19th August

  • Nigeria reincarnated a controversial institution –– a group known as the “war on indiscipline” task force, brought back not just to mete out justice for littering but to be involved in intelligence-gathering in the war on Boko Haram.
  • Nigeria is saving civilians, including children, from Boko Haram, and then locking them up.
  • Riek Machar, former vice president of South Sudan and military rival of President Salva Kiir, has fled the country.
  • The UN warns that a spike in the recruitment of child soldiers in South Sudan could be imminent.
  • The UN Security Council granted the South Sudan peacekeeping mission an expanded mandate and more troops.
  • Several humanitarian aid workers were raped last month by South Sudanese soldiers, and the UN did nothing. Now, an independent investigation will review the reports that the UN failed to respond.
  • 36 civilians were killed by suspected rebels in eastern Congo.
  • Protests continue in Ethiopia.
  • Refugees from Mali’s instability arrive in Mauritania.
  • According to AFRICOM, the US has carried out 61 airstrikes in Libya since August 1st.
  • Three Arab writers reflect on the legacy of the Arab Spring.
  • Egypt sentenced 418 people for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • At least fourteen people have been killed in bomb attacks in eastern Turkey.
  • Turkey released 38,000 prisoners to make room for more post-coup detainees as its crackdown continues.
  • An air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on Monday hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen, killing at least 11 people.
  • Yemeni troops launched an offensive to take back Taiz from Houthi rebels.
  • Long read: Inside the real ground war against the Islamic State.
  • No aid convoys reached the over half a million Syrians living in besieged cities this month.
  • The image and footage of a young, wounded Syrian boy named Omran sitting in ambulance in Aleppo has struck a chord globally.
  • In photos: A jubilant and liberated Manbij.
  • The Syrian-Russian military operation has been using incendiary weapons in civilian areas, violating international law.
  • Russia used an Iranian airbase for the first time to launch strikes in Syria. The US is investigating whether this violates a UN Security Council resolution.
  • More than 17,000 people have died in Syrian government custody in the last five years.
  • Saydnaya jail is Syria’s most notorious and hidden prison – but former detainees have helped use forensic architecture to reconstruct it.
  • A three-part long read: An Islamic State insider details the group’s creation, its stockpiling of chemical weapons, and its divorce from Al Qaeda.
  • Assad may be losing control over his militias.
  • Analysis: The world is failing to address the Islamic State’s genocide against Yazidi women and girls, and the gender dynamic of this atrocity.
  • Crystal meth coming over the border from Iran is overwhelming the city of Basra’s police force and addicting its population.
  • In photos: life on a US military base in Iraq.
  • How the State Department plan to stabilize Iraq broke apart.
  • The much-discussed $400 million given to Iran wasdelayed as leverage in the prisoner release negotiations.
  • Afghanistan’s power-sharing agreement between by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah is on the rocks.
  • A Taliban splinter group has reconciled with the main group’s new leadership.
  • The Taliban is sustaining offensives in provinces across Afghanistan.
  • Medical care is cut off in Lashkar Gah and aid agencies in Helmand’s capital city are making contingency plans as the Taliban lays siege.
  • Afghan ID cards were supposed to curb voter fraud, but instead they exacerbated ethnic divides.
  • Pakistanis displaced by the government offensive arereturning home and struggling to rebuild what they have lost.
  • India is ready for talks with Pakistan over protests and violence in Kashmir.
  • Explainer: 69 years of strife in Kashmir.
  • Japan is building a new land-to-sea missile to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea.
  • China participated in US military drills in the Pacific.
  • The Turkestan Islamic Party, a group fighting for Uyghur autonomy in China’s Xinjiang province, are globalizing.
  • Southeast Asia risks becoming a haven for displaced Islamic State fighters.
  • Infographic: The demographics of post-Soviet countries 25 years later.
  • Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the worst violence there in a year.
  • Long read: daily life continues amidst conflict and ambiguity in Luhansk and Donetsk.
  • Russia held military exercises in Crimea and Ukraine is expressing fear of an invasion.
  • An attack on a traffic police post outside of Moscow has been claimed by the Islamic State.
  • Germany races to address radicalization.
  • Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts for promoting terrorism.
  • 15 Guantánamo inmates were transferred to the UAE –– the Obama administration’s largest transfer to date.

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