World update: December 12, 2017

Happy Hanukkah to those readers who are celebrating! CLIMATE CHANGE Good news from the Arctic: Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever, according to a new US government report that also found Arctic seawater is warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years.   The annual report released… Continue reading World update: December 12, 2017

Conflict update: January 31 2017

After yesterday’s marathon catch-up session, I’m going to try to keep this one relatively short. Ukraine Fighting in and around the town of Avdiivka, in the northern part of Donetsk, has reached a level serious enough to move the UN Security Council to express its collective “grave concern.” At least eight people were reportedly killed… Continue reading Conflict update: January 31 2017

Conflict update: December 21 2016

Israel-Palestine The UN Security Council will vote tomorrow on a resolution, authored by Egypt, demanding a stop to the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This will not be the first time the Security Council has taken up the issue of Israel’s illegal, slow-rolling annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, and… Continue reading Conflict update: December 21 2016

Ukraine reminds everybody that it’s still there and still at war

Per Vox’s Zach Beauchamp, it looks as though violence is back on the rise in eastern Ukraine: The resumption of hostilities in Ukraine, with exchanges of machine gun and mortar fire across the front line up to levels not seen since last summer, suggests a willingness by Russia, which supports the rebels in eastern Ukraine,… Continue reading Ukraine reminds everybody that it’s still there and still at war

Whatever it is, it can’t be good

It’s not clear what’s happening in eastern Ukraine, where the rebel “government” in Luhansk has ordered all UN aid agencies out of the province along with an unknown number of other international NGOs (Doctors Without Borders, for one, and it’s not clear how many more). The “government” in Donetsk is reportedly considering a similar measure.… Continue reading Whatever it is, it can’t be good

Ukraine’s non-ceasefire is officially over now, right?

Without suggesting in any way that Ukraine’s civil war ever really stopped, because it never really did, it seems clear now that it’s back on in a big way. It’s one thing for the army and the Donbas rebels (and the Russians?) to still be struggling over control of the Donetsk Airport, but it’s quite… Continue reading Ukraine’s non-ceasefire is officially over now, right?

Ukraine is teetering on the brink of war again

The September 6 ceasefire that supposedly halted the war in eastern Ukraine has never actually been implemented in practice, but the low-level violence that’s been ongoing since then is now threatening to escalate back into full-scale war. The flashpoint is Donetsk’s international airport, which has been contested by Kiev and the rebels since late May… Continue reading Ukraine is teetering on the brink of war again