World roundup: May 18 2022
Stories from Afghanistan, Ukraine, El Salvador, and more
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, last year the world’s oceans were warmer and more acidic than ever before recorded, thanks unsurprisingly to climate change. I’m choosing to look on the bright side here. I mean people put heaters in their swimming pools all the time, so clearly there’s something to be said for swimming in warmer water right? And, you know, the acid thing sounds back, but Google tells me that mild acids are good for exfoliating the skin and reducing fine lines, and those seem like nice things too. So good for us, I say.
If you’re looking for more good news, you may be very pleased to learn that, according to an expert panel put together by the World Health Organization, humanity is every bit as capable of managing a global pandemic now as it was before COVID hit. Wait, that doesn’t seem good actually. I’m not going to lie, this is bringing me down somewhat. Though, really, what are the chances of there being another global pandemic when we haven’t even escaped the one that hit two years ago? I’m not going to look up the odds but I assume they’re pretty steep. OK, I feel better now. Let’s move on.
The US military has completed an investigation into an airstrike in the Syrian city of Baghuz in 2019 that may have killed somewhere around 70 civilians and became the subject of a New York Times expose last November. It’s found—and I hope you’re sitting down because this is a real shocker—that it did nothing wrong. That should settle it then.
The Pentagon’s review catalogued 56 people killed in the strike, 52 of them classified as enemy combatants and only four as civilians. It’s probably worth noting at this point that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the US military regards any combat-aged male it kills in an incident like this as an enemy combatant. The review acknowledges that mistakes were made in assessing the strike’s risk to civilians and in the initial review (this is a polite way of saying “attempted cover up”) of the incident, but everybody involved meant well so there’s no need for any disciplinary action.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Foreign Exchanges to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.