On May 30, French journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, who was 32, was killed by Russian artillery shrapnel. He was covering a humanitarian evacuation in eastern Ukraine and was killed during an apparent humanitarian ceasefire.
There’s no need to be surprised by reports that envoys from Saudi Arabia and Iran have been negotiating in secret in Baghdad. Nor by the fact that the negotiations have been vigorously denied. Nor that the Saudi crown prince now has uncommonly constructive things to say (and on the record) about his country’s possible future relationship with Iran.
Last week saw the death of Ramsey Clark. He was 93 and a former attorney general of the United States. By the end of his life, Clark was a reasonably obscure figure, which is possibly the reason why those who wrote his obituary felt both willing and able to gloss over so much of what gave his life its shape and animation.
So great is America’s identity crisis in this century of isolationism, that its citizens have spent last week and this one bickering among themselves about whether the United States should retaliate when it is attacked by an avowed enemy.
You may have read some of the contemplative and mournful journalism produced to mark ten years since the beginning of the Arab Spring. All the writing prompted by this anniversary assumed, as if by default, a funereal tone.
If the polls are to be believed, Joe Biden could soon be elected president of the United States. Internationally, there is no shortage of leaders hoping to see Mr Trump become a one-term president, putting an end to America’s experiment with uncontrolled chaos in government so that business as usual can once again resume.
Just over a month ago, the Iraqi scholar and historian Hisham al-Hashimi was murdered in Baghdad. His killers, two of them, arrived on a motorbike and did not hang around. They are yet to be identified.