Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Johann Jakob Frey (Swiss, 1813 - 1865 ), Sun Breaking through Clouds above the Roman Campagna, 1844 or after, oil on paper mounted on a second sheet and then on canvas, Joseph F. McCrindle Collection 2009.70.122
Johann Jakob Frey, “Sun Breaking through Clouds above the Roman Campagna,” 1844 or after. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

With the Rio Olympics set to start in less than three weeks, the long list of concerns surrounding the games continues to grow. And while the CDC says the global risk presented by the Zika virus is low, athletes continue to withdraw from the event while citing Zika as the primary concern. Also in health, a new UN report “sounds the alarm” on increased rates of HIV globally. This comes as the 21st International AIDS Conference opens on Monday in Durban.

The US military is eyeing a potential increase in troop engagement in Yemen to confront threats by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This comes as the governor of Aden, Yemen’s main southern city, survived a car bomb attack this week that is believed to be linked to AQAP. As peace talks continue to stall, some suggest it’s time for the US to distance itself from the Saudi campaign in the country.

In Egypt, a surging population mixed with insufficient resources creates a dangerous recipe for unrest. Also in Egypt, the government is distributing pre-written sermons to be delivered by Muslim clerics. While Africa possesses “demography for dividends,” these trends also present some serious challenges. Despite longstanding disagreements over the Western Sahara issue, Morocco is seeking to rejoin the African Union while also allowing UN peacekeepers to return to Western Sahara this week. This comes as African heads of state meet to discuss a Continental Free Trade Area that would constitute the largest free-trade area in the world.

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