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News Flash: US and Iran Fail to Reach Nuclear Deal, Suicide Bombing in Maiduguri, Reaction to Ferguson

Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, Assistant Professor of African American and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The US and Iran, frustrated by a lack of progress on nuclear talks, have agreed to a 7-month extension, dashing hopes of an official warming of relations between the two nations. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javed Zarif in Oman to discuss details of a deal, that initially seemed tantalizingly close before it broke down into tense exchanges. Speculation abounds as to why the talks were unable to conclude and many fear that the Republican Congressional wins, as well as Israel’s influence could have played a role. At stake is an agreement that would result in a freezing of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions on Iran. According to the New York Times, a US-Iran deal was, “the foreign policy goal that could transform American relations with one of its most persistent adversaries and reshape the world’s most volatile region.” Click here for the NY times article on the this story.

And in other international news, in Nigeria, between 45 and 60 people were killed this week when two suicide bombs blasted a crowded market in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. Unusually, the bombs are suspected to have been strapped to women. Maiduguri is considered a “stronghold” of the Nigerian militant organization, Boko Haram, which took credit for kidnapping hundreds of young girls and women this summer. Boko Haram has been rapidly expanding its reach, taking over one town after another, even as government officials claim they are in negotiations with the group to sign a ceasefire agreement. The group’s tactic is different from its usual approach of striking an area and retreating. More than two dozen towns have been taken over by Boko Haram in recent weeks. Click here for the Aljazeera article on this story.

And finally, in news that has consumed national and international media, a Grand Jury in St. Louis has declined to indict Darren Wilson of any charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests have raged all evening and into the night in Ferguson, and cities around the country. Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch made a rambling speech last night as he justified the Grand Jury’s decision. Click here for the NY times article on this story.