TJ Smith

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Why Obama acted on Iraq

The threat of a double nightmare this week forced President Barack Obama to do something he likely hoped he’d never have to — order the use of force in Iraq.<p>American warplanes based in the Middle East now are authorized to attack the Sunni fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Obama …

Israeli Bombing Ruins Gaza's Only Power Plant

Israel broadened its assault on Gaza on Tuesday, reportedly wrecking the region's only power plant and killing more than 125 Palestinians.<p>Barrages "destroyed Hamas's media offices, the home of a top leader and what Palestinians said was a devastating hit on the only electricity plant," <i>The New York</i> …

'The world stands disgraced' - Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

• UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai'iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting<p>United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the …

Ukraine official: Rebels lay mines near crash site

A Ukrainian government official charged Wednesday that Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine had mined the approaches to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which international observers once again tried and failed to reach.<p>The U.S. and Ukrainian governments say the Boeing 777 …

Obama joins EU in announcing expanded economic sanctions against Russia

President Obama on Tuesday announced expanded U.S. sanctions on Russia, joining the European Union in a coordinated effort to use Russia's economy as leverage to compel Moscow to stop fueling the deadly conflict in Ukraine.<p>"Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community," …