Berlin Wall equinox
Last year, the Berlin Wall passed an "equinox of German unity" — it has now been gone for as long as it stood. But the West is still richer and holds more levers of power in the country, while easterners "increasingly control the political discourse of a countrywide shift to the extremes." The New York Times' Katrin Bennhold asks: is Germany still a tale of two countries?
Containing extremism in Libya
Reporting from Libya, Frederic Wehrey examines the war-torn country's efforts to control the expansion of ISIS after the fall of Gaddafi. With no effective government in place, and no capable security services, militia chiefs are stepping in. "The real challenge," Wehrey writes in The Atlantic, "is dealing with extremism in a way that does not empower these men at the expense of an inclusive, civic state."
'Precision' drone strikes
In September 2013, a pickup truck full of men, women and children was hit by a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan. Only Aisha, a four-year-old girl, survived. For The Intercept, May Jeong traces the knock-on effects of the attack on a group she concludes were likely innocent civilians. "Precision strikes are not as precise as they would have us believe," she writes. "Oftentimes, we don’t even know who we kill."
Moscow's new centrality
Reporting from the Kremlin-sponsored "Syrian National Dialogue Congress" in Sochi, The Globe and Mail's Mark MacKinnon sees firsthand how "the era of everyone worrying what Washington thinks is over," at least when it comes to Syria. With the Trump administration seemingly uninterested in Middle East politics, Vladimir Putin is stepping up — for reasons that are far from altruistic.