August 12th – International News Round-Up (Part II)

Guam

Daily Dot

The Government of Guam has issued a 2-page document that details what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

Kenya

Sputnik

The incumbent Kenyatta won the presidential elections in. His main rival claims the vote was rigged. There were stand-offs between government loyalists and opposition supporters. The last time this happened (2007), thousands died.

North Korean Conflict

Zero Hedge

Breitbart

We’re going to have to wait and see if even the hardline trumpists like Zero Hedge will get behind this administration opening a two-front war. From what I read, they thought the interventionism of Obama and Clinton was the worst thing to happen. They were firm isolationists, for the most part. Though I don’t think anybody really believes that anybody in the White House actually thinks this is an option that could be explored.

Society

Zero Hedge

The guy who wrote the diversity memo and got fired wrote an op-ed for WSJ. You can’t read the complete thing because you need an account, but the link above has a part of the article.

Immigration

Quillette

Argument against open borders. Author claim that this is not against immigration in general, but says that cases for open borders must be more nuanced. That’s a statement that I agree with in general, though the author does make one absurd claim: that tribalism is so robust because small groups are better at achieving certain results which lead to prosperity. This is ridiculous. Tribalism is a feature of politics which sees ethnic classes banding together. It’s not particularly self-aware or reflexive. In other word, tribalism justifies itself on the basis of ethnicity, not on the basis of efficacy.

Society

The Cut

Article on the politics of “blondeness.”

Legally Blonde - The Musical (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Legally Blonde – The Musical (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

July 24th – International News Round-Up (Part IV)

United Kingdom

LSE Blog

The increasing polarization of Brexit politics led to an enormous political space in the center. As Labour moved further left and insisted that all immigration was good, the Conservatives moved further right and insisted on being British. The post discusses how neo-liberalism as a political and economic ideology has led to the peculiar character of British politics at the moment.

Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Jeremy_Corbyn_Bahrain_1.png/1024px-Jeremy_Corbyn_Bahrain_1.png)
Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wiki Commons)

Libya

Al Jazeera

More reports of executions of ISIS linked rebels. This one is from Libya. According to a video that has been circulated online (which I have not personally watched). General Khalifa Haftar and his soldiers are said to be seen carrying out executions. This adds to the wider trend of executions of ISIS fighters from Iraq to Syria and Libya, after being sentenced by kangaroo courts.

General Haftar and his forces are still in control of the eastern part of Libya, with the backing of the UAE and Egypt.

Cambodia

The Cambodia Daily

The King of Cambodia, Norodom Shiamoni has reportedly left the country.

“His departure follows a formal petition delivered by the CNRP on Thursday asking the king to avoid endorsing the changes, which could hold the party liable for any endorsement of or affiliation with its former, exiled president Sam Rainsy.”

This is the not the first time the Head of State has done this. He made a trip to China during another critical time as negotiations for constitutional laws were taking place. The ruling CPP claims that they have exerted no pressure on the King and that he is acting purely on his own volition.

Security

Small Wars Journal

Trump’s pick for Special Ops and low intensity conflict has floated a scenario in which a commercially available drone could be used to great effect and he says that the future where that would be a reality is just 5 years out.

Jordan

Trend via Reuters

Two Jordanians entered the Israel embassy at Amman under the pretext of being workers and opened fire, before they were shot. Jordan and Israel don’t get into it very often, but Israel and its metal detectors at one of Islam’s holiest sites in the Middle East is causing increasing tension with its otherwise quiet (if reluctantly) neighbors.

Lebanon

Long War Journal

Hezbollah claims to have made advances on the Lebanese border against Sunni jihadist forces.

“Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a coalition of different jihadist and rebel groups in Syria in which al Qaeda’s branch operates, has also claimed that its forces killed over 50 Hezbollah fighters and that several attacks were repelled. This number is likely exaggerated.”

Venezuela

Sputnik

President Maduro says that he will arrest all the Supreme Court judges that were appointed by the opposition led parliament. This is in response to what he sees as a new “parallel state” being formed.

July 24th – International News and Writings Round-Up (Part I)

Iraq

Musing on Iraq

Ayatollah Ali Sistani called on Iraqis and the Iraqi forces in specific to not engage in the handing out of the extra-judicial punishment to captured IS forces in the recently captured city of Mosul. There have also been reports of confrontation between the various armed forces/militia that helped in the military assault on IS controlled Mosul. Bodies continue to be moved as an eerie calm descends on the city.

Iraqi News

2 policemen were killed in a bomb blast took place at the entrance of Fallujah City in the Anbar Province in Iraq. Iraqi defense forces have restored some calm since retaking the cities in the Anbar province from the Islamic State.

Ukraine

Kyivpost

Anzhelina Diash, a Femen activist who bared her breasts, which had “Long Live Belarus” scrawled on, in black. Her protest took place at the meeting of the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The specific action that could lead to her facing time in prison is the fact that she resisted arrest when a law-enforcement official attempted to remove her from the premises.

Femen Activists
Femen Activists (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

France

Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has been having a rough time. His approval ratings dropped a full 10 percentage points, though he still enjoys 54% approval in France. The drop-off in popularity comes after spats with his Prime Minister and with the former Chief of the Armed Forces.

Venezuela

Reuters

Venezuela’s opposition coalition controlled parliamentarians called for a 2-day strike against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Violence continues to grip the country. Wuilly Arteaga, a violinist, who is famous for adding a musical flavor to the protest has been injured in the newest wave of protests. Maduro does not seem to be backing down, despite increasing national and international pressure. He also reportedly took to state TV to sing along to John Lennon’s Imagine, in a confusing display of symbology.

Syria

Iraqi News

Russian cluster bombs have killed 25 people in the besieged city of Raqqa. Reports suggest that they were probably civilians.

United States

Marginal Revolution

President Trump might not have the power to grant pardons to anybody he wants to. According to Marginal Revolution, the President can only grant pardons for federal crimes, and not crimes that came under the jurisdiction of specific states.

“President’s authority to grant clemency is limited to federal offenses and offenses prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia in the name of the United States in the D.C. Superior Court.  An offense that violates a state law is not an offense against the United States.  A person who wishes to seek a pardon or a commutation of sentence for a state offense should contact the authorities of the state in which the conviction occurred.  Such state authorities are typically the Governor or a state board of pardons and/or paroles, if the state government has created such a board.”