Most talked about Christian Science Monitor stories

Fighting extremism in coastal Kenya: will hardline approach backfire?

csmonitor.com — The 26-year-old's tone is calm as he recounts showing up at a local mosque here last month with dozens of other young men, armed with knives and ready to drive out the imam and other leaders for their flawed teachings of Islam.

Security experts: FBI report light on evidence linking North Korea to Sony hack

csmonitor.com — Even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation's official statement that North Korea was behind the Sony attack, many cybersecurity experts are still skeptical the hermit nation is truly the culprit, citing a lack of new and more convincing evidence.

Opinion: In response to Sony hack, US should focus on China not North Korea

csmonitor.com — ​It's a story more bizarre than any Hollywood script about out-of-control hackers, but it turns out the North Koreans actually were behind the hack against Sony Pictures. President Obama said Friday that we will "respond proportionately and in a place and time and manner that we choose."
Dec 19, 2014

RT @Jason_Healey: Obama has few good options from deterring North Korea – but he might just be able to convince Beijing, goo.gl/u1GeKM @CSMPasscode

Dec 19, 2014

RT @Jason_Healey: Obama has few good options from deterring North Korea – but he might just be able to convince Beijing, goo.gl/u1GeKM @CSMPasscode

Dec 19, 2014

Obama’s #Sony hack response punt no surprise. There are no good options for responding to #NorthKorea. @CSMPasscode: csmonitor.com/World/Passcode…

Dec 19, 2014

How do you calibrate a “proportional response” to #NorthKorea when countering attack targeting freedom of expression? csmonitor.com/World/Passcode…

US-Cuba thaw: Is Obama extending economic 'lifeline' to communist regime?

csmonitor.com — President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba has sparked swift and vocal opposition from critics who say it will only aid the Castro regime. Supporters say the move promises to nudge the Cuban regime to expand political and economic freedom.
Dec 19, 2014

“any economic change to appease the US will be tactical in nature & will ensure that #Castros stay in full control” csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Po…

Dec 19, 2014

Is Obama giving Castro regime a lifeline by thawing relations and easing economic ties? csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Po… #cuba #castro

US officials blame North Korea, but absolute attribution in Sony hack may be elusive

csmonitor.com — Investigators can take weeks and even months to piece together an attack, especially a major one of the kind that hit Sony. Even then, it's often impossible to assign blame with 100 percent accuracy. The speed at which US officials identified North Korean involvement in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack surprised many experts familiar with the enormous challenges of pinpointing the origins of cyberattacks.
Dec 19, 2014

"frequently listed as top hacker nations, North Korea itself has not appeared on a single list" csmonitor.com/World/Passcode…

Dec 19, 2014

FBI’s #Sony statement sure to leave many #infosec ppl wondering how/why it came to #NorthKorea conclusion so quickly: csmonitor.com/World/Passcode…

Did '24' help make torture acceptable?

csmonitor.com — Most Americans think that torture was justified in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The TV drama '24' debuted soon after those attacks and ran for eight seasons. But '24' also showed a cost to those who tortured others, even if the victims were bad guys.
Dec 19, 2014

jack bauer strikes again: Did '24' help make torture acceptable? csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder…

How two words stir controversy on federal plan to rate US colleges

csmonitor.com — It's just a two-word phrase, but it goes to the heart of what's both controversial and promising about an Education Department proposal for rating of US colleges. The Department on Friday said it plans to report "employment outcomes" for colleges, alongside tuition and other data - all designed to give US families better information when making enrollment choices.

What has US spending done for Afghan women? US doesn't know.

csmonitor.com — It's a common theme when it comes to US spending in Afghanistan. One official said accounting for spending on women was more of an 'optimistic, aspirational statement.' In the frequent audits of US spending in Afghanistan, a word that comes up again and again is "unsustainable."
Dec 20, 2014

RT @csmonitor: 12 years in, there’s no tracking and accounting for US spending targeted at Afghan women: ow.ly/GbNDe @bungdan

Dec 19, 2014

RT @csmonitor: What has US spending done for Afghan women? US doesn't know. bit.ly/1CbSgN4 via @bungdan

How well do you know British literature? Take our quiz!

csmonitor.com — "Beowulf" survives in a single manuscript in Old English, probably written in the early 11th century (though some scholars believe it is even older). The handwriting shift in the manuscript indicates that the work was written down by two scribes, though it is unknown whether the scribes were merely copying the work or composing it themselves.
Dec 19, 2014

How well do you know British literature? Take our quiz and find out! tinyurl.com/pjdxops

Did North Korea really hack Sony? Cybersecurity pros at odds (+video)

csmonitor.com — Industry experts weigh in on whether they believe North Korea is behind the massive Sony Pictures hack, which prompted the studio to pull 'The Interview' from theaters. Was North Korea involved in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack? On Wednesday, several news reports quoted unnamed US officials saying yes.

A president, an astronaut, Muppets, and stars: Who appeared on final 'Colbert' episode?

csmonitor.com — The final episode of the Comedy Central program included Colbert meeting Abraham Lincoln and Santa Claus, a massive group sing-along, and... Colbert conquering death. Not many late-night hosts can say they conquered death in the finale of their show. But before the Dec.

Iraqi Kurds seize Mt. Sinjar from Islamic State in major victory

csmonitor.com — Iraqi Kurdish fighters have broken the Islamic State's siege on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq with the help of US-led airstrikes, freeing hundreds from the Yazidi minority who were trapped there for months.

'The Interview': Should the movie have been made in the first place?

csmonitor.com — Monitor film critic Peter Rainer was able to see the controversial comedy before studio Sony pulled the film from distribution altogether. I've seen worse movies than Sony's "The Interview," starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as two bumblers enlisted by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Dec 19, 2014

Monitor film critic Peter Ranier got to see #TheInterview before it was pulled. Here's what he thought: csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Mo…

Book-based 'American Sniper' will soon come to theaters

csmonitor.com — 'Sniper' is based on the memoir of the same name by Chris Kyle. The movie "American Sniper," due for release on Christmas Day, is another December film that is based on a bestselling book.

Faux pas: Is that 'fake fur' actually real?

csmonitor.com — For the second time since 2013, media investigations have revealed that Neiman Marcus and other retailers sold real animal pelts that they marketed as fake fur.

Black walnut fudge

By Sue Lau
csmonitor.com — Everyone loves a morsel of fudge over the holidays. Here's a recipe for delicious chocolate fudge with chopped black walnuts. This simple recipe uses black walnuts. I love the flavor of black walnuts, which is a bit different from English walnuts.

Obama blames North Korea for Sony hack: 'We will respond'

csmonitor.com — Even North Korea experts who say they still need to see proof of Pyongyang's involvement are categorical: Whoever carried out the attack, the response must be so swift and punitive as to nip in the bud what many are calling a new type of warfare that threatens the global flow of ideas.
Dec 19, 2014

Obama: Sony 'made a mistake' canceling #TheInterview, says, 'we will respond. @csmonitor Howard Lafranchi has story: csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Po….

Debut author will give grants to six independent bookstores

csmonitor.com — Author Jeffrey Stayton, whose first book is being published this February, recently sponsored a competition to select six independent bookstores as recipients of $250 grants. Even those who haven't yet published a book can make donations to independent bookstores.

5 ways Cuba-US agreement will make waves

csmonitor.com — The historic opening between the two countries could have an impact on travel and business in the long-term, though changes are likely to happen gradually. US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro made history this week in announcing a plan to restore diplomatic ties for the first time in more than half a century.
Dec 19, 2014

RT @CSMWorldDesk: What makes the US-Cuba agreement so historic? Who will it affect? Will #Cuba's economy improve? ow.ly/GbL9H @weulich

Dec 19, 2014

“To try and influence [#Cuba] changes in diplomatic ways – it makes a lot of difference for us.” csmonitor.com/World/Americas… #castro #obama

Dec 19, 2014

“This isn’t about the #government. This isn’t about the #political system. This is about us, [regular] #Cubanscsmonitor.com/World/Americas…