United States

Explainer: Does Islamic State still pose a threat?

Reuters | Mar 23, 2019 at 2:08 PM
  • U.S.-backed fighters say they have captured Islamic State’s last shred of ground in eastern Syria – but while its era of territorial rule may be over for now, there is near universal agreement that IS remains a threat.
  • The destruction of the quasi-state it built there has denied the group its most potent propaganda and recruiting tool as well as a logistical base from which it could train fighters and plan coordinated attacks overseas.
  • Al Qaeda also retains numerous franchises around the world, and other militant Islamist groups operate in countries where normal governance has broken down.

Switzerland

Venezuela’s Guaido says Maduro is in his final phase

Swissinfo | Mar 23, 2019 at 1:16 PM
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s administration has reached its final stage and there will soon be a change in government, opposition leader Juan Guaido said.
  • Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January, when Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s May 2018 re-election was illegitimate.
  • Shortly after assuming the interim presidency, Guaido offered amnesty to members of the military who took his side.

Japan

U.S.-backed Syrian forces capture Baghouz, declare victory over ISIL

Japan News | Mar 23, 2019 at 11:54 AM
  • U.S.-backed forces in Syria announced Saturday they have liberated the last pocket of territory held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, declaring victory over the extremist group and bringing an end to the caliphate it declared in 2014.
  • A day earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump declared that ISIL militants no longer control any territory in Syria.
  • At its height, the ISIL group ruled a third of both Syria and Iraq, holding millions of people hostage to its harsh and violent interpretation of Islamic law.

Malta

US-backed Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State

The Malta Independent | Mar 23, 2019 at 10:46 AM
  • U.S.-backed forces declared military victory over the Islamic State group in Syria on Saturday after liberating the last pocket of territory held by the militants in the country’s east, marking the end of a brutal self-styled caliphate the group carved out in large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
  • A day earlier, President Donald Trump declared that Islamic State militants no longer control any territory in Syria.
  • Cornered in Baghouz, the group fought fiercely and desperately to hang on to the last shred of territory it controls, using thousands of civilians, including women and children, as human shields.

United States

Recording Reveals Oil Industry Execs Laughing at Trump Access

Politico (USA) | Mar 23, 2019 at 10:40 AM
  • Gathered for a private meeting at a beachside Ritz-Carlton in Southern California, the oil executives were celebrating a colleague’s sudden rise.
  • At Interior, to remind himself of conflict of interest concerns, Bernhardt carries a wallet-sized card listing former clients covered by his ethics recusals, the Washington Post reported.

United States

U.S.-backed Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State

Politico (USA) | Mar 23, 2019 at 10:05 AM
  • U.S.-backed forces declared military victory over the Islamic State group in Syria on Saturday after liberating the last pocket of territory held by the militants, marking the end of a brutal self-styled caliphate the group carved out in large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
  • A day earlier, President Donald Trump declared that Islamic State militants no longer control any territory in Syria, a victory he had been teasing for days.
  • Cornered in Baghouz, the group fought fiercely and desperately to hang on to the last shred of territory it controlled, using thousands of civilians, including women and children, as human shields.

India

A $50 Million Boat for the Toys You Can’t Fit on Your Yacht

Bloomberg Quint | Mar 23, 2019 at 10:00 AM
  • Sailing from port to port in peace and seclusion on a multimillion-dollar boat sounds appealing, but as any seasoned yacht owner can tell you.
  • Pioneered in the 1990s from old offshore oil and gas craft, support yachts have become as slick as the vessels they’re intended to serve.
  • Support yachts can carry everything from spare provisions, laundry and fine china to garbage and waste water.

United Arab Emirates

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – a leading project that promotes sustainability in the UAE

Emirates 24/7 | Mar 23, 2019 at 9:17 AM
  • The UAE has taken early steps to bid farewell to the last barrel of oil, and achieve a balance between development and maintaining a clean, healthy, and safe environment.
  • The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to provide 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020.
  • The infrastructure pillar includes initiatives such as the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar energy project in the world.

Malta

ISIS caliphate is ‘dead’ as last diehard jihadists are flushed out

Times of Malta | Mar 23, 2019 at 8:27 AM
  • Kurdish-led forces pronounced the death of the Islamic State group’s nearly five-year-old “caliphate” Saturday after flushing out diehard jihadists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria.
  • Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces raised their yellow flag in Baghouz, the remote riverside village where diehard jihadists of a variety of nationalities made a desperate, dramatic last stand.
  • As SDF forces pummelled IS positions and US warplanes dropped huge payloads on the riverside village, tens of thousands of people fled over a rocky hill and trudged through the plains in biblical scenes.