Four more stories you ought to be following:

  1. Afghanistan. Kabul has been hit by a wave of coordinated attacks on the Serena hotel and government buildings.  While they were mostly unsuccessful – three soldiers and two civilians were killed – the attacks demonstrate that the Taliban can exert its power in cities as well as rural areas.
  2. Nigeria. Almost 150 people have died since Thursday in Lagos, the result of religious violence. 600 people have been injured, and the city is now under a 24 hour curfew. It appears that the violence started as an argument between neighbors over rebuilding houses destroyed in religious clashes in 2008.
  3. North Korea. Pyongyang has agreed to accept food aid from Seoul. It’s not a whole lot of food, and it’s not unprecedented, but it has been two years since North Korea was last willing to take this aid. It could represent new willingness on the part of North Korea to sit down and negotiate on the nuclear issue.
  4. Ukraine. All sorts of stuff is going on with Ukraine. Russia is sending an ambassador to Kiev for the first time in five months. A hospital in Eastern Ukraine seems to have exploded as a result of defective oxygen tanks. And Ukrainians are losing faith in the orange revolution, for reasons that look pretty good. Europe is paying attention to that election, because they rely heavily on the Russia gas that flows in a pipeline through Ukraine.

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