contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
A new era
NEWS FEATURE 1
A deadly profession: Being a journalist in Mexico
NEWS FEATURE 2
In Trump, the Koch brothers see both friend and foe
DIGEST AMERICAS
Yet another corruption scandal in Brazil tarnishes Temer’s presidency
DIGEST AMERICAS
Tech giants team up to fight terrorism
DIGEST EUROPE
A ‘unique opportunity’ for peace in Cyprus
DIGEST EUROPE
Is France getting a taste of what centrism really means?
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Twenty years on, ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is caught in an impasse
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Jostling for position on the India-China border
DIGEST AFRICA
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, football is more than just a game
DIGEST AFRICA
Kenya’s government looks to cash in on gambling
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Al-Qaeda, secret prisons and a military base in Eritrea: The UAE’s Yemen endeavour
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Residents of Mosul celebrate first Eid without Islamic State in years
THE PICTURE
Left in the dark
GOOD NEWS
Over $350 million raised for South Sudanese refugees
Panama's second-largest city gets continuous access to potable water
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
That's old news
IN SCIENCE
New memory erasure research gives hope to PTSD sufferers
IN MEDICINE
Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting supermassive black holes
IN TECHNOLOGY
Chemical warfare: Birds use cigarette butts to fight parasites
www.wired.com
A Rare Journey Into the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a Super-Bunker That Can Survive Anything
www.theguardian.com
How Alexandria's 'leaning tower' became an emblem of the city's corruption
www.politico.eu
Greece fears revival of far-left violence

Syria’s ‘four towns’ evacuation deal turns into a massacre

Syrian Civil War
See 246 more
Syrian children receive treatment at a hospital in the government-held part of Aleppo on April 15, 2017.
GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images
Syrian children receive treatment at a hospital in the government-held part of Aleppo on April 15, 2017.
O n the scene black smoke rose to the sky amidst burned out cars and buses meant to transport hundreds into a new future after warring sides had agreed on an evacuation deal. A suicide bomber had reportedly detonated a van full of explosives, killing at least 120 people, many of them children. The evacuees were from the mostly Shia towns of Fua and Kefraya, besieged for around two years by hardline Sunni Islamist groups.
Syrian state media blamed “terrorists”, a catch-all term for all opposed to the regime, of having carried out the attack on the outskirts of Aleppo. No group has so far claimed responsibility, while various rebel groups condemned the attack.
The evacuation process was part of the so-called “four towns” deal, in which residents of two other towns - Madaya and Zabadani, besieged by pro-government forces - are transported to northern Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province.
NOTE
The evacuation deal, brought about with the involvement of Iran and Qatar, also had an international dimension. Sources told the Guardian that the fate of a kidnapped falcon hunting party in Iraq, including members of the Qatari royal family, was tied to the negotiations over the Syrian towns. Two Qataris, reportedly held by an Iranian-backed group, were released last week as the Syrian deal was being finalised.
The opposition and human rights groups have long accused the Syrian government of using sieges as an instrument of war and implementing a deliberate displacement policy. Similar patterns have emerged over the years: pro-government forces attack and besiege opposition enclaves, forcing an agreement that sees the rebels either surrender or agree to vacate the area; government forces subsequently take control of the area, while those leaving often head for northern Syria’s Idlib province, which is routinely targeted by Russian and Syrian airstrikes. The government describes such agreement as reconciliation deals.
This practice goes back to the early days of the war when the regime laid siege on opposition areas in the western city of Homs. For many in the West, the brutal nature of such conditions came to the forefront when images of starved children emerged from Madaya, a former resort town near the Lebanese border.
As The World Weekly went to press, hundreds of evacuees from rebel- and government-held areas were still stuck in transit. Evacuation procedures had come to a halt after rebel forces had reportedly demanded the release of prisoners.
Manuel Langendorf
The World Weekly
20 April 2017 - last edited 20 April 2017