21st August 2015

  • Egypt has passed harsh new counterterrorism legislation receiving global condemnation from human rights groups.
  • An early morning Islamic State car bomb hit a police headquarters in Cairo Thursday, resulting in many injuries but no fatalities. In Egypt, the group has waged war for two years on authorities but avoided civilian targets.
  • New sex abuse allegations have been leveled at the UN mission in the Central African Republic.
  • South Sudanese President Salva Kiir will sign a peace deal after initially refusing.
  • The US has proposed a UN arms embargo on South Sudan.
  • Convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga has appealed for early release.
  • As many as 60 were killed in a Boko Haram raid on a northeastern village.
  • Former Burundian army chief Col. Jean Bikomagu was assassinated Saturday. The UN is warning the country’s situation is about to “spiral out of control” and the African Union said the country’s crisis represents a “catastrophic” risk to the rest of the region.
  • Amid all this, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, the focal point of all this unrest, was sworn in for a third term.
  • After clashes in northern Mali between pro-government forces and Tuareg rebels, the UN has set up a “security zone.
  • The coastal Libyan city of Sirte has fallen to the Islamic State.
  • The Yemeni port city of Hodeida was hit with airstrikes, a crucial port for humanitarian aid supplies.
  • Rebels have lost control over some parts of Yemen, leaving behind opportunity for Al Qaeda. Factions in the Saudi coalition have also started to turn on one another.
  • Amnesty International says all sides in the conflict in Yemen have committed war crimes.
  • The Red Cross is conducting workshops on the laws of war for Hamas militants in Gaza.
  • Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan ended his 66-day hunger strike after Israel’s Supreme Court suspended his detention.
  • Israel retaliated after rockets hit along the Lebanese border, launching return fire into the Syrian Golan Heights.
  • Lebanese Salafist Imam Ahmed al-Assir was arrested by security services after two years on the run for involvement in the deaths of 17 soldiers.
  • This week marked a full year since we first learned of the execution of journalist James Foley by his Islamic State captors. Watch some of his best journalistic workhere.
  • The Islamic State beheaded an 82-year-old scholar and archaeologist – Khaled al-Asaad, the head of antiquities at the Syrian historic site of Palmyra – after he refused to lead them to the whereabouts of protected artifacts.
  • The weapon killing the most Syrians is the government’s hideous and indiscriminate barrel bomb. An airstrike on a market in Douma killed about 100 people – one of the bloodiest single incidents in a horrifically bloody war.
  • Defeating the Islamic State is taking precedence over ousting Assad.
  • The Islamic State overran an Iraqi military base in Fallujah.
  • There is credible evidence that the group used mustard gas in an unspecified attack on Kurdish forces. It could have obtained the chemical agent from Syria.
  • An American fighting for the Islamic State detonated himself in the Iraqi city of Baiji – he is the third known American suicide bomber for the group.
  • How does the Islamic State appeal to teenagers like the three girls who abandoned London for the terror group?
  • Spiegel profiles a Dutch teenager who spends his time mapping the Islamic State.
  • Will McCants breaks down how the Islamic State upped the ante on Al Qaeda,outdoing them in terror.
  • Britain and Iran will reopen their embassies.
  • The Wall Street Journal is hitting back at Iranian state media accusations that the paper and veteran correspondent Farnaz Fassihi acted as go-betweens for the US and the Green Movement in 2009.
  • The audio cassette tapes salvaged from a Kandahar compound vacated by Bin Laden back in 2001 include extensive sermons, speeches and recordings of battles.
  • Al Qaeda’s emir Ayman al-Zawahiri has offered bayat (allegiance) to the new Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour, preserving the longstanding relationship between the two groups.
  • Former warlord and current Afghan VP Abdul Rashid Dostum raised his own private collection of militias to fight the Taliban offensive in the north this summer after failing to convince the National Security Council to act.
  • A probe shows that Camp Belambai where Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales served prior to murdering 16 Afghan civilians had a lax atmosphere and “low standards of personal conduct and discipline.”
  • The family of Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the highest ranking American to have been killed in a green on blue attack, are unsatisfied with an Army investigation’s conclusion that there was no negligence and no way to have prevented the attack.
  • A faction of the Pakistani Taliban assassinated a provincial minister in Punjab as retaliation for the killing of Lashkari-e-Jhangvi leader Malik Ishaq.
  • Bangladesh has made three arrests in the gruesome murders of secular bloggers.
  • A bomb attack in Bangkok killed 20 people. Thai police say they believe at least 10 people were involved in the plot.
  • North and South Korea exchanged fire at the border.
  • It has been 75 years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky.
  • Earlier this week nine people died in an exchange of heavy artillery fire between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.
  • 8000 Ukrainian soldiers have defected to the separatist side since fighting began.
  • A former Kremlin hired online troll won symbolic damages of 1 ruble in her suit against her former employer over the Internet propaganda “factory.”
  • Wikipedia will likely be banned in Russia.
  • An Estonian police officer, detained by Russia last year, has been given 15 years in prison for espionage.
  • Germany charged a former member of the BND intelligence agency with treasonfor allegedly passing information to the US and Russia.
  • Azerbaijan sentenced prominent human rights activist Leyla Yunus to 8 and ½ years on a variety of charges. Her husband was sentenced to 7 years. The convictions have been decried as politically motivated and repressive.
  • Politico profiles Minneapolis city councillor Abdi Warsame, the only Somali-American elected to the council, and his struggles to prevent the Islamic State from making inroads in his community.
  • Defense lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have requested a new trial outside of Boston.
  • The security firm that vetted Edward Snowden has settled with the DOJ for $30m after claims it made shortcuts in federal employee background investigations.
  • Two women made history by graduating from the notoriously difficult Army Ranger School: 1st Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest.
  • The Navy is now indicating that it will open up SEAL training to women as well.

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