8th May, 2015

  • 275 more women and children were rescued from Boko Haram last weekend.
  • Central Nigerian communities have accused government troops of killing civilians
  • Two Tanzanian UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the government is battling Ugandan rebels.
  • There will be a formal investigation of the allegations that French peacekeeping troops abused children in the Central African Republic.
  • A tribunal has also ordered the UN to lift the suspension of the whistleblower who disclosed the alleged abuses.
  • Burundi’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, says the third term that has sparked so much protest would be his last.
  • Nearly 40,000 people have fled the crisis in Burundi.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Somalia Tuesday – the first secretary of state ever to travel there.
  • Somalia has banned the media from using the name Al-Shabaab.
  • The Egyptian army freed a group of Ethiopians who had been kidnapped in Libya.
  • A weekend protest in Tel Aviv by thousands of Ethiopian-israelis over police harassment turned into a violent confrontation with the police.
  • According to an Israeli activist group, the Israeli military operated under a “policy of indiscriminate fire” last summer in Gaza – publishing soldiers’ testimonials about the “permissive” rules of engagement.
  • US training of Syrian rebels has started in Jordan.
  • With Hezbollah’s help, the Syrian army has retaken areas along the border with Lebanon.
  • Rustom Ghazeleh, a top intelligence official under Assad, is rumored to be dead, and with him an incalculable load of secrets.
  • Human rights observers say a US airstrike in Aleppokilled 52 civilians.
  • The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi in Yemen have used American-supplied cluster munitions in their war. (While cluster munitions are banned in most countries around the globe, they are not banned by the US, Saudi Arabia or Yemen.)
  • Yemen’s ambassador to the UN has asked for a ground intervention.
  • Yemeni fighters trained in the Gulf are said to havejoined local militias in Aden in the fight against the Houthi.
  • Yemeni rebels fired rockets and mortars into Saudi Arabia, killing 2.
  • Al Qaeda senior operative Nasr bin-Ali al-Ansi was killedin a US drone strike in Yemen last month.
  • Oxford researcher Elizabeth Kendall talks about why Al-Qaeda has had so much success in Yemen.
  • Zaid Al-Ali describes the devastation of Tikrit after the Islamic State’s occupation of the Iraqi city.
  • 2.2 million Iraqis have been displaced by the Islamic State.
  • Behind Russia’s missile sales to Iran is a complicateddance with the West and with Israel that mixes the politics of war in Ukraine with the politics of the Iranian nuclear deal.
  • Iran has arrested prominent rights activist Narges Mohammadi.Anger turned to violence in the Iranian provincial capital of Mahabad after protests over the death of a chambermaid turned into riots and arson.
  • The Taliban says it’s open to peace talks with the Afghan government if the US leaves entirely.
  • Commercial flights have been cancelled to the besieged city of Kunduz.
  • US military personnel have added to the heavy burden of corruption in Afghanistan – over 100 service members have committed $50 million dollars worth of criminal activity.
  • A resolution seems on its way over India and Bangladesh’s long-running border dispute.
  • NATO has started anti-submarine exercises in the North Sea.
  • Fears over Russia are playing a part in Poland’s electoral politics.
  • On Wednesday, five Ukrainian soldiers were killed and twelve wounded in fighting in the east. Separatists appear to be readying a new offensive.
  • Meduza interviews Russian dissident-in-exile Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
  • Putin’s plans to modernize the Russian military have to be scaled back due a flagging economy. Also, Russia’s hyped new tank to end all tanks broke down in the middle of parade rehearsal.
  • Armenia’s foreign minister has criticized Turkey over its genocide denial.
  • Four people were arrested in Germany for founding a right-wing extremist group and plotting to attack mosques and people seeking asylum.
  • French Parliament approved a bill which, if passed by the Senate, could grant wide authority for domestic spying.
  • Canada is similarly poised to pass new anti-terror legislation that would give CSIS expanded and intrusive authority.
  • A Draw Muhammed contest in Texas was targeted by two gunmen who were killed by a police officer.
  • A federal appeals court ruled the NSA’s now-infamous bulk telephone metadata collection illegal.
  • There’s bad news for privacy advocates, too, though: a circuit court overturned last year’s ruling that it violated the Fourth Amendment for police to track cell phone location data without a warrant.
  • Esquire Classics republished Osama bin Laden’s last interview with an American journalist. The story, by John Miller, originally ran in February of 1999.
  • Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell says that intelligence agencies completely fumbled their assessments of Al Qaeda after the Arab Spring – misjudging the group’s ability to take advantage of the political situation.
  • Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford is the president’s pick to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
  • American support for drone strikes is sinking after the deaths of two hostages.
  • 28-year-old Omar Khadr, who was imprisoned in Guantánamo at age 15, walked free on bail from Canadian prison yesterday.
  • The remains of war dead from World War II are still being unearthed across Europe – Der Spiegel profiles a man who reburies Germany’s dead.

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