Middle East update: June 19 2018

We’re a little early today because in addition to being Juneteenth we also have a family birthday to celebrate. I’ll catch you all up tomorrow. SYRIA The Syrian army is once again dropping leaflets on southwestern Syria asking civilians to expel the rebels who currently control most of Daraa province and part of Quneitra province.… Continue reading Middle East update: June 19 2018

Asia/Africa update: June 14 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Pentagon says it conducted an airstrike in Afghanistan’s Kunar province on Wednesday targeting “a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization.” They won’t release the name, but it’s believed they were targeting Mullah Fazlullah, one of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. It sure is going to be awkward if the US military… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: June 14 2018

Middle East update: May 8 2018

Obviously the big news of the day is Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s decided to violate the Iran nuclear deal. But there are a few things to cover elsewhere. SYRIA Not long after Trump’s big announcement, Syrian state media reported explosions near a military base south of Damascus. These turn out to have been at… Continue reading Middle East update: May 8 2018

World update: May 1 2018

ENVIRONMENT New data from the World Health Organization shows that air pollution is killing seven million people per year–and naturally, poor nations are being hit hardest: “There are cities and regions where improvement is happening,” said Sophie Gumy, one of the authors of the report. “But even if things have started to move, they aren’t… Continue reading World update: May 1 2018

Europe/Americas update: April 24-25 2018

EUROPE ALBANIA Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama headed to Berlin on Wednesday to begin European Union accession talks and, in addition to warning that Brussels’ failure to expand into the Balkans could leave the region open to Russian influence, had a message for right-wing European populists: From Britain to Hungary, populist parties have made electoral gains… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: April 24-25 2018

Middle East update: March 1 2018

SYRIA So far Russia’s plan to open a five hour ceasefire window every day in Eastern Ghouta to allow civilians to leave and humanitarian aid to come in has been a gigantic bust. I know, I was shocked too. The United Nations says the windows aren’t nearly long enough to actually accomplish either of those… Continue reading Middle East update: March 1 2018

Middle East update: December 12 2017

Happy Hanukkah to those readers who are celebrating! Now on to the bad news: SYRIA Syrian opposition negotiators say the government’s negotiating team is refusing direct talks and will not engage on any issue at all other than “combatting terrorism.” Which, under Damascus’s definition, presumably includes everybody in the opposition delegation. Obviously there’s no particular… Continue reading Middle East update: December 12 2017