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September 18, 2014 (San Diego's East County)-- East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


House approves Obama request for Syria on broad bipartisan vote (The Hill)

The House overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to grant President Obama authority to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels waging war against Islamic extremists. Despite vocal opposition from both war-weary liberals and defense hawks who feel the Syria plan should include more robust steps, majorities in both conferences voted 273-156 to back Obama’s plan to give military aid to vetted members of the Free Syrian Army.

Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with a search warrant (Washington Post)

Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user data.

'So Little Compassion': James Foley's Parents Say Officials Threatened Family Over Ransom

(ABC News)

James Foley's parents say the Obama administration threatened to charge them with supporting terrorism if they paid the ransom to the ISIS terrorists who ultimately killed the man.

Feds threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day for not complying with PRISM (Wired)

A secret and scrappy court battle that Yahoo launched to resist the NSA’s PRISM spy program came to an end in 2008 after the Feds threatened the internet giant with a massive $250,000 a day fine if it didn’t comply and a court ruled that Yahoo’s arguments for resisting had no merit.


The Scottish battle for independence (CBS)

Scotland will vote this week on whether to leave the United Kingdom, to become an independent country . . . whether its 5.3 million people will turn their backs on the more than 50 million people south of the border in England (not to mention the Welsh and Northern Irish) and go it alone.  It would close a chapter in history that has lasted more than 300 years since the two countries voluntarily joined together.

Islamic State's financial independence poses quandary for its foes (JPost)

Months before they took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul in June, Islamic State militants were already busy collecting money to finance their campaign of setting up a 7th century-style caliphate. The owner of a Mosul grocery store recounted how, when he hesitated to pay, militants exploded a bomb outside his shop as a warning. "If a person still refused, they kidnapped him and asked his family to pay ransom," he said. 

To combat terror, Pentagon should help fight Africa poaching, ex-general says (CS Monitor)

The Pentagon should join the battle against the illegal wildlife trade amid evidence that terror groups are profiting from poaching, the former head of US Africa Command said at a Capitol Hill briefing.

China's military secrecy justifies surveillance flights: U.S. official (Reuters)

 ....Beijing called last month for the United States to cut back, or even stop, close surveillance by patrol aircraft if it seriously sought to repair damaged bilateral ties.  

Tibet's Dalai Lama hints he could be the last in his line – and Beijing isn't having it (CS Monitor) 

Does an atheist government run by the Communist Party of China have the right to choose Tibetan Buddhists’ spiritual leader?  Beijing says it does. After the Dalai Lama suggested this week that he might be the last of his centuries-old line, the Chinese government rapped him sharply on the knuckles – by countering that he should respect the practice of reincarnation. That heralded a fight that may one day throw Tibet into chaos.

India warns of al-Qaida terror plots against Israeli tourists during holiday season (JPost)

Indian intelligence officials have learned that al-Qaida elements and other fanatic groups may be planning to commit terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in advance of the anticipated influx of tourists during the upcoming holiday season, according to news reports.Built on gold riches, Johannesburg succumbs to sci-fi sinkholes (CS Monitor)

South Africa is struggling to manage the decline of its mining industry, which has left a legacy of sinkholes. Dozens of new sinkholes pop up each year - swallowing homes, cars, and sometimes people.

Blast kills leader of Syrian Islamist group, other top figures (Reuters)

An explosion killed the leader of one of Syria's most powerful Islamist insurgent groups Ahrar al-Sham on Tuesday, the group said, and an organization that monitors violence in the civil war said at least 28 of its commanders had died.

Exclusive: Japan, U.S. discussing offensive military capability for Tokyo - Japan officials (Reuters)

Japan and the United States are exploring the possibility of Tokyo acquiring offensive weapons that would allow Japan to project power far beyond its borders, Japanese officials said, a move that would likely infuriate China.

Japan nuclear regulator gives final safety approval for Sendai restart (Reuters)

Japan's nuclear regulator gave final safety approval to restart two reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc's Sendai plant on Wednesday, the regulator's first major ruling since it was formed in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.


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