Newsletter Archive

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Friday, 07 August 2020

The massive blast at Beirut’s port Tuesday night that wrecked large parts of Lebanon’s capital is likely to have as enduring an impact on the impoverished Mediterranean country as the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, say diplomats and analysts.

On This Day in American History
On Aug. 7, 1782, General George Washington creates the Purple Heart military decoration. It was to be given to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action.” Given only three recorded times during the Revolutionary War, the award was all but forgotten until it was resurrected and redesigned to its current form in 1932. Today, the Purple Heart is awarded to any U.S. service member who is killed or wounded in action or mistreated as a prisoner of war. While record keeping has been inconsistent, it is estimated that nearly 2 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since 1932.

The United States is pressing ahead with plans to push for the extension of a U.N. arms embargo against Iran that is due to expire in two months under the 2015 nuclear deal. The move is likely to face stiff opposition from other nations, including Russia and China.

Australia’s recent shift to a more combative stance against China will tighten political and military coordination among U.S.-allied nations that want to check Beijing’s maritime expansion, analysts said this week.

A Moscow court convicted 7 young Russians on extremism charges Thursday, handing several lengthy prison sentences in a closely watched case that seemed to encapsulate the limits of political youth activism in today’s Russia.

A traditional public assembly, known as a Loya Jirga, opened in Afghanistan Friday to determine whether a last set of 400 hardcore prisoners from the Taliban insurgency should be freed to clear the way for long-awaited direct peace talks between Afghanistan’s warring sides.

September 2020

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August 2020

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July 2020

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June 2020

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