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Asia and Australia Edition: Turkey, North Korea, U.S. Congress: Your Tuesday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Dan Amaranto/Associated Press • The Mayon volcano in the Philippines is spewing ash more than 4,000 feet high in a spectacular show of power. Officials said a hazardous eruption could come at any time. [The New York Times] • Turkish troops began a ground assault against U.S.-allied Kurdish militias in northeast Syria. [The New York Times] • The U.S. Embassy in Israel would move to Jerusalem before the end of 2019, Vice President Mike Pence told Israeli lawmakers. [The New York Times] • The Philippine authorities arrested an Iraqi explosives expert who they said has ties to extremist militants in the Middle East. [The New York Times] • In Vietnam, a court sentenced a high-profile energy official to life in prison on embezzlement charges as part of a corruption crackdown. […]

Europe Edition: Catalonia, Donald Trump, Kevin Spacey: Your Friday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Ivor Prickett for The New York Times • Islamic State fighters executed at least 741 Iraqi civilians in Mosul, including women and children who had tried to flee, during the nine-month battle by government forces to retake the Iraqi city from the militant group, the United Nations said. [The New York Times] • Conditions are deteriorating for more than 600 men barricaded in Australia’s now-closed Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. [The New York Times] • A purported hit list of Russian hacking targets included not only U.S. critics of the Kremlin, but also the pope’s representative in Ukraine and the punk band Pussy Riot. [Associated Press] Continue reading the main story • The centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the British note promising support for a Jewish state, was marked with tributes in London and Jerusalem, and tear gas in Bethlehem. [The New York Times] • The U.S. passports of those convicted of sex offenses against a child will soon bear a mark of their crimes. [The New York Times] • A con man pleaded guilty to fraud for having tried to collect financial assistance by falsely claiming that his family had died in the Grenfell Tower fire in London. [The New York Times] • For 11 long minutes, @realDonaldTrump disappeared from Twitter. A rogue customer support worker had briefly deactivated the account on his or her last day on the job […]

Asia and Australia Edition: North Korea, Angela Merkel, N.F.L.: Your Monday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Ivor Prickett for The New York Times • Iraqi Kurds appear to be holding to their plan to vote on independence today, despite enormous pressure from Iraq, regional neighbors, and the U.S. over fears of violence that could tear the country apart. [The New York Times] • A “tremendous increase” in seismic activity has forced more than 35,000 people to flee Mount Agung, a Bali volcano that last erupted in 1963, killing 1,100 people. [Associated Press] • Three U.N. soldiers were killed and five others seriously injured by an explosion in Mali. As of Aug. 31, the four-year peacekeeping mission had recorded 133 fatalities. [The New York Times] Continue reading the main story • Two Vietnamese fishermen were killed and five arrested in what was described as an exchange of gunfire with the Philippine Navy in the South China Sea. […]

News Analysis: Wrestling With North Korea, Trump Finds Perilous Options

The Trump administration’s first recourse has been diplomacy. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson sought to head off North Korea’s missile program this week by suggesting that the United States could open talks with Pyongyang if North Korea would halt its missile tests.On Thursday, however, North Korea raised the stakes by saying that it was considering a plan to test-fire four intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles in international waters near Guam, home to American air and naval bases as well as a Thaad antimissile system.Mr. Trump hinted broadly later in the day that he has his own military options in mind. “Obviously we’re spending a lot of time looking at, in particular, North Korea,” he told reporters, “and we are preparing for many different alternative events.”But few of the military options are straightforward, and some former Pentagon officials involved in war planning for North Korea pointed to the complexities.A major consideration would be whether and when to evacuate American and other allied civilians, which is no small feat as Seoul, a city of about 10 million, is within range of North Korea’s rockets and artillery and the North Korean military is also armed with chemical and biological weapons.“With all this talk, what I worry about is a serious miscalculation,” said James D. […]

Europe Edition: Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Wimbledon: Your Friday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Felipe Dana/Associated Press • Iraqi troops recaptured what is left of the historic Al Nuri Grand Mosque in Mosul, which was destroyed by retreating Islamic State militants. Experts say the group is increasingly resorting to insurgent tactics. [The New York Times] • Pope Francis granted a leave of absence to Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief who has been charged with sexual assault, so that he could return to Australia to defend himself. [The New York Times] Continue reading the main story • A court in Russia convicted five Chechens in the 2015 assassination of Boris Nemtsov, an opposition leader. His family dismissed the trial as a cover-up. […]

Noble Beginnings (Jack Noble #1) – L.T. Ryan

Noble Beginnings (Jack Noble #1) L.T. Ryan Genre: Action & Adventure Publish Date: April 22, 2014 Publisher: Liquid Mind Media Seller: Liquid Mind Media In March of 2002, while the eyes of the world focused on Afghanistan, Jack Noble finds himself on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq. A Marine in name only, Jack is on-loan to the CIA. Normally an integral part of the team, he finds that he is nothing more than a security detail in Iraq.  Jack and his partner Bear have a run-in with four CIA special agents over the treatment of an Iraqi family. Within hours Jack and Bear are detained.  All Jack wanted was to finish his enlistment and move on with his life. All he did was intervene and save a family from unwarranted violence at the hands of four CIA agents. But he soon discovers that he did far more than intervene. He has placed himself dead square in the middle of a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of the U.S. government.  This fast-paced political crime thriller by USA Today bestselling author L.T. Ryan will leave you burning through the pages as Jack races to stop the conspiracy before it claims his life. Fans of Tom Clancy, Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, and Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne will enjoy Jack Noble.  Jack Noble Novels in Order:  Noble Beginnings (Jack Noble #1)  A Deadly Distance (Jack Noble #2)  Thin Line (Jack Noble #3)  Noble Intentions (Jack Noble #4)  When Dead in Greece (Jack Noble #5)  Noble Retribution (Jack Noble #6)  Noble Betrayal (Jack Noble #7)  Never Go Home (Jack Noble #8)  Noble Judgment (Jack Noble #9  Never Cry Mercy (Jack Noble #10) This Jack Noble political thriller is not for the faint of heart!   […]

Bombings Kill 31 as Iraq Grapples With Political Crisis

(BAGHDAD)—Two car bombs in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah on Sunday killed 31 people and wounded dozens, the latest in a series of large attacks claimed by the militant group ISIS, as the country grapples with a worsening political crisis. The attacks came the day after thousands of anti-government protesters poured into Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone and stormed parliament, the culmination of months of protests by followers of an influential Shiite cleric demanding wide-ranging political reforms. A police officer said two parked cars filled with explosives were detonated within minutes of each other around midday in Samawah, the first near government offices and the second at an open-air bus station less than a kilometer (mile) away. At least 52 people were wounded in both explosions, and the police official said the death toll was expected to rise. A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information. IS claimed the bombings in an online statement, saying they were carried out by suicide attackers targeting police. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the competing claims. The Shiite-dominated city is located some 370 kilometers (230 miles) south of the capital, Baghdad. The extremists have repeatedly targeted Iraq’s Shiite majority — which they view as apostates — as well as the Shiite-dominated security forces. Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered authorities to arrest and prosecute protesters who attacked security forces, lawmakers and damaged state property after breaking into the Green Zone. Followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tore down blast walls and poured into the Green Zone and parliament building on Saturday. Videos on social media showed a group of young men surrounding and slapping two Iraqi lawmakers as they attempted to flee the crowd, while other protesters mobbed lawmakers’ motorcades. Jubilant protesters were also seen jumping and dancing on the parliament’s meeting hall tables and chairs and waving Iraqi flags. No one was seriously wounded. The protesters eventually left the parliament Saturday night and rallied at a nearby square. Al-Sadr and his supporters want to reform the political system put in place following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, in which entrenched political blocs representing the country’s Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds rely on patronage, resulting in widespread corruption and poor public services. The major blocs have until now stymied al-Abadi’s reform efforts. On Sunday, protesters vowed to continue their sit-in inside the Green Zone until their demands are met. “We are fed up, we are living a humiliated life,” Rasool Hassan, a 37-year old father of three told The Associated Press from inside the Green Zone. “We’ll leave here only when the corrupt government is replaced with another of independent technocrats that serves the people not the political parties,” Hassan added. “We need new faces, not the old ones,” said Shatha Jumaa, a 58-year old surgeon. Jumaa, who identified herself as a secularist, said she wanted the current government dissolved and replaced by a small interim administration whose job would be to amend the constitution and to prepare for an early national election. Also on Sunday, the United Nations said at least 741 Iraqis were killed in April due to ongoing violence, a sharp decline from the previous month. In its monthly report, the U.N. mission to Iraq put the number of civilians killed at 410, while the rest were members of the security forces. A total of 1,374 Iraqis were wounded that month, it added. In March, at least 1,119 people were killed and 1,561 wounded. The capital, Baghdad, remains the worst-hit area, with 232 civilians killed and 642 wounded in April, followed by the northern province of Ninevah, which is almost entirely controlled by ISIS, with 72 killed and 30 wounded. “It pains us to see the continuing bloodletting and loss of life, particularly among civilians who are paying a high price as a result of bombings and the armed clashes,” U.N. envoy Jan Kubis said. […]