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What to say to Pandora: “Don’t open the box!  Don’t look!”

The “fast scan” takes about an hour at human speed, ignores specific situations, and gets an “ah hah!” moment when one realizes that for causes that are often neither meaningful nor justifiable by those blowing themselves up, pulling triggers, and waving knives (is that still done?), conflict would seem just another natural cause of death.

From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, people just plain don’t like other people.

Dress up the hate with poetry or scripture, crude talk, politico talk, lies, or a whole lot of truth, somebody’s got it in for somebody else by clan, class, ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion — no need to get personal: just box it, label it, and tear it apart!


Afghanistan frees suspected Taliban prisoners over U.S. objections – The Washington Post – 2/13/2014.

Afghan forces have proved surprisingly effective – 2/15/2014.


The truth is, as Phuketwan first revealed on October 21, that Thai authorities pretend to deport the Rohingya, taking their names and fingerprints for the record, then actually deliver them into the arms of people traffickers.

Sordid Deception Fails to Hide Truth – Phuket Wan – 2/14/2014.

I don’t know what the sordid truth is out of Burma, but I know it’s bad and should be — now has — a place on the open source conflict overview circuit.

Central African Republic

Christian threats force Muslim convoy to turn back in CAR exodus | World news | theguardian.com – 2/14/2014.

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“If you want to disarm the anti-balaka, it is better to first disarm the Seleka,” said resident Ngaro Nadine. “It is the Seleka who have been massacring and killing. Now it is the anti-balaka who are strong.”

Foreign troops round up 10 in crackdown on CAR militias – UPI.com – 2/16/2014.


Brig. Gen. Alaa Mahmoud said 33 tourists from South Korea were on the bus and had visited the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine’s, in the Sinai Peninsula. The bus was headed to Israel and was waiting in line near a border crossing, he said.

Tourist bus blast kills 4, wounds 14 in Egypt – CNN.com – 2/16/2014.

Taba, Sinai, was the location of the bombing of a Hilton in 2004.

Related: Egypt bomb attack kills four on tourist bus – 1/17/2014.

Iraq – Fallujah and Anbar Province

UN envoy concerned about Fallujah deteriorating situation : Aswat Al Iraq – 2/14/2014.

Iraq PM makes historic visit to Anbar « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT – 2/16/2014.


Clashes over Valentine’s Day celebration in Pakistan leaves 4 injured – Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency – 2/14/2014.

Militancy and politics in the shadow of a ceasefire – Daily Times – 2/17/2014.

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A faction of the Pakistani Taliban said Sunday that it executed 23 paramilitary soldiers who have been held captive since 2010, even as other elements of the militant group continue preliminary peace talks with the country’s government.

Pakistani Taliban says it executed 23 captured Pakistani soldiers – The Washington Post – 2/16/2014.


“They can’t have it both ways,” the senior official said of the Russians. “They can’t say they’re in favor of negotiations in Geneva and a transitional governing body with full executive authority and humanitarian access and have a happy Olympics, and then be part and parcel of supporting this regime as it kills people in the most brutal way.”

U.S. official takes Russia to task for its role in Syrian conflict – The Washington Post – 2/15/2014.

Can negotiations resolve the Syrian conflict? – Inside Syria – Al Jazeera English – 2/16/2014.

Syrian rebels or international terrorists? – The Hindu – 2/17/2014.


The ministry said a National Guard patrol was sent to investigate reports that a civilian and a prison warden had been shot dead at a roadblock set up by armed men in Jendouba.

“Upon their arrival, terrorist elements opened fire,” killing two policemen and wounding another two, it said.

Ministry: Jihadists kill 4 in Tunisia – Al Arabiya News – 2/16/2014.


Turkey has spent at least $2.5 billion on serving these guests since the war began and hosts around 600,000 Syrian refugees – around a quarter of all Syrian refugees. While many reside in the camps, a little over half have opted to settle in urban settlers and make their own living.

Turkish refugee camp ‘nicest’ in the world | General | Worldbulletin News – 2/14/2014.

Earlier this month, the Turkish army opened fire on a convoy of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) – a jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria. This was in retaliation for a series of cross-border strikes that hit Turkish soil. Turkey has also warned of possible terrorist attacks in Istanbul after receiving intelligence that al-Qaeda-linked jihadists were planning to disrupt the Syrian peace talks.

Why Turkey needs to stand up against al-Qaeda | neurope.eu – 2/16/2014.


Ukraine protesters end two-month occupation – 2/17/2014.


Venezuela split by pro- and anti-Maduro protests — The Tico Times – 2/16/2014.

Venezuela Anti-Government Protests: Security Forces Search For Opposition Leader | Fox News Latino – 2/16/2014.

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No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemen is grappling with a growing threat from one of al Qaeda’s most active wings, which has killed hundreds of people in assaults on state and military facilities in the past two years.

Attack on prison in Yemeni capital kills 11 | Reuters – 2/14/2014.


allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Violence Rocks MDC-T Harare Meeting – 2/15/2014.

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