Desk Roundup

Lisa’s desk

Not Without My Mullahs: Russia Declines Warsaw Conference After Iran Not Invited

Far be it from Russia to show loyalty in geopolitics, but in this case, Russia says since Iran is not invited to next month’s world conference on the Middle East taking place in Warsaw, they will also turn down the invitation, according to Poland’s foreign minister. The conference, which has garnered much media attention so far, will take place February 13-14 and will be hosted by Poland and the United States. Iran’s regime has already voiced harsh criticism toward Poland and the decision to host a conference of this nature. It is Tehran’s rogue rhetoric which was “hard to accept” and which ultimately helped make the decision on withholding the invite from Iran, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in a statement which was published Monday. He also said that Moscow, in turn, said that they will turn down the invitation. Following Sec. of State Michael Pompeo’s

Middle East

Canada PM’s chief secretary resigns amid SNC-Lavalin controversy

By David Ljunggren (Reuters) – A top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resigned unexpectedly on Monday amid allegations Trudeau’s office had pressured the former justice minister to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid criminal prosecution. Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s principal private secretary and a key architect of the Liberals’ 2015 election victory, said […]

Human Rights

Young survivors of Yemen school bus air strike return to class

SAADA, Yemen (Reuters) - In a small school in Yemen's Saada province, the absence of dozens of their classmates killed in an air strike on a bus weighed heavily on the young survivors as they returned to classes. Ahmad Ali Hanash, 14, struggled to hold back tears as he recalled the friends he lost in the attack by a Saudi-led military alliance on a market in Saada in northern Yemen in August. "Their blood will not be in vain, we will avenge them by getting an education, we will avenge them by learning," Hanash, who was on the bus, told Reuters. "I thank God for surviving the attack, the ugly crime." As the survivors resumed their lives, joining morning exercise drills in the sand yard of the two-storey Al Falah primary school, or attending classes in wheelchairs alongside peers seated at wooden desks, other students said they feared more attacks