Since this incident I’ve been somewhat saddened and even disappointed at the Taiwanese population. Right away people were calling for death penalty. People were calling for his immediate execution. I was horrified. If this man really had mental illness, our cry should be for a health care system that puts resources into treating mental illness. … More 4-Year Old Gets Beheaded in Random Attack in Taiwan
How did the Syrian army, who, by all internal and foreign measures, were not at all combat ready in 2011, manage to become a useful force in protecting the Syrian government throughout these five years of civil war? This analysis shows how the very incompetence, patronage, and decentralization that plagued the military before the outbreak … More The Competent Incompetence of the Syrian Army
Brazil has been going through a bit of chaos recently, as the long-running investigation over corruption in Petrobas has new twists and turns. The former president, previously relatively well-loved, Lula, is now under investigation for corruption as part of the investigation. Dilma, his hand-picked successor, is the current President, who herself is not loved, mainly … More What’s Going on in Brazil?
As 2017 elections are now nearing and the UN peacekeeping mission is preparing to pull out, many in Liberia, including some prospective presidential candidates, are hoping to get more, not less, international support. The peacekeeping mission is being drawn down relatively rapidly, and is set to be gone by the time elections happen next year. … More A Return to Instability in Liberia?
Interesting analysis on why so many Middle Eastern jihadis are trained as various kinds of engineers. This is long a correlation that has raised questions over radicalization pipelines, and this is an compelling possible theory explaining the relationship. Unfortunately for those of us who have been following the drama (and like the new flag design), … More Engineers & Jihadis / Results: New Zealand’s Flag
Fascinating piece about one of Liberia’s most notorious former warlords, General Butt Naked. One of the fiercest and most brutal commanders during the two Liberian civil wars who claims to have become a born-again Christian as the war died down, he used the subsequent Truth and Reconciliation Commission to repent for up to as many as … More Liberia 20 Years On: Is Redemption Possible?
Fascinating scientific breakthrough that’s immediately relevant and understandable for those of us who are not especially conversant in science. A new procedure is allowing for more successful kidney transplants, potentially with massive benefits for a large portion of the population. It’ll be interesting to see if this is transferable to other kinds of organ transplants, … More Revolutionary Transplant Study
The main negotiations for a deal on Syrian refugees between the EU and Turkey have now concluded, though many obstacles remain in actually implementing it. For one, it might be illegal. The gist of the EU deal is trying to convince Turkey to take back many of the Syrian refugees, a prospect Turkey, already dealing … More Europe’s Refugee Problem
It’s no secret, nor really news, that Turkey’s government has become increasingly authoritarian in recent years. This week’s news is still worrying however, as a major opposition newspaper has now been taken over and is publishing pro-government articles. What’s next for this country that for so long wanted to be seen as “European”, and not as … More Turkey’s Press Freedom: Gone for Good?
Really captivating series about different kinds of land grabs and battles over land rights around the world. Spotlights on tensions and struggles over farmland in Ethiopia, deforestation in Indonesia, and conflict in Myanmar. Definitely a super important source of disputes, and a very interesting area to watch in the future. Interesting analysis about why Boko Haram … More Land Battles Around the World / Re-Examining the Narratives of Boko Haram