Tag Archives: syria

Costs of War: $4.4 trillion, 350,000 lives

Updated figures for the direct costs of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan now stand at more than 350,000 lives lost and $4.4 trillion spent. Indirectly, another 250,000 lives have been lost to war-related causes like loss of civilian access to food and health care, and another $8 trillion in interest on war debt may come due during the next 40 years.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies has released updated figures for the human and financial costs of the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (more…)

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Commentary by Jo-Anne Hart: Will we have ISIS to thank for peace with Iran?

If there is any good news in the ISIS developments in Iraq, it is that the United States and Iran both want to see ISIS stopped and Iraq’s government stabilized. It’s possible, writes Jo-Anne Hart, that addressing the ISIS issue could lead to confidence-building between the United States and Iran. Hart is an adjunct professor of international studies at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

While the recent military advance of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) in northern Iraq has stirred sudden concern — if not panic — in public commentaries in the United States, it is important to keep in mind several key points. (more…)

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For archaeologists, Middle East conflicts create ‘perfect sandstorm’ of challenges

Conflicts in the Middle East have made archaeological work increasingly difficult, but the work must go on, scholars said at a recent conference organized with the help of the Oriental Institute.

The task of digging ancient sites and studying artifacts always has been historically challenging, but recent regime changes and civil war further burden scholars who must maneuver through national bureaucracies and forge relationships for help. “By any stretch of the imagination, work during the last four years has become particularly difficult,” said Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute. (more…)

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Twerk, Snap, Shake: Yahoo Unveils 2013 Year In Review

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE) — Yahoo today announced the 2013 Year In Review, a look at the daily search habits of millions of Yahoo users. And for the first time,Year In Review takes a peek at the top trends from Tumblr. This year’s top searches on Yahoo include high-profile trials, Obamacare, and the twerk seen ‘round the world.

Election politicking dominated the top 10 searches of 2012, but this year people were a little starry-eyed. Miley Cyrus (No. 1) came into our lives like a wrecking ball and dethroned Kim Kardashian (No. 2) to become Yahoo’s most searched person in 2013. Kardashian’s pregnancy, divorce and engagement guaranteed the reality star a continued place in the top 10. (She’s been a regular since 2009.) Online gaming phenomenon Minecraft came in at No. 4. As with the Casey Anthony trial of 2011, notoriety surrounding a murder trial thrust the defendant Jodi Arias (No. 8) into the top 10. (more…)

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Obama on NSA, Russia and others (Press Conference, 9 August 2013)

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about what I believe should be our number-one priority as a country — building a better bargain for the middle class and for Americans who want to work their way into the middle class. At the same time, I’m focused on my number-one responsibility as Commander-in-Chief, and that’s keeping the American people safe. And in recent days, we’ve been reminded once again about the threats to our nation.

As I said at the National Defense University back in May, in meeting those threats we have to strike the right balance between protecting our security and preserving our freedoms. And as part of this rebalancing, I called for a review of our surveillance programs. Unfortunately, rather than an orderly and lawful process to debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate, but not always fully informed way. (more…)

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Health in conflict: A public health student undertakes a challenging internship in Lebanon

“In Syria it is a fast death; here it is a slow death,” a woman lamented as she described her situation as a refugee in Lebanon escaping an escalating civil war in her homeland.

Each woman’s story was different, but they were all sad, grim. Another refugee had five children and a husband who is detained somewhere back home. “When a father is present you might be able to afford some of the children’s needs, but if he’s not, from whom do you seek help?” she asked. (more…)

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Madeleine Albright Chats with Henry Paulson about Career, Foreign Policy

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told an audience at the University of Chicago that her worldview was shaped early in life, when she witnessed the impact the United States had during and immediately following World War II.

Albright explained how terrible things happened to her native Czechoslovakia, when Britain and France signed the Munich Agreement in 1938, allowing Nazi Germany to annex parts of Czechoslovakia without its consent. Only when the United States entered World War II did Czechoslovakia’s plight improve. However, after the war, when the United States and its allies allowed the Soviet Union to liberate Central and Eastern Europe, it led to 50 years of communism. (more…)

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NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

PASADENA, Calif. – A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.

Scientists at the University of California, Irvine; NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., found during a seven-year period beginning in 2003 that parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of total stored freshwater. That is almost the amount of water in the Dead Sea. The researchers attribute about 60 percent of the loss to pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs. (more…)

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