Israel vs Iran

This week, Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli positions in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and Israel’s air force struck a number of Iranian military sites inside Syria. Who fired first? Depends on whom you ask. There is clarity on one thing: This exchange represents the most intense clash between these two countries since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.


Syria was already the world’s most dangerous arena of potential great power conflict. This is the place where Russia, the United States, Iran, Turkey, Kurds, jihadis and Syria’s own heavily armed government are all jostling for position while Saudis and Israelis, their fingers on the trigger, keep watch.

Why is this happening? Israel says Iran commands 80,000 soldiers in Syria, and that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is actively setting up bases near the Golan Heights. Israel, worried that Trump wants US troops out of Syria, has launched a series of airstrikes in recent weeks to send Iran a “we-see-you” message of zero tolerance. Iran, faced with renewed US sanctions, is in no mood to back down.

The bottom line: If this fight escalates, who can step in to mediate? Trump has made crystal clear which side he’s on. Russia is too directly interested in Syria’s future for either side to fully trust Moscow. Would Israel accept the EU in this role? Neither side wants a full-blown war, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get one.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?


Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

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In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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