Islamic State Accused of Ethnic Cleansing

Amnesty International says it has new evidence Islamic State militants are carrying out "a wave of ethnic cleansing" against minorities in northern Iraq.

The human rights group said IS had turned the region into "blood-soaked killing fields".

82% of Egyptians Happy with Sisi's Performance: Poll

Eighty days have passed since former army general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been elected as Egypt's president, and already 82 percent of Egyptians are happy with his performance, according to a Baseera poll.

Baseera, the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research, said in a poll released on Sunday that only eight percent of the sample it interviewed over the phone said they were unhappy with the new president's performance. Ten percent of the sample said they couldn't identify their position.

Congressional Delegation Visits Sisi; Assured of Elections by Year's End

A congressional delegation consisting of members of the Congressional Black Caucus, led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), met with President Sisi for a conversation on Egypt’s future and Egypt's transitional roadmap.

Other delegates included Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX, Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), and several congressional aides. 

Topics included Egypt's dire economic conditions and the challenges posed to the country by poor infrastructure.

Additionally, Sisi insisted his government was making progress towards implementing the steps of the roadmap, and he assured the members of the delegation that parliamentary elections would be held by the end of the year. 

The same delegation met today with Defense Minister Col. Gen. Sedki Sobhi in order to discuss mutual concerns about stability and security in the region.

Obama Hints at Legal Rationale for Airstrikes in Syria

President Barack Obama made three things clear at a news conference on Thursday: A military strike on Islamic State fighters in Syria is not imminent; the commander in chief doesn't need Congress's permission to act; and if the United States strikes, it'll be in the nation's self-defense.

It's that last point that may be the most important, as administration officials are grappling with a legal justification for launching airstrikes inside a country whose government hasn't explicitly given permission to do so. "I don't see any scenario in which Assad is able to bring peace and stability" to areas controlled by the Islamic State in Syria, Obama said on Thursday, Aug. 28, effectively making the argument that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot contain the terrorist threat.

U.S. Seeks Coalition Against Islamic State, but Military Partners No Sure Bet

The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, including recruiting partners for potential joint military action, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday.

Britain and Australia are potential candidates, U.S. officials said. Germany said on Wednesday it was in talks with the United States and other international partners about possible military action against Islamic State but made clear it would not participate.

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