During the peak years of Palestinian suicide terrorist attacks , Israel was regularly dubbing somebody else as head of Hamas’ military wing in the West Bank. The particular individual’s true status or abilities as a handler of terrorists were not always commensurate with the title conferred on him by Israeli intelligence.

Right after I graduated from college this past May, I went on a bit of an odyssey. I took a trip to Afghanistan. After being away for three years, I returned to the western part of the country where my family resides. I was struck by how much things had changed for the worse in just three years. Three years ago, there was a lot of employment, a lot of optimism for the future, and an overall hope for a better life. However, this time, complete hopelessness, lawlessness, and uncertainty dominated the atmosphere.

Yep, you read that headline right. North Korea returned to the days of yore this week when it decided to conduct its warmongering via fax. Quaint. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is playing host to that other 1990s relic Dennis Rodman, sent a fax to South Korea this week threatening a “merciless” strike on the south “without notice” in response to anti-North Korea rallies in Seoul.

Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa will be the key figures in a UN campaign to promote peace in Colombia. The United Nations representative in Colombia, Fabrizio Hochschild, announced on Thursday that that the “Peace is Mine” initiative aims to promote peace in the country through the iconic use of these “two huge global figures.”

Following a deadly gun fight in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Peñasco on Wednesday, officials from the state of Sonora are trying to reassure Arizonans the town – also known as Rocky Point – is still safe for tourists. The identities of the five people who died have not been released, but authorities say they were all criminals who fired at federal police.

Besides goodwill, another major motivation behind humanitarian assistance is exerting influence. Influence can emerge through cultural, economic, or political means. Political means seeking to resolve a conflict through humanitarian assistance and institutions practicing humanitarian efforts can be identified as ‘humanitarian diplomacy’.

The United States and India are in the middle of a diplomatic spat. It began when India's deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested last week for allegedly submitting a fraudulent visa application for her housekeeper.

Japan's approval of new national defense guidelines and its first-ever national security strategy are raising questions whether, after a year of focusing on the economy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is finally baring his nationalist teeth. The announcement this week of a significant increase in military spending over the next five years to counter China’s growing military influence in the region was not unexpected.