Sunday Headlines

Social Media As A Weapon Of War
Anne Applebaum of The Washington Post contends that Internet trolling – paying people to write unfavorable or favorable comments – can actually hurt democratic movements.

“For democracies, this is a serious challenge. Online commentary subtly shapes what voters think and feel, even if it just raises the level of irritation, or gives readers the impression that certain views are “controversial,” or makes them wonder what the “mainstream” version of events is concealing. For the most part, the Russian trolls aren’t supplying classic propaganda, designed to trumpet the glories of Soviet agriculture,” she writes.

Journalists Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss cite Russia as one of the nations which have successfully used social media to spread disinformation in a paper they recently published.

“The Internet and social media are seen by Russian theorists as key game-changers in the weaponization of information, while the Kremlin’s granting of asylum to NSA ‘whistleblower’ Edward Snowden has offered plenty of opportunities to undermine the credibility of the ‘free’ Internet. Similar to their views on traditional media, Kremlin thinkers see Russia as under social media attack. The Internet, according to President Putin, is a ‘CIA project,'” they write.

Jordan To Formally Present Framework For Palestine State
Jordan has plans to will formally present a draft resolution setting a timeframe for the creation of a Palestinian state, Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

If the Security Council fails to approve it, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he will reassess its security cooperation with Israel and seek membership in the International Criminal Court.

“We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel,” Abbas toldIsrael’s Channel 10, a reference to Israel’s proposed Nationality Law.

Pope Francis: ISIS Violence Is A “Grave Sin Against God”
On his visit to the Middle East, Pope Francis said ISIS militants were carrying out a “profoundly grave sin against God” in Syria and Iraq, calling on Sunday for dialogue and action against poverty to help end conflicts there.

“It is licit, while always respecting international law, to stop an unjust aggressor,” Francis said of the Islamic State militants after a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Understanding Iraq
Foreign Policy has compiled a list of the Top 10 Websites for understanding the war in Iraq.

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