Top Picks: September 7 to 11

Photo of Secretary of State, John Kerry, courtesy of the State Department's Official Blog, DIPNOTE: https://blogs.state.gov/stories/2015/09/05/toward-better-understanding-religion-and-global-affairs

Photo of Secretary of State, John Kerry, courtesy of the State Department's Official Blog, DIPNOTE: https://blogs.state.gov/stories/2015/09/05/toward-better-understanding-religion-and-global-affairs

This week's Top Picks is brought to you by Public and Congressional Affairs officer, Tony Abate, who is ICRC DC’s communications “file holder” for Africa and the Health Care in Danger Project.

Domestic and international politics dominated the news and our reading this week – from the Congressional action on the Iran nuclear deal to President Obama’s announcement of the U.S. commitment to take in Syrian refugees. In addition, there was some valuable writing on the law of armed conflict and medical workers, some troubling trends reported out of Cameroon, and a blog post by the Secretary of State, urging a better understanding of religion and global affairs.

Here are a few items that caught my eye...

The Iran nuclear deal cleared its main Congressional hurdle on ThursdayPolitico reported that Senate Democrats managed to muster 42 votes in support of filibuster, keeping the Republicans’ disapproval resolution from reaching a final vote. Meanwhile, The Hill wrote that Senate Republicans have promised more Iran votes next week, and, on the same day, the House passed a resolution (by party-line vote) calling for an extension of the review period, claiming that President Obama withheld vital information from Congress.

President Obama announced that America would accept up to 10,000 Syrian refugees – The Washington Post reported that the increase, set for the upcoming fiscal year, represents a 10-fold rise over the previous period.

The UN announced an agreement by the warring parties in Yemen to engage in direct talks – This will be the first face-to-face talks since the conflict began, according to The New York Times.

International Crisis Group warns of the threat of religious radicalism in Cameroon – As many have feared since the start of the conflict in the Lake Chad region, sectarian violence appears to be spreading, according to the group’s new Africa Report.

In other news...

Lawfare published an interesting piece on the protection of medical workers under international humanitarian law or IHL – The piece comes from the authors of a new Harvard legal briefing, who examine the erosion, and limitations, of IHL under the global fight against terrorism. 

And finally, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, penned a blog post on the challenges and value of religion in diplomacy. The post on the State Department’s DIPNOTE blog comes ahead of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Washington from September 22 to 24.

Editor's note: A small but important caveat: just because something is featured here doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it. The views expressed in the links we're highlighting don't necessarily reflect those of the ICRC.