28, August 2019
Iran-Israel Proxy Flare-Up – On Sunday, Israel confirmed it bombed an Iran-backed militia group in Syria that it says was preparing to launch “killer drones” against Israeli targets. Israel is also thought to be behind attacks on Iranian-allied groups in Lebanon and Iraq, and hits on Hamas targets in Gaza. The governments of Iraq and Lebanon condemned the strikes, while Hezbollah promised retaliation. With three weeks to go until snap elections that will determine Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s (Bibi) political fate, we’re watching to see whether this flare-up escalates, and whether it boosts Bibi’s election chances against former Israel Defense Forces chief Benny Gantz.
Clashes in Cameroon – English-speaking regions of majority Francophone Cameroon are on lockdown following a violent weekend in which clashes between the army and Anglophone separatists killed 40 people and sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing for safety. The conflict started in 2016, when the central government cracked down on English speakers protesting a move to impose French on local schools and courts. The flare-up in recent days came a week after 10 prominent Anglophone separatists were handed life sentences for rebellion. So far, more than 2,000 people have died and more than 500,000 have been displaced in the three-year-old conflict.
Brexit Battles – Will Europe give UK prime minister Boris Johnson a better Brexit deal than the one they offered his predecessor, Theresa May? Not bloody likely. Yes, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron have pledged to consider any credible new ideas from Johnson on how to handle the Irish border. But that’s not a European concession; that promise of flexibility is already in the existing Withdrawal Agreement. Merkel and Macron want to appear flexible so that Boris takes the blame when the issue can’t be resolved. Inside the UK, meanwhile, opposition party leaders made a show on Tuesday of agreeing on the need to avoid a Hard Brexit. But while they agree they have a problem, the solution remains unclear. With the clock ticking down toward the October 31 Brexit deadline, we’re watching to see if some political Houdini can pick these locks before everyone sinks to the bottom of the river.
Culled from Gzeromedia