A strange thing happened in the Aegean Sea last month: No refugees drowned. This modest piece of good news was, however, overwhelmed by the calamity in the Mediterranean, where 1,083 refugees drowned in the last week of May. Those poor souls, almost all African, left from Libya, a country unable to exercise control over its borders. But passage across the Aegean is controlled by Turkey, which has clamped down on trafficking in the wake of a deal it reached with the European Union in March. In 2015, 800,000 refugees crossed from Turkey to Greece.
Iran is working with the Taliban to set up a buffer zone along its border with Afghanistan to keep out the Islamic State, the latest sign of how the rise of the Syrian-based terror group is turning longtime rivals into uneasy allies.
The Founding Fathers studied history a good deal more seriously than we do. Every day when he was 7 years old, John Quincy Adams read to his mother, Abigail, from Charles Rollin’s Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Macedonians, and Grecians, a best-seller of the day. Adams’s father, John Adams, and mother assigned their son passages from the great Latin historians and essayists — Cicero, Sallust, Tacitus, Plutarch.
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was inaugurated as president of Afghanistan on Sept. 29, 2014, after a three-month-long dispute over the outcome of the June 14 runoff election. A Sept. 21 agreement between Ghani and runner-up Abdullah Abdullah provided for the establishment of a national unity government and created a new position: chief executive officer, held by Abdullah. It also contained long-term provisions to allow for permanently establishing the office of executive prime minister, institutionalizing the role created for Abdullah by decree.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly defied the international community's wishes regarding Ukraine, first by annexing Crimea then by supporting a separatist movement that has the country on the brink of civil war. This week, the Russian government arrived in New York to demonstrate its sincerity about making peace with Ukraine.
President Barack Obama will meet with Sam Kutesa, the controversial Ugandan diplomat serving as president of the United Nations General Assembly, on Wednesday in a move that is sure to frustrate rights activists who say Kutesa's support for virulently anti-gay legislation makes him unfit to lead the world's parliament.
Last October, with security concerns in Libya mounting, the United Nations dispatched a high-level delegation to Tripoli to determine whether U.N. staff could function safely in a country beset by Islamist extremists and renegade militias that had killed America's top envoy, attacked foreign embassies, raided the country's oil resources, and temporarily abducted both the Jordanian ambassador and the former Libyan prime minister.