Passport

Bathers of Anarchy: Islamists Are Having a Pool Party at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli

Muammar al-Qaddafi is dead, and in his absence rival militias have turned Libya into a violent playground for heavily-armed men jockeying for control of the country. That conflict now breaks down, roughly, as a stand-off between more anti-Islamist, tribal-oriented militias and their Islamist opponents. In recent days, the Islamist militias have been ascendant, seizing control of Tripoli, the capital, and while the anarchy gripping Libya is nothing to make light of, a sure indication of its lawlessness comes to us in the form of this rather amazing footage: a jihadi pool party at a residential compound of the U.S. embassy.

Continue Reading

How Did the Media Become Convinced Obama Would Strike Militants in Syria?

A funny thing happened on the way to President Barack Obama's Thursday news conference: The Washington press corps came in convinced that the commander in chief was about to launch airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Syria. But Obama furiously pumped the brakes: "We don't have a strategy yet," he said. "I think what I've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are."

Continue Reading

In Russia, Sign a Mortgage and Get a Cat -- But Only for Two Hours

Russia's largest bank wants to lend you a cat. Isn't that nice?

What did you do for the good folks of Sberbank, the Moscow-based lender, that would make them want to drive a van to your home and drop off one of their 10 cats -- which they keep just for occasions like this -- so you can hang out with it for not more than two hours? Well, they just lent you the money for the house and, as Russian superstition has it, it's good luck for the first creature to cross the threshold of a new home to be a feline. And, yes, the cat has to be returned to the bank.

Continue Reading