RAQQA, Syria - Using a mix of intimidation and organization, alliances of Islamist brigades are filling the vacuum in areas where Assad's army has withdrawn and more secular rebels have failed to provide order. They administer utilities, run bakeries and in one town operate a hydroelectric dam. They are also setting up courts and imposing punishments on those judged transgressors. Full Article
DOHA - Preliminary Afghan peace talks in Qatar between U.S. and Taliban officials are unlikely to take place on Thursday as had been expected, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
BERLIN - U.S. President Barack Obama used a speech in Berlin on Wednesday to call on Russia to revive the push for a world without nuclear weapons, offering to cut deployed nuclear arsenals by a third, but Moscow immediately poured scorn on his proposal. Full Article
Forget the coasts. Meredith Whitney, author of the new book “Fate of the States," tells Breakingviews' Rob Cox that America’s interior states are the future growth engines of the U.S. economy. Video
To adapt to our new surveillance status quo we have to trust the state, the government, the politicians, the businesses, the bureaucracies, the police, the security forces, the journalists and, yes, ourselves. Commentary
In cash terms, the manipulation of supposedly objective reference rates and prices is a petty crime: relatively small gains for a few and microscopic losses for many. Ethically, though, the tolerance of untrustworthy behaviour makes the industry look particularly bad. Full Article