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Inside Conservative Friends of Israel

Alastair Sloan

A wine-spattered copy of the parliamentary guest list for the Conservative Friends of Israel's "Annual Business Lunch", which took place in December last year, has made it onto my desk. For those of you who don't know, CFI is a pressure group for pro-Israel interests in Westminster; between two-thirds and four-fifths of all Conservative MPs are believed to be members.

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ISIS recruitment in Kosovo

Image by Laura Aggio CaldonIMAGES

Kosovo is the youngest republic in Europe, proclaiming itself to be independent of Serbia in 2008. Today it seems to have become fertile recruiting ground for ISIS. During 2014, dozens of people were arrested for suspected terrorist activity and more than 300 left for the Middle East to join ISIS and Al-Nusra Front; more than 30 have been killed, according to government figures. The strong presence of foreign fighters from the Balkans and Kosovo was suggested when Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's speech declaring himself to be the "caliph" was translated into English, French, German, Turkish, Russian and Albanian.

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Abdullah Öcalan and a strategic case for mercy

Abdullah Öcalan Abdullah Öcalan should be dead, but instead he is suing for peace. The renewed efforts at Turkey-PKK peace show that pragmatic politics remain strategically superior to the Manichaeism of zero-sum 'counter-terrorism'.

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Refugees from Syria seeking asylum in the UK may be welcome, but they must risk a perilous journey first

Syrian refugee families

Ahmed Zakri is from the village of Jalin in the Daraa province of Syria, just north of the border of Jordan. The road that leads out of the violence and into the neighbouring country has been closed since summer 2013.

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Tomb raider, Turkish style

Tallha Abdulrazaq

Turkey has raised quite a few eyebrows with its latest foray into foreign affairs. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Turkish government authorised the army to deploy across the Syrian border, travel through Ayn Al-Arab (Kobani) and gain access to the tomb of Suleyman Shah about 22 miles into Syria.

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