The release of a gruesome video showing the burning to death of a Jordanian pilot– weeks before IS offered to trade him for a female terrorist jailed in Jordan – exposed the depths of the organization's cynicism and sadism. It also united Jordanians, who had been somewhat ambivalent members of a 60-nation anti-IS coalition, in demands for revenge. On Wednesday, Jordan executed two militants at dawn.
New government risks undercutting ties with Europe and the US
GREECE HAS never been a leader in Europe's power institutions — NATO and the European Union. German, French, and British leaders alike considered it too small, poor, and geographically remote to be a major player. But all that changed with Sunday's landslide victory of the radical left-wing Syriza party in the most important Greek national election in four decades.
By Monday, Syriza's young, strong-willed leader, Alexis Tsipras, had been sworn in as prime minister. Within hours, his new government challenged the EU to renegotiate the terms of Greece's massive bailout package. Tsipras then threatened to block stronger EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Suddenly, a new and very different government in Athens is back on the radar screen of Berlin, Paris, and London.
On the 70th anniversary of liberation, a survivor’s journey is a reminder to recall each victim’s story of strengthTHIS WEEK marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army. And Thursday is the 83rd birthday of my wife's uncle, Bernie Rosner, who was hurtled into that Nazi death camp's cruel vortex as a 12-year-old in 1944. Bernie's ultimate survival and subsequent long and happy life is a lasting triumph over his Nazi tormentors.
Bernie's extraordinary story, like those of nearly every Holocaust survivor, is brutal, dramatic, courageous and, ultimately, life affirming. In June 1944, when he was studying for his bar mitzvah in the provincial Hungarian town of Tab, local authorities and their Nazi allies ordered the deportation of over 475,000 Jews. Given 24 hours notice, Bernie, his younger brother Alexander, and mother and father, Bertha and Louis, were marched with hundreds of other Jews through the streets of Tab on their way to the death camps. Seven decades later, Bernie recalled for Libby and me at his northern California house last weekend that some of his Christian neighbors jeered as he left his home forever.
What do lower oil prices mean for Latin America's energy potential in 2015 and beyond? Read five scenarios.The decline of the global benchmark oil price from around $100 per barrel to under $50 per barrel over the last six months has jolted oil producing and consuming countries throughout the world, including in Latin America. During the last two decades' commodities boom, oil and gas development was seen as one of the most exciting elements of Latin America's economic rise. But is the region's economic ascent at risk because of the current low price cycle? Or will the benefits of lower energy costs for industrial and residential consumers provide an economic boost?
But despite the show of friendship, tectonic plates are shifting in the region and the U.S. now has more options than relying on a country that -- despite modest reforms under the late King Abdullah and close security ties with Washington -- is still a prime source of the radical intolerance that inspires many anti-Western terrorist groups.
In December, however, an anti-trust challenge arose in Israel that may delay the development of the Leviathan gas field, the largest in the region; delay progress on proposed gas supply projects from Israel to its neighbors, including Jordan and Egypt; and threaten the security of Israel’s supply. This anti-trust challenge is ill-founded.
On Sunday, a helicopter gunship operating in Syria near the border with Israel killed the son of Hezbollah's former military commander, an Iranian general and five other members of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group long supported by Iran.
• Boko Haram continues to terrorize northeastern Nigeria; the group has been responsible for the deaths of more than 10,000 Nigerians last year, and according to some Nigerian officials, the group currently controls as much as 70 percent of Borno as well as parts of neighboring states—an area close to the size of West Virginia