World update: February 9 2018

Maybe everybody’s on their best behavior because of the Olympics, but it seems like the planet is a little quieter than usual today, so as a result we can get away with cramming everything into a single update. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA This has been quite a week in Syria to say the least. The Syrian… Continue reading World update: February 9 2018

Asia/Africa update: January 25 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Chinese government is denying reports from Russian and other media that it’s planning to build a military base in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province. So I guess that, uh, settles it…? PAKISTAN American and Pakistani officials are peddling two different accounts of Wednesday’s drone strike that reportedly killed at least one Haqqani Network bigshot… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 25 2018

World update: January 24 2018

There doesn’t seem to be all that much news today. My theory is that most of the people who normally make news are at Davos. Here’s the thing: I don’t give a shit about Davos, and I particularly don’t give a shit about the stuff that happens at Davos that gets made public. Add to… Continue reading World update: January 24 2018

World update: January 20-21 2018

GUINEA WORM Thanks in large part to the work of the Carter Foundation, Guinea Worm may soon be a thing of the past. Just 30 cases of the condition were reported in 2017, half of them from a single outbreak in Ethiopia and the rest in isolated parts of Chad. Who says we can’t have… Continue reading World update: January 20-21 2018

World update: December 4 2017

ASIA PAKISTAN Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Pakistan on Monday to call for increased Pakistani cooperation to counter the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. The Trump administration continues to threaten to cut Pakistani aid unless the military and ISI stop supporting those groups, and all I can say is, good luck with that: “There… Continue reading World update: December 4 2017

World update: October 16 2017

MIDDLE EAST IRAQ This is obviously the day’s big story. Last night’s Iraqi advance into Kirkuk province appears in the light of day to have ended with Baghdad in control of pretty much all of its targets–oil fields, the K1 military base, and even the city of Kirkuk itself. Aside from a few small skirmishes… Continue reading World update: October 16 2017

World update: October 14-15 2017

ASIA KYRGYZSTAN Sooronbai Jeenbekov appears to have won today’s presidential election to succeed his mentor, Almazbek Atambayev. With 97 percent of the vote in Jeenbekov has won just over 54 percent of the vote, which would put him comfortably above the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Omurbek Babanov, his main rival, won less than… Continue reading World update: October 14-15 2017