Friday News

Syrian Refugee Population Tops Three Million
Three million Syrians will have registered as refugees outside of their country today, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported, amid accounts of indiscriminate killing and starvation.

The UNHCR said that a further 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria, bringing to almost half of all Syrians who have been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives.

“The Syrian crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

And UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie added: “Three million refugees is not just another statistic. It is a searing indictment of our collective failure to end the war in Syria.”

Lebanon is bearing the brunt of the refugee crisis with more than 1.4 million Syrians crossing into the country. Jordan (608,000) and Turkey (815,000) also have received many of those fleeing.

ISIS Influence Extends Beyond Middle East
Hannah Suh of The National Interest writes about the emerging influence of ISIS in Asia, particularly in Indonesia, as well as the concern it raises considering nearly 62 percent of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Asia-Pacific and the region’s history of Islamic radicalism.

Suh notes that danger is heightened as America’s presence in the region will diminish with the drawdown of U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force  currently stationed in the Philippines.

“Similar to Indonesia, if members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a Philippine-based Al Qaeda offshoot terrorist group, traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight and returned home, the MILF could be revitalized. Despite a March 2014 agreement ending 45 years of conflict between the Philippine government and the MILF, peace is tenuous. Rogue MILF troops and Islamist militant groups continue to threaten to reignite religious and separatist tensions,” she writes.

Hudson Institute Event: The Future Of Jordan
The Hudson Institute recently held a panel discussion examining the future of Jordan, a longstanding US ally that is facing immense challenges with two of its bordering neighbors, Syria and Iraq, engulfed in civil wars featuring both active Iranian involvement and well-resourced Sunni extremists like the Islamic State.

The panelists examined whether Jordan can continue to manage the various emergencies on its doorstep and what the American government can do to help one of its key Middle East partners.

News Shorts

Elizabeth Kulze tells the tragic story of five co-authors of a new study on ebola — all of whom have died from the disease. Their story also is told in The Washington Post.

Jan Techau, director of Carnegie Europe, the European center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, previews the upcoming NATO summit in Wales.

Washington Post columnist and Russian expert Anne Applebaum on why it is not a hysterical idea to think war in Europe is a possibility.



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