July 31, 2014
The cease-fire agreement cooked up by U.S. Secretary of State Kerry in consultation with two of Israel’s worst enemies in the Middle East, Turkey and Qatar, was predictably turned down flat by the Israelis, who are proceeding with military operations in the Gaza Strip to destroy Hamas’ terrorist tunnels and degrade its other military infrastructure.
Hamas Grows Isolated as US Fumbles Gaza Diplomacy
US Secretary of State John Kerry answers questions about Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the current situation in Ukraine following a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at the State Department in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2014. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Showdown in Aruba: US Drops Ball in Keystone Cops Affair
July 31, 2014
A former Venezuelan spymaster was arrested in Aruba last week on a U.S. warrant that accused him of aiding drug smuggling from Colombia through Venezuela and into the United States. But four days later Hugo Carvajal, a retired general, was released and returned to Venezuela to a hero’s welcome.
Gaza Conflict Fuels Anti-Semitism Sweeping Europe
July 31, 2014
Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza threatens to intensify anti-Semitism consuming Europe. Jews throughout the continent are targets for hatred from a rainbow coalition of extremists: far right neo-Nazis, far left anti-Zionists and radical Muslims. They are united in their frenzied protests against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
Taking a Risk, US Ally Philippines Stands Up to China
July 30, 2014
The Philippines, a steadfast U.S. ally in East Asia, has taken a major role in confronting Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea. Manila has gone on a military spending spree and called for regional unity against Beijing, boosting American efforts to pull off its long-discussed “pivot” toward Asia.
Japan’s Plutonium Stockpile Stokes Regional Concerns
July 30, 2014
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to revise his nation’s long-standing self-defense policy, but even more alarming to leading foe China is Japan’s insistence on maintaining enough plutonium to produce thousands of nuclear bombs.
Emerging Kurdistan is New Player in Fractious Middle East
July 30, 2014
By Brian M. Downing

Denied their own state at the end of World War I as 
European powers divided up the Ottoman Empire, Kurds today are using the chaos of a dissolving Iraq to move toward greater autonomy, if not outright independence. A referendum on independence for the Kurdish region of Iraq is planned, and public enthusiasm for a complete break with Baghdad is high.
Shocking Child Migration Still Largely Unexplained
July 29, 2014
The number of unaccompanied children and teenagers from Central America attempting to enter the United States illegally has skyrocketed over the past nine months, creating a political and humanitarian shock wave that defies reasonable explanations. Fueled by false promises of amnesty and welfare in the United States, the massive migration has also been blamed on poverty and crime back home. But sources in Central America tell LIGNET that adults, not children, are most affected by such social ills associated with drug cartels.
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