Links to Start Your Week 12/30/13

Africa

South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis continues to deteriorate.

Asia

A nationwide garment workers’ strike is taking place in Cambodia.

I’ve posted a number of stories lately about how countries are failing to deal with refugee populations with dignity and respect. So now, here is a story about how an operation in Nepal is getting it right.

Massive political protests are taking place in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand. The demonstrators want to remove Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was considered very corrupt, but nonetheless more in touch with the country’s poor than the wealthy elite who normally lead Thailand. I actually don’t know a lot about Thai politics, but I think I will be reading up on this issue more soon.

This is a profile of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist organization responsible for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai/Bombay, India. I think it is also a good case study of how these organizations gain support by providing (or finding ways to claim credit for) social services that governments in some countries fail to provide, and furthermore how sometimes terrorist groups can win the support of the state where they are based.

Middle East

Syrian forces have been using something called barrel bombs in the ongoing civil war. Some experts have decried the hype around the use of these weapons, saying they are actually less effective than conventional bombs. As far as I can tell, it is basically a DIY cluster munition. This is an interesting topic I might write about more soon.

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