News and Analysis (12/30/16)

A van the Combined Joint Strike Force believed to be “carrying Isis fighters was targeted and hit in the airstrike … in what was later determined to be a hospital compound parking lot resulting in possible civilian casualties” …

… Iraqi forces have taken around half of the eastern side of Mosul…, but have yet to enter the western side, where 2,000-year-old markets and narrow alleyways are likely to complicate any advance … [to the end the] self-styled caliphate” …

… but “[a]s the battle for Mosul drags on, Sunni and Shia leaders have not ironed out a timeframe for reaching an agreement” on a united future:

“Some people are like ‘she’s Jewish, why did you help her?’ ’m like everyone is equal. I treat everyone the same way”:

“A prison service spokesperson confirmed the 35-year-old’s [hate crime perpetrator’s]  death … [but] declined to give any further details of the circumstances”:

“During her year in Egypt she observed that girls who converted to Islam by their own choice – French, Belgian, and others – dressed more strictly … than ethnic Egyptian Muslims, who … are more likely to adopt a Western” lifestyle:

The President would “appoint the government, retain ties with his party, propose budgets and declare states of emergency.” Changes would also extend his mandate and “set parliamentary and presidential elections on the same day”:

“The ceasefire, in the waning days of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, was the first major international diplomatic initiative in the Middle East in decades not to involve the United States“:

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