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

Turkey election update: June 24 2018

I’m tracking Turkish election results as they come in. Please check back for updates, which I’ll add at the top of the post. UPDATE 7: With Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reporting almost 96 percent of the vote in, Erdoğan sits at just under 53 percent. He’s already declared victory, though the opposition is casting doubt on… Continue reading Turkey election update: June 24 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

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

Today is, of course, May Day, whose origins go back to pre-Christian European cultures, but for much of the world it’s also International Workers’ Day and, in some countries, Labor Day. Ironically, for a date chosen to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, May 1 is not the official labor holiday in the United States. America celebrates… Continue reading Today in Cold War history: the Taksim Square massacre (1977)

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 European history: the Battle of Guadalete (711)

Savvy readers will know that we’ve already covered the Battle of Guadalete in other contexts, and although nobody actually knows for sure when this decisive battle of the Muslim conquest of Iberia really took place, today is arguably the most likely candidate. Historian David Lewis, who has written on Islamic Spain among many other topics,… Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Guadalete (711)

Europe/Americas update: June 1, 2017

NATO Two major NATO exercises took place in Eastern Europe today, the annual BALTOPS naval exercise in the Baltics and the Romanian leg of the alliance’s “Noble Jump 2017” exercise. This did not, of course, go without notice from Moscow, whose ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, issued a warning: “NATO countries should understand that all… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 1, 2017