Tuesday Headlines

White House Backs Away From Demanding Assad’s Ouster
In a change in its policy that no peace in Syria is possible while President Bashar al-Assad remains in office, the Obama administration now supports two initiatives — one from Russia and one from the United Nations — that do not demand his ouster.

Both deals face challenges, most importantly is the fact that ISIS controls half of Syria’s territory, reports The New York Times.

European Union Seeks More Intelligence Sharing With Arab States
In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, the EU nations plan “to share information, intelligence, not only with the European Union but also with other countries around us,” said European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday, reports the EU Observer.

Mogherini also stated she wants to reach out to Arab-speaking populations by “improving our capacity to speak Arabic, read Arabic” and “listen to the messages coming from the Arab world”.

The Psychopaths Of Boko Haram
In a op-ed published in The New York Times, Tolu Ogunlesi, a journalist and the author of, most recently, the novella “Conquest and Conviviality,” writes about the “psychopaths” of Boko Haram who have amassed a cumulative death toll of 11,000.

Noting that Nigeria is familiar with civil unrest, he argues that no recent crisis “has matched that created by the insurgency” and that the terrorists stated “aim is to create an Islamic caliphate, but it shows little impulse toward establishing its legitimacy as an alternative government.”

Ogunlesi places partial responsibility for the chaos on the incompetence of the Nigerian government, but says his hope lies in the people taking affirmative action in the upcoming election.

“Nigerians need to take the decisive action that their president has failed to offer. My hope is that on Valentine’s Day, when the election takes place, Nigerians will remember the missing girls of Chibok, and the dead residents of Baga and the refugees of the north, and vote out a man who has demonstrated, beyond doubt, that he cannot inspire confidence as a commander in chief,” he concludes.


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