Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

William James Glackens (American, 1870 - 1938 ), Luxembourg Gardens, 1906, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, William A. Clark Fund) 2014.79.47
William James Glackens, “Luxembourg Gardens,” 1906. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

This story of a small Lebanese village chronicles the long-term process of reconciliation in post-conflict settings. More recently, the “trash crisis” in Lebanon threatens to return. A Russian-supplied missile defense system was deployed in Iran this week to protect nuclear facilities. This comes as a US drone found itself in Iranian airspace earlier in the week. The US announced expanded sanctions on Russia in response to continued unrest in the Ukraine conflict.

Australia recently launched a ‘how-to’ guide for countering Islamist propaganda in Southeast Asia. Young Italians are set to receive free money in an effort to encourage social cohesion and a “…strengthening of the social fabric of the country.” Stephan Mayer of Germany’s Christian Democratic party wants to make it easier to deport “preachers of hate.” This article evaluates what Brexit might mean for the European Union’s defense policy.

A report released this week revealed a 30% decline in Africa’s savannah elephant population. Unfortunately, the forest elephant population looks to be in even worse shape. Scientists estimate it could take close to a century for the population to recover. This comes as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora meets in Johannesburg this month. Kenyan officials are pointing towards China as a key player in re-energizing the push for a total ban on ivory trade during the convention. Zimbabwe is planning to remove horns from some of its rhino population in a bid to deter poachers. This article presents a number of innovative interventions to help stop wildlife crime. Pope Francis re-asserted his commitment to addressing climate change and environmental issues.

A couple of additional headlines of note – Kuwait is moving forward on its plan to catalogue DNA samples from all individuals who enter or stay in the country. In North Korea, a senior official was executed last month for falling asleep in a meeting. Kenyan officials recently arrested two individuals suspected of planning an ISIS-sponsored anthrax attack. And finally, is the World Bank excusing the grave human rights abuses of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe?

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