28th August 2015

  • Two separate car bombings in Somalia last Saturday killed at least 21 people combined.
  • As many as 200 people died when a boat carrying refugees capsized a kilometer off the Libyan port city of Zuwara.
  • More on Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish teenager facing a mass trial in Egypt.
  • Dissent grows in Eritrea.
  • 14 were arrested in Morocco and in Spain on suspicion of recruiting for the Islamic State.
  • A shortage of funds has caused the UN to cut aid to former rebels in the Congo.
  • Researchers examine the challenges to justice in sexual violence cases post-conflict in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda and Liberia.
  • Egypt is in talks to buy two warships from France (the ones originally intended for Russia).
  • The UN will investigate a government-allied militias role in breaking with the peace accord in Mali this month.
  • There is quiet optimism about the peace deal signed in South Sudan.
  • The UN points to the flow of weapons into South Sudan as a key factor in the violence this deal seeks to end.
  • The Islamic State may have used mustard gas last week in northern Syria.
  • The UN has set out a plan for an inquiry to assign blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
  • The Islamic State has also released a video of the destruction of the ancient Baalshamin temple in Palmyra.
  • Here are images of Palmyra in all its glory taken in the late 1800s.
  • The FBI has warned art dealers about purchasing antiquities and artifacts from the Middle East over concerns they might be sourced to Islamic State looting.
  • Jameel Raadoun, a Free Syrian Army commander, was killed in a car bombing in Antakya, Turkey.
  • A Birmingham-born hacker for the Islamic State was killed in a strike in Syria.
  • Protesters in Lebanon clashed with police over the ongoing garbage crisis, as well as wider issues of political corruption.
  • A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that the Palestinian Authority had to post a $10 million bond in the high-profile terror case over six attacks in Israel that also killed Americans.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stepped down as head of the PLO’s Executive Committee to force elections.
  • In response to a rocket attack launched from the Gaza Strip, Israel launched a strike on a Hamas facility.
  • The UAE freed a British hostage held by Al Qaeda in Yemen.
  • Troops in the Saudi-led coaltion are accused of using cluster bombs in Yemen.
  • An explosion in the parking lot of a Baghdad police station today (Friday) killedsix people.
  • A 114-pg Iraqi parliamentary report on why the Iraqi army failed to hold back the Islamic State last summer has revealed that the top army officer for Mosul remained on vacation despite warnings about the terror group. It also points to the fact the army was underfunded and under-equipped, full of internal rivalries and frequent desertions.
  • An Islamic State suicide attack on military headquarters in Anbar killed two senior Iraqi generals.
  • The US says that IS second-in-command Hajji Mutazz was killed in an airstrike.
  • The New York Times reports that intelligence assessments of US progress in Iraq may have been purposely skewed.
  • A Kurdish offensive won ten villages from IS in northern Iraq.
  • Executions in Iraq’s Kurdish region draw criticism from the UN.
  • Two gay men from Iraq and Syria made history by being the first to testify to the UN Security Council on LGBT persecution.
  • Iran may have built an extension on its Parchin military site.
  • A mass trial of 41 accused extremists opened in the UAE.
  • A satirical Facebook page targeting Afghanistan’s politicians is driving the Afghan government crazy as they try to find out who’s behind it.
  • Two US troops were killed in a green on blue attack on a base in southwestern Helmand province.
  • The Musa Qala district of northern Helmand fell to the Taliban this week, more a propaganda victory for them than a strategic one.
  • Spiegel interviews former Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh.
  • Two Central Asian jihadist groups –– the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Jihad Union –– have rifted over whether to support Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.
  • A decade from now Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could be the third largest in the world, says a new think tank report.
  • Khalid Sheikh Muhammed’s nephew was reportedly killed in a raid in Karachi carried out by Pakistani intelligence.
  • Nine civilians were killed and 63 wounded today (Friday) as Indian and Pakistani border guards exchanged fire in Kashmir.
  • The US backed Sri Lanka’s war crimes probe, having initially pushed for an independent one.
  • Ukraine’s creditors agreed to forgive a portion of the country’s debt.
  • The government and separatists have agreed to stop all truce violations (a ceasefire, but for real) starting September 1.
  • Ukraine says 7 troops were killed in recent days.
  • A Russian court sentenced Crimean filmmaker Oleg Sentsov to twenty years in prison over terror charges.
  • Naser Oric, a Bosnian Muslim wartime commander, was indicted for war crimes over the killings of three Serbian prisoners of war near Srebrenica in 1992.
  • The Washington Post maps the walls being built across Europe as barriers to migrants. (Or is it more correct to refer to them as refugees?)
  • The migration crisis remains a serious concern across Europe – 70 or more refugees were found dead in a truck abandoned on the expressway between Vienna and Budapest.
  • Austria, the first Western European country that refugees come to on their long and arduous journeys, has become central in the current crisis.
  • A gunman’s attack on a train from Amsterdam to Paris was foiled by some on board, including three Americans. Security experts say there is not much that can be done to boost security procedures on these high volume rail lines.
  • Japan’s Yamaguchi-gumi mafia group seems on the brink of a split, and police are bracing for a gang war.
  • Seoul and Pyongyang ended a upsurge in tensions and mutterings about the possibility of war with a deal.
  • A Chinese journalist was jailed for coverage of the stock market crash.
  • A border dispute heats up between Colombia and Venezuela.
  • Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto replaced his national security chief and his foreign relations secretary.
  • Only three of 116 men who remain imprisoned at Guantánamo were captured by US forces.
  • The push to give the Pentagon primacy in the drone war continues.
  • Leaked email exchanges from two companies, Israeli and Italian, show their state surveillance partnerships.
  • Police in North Dakota are cleared to use drones armed with “less than lethal” weapons like tasers or tear gas.

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