Weekly Links

John La Farge, “Flowers on a Window Ledge,” c. 1861. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

By Patrick Pierson.

Germany has agreed to take in additional migrants from Italy in an effort to revive the EU’s refugee relocation program. On the other hand, Germany has heightened security on the Swiss-German border in an effort to turn back illegal migrants en route from Switzerland. This article chronicles German efforts to create well-functioning ‘arrival cities’ for newcomers. German exports to Iran soared in the first half of 2016 as international sanctions were lifted. In the face of terror threats, the German government will consider urging citizens to stockpile food and water. The greater Paris region has lost an estimated 750 million euros in tourist revenue this year as a result of terror attacks in France.

A key presidential election took place in Gabon on Saturday. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the opposition launched large-scale strikes meant to force the country’s president, Joseph Kabila, to step down at the end of his term in December. This analysis of defections by war veterans in Zimbabwe – a key source of support for long-time president Robert Mugabe – demonstrates the changing nature of politics in the country. ‘The Elders’ this week called for a smooth transition in Zimbabwe. South African politics remain volatile as President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan face off.

The signing of a peace accord between the Colombian government and FARC rebels made headlines this week. In Norway, Maoists guerrillas and the Philippine government negotiated an indefinite ceasefire as the two sides seek a long-term peace deal. Myanmar announced that former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will lead a panel tasked with addressing on-going abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim population. Espen Barth Eide – UN envoy to Cyprus peace talks – declared progress this week, stating that even the toughest issues are now up for discussion.

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