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  • A Russian SU-27 conducted a "barrel roll" Friday over the top of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 which was flying a reconnaissance mission in international airspace above the Baltic Sea, the Defense Department said.

    The Russian SU-27 approached alongside within 25 feet of the U.S. aircraft and then flew inverted over the top of the plane to the other side, Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a U.S. Army spokesperson, said in a statement.
      "The SU-27 intercepted the U.S. aircraft flying a routine route at high rate of speed from the side then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135," Baldanza said.
    • Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu delivers a speech during a meeting in Ankara on April 27, 2016. (AFP/Adem Altan)

      Turkish President Ahmet Davutoglu met Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal in Doha on Thursday during a state visit to the Gulf emirate of Qatar.

      The two leaders met for over an hour in a closed-door meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel, just days after Mashaal paid a visit to Turkey to take part in the Thanks to Turkey Festival organized by a Palestinian student union in Istanbul.

      According to an Israel Radio report, Davutoglu and Mashaal may have discussed the efforts by Turkey in talks with Israel to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip and Ankara’s involvement in rebuilding the Palestinian enclave.

    • Several weeks ago, I wrote a column titled “Is Bill Clinton in the FBIcrosshairs?” That question appears to be increasingly relevant because of the emergence of another, more central one:

      Was Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, private email server set up by her husband’s top political operative in order to turbocharge their own political and financial interests?

      Justin Cooper may hold the answer.

      Mr. Cooper is a central player in the shadowy worlds of Bill and Hillary Clinton — serving as Mr. Clinton’s top aide since 2015, when his predecessor, former right-hand man and “surrogate son” Doug Band, resigned from the Clinton Foundation — yet he has largely escaped notice.

    • Iran has begun to ask its teenage boys to volunteer to fight in Syria in a sign the hard-line Islamic regime’s military is suffering rising casualties in the five-year war and needs a morale boost, an opposition group says.

      The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a translated video it says was produced by the Tehran’s Bassij Music House and was shown over several days on state-run television this month.

      The selling pitch to youngsters: You will be defending sacred Shiite shrines in Syria and will position yourselves to invade Israel, whose destruction is an Iranian regime priority.

    • AFP photo

      Italian police on Thursday arrested four people suspected of conspiring to carry out attacks on behalf of Islamic State in Italy.

      The Israeli embassy in Rome and the Vatican were among the alleged targets, Newsweek cited Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli as saying. 

      “I want to hit Israel in Rome,” one suspect named as Abderrahim Moutahrrick was said to have told another suspect in an intercepted conversation, according to the report.

    • UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura speaks at a press conference at the Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo/Elma Okic

      28 April 2016 – The United Nations envoy mediating a resolution to the crisis in Syria warned that the latest round of talks was overshadowed by a substantial deterioration of the cessation of hostilities, and called on the leaders of the Russian Federation and United States to help salvage the “barely alive” pact.

      “What we need to do and to hear is that the cessation of hostilities is salvaged and […] is saved from a total collapse,” Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, told reporters following a briefing to the Security Council yesterday. 

      “It’s still there. It’s still there because in many areas, it’s still there. But it’s in great danger. It’s still alive, but barely. And the perception is that it could collapse at any time.”

    • The U.S. Secret Service plans to raise the height of the White House security fence by 5 feet and add a new concrete foundation to reduce the risk of fence-jumpers, according to a copy of an agency report obtained by the News4 I-Team.

      The agency, along with the National Park Service, said it intends to begin building a “taller, stronger” fence to protect the White House grounds by 2018.

    • MiG-31

      A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week, Moscow’s latest aerial saber-rattling against American ships and planes, according to defense officials.

      “On April 21, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol reconnaissance aircraft flying a routine mission in international airspace was intercepted by a MiG-31 Russian jet in the vicinity of the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Free Beacon.

      Benham said the intercept was “characterized as safe and professional.”

      “Intercepts between the United States and other militaries occur often and the vast majority are professional,” he noted. “For intercepts that are deemed unprofessional, the U.S. takes appropriate measures through military and diplomatic channels.”

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    Provocative Commentary

    “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
    ― E.M. Bounds