Saturday News Headlines

Iran’s Supreme Leader Offers Partial Endorsement Of Rouhani’s Outreach
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei finally responded to the international outreach by President Hassan Rouhani at the last United Nations meeting by weighing in with cautious approval. While Khamenei gave tacit approval to Rouhani’s efforts, he also characterized some of his actions as “not proper.”

Denouncing the United States as “untrustworthy,” Khamenei said aspects of the New York trip “were not proper, yet we are
optimistic about our dear government’s diplomatic envoy, but pessimistic about the US government.”

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 3, Washington Institute’s Philip Solondz expressed his view that the US should vigorously engage with Iran to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough while also reasserting its intent to take action if Iran continues to pursue its weapons program.

“Frankly, the administration, beginning with its Afghanistan and Libya decisions and on to the president’s May terrorism speech and punt to Congress on the Syria strike, has called our will into question. This can be reversed by our military readiness, more clarity on the administration’s redline, a presidential commitment to act on his own authority if the line is crossed, and expressions of congressional support for such action. However, the credibility of any threat of military force and other sticks is also enhanced if the United States puts a reasonable and comprehensive offer on the table,” he testified.

The full Senate hearing and other witness testimony can be viewed HERE.

Landmark Deal On Airline Air Emissions Reached
The 191-member International Civil Aviation Organization agreed to adopt market-based conservation measures to tackle emissions from commercial aviation, however the rules will not take effect until 2020.

The ICAO described the agreement as a “historic and important first for air transport,” adding that the airline industry “becomes the only major industry sector to have a multilateral global MBM agreement in place to help govern future greenhouse gas emissions.”

What Drives Humans To Commit Evil Acts?
In a post on OpenDemocracy.net, Henrietta L. Moore, a professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, examines the question of what drives an individual “emotionally, experientially, rationally, ideologically” to commit horrific acts of violence, such as the recent attacks in Kenya.

“The term evil is perhaps a necessary one – it is a way of setting limits to cruelty and malevolence – what the philosopher Peter Dews has so aptly termed “desecrations of the human”.  Yet to label something evil is also to cut off all debate: perhaps it is even evidence in its own way of a failure of the imagination,” she writes.

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