Turning the tide: why the victory in Ramadi matters

Earlier this week, following months of intensive preparation, Iraq’s armed forces successfully recaptured the western city of Ramadi from the Islamic State militants who had held it since May. The vital offensive saw members of the Iraqi military and allied militias, supported by a campaign of US-led airstrikes, meticulously clear the city of an estimated 400 IS fighters while avoiding complex networks of booby traps, IEDs, human shields, and … Continue reading Turning the tide: why the victory in Ramadi matters

Modi visits Pakistan: a step towards peace?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stop in Pakistan on Friday to discuss bilateral ties with his counterpart Nawaz Sharif at his estate East of Lahore. In so doing, Mr Modi became the first Indian premier in about a decade to visit the country with which India has quarrelled since Britain officially left that part of the world in 1947. While a scheduled official meeting between … Continue reading Modi visits Pakistan: a step towards peace?

Brunei, Somalia, Tajikistan: the countries that banned Christmas

As a majority of the world waits in festive anticipation for Christmas to come about once again, a few would-be celebrants in at least three countries so far are not quite as lucky. The populations of Brunei, Somalia, and Tajikistan this year face severe government-enforced bans on any form of celebration relating to the Christian holiday. While this is by no means the first instance of … Continue reading Brunei, Somalia, Tajikistan: the countries that banned Christmas

Falcon 9 re-entry: what the successful landing means for the future of space travel

Private spaceflight company SpaceX has made history today by coordinating the first ever successful and up-right landing of its powerful First Stage Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, California. The unmanned, 23-storey-tall rocket had been sent to deploy 11 satellites for telecommunications giant ORBCOMM on Tuesday as part of the first flight organised by SpaceX since one of its ISS-bound cargo rockets was destroyed minutes after launch in … Continue reading Falcon 9 re-entry: what the successful landing means for the future of space travel

Paris climate agreement: a three-point summary

After around two weeks of intensive debate at the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the nearly 200 attendant countries reached consensus and published the final Paris Agreement on December 12. The unparalleled accord succeeds where the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 failed, uniting the international community in a singular stance against the ever-encroaching threat of climate change and global warming. “This agreement is differentiated, fair, durable, dynamic, balanced, … Continue reading Paris climate agreement: a three-point summary

Cooperation key to ending child marriage in Africa: HRW

Human Rights Watch has today released a 20-page report calling for African governments to better coordinate efforts at ending child marriage across the continent. This comes almost three months after African and global leaders adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, part of which committed them to ending the practice within the next 15 years. Through on-the-ground investigation and engagement with victims of child marriage, the report determined that children … Continue reading Cooperation key to ending child marriage in Africa: HRW