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TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, in an annual address claiming credit for ending Israel’s 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon, vowed to retain his organization’s vast military arsenal in defense of Lebanon, Arabism and Islam.

 

Speaking May 25 in the southern Lebanese Shiite stronghold of Bint Jebail, the Hezbollah leader marked the 14 years since the Israeli retreat and called on all Lebanese to embrace “the golden equation of the army, the people and the resistance.”

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TRIPOLI, LIBYA — Gunmen attacked the home of Libya’s new premier Tuesday, as increasing security fears prompted Washington to order Marines to deploy off the coast in case its embassy needs to be evacuated.

Meanwhile, jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, targeted by an ex-general who says the country has become a “terrorist hub,” has called on Libyans to repudiate him.

Businessman Ahmed Miitig, 42, was elected prime minister this month in a chaotic vote by the General National Congress (GNC) to replace Abdullah al-Thani, who resigned in April after claiming he and his family had been attacked.

An aide to Miitig said “there was an attack with rockets and small arms on the prime minister’s house” in Tripoli at 3 am.

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ABU DHABI — The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has rejected the notion that the US is politically exhausted during his visit to the United Arab Emirates this week.

 

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey also stated that if the diplomatic track with Iran fails, the military option remains and that the US is capable.

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A wide-ranging new report from the National Research Council on mass incarceration in the United States finds that lengthy prison sentences are not the best way to deter crime.

From 1972 to 2012, the U.S. incarceration rate quadrupled as America's courts began handing out longer sentences (particularly for drug crimes), according to the report, which was commissioned by the Justice Department.

 

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ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan said on Thursday he had ordered "a full-scale operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists on our soil," as he reassured parents of 219 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram that his forces would free them.

"I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism," Jonathan said in a televised speech to mark Democracy Day.

 

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BOSTON (Reuters) - In an unprecedented, three-year cyber espionage campaign, Iranian hackers created false social networking accounts and a fake news website to spy on military and political leaders in the United States, Israel and other countries, a cyber intelligence firm said on Thursday.

ISight Partners, which uncovered the operation, said the hackers' targets include a four-star U.S. Navy admiral, U.S. lawmakers and ambassadors, members of the U.S.-Israeli lobby, and personnel from Britain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The firm declined to identify the victims and said it could not say what data had been stolen by the hackers, who were seeking credentials to access government and corporate networks, as well as infect machines with malicious software.

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Last weekend's European parliament election and presidential election in Ukraine produced sharply contrasting results. Europe's voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the way that the European Union currently functions, while Ukraine's people demonstrated their desire for association with the EU. European leaders and citizens should take this opportunity to consider what that means – and how helping Ukraine can also help Europe.

The EU was originally conceived to be an ever-closer association of sovereign states willing to pool a gradually increasing share of their sovereignty for the common good. It was a bold experiment in international governance and the rule of law, aimed at replacing nationalism and the use of force.

 

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James Mattis, a retired four-star general and perhaps the most famous living U.S. Marine, was sharply critical of the Obama administration's timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan in statements made to The Army Times today.

The administration's plan leaves behind a residual force of around 10,000 soldiers after the end of combat operations in late 2014 followed by a full drawdown by the end of 2016. Mattis, a former head of U.S. Central Command, worries that this will give the Taliban a chance to regain control over Afghanistan while communicating a lack of U.S. resolve and commitment in the region.

 

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the entire Ivy League of liberal political bias during a particularly fiery commencement address at Harvard University Thursday.

"It is just a modern form of McCarthyism," Bloomberg said of university "censorship" of conservatives. "Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species"

 

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One of the top potential Republican contenders in the 2016 election began outlining his vision for U.S. policy in Israel Wednesday.

Fresh off a high-profile overseas trip that only served to fuel the presidential speculation, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blasted the Obama administration's relationship with Israel. Cruz also offered a contrasting path for the the peace process and the Iranian nuclear talks, which he claimed frequently were identified as the most important issue in his conversations with Israeli officials.

 

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The National Security Agency has tried to cut a huge hole in one of the claims self-described whistleblower Edward Snowden made in a lengthy interview this week by releasing one of his old emails from his time at the U.S. intelligence agency.

 

On Thursday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence posted on its website what it described as Snowden's only correspondence with NSA's Office of General Counsel. The email does not refer to any concerns about NSA surveillance programs. In the email, Snowden asks about a training session and whether presidential executive orders supersede federal laws.

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Ari Sousa is a Cuban-born mother of four, poet, college professor, organizational, administrative and human resource professional with over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of professional capacities in both the public and private sectors. She earned her degrees – a Masters in Public Administration (2010), a Bachelor of Legal Studies (2013) and a Bachelor in Human Resource Administration (2009) from Barry University.

Ari is currently Director of Operations and Logistics at Security Solutions International, Inc., Miami. Ari Sousa has authored several poems, such as Chances, The Miracle and The Day You Walked Away, and has collaborated on a short story manuscript with a friend and colleague, on the trials and tribulations of parenting.

Ari currently resides in Miami with her children Darian, Kristine and Kristopher.

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SANAA, Yemen –  A suspected U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen killed six Al Qaeda militants on Monday, military and security officials said.

 

The drone hit a car with Al Qaeda fighters in Marib province, in the Husoun al-Jalal area in Abieda Valley, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. They said authorities were checking for the identities of the slain militants.

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POLICE believe they have crushed the last remaining members of a one of the worst criminal gangs in Sydney, called the DLASTHR (The Last Hour) with the arrest of three members.

 

Heavily armed police carried out early morning raids at five addresses in southwest Sydney and arrested the three men on drugs charges.

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Yemeni security forces have arrested two French citizens believed to be members of an al Qaeda cell in Yemen, the French government has confirmed.

 

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a statement on Friday night that France “is cooperating closely with Yemen authorities in the fight against terrorist organisations active on their territory”.

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RT's Ruptly video journalists came under fire as their car was targeted near the city of Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine. The shooting came from two APCs, the crew said.

 

According to RUPTLY’s producer, the journalists were en route to the town of Dmitrovka, some 30 kilometers from Slavyansk. As they were about 10 kilometers from their final destination, Kiev’s APCs “came out of nowhere” and “opened fire for no apparent reason.”

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A series of bombings in Iraq have killed 14 people a day after army shelling killed 11 civilians and gunmen in the militant-held city of Fallujah.

 

Police officials said the deadliest of Saturday's attacks happened in the afternoon when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into the security checkpoint in the town of Dujail, killing six security force members and a civilian. They said the attack wounded 15 people. Dujail is 80km (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

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Egypt's prosecutor general Saturday referred to trial 200 alleged members of the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, accusing them of "terrorism" for launching deadly attacks against security forces, judicial sources said.

It would be the first mass trial of jihadists in Egypt since the military deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July last year.

The Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or the Partisans of Jerusalem, has claimed responsibility for some of the bloodiest attacks against Egypt's security forces since Morsi's overthrow.

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The Philippines released photographs Thursday to back its claim that China was reclaiming land on a disputed reef in the South China Sea in an apparent effort to build an airstrip.

Manila warned on Wednesday that China may be building an airstrip on the Chinese-held Johnson South Reef -- claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam -- boosting the superpower's claim to most of the strategic Asian waters.

 

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