CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Three pastors are among at least 400 dead as the conflict grows in the Central African Republic. With unrest spreading in the region, Stratfor has a helpful map and explanation on the former French colonies of West Africa.
UKRAINE: Protests in Ukraine may rekindle over the weekend despite police efforts this week to dismantle them. The battle has been fierce between Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, who wants to wrest Ukraine into his “Eurasian Union,” and Ukrainians who want to be part of the European Union. Putin isn’t giving up. U.S. media coverage is spotty, but Pravda has a liveblog we’ve been told is reflecting events on the ground. As Marvin Olasky reports, this could be a make-or-break moment in Ukraine’s long march to freedom from Moscow.
SYRIA: Free Syrian Army commander Salim Idris has fled Syria after Islamist groups among his rebel contingent took over his headquarters.
The Wall Street Journal has been breaking news on this story, and the Obama administration’s changing its story on what happened, as events further tatter (if that’s possible) U.S. policy in Syria. Among items captured by the Islamist fighters is the largest store of U.S. military aid—lethal and nonlethal—provided to the Syrian opposition.
IRAN: The wife of jailed Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini told members of Congress yesterday she “felt abandoned” after learning that U.S. negotiators never asked Iran to release Abedini as part of a precondition to diplomatic talks.
“I had anticipated that I would battle the Iranian government to release my husband. I didn’t expect to battle with my own government,” Naghmeh Abedini said.