Monday Briefing | March 11

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The Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the US, are fighting to clear Baghuz of militants. AFP/Getty

Stories to Follow

Ethiopian Airlines Crash: ‘No survivors’ on crashed Boeing 737: An Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all on board. The airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members were on flight ET302 from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya. The largest number of the victims were Kenyans. At least seven Britons were on the flight, which left Bole airport at 8.38am local time (5.38am GMT). At least 19 people affiliated with the United Nations were among those killed, according to the UN migration agency chief. Many were delegates on their way to the UN environment assembly, which starts in Nairobi on Monday. Eighteen Canadians also died.

Syrian Defence Forces attack Islamic State group’s Syria enclave Baghuz: Heavy fighting erupted Sunday as US-backed Syrian Defence Forces attacked the last ISIS stronghold in Syria amid a final push to clear the jihadist group from the war-torn country. SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said on Twitter Sunday that its forces were engaged in “direct violent clashes” and that its planes were targeting weapons depots. Once the village of Baghuz is taken, the US and its allies are expected to formally declare the end of the “caliphate” proclaimed by IS in 2014.

US-North Korea tensions approach boiling point: The Trump administration — which canceled two large-scale spring war games between the United States and South Korea in an effort to move along nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea — is now grappling with reports that Pyongyang is preparing to launch a missile soon. The reports follow President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s failure to reach an agreement at their summit last month. North Korea’s account for the failure differs from Trump’s, a fact that has increased tensions between the countries.

‘Brexit in peril’ as PM May faces heavy defeat: Brexit could be reversed if lawmakers reject the government’s exit deal, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday after two major eurosceptic factions in parliament warned that Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a heavy defeat. Just 19 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, May is scrambling – so far unsuccessfully – to secure last-minute changes to an EU exit treaty before parliament votes on Tuesday on whether to approve the deal.

This Week in JPI

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Problem

Maya Yang writes for JPI about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood problem. As the oldest political revivalist group in the Islamic world—and one of the most polarizing—the Muslim Brotherhood has the disputed status throughout the region as being a political party or a terrorist organization.  In Egypt, the Brotherhood orchestrated numerous terror attacks against the government from the 1940s to the 1960s, and in Syria, the Brotherhood fought an insurgency against the Syrian government from the late 1970s to early 1980s. The Palestinian branch, represented by Hamas, frequently launches terrorist strikes against Israel. But, crucially, not all branches of the group are violent. And while thwarting radicalization in the Arab world is necessary, it’s a subject that requires a lot of nuance, especially when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Happening This Week

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY , Prospect Heights
Wednesday March 13 2019 – Sunday May 12 2019

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is the largest U.S. exhibition in ten years devoted to the iconic painter and the first in the United States to display a collection of her clothing and other personal possessions, which were rediscovered and inventoried in 2004 after being locked away since Kahlo’s death, in 1954. They are displayed alongside important paintings, drawings, and photographs from the celebrated Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art, as well as related historical film and ephemera. For tickets and more information, click here.

Taste of Grand Central Market

Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall , Midtown East
Until Wednesday March 13 2019

The market is located between Graybar Building and the 4/5/6 subway lines, and serves a ton of gratis bites from merchants such as Ceriello Fine Foods, Eli Zabar’s Bread & Pastry, Eli Zabar’s Farm to Table, Oren’s Daily Roast, Pescatore Seafood Co., Sushi by Pescatore, Murray’s Cheese and more.

Distrikt: Metamorphoses Fundraiser

House of Yes , Bushwick
Friday March 15 2019

Distrikt and House of Yes are getting together for the NYC Distrikt camp fundraiser. Distrikt is a 501c3 non-profit music and art collective with a mission to build and support an inclusive and diverse community by embracing people, music and art. For more information and tickets, click here.

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Zuha Siddiqui

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