World update: February 20 2019

We’re having a snow day here and the news seems a little slow today anyway (or maybe my brain just isn’t working very well). So today’s update will be a little shorter than usual. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Increasingly it looks like ISIS’s remaining fighters in Baghouz are down to their last few days or even hours. The convoy sent into town by the Syrian Democratic Forces on Tuesday to evacuate the area’s remaining civilian population finally left on Wednesday, with a number… Continue reading World update: February 20 2019

Europe/Americas update: January 24 2019

EUROPE GREECE The Greek parliament on Friday will probably approve the deal under which the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia in return for the Greek government dropping its objections to Macedonia’s membership in NATO and the European Union. The vote was postponed from Thursday to… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 24 2019

Europe/Americas update: January 22 2019

EUROPE RUSSIA At least ten crew members aboard two ships in the Kerch Strait have died after their vessels caught on fire at sea on Monday. Normally this is not the kind of story we cover here, but it turns out that these deaths were related to US sanctions against Russia and Syria. One of… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 22 2019

Europe/Americas update: January 17 2019

EUROPE RUSSIA At LobeLog, Mark Katz wonders if the US withdrawal from Syria is helping push Gulf states toward Russia: Moscow, of course, is very pleased that, because of the potential U.S. withdrawal from Syria and the fear of what Iran may do there afterward, Gulf Arabs are more likely to view the Russian presence… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 17 2019

World update: January 14 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A car bombing near the international area of Kabul killed at least four people and wounded another 90 on Monday. There’s been no claim of responsibility. The Taliban later claimed responsibility. Further talks between US and Taliban representatives are now at risk over the site of the negotiations. The Taliban, which has a diplomatic… Continue reading World update: January 14 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

Europe/Americas update: January 9 2019

EUROPE REPUBLIC OF NORTH (?) MACEDONIA/GREECE The Macedonian parliament will spend the rest of this week debating the constitutional amendments that would change the country’s name to “Republic of North Macedonia” ahead of a final vote on the switch presumably either late Friday or maybe over the weekend. The amendments are expected to pass despite… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 9 2019