'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
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Syria's increasingly powerful Islamist rebel factions rejected the country's new Western-backed opposition coalition and unilaterally declared an Islamic state in the key battleground of Aleppo, a sign of the seemingly intractable splits among those fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.
At the height of the latest Islamic rage, one of the Muslim world's first media-celebrity imams told worshippers they were indeed witnessing a clash of civilizations -- one within Islam that helps explain the multiple personalities of the fury.
Iran's president hardly seemed like a fading political force at a security summit in Beijing last week.
Iran closed out naval war games in the Gulf on Tuesday much the way they began last month: striking a tone of military defiance while Western powers rallied behind tougher oil and financial sanctions as a crippling tool against Tehran's nuclear program.
The first elections since the Arab Spring uprisings will be more about holding back change than expanding political freedoms: voting in three Gulf nations that poses no threat to old-guard rulers or their efforts to unite against calls for fast-track reforms.