Saturday Reads

Putin: America To Blame For World’s Problems
Making certain it was clear he does not fear the United States, Vladimir Putin told an audience at the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi that America was to blame for the world’s problems.

“They are throwing their might to remove the risks they have created themselves, and they are paying an increasing price. I think that the policies of the ruling elite are erroneous. I am convinced that they go against our interests, undermine trust in the United States,” Putin said without offering specific examples.

Putin also took umbrage at the West’s objections to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and the sanctions imposed by the US and EU in response.

“Maybe it is not permissible for an ox, but I have to say a bear will not ask anyone for permission,” Putin said in response to a question , according to the Russian news agency RIANovosti.

How Does ISIS Finance Its Activities?
From oil revenues to online fundraising, the Islamic terror group ISIS exploits any means to obtain financing for its terror activities. This year, it has generated $20 million in ransoms, which has influenced the question about US policy banning the payment for the release of hostages, says The Atlantic’s Russell Berman.

But the US is betting that ISIS will, at some point, will run out of money because of the financial burden of its territorial claims, argued David Cohen, who leads the Treasury Department’s terrorism and financial intelligence efforts in an October 23 speech.

The remarks he made to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace can be viewed HERE.

Behind Britons Complicated Views On Immigration
As British Prime Minister David Cameron weighs his options in terms of how far to go in tightening Britain’s immigration laws, he faces a public which has complex views on immigration and its impact on the nation’s economy, writes The Economist.

“Most studies suggest that they do. Britain is economically and culturally richer as a result of its immigrants and it is relatively good at integrating them. But Britons are gloomy about their impact. No one simple reason for this exists: Britons’ objections are a varied tangle of the rational and the irrational, making things yet trickier for poor Mr. Cameron,” the editors assert.

One of the proposals – placing a cap on immigration from the European Union – is meeting some resistance, in particular from European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, who is departing soon.

Barroso was clear in stating that such arbitrary limits would create “first and second class citizens” and would never pass muster within the EU.

Barroso is so opposed to Cameron’s proposal that he “called him personally to demand the freedom of movement principle was protected in Gibraltar, where EU citizens were facing long delays crossing the border,” the London Telegraph reports.

Movie Review: Documentary On Edward Snowden
New York Times film critic A.O. Scott offers a favorable review of the documentary about Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency employee who leaked privileged and classified national security information and subsequently fled the country.

Scott concedes “Citizenfour” is a partisan and positive portrayal of Snowden which omits certain facts and “emphasizes his bravery and his idealism, and the malignancy of the forces ranged against him.”

Scott writes that the documentary “stands alone in evoking the modern state as an unseen, ubiquitous presence, an abstraction with enormous coercive resources at its disposal.”

 

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