terrorist attacks in Tehran on Wednesday — in bright daylight and at two very different yet entirely related locations — up the ante in what has become a battle royale for influence in the Middle East, and in the fight against the terrorists wreaking havoc in the region and in the West. While …

Trump’s Russia scandal just got a lot more like Watergate

By Paul Waldman<p>Opinion writer<p>As the Russia scandal swirls around the White House, it’s easy to make facile comparisons to Watergate, the worst presidential scandal in American history. The Russia scandal is not Watergate, at least not yet. But it’s getting closer all the time, in ways that are …

Donald Trump

Consequences of attacks in Tehran will be felt around the world | Simon Tisdall

Assaults on potent symbols of Iranian ideology, claimed by Isis, will stoke tensions with Saudi Arabia, Gulf states and Trump<p>In targeting the Iranian parliament and the tomb of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the terrorists who went on a lethal rampage in Tehran on …

Strong approval of Trump is fading across a number of demographics

By Philip Bump<p>National correspondent<p>FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noticed something interesting in approval-rating polling for President Trump. While support for Trump has remained consistently high among Republicans and Trump’s base of non-college-educated white voters, the percentage of those who …

Polling

Apple, Google, and California are rebuffing Trump and trying to stay in the Paris climate deal

What the We Are Still In coalition can — and can’t — achieve.<p>Last Thursday, President Donald Trump made what is surely to be one of the most fateful decisions of his presidency: The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.<p>For hundreds of businesses, states, and local …

Climate

Saudi Arabia stroked Trump's ego. Now he is doing their bidding with Qatar | Mohamad Bazzi

The Saudis understood from the start that Trump craved flattery and respect. The kingdom’s investment in wooing Trump is paying off<p>On Monday, Saudi Arabia and three of its allies cut off diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar, a tiny, energy-rich emirate in the Persian gulf. The Saudis moved …

Donald Trump

Here's Why The Hell Everyone Is Talking About Qatar Lately

It's a tiny country the size of Connecticut that punches above its diplomatic weight. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have had enough of that, and are bringing the US along for the ride.

The U.S. Can’t Leave the Paris Climate Deal Just Yet

Last week, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. But it will take more than one speech to pull out: Under the rules of the deal, which the White House says it will follow, the earliest any country can leave is Nov. 4, 2020. That means the …

As ISIS retreats in Syria, U.S. and Iran scramble for control

By Louisa Loveluck<p>, Reporter<p>Loveday Morris<p>, Bureau chief<p>BEIRUT — U.S.- and Iran-backed forces are locked in a race to take Islamic State strongholds in southeastern Syria and seize a stretch of land that will either cement Tehran’s regional ambitions or stifle them.<p>The scramble for pole position in …

Middle East

Israel suspends ties with Unesco over motion that downplays Jerusalem links

Netanyahu called draft resolution that uses Islamic names for Muslim and Jewish holy sites ‘absurd’, as Israelis saw language as latest example of UN ‘bias’<p>Israel has suspended cooperation with Unesco, a day after the UN cultural agency adopted a draft resolution that Israel says denies the deep …

Why being bilingual works wonders for your brain

Research suggests we may be predisposed to speak more than one language and that doing so brings health benefits, such as delaying the onset of dementia<p>In a cafe in south London, two construction workers are engaged in cheerful banter, tossing words back and forth. Their cutlery dances during more …

More Effective Than Anxiety Meds: How Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

<b>Categories</b>Depression, Anxiety & Mental Health, DNA, the Brain & The Human Body, Health, Meditation, Yoga, Grounding & Mindfulness, Science and …

Mindfulness

Beyond ISIS: The Folly of World War IV

<i>Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com</i><p>Assume that the hawks get their way -- that the United States does whatever it takes militarily to confront and destroy ISIS. Then what?<p>Answering that question requires taking seriously the outcomes of other recent U.S. interventions in the Greater Middle East. In …

War

An economics professor has an outrageous solution for China's millions of bachelors

Xie Zuoshi, a professor at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, said it was it would a practical way for the nation to deal with the legacy of decades of an abnormally high sex ratio.<p>China has long had a traditional preference for boys over girls that has, if anything, increased under the …

China

How good is Skype’s instant translation? We put it to the Chinese stress test

Skype recently announced a new translation tool that can interpret live speech in real time, across a number of languages. But the digital calling company’s demos and promo videos—currently only available as a “preview” on newer versions of Windows—are heavily edited and show people speaking from …

Language

Deutsche Bank: We can already see how London's insane property bubble will end

In the bank's sixth "Konzepts" paper, Sahil Mahtani argues that a combination of rising interest rates, the Bank of England's tinkering with the market, and the increasing "politicisation of the housing issue" means London's insane price rises can't continue — and price falls could be likely.<p>What's …

Housing

Refugees who changed the world

<b>(CNN) —</b> They are destitute, desperate but determined. Thousands of them flee their homes every year, risking their lives in unseaworthy boats or crammed in trucks.<p>Refugees struggling to find a new life in Europe have seized the world's attention. In some places, they have faced a backlash from …

Albert Einstein

Putin's Approval Rating Hits Record High After Syria Strikes

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has reached nearly 90 percent largely thanks to his military moves in Syria, according to a new …

UNESCO condemns Israel for 'aggression' at holy sites in Jerusalem & West Bank

UNESCO has censured Israel for limiting Muslim access to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which has recently become the flashpoint for bloodshed …

Assad regime may have fallen to ISIS without us, says Russian ambassador

<b>London (CNN) —</b> Russia's military intervention to bolster Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have prevented ISIS' total control of the country, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Wednesday.<p>"Had there not been Russian intervention, the civil war perhaps would have ended earlier, …

US forces rescue Iraqi hostages facing 'imminent execution' by Isis

• Operation led to first American combat death in Iraq since 2011<br>• About 70 hostages freed from makeshift prison in Hawija area<p>Nearly 70 hostages facing “imminent mass execution” have been rescued from an Islamic State jail in a raid by Kurdish troops and US special forces in northern Iraq, according …

4 Daily Habits That Lead To Success

Yes, making your bed every morning can help you live a more successful and productive life.<p>Can making your bed in the morning and keeping a to-do list get you closer to the life you want to lead? Sociologist Dr. Randall Bell, author of the upcoming book <i>Rich Habits Rich Life: The Four Cornerstones</i> …

Sikh Lives Matter protest in central London turns violent as policeman injured

Officer pictured being led to police van with blood pouring down his face amid protest outside Indian High Commission that blocks Aldwych and The Strand<p>A protest as part of the Sikh Lives Matter movement has turned violent in central London, with at least one policeman believed to have been injured.<p>…

Ministers urged to introduce sugar tax in childhood obesity report

Study calls for tax on sugary foods and drinks – a proposal that David Cameron has dismissed – and crackdown on marketing unhealthy products to children<p>A report on sugar’s ruinous health effects that was controversially delayed by Jeremy Hunt has urged ministers to impose a sugar tax. It also …

“I thought I was going to die, it was horrible”: The growing far-right is attacking refugees throughout Europe

<b>(Reuters/Heikki Ahonen)</b><p>Refugees are constantly being attacked by the far-right, as Europe sees terrifying echoes of its fascist past.<p>Ben Norton<p>October 22, 2015 1:27pm (UTC)<p>"I thought I was going to die, it was horrible," a terrified Somali refugee proclaimed. He had just lived through an arson …

Far-right Politics