Paris Attacks: The Diplomatic Fallout

It was a very different G-20 meeting in Turkey than was originally planned. It would appear that the horrible attacks in Paris have helped open some diplomatic space in which the USA and Russia are coalescing around a UN-ceasefire plan. ”In images captured on Turkish public television, the leaders were seen leaning in to each other as they held animated talks on the fringes of the gathering of the Group of 20 leading world economies in the Mediterranean resort of Antaly… Mr Obama and Mr Putin nevertheless agreed on the need for United Nations talks, a ceasefire and a transition government in Syria, the US official said, seeking a way out of a four-year war in which IS has thrived, occupying large swathes of territory and displacing millions of people. The strategy echoed a plan for Syria already forged by diplomats at talks in Vienna the previous day, but it still appeared to mark a perceptible thaw in the icy relations between the former Cold War foes and their leaders.” (ABC-Australia


France bombs ISIS Stronghold…French warplanes pounded the Islamic State (IS) group’s stronghold in Syria’s Raqa on Sunday, destroying a command post and a training camp, the defence ministry said. “The first target destroyed was used by Daesh (another Arabic acronym for IS) as a command post, jihadist recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot. The second held a terrorist training camp,” a ministry statement said. (AFP


This BBC page is a good source for Live Updates about the unfolding situation in France:


Major Protests in South Korea…”The police on Saturday fired water cannons and tear gas at thousands of protesters shouting for President Park Geun-hye’s resignation while marching toward her office in Seoul in the largest antigovernment demonstration here in several years. Tens of thousands of people wearing plastic raincoats filled a City Hall plaza in downtown Seoul, brought together by a host of antigovernment grievances, including Ms. Park’s recent decision to replace privately published school history textbooks with a uniform, government-issued text.” (NYT




U.S. President Barack Obama called on leaders and citizens in Burundi to end violence that has killed at least 240 people, in a video statement on Saturday. (Reuters


Niger opposition leader Hama Amadou was arrested when he flew in to the capital on Saturday as security forces blocked off the airport, a year after he fled the country when sought by investigators probing a child trafficking ring. (Reuters


An anti-corruption group established by Kenya’s government and the private sector is expected to soon present a report to President Uhuru Kenyatta, following concerns of endemic graft in public institutions, according to Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu. (VOA


The Islamic State

The United States has carried out a fresh delivery of ammunition to fighters from the Syrian Arab Coalition battling Islamic State in northern Syria, pushing ahead with a strategy that initially unnerved ally Turkey, a U.S. official told Reuters on Sunday. (Reuters


A mass grave believed to hold the bodies of dozens of women executed by the Islamic State group was found Saturday in Iraq’s Sinjar, where Kurdish forces are clearing bombs the jihadists left. (AFP )


Members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, which was brutally attacked by the Islamic State group, looted and burned Muslim homes in Sinjar after its recapture from the jihadists, witnesses said Sunday. (AFP


German President Joachim Gauck said Sunday the world is confronted with a “new type of war” perpetrated by terrorists bent on killing those who refuse to follow their “barbaric ideology”. (AFP




Yemeni officials say a rare cyclone that hit the country’s remote island of Socotra early this month has killed 18 people. (AP


A group of Sudanese migrants were on Sunday caught up in the crossfire of a gun battle between Egyptian security forces and Bedouin smugglers as they were about to illegally enter Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, security and hospital officials said. Fifteen of the migrants were killed and eight were wounded in the crossfire, they said. (NYT


The Israeli government on Sunday approved a proposal to allow the immigration of thousands of Ethiopians claiming Jewish descent, two years after saying that none remained there. (AFP


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday he welcomed the renewed sense of urgency to find a solution to the civil war in Syria after the Paris attacks, adding the world had a “rare moment” of diplomatic opportunity to end the violence. (Reuters


A defense lawyer in the Gulf Arab country of Bahrain says a court has ordered 12 Shiites to life in prison and stripped them of their citizenship on charges of forming a terrorist group and targeting police with explosive devices. (AP


Saudi police say they have seized more than 28 tons of hashish and some 22 million amphetamine pills over the past 12 months. (AP




The death toll from an east China landslide has risen to 21, with 16 people still missing, local authorities said Sunday. (Xinhua


Nepal’s prime minister has asked neighboring India to lift an “undeclared blockade,” saying the Himalayan nation is facing a severe fuel shortage and trouble obtaining medicine and food supplies blocked at the border. (AP


The Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has warned about rapidly depleting water resources in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as in the nearby Federally Administered Tribal Areas. (IPS


Wielding an overwhelming mandate from Myanmar’s voters, Aung San Suu Kyi has power in her sights after a quarter century of democratic struggle against the army, but analysts say building bridges with former military foes is vital to her success. (AFP


Iranian women who fail to wear the veil when driving will have their cars impounded for a week and are likely to be fined, police warned Sunday. (AFP


The Americas


The collapse of two dams at a Brazilian mine has cut off drinking water for quarter of a million people and saturated waterways downstream with dense orange sediment that could wreck the ecosystem for years to come. (Reuters


Brazil: Topless, with slogans scrawled on their bare skin, feminist protesters in Rio made a colorful sight Saturday, yet their worries about horrific violence against women were deadly serious. (AFP


A foster son of President Desi Bouterse has been arrested for his alleged ties to a gang involved in a botched armed robbery that resulted in two people being killed and five wounded, Suriname police said. (AP


…and the rest


Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies will agree on Monday that migration is a global problem that must be addressed in a coordinated way, in a diplomatic coup for Europe and Turkey, a draft communique showed on Sunday. (Reuters


Cyprus’ foreign minister says heightened security measures have in the last year thwarted at least 10 people from using the ethnically divided island as a way station to Syria. (AP


Police in the Turkish Mediterranean city of Antalya detained dozens of people Sunday during a series of protests denouncing a G-20 summit that is underway in a nearby seaside resort, although the demonstrations were mostly peaceful. (AP


A massive demonstration planned by environmental activists for the eve of this month’s U.N. climate summit in Paris is in doubt as organizers weigh the security risks, and the propriety, of gathering in huge numbers in a city where attacks killed 129 people. (Reuters




Did you know this presidential hopeful is a foreign aid supporter? (Humanosphere


Will New Two-Child Policy Lift China’s Economy? (VOA


The Debate Is On: To Deworm Or Not To Deworm? (Goats and Soda


Can international law meet the challenges of today’s conflicts? (Guardian


How Corruption Politics Facilitated Hungary’s Response to the Refugee Crisis (Global Anticorruption Blog


How do we respond to democracy’s ‘rollback’ crisis? (Devex


Why being scooped by Piketty is no bad thing for Oxfam (but what will the government of India think?) (From Poverty to Power


What everyone gets wrong about the link between climate change and violence (Vox
Paris attacks: closing migration routes into France won’t stop terrorism – resisting xenophobia might (The Conversation