World roundup: December 11 2023
Stories from Israel-Palestine, Myanmar, Poland, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
December 11, 861: The Abbasid caliph al-Mutawakkil is assassinated by his Turkic royal guard in his palace in Samarra. Al-Mutawakkil’s murder was the final straw in the capture of the caliphate by its Turkish slave soldiery and kicked off a 10 year period known as the “Anarchy at Samarra,” during which four caliphs were enthroned and deposed in rapid succession, each backed by some faction of the military. The period ended with the accession of the caliph al-Muʿtamid, who reigned from 870-892 mostly due to the efforts of his brother, al-Muwaffaq, who pacified the Turks and essentially ruled the caliphate from behind the throne.
December 11, 1917: British General Edmund Allenby enters the newly captured city of Jerusalem.
From the “nobody could have predicted” file, the latest draft of the United Nations COP28 summit’s closing statement substantially waters down any mention of jettisoning fossil fuels as part of the solution to climate change. Where the previous draft had contained an unenforceable call for countries to “phase out” fossil fuels, the new version includes a still-unenforceable and much vaguer suggestion that countries reduce their production and use of fossil fuels. It represents a win for major oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia, who have been pushing hard against the “phase out” language. And they may not be done, though it remains to be seen how much further they can push before countries that have been advocating stronger fossil fuel language balk.