1. I’m an Islamabad girl, born and raised, and there isn’t a city in the world I would rather call home. If anything, the city can be too quaint for some; residents of Pakistan’s larger metropolises sometimes poke fun at Islamabad for being too quiet or too small. But you wouldn’t know any of that from the godforsaken hellscape depicted in the latest season of Showtime’s Emmy-winning drama Homeland.
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    3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad

    The Showtime drama’s version of the Pakistani capital is so inaccurate that it would be laughable — if it weren’t so irresponsible

     

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  5. People have an intuitive — some would say God-given — drive for purpose. They want to be called to something big. Some of us are lucky enough to experience that, at work, at home, or elsewhere. For others, life fails to deliver on their big dreams. Most learn to accept it. But a terrible few are driven to extremism.
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    The dangers of our passionless American life

    Too many angry young men are fleeing the steady comforts of the West for the violent jihad of the Mideast

     

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  7. There’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings — because this is life or death.
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    Yochanan Gordon, in a post titled “When Genocide is Permissible” on The Times of Israel's website

    The post was promptly removed for “violating The Times of Israel's editorial guidelines”

     

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  10. Jacob Lippincott is on the ground in Cairo. Here’s his latest update:

    Violent street fights are tearing apart the downtown area, the capital’s economic and cultural nerve center. Secular activists, football hooligans, and grubby street children fight police on the Nile Corniche, an open promenade that runs along the famous river. Meanwhile, gangs of thugs prey on peaceful activists, local businesses, and passers-by in the city’s shadowed side streets.

    Women are being viciously targeted. Over the last week, there have been more than a dozen brazen gang rapes and sexual assaults in and around Tahrir Square. In one particularly harrowing case, a gang of youths took turns raping a 19-year-old woman, mutilated her vagina with a knife, and left her naked on the street. She is reportedly still in critical condition in a Cairo hospital, suffering from internal injuries.

    I personally witnessed one of these assaults in Tahrir. Some tried to help the woman, while others joined in the assault. There were masses of people pushing past each other to get away, and I, along with everyone around me, was pressed against a wall, unable to help, flee, or move.

    Keep reading

     

  11. Wrenching new photos from Iran appear to show a thief having four of his fingers severed by a “finger-chopping machine.” The court-ordered public amputation reportedly took place on Jan. 24 in  the southern Iranian city of Shiraz after the 29-year-old man was convicted of burglary and adultery. In the photos, the prisoner is blindfolded and surrounded by three masked officials who hold his hand under the device. His face shows no pain, indicating that perhaps he was drugged before the procedure. 

    Iran’s brutal new ‘finger-chopping machine’ 

    Photo: AP Photo/Mohsen Tavarro

     

  12. At 5:26 a.m. New York time (12:26 p.m. in Damascus), Syria’s internet went dark. According to two U.S. internet monitoring companies, Renesys and Akamai Technologies, Syria is now completely cut off from the e-world, with all internet connections down along with at least some phone service. “A smaller outage could be chalked up to an errant mortar shell,” but the entire country? says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. “Only the Syrian regime has the power to create that kind of lockout at will.”

    "Shutting down web and phone service is a tactic increasingly pursued by countries to limit the spread of information both within the country and to the outside world," says Shara Tibken at CNET NewsWithout communication, the anti-government rebels are cut off from one another, limiting their ability to fight. 

    Why Bashar al-Assad unplugged the internet in Syria

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  13. An Israeli missile from the Iron Dome defense system is launched to intercept incoming rocket fire from Gaza on Nov. 17 in Tel Aviv. Photo: Uriel Sanai/Getty Images

    "The significance of rockets fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem should not be underestimated," says Amir Oren with Israel’s Haaretz. "The imaginary barrier has been breached, and in a war of attrition, psychology is considered very important, especially in a population hovering between hope and despair." 

    More…

    (Source: theweek.com)