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The Black-Market Battleground
At a time when the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and other groups are killing, enslaving, and displacing thousands of people across Syria and Iraq, what happens to ancient artifacts may seem like a sideshow. But according to Danti, who is also a professor at Boston University, ISIS's profits from looting are second only to the revenue the group derives from illicit oil sales. ISIS's profits from looting are second only to the revenue the group derives from illicit oil sales. So understanding the Islamic State's approach to the fate of ancient artifacts actually could be key to stopping its advance.
Saudi’s NCB Pledges Conversion To Islamic Bank After Pressure From Scholars
State-owned National Commercial Bank (NCB), which has about $116 billion of assets, currently has a mixed business – most of it conforms to Islamic principles such as bans on interest payments and pure monetary speculation, but some of it involves conventional banking. Some other banks in Saudi Arabia are also mixed.
‘The Guide to Sleeping in Airports’: Jeddah airport second worst in the world
Three Saudi airports were included in the top five worst in the region, compiled by readers of the Canadian website sleepinginairports.net. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport was the worst – also taking out second place in a global list of the worst airports to sleep in. Dammam King Fahd International Airport and Riyadh King Khalid International Airport were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Meaning of Kobani
he Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani has been under a relentless siege by the Islamic State (IS) for the past few weeks. Surprisingly its defenders have endured, defying the long odds. Whether it falls or survives, Kobani is likely to become for Syrian and Turkish Kurds what Halabja became for Iraqi Kurds in 1988: a defining moment of nationhood and identity.
- Foreign Policy - U.S. Ramps Up Push to Save Key Syrian Town
- McClatchy - Obama's Decision to Aid Kobani Puts Him Squarely at Odds With Turkey's Erdogan
- WSJ - What Turkey Wants in the War on ISIS
- The Atlantic - The Tide Slowly Turns in Kobani
- Reuters - Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders
From Jimmy Carter, a Rebuke to Egypt
Over three decades, the Carter Center in Atlanta, led by former President Jimmy Carter, has established itself as a respected advocate for human rights and democracy. It has sent observers to 97 elections in 38 countries, worked to persuade governments to respect freedoms and human rights, and supported citizens who defend those principles. But it has thrown in the towel on Egypt.
Syrian regime takes advantage of coalition strikes
As the world’s focus remains firmly fixed on the Kurdish enclave of Kobani, under assault for three weeks now by a relentless and determined Islamic State (IS) force despite airstrikes by the US-led coalition, other significant events on the Syrian battlefield have largely gone unnoticed. As the Syrian army, backed by various local and foreign militias, makes significant gains in both Damascus and Aleppo, the question being raised is whether President Bashar al-Assad is the ultimate beneficiary of the coalition's campaign against IS and other jihadist groups.
On the strength of new investment, Saudi emotion sharing app leaves for Silicon Valley
The startup is getting ready to move everything to Silicon Valley by the end of the year. Their main focus will shift to the US, says AlKadi, instead of Saudi Arabia. "Emotions and feelings are a global language.
Gaza reconstruction facing obstacles despite aid
Winter is coming in Gaza, and the long nights and heavy rains will deepen the misery of thousands of families whose homes were destroyed in the fighting of summer. Newly homeless in a place already peopled with the descendants of refugees from the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948, their plight is desperate.
On outskirts of Baghdad, Islamic State’s advances raise tensions
About 14 miles from Baghdad International Airport, a mortar shell landed with a thud. A second followed, closer, and then a third struck across the Iraqi army’s lines, as the Islamic State militants zeroed in on their target.
As Oil Prices Plummet, Saudi Arabia Faces a Test of Strategy
With global oil prices plunging at a pace not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, Saudi Arabia is emerging as a central player, accused by some of deliberately depressing the market to weaken rivals like Iran but looked to by others as the only hope of ending the rout. Still others say that the oil colossus is merely struggling to deal with its diminished position in an industry it once dominated.
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