World roundup: July 24 2023
Stories from North Korea, Sudan, Ukraine, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
July 24, 1261: With much of the city’s garrison apparently out on a raid, a small group of soldiers of the Nicene Empire enters and seizes control of Constantinople. Latin Emperor Baldwin II and most of the city’s grandees were evacuated by Venetian ships. The Nicene capture of Constantinople ended a 57 year war to reestablish the Byzantine Empire following its elimination during the Fourth Crusade. The restored empire was ruled by the Palaiologos Dynasty through its final collapse in 1453.
July 24, 1923: The Treaty of Lausanne formally ends the Turkish War of Independence and establishes the borders of the Republic of Turkey. The treaty superseded the World War I Treaty of Sèvres, which partitioned Anatolia and was so punitive that it motivated the remnants of the Ottoman/Turkish military to resist.
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
The Jordanian military on Monday shot down another drone carrying drugs from Syria, something it’s done several times in recent months. Armed Syrian groups of all stripes, including allegedly the Syrian government itself, participate in drug production and trafficking, with the Persian Gulf Arab states the main export destination. Jordan is perhaps the main conduit for that traffic.
In this case the drugs in question were crystal meth rather than Captagon, the main Syrian export and arguably the Middle East’s biggest current drug challenge. On that front, Iraqi authorities announced on Monday that they’d seized a major haul of Captagon in Baghdad that was bound for Iraqi Kurdistan, and earlier this month they reportedly discovered a Captagon lab in southern Iraq. Given how many Iraqi militias are also operating in Syria the spread of Captagon manufacture to Iraq is not terribly surprising but it does pose a new security challenge for the Iraqi government.
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