Tag: Middle East

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Entertainment

Film Review: Somali Pirates ‘steal’ the show in ‘Captain Phillips’

This photo released by Sony – Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Mahat Ali, in a scene from the film, “Captain Phillips,” releasing in the US on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The amateur actors of Somali descent from Minneapolis made their film debut acting as Somali pirates alongside the two-time Academy Award winner, Tom Hanks. (AP Photo/Copyright Sony – Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland) Like many other movie critics, I’m falling in line to say “Captain Phillips” is one of this year’s best movies. Captain Phillips, based on a true story from 2009 headlines, is an action-packed tale of a group of Somali pirates who takeover a US container ship, MV Maersk Alabama. Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) is on a tight schedule to deliver 17,000 tons of cargo to Kenya. Ignoring several advisories to stay clear of the Somalia coast, Phillips still managed to get on the radar of 4 Somali pirates. Led by a frail, focused Muse (Barkhad Abd), the African bandits took the 20-person crew and ship hostage looking for riches and gold. When the heist comes up short, the armed men take veteran seaman Phillips instead.

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National

Obama to public: Don’t give up on health sign-ups

In this photo taken Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, President Barack Obama speaks during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in the White House library in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) by Julie PaceAP White House Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending the shaky rollout of his health care law, President Barack Obama said frustrated Americans “definitely shouldn’t give up” on the problem-plagued program now at the heart of his dispute with Republicans over reopening the federal government.

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Entertainment

At 80, Wayne Shorter performs ‘without a net’

This July 23, 2013 file photo shows jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter performing at the 5 Continents Jazz Festival, in Marseille , southern France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File) NEW YORK (AP) — At age 80, Wayne Shorter isn’t ready to rest on his reputation as one of the greatest composers in jazz history. Instead, whenever he performs the saxophonist can’t resist the urge to “de-compose” his works and create something anew. “Jazz to me is something that doesn’t have to sound like jazz,” said Shorter, speaking by telephone from his home in the Hollywood Hills. “The word ‘jazz’ means I dare you. I dare you to go beyond what you are. You have to go beyond your comfort zone, to break out of the box. … You’re talking about not just music, you’re talking about life.”

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National

For Obama, diplomatic openings on 3 fronts

In this Sept. 20, 2013, photo, President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) by Julie PaceAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama arrives at the United Nations on Monday with diplomatic openings, the result of help from unexpected partners, on three fronts: Iran, Syria, and elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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International

Kenyan officials say assault to end siege begins

A rescue worker helps a child outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) by Jason Straziuso and Tom OdulaAssociated Press Writer NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan security forces launched a “major” assault late Sunday on the upscale Nairobi mall where an unknown number of hostages are being held by al-Qaida-linked militants, in an operation officials said would end the two-day standoff that had already killed 68 people. The assault, which began shortly before sun down, came as two helicopters circled the mall, with one skimming very close to the roof. A loud explosion rang, far larger than any previous grenade blast or gunfire volley.

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Opinion

All who opposed Iraq War must oppose Syria strike

by Van Jones (CNN) — The situation in Syria would break the heart of anyone who has one. That is why progressives desperately want peace in Syria, an end to the chemical weapons attacks and aid for the millions of refugees. Additionally, most of us support President Barack Obama and want him to have a successful presidency.

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International

Doubts linger over Syria gas attack responsibility

In this Aug. 29, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by the Local Comity of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a member of a UN investigation team takes samples from the ground in the Damascus countryside of Zamalka, Syria. (AP Photo/Local Comity of Arbeen) by Kimberly DozierAssociated Press Writer BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by U.S. intelligence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.