What up Nebraska…..wait a minute Nebraska sucks.
It would create a national behemoth out of two already-maligned companies. Then again, it’s hard to make the anti-trust case if the cable providers barely compete for any customers.
This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
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- Amnesty International says that international peacekeeping efforts have failed to prevent an ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Central African Republic.
- A Boko Haram attack killed 51 in northeast Nigeria on Wednesday.
- Seven Somalis were killed when a remote-controlled Al-Shabaab bomb detonated, aiming at a UN convoy just outside of Mogadishu’s international airport on Thursday.
- 30 people were killed on the Mali-Niger border in a clash between villagers and an al-Qaeda linked rebel group.
- Peace talks to end the crisis in South Sudan began in Addis Ababa.
- Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef is back on the air.
- Turkey deported an Azerbaijani journalist for his tweets critical of high-level officials.
- Israel carried out an airstrike against a Palestinian militant on Sunday, the third such strike in three weeks, marking a clear end to the cessation of targeted killings that began 14 months ago.
- In Syria, ISIS has targeted hospitals, doctors and journalists.
- Mac McClelland visits a startling well put together refugee camp for displaced Syrians in Kilis, Turkey.
- A series of prison breaks in Iraq have released militants fueling Sunni jihad both in Iraq and in neighboring Syria.
- A data visualization of violence in Iraq between 2003 and 2013.
- The UN says that 300,000 people have been displaced in the current violence in Iraq’s Anbar province.
- 15 soldiers were slaughtered by fighters from an extremist group in northern Iraq on Tuesday, showing that Sunni militants have expanded beyond Anbar.
- 21 militants were killed when a car bomb they were preparing to target Iraq’s parliament speaker went off prematurely.
- On Thursday gunmen seized part of the town of Sulaiman Bek and the surrounding area. A bombing in Baghdad’s historic Al-Shorjah market left seven dead and the market ablaze.
- Iran has promised to provide information on detonators as a confidence-building step.
- According to the UN, civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose 14% last year. [PDF report]
- Afghanistan began the release of 65 prisoners from Bagram Thursday morning, despite heavy objection by the US.
- Two US contractors were killed by a car bomb in Kabul.
- Two coalition soldiers were killed in a green-on-blue attack (or at least by men wearing ANA uniforms) in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday.
- A cargo plane that crashed in Wardak province has gone unclaimed.
- DNI James Clapper has said he believes Karzai is not likely to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement.
- The US is planning $300m in new aid programs to Afghanistan over the next five years.
- Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson took the reins of ISAF Joint Command as Afghanistan’s new number 2 commander.
- "Inbetween Worlds," a drama highlighting the work and plight of Afghan interpreters for foreign forces, debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival.
- The US is debating whether or not to go ahead with a lethal strike against an American citizen currently living in Pakistan. No other information is publicly available about the identity of or evidence against this suspect.
- Pakistani anti-drone activist Kareem Khan has, according to his lawyer, disappeared from Rawalpindi days before his scheduled testimony before German, Dutch and British parliaments.
- Nine members of an anti-Taliban militia were killed by militants in Peshawar on Wednesday. 13 people were killed in Peshawar on Tuesday in a grenade attack on a cinema.
- The two Koreas met in Panmunjom this week in the highest level government dialogue since 2007. Some remain deeply skeptical that the North is pushing for these talks with an ulterior motive.
- The AP’s investigation into military sex crimes committed by US servicemembers stationed in Japan reveals that offenders frequently were not incarcerated and the punishments were disproportionately light in comparison with the severity of the crimes.
- The National Security Staff, per presidential order, is now the National Security Council Staff.
- The US drops to #46 on Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom rankings.
- Intelligence officials say Snowden used low-tech Web crawler software to scrape data from NSA servers.
- An unidentified NSA employee has resigned after investigation revealed that he allowed Snowden to use his password to access classified information.
Photo: Upper Nile State, South Sudan. Jikany Nuer White Army fighters pose with weapons. Goran Tomasevic/Reuters.
Earlier today, Indonesia’s Mount Kelud erupted violently, killing two, sending massive ash plumes miles into the air, and causing more than 100,000 to evacuate parts of Java. The explosive eruption could be heard by residents more than 100 miles distant. Meanwhile, Mount Sinabung - another of Indonesia’s 150 volcanoes, continues its recent months of sporadic activity. Earlier this month, one of the scorching pyroclastic flows that poured down Sinabung’s flanks overwhelmed a group of villagers, killing 16. Collected here are images of Kelud’s activity today, and some of Sinabung’s recent outbursts.