When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

REUTERS, AL JAZEERA (Qatar), NEW YORK TIMES (USA)

Worldcrunch

Barack Obama has authorized covert US support of Syrian rebels in order to oust President Bashar al-Assad, reports Reuters.

The secret order, which was allegedly signed earlier this year allows the CIA to offer support and assistance to rebel fighters engaged in conflict, with similar reports emerging that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are providing intelligence assistance to rebel forces.

However, the news of President Obama's secret order could prove difficult as the circulation of two videos Wednesday prompted debate on the rebel forces' tactics. The violent and disturbing images posted on YouTube show Free Syrian Army rebels publicly executing supporters of Bashar al-Assad, one of whom has been identified as Sunni politician Zeino al-Barri, Al Jazeera reports.

Human rights activists are denouncing the act as a war crime. A researcher for Human Rights Watch, Nadim Houry, told the New York Times: "Intentionally killing anyone, even a shabiha, once he is outside of combat is a war crime, regardless of how horrible the person may have been ... As the opposition gains more territory, it is important to hold them to the same standard that we would apply to all sides."

The World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have also expressed concerns that the conflict has resulted in the Syrian agriculture sector losing $1.8 billion this year.

The organizations said on Thursday that up to three million Syrians will need food, crop and livestock aid over the next year, as wheat and barley crops have been badly affected.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

When Migrants Vanish: Families Quietly Endure Uncertainty

Zimbabweans cling to hope even after years of silence from loved ones who have disappeared across borders.

illustration of a woman in nature contemplating a framed picture of an older woman
Illustration by Matt Haney, GPJ

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Blessing Tichagwa can barely remember her mother. Like hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Noma Muyambo emigrated to South Africa in search of work, leaving baby Blessing, now 15, behind with her grandmother.

The last time they saw her was nine years ago, when Blessing was 6. Muyambo returned for one week, then left again — and has not sent any messages or money since.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest