Putin, Syria, and Why Moscow Has Gone War-Crazy

A viewer of Russian television this week could be forgiven for thinking that the end of the world was imminent, and that it would arrive in the form of grand superpower war with the United States, culminating in a suicidal exchange of nuclear weapons. On one day alone, three separate test firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles were broadcast on state media: two by submarine, one from a launch pad in the Far East. Last weekend, NTV, a channel under effective state control, aired a segment on emergency preparedness that included a tour of a Cold War-era bomb shelter, fortified in case of atomic war, and a mention of the municipal loudspeakers that will sound upon the arrival of “Hour X.” On Sunday, Dmitry Kiselev, the…

Retailers Are Wary Of ‘Flash-Mob Robbers’ This Black Friday As stores around the nation gear up for Black Friday, there is one thing on the minds of many retailers: flash-mob robbers. Groups march into stores and within a few minutes steal thousands of dollars of merchandise, the Post reports. Typically made up of around 15 members, groups burst into a shop and head for the most lucrative items they can find and quickly loot the shop for all its worth. Some flash-mob groups are so skilled that by the time they are noticed, they have already escaped with their bounty. Flash-mob robbers do not solely relegate their plunders to Black Friday. A group of flash-mob teens stole 19 iPhones over $13,000 at an Apple store in Boston in October.  Another group of young adults...

NSW expected to be biggest spenders at Boxing Day sales Shoppers are expected to spend about $2.41 billion on Boxing Day, the biggest trading day of the year for big retailers such as Myer and David Jones. The National Retail Association has predicted that shoppers in NSW will be the biggest spenders on Monday, forking out more than $741 million - an increase on last year's total of $713 million spent around the state. Crowds race inside the David Jones city store in the early hours of the morning on Boxing Day, 2015. Photo: Jeff Darmanin David Jones are expecting more than 1 million customers nationwide through the doors on Boxing Day, while fellow department store giant Myer is predicting to serve about 1.6 million customers in store. A total of about 20.7 million shoppers are expected to be served over the ...

West African leaders call on Gambia’s Jammeh to step down next month Regional West African leaders on Saturday said The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh must step down next month when his term runs out, just over a week after he challenged the result of an election in which he had already conceded defeat. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) issued its call in a statement at the end of a summit in Nigeria. "The Authority calls on President Yahya Jammeh to accept the result of the polls and refrain from any act likely to compromise the transition and peaceful transfer of power to the president-elect," they said. The summit vowed "to take all necessary action to enforce the results" of the December 1 poll, without spelling out what the measures would be. Opposition leader Adama...

The 23 best holiday gifts for your dog The holidays are about appreciating and gifting those you love. And for pet owners, it's also a moment of celebrating their furry family pets with the best squeak toys, dog beds and chewy treats. There's no doubt that the market for pawsome dog presents has an overwhelming number of options for the holiday season. So to make this easy, we scouted out the best gifts that all dogs will love. Happy Pawlidays! The 23 best holiday gifts for the family dog 1. Hither Rabbit Custom Tote Bag, $34, Etsy 2. Travel with Dogs: Essential Advice and Tips for Travel with Your Pooch, $10.79, Lonely Planet 3. GPS Pet Tracking, $50 for device or monthly service plan from $49.95 to $6.95/month, Whistle 4. Gingham Bone Toys, $12 to $14, Waggo 5. Treat Bowls, ...

Man missing after kayak capsized at Lake Eildon A man, aged in his 30s is missing at Lake Eildon after his kayak capsized. The man was paddling 200 to 300 metres from shore when his kayak overturned about 2pm on Tuesday, a police spokeswoman said. She said he had been camping at the lake with three other friends, who witnessed the incident from shore and raised the alarm. Water police and search and rescue teams are coordinating the search, which is being conducted by police air wing and local volunteers. The search was suspended due to poor light about 8.30pm on Tuesday. A local SES volunteer said the search would resume at 7.30am on Wednesday.

Senior Iranian marja passes away 3hr A senior Iranian cleric and Shia marja (source of emulation), Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili, has passed away after suffering cardiac and digestive complications. Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili died at the age of 91 at the Laleh Hospital in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Wednesday. He had been taken to hospital with chest pain on Monday. His condition worsened after a second heart attack, according to his medical team. Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebelli was born in Ardebil in 1926. After the Islamic Revolution, he became a founding member of the former Islamic Republic Party. He had also held positions in the Council of the Islamic Revolution, the Assembly of Experts, and the Attorney-General’s Office. He had been appointed the head of the Supreme Court in 1981 after the assassination of Ayatollah...

Failing to impress The Ad: The TVC emphasises on women’s safety by showcasing two young female athletes travelling at night, putting a fellow passenger couple’s worry to rest, as they explain the features of the watch enabling them to travel safely even at odd hours. The Ad: The TVC emphasises on women’s safety by showcasing two young female athletes travelling at night, putting a fellow passenger couple’s worry to rest, as they explain the features of the watch enabling them to travel safely even at odd hours. Target Audience: Women across age groups; pan India Business ObjectiveTo showcase the ease of using the ACT (App-enabled Coordinates Tracker) watch by playing on hope and optimism. The AppealFunctionalEmotionalSensorial The sharp brief highlighting the features of the watch comes across very directly...