Middle East update: November 7 2017

This is going to be our only update tonight. I’ll double up on the rest of the world tomorrow. IRAQ Per Musings on Iraq, Turkmen forces responsible for looting and violence in Tuz Kharmato during the Iraqi advance on Kirkuk last month are trying to claim that it was the retreating Kurds who damaged and… Continue reading Middle East update: November 7 2017

World update: October 24 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Pardoned warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar recently gave a couple of interviews to the Guardian recently, in which he denied having committed any war crimes during the Afghan civil war (what, you believe your lying eyes?) and argued, seriously, that he could be a unifying force for Afghanistan. Hekmatyar claims to be in regular communication… Continue reading World update: October 24 2017

World update: September 21 2017

Shanah Tovah to anyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah. I’m going to have to condense things again today, and possibly tomorrow as well–I’m trying to make some headway on a couple of paid pieces but it’s been hard to find the time to work on them. Hopefully I’ll get at least one of them written and get… Continue reading World update: September 21 2017

Europe/Americas update: September 18 2017

ENVIRONMENT New science suggests that the Paris climate agreement’s pie-in-the-sky 1.5 degrees Celsius limit might not be so pie-in-the-sky after all: The 1.5C target was set as an aspiration by the global Paris climate change deal in 2015 to limit the damage wreaked by extreme weather and sea level rise. It was widely seen as… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: September 18 2017

Europe/Americas update: September 16-17 2017

EUROPE CYPRUS Oh boy, this is a bit embarrassing: A leaked list of names of those who have benefited from Cyprus’s citizenship-by-investment programmes represents a detailed insight into the panoply of clients behind schemes providing passports to the super rich. It also reveals the extent to which interest from the Russian and Ukrainian elite has driven… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: September 16-17 2017

Europe/Americas update: July 7-9 2017

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT On Friday, 122 nations voted in the UN General Assembly in favor of a treaty banning nuclear weapons. None of those 122 countries actually possesses nukes–the nine nuclear nations, plus Japan, the NATO states, and a few other countries, all boycotted even the debate over the measure–so the vote is meaningless even by… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: July 7-9 2017

Europe/Americas update: June 23 2017

EUROPE RUSSIA In what is a strong contender for least surprising news of 2017, Russia’s electoral commission has said that potential presidential candidate Alexei Navalny will not be allowed to run for office because of a past criminal conviction. Navalny wasn’t going to win the 2018 election anyway, but his presence in the race might… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 23 2017