World update: April 3 2019

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA An explosion in Raqqa injured several people and may have killed at least two on Wednesday, but there have been conflicting reports on what caused the explosion and how many casualties ensued. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that ISIS suicide bombers attacked a Syrian Democratic Forces office in the city.… Continue reading World update: April 3 2019

World update part 2: March 1 2019

AFRICA ALGERIA If you’ve been hoping for the protests against Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s potential fifth term in office to dissipate, Friday was not your day: Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Algiers on Friday to denounce Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth term, and police fired… Continue reading World update part 2: March 1 2019

Europe/Americas update: February 1 2019

EUROPE RUSSIA The Trump administration made it official on Friday, announcing its intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The administration made its intentions clear months ago, kicking off a long and fruitless round of talks involving Russia and NATO to try to salvage the accord, which the US maintains has been… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: February 1 2019

Europe/Americas: January 11 2019

EUROPE ESTONIA The Estonian government has for some time been concerned about the possibility that Vladimir Putin might make a move against its predominantly Russian east a la Crimea. In order to help develop that part of the country and keep the people there happy, the Estonian government has begun investing in the arts in… Continue reading Europe/Americas: January 11 2019

World update: December 14 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A joint Afghan-US offensive in Kunar province late Thursday killed 20 Taliban fighters and/or 60 civilians, depending on whose story you believe. The Taliban are obviously pushing the latter scenario, while Kabul is obviously pushing the former. The savvy reader will note that they’re not mutually exclusive. Elsewhere, a drone strike in Helmand… Continue reading World update: December 14 2018

Europe/Americas update: December 4 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA Mike Pompeo’s visit to the NATO foreign ministers meeting on Tuesday produced a rare bit of common ground between the US and the rest of the alliance over alleged Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty: After a meeting of senior U.S., Canadian, and European diplomats at NATO in Brussels on Tuesday,… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: December 4 2018

Europe/Americas update: August 4-5 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA You know what, folks? I think all this US-Russia nonsense might just work out OK after all: I am deeply humbled and honoured to have been appointed as a special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in charge of Russian and American Humanitarian ties.I hope we can strive for peace, harmony and positive… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: August 4-5 2018