Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bendery (1713)

The so-called “Skirmish at Bendery” (known in Swedish as the Kalabaliken i Bender, from the Turkish word kalabalık or “crowd”) shows that, even in 1713, the Ottomans were still capable of the occasional muscle flexing in Europe. It’s actually a chapter in the 1700-1721 Great Northern War, which otherwise didn’t involve the Ottomans at all,… Continue reading Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bendery (1713)

World update: January 30 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban is trying to assure other Afghans that, if it does conclude a peace deal with the US and US forces do withdraw from Afghanistan, they’re not looking to seize total control of the country again: The statement Wednesday by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen appears aimed at easing fears among those worried… Continue reading World update: January 30 2019

Europe/Americas update: January 18 2019

EUROPE RUSSIA The Russian government is casting doubt on ISIS’s claims that it was behind a December 31 explosion in an apartment building in the city of Magnitogorsk. That explosion, which killed 39 people, was most likely caused by a gas leak–Russian infrastructure is generally quite old and in varying states of disrepair–but the terror… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 18 2019

Europe/Americas update: January 16 2019

CLIMATE CHANGE So the good news is that the Trump administration has its very own plan to deal with climate change, one that will replace that dummy Barack Obama’s climate plan. Which is fine, Obama’s climate plan wasn’t nearly as drastic as the situation requires. The problem, though, is that Donald Trump’s plan to deal… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 16 2019

World update: January 14 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A car bombing near the international area of Kabul killed at least four people and wounded another 90 on Monday. There’s been no claim of responsibility. The Taliban later claimed responsibility. Further talks between US and Taliban representatives are now at risk over the site of the negotiations. The Taliban, which has a diplomatic… Continue reading World update: January 14 2019

Europe/Americas: January 11 2019

EUROPE ESTONIA The Estonian government has for some time been concerned about the possibility that Vladimir Putin might make a move against its predominantly Russian east a la Crimea. In order to help develop that part of the country and keep the people there happy, the Estonian government has begun investing in the arts in… Continue reading Europe/Americas: January 11 2019

World update: December 14 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A joint Afghan-US offensive in Kunar province late Thursday killed 20 Taliban fighters and/or 60 civilians, depending on whose story you believe. The Taliban are obviously pushing the latter scenario, while Kabul is obviously pushing the former. The savvy reader will note that they’re not mutually exclusive. Elsewhere, a drone strike in Helmand… Continue reading World update: December 14 2018