Editors' Pick

The Diplomacy Cable 4/26/2016


With the invention of the telegraph cables in the 19th century, international consulates and embassies began sending shorter encrypted telegrams, using Morse Code. While the messages are now sent electronically, the moniker “cable” stuck and the term is still in use today for shorter, encrypted diplomatic messages.


Canadian Hostage Killed

A Canadian hostage was killed in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called “an act of coldblooded murder”. John Ridsdel, 68, was taken from a tourist resort along with three others by the Abu Sayyaf group in September last year, and was believed to be killed hours after an Abu Sayyaf ransom deadline expired, reports BBC . Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic militant group started by Al-Qaeda.

U.S. Embassy Worker Murdered

A U.S. Embassy worker and editor of Bangladesh’s first LGBT magazine was among two men hacked to death Monday evening in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The worker, and his friend, were hacked to death with machetes. ISIS claimed responsibility for Siddique’s death, saying he was slain “for calling to atheism”, writes CNN.

Norwegian Fighter Jet Mistake

Three Norwegian officers were almost killed in a control tower during a training exercise when a fighter jet mistakenly shot at a control tower on a training exercise. The control tower 1,500 feet away from the nearest target, and the jet was armed with a 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon, which can fire up to 6,000 rounds per minute. No one was injured and all four of those involved were immediately debriefed.

US sending 250 more U.S. Special Forces Operators to Syria

President Obama was announced that he will be sending 250 soldier and special forces to Syria. Obama was in Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and both later met the British, French and Italian leaders to discuss the battle against IS in its self-declared caliphate across northern Syria and Iraq, according to Yahoo. Obama stated that the US forces will not lead the fight on the ground but provide training and advice to local forces against IS.


Far-Right Politician wins in Austria

Norbert Hofer, of the rightwing Freedom party (FPÖ), defied pollsters’ predictions to beat the Green party’s Alexander Van der Bellen into second place, gaining 36% of the vote. The two candidates will go head to head in a run-off ballot on 22 May, describes the report from The Guardian. While the presidential post is mainly a ceremonial role, Hofer has threatened to make use of a right to dissolve parliament before the 2018 elections. The gun-toting candidate could lead to a rush of other elections turning more far-right in Austria.

Diplomacy Fast Facts:

What does the 5th American President have to do with African capitals?

Only a name, of course! Monrovia, Liberia is named for 5th President, James Monroe.

If you have idea or questions that you would like discussed in our new Diplomacy Fast Facts section, please send them to Dylan Ashdown at his Twitter handle @AshdownDylan.

Dylan Ashdown is a second year graduate student at Seton Hall, where he is a part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and College of Communication and the Arts. He is pursuing dual master’s degrees in Diplomacy and International Relations and Strategic Communications. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Missouri.

Follow Dylan Ashdown on Twitter at @AshdownDylan and send any requests for stories there

Follow the Journal of Diplomacy on Twitter at @JournalofDiplo




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