8th-14th june

Protests in Turkey are likely to continue to escalate unless authorities engage in meaningful discussions with activists, Amnesty International said after riot police this morning once again used tear gas and water cannon against peaceful protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and Gezi Park.

Insufficient levels of humanitarian assistance are reaching opposition-controlled areas in Syria despite their proximity to the Turkish border and dire medical, food, and other humanitarian needs. Human Rights Watch visited Raqqa governorate in April 2013, and Aleppo, Idlib, and Latakia governorates between December 2012 and April 2013.

While not necessarily positive or negative, Iran’s sexual revolution is certainly unprecedented. Social attitudes have changed so much in the last few decades that many members of the Iranian diaspora are shellshocked when they visit the country: « These days Tehran makes London look like a conservative city, » a British-Iranian acquaintance recently told me upon returning from Tehran. When it comes to sexual mores, Iran is indeed moving in the direction of Britain and the United States — and fast.

The US is to supply direct military aid to the Syrian opposition for the first time, the White House has announced.President Obama made the decision after his administration concluded Syrian forces under Bashar al-Assad were using chemical weapons, a spokesman said.