In The News

Rick Noack and Erin Cunningham October 13, 2017
The United States is not recertifying the Iran nuclear deal, a task that must be completed every three months. UN inspectors report that Iran is in compliance. Other countries are party to the deal: Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran. Europe contends the deal, by preventing proliferation, is better than no deal. Other countries can stick with the deal without US support and expect...
October 5, 2017
A team of nuclear inspectors conduct constant surveillance of nuclear sites in Iran and run stringent tests with nuclear equipment that is under fiber-optic seals. “The International Atomic Energy Agency describes the transcontinental monitoring program it operates as the toughest and most technologically advanced inspections regime put in place to prevent a country from developing an atomic bomb...
September 29, 2017
On September 26 Saudi Arabia announced an end to its longstanding ban on female drivers. As the lone country in the world “to have such a stricture … [the law has become] a symbol of the ultraconservative kingdom’s repression of women.” As the Economist observes, “For many Saudi women, the change is long overdue.” Saudi Arabia adheres to strict interpretations of sharia law and tribal customs....
September 27, 2017
BBC News reports that 92 percent of the people of northern Iraq, including Kurds and non-Kurds, favor pursuing independence for Kurdistan in a non-binding referendum. Turnout was more than 70 percent. Iraq’s prime minister, urging a cancellation of results, encouraged dialogue. “Kurdish leaders say the ‘Yes’ vote will give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the central...
Raya Jalabi September 22, 2017
About 30 million Kurdish people are spread throughout the Middle East in Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, and in recent years many fought fiercely to protect their communities against extremists. Iraqi Kurds are expected to pursue independence starting with a referendum and transform their semi-autonomous region into a new country known as Kurdistan. US and United Nations officials have tried to...
Shuaib Almosawa, Ben Hubbard and Troy Griggs September 20, 2017
Directors of UNICEF, WFP, and WHO visited Yemen in July and described the “world’s worst cholera outbreak in the midst of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.” Since the start of the conflict when the Houthis overthrew the government and gained control of Sana’a in 2014, Yemen has slowly collapsed. Frequent bombings have contributed to the deaths of more than 10,000 civilians and crippled the...
September 17, 2017
Egypt’s Jewish community, about 80,000 before World War II, has been whittled down to 20 in recent years. The Economist describes an organization made up of Muslims and Jews, Drop of Milk, that is making a concerted effort to “preserve Egypt’s Jewish heritage.” The nation has a contentious past after four devastating wars with Israel, forced conversions and “Jews who worked alongside Egyptians...