For just that moment, the refugees in Yarmouk camp in Damascus made news. After months of facing starvation and death in the shadows of the Syrian civil war came packets of food and aid in January - with cameras in tow.
Russia’s storming of the Ukrainian naval base in Crimea just as Iran and world powers wrapped up another round of negotiations in Vienna earlier this week represent seemingly contradictory bookends to a world that some believe is spinning out of control.
As the protracted Syrian conflict enters its fourth year, there seems to be little or no hope of a resolution to the devastating crisis.
In 2003, Moses Otiti, a 15-year-old from Uganda, was walking in a group with his father when members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) ambushed them.
The unexpected resignation of Hazem al-Biblawi, Egypt’s interim prime minister, and his government this week and the appointment of Ibrahim Mehlib, a Mubarak-era industrialist, as a new prime minister seem to pave the way for Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s anticipated presidential bid.
An inflow of Russian-made weapons. Political and military support from Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Sharp dissension among fractious rebel groups. And the unyielding loyalty of the armed forces.
The refugee camp of Yarmouk represents one of the most severe examples of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, with foreign aid agencies unable to enter the opposition-controlled area that been effectively besieged since December 2012.
As the Egyptian revolution against Hosni Mubarak celebrates its third anniversary, the military junta under General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is resurrecting dictatorship under the veneer of “constitutional” legitimacy and on the pretense of fighting “terrorism.”
In northern Lebanon’s largest city, Tripoli, Syria Street cuts through neighbourhoods that back opposite sides of the war raging in Syria, 30 km away. Clashes between them resumed this weekend after a cross-border rocket attack.
The future of the complex armed conflict in Syria, which involves religious and ethnic factors as well as pressures from neighbouring countries and the strategic interests of global powers, will begin to take shape next week at a conference known as “Geneva 2.”
The widespread sectarian violence and ongoing military conflicts in several political hotspots, including Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, have not only claimed thousands of human lives and devastated fragile economies but also undermined the U.N.’s longstanding plans to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty worldwide.
As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon grimly predicted a worsening of the monumental humanitarian disaster in war-torn Syria, the international community Wednesday pledged over 2.4 billion dollars in new funds to help the displaced and devastated in the politically-troubled Arab nation.
There are conflicts old and new crying for solution and reconciliation, not violence, with reasonable, realistic ways out.
If people outside the United States are looking for answers why Americans often seem so clueless about the world outside their borders, they could start with what the three major U.S. television networks offered their viewers in the way of news during 2013.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chairs a U.N. pledging conference next week for urgently needed aid to Syria, he is expected to warn the donor community that the humanitarian crisis in the politically-troubled Arab nation is threatening to reach biblical proportions.