World update: October 19 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghans will vote in their parliamentary election on Saturday under threat of violence from both the Taliban and ISIS. It very much remains to be seen how much the risk of violence will tamp down turnout, but in the lead up to the election nine candidates were assassinated and hundreds of people killed … Continue reading World update: October 19 2018

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Today in European history: the Battle of Varna (1444)

Of all the 15th century Ottoman battles in the Balkans (“Rumelia” to use the Ottoman term) prior to the conquest of Constantinople, the most important was probably the Battle of Varna in 1444, particularly if you pair its effects with those of the (second) Battle of Kosovo in 1448. Varna broke a major Hungarian-Polish alliance … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Varna (1444)

Today in Cold War history: the Taksim Square massacre (1977)

You probably don’t need me to tell you that today is May Day, since I’m betting your ability to keep track of which day it is exceeds mine. May Day’s origins go back to pre-Christian European cultures, but nowadays for much of the world it’s also International Workers’ Day and, in some countries, Labor Day. Ironically, for … Continue reading Today in Cold War history: the Taksim Square massacre (1977)