Author: Sam Leanza

Mosul Finally Liberated: ISIS Defeated?

Iraq’s armed forces have liberated the former ISIS stronghold of Mosul after nearly a year of intense fighting. The second largest city in Iraq had been under ISIS control since June 2014, serving as the center of their so-called “caliphate.” During that time, much of the city’s rich history was destroyed, and countless civilians were either displaced or killed.  Now, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is declaring a victory for the city. But is it a complete victory? The State TV in Iraq says no. Plenty of ISIS fighters remain. CNN reported that there may even be a few holding out...

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Tensions Escalate with Russia after U.S. Downs Syrian Warplane

Some in the U.S. claim we’re approaching a “civil war” of ideologies and ideas. But let’s not forget that some on this earth are struggling through a real civil war. Anything less than the real thing is no comparison. Syria is a skeleton of its former self after six long brutal years of civil war. Now that conflict may worsen as Russia and the United States, long-time players in this war, are clashing over a Syrian warplane the U.S. shot down over the weekend. Russia notably supports President Bashar al-Assad against the Syrian rebels in the struggle for power of...

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Battle To Become 51st State: D.C. vs. Puerto Rico

It is unlikely we’ll ever reach President Obama’s fifty-seven states, but we may soon become a country of fifty-one United States. In a non-binding referendum on Sunday, Puerto Rico voted on the issue. Statehood handily won the vote. Merely voting for statehood is no guarantee, of course. The District of Columbia voted to become the 51st state in November, but they still need to appeal before Congress and have President Trump approve the necessary legislation. We have yet to see any of this take place. Presuming D.C. becomes “New Columbia,” Puerto Rico will technically be the 52nd state. I’d...

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After Terror Attacks, United Kingdom Prepares for Elections

After three terror attacks in the last three months, the United Kingdom is preparing to elect a new Parliament. These elections were scheduled for 2020, but Prime Minister Theresa May called for them to be held earlier to give her a mandate as the U.K. begins the “Brexit” negotiations. Now, she may be rethinking that decision. Naturally, national tragedies weigh on the minds of voters as they head to the ballot box. This year proved to be full of those as British citizens watched their people die at the hands of radical Islamists in Manchester and London. Prior to the attacks,...

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Manuel Noriega Dies at 83

This world will never be completely free of tyrants, but today that number went down by one. Late Monday evening, the former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega died at the age of 83. As a complicated ally at best and a brutish dictator at worst, Noriega represented a fascinating chapter in geopolitics. Manuel Noriega was born in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression. His parents abandoned him when he was 5 years old, leaving him to an aunt. Once of age, Noriega joined the military and ascended through the ranks to become the head of military intelligence. By 1968,...

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