World View: Russia Appears poised to Invade Ukraine, Threatening War

World View: Russia Appears poised to Invade Ukraine, Threatening War

This morning’s key headlines from

  • ISIS targets 40,000 Yazidis for extermination on a mountaintop
  • Russia appears poised to invade Ukraine, threatening war
  • Panic over Ebola grows as Nigeria declares state of emergency

ISIS targets 40,000 Yazidis for extermination on a mountaintop

Militants from the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) havevowed to exterminate Christians, Kurds, and Shia Muslims and havetaken action to do so. But now ISIS is particularly targeting 40,000people of the ancient Yazidi sect who fled to the top of Mount Sinjarto escape them and are now trapped on the mountain, surrounded byISIS terrorists. 

Yazidis are ethnic Kurds who follow a monotheisticreligion dating back to 600 BC. Over time they have incorporatedaspects of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism into their beliefs. Muchof the faith remains shrouded in mystery, with outsiders not allowedto convert and believers not willing to share details of theirrituals. The 40,000 on Mount Sinjar have no food and little water.An international effort may be mounted to try to save the trappedYazidis, at least by airdropping food. CS Monitor and Guardian

Russia appears poised to invade Ukraine, threatening war

Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that he’s justreceived information that the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraineis “higher than it was several days ago.” This comes after severaldays when Russia has been massing tens of thousands of troops onUkraine’s eastern border. 

Russia’s armed forces have been helping the separatists all along,providing weapons and special forces troops and bombarding Ukrainianarmy troops from within Russia. 

Some reports indicate that the pro-Russian rebel militias in easternUkraine are losing ground to the government forces and may be closeto defeat. The suspicion is that Russian troops will invade toprevent the defeat of the pro-Russian rebel militias, though this isvery high risk because it would essentially be a declaration of waragainst Ukraine’s government. Another possibility is that the Russiantroops are planning to invade in order to provide a corridor for thepro-Russian militias to retreat to Russia. RFE/RL

Panic over Ebola Grows as Nigerian Officials Deem Outbreak an Emergency

Officials are declaring a state of emergency in Nigeria after fivemore people were diagnosed with the Ebola virus, and one more persondied. A Liberian man who flew into Lagos last week died from Ebolatwo days after arriving, and all of the additional cases are peoplewho had direct contact with that one man. Authorities arerushing to obtain isolation tents in anticipation of more infections. 

The Ebola virus is not airborne but spreads only through contact withthe bodily fluids of an infected person, so panic over concern of aworldwide epidemic is completely unwarranted. 

But Lagos has 21 million people, and it’s feared that the Ebola viruscould spread through contacts among health workers, family members,and even prostitutes. Also, Nigeria and other west African countrieshave a special problem that other countries don’t have: Many Africansbelieve that it’s health workers from Western countries that havebrought Ebola to Africa and are causing it to spread. 

There is an experimental drug that has apparently helped two Americanmissionaries that contracted Ebola. There is very little of this drugavailable, but there is a brewing political issue that some people areblaming America for using this drug only with white Americans, notwith Africans. AP and ABC News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Iraq, Mount Sinjar, Yazidis, Kurds,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Donald Tusk,Ebola, Nigeria, Lagos 

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