Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Summary: A spate of attacks against Afghanistan’s intelligence service and international forces killed at least nine people, including five NATO troops, on a bloody day during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the country. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on January 12, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that thousands of Somali boys and teenagers fleeing war and chaos at home are sailing to Yemen, where officials worry that the new arrivals could become the next generation of al-Qaida fighters. U.S. and Yemeni authorities also fear that Islamist fighters from Somalia could slip into the country among the throngs of refugees, deepening ties between al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen and the particularly hard-line al-Shabab militants of Somalia.


Sep 6th, 2010

Summary: The number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year has reached at least 500, compared with 521 in all of 2009, according to the independent monitoring site icasualties.org and a tally compiled by Reuters. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 6, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that opinion polls showed support for President Barack Obama and his policies dipping sharply, though he remained personally more popular than his policies. How will those dynamics impact the 2010 election and what do they tell us about President Obama’s personal qualities and leadership style?


Sep 13th, 2009

Summary: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) held a town hall meeting in St. Cloud to talk about President Obama’s health care reform proposals, which she opposes, after which she headlined an anti-Obama tea party. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the fourth day after losing his 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, Aubrey Immelman, in line with his focus on national security, reported on a car bombing in the mainly Shiite Iraqi town of Dujail, 30 miles north of Baghdad, which killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 40.


Jun 8th, 2009

Summary: Some 10,000 Marines have poured into Afghanistan, comprising the first wave of 21,000 additional troops President Barack Obama ordered to Afghanistan in 2009 to help defeat an increasingly violent Taliban insurgency.


Jan 30th, 2009

Summary: Iraq has denied North Carolina-based Blackwater Worldwide, which guards American diplomats in Iraq, an operating license because of a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad. Iraqi officials said the lingering outrage over a September 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead led to its decision. The shooting strained relations between Washington and Baghdad and fueled the anti-American insurgency in Iraq, where many Iraqis saw the bloodshed as a demonstration of American brutality and arrogance.