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Today: 50 articles and 171 comments as of 20:41.
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Morsi Loyalists Clash With Soldiers in Cairo Protests
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 6: Politix
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4 21:28 Beavis [388] 
8 22:33 JosephMendiola [382] 
7 20:40 abu do you love [365] 
25 22:06 DarthVader [639] 
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3 05:36 Paul D [352]
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Page 4: Opinion
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Republicans want to talk to Col. George Bristol about Benghazi
Marine Corps Col. George Bristol was in a key position in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) chain of command the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As such, he's high on the list of people that some Republican members of Congress want to interview. But they don't know where he is and the Pentagon isn't telling.

Pentagon spokesman Major Robert Firman told CBS News that the Department of Defense "cannot compel retired members to testify before Congress."
But they can give a last known address and telephone number.
Bristol, a martial arts master, was commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara based in Stuttgart, Germany until he retired last March. In an article in Stars and Stripes, Bristol is quoted at his retirement ceremony as telling his troops that "an evil" has descended on Africa, referring to Islamic militant groups. "It is on us to stomp it out."

Members of Congress in both the House and Senate, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have asked the Pentagon for assistance in locating Bristol so that they can question him about events the night of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. But those efforts have come up empty.
Posted by: Thruth Ulereper the one and only || 07/05/2013 18:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [315 views] Top|| File under:


Government
$150,000 per year for 3 hours per week - nice work if you can get it
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/05/2013 08:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [365 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Free Market. Check what the (Professional Farm Team) coaches get. Now how does it compare to other 'Profs'* salaries and number of hours put in classrooms? No perspective relative to the university system in NY.

* he does have a PhD and, unlike a lot of ivory tower personnel, real world practical experience.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/05/2013 11:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Gee, do you think Petraeus might help bring students to a class? He might even pay for himself!

Maybe all professors pay should be based on the number of students they attract.
Posted by: Bobby || 07/05/2013 13:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Eisenhower took the president's office at Columbia in 1948 for $25,000 which with inflation would work out to around $241,000 a year today. The president of Columbia in 2010 garnered $1.7 million a year. Someone got a bargain.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/05/2013 14:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Advanced degrees and high military rank have never impress me a great deal.

This fellow holds two very important keys. One key is to the unbelievable degree of success the military enjoyed during the Ben Ladin raid at Abbattabad. The other is the unbelievable degree of failure and obfuscation experienced during the Benghazi debacle.

Following the Broadwell incident and his admissions, he is very lucky to still have his retirement, let alone financial tribute from colleges and other institutions.
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/05/2013 14:57 Comments || Top||

#5  ..paging Kay Summersby to the courtesy phone.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/05/2013 15:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Maybe all professors pay should be based on the number of students they attract.

Really bad idea. You're assuming *studious* students. The highest paid profs would be those who don't demand any effort and give everyone an A.
Posted by: RandomJD || 07/05/2013 17:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Since the only reason most go to college nowadays is to get the paper and could give a rats about the knowledge or whether they received marketable skills, of course they would only want easy A's.

or hotties that belong in a Gulf Bravo gam shot click through. ;)


;)
Posted by: abu do you love || 07/05/2013 20:40 Comments || Top||


States Lowering the Bar for O-Care Implementation
Facing tight deadlines and daunting workloads, states across the country are scaling back ambitions for implementing the Affordable Care Act. At a monthly board meeting of Connecticut's health insurance exchange, members of the standing-room-only crowd got a reminder that they, too, were behind schedule. The insurance marketplace they were working on nights and weekends won't be completely ready on time.

"It is highly complex, it's unprecedented and it's not going to be smooth," Kevin Counihan, chief executive of the state's exchange, Access Health CT, told the group.
The man whose job didn't exist until O-care. Who is paying HIS salary?
That's why Connecticut -- like other states across the country -- has lowered the bar, doing what it can in the time it has left before the health-care law's major programs are launched Oct. 1. Although the states are promising to provide new marketplaces for individuals to compare and buy health insurance plans, the Web portals will be a bare-bones version of what was initially envisioned.
Can't you already get comparisons at Progressive?
And then there are the federal setbacks. The Obama administration has put off significant aspects of the health-care overhaul as it races to finish provisions that will give Americans more insurance options and provide many with financial assistance to buy coverage. On Tuesday, the White House announced a decision to delay the "employer mandate," a requirement that employers with 50 or more workers provide coverage.
Once again demonstrating it is harder to actually govern than to bloviate.
"In 2011, there was this 'we're going to save the world' mentality," said Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. "In 2013, it focuses more on how do we deliver on the requirements of the law."
Another executive's salary paid by borrowing from the Chinese.
The District of Columbia and 15 states -- including Connecticut -- are building their own marketplaces. Those jurisdictions, among the Affordable Care Act's most ardent supporters, took on the responsibility of building Web portals that are at the heart of the federal health-care overhaul. Most states, eschewing the heavy workload, left the task to the federal government.

The White House expects 7 million people to buy health insurance or enroll in Medicaid through these Web portals. Millions more are likely to browse these sites for health plans and explore possible options under the federal law, which imposes an "individual mandate" requiring most people to obtain coverage or pay a penalty.
Or be excused through a political favor.
In Oregon, officials decided to delay a feature that would allow consumers to customize searches for rating the coverage provided by insurers. And a feature for insurance brokers to track the consumers they enroll will wait for two to four months.

How will brokers keep track of potentially thousands of customers in the interim? Cover Oregon's executive director, Rocky King, suggested that they might use "index cards". "I know the agents will have all their Excel worksheets," King said. "We've gone to them and said: You're our priority sales force, but you're not necessarily the priority for how you access the system. The consumers are. "

Connecticut has made progress. It was the first state to complete an intensive technology test in which the state's portal successfully connected to a federal data hub. But officials have learned that good news can have a downside. The state agency spent weeks reprogramming its Web site after the federal government shrank the insurance application from 21 pages to three.

When the Supreme Court struck down a key element of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Access Health CT board members cheered. Then, they remembered that it would add to the workload: The marketplace would now need to recognize same-sex marriages, a coding change unlikely to be ready for October.
Whoopsie!
"Everything continues to change all the time," Van Loon told his staff at a job-security meeting later that day. "We're going to have to adjust some processes around that. If DOMA requires a manual work-around, we'll do that."
Van Loon. He's in the right place!
Posted by: Bobby || 07/05/2013 06:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [639 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The District of Columbia and 15 states -- including Connecticut -- are building their own marketplaces. Those jurisdictions, among the Affordable Care Act's most ardent supporters, took on the responsibility of building Web portals that are at the heart of the federal health-care overhaul. Most states, eschewing the heavy workload, left the task to the federal government.

Web portals can be damnably difficult to build, maintain and protect from hackers. Expensive too. Just serving up static web pages is hard enough but when you put a database and a whole lot of programmed, interactive features into it you go to a whole other level of complexity. I suppose it is the contemporary way to do business but you run into a whole lot of very contemporary problems too. I wonder if they'll outsource any of the programming to foreign countries? Maybe they'll hire some H1B workers. At any rate, it will cost a fabulous amount of money.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 07/05/2013 11:48 Comments || Top||

#2  What a fostercluck.

If DOMA requires a manual work-around, we'll do that.

ewwweue.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 11:52 Comments || Top||

#3  We discussed this at great length here some months ago, but I can't find the link -- sorry. As I recall, a number of Rantburgers have direct experience with this kind of thing at both the state and federal levels, and concluded bluntly that the project is not do-able for any amount of time or money.

If someone could find the link, I would be grateful. It would be useful, particularly for Lex, who has a background in government and computer stuff, but wasn''t around at the time.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/05/2013 12:04 Comments || Top||

#4  There is the Right way and the lex way, and I too am interested in the difference.

I have been expecting a 30% increase to supply chain costs, and have seen 10% over the last 18 months. But hey, glaad to see hooters turned into poles on the employee I can't hire's dime. Wait, that person is unemployed so its on my quarter.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 12:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Any number of competent systemengineers could have looked at the requirements, timeline and resources, and told you that this was impossible. Oh wait, THEY DID! But Obama, Reid, Pelosi and company ignored them.

If we had a truly free press (not the self-enslaved one we have now), those 3 people would be getting hammered for their malfeasance in passing Obamacare before they read it and adequately discussed it with the public.
Posted by: OldSpook || 07/05/2013 12:24 Comments || Top||

#6  Heck OS, even the people who rattle for collectivization had to concede that in order for it to be implimented it had to be done right the first time.

They got palosi the carrot, reid the stick, and obama the cart driver. Sebilius was almost immediately handing out do not have to follow the law cards, obama who thinks the best way to promote this law is to be so involved with golfing that there is no way he has enough time to actually oversee this historical tax, and at its peak crises point decides a tour de afrique is the right thing to do.

I'm sure they have their top. men. earnestly trying to get this put together, and here they decide to punt until after the next election cycle.

And who is going to data entry those techno illiterates into the databank? How many languages? How many people will need to be hired to do the data entry? If its a tax issue and people cannot afford the accountants to figure this out for them, will there need to be a taxpayer funded free tax accounting service available? For those who have large dependant small income tax files will the tax be deducted from their underemployment compensation? Will the people who refuse to work get free passes, while those who attempt to increase their personal wealth and therefore the nation's wealth owe 2 1/2 pounds of flesh? You know, if and until they reach that made enough money point of taxation?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 13:04 Comments || Top||

#7  I might add that, for some strange reason, whenever any level of government gets involved in a computer project you can multiply the cost by about a million.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 07/05/2013 14:18 Comments || Top||

#8  TW, I'm one of those that commented before if my memory is correct.

You are absolutely correct. I worked for SAP trying to help guide the SAP portals package of "tools" for Naval Aviation.

The fustercluck was mind-boggling and the "solution" was for contractors to be hired enmasse with contractors hiring contractors. It was a total disaster living up to every nightmare of an out of control IT project; and even inventing a few new nightmares.
Posted by: AlanC || 07/05/2013 14:28 Comments || Top||

#9  Imagine my surprise when assigned to a $ 4.5m SW development project under DIA when it is discovered that the Army had already developed [and was using] a nearly identical, but infinitely more advanced capability. Funding and research grants for the DIA program continued, and may yet continue today. Sadly, the waste to be found in SW and IT development project within the beltway is legion.
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/05/2013 14:43 Comments || Top||

#10  I ask you, if the system is this complicated, what guarantee do we have that the boodle will wind up in the pockets of Democratic voters, like Congress intended?
Posted by: Matt || 07/05/2013 15:30 Comments || Top||

#11  None, Matt. After all, they are just voters and peasants. But you can bet that contractors who contributed to the cause will get some very lucrative contracts.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 07/05/2013 16:07 Comments || Top||

#12  Don't forget the lawyers, they will do well.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 16:40 Comments || Top||

#13  Trailing wife - I'm well aware of IT implementation cloosterphuques. Fear of same and their massive price tags are what keeps single-source IT vendors in business.

Re the source of the article, Sarah Kliff, interesting that the 'burgers have yet to post any of her articles or the many others detailing California's and Oregon's huge success so far in attracting exceptionally affordable plan bids from insurers participating in the states' ACA exchanges.

As usual, the defenders of our current Frankenstein-kloodge have it backwards: instead of collusion, price-gouging, DOB for people who deserve benefits and predatory behavior of all kinds, we now are seeing real competition among ethical plan providers in a transparent and properly regulated market.

And slimeball firms like UnitedHealth are exiting the market, leaving a cleaner and more consumer-friendly marketplace.

Again, to make it really simple, the predatory old system gave Californians 170% price INCREASES over the last decade. The new ACA exchanges are bringing price DECREASES, plus access to insurance hundreds of 000's of Californians whom the old system cruelly allowed the rapacious providers to deny altogether due to the BS pretext of a "ore-existing condition."

Do you guys like having your pockets picked? Why on earth would you stand up for the broken, ridiculously wasteful, financially ruinous old non-system?

Here's Kliff: http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/23/california-obamacare-premiums-no-rate-shock-here/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein


Posted by: Lex || 07/05/2013 16:47 Comments || Top||

#14  Kliff is now Ezra Klein?

Here’s what happened. Last week, Covered California—the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange—released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange.

“The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”

That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted Peter Lee.

Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples—the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market—and oranges—the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.


You do not have a clue about that of which you speak
Posted by: Beavis || 07/05/2013 18:02 Comments || Top||


#16  "Beavis" lives up to his namesake. Avik Roy's ridiculous pseudo-analysis is a joke. if Beavis actually knew what he was talking about, he would not be cutting and pasting from Roy's ridiculous pseudo-analysis.

Clue #1 for Beavis: numbers scraped by an aggregator for complex insurance plans have little relationship to actual, final quotes. Only a fool or a hack would rely on these bogus numbers.

Clue #2: even if one were to get a low rate from one of the old, unregulated, pre-ACA plans, the old system allows insurers to rapidly jack up the new policyholder's rates. Bait-and-switch is not only legal under the current joke of a system in CA, it's routine. Yours truly signed up with Anthem last year and saw them raise rates on us TWICE, by 24% and then another 23%, WITHIN SIX MONTHS.

Somehow your brilliant Forbes magazine analyst - the guy you think is so eloquent and insightful that you put aside your own vaunted expertise and let him do all your talking for you - failed to understand this most basic of all the shitty stunts routinely pulled by the health insurance mafia.

There are plenty of additional errors in this joke of a piece, but I'll leave it here for now. Someone who doesn't even grasp the concept of bait and switch (perfectly legal under the current system btw), who relies on BS from an aggregation site rather than actual contracted rates, isn't to be taken seriously. (And yet even Roy had to gently remind his clueless NRO readers that, er, they too are recipients if taxpayer-subsidized insurance: $300 billion per year from tax-exempt subsidies for employer-sponsored plans; $700 billion per year from th Social Security Act aka Medicare.)

Beavis, come clean. You're not really an expert. You're just shilling for one of the current system's birds of prey. Anthem? UnitedHealth? Do tell, frontman.
Posted by: Chesney Elmeter4351 || 07/05/2013 19:20 Comments || Top||

#17  Re Beavis's second cut-and-paste effort, from Glenn Kessler, this is more credible - at least these are closer to actual contracted rates - yet Kessler, too, is engaged in a sleight-of-hand. Argument by individual anecdote won't cut it here. It's to be expected that rates will rise for SOME - not most, not all - people, specifically ultra low-risk, younger, healthy plan members like the single 25 year-old that Kessler cherry-picks as his sole example. The whole point of a large risk pool is that healthy people subsidize the people who are very ie very expensively sick. So a small sliver of the population - young healthy singles - that's been paying nothing or close to nothing is now going to pay something closer to a reasonable rate in line with what everyone else pays so as to ensure access to people who've had been shut out of the system entirely by rapacious, cherry- picking for-profit insurers.

The ACA should have eliminated profit altogether from the private insurance sector, but the political reality is that, alone among industrial democracies, we've allowed these jackals to buy off our political class, so the ACA is a compromise that, alas, preserves the worst feature of the system.

Fortunately, next year Californians will vote to FINALLY at least introduce some effective insurance regulation to healthcare, so the worst effects of for-profit insurers' tricks will be mitigated from 2015 onward.

Of course, the smart, fair, efficient and effective way to expand the risk pool to the max is through single payer, funded by a generalized tax such as a VAT. Your healthy single 25 year- old would end up paying even more into this system than he would via higher premiums as per the ACA.

But single payer, ah, that's the road to serfdom, right? Can't have a rational, efficient, equitable system now, can we? How would Beavis earn his keep?
Posted by: Lex || 07/05/2013 19:42 Comments || Top||

#18  I'm sorry I do understand this better than you ever will Lex or is it Chesney Elmeter4351 now? Ever figure out if Ezra Klein is Kliff in drag? BTW your 2 day tirade has been with UHC now suddenly it's Anthem, they deny your lithium?
Posted by: Beavis || 07/05/2013 19:45 Comments || Top||

#19  Lex, you are veering dangerously close to ad hominem responses. If you want to continue with here, you'd better stop.

You still haven;t answered the question: If health insurance is so evil, why are citizen's forced to buy health policies?
Posted by: badanov || 07/05/2013 19:52 Comments || Top||

#20  Of course, the smart, fair, efficient and effective way to expand the risk pool to the max is through single payer

This proves you don't understand risk pools. Insurance is the transference of an unknown, risk, for a known, money. If I underwrite Dolly Parton's tits for x amount of money and charge y, my exposure for the next pair hasn't changed.
Posted by: Beavis || 07/05/2013 19:55 Comments || Top||

#21  equitable system now

This is my favorite part of the chew toys arguments. If all sucks fairly for everyone, that's a plus
Posted by: Beavis || 07/05/2013 20:02 Comments || Top||

#22  Badanov - goose, gander. Go back and read the ad homin swill and childish insults directed at me by your boy Beavis, homo euro et al
Posted by: Lex || 07/05/2013 20:10 Comments || Top||

#23  Thanks for the tip Lex; wouldn't have checked out Beavis' KP plans without you. They smoke my current policy.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 20:15 Comments || Top||

#24  Badanov - goose, gander. Go back and read the ad homin swill and childish insults directed at me by your boy Beavis, homo euro et al

My bad. Thought you wanted a debate. Sorry

Keep heading in that direction.
Posted by: badanov || 07/05/2013 22:02 Comments || Top||

#25  Oh wow. Personal insults from the super lib. Surprising. Oh I am shocked.
Posted by: DarthVader || 07/05/2013 22:06 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Obamacare Strikes: Part-Time Jobs Surge To All Time High; Full-Time Jobs Plunge By 240,000
Posted by: tipper || 07/05/2013 12:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [388 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Couldn't we just postpone all of these pesky elections until we get this excellent program ironed out and running properly ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 07/05/2013 17:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Washington would be a great place to work if it weren't for the pesky voters and Congressional hearings (sarc).
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/05/2013 19:41 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm still waiting for someone to show me, buried in the ACA, the section that gives Obama (or Sibelius) the power to postpone implementation.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/05/2013 21:17 Comments || Top||

#4  Here you go Steve

the secretary shall, appears 2300 times in the bill
Posted by: Beavis || 07/05/2013 21:28 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Kerry vacationing on Nantucket amid Egypt turmoil
As the Instapundit says, it's pro'ly the best use of his time...
Secretary of State John Kerry is spending a sun-splashed Fourth of July on Nantucket, even as a chaotic overthrow of the government rocks Egypt and continues to test diplomatic relations in Washington.

Kerry, who has a house and a yacht on the ritzy island getaway, was seen strolling down Federal Street away from July Fourth festivities on Main Street, a source told the Herald.

Kerry, who has just completed a 12-day, 2,500-mile trip to the Middle East and Asia, was with his daughters, their husbands and a security guard, the source said.

Kerry’s staff insisted the former Bay State senator is fully engaged.

“Since his plane touched down in Washington at 4 a.m., Secretary Kerry was working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt,” Kerry spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. “He participated in the White House meeting with the President by secure phone and was and is in non-stop contact with foreign leaders, and his senior team in Washington and Cairo.”
Posted by: Steve White || 07/05/2013 11:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [382 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That would be duty-free yacht after a day of catch up diplomacy.

Halp us jawn carry, u r r onle hoop.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 11:35 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought he was vacationning in Vietnam or Cambodia
Posted by: JFM || 07/05/2013 12:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Could we have LESS of this idiot, preferably none.

We already know he's worthless, useless, and vain.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 07/05/2013 12:31 Comments || Top||

#4  magic hat you winter soldier
Posted by: bman || 07/05/2013 12:48 Comments || Top||

#5  Not that I disagree RJ, but then there are uses for a useless man, as a fall guy. Or worse, as cover. "Oh, javalins meant for team syria rebels are blowing up egyptian tanks? Well, kerry, you know, people just don't seem to like him. Sorry about that, won't happen agains we swear."
Posted by: swksvolFF || 07/05/2013 13:13 Comments || Top||

#6  ...and of course, while alienating most of South America with the crudest form of Yankee Imperialism.

[It's call Freudian Projection as Lefties do exactly and with glee what they accuse others of doing]
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/05/2013 14:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Many in the senate were glad to see him go (and not only Republicans) Once they get a load of Ed Markey, they may want Jawn Fn Kerry back...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 07/05/2013 16:16 Comments || Top||

#8  Is it just me, or is anyone else suddenly flashbacking to the '80's + getting an image of Senator Gary Hart wid not-his-Wife sitting on his lap on the yacht???

YACHTS - WHY DO THEY HATE US, + PEACE???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/05/2013 22:33 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2013-07-05
  Morsi Loyalists Clash With Soldiers in Cairo Protests
Thu 2013-07-04
  Big party in Tahrir Square!
Wed 2013-07-03
  Egypt army dumps Morsi
Tue 2013-07-02
  Guards of senior Muslim Brotherhood figure arrested in Egypt
Mon 2013-07-01
  Egyptian military gives 48 hour ultimatum to Brotherhood, political forces
Sun 2013-06-30
  Boomers kill 43 in Pakland on Sunday
Sat 2013-06-29
  Muslim Brotherhood, FJP offices attacked throughout Egypt
Fri 2013-06-28
  Dagestani lawmaker arrested for ties to Islamist insurgents
Thu 2013-06-27
  Top Somali militant leader flees former Shebab comrades
Wed 2013-06-26
  FBI pulls ‘Faces of Global Terrorism’ ads after Muslims get offended
Tue 2013-06-25
  Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace
Mon 2013-06-24
  Pak Talibs kill 10 foreign tourists in Diamer
Sun 2013-06-23
  Dutch Say Time of 'Ever Closer' Union in Europe is Over
Sat 2013-06-22
  Britain OKs Treaty Clearing Way to Deport Abu Qatada to Jordan
Fri 2013-06-21
  Today's Pakaboom: 15 Dead in Peshawar Mosquaboom

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