News and Analysis (5/21/18)

Al-Sadr’s “top showing at the ballot box means the next prime minister will have to introduce a civil service law that al-Sadr has championed as an antidote to Iraq’s endemic corruption…. But that doesn’t mean the Cabinet or parliament will sign off on it”:

In an outrageous ploy to get publicity Jan Mai invented a story about “’50 Arab men'” who stormed into his bar on New Year’s Eve 2016, groped ‘the girls,’ and stole their jackets.” Now he has been arrested for the murder of the woman who served as his star witness in the hateful hoax:

“WHY were the soldiers ordered to kill? It is the same logic that has animated countless occupation regimes throughout history: make the ‘natives’ so afraid that they will give up.” But now, as always, “the oppressed have become more hardened, more resolute” …

… “[T]he Palestinians didn’t have any guns. The Palestinians almost never have guns. The slingshot has always been the favorite weapon …, not just because that’s what David used but because that’s the easiest weapon to construct when you’re a poor villager or unemployed city kid” …

… “Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned Israel’s killing of protesters in Gaza. But it’s unclear how far the Islamic community is willing to go in support of Palestinians”:

“They’re not afraid to work. It’s a helpful difference from the native population” — Mayor Dmitry Kirdanov:

“The top Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees said …  President Trump’s son met an emissary for two Arab princes and an Israeli political operative who offered to help his father win the presidential election”:

“A bigger, better deal is a pipe dream” — Robert Einhorn, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former State Department official and non-proliferation expert …

… Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the head of the Iranian Parliamentary Commission for Economic Affairs, referred to cryptocurrencies as a promising way for both countries to avoid US dollar transactions, as well as a possible replacement of the SWIFT interbank payment system”:

“Inflation is always and everywhere a function of a declining currency. It’s not a growth phenomenon as the Fed suggests. Fed economists would be wise to visit Iran and Venezuela to understand that inflation has nothing to do with prosperity”:

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