Four lion cubs sit in a basket as they are christened at Hagenbecks zoo in Hamburg, Germany. The cubs, named Bandele, Batou, Naledi and Sakina, were born on January 31.
The advance of the Islamic State in Iraq opens an opportunity for Kurds to seek an independent state. But they must be cautious and ensure such a move does not trigger violence. The Middle East needs examples of peaceful means of change.
Iraq's Kurdish minority have expanded their territorial control this month thanks to the collapse of the Iraqi army in the country's north. Kurdish leaders are unlikely to give it back.
Bashar al-Assad once envisioned Syria as a future hub of oil transport in the region – a 'four seas strategy' to connect the region's major oil players to European markets. After two and a half years of civil war, that plan appears all but lost.
The Iraqi central government and authorities of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government put together a seven-point deal last week that could see the Kurds resume oil exports to Iraq in return for a revision of the Iraqi 2013 budget, Alic writes.