Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi enters the court room to hear the verdict of the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, Sept. 27, 2016 (AP photo by Bas Czerwinski).

Late last month, judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a landmark verdict, sentencing Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, a Malian member of a jihadi group tied to al-Qaida, to nine years in prison for the destruction of sacred mausoleums in Timbuktu. For the first time, the ICC prosecuted the destruction of cultural heritage as a war crime, sending a powerful message of international condemnation against the growing use of attacks on cultural heritage as a weapon during war. Prosecuting the destruction of the Timbuktu mausoleums was a way to respond through law rather than force to similar devastation […]

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Antonio Guterres, New York, Dec. 21, 2015 (U.N. photo by Eskinder Debebe).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the cost of U.S. inaction in Aleppo, the attack on humanitarian aid workers in South Sudan, and Germany’s struggle to integrate more than one million refugees. For the Report, Richard Gowan joins us to talk about U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s legacy and the challenges facing the next secretary-general, Antonio Guterres. Listen:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Can the U.S. Afford the Cost of Inaction in Aleppo? Attack on Aid Workers in South Sudan Was an Attack on Humanitarianism Itself Germany’s Asylum-Seekers […]

Children peer from a partially destroyed home, Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 11, 2016 (Komsomolskaya Pravda photo by Alexander Kots).

Should the United States use military means to try to stop Syrian and Russian forces from massacring the civilian population of Aleppo? If the answer to that question is no, then what level of atrocity is the U.S., and the world, willing to tolerate in Syria—and elsewhere—before intervening? The questions in isolation are relatively straightforward to answer. But when we consider them in tandem, the answers become mutually incompatible. This is the crux of the tragedy of the Syrian civil war for those not condemned to suffer its terrible consequences directly. At first glance, the case for intervening on humanitarian […]