Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 61

ISIS, again. Kobane was a great success in the reconquista that followed ISIS’ earlier pushes in Northern Syria. It seems that it has been just taken back by the armies of the Caliphate.

ISIS is also elsewhere, and it seems that it suffered a defeat in Libya in the last weeks. Foreign Policy reports on the battle in Derna, where ISIS was expelled by a (very) heterogeneous coalition including DMSC (Mujahideen Shura Council, linked to al-Qaeda) and the Libyan National Army.

In the meanwhile, in Europe, tensions are building up on the Eastern border. The US has been strengthening its NATO allies with increasing military support, by support meaning weapons. The last shipment involved about 250 tanks under a new plan devised by the Pentagon (or for) with allies.

Tensions in the real world, tensions in the virtual one. China is allegedly behind hacking the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the US, with a wealth of data on government employees. But attribution, when it comes to China, becomes a delicate diplomatic issue and no final culprit is yet revealed.

Finally, we keep suggesting military vehicles that you might be desire to get to solve traffic problems, loading requirements, and so on. This comes directly from Star Wars.

 

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 40

Tuesday 27 January is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and thus also the end of the deadliest act of mass murder in a single location in human history“. This is the way through which The Guardian remembers the anniversary, which we should never forget.

The Tripoli branch of Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for an attack against a luxury hotel where several foreigners have been killed. For a detailed analysis on the Islamist forces in Libya see this report by Jon Mitchell. 

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania released its seventh annual 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report. Good news for Brookings, still at the top.

Very good news from Kobane. After several months of intense fighting the Kurds (with the help of US air strikes) have liberated the city from the siege posed by ISIS militants.

Finally, check this fantastic presentation of the next ISA panel on IR and Game of Thrones. ViA will attend the panel. So, don’t’ worry, we all provide a detailed report!

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