Week in Review: The Iranian Empire Is Back, Europe’s Military, Censoring ‘Fake News,’ and Much More


Week in Review: The Iranian Empire Is Back, Europe’s Military, Censoring ‘Fake News,’ and Much More

All you need to know about everything in the news this week

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Return of the Iranian Empire

  • “For the first time since 625 c.e.,” wrote Hussain Abdul-Hussain for now media, “Iran has restored its control over a contiguous territory that extends from the east of Afghanistan to the Mediterranean coast.”
  • The Syrian regime recently announced that Hezbollah will play a lead role in the nation’s military.
  • On the other hand, the Iraqi government voted to fully legalize Iranian-sponsored Shiite militias, officially making them a part of the Iraqi government forces.
  • Abdul-Hussain continued: “[T]hese militias will control—on Tehran’s behalf—their respective armies and, by extension, the governments behind these armies.”
  • Europe to boost defense spending

  • On November 30, the European Commission announced plans to spend $5.8 billion to jointly develop and acquire new military equipment.
  • “If Europe does not take care of its own security, nobody else will do it for us,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “A strong, competitive and innovative defense industrial base is what will give us strategic autonomy.”
  • This is not the first time that the European Union has sought closer defense cooperation. However, since the U.S. presidential election, the EU has been taking concrete steps toward a military.
  • Duterte threatens to kill human rights activists

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened on December 28 to kill human rights activists who criticize his murderous and illegal war on drug dealers and users.
  • If he would kill human rights activists who criticize his extrajudicial murder of drug dealers and users, what comes next? Killing those who obstruct the murder of human rights activists? Alcoholics? Bad drivers? Maybe Sabbath keepers?
  • Black Lives Matter mourns Fidel Castro

  • The Black Lives Matter movement in the United States has rejected conservative rhetoric against recently deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
  • Instead, the leaders of the group stressed that in their own struggle for freedom and justice, they will be using “the lessons that we take from Fidel” to realize their own goals.
  • Resurrecting the revolutionary Marxism of the Black Panther Party appears more and more to be the movement’s real agenda.
  • The fate of fake news

  • In “Why Stopping ‘Fake’ News Is So Hard,” Kalev Leetaru wrote for Forbes.com: “[T]he sheer quantity of satirical websites and newspaper columns out there makes it difficult at times to positively ascertain that a specific site is satirical without additional research.”
  • “More troubling, sometimes what we dismiss as ‘fake’ news at the time ends up later being determined to be true.”
  • While some websites like the denverguardian.com are indeed run by charlatans, attempts by Google, Facebook and other Internet service providers to crack down on “fake news” will undoubtedly end with some sort of de facto censorship of unpopular opinions.
  • Other news:

  • As South Korean’s anger over President Park Geun-hye’s scandal increases, a man sometimes called “South Korea’s Donald Trump” is gaining popularity.
  • Khalifa Haftar, the military commander of Libya’s eastern government, was in Moscow this week to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
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