WIRe Briefing Feb 27 – Mar 3

With the Wisconsin International Review, I’m Maggie Winding, and you’re listening to the WIRe Weekly Briefing. Here are the top international news stories from February 27- March 3rd.


  • Francois Fillon, the Republican Candidate in France’s presidential election, declared that he will continue his campaign despite being subject to an official criminal investigation over payments he made to his wife and children. Mr. Fillon said he had been unfairly singled out by magistrates and implied that the investigation was politically motivated. Francois Hollande, France’s president, criticised Mr. Fillon for questioning the impartiality of the justice system.


  • Iran is developing a submarine that could launch an anti-ship cruise missile designed to quickly sink an American warship operating in the Strait of Hormuz, according to a new assessment of Iranian naval capabilities published Wednesday by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence. – USNI News
  • Jonathan Ruhe and Blake Fleisher write: The new administration is making clear its intent to stop tolerating Iranian aggression. Translating this into action means the United States can no longer turn a blind eye to Iran’s nuclear cruise missile program. – Breaking Defense


  • Syrian government forces recaptured the historic city of Palmyra from the Islamic State on Thursday, aided by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Russian military and, indirectly, U.S. airstrikes. – Washington Post
  • This week, UN National leaders met in Geneva in an attempt to find peaceful solutions to Syria’s ongoing conflict.
    • No breakthrough has occurred talks in Geneva. But as the first U.N.-led talks in almost a year neared their end on Friday, neither side has walked away from the table, and both claim small wins. – Reuters

North Africa:

  • Egypt’s top appeals court cleared former President Hosni Mubarak of any responsibility for the killing of hundreds of people during the 2011 protests that ended his 30-year rule, sweeping away the final legal hurdle to Mr. Mubarak’s release from detention. – New York Times The acquittal of Mubarak surprised few Egyptians and highlighted how the goals of the revolution remain a distant dream. – Washington Post


  • The United States conducted a series of air strikes on al-Qaeda targets in Yemen on Thursday, the Pentagon said, in another sign of the Trump administration’s expanding counterterrorism campaign there. – Washington Post


  • China responded angrily to a decision by Lotte, a South Korean conglomerate, to provide land near Seoul for the installation of an American anti-missile system. America says the system is needed to protect the South against North Korean attacks. China fears it would make China’s missiles less of a threat as well.


  • Malaysia announced that the poison used to kill the half- brother of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean Dictator, was vx, an extremely toxic nerve agent. It charged two women involved in the attack, which took place at Kuala Lumpur airport, with murder. The women say they thought they were taking part in a prank.
  • The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said Friday that it was “greatly concerned” by the use of a banned chemical weapon in a public place to assassinate Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea’s leader, and has asked for international help in responding to the episode. – New York Times

This has been the WIRe Weekly briefing, see you next week.

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