News and Analysis (4/23/14)

“The no-fly list is supposed to be about ensuring aviation safety, but the FBI is using it to force innocent people to become informants,” said Ramzi Kassem, associate professor of law at the City University of New York. “The practice borders on extortion”:

“Some rights groups have voiced opposition to the initiatives, warning that they could ‘potentially allow the authorities to bring a terrorism case against virtually any peaceful activist'” …

… but that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration continuing arm sales in flagrant violation of U.S. law:

Under the proposed plan “the amount of plutonium produced in the Arak reactor could be reduced drastically … [but]  would not reduce the usefulness of the reactor for making radioisotopes and conducting research…. Thus, this approach would meet Iran’s needs and would address the concerns of the international community”:

In Iran’s appeal over the Obama administration’s “unique” attempt to block “permanent representative to the U.N. “, the Committee on Relations with the Host Country has chosen to punt. “North Korea, Cuba and Belarus spoke up in support of Iran” but “no other country spoke in support of the U.S. position”:

The agreement “to begin negotiations to form a unity government within the coming weeks … comes as peace talks between the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel face collapse”:

Moammar Gaddafi considered himself an anarchist, but as events in Libya since his execution have demonstrated, there’s anarchy and then there’s anarchy …

… meanwhile, an official briefing prepared for AFRICOM chief General David Rodriguez in the fall of 2013 … highlights the U.S. military’s penchant for simple solutions to complex problems — with a well-documented potential for blowback in Africa and beyond”:

“The history of both Persian and Arab bourgeois nationalism is solidly predicated on a sustained genealogy of racist bigotry…. Today the legitimate criticism of the Islamic republic easily degenerates into a nasty Islamophobia among a wide spectrum of Iranian bourgeois liberalism that fancies itself ‘secular'”:

“He just took his shoes and socks off and said, ‘You can take these, don’t worry about me — I live close by and can walk'”:

Is India at a tipping point in abandoning secularism?

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