Israel vs Iran

This week, Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli positions in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and Israel’s air force struck a number of Iranian military sites inside Syria. Who fired first? Depends on whom you ask. There is clarity on one thing: This exchange represents the most intense clash between these two countries since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.


Syria was already the world’s most dangerous arena of potential great power conflict. This is the place where Russia, the United States, Iran, Turkey, Kurds, jihadis and Syria’s own heavily armed government are all jostling for position while Saudis and Israelis, their fingers on the trigger, keep watch.

Why is this happening? Israel says Iran commands 80,000 soldiers in Syria, and that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is actively setting up bases near the Golan Heights. Israel, worried that Trump wants US troops out of Syria, has launched a series of airstrikes in recent weeks to send Iran a “we-see-you” message of zero tolerance. Iran, faced with renewed US sanctions, is in no mood to back down.

The bottom line: If this fight escalates, who can step in to mediate? Trump has made crystal clear which side he’s on. Russia is too directly interested in Syria’s future for either side to fully trust Moscow. Would Israel accept the EU in this role? Neither side wants a full-blown war, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get one.

How much material do we use to send a package? Too much. Does recycling help? Yes – but not really. Packaging material often accumulates as waste, contributing to its own "polluting weight." To solve our packaging dilemma, Finland came up with RePack: a "circular" solution for the reuse of material.

Learn more about RePack in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

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Donald J. Trump and CorOnaVirus decide to hit the road together across the USA. Will DJT and COV discover they are more alike than different? Will their interests diverge? #PUPPETREGIME

Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on US politics.

Where are US-China relations in this battle over TikTok and what is happening?

Well, this may seem like a minor deal. It's a video sharing app that the president has given 45 days to sell to a US entity or get banned in the United States. But along with WeChat, these are two of China's most successful technology companies that the US has now banned from entry into the United States and potentially banned from being used on operating systems that rely on US software inside China. So, this is a huge escalation in the geotech war between the United States and China. China for a long time has not allowed Google and Facebook and other American applications to be fully operative inside their borders. And now the US is stepping up against Chinese technology companies. The reason is that there's concerns among the US government about these tech, these apps data security practices. Members of the military, high ranking government officials aren't allowed to have these on their phones because there's concern about what China does with the data that they can harvest from those phones. This is a real warning sign to other Chinese technology companies that they may not be welcome inside the American market unless they can prove in some way, they are totally independent from the Chinese government and the Chinese military. Expect a lot of escalation in this area over the coming months and years.

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In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.