World update: March 21 2018

WATER A new report finds that water is getting scarcer and access to it more unequal: Water inequality is increasing in the world’s most environmentally stressed nations, warn the authors of a report that shows more than 800 million people need to travel and queue for at least 30 minutes to access safe supplies.  … Continue reading World update: March 21 2018

Middle East update: March 21 2018

SYRIA Monitors reported on Wednesday that 20 civilians were killed in an airstrike on the village of Kafr Batikh, in Idlib province. No word as to who carried out the strike. Meanwhile, the death toll from yesterday’s rebel shelling of Damascus has reached 44, and comes amid confirmation that Ahrar al-Sham fighters will begin evacuating the… Continue reading Middle East update: March 21 2018

Middle East update: March 17-18 2018

SYRIA Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel proxies swarmed into Afrin city on Sunday and by the end of the day claimed that they’d taken complete control over the city. The YPG has been denying that the city has fallen but in the end it seems their fighters evacuated without putting up much of a… Continue reading Middle East update: March 17-18 2018

Middle East update: February 26 2018

SYRIA United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres may want the UN Security Council’s new Syrian ceasefire to begin “immediately,” but it looks like he’ll have to content himself with a Russian plan for a partial humanitarian ceasefire instead. Guterres is also throwing his weight behind a French idea for the five veto-holding members of the Security… Continue reading Middle East update: February 26 2018

Middle East update: February 14 2018

SYRIA One addendum to yesterday’s update. When I cited the New York Times on estimates of Russian casualties in last week’s US airstrikes in Deir Ezzor, I somehow let this gem of a sentence slide past me: The attack occurred in the vicinity of Deir al-Zour, a strategic, oil-rich territory that is coveted by the Syrians.… Continue reading Middle East update: February 14 2018

Asia/Africa update: February 7 2018

ASIA KASHMIR Al Jazeera has a video report on Kashmiri villagers who say their homes have been destroyed by Pakistani artillery fire in recent weeks: MALDIVES The political crisis in the Maldives is already taking on geopolitical overtones. Former President Mohamed Nasheed asked India to step in and stabilize the situation, and now China is… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 7 2018

World update: January 6-7 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Reuters has conducted an interview with Atta Muhammad Nur, who remains governor of Balkh even though President Ashraf Ghani, uh, “accepted” his “resignation” almost three weeks ago. While there’s every reason to believe that Atta Muhammad Nur is neck deep in corruption in his Balkh fiefdom, he argues–and he’s probably not wrong–that Ghani… Continue reading World update: January 6-7 2018