As an apparent response to President Barack Obama's pledge to "degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS," the loose-knit terrorist group has released a big, explosion-filled, Expendables-style video that seems to imply they're ready to fight back. It even ends with a movie trailer-style fadeout before showing the words "The Flames of War: The fighting has just begun." We've chosen to not post the video on our site, but it is an interesting example of the American taste for highly stylized war violence being repurposed to promote and threaten actual war violence. The video seems like a dare to U.S. forces, but the President has said he has no intentions of putting American boots on the ground in Iraq ... Discuss
By a vote of 273 to 156—interestingly, with 40 percent of Democrats opposing the plan—the House of Representatives approved a new White House strategy that would arm and train moderate Syrian fighters. Today, the Senate will also take a vote on the new measures, but it could still face some opposition with many legislators unhappy with the prospect of sending American troops into the region ... Discuss
A group of massive companies including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, Kroger, Honeywell and DuPont have come to a voluntary agreement with the White House to cut or eliminate the use of the powerful greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbon. The man-made gas is used in refrigeration and in air conditioners. The agreement, which says that the companies will stop using the gas in favor of cleaner alternatives over the course of 10 years, is a pretty big deal. As The New York Times notes, the 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being eliminated by the new move “is about 1.5 percent of the world’s 2010 greenhouse gas emissions, or the same as taking 15 million cars off the road for 10 years” ... Discuss
A story reported on a number of Christian and conservative news outlets this week tells the story of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's brother, Mohammed Bakr al-Baghdadi, who allegedly "repented" and "converted to Christianity" earlier this week. It was first reported in the World News Daily Report and has since gone viral, with money quotes from the ISIS leader like, "[al-Baghdadi] is no more my brother then the miscreant American pigs we slay everyday."
Sadly, the story is a complete hoax. The World News Daily Report is yet another of the terrible, miserable faux-news sites poisoning the Internet which claim to be "satire" and yet serve mostly to troll those who don't check their sources. The ruse isn't even a particularly good one since, as Antiviral reports, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi isn't even the ISIS leader's real name, and the photos in the story are ripped from an old video of 9/11 hijackers. In any case, it's a pretty mean-spirited, inept, silly prank. If you see it floating around out there, shut it down ... Discuss
The Obama Administration is stepping up the fight against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. According to this report, today, the president will announce and outline a new plan to deploy 3,000 military personnel to West Africa, where the virus has already killed more than 2,200 people. As part of the strategy to stem the spread of Ebola and assist victims, the U.S. will help build 17 medical facilities and set out to train hundreds of healthcare workers every week.
The AP is also reporting that the Pentagon has requested that Congress approve a redirect of at least $500 million for “overseas contingency operations” to their plan to combat Ebola throughout West Africa ... Discuss