10 August 2016   Leave a comment

We should keep our eyes on Ukraine as unconfirmed reports of firefights in northern Crimea are beginning to circulate widely. We do not have good news sources in Crimea, so it is hard to figure out what is happening, but the reports include information about Russian troops and weapons movements, firefights between Russian forces and Ukrainian fighters, and activities in the Black Sea.  Crimea appears to be preparing for war. 

The US Department of State has issued its annual Religious Freedom Report.  The report singles out blasphemy and apostasy laws, supported in some Islamic countries–Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and Mauritania–, for special attention.  It asserts liberal principles that “[s]uch laws conflict with and undermine universally recognized human rights.”  It is unlikely that the government of these countries are sympathetic to the criticism, but the report is targeted toward citizens within them who might feel threatened by those laws.

Leaders in Northern Ireland have met with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the terms of British exit from the European Union.  Northern Ireland citizens voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union and the economy of Northern Ireland is quite dependent upon EU support.  These negotiations are going to be very difficult and one possible outcome is a Northern Ireland secession from Great Britain.

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Posted August 10, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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