Weekday News Wrap: Thursday, August 9, 2012
- According to the UN, Afghanistan civilan deaths are down for the first time since it started counting in 2007, though officials say that this is due to an extremely harsh winter rather than improved security. The United Nations also reports that targeted killings in Afghanistan have risen 53%.
- Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his deep concern that the UK will leave the European Union in a referendum.
- In other statements from former heads of state, France’s Nicholas Sarkozy has called for a humanitarian intervention in Syria.
- Syrian troops have pushed back rebel forces in Aleppo and as the conflict worsens, doubts arise as to who may replace Kofi Annan as peace envoy. Foreign Policy talks about the winners and losers of Syria’s civil war.
- Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has appointed a new prime minister after the defection of Riad Hijab earlier this week.
- Yesterday, leaders from central African states failed to reach an agreement about how best to structure a neutral force to battle the insurgency in eastern Congo.
- According to the UN, 655,000 people have been displaced as a result of fighting between government and rebel forces in the south of the country.
- In Vietnam, the United States has begun the first cleanup of Agent Orange, a toxic chemical used in the Vietnam War by the United States, killing or maiming an estimated 400,000 and causing approximately 500,000 children to be born with defects.
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