An out of town visitor and a newly rescued pet have kept me very busy this week. Luckily, the news was very straightforward—the nuclear deal with Iran and ISIS with their chemical weapons. We’ve even got a few stories you may have missed.
Have a great week!
After two years in the making, the P5+1 settled negotiations to reach a comprehensive, long-term nuclear deal with Iran this week. Despite satisfaction with the outcome, many say that the deal will not end Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and will not change Iranian policy towards the US. Dick Cheney responded that the deal makes use of nuclear weapons use more likely and former Senator Jim Webb said the deal weighs in Iran’s favor. Nevertheless, the Obama administration seems pleased with the deal and will work on its passage.
DipNote—“President Obama said “I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies. So I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal. We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict. And we certainly shouldn’t seek it.’”
It seems like déjà vu all over again as reports this week said that the Islamic State appears to have manufactured rudimentary chemical weapons and attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria, evidently multiple times in multiple weeks. Investigators reported that the incidents seemed to involve toxic industrial or agricultural chemicals repurposed as weapons. This could signal “a potential escalation of the group’s capabilities” though, is not without precedent.
The New York Times—“In the clearest recent incident, a 120-millimeter chemical mortar shell struck sandbag fortifications at a Kurdish military position near Mosul Dam on June 21 or 22, the investigators said, and caused several Kurdish fighters near where it landed to become ill.”
Stories You May Have Missed
- The Japanese government said this week that they finished destroying World War II era chemical weapons that were abandoned by the Japanese military in the Hubei province of China. Japan will now turn its attention to other weapons left in China in Jilin province.
- An ad campaign in Western Europe is using the hashtag #makeachildcry in order to raise money and awareness for pediatric medical supplies in developing countries. Over 4 million children die annually from vaccine preventable diseases.
- Speaking of which, I saw multiple stories this week reporting that childhood vaccination rates in Seattle are so low that they’ve fallen behind countries like Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Algeria.
- Lastly, remember the outbreak of a disease with polio-like symptoms among children in the summer of 2014? It had been attributed to Enterovirus D68, but a report this week claims the culprit may actually have been Enterovirus C105.
Image Credit: U.S. Department of State