Bombings, bombings everywhere this week: Yesterday’s massive bombings in central Damascus, Syria, targeted the pillars of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Most sources put the death toll at 60 or more.
At the height of evening rush hour in Hyderabad, India, two bombs in a busy shopping district killed at least 16 and wounded more than 70. India’s intelligence agency warned of increased threats to the country’s leading information technology city several days before.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban has vowed to continue targeting Afghan officials it says are linked to the U.S.-led coalition. A UN report issued this week found that 2,754 Afghan civilians were killed in 2012, a 12 percent decrease from 3,131 in the same period a year earlier. It was the first time in six years that the civilian death toll dropped.
Mount Etna is exploding too. YouTube also is full of amateur footage up close of the volcano’s eruptions (see video clip below), which began again this week.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program draws world attention away from the country’s toll of human misery: “Only with nuclear weapons are they able to maintain their regime, hidden away from the world. This is how they keep their people in chains: through military tension.”
At a UN Human Rights summit in Geneva, two former North Korean prisoners discuss the gulag they endured: “Fundamentally, it is the same as Hitler’s Auschwitz.”
We’re following: reports linking an Iran-backed terror cell to violence in Nigeria, where terrorists in the north have targeted mostly Christians.
And I’m eager to start reading: Amity Shlaes’ new Coolidge. She discusses the new book with the American Interprise Institute.