Top of the Morning: Iraq Insurgence Make Key Gains

Strategic Gains as Iraq’s Insurgents Capture Border Towns…This weekend proved fruitful for ISIS, from a tactical and strategic standpoint. “The towns taken over the past few days give insurgents access to an important dam in the nearby city of Haditha, a cornerstone of Iraq’s electricity grid. It also gives them access to key highways to Syria and Jordan. The insurgents control Fallujah and parts of the provincial capital Ramadi in Anbar as well as the key provincial capitals of Mosul and Tikrit. As ISIL and their allies continued to make gains, Iraqi officials have requested U.S. assistance, specifically airstrikes. Obama has thus far only agreed to send 300 military advisers. (USA Today

Another Boko Haram Attack…This group is definitely not on the retreat. ”Dozens of villagers are feared dead after attacks by suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state.The raids on Saturday morning were close to Chibok, from where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April. Villagers said Boko Haram fighters spent six hours on a shooting spree, chasing fleeing residents into the bush and torching homes. Boko Haram wants to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.The latest attacks by the group appear to have centred on two villages – Kwarangilam and Koronginim. (BBC


The recent rapid spread of Ebola in three countries in West Africa has come in part because efforts to contain the deadly virus have been relaxed, says the WHO. (AFP

While the cement factories in Senegal are at war, ostensibly over the environmental impact one company will have on this West African nation, experts have cautioned that as the government plans to radically develop and industrialise the country, striking a balance between environmental protection and development will be key. (IPS


Egyptian President Sisi received Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo today. Sisi is gathering international support for his presidency, and the US is promising to resume delivery of Apache attack helicopters. (CSM

Iran’s supreme leader accused the United States on Sunday of trying to retake control of Iraq by exploiting sectarian rivalries, as Sunni insurgents drove toward Baghdad from new strongholds along the Syrian border. (Reuters


Political uncertainties about Afghanistan’s presidential elections have fueled long-term security and economic worries among the displaced, and many of them are now increasingly reluctant to return home. (VOA

A new study from the World Bank now has some experts predicting that China will become the world’s largest economy–by one measure–this year. (VOA

Polling stations across Hong Kong opened Sunday in an unofficial referendum on democratic reform in the former British colony, a move that has angered Beijing. (VOA

Pakistan says more than 300,000 people, including women and children have left its North Waziristan border district where an army counter-terrorism offensive is under way. (VOA

Police in Thailand arrested eight people Sunday for demonstrating against the nation’s increasingly repressive military junta, including a man who was dragged away by undercover officers for reading a copy of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” outside one of Bangkok’s most luxurious shopping malls. (AP

The Americas

The US Border Patrol will fly nearly 300 Central American migrants from south Texas to California for processing, an official said, as the government seeks to ease the workload on agents at the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal crossings. (AP

A Los Angeles doctor recently received a $8.5 million grant to train city barbers to measure hypertension, a condition that’s common — and deadly — among African-American men. (AP


From Thailand, Evidence of Coups’ Economic Costs (Dart Throwing Chimp

For These 2 Women, the Lottery of Birth Decides Opportunity (NY Times

Segovia: A New Player in Cash Transfers (Development Channel

Balancing the Scale of Conflict Early Warning Systems (Tower of Babel

America’s Refugee Crisis (UN Dispatch

New analysis on how to measure & build political commitment for food and nutrition security (Development Horizons

Global Peace on the decline in 2014 (DevPolicy

A healthy, peaceful and secure Africa is within our grasp (Guardian

Is the UN turning its back on the human right to water? (Guardian

“How was Africa?” (Africa is a Country


The United Nations will seek ways to toughen environmental laws this week to crack down on everything from illegal trade in wildlife to mercury poisoning and hazardous waste. (Reuters