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Syrian opposition sees window for political solution in Syria It's the No. 1 vs. the GOAT: Halep and Serena set for Aussie showdown

Syrian opposition sees window for political solution in SyriaSyria now has a good opportunity to reach a political solution to its devastating eight-year war as ceasefires have brought calm to many areas of the country, Syria's chief opposition negotiator said on Saturday. "I think now that we have an opportunity, because nearly in Syria we have a ceasefire now, in the northeast of Syria and the north of Syria, and the efforts of fighting terrorism has achieved good results," Nasr Hariri told Reuters in an interview in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, where he is based. Hariri, the opposition's chief negotiator in U.N. peace talks, met with the newly appointed United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen on Friday.


Something has to give when Simona Halep and Serena Williams square off in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
California storm moving out after battering state for 3 days Cousins on debut: 'Felt like a kid on Christmas'

California storm moving out after battering state for 3 daysSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The storm that pummeled much of California for three days began moving east Thursday after causing at least six deaths, forcing wildfire victims threatened by floods to flee their homes and plunging nearly 300,000 utility customers into darkness.


DeMarcus Cousins scored 14 points, including a thunderous dunk in the first quarter, in Friday's win over the Clippers. Afterward, he called it "one of the best days of my life."
Oxford University suspends funding from China's Huawei Bryant, Longoria irked Harper, Machado still free

Oxford University suspends funding from China's HuaweiThe University of Oxford said on Thursday it has stopped accepting funding from China's Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], the leading global supplier of telecoms network equipment, after scrutiny over the company's relationship with China’s government. "Oxford University decided on January 8 this year that it will not pursue new funding opportunities with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd or its related group companies at present," the university said in a statement. "The decision has been taken in the light of public concerns raised in recent months surrounding UK partnerships with Huawei.


Kris Bryant and Evan Longoria expressed frustration that several free agents, including stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, are still looking for jobs as February nears.
Tulsi Gabbard apologizes, again, for past antigay views Source: Saints' Watson inactive for NFC champ.

Tulsi Gabbard apologizes, again, for past antigay viewsA week after announcing her presidential candidacy, the representative from Hawaii releases a video apology.


Ben Watson has been dealing with appendicitis in what he says will be his final season.
Mexican airline trolls Americans with brilliant ad Sources: Faried reaches buyout, will join Rockets

Mexican airline trolls Americans with brilliant adWhile the debate over immigration and a border wall between the United States and Mexico has helped grind the U.S. federal government to a halt, Mexico's national airline, AeroMexico, is trolling Americans with a new ad called "DNA Discounts." The ad features purported residents of Wharton, Texas, a town about 60 miles southwest of Houston, professing a variety of opinions about Mexico and its citizens. The ad also drops some knowledge about the long history of immigration from Mexico to the U.S., and notes that many in southern and southwestern states have a touch of Mexican DNA. Things get flipped when the airline reveals it's offering flight discounts to Americans, including those Wharton residents, based on the amount of Mexican DNA they have (i.e., 18 percent DNA equals an 18 percent discount). That certainly turns opinions around. As one recipient says, "I love discounts!" Of course, it's such a brilliant ad, it's hard to tell if those Wharton residents are real or just actors and if this whole DNA discount thing is real  or satirical. Aeromexico, which has gotten political before, isn't saying much, but we've reached out for comment and will update this post when we hear back.  Either way, it's a brilliant gambit that undermines the vitriol so many Americans have expressed at our neighbors to the south, and does so without ever directly mentioning the political turmoil, the wall, or even President Trump. Instead, it directs that energy at a sense of shared community, including the tagline, "There are no borders within us." Not a bad way to spread a powerful message.


Kenneth Faried has agreed to a contract buyout with the Brooklyn Nets, clearing the way for him to sign a free-agent deal with the Houston Rockets, league sources told ESPN.


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Elmira Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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