World update: April 5 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is supposed to visit Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Friday, but things are already off to a rocky start. The Afghan government on Thursday accused Pakistan of carrying out airstrikes in Kunar province. Islamabad has made no comment but regularly accuses Afghanistan of harboring Pakistani… Continue reading World update: April 5 2018

World update: December 5 2017

POLLUTION New research into the effect of air pollution on fetal development paints a pretty stark picture: Air pollution significantly increases the risk of low birth weight in babies, leading to lifelong damage to health, according to a large new study.   The research was conducted in London, UK, but its implications for many millions… Continue reading World update: December 5 2017

Asia/Africa update: August 8 2017

NORTH KOREA Tensions continue to escalate between the US and North Korea thanks largely to, and I have to be perfectly frank here, some monumentally irresponsible rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang. A couple of days ago, in response to new UN Security Council sanctions, the North Koreans threatened to turn the US into “an unimaginable… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: August 8 2017

Asia/Africa update: July 11 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN I’m going to start by repeating something I added to last night’s update after it had posted, just in case people haven’t seen it. It’s about the Trump administration’s still-developing plan for Afghanistan: President Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: July 11 2017

Conflict update: April 4 2017

SYRIA According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 58 people (one estimate puts the toll over 100) were killed today in what certainly seems to have been a chemical weapons attack on the town of the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province. Doctors treating the victims described people suffocating, vomiting, foaming… Continue reading Conflict update: April 4 2017