This week’s installment of Police Scanner Tuesday takes us once again to the vicious world of authoritarianism.

Western governments report that Syrian president (read: dictator) Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used a chemical weapon against civilians in a rebel-controlled area this morning. The early-morning attack likely involved a nerve agent, based on the agonizing deaths witnessed by survivors and aid workers. Some aid workers fell ill or passed out due to second-hand exposure to the agent while handling corpses.

Assad previously used chemical weapons in August 2013. As the civil war drags on       into its sixth year, Assad seems to plan on regaining control over the ruined shell of           the country once known as Syria by either killing or forcing to flee everyone within           its borders.

One hopes that there is a much higher court than the ICC, one which will extradite            us all in the end..


In St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday, a suicide bomber killed 11 on one of the city’s busiest subway lines. Russian authorities say the suspect, who for obvious reasons is not expected to be arraigned, is a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan. I suspect there is a connection to Daesh, given that group’s heavy recruitment efforts in former Soviet republics in Central Asia, but no group has claimed responsibility at this hour.

I spent one of the happiest months of my life in St. Petersburg. My host family, luckily, was not affected by this attack, though a second device was recovered from a Metro station not far from their apartment.

My condolences go out to the people of St. Petersburg. I found them to be overwhelmingly kind and welcoming of strangers, even someone whose Russian language was saddled with a horrendous American accent.




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