Earlier this summer, mysterious, surrealist, and deeply irreverent art began appearing on the streets of Donetsk. The graffiti and wooden cutouts openly mocked the city's pro-Russian rebels, depicting them as devils. A graffiti portrait of the rebel leader, Igor Strelkov, urged him to commit suicide. The rebels did not take kindly to the art. Sergey Zakharov, the artist behind the project, has disappeared. His friends and family say that he is a prisoner of the Donetsk People's Republic, as the putative leaders of the breakaway regions call their new "country."
Amid renewed fighting in Gaza, a militant land-grab in Iraq, a pseudo-war between Russia and Ukraine, an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., Libya is coming apart at the seams too. Not that many seem to notice.
Whether the United States is convening an unprecedented summit with heads of state, responding to a terrifying Ebola epidemic, or working with governments to battle Boko Haram, its diplomatic relationships with African countries have perhaps never been more central to its foreign policy. That makes the latest audit published by the Office of the Inspector General (IG) of the State Department particularly worrisome.
Are North Korea's propagandists finally getting better at crafting their metaphors?
In a statement published Wednesday, a spokesperson for the North Korean defense commission insulted Secretary of State John Kerry by insinuating that he is unattractive. According to the Associated Press, the spokesperson ridiculed Kerry as a wolf with a "hideous lantern jaw." The American diplomat was also described as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
It has long been known that China's voracious appetite for ivory is helping drive a spike in the poaching of African elephants. But until now, it wasn't clear just how bad the problem has become. According to a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, elephants are being killed at a faster rate than the animals can reproduce, and their widespread killing is tearing apart elephant societies.