31st July, 2015

  • A suicide bomber detonated in a market in Maiduguri in Nigeria this morning (Friday).
  • Suicide bombers in Nigeria and Cameroon over the weekend killed 34 and wounded many others.
  • A new general has been named by Nigeria to head the multinational effort to fight Boko Haram.
  • Political divisions are hampering agreements regarding that multinational effort.
  • Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has won the third term that sparked so much protest and election violence.
  • Amnesty International reports that Muslims returning to their homes in the Central African Republic are being forced to abandon their religious beliefs by Christian militias.
  • Chadian MPs have voted to reinstate the death penalty for terror offenses.
  • Tunisian parliament adopted a new anti-terror law.
  • Ancient mausoleums in Timbuktu have been restored and reconstructed after their destruction by Al Qaeda-linked militants three years ago.
  • A Libyan court sentenced Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, to death for war crimes committed during the 2011 revolution.
  • 27 aid workers have died since the conflict began in South Sudan.
  • A large Al-Shabaab truck bomb detonated at a hotel in Mogadishu, killing 15.
  • The UN continued its contracts with Russian aviation company UTair after one of the company’s helicopter crews raped a teenage girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010. The contracts amount to half a billion dollars.
  • Several US-backed Syrian fighters and their leader have been abducted by the Nusra Front in northern Syria.
  • The US and Turkey have outlined a “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border, a demarcated area from which they plan to oust the Islamic State in an escalation of the war. Some analysis says this plan is really less about fighting the terror group and more about Turkey preventing Kurdish regional power.
  • The Turkish air force hit Kurdish insurgent camps in Iraq over the weekend andcontinued to this week. The country is now in a two-front war against the Kurds and against the Islamic State –– unraveling the peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
  • The Turkish military says three of its soldiers have been killed in a convoy attack by the PKK.
  • The Syrian Jaysh al-Fateh coalition is launching a new anti-Assad offensive based in Idlib and pushing south.
  • Staffan de Mistura might have the toughest job in the world –– he’s the UN special envoy to Syria.
  • BuzzFeed goes inside the trade of stolen antiquities from Syria –– a black market business funding the country’s fractured civil war.
  • Syrian children in Lebanon live a life of hard work, skipping their educations and entering into often abusive farm and warehouse labor.
  • A suspected arson attack carried out by Jewish extremists in the West Bank left an 18-month-old dead and the rest of his family harmed.
  • Israel gave approval this week to plans to expand a West Bank settlement by 300 homes.
  • Israeli legislators also approved the force-feeding of hunger strikers.
  • Jonathan Pollard, serving a sentence for spying for Israel, has been grantedparole and will be released in November after 30 years in prison.
  • Saudi Arabia’s coalition has gained significant advantage in Yemen, planning an expansion of ground operations.
  • A bombing outside a girls’ school in Sitra, Bahrain killed two policemen. Several arrests have been made.
  • Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar seems to really be dead this time. Reports from Afghan intelligence say that he died in a hospital in Karachi in spring of 2013. US intelligence suspected back in 2011 that Omar was being treated in a Pakistani hospital.
  • Der Spiegel interviews Dutch journalist Bette Dam, who is currently working on a biography of Omar.
  • The group has named as his successor Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
  • The Taliban offensive in the north continues. They also seized a district in Helmand.
  • 21 were killed at a gun battle during a wedding party in northern Afghanistan on Monday.
  • Pakistani detainees disappear into the dozens of internment centers that have sprung up in the tribal areas.
  • India executed an accountant convicted of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
  • Gunmen in Indian Army uniforms attacked a bus and a police station in Punjab on Monday, killing five.
  • Some volunteer fighters have become a problem for Ukraine. Ukraine also struggles against lack of funds to retrieve its dead soldiers.
  • Ukraine has charged a captured Russian army major with terrorism.
  • The rift between Ukraine and Russia is evident in celebrations of a sainted medieval prince.
  • Longread from Harpers: Ukraine struggles to find national identity amid war and crisis.
  • The trial for captured Ukrainian soldier Nadia Savchenko over the deaths of two Russian journalists has begun.
  • France settled with Russia over compensation for the non-delivery of two Mistral warships.
  • Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have established a tribunal to prosecute those thought responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
  • A British man was acquitted of terror charges in Britain, but no one who knows the details of the case is allowed to discuss why.
  • A list of the British militants killed in Iraq and Syria over the past three years.
  • Germany has opened a treason investigation into news website Netzpolitik.org over its reporting on state surveillance.
  • The head of Brazil’s nuclear energy utility has been arrested on charges of corruption, potentially stalling the country’s nuclear plans.
  • Colombia has halted air strikes on FARC rebels.
  • Five former Chilean soldiers have been charged in the burning deaths of two teenagers during a 1986 protest against Pinochet.
  • Wikileaks has published documents it says reveal US surveillance of Japanese officials and corporations.
  • In an April letter to lawyers, Guantánamo inmate Mohamedou Ould Slahi indicates that mail from his family has been confiscated in order to pressure him into further interrogation.
  • The Pentagon prepares for climate change.
  • The US has a growing corporate industry around intelligence analysis for drone operations.
  • Newly-released photos show the reaction of VP Cheney along with Bush, Rice and other officials as 9/11 unfolded.
  • The TSA will address screening and security procedures as part of an overhaul.

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