There's hashtag activism, and then there's actually figuring out how to rescue the Nigerian girls kidnapped last month by the Boko Haram. The latter is proving difficult and is revealing the limits of American power and the tensions in Washington's relationship with Nigeria.
Ukraine's protesters suspend clashes to negotiate with President Viktor Yanukovich, while China's leadership scrambles to block the web and keep their secret offshore bank accounts from being revealed to Chinese citizens. Curling gets fancy at the Sochi Olympics and South Korea welcomes Canadian hockey players in its bid to qualify for the next Winter Olympics. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
New evidence was released this week of alleged war crimes by the regime of Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad. The evidence took the form of photos taken by the regime itself to document 11,000 deaths. They indicate widespread torture, starvation and execution of prisoners.
Turkey has democratic institutions, but they aren't working well at the moment. There is a corruption scandal, popular protests and concerns about an increasingly authoritarian government. Turkish author Elif Shafak says the problem is that Turks are conditioned to seek a strong father figure who can save them.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Egyptians are voting on a new constitution. H.A. Hellyer of the Brookings Institution says the vote is really a referendum on the military, opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and other issues. And those who turn out will almost certainly vote "yes."
Nearly 20,000 boys in southern Sudan were displaced or orphaned during the country's long civil war. Many were resettled in the US, starting in 2001. Jacob Atem was one and he recently returned to the new country of South Sudan, only to be caught in the renewed fighting there.
Violence is spreading in Iraq's western Anbar province engulfing two key cities — Fallujah and Ramadi. Many Americans remember Fallujah and Anbar province as places where US soldiers fought and died. Retired US Army Colonel Peter Mansoor knows the area well and says the US government should re-engage.
Government and rebel forces in South Sudan threaten to plunge their young nation into civil war. Today, the two sides sat down to peace talks, and the US is working behind the scenes to support the talks.
It's cold. So cold, in fact, that all sorts of seemingly improbable things have become probable, and we share a few of them. Meanwhile, around the world, life goes on. In Turkey, police and politicians are locked in a power struggle. And in Syria, an al-Qaeda affiliate has shocked many with their quick rise to power. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
It's been quite a week for an al-Qaeda spin-off called ISIS. Last week, ISIS took over Fallujah in Iraq. But it seems some of the local Sunni tribes abandoned the group and have joined government forces fighting against al-Qaeda. Then, rebel groups in Syria combined to attack ISIS there. Borzou Daragahi of the Financial Times explains the politics that work for and against ISIS.