FROM Jessica Lewis
ISIS Gains Momentum as the US Re-Engages In Iraq Today, Iraq’s parliament convened and then quickly collapsed. Lawmakers met ostensibly to begin selecting a new government to replace Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, their speaker and President, but could not agree even on the most basic order of business. Meanwhile over the weekend the Sunni insurgent group ISIS declared a wide swath of their territory spanning Iraq and Syria a new Islamic caliphate. Meanwhile Iraqi security forces are mounting a counterattack on ISIS in an effort to win back control of the northern city of Tikrit. And yesterday the Pentagon announced it was sending hundreds more troops to assist those 300 advisers the President deployed last week, while Russia has stepped in with a fleet of military jets. Can the Iraqi army fend ISIS off? Is the insurgency capable of not just taking territory but governing?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.