This Week in the World Affairs Brief:

TED CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT—IS HE THE REAL DEAL?

Senator Cruz’s timing was perfect. He let the establishment move first, promoting their favorite controlled Republican candidate, Jeb Bush, followed by a more conservative “also running” Gov. Scott Walker. Then there was Dr. Ben Carson, a Johnny-come-lately to the conservative movement, who never spoke out against the government until being invited to speak at a White House gathering where he upstaged the president with some mild cutting remarks. It made him an instant conservative hero, but his subsequent, disappointing mainstream positions (gun control, pro-vaccines) have undercut conservative confidence in his ability to stop the leftist drift. All of this preliminary disappointment for the GOP conservative base made the perfect opening for a “real” conservative challenger, and Ted Cruz put his hat in the ring this week, upstaging his only other rival on the Right, fellow Senator Rand Paul. This week I’ll try to answer conservative doubts about whether Cruz is as good as his dramatic and hard-line rhetoric. You can request a one-time free sample of the briefs by sending an email to editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

Also:

  • Iraqi Evidence of US Military Assistance to ISIS
  • INS Releases Thousands of Illegals who are Criminals
  • Suicidal German Pilot Had Bouts with Depression
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Daily News

Feds Financing System to 'Automatically Detect' Cyberbullying

posted by askousen - Friday, March 27 2015
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is financing the creation of a system for the "automatic detection" of cyberbullying. The project was awarded this month to Rutgers University, which has received $117,102 so far. The real-time, automatic detection of hurtful online speech is necessary, according to the NSF grant, because cyberbullying is a "critical social problem." The grant said 40 percent of American teenagers have reported being cyberbullied. [Who gives them access to all the personal details of communications on the internet?] — Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Gets Special Protection On Wikipedia

posted by askousen - Friday, March 27 2015
Despite the steady wave of scandals that have begun to erode even the New York Times' portrayal of Hillary Clinton, her image remains unblemished on Wikipedia. Since he first started editing her page in June 2005, Hillary's "Wikipedia watchdog" has been guarding against slanders, accusations, unfair assumptions, and distortions on the high-traffic, heavily footnoted, highly policed Hillary Rodham Clinton Wikipedia page....And police he does, as Fairbanks noted, "Hardly a news event or argument over her situation goes by without Wasted Time R's input: He edited her page 77 times in the last month, mostly pruning away changes he viewed as inappropriate, such as a rant about Geraldine Ferraro or a stealthy effort to diminish Hillary's role in improving the State Children's Health Insurance Program." NJ.com's Kelly Heyboer's listed some of Schilling's edit wars leading up to the 2008 election, including removing the words "lesbian" and "communist," a reference to Clinton having "murdered" White House counsel Vince Foster in the 1990s, and replacing a deleted passage about Bill's affair with Gennifer Flowers. — Truth Revolt

Indiana governor signs religious freedom bill that could affect gays

posted by askousen - Friday, March 27 2015
...Supporters of the bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of the Republican-controlled state legislature, say it will keep the government from forcing business owners to act against strongly held religious beliefs. Opponents say it is discriminatory and broader than other state religious freedom laws. — Reuters

What Is Your Best Choice For A Bug-Out Vehicle?

posted by askousen - Friday, March 27 2015
You've probably seen it too-dozens or even hundreds of pictures of the "ideal" bug-out vehicle. They are almost always heavy-duty 4Ă—4 trucks, equipped with grille guards, extra lights, jacked-up suspensions and enough attitude to drive right over anyone else that would dare to be on the same road. While those "dream trucks" may be fun to look at and even more fun to own, that doesn't mean that they are the ideal bug-out vehicle for everyone. — Off The Grid News

Ted Cruz: Pros And Cons

posted by askousen - Friday, March 27 2015
...Before I list what seem to me to be more obvious pros and cons of his candidacy, let me say that it is extremely obvious that Mr. Cruz is wanting to "corner the market" on the Christian conservative vote and make them the ideological and political base of his campaign. The fact that he chose Liberty University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the country, to make his announcement makes it crystal clear. And if some of the early reactions to the senator's strategy are any indication of whether Senator Cruz succeeded or not, it may seem that he has taken a big step in that regard. — Chuck Baldwin Live

Many Iraqis Think They Know Who's Behind ISIS: Uncle Sam

posted by askousen - Friday, March 27 2015
It's all a ruse, some Iraqis say, nothing more than a carefully thought-out plan to destabilize their bloodied country even more. Twelve years after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and three years after U.S. forces pulled out, the U.S. role in fighting the Islamic State group here is met with great distrust. Conspiracy theories abound, with many Iraqis insisting that the United States is actually funding and supporting the Sunni extremist group in order rip apart what's left of the country and strengthen Iraqi reliance on the West. — Huffington Post

The Best Place To Live In The United States? Here Are 9 Maps To Consider

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 25 2015
If you could live anywhere in America during the tumultuous years ahead, where would it be? This is a topic that is hotly debated, and the truth is that there is not a single right answer. If you have a very strong family support system where you are, it might not be right to try to move 2000 miles away and start a new life from scratch. And for many Americans, moving is out of the question in the short-term because they are completely and totally dependent on employment in their local areas. But in recent years we have seen an increasing number of Americans strategically relocate to another region of the country. They can see our society breaking down and they can see the storm clouds on the horizon and they want to do what they can to prepare themselves and their families for what is ahead. So is there a "best place to live" in the United States? Are there some areas that are preferable to others? The following are 9 maps to consider... — ZeroHedge

Feds Urge Banks to Call Cops on Customers Who Withdraw $5,000 or More [In Cash]

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 25 2015
The Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more, a chilling example of how the war on cash is intensifying. Banks are already required to file 'suspicious activity reports' on their customers, with threats of fines and even jail time for directors if financial institutions don't meet quotas. — Infowars.com

The Many Costs Of Obama's Executive Amnesty

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 25 2015
Seeing as the costs will come due only after President Obama has left the White House, I guess he doesn't care how high those costs are. But the costs are horrendous, as just added up by our country's foremost authority on such things, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. Rector told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week that the lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits paid to the millions of immigrants to whom Obama is granting legal status will be about $1.3 trillion. — Investors Business Daily

There will be adjustments living in Google's brave new world

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 25 2015
... Amid this noise, Google may soon appoint itself as an arbiter of truth - which is a leap of faith for all of us, given that the FTC has long accused it of having a "monopoly position in the markets for search and search advertising." Beyond that, truth can be a moving target for the growing legions of willful ignorance, such as the evolution-is-just-a-theory crowd. But if Mark Zuckerberg can set rules for free speech on Facebook before the Supreme Court can do it, perhaps it's time Google took a crack at separating fact from fiction. — NJ.com

Russia's return to Nicaragua worrying many in Central America

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 25 2015
Russia is rekindling its once-strong ties to Nicaragua, possibly including providing the Central American nation with jet fighters, stoking unease as far away as the Andes in South America. — McClatchy News

Justice Department report slams Philly police

posted by askousen - Tuesday, March 24 2015
...Between 2007 and 2014, there were 394 officer involved shootings in the Philadelphia Police Department, despite a drop in violent crimes and assaults on police officers. The report found that 49% of these incidents were the result of "threat perception failures," or movements which led police to believe a potential suspect had a weapon such as reaching for their waistband, but turned out to be unarmed. — WISN

Milwaukee panel upholds dismissal of police officer over fatal shooting

posted by askousen - Tuesday, March 24 2015
A former Milwaukee police officer who was fired after fatally shooting an unarmed black man with a history of mental illness violated department protocol and will not get his job back, officials decided at a hearing on Monday. — Reuters

Cruz: Media Coverage of Me 'Backhanded Compliment,' I'll Go Straight to People

posted by askousen - Tuesday, March 24 2015
Presidential candidate and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reported that he considers media caricatures of him "a backhanded compliment" and that he would deal with media bias by going around the media "directly to the American people" on Monday's broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "Hannity." — Breitbart

Eyes on the prize: Cruz looks to mobilize base, expand from there

posted by askousen - Tuesday, March 24 2015
Sen. Ted Cruz's decision to launch his White House bid Monday among evangelical Christians reflected both his genuine roots and a stark political calculus. The GOP field is big. To survive the grueling months ahead, to have any sliver of hope to nab the nomination against better-known and better-funded rivals, most far more popular at the moment and less polarizing, Cruz must lay claim to a major chunk of the electorate quickly. [Wow, such blunt criticism?] — Dallas News

Global Warming

posted by askousen - Friday, March 20 2015
...Climate change propaganda is simply a ruse for a socialist agenda. Consider the statements of some environmentalist leaders. Christiana Figueres, the U.N.'s chief climate change official, said that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking "probably the most difficult task" they have ever given themselves, "which is to intentionally transform the (global) economic development model." In 2010, German economist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official Ottmar Edenhofer said, "One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy." The article in which that interview appeared summarized Edenhofer's views this way: "Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. … The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated." — Walter Williams/Lew Rockwell

US warns Damascus against interfering with its 'aerial assets' in Syrian airspace

posted by askousen - Friday, March 20 2015
...At the same time two US officials, speaking to Reuters, acknowledged that the Predator drone was likely shot down, although the investigation continues. A Syrian military source told the publication that the drone has been brought down with a "rocket." — RT

Jeb Bush's tie to fugitive goes against business-savvy image he promotes

posted by askousen - Friday, March 20 2015
...Bush, then the son of the vice president, later provided another service: opening doors in Washington, where Recarey had mounted an aggressive lobbying effort for a waiver from Medicare rules that would allow his fast-growing company to continue to expand. Recarey got what he wanted. But two years later, the firm, International Medical Centers, was shut down as regulators searched for millions in missing federal funds. Facing charges of bribery and bilking Medicare, Recarey fled the country to avoid prosecution. He remains a fugitive in Spain, where a court denied U.S. requests for extradition. — Washington Post

Google: Our new system for recognizing faces is the best one ever

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
...However, the approach Google's researchers took goes beyond simply verifying whether two faces are the same. Its system can also put a name to a face-classic facial recognition-and even present collections of faces that look the most similar or the most distinct. This is all just research, but it points to a near future where the types of crime-fighting, or surveillance-enhancing, computers we often see on network television and blockbuster movies will be much more attainable. — Fortune

Secret Service may have erased surveillance tapes

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
Secret Service Director Joe Clancy told lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that the Secret Service may have erased surveillance video of agents driving a car through an active bomb threat investigation at the White House. — CNN

The uncounted: why the US can't keep track of people killed by police

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
A year ago, in a bureaucratic shift that went unremarked in the somnolent days before Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri, the US government admitted a disturbing failure. The top crime-data experts in Washington had determined that they could not properly count how many Americans die each year at the hands of police. So they stopped. The move did not make headlines. Before Brown was killed, a major government effort to count people killed by police could be mothballed without anybody noticing. The program was never fully funded, and no one involved was accustomed to their technical daily work drawing a spotlight. — The Guardian

NATO intercepts Russian fighters over Baltic Sea

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
..."These were first Russian fighters intercepted by NATO's Baltic air police this year," Viktorija Cieminyte said, adding that the Russian pilots switched off their transponders to avoid commercial radar and did not talk to air traffic control. "Civil aviation over the Baltic Sea was endangered because of the secretive way the airplanes flew," she said. — Antiwar.com

NATO Fumes as Russia Signs Treaty with South Ossetia

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
The presidents of the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia have signed a treaty today which will dramatically increase their integration, merging part of the South Ossetian military into Russia’s, and increasing economic integration. — Antiwar.com

Ukraine Rebels: Ceasefire at Risk Over Autonomy Law

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
Ukrainian rebel leaders have issued a statement today warning that the ongoing Minsk ceasefire could be in jeopardy after yesterday’s parliamentary vote on autonomy added several amendments to the rule that were not discussed in Minsk. — Antiwar.com

Administration sets record for withholding government files

posted by askousen - Thursday, March 19 2015
The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law - but only when it was challenged. — AP

Gates and Bloomberg create $4 million fund to fight Big Tobacco

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 18 2015
Developing countries facing potentially pricey legal challenges from big tobacco firms are to get help from a new $4 million fund created by the philanthropists Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg. Announcing the creation of the anti-tobacco trade litigation fund on Wednesday, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said countries with limited resources should not be bullied into making bad health policy choices. — Reuters

GM Says It Won't Throw Good Money After Bad in Russia; Closes Factory, Cuts Investment

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 18 2015
...GM announced today that it will idle a factory in St. Petersburg and stop selling Opels and most mainstream Chevrolets in Russia by the end of the year. It's not giving up on the market entirely, however. With demand for premium cars still intact, GM will focus on Cadillac luxury models, as well as a few iconic Chevys that have global appeal: the Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe. — Forbes

Gunmen storm Tunisian museum, kill 17 foreign tourists, two Tunisians

posted by askousen - Wednesday, March 18 2015
Gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed Tunisia's national museum, killing 17 foreign tourists and two Tunisians on Wednesday in one of the worst militant attacks in a country that had largely escaped the region's "Arab Spring" turmoil. Visitors from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain were among the dead in the noon assault on Bardo museum inside the heavily guarded parliament compound in central Tunis, Prime Minister Habib Essid said. — Reuters

Portland man: I was tortured in UAE for refusing to become an FBI informant

posted by askousen - Tuesday, March 17 2015
Yonas Fikre, who attends a mosque where at least nine of its members have been barred from flying, says the US no-fly list is being used to intimidate American Muslims into spying on behalf of US authorities — The Guardian

How the FBI Created a Terrorist

posted by askousen - Tuesday, March 17 2015
...But if Osmakac was a terrorist, he was only one in his troubled mind and in the minds of ambitious federal agents. The government could not provide any evidence that he had connections to international terrorists. He didn't have his own weapons. He didn't even have enough money to replace the dead battery in his beat-up, green 1994 Honda Accord. Osmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac's martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a "terrorist" only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one. — The Intercept