May 8th, 2017 Top News Headlines and Chat About Syria with Brian Glyn Williams

Today’s Guest

Brian Glyn Williams is today’s special guest for our discussion about Syria.  Brian is a professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and a former Counterterrorism Center, Central Intelligence Agency officer.

Brian’s Website:

Brian’s book, “Counter Jihad: America’s Military Experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria”

In the News

The new jobs numbers are out. Unemployment falls slightly to 4.4% after the economy adds 211,000 new jobs. The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, changed little in April and has

shown little movement over the past year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.2
percent, was also little changed over the month but was up by 0.5 percentage point since

Don’t rely on social media memes.

Bureau of Labor Statistic:


After 3 years in captivity, 82 girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram were released in Nigeria.  Over 100 girls are believed to remain in captivity by the group.  It is unclear at this time if the Nigerian government or any other organization negotiated for the release.  You may remember the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in 2014.  Here are some remarks during that time from former First Lady Michelle Obama.  


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a U.S. Navy sailor who was in support of a Somali National Army-led operation with U.S. Africa Command.

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab on May 5 in a remote area approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.

He was assigned to an East Coast based special warfare unit.

In International News

Three unexploded bombs from World War II were discovered in Hannover, Germany on Sunday and 50,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes as a precaution while the bombs were defused.  There are at least four other times in the last seven years in which unexploded ordinance was World War II was discovered in Europe.


Emmanuel Macron won the French election on Sunday, beating Marine Le Pen whose platform was anti-EU in nature and called for tougher policies to combat terrorism in France.  Macron is 39 years old and will be the youngest leader in France since Napoleon.   
Dialog continues between the U.S. and Russia regarding the conflict in Syria.  U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with the russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on Saturday about efforts to de-escalate the ongoing conflict with an eye toward further dialog during talk in Geneva.


To learn about the events in the MIddle East over the last several years that led to the current situation in Syria, be sure to keep listening as our guest today is Professor of Islamic History, Brian Williams who is going to explain it all.  

In Tech News

The newest version of the Raspberry Pi is now able to integrate Google’s voice application which essentially can turn the small computer into an inexpensive Google Home type device.  A little background information:  the Raspberry Pi is a small single-board computer frequently used by tech enthusiasts to build anything from lighting systems to small robots.  The device was originally developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in order to promote the teaching of basic computer science.  

Check out the Raspberry Pi website for more details:  


Samsung Galaxy S8 owners have the option to buy a physical keyboard accessory.  The keyboard might resemble the physical tactile feel that some of us used to know on our BlackBerry devices.  The accessory slips over the bottom part of the phone where you would normally find your virtual keyboard and is priced at $59.99.  

ZDNet has a good write-up on the keyboard:

Also, be sure to listen to Michael Fisher’s review of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on last Monday’s show.


2017-05-07T23:38:20-07:000 Comments