War in Context

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... with attention to the unseen
Updated: 2 hours 23 min ago

Assad will ‘pay a heavy price’ if he launches another chemical attack, says White House. More ‘after-dinner entertainment’ for Trump’s guests?

10 hours 32 min ago
The Washington Post reports: The White House issued an ominous warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday night, pledging that his regime would pay a “heavy price” if it carried out another chemical attack this year. In a statement, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the United States had detected evidence of […]

Will get fooled again – Seymour Hersh, Welt, and the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack

10 hours 46 min ago
Eliot Higgins writes: On June 25th 2017 the German newspaper, Welt, published the latest piece by Seymour Hersh, countering the “mainstream” narrative around the April 4th 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria. The attack, where Sarin was allegedly used against the local population, dropped in a bomb by the Syrian Air Force, resulted in […]

Mattis: After Raqqa, the Syrian battlefield will only get more complicated

11 hours 2 min ago
The Washington Post reports: As the fight against the Islamic State moves beyond its de facto capital in Raqqa, the Pentagon is readying itself for an increasingly complex battlefield in northern Syria, where U.S.-backed forces, pro-Syrian government troops and Russian jets will likely all be fighting near one another. Speaking to reporters on his way […]

No one is paying attention to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:43
Jackson Diehl writes: The never-ending circus that is Donald Trump’s presidency has sucked attention from all kinds of issues that desperately need it, from health-care reform to the creeping expansion of U.S. engagement in Syria. Still, it’s shocking that so little heed is being paid to what the United Nations says is the worst humanitarian […]

U.S. travel ban will kick off ‘summer of litigation’, advocates warn

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:41
The Guardian reports: Human rights advocates have warned of a “summer of litigation” in response to the US supreme court’s decision to partially reinstate Donald Trump’s travel ban. The ban applies to people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees, but one clause in the court’s order has raised more questions than it answers about who […]

At 15 I was tortured in Assad’s prisons. I escaped, but thousands still suffer

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:41
An anonymous Syrian torture victim writes: For the 10 months I spent as a detainee in the prisons of Bashar al-Assad, I only saw my family in my dreams. At night, the screams would stop for an hour or two, and I could close my eyes and remember what it was like to be human. […]

China breaks ground on first ‘Forest City’ that fights air pollution

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:40
inhabitat reports: A pollution-fighting green city unlike any before is springing to life in China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the first “Forest City” is now under construction Liuzhou, Guangxi Province. The futuristic city will use renewable energy for self sufficiency and be blanketed in almost 1 million plants and 40,000 trees—a sea of greenery […]

Carbon in atmosphere is rising, even as emissions stabilize

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:40
The New York Times reports from Cape Grim, Tasmania: On the best days, the wind howling across this rugged promontory has not touched land for thousands of miles, and the arriving air seems as if it should be the cleanest in the world. But on a cliff above the sea, inside a low-slung government building, […]

Great Barrier Reef valued at A$56bn as report warns it’s ‘too big to fail’

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:39
The Guardian reports: A new report has valued the Great Barrier Reef at A$56bn and warns of vast economic consequences for Australia unless more is done to protect it. The Deloitte Access Economics report says the world heritage-listed reef underpins 64,000 direct and indirect jobs, and contributes $6.4bn to the national economy each year. But […]

FBI has questioned Trump campaign adviser Carter Page at length in Russia probe

Mon, 2017-06-26 19:39
The Washington Post reports: FBI agents have repeatedly questioned former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page about his contacts with Russians and his interactions with the Trump campaign, according to people familiar with the investigation. Over a series of five meetings in March, totaling about 10 hours of questioning, Page repeatedly denied wrongdoing when asked about […]

Trump’s bullshit on Russia frustrates even his allies

Mon, 2017-06-26 08:15
The New York Times reports: In the span of 72 hours, President Trump described the email hacking that roiled the 2016 campaign as a Democratic “hoax” and as clear aggression by Russia that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, failed to address. Other times, Mr. Trump has said the hacking might have been done by China. […]

Europe has been working to expose Russian meddling for years

Mon, 2017-06-26 08:10
The Washington Post reports: As the United States grapples with the implications of Kremlin interference in American politics, European countries are deploying a variety of bold tactics and tools to expose Russian attempts to sway voters and weaken European unity. Across the continent, counterintelligence officials, legislators, researchers and journalists have devoted years — in some […]

Kushner firm’s $285 million Deutsche Bank loan came just before Election Day

Mon, 2017-06-26 08:05
The Washington Post reports: One month before Election Day, Jared Kushner’s real estate company finalized a $285 million loan as part of a refinancing package for its property near Times Square in Manhattan. The loan came at a critical moment. Kushner was playing a key role in the presidential campaign of his father-in-law, Donald Trump. […]

How Putin seduced Oliver Stone — and Trump

Mon, 2017-06-26 08:00
Masha Gessen writes: Watching four hours of Oliver Stone interviewing President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not a lesson in journalism. Mr. Stone is an inept interviewer, and he does not get Mr. Putin to say anything the world hasn’t heard from him before. Watching the interviews for entertainment is a questionable proposition, too: The […]

Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it

Sun, 2017-06-25 20:05
Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder write: After the spread of democracy at the end of the 20th century, authoritarianism is now rolling back democracy around the globe. In the US, supporters of democracy disarmed themselves by imagining an “end of history” in which nothing but their own ideas were possible. Authoritarians, meanwhile, keep practicing […]

Bloomberg’s next anti-Washington move: $200 million program for mayors

Sun, 2017-06-25 20:04
The New York Times reports: Michael R. Bloomberg will throw his financial might into helping beleaguered American mayors, creating a $200 million philanthropic program aimed at backing inventive policies at the city level and giving mayors a stronger hand in national politics. Mr. Bloomberg intends to announce the initiative on Monday in a speech to […]

Trump wants to spend more on military affairs and less on humanitarian aid for Africa

Sun, 2017-06-25 20:04
The New York Times reports from the MUA mission in Malawi: If ever there was an example of American and African military bonhomie, it was at a recent summit meeting here over glasses of South African Pinotage and expectations of Pentagon largess. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, vice chief of staff of the United States Army, […]

The race to solar power Africa

Sun, 2017-06-25 20:04
Bill McKibben writes: The cacao-farming community of Daban, in Ghana, is seven degrees north of the equator, and it’s always hot. In May, I met with several elders there to talk about the electricity that had come to the town a few months earlier, when an American startup installed a solar microgrid nearby. Daban could […]

These are the civilian victims of the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS

Sun, 2017-06-25 20:03
Mike Giglio reports from Mosul: Residents of this quiet street in eastern Mosul sometimes see their former neighbor return to his rubbled home. He cuts a lonely figure as he climbs through the crushed concrete and twisted iron, stooping to dig for mementos — a photo, a scrap of clothes. Then he sits and cries. […]