World update: January 9 2018

ASIA PAKISTAN A suicide bomber killed six police officers in Quetta on Tuesday. No word as to whether this was an Islamist attack or a Baluch separatist attack, but either is possible. A Pakistani court has freed Sufi Mohammad, a militant leader who supported the Taliban after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. This… Continue reading World update: January 9 2018

Middle East update: January 9 2018

SYRIA Damascus says that Israeli forces struck the Qutaifa area near Damascus from air and ground on Tuesday, presumably because of something to do with Hezbollah although as usual the Israeli government refused to talk about it. Questions about who exactly has been attacking Russia’s military bases in Latakia remain unanswered, and that’s encouraging some creative… Continue reading Middle East update: January 9 2018

Europe/Americas update: January 8 2018

EUROPE GERMANY The Social Democrats took a step closer to forming a governing coalition with Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance on Monday…by compromising their environmental policies! GREAT! Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop plans to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, sources familiar with negotiations said on Monday… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 8 2018

Asia/Africa update: January 8 2018

ASIA MYANMAR The trial of two Reuters journalists accused of revealing state secrets under a colonial-era law is set to begin this week. The use of regressive laws to stifle the press is not going over well with activists: Critics and rights groups say that in some respects, press freedom in Myanmar is more restrictive… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 8 2018

Middle East update: January 8 2018

SYRIA The Syrian army and friends captured 14 villages from rebels in Idlib province on Monday, bringing them closer to the Abu al-Duhur airbase. No word on casualties. Meanwhile, the Russian military now says that both its air and naval bases in Latakia province came under drone attack over the weekend–13 drones, to be precise.… Continue reading Middle East update: January 8 2018

World update: January 6-7 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Reuters has conducted an interview with Atta Muhammad Nur, who remains governor of Balkh even though President Ashraf Ghani, uh, “accepted” his “resignation” almost three weeks ago. While there’s every reason to believe that Atta Muhammad Nur is neck deep in corruption in his Balkh fiefdom, he argues–and he’s probably not wrong–that Ghani… Continue reading World update: January 6-7 2018

Middle East update: January 6-7 2018

SYRIA The fighting in Idlib province continues to intensify, and at this point I think we can officially scrap any notion of “deescalation.” For now the Syrian army’s goal remains the Abu al-Duhur airbase (they’re nearly there after capturing the village of Sinjar over the weekend), though they also want to take the eastern part of… Continue reading Middle East update: January 6-7 2018