Ethiopia: PM Meles dies. 'Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died, Ethiopian state television said on Tuesday. Meles had not been seen in several weeks. The government said in July that he was taking a break to recover from an unspecified condition. State television said Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be acting prime minister. ...'
Syria: FSA bans torture, prisoner killings. 'The Free Syrian Army issued new orders Aug. 20 forbidding the torture and killing of prisoners following criticism by U.N. investigators, Reuters reported. ...'
Russia / Israel: Gazprom eyes Leviathan. 'Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom is studying opportunities to participate in the development of Israel's Leviathan offshore natural gas field, Bloomberg reported Aug. 20 ...'
Turkey: Gaziantep bombing kills 8. CNN: 'Eight people were killed in a bombing in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, an official in the Interior Ministry said Monday. A spokesman for the Gaziantep governorship said 66 people were wounded in the blast. ...' Bianet - English: 'An explosion that took place near the Karşıyaka Police Station in the southeastern province of Gaziantep killed eight people and injured 61 at around 20:00 on Monday. The blast occured after someone detonated the explosives loaded inside a vehicle, Gaziantep Governor Erdal Ata told the broadcasting station NTV. The victims of the blast were passengers inside a nearby automobile and a minibus, according to reports. Two buses also caught fire in consequence of the explosion ...'
Gaziantep, previously and still informally called Antep; ʻayn tāb [ʕajn tæːb] is a city in southeast Turkey and amongst the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. The city is located 185 kilometres (115 miles) northeast of Adana and 127 kilometres by road north of Aleppo, Syria. The city has two urban districts under its administration, Şahinbey and Şehitkamil. It is the sixth most populous city in Turkey.
USA / terrorism: Hezbollah funds seized. BBC: 'The US authorities say they have seized $150m (£95m) from a bank allegedly linked to a money-laundering scheme of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Last year, US officials accused the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) of helping the group launder profits from drug trafficking and other crimes. The funds were allegedly used to ship cars from the US to West Africa, with the proceeds smuggled back to Lebanon. ...'
Analysis: Benjamin Kerstein on Chomsky, NPR. Michael Totten interviews Benjamin Kerstein on Noam Chomsky:
Benjamin Kerstein: There are a couple of main points that should be made. First, Chomsky is an absolutely shameless liar. A master of the argument in bad faith. He will say anything in order to get people to believe him. Even worse, he will say anything in order to shut people up who disagree with him. And I’m not necessarily talking about his public critics. If you've ever seen how he acts with ordinary students who question what he says, it's quite horrifying. He simply abuses them in a manner I can only describe as sadistic. That is, he clearly enjoys doing it. I don't think anyone ought to be allowed to get away with that kind of behavior.
Second, Chomsky is immensely important to the radical left. When it comes to American foreign policy he isn't just influential, he's basically all they have. Almost any argument made about foreign affairs by the radical left can be traced back to him. That wasn't the case when he started out back in the late '60s, but it is now.
Third, he is essentially the last totalitarian. ...
Go read the rest. Now via a Facebook friend here's Kerstein in 2010 on NPR:
Put simply, NPR is for coastal liberals what Rush Limbaugh is for heartland conservatives: a means of relating to the world from within the confines of a specific subculture. The difference, of course, is that Limbaugh’s admirers do not force others to pay for it.
Nor, I imagine, are Limbaugh’s listeners laboring under the same illusion as NPR’s. Most of them probably understand that Limbaugh is giving opinions based on his political point of view, which is, to say the least, well known to his listeners. NPR’s listeners, on the other hand, are quite convinced that they are receiving nothing less than the pure, unvarnished, objective truth from the network. They believe themselves to be smart and informed, and thus the network they love must also be, perhaps by definition, smart and informative. ...