24th April, 2015

  • Days of rival government factional fighting havepummeled the Upper Nile region of South Sudan and heavy fighting has ravaged the state capital of Malakal.
  • Al-Shabaab shot dead a senior Somali military officer in Mogadishu on Thursday.
  • The possibility of a third-term run for Burundi’s president threatens to undermine the peace deal in place since the civil war a decade ago.
  • Security forces and anti-government protesters clashedin Guinea, leaving one dead.
  • The Islamic State released a new video last weekend showing the beheadings of 21 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
  • The plight of North African and Middle Eastern migrantsrisking their lives to make it to European soil by boat has been highlighted by the fatal capsizing of a boat over the weekend, killing a suspected 750 people. As a result, EU leaders are tripling funding for search and rescue missions and the UN is pleading with wealthy nations to take their share of refugees.
  • The UN says the Islamic State has 225,000 Syrians undersiege in Deir Ez Zor.
  • Saudi airstrikes resumed in Yemen only hours after Saudi Arabia declared a halt to their campaign.
  • Accounts of airstrikes stream into social media from Yemeni survivors.
  • A New York Times interactive breaks down the basics of the conflict in Yemen.
  • Arms race in the Middle East fuels further and further conflict.
  • Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was apparently seriously injured in a March airstrike and continues to recover.
  • Baghdadi’s acting replacement is a former physics teacher – an Iraqi named Abu Alaa Afri.
  • Der Spiegel published the results of an extensive investigation into the Islamic State’s origin and organization, revealing the heavy hand of ex-Baathists from Saddam Hussein’s government.
  • An American drone strike in Pakistan accidentally killedtwo hostages – American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto. The same strike also killed an American member of Al Qaeda – Ahmed Farouq. A separate strike killed another American – Al Qaeda propagandist Adam Gadahn.
  • The White House has since acknowledged that the targets of those strikes were not individuals (a signature strike), but rather Al Qaeda compounds.
  • The Taliban announced their spring offensive.
  • In an apparent bid to match the Islamic State brutality for brutality, the Taliban is targeting Hazaras in a serious of kidnappings and beheadings.
  • A suicide bombing in Jalalabad on Saturday killed 35 people. The Islamic State initially took the credit, but now it appears they were not actually behind it.
  • RetroReports’ Anatomy of an Interrogation tells the story of an Afghan farmer and the CIA contractor who served prison time for the torture-related death, the only person associated with the agency ever to do so. (Phenomenal piece of reporting.)
  • The Pentagon can’t account for $1.3 billion in Afghan reconstruction aid.
  • A new documentary chronicles the late Richard Holbrooke’s frustrations and collisions with the White House and military leadership over how to proceed in Afghanistan.
  • Scientists used a secret replica of Iran’s nuclear facility constructed in Tennessee to answer diplomats’ technical queries during nuclear negotiations.
  • As we reach the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Turkey struggles with the politics of its genocide denial. As do its Western allies.
  • Here, The Guardian collected firsthand stories of survival from Armenians.
  • The State Department says that Russia is building uptroops on the Ukrainian border as well as building up air defense systems inside eastern Ukraine.
  • Shelling is a “constant” occurrence in the city of Mariupol.
  • A Texan fights alongside the separatists in Donetsk.
  • Court hearings over whether or not to jail Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny have been postponed until May.
  • A new exhibition in Moscow recreates tableaus of the war in Ukraine, a potent emotional tool in the information war.
  • The European Union charged Russian energy company Gazprom with market abuse, a serious move against the energy giant.
  • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov gave his men shoot-to-kill orders if they see security forces from other parts of the country encroaching on their territory.
  • China is sounding the alarm on North Korean nuclear capabilities.
  • The US reached a nuclear energy cooperation pact with South Korea.
  • Mexican police captured the leader of the Juarez Cartel.
  • France says it has foiled five attacks since Charlie Hebdo.
  • BuzzFeed has compiled an ongoing list of American citizens charged with trying to join or support the Islamic State.
  • The role of FBI informants in the corralling of would-be Islamic State fighters and supporters is questioned.
  • New Pentagon cybersecurity strategy lays out for the first time US plans to incorporate cyberwarfare into military planning.
  • A new bill in Congress would require the Defense Department to disclose documents related to troop exposures to toxic substances.
  • The Pentagon rushes to resettle Guantánamo inmates before Congress can freeze transfers.
  • Is silence following the Senate torture report de facto amnesty for those who committed those acts?
  • David Petraeus was sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine for leaking classified information to Paula Broadwell.
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial began its sentencing phase.

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