Monday Headlines

One Year After Caliphate Declaration, ISIS Remains Strong
The first anniversary of the formal declaration of a caliphate by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) finds the terrorist group even stronger than ever.

The most recent attacks in Tunisia and Kuwait underscore their ability to recruit members and to plan and carry out multiple attacks.

“Now, al Qaeda also has the capacity to pull off simultaneous attacks. But unlike al Qaeda, ISIS has created a corporeal, visible presence that purports to govern and to control real estate. Once dismissed as meglomaniacal overreach or trivialized as a JV enterprise, the year-old caliphate terrorizes on the ground–and its very existence is a symbol of defiance of the West and the Arab regimes that seem powerless to destroy it,” writes Aaron David Miller of the Wall Street Journal.

ISIS also has shown its ability to grow in terms of the territory it has amassed, which is reflected in four maps produced by The Independent. The paper also has a detailed article on the scores of children which ISIS has executed in the last year.

Today, the Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting a panel of experts to discuss the anti-ISIS strategy.

China Pokes Vietnam Again
Tensions in the South China Sea are increasing once again after China moved an oil rig closer that was at the center of a dispute last year to Vietnam’s coast. According to a report in The National Interest, last week the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) says that China’s Haiyang Shiyou 981 (HD-981) oil rig was being moved to waters where China and Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) overlap.

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung responded in a speech on Friday by saying that Vietnam’s sovereignty was being threatened and the body was ordering “the government, all ministries and agencies and the whole political system to join hands to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty,” according to Thanh Mien News.

Like Greece, Puerto Rico Cannot Pay Its Debts
Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is warning that Puerto Rico can’t pay its $72 billion public debt, which is certain to exacerbate the U.S. territory’s fiscal woes.

The territory, which has a population of 3.5 million people, is suffering under a jobless rate double the national average and a debt load bigger than every U.S. state except California and New York, reports Bloomberg News.

 

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