22 February 2016   Leave a comment

Russia and the US have announced another cease-fire in Syria.  This cease-fire also excludes Daesh (the Islamic State) and the al-Nusra Front, but it appears as if Russia and the US have narrowed down the excluded terrorist groups to something a little more meaningful and substantive.  There are hints that Syrian President Assad will be allowed to stay in office, but only for a part of Syria. The implication is that the territorial lines drawn by the British and French in 1920 may finally be redrawn. Regardless of the political outcome, we should all hope that the cease-fire takes hold so that humanitarian aid can be delivered to the innocent people of Syria.

It is estimated that human traffickers made almost $7 billion last year smuggling refugees.  But Europol, the European Union agency responsible for coordinating security matters, estimates that there were very few radical extremists in the migration.   The actual evidence belies the fears articulated by many in Europe and the US that terrorists will infiltrate using the confusion of the refugee influx as a cover.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely that concrete evidence to the contrary will persuade the fear-mongers from spreading doubt.

Climate change caused by human activity is a proposition accepted by the vast majority of scientists who study climate.  Nonetheless, there are some who doubt the proposition.  The Heartland Institute is a think tank that regularly publishes materials that doubt the existence of human-induced climate change.   John Abraham of The Guardian analyzes the most recent publication of the Institute and raises many questions about the credibility of the position denying climate change. 

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Posted February 23, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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