World Peace Update
So the past week has also been boring. Had Mario Balotelli not moved to AC Milan, I would most likely be suffering from violence withdrawal right now.
So thank you Mario; fuck you, gods of war; hello, ever-reliable Egyptian protesters and blood-thirsty Syrian monarchs.
Let's do this.
As the transfer deadline loomed over Manchester City, the team decided to cut their losses and sell mercurial Italian striker Mario Balotelli to his favourite team, AC Milan. Football fans across the UK held hands and wept as one as the Premier League's last interesting footballers packed his bags for Italy, leaving behind a tangle of hilarious anecdotes and foolishness.
His arrival in Milan was celebrated with a manic fanfare. (Well, it wasn't quite as manic as when Darius Vassell landed in Turkey to play for Ankaragücü, but manic nonetheless.) Even Balotelli himself joined in the festivities at some point, chanting his own name alongside fans who had gathered to watch him and AC's vice-president Adriano Galliani eat outside a restaurant. Unsurprisingly, that did little to chill the fans out, so the police decided to calm things down by hitting people with their sticks.
In Egypt, the violence that characterised the anniversary of the revolution and the Port Said massacre trials (where police snipers picked off protesters) continued for a second week, with police and demonstrators dancing their horrible dance outside the presidential palace in Cairo this weekend. Altercations of this sort are rapidly becoming the norm in Egypt, as the reform promised by President Morsi relentlessly fails to materialise.
That lack of reform, particularly in reference to the police, was further highlighted by this video showing the cops beating and stripping an elderly male protester before bundling him into a police vehicle. Throw in plenty more arbritrary beatings and the torture of people who've been arrested and it's clear that whoever the fuck's in charge in Egypt desperately needs to regain control over a police force that is far too trigger-happy for its own good.
You might have grown used to reading about Greece's anarchists and fascists taking on their struggling government, but this week it was the communists who made headlines. PAME party members came face to face with police after they invaded and occupied the Labour Minister's office in retaliation to the breaking up of a transport union's strike by police the week before. The office remained besieged for two hours and the punches went off once the police tried to arrest some of the occupiers.
In the past, occupations of the sort have been tolerated but lately the government seems much more eager to crack down on anti-austerity protesters. Not that this is doing much to quell the resistance: A general strike has been called for later this month. Knowing Greece, it's unlikely to run smoothly, so expect another blue and white entry into World Peace Update in the coming weeks.
How is one supposed to complicate and possibly escalate a conflict like the civil war in Syria? Get Israel involved! Last week, Israeli jets launched a number of air strikes against targets inside Syria. One of those targets was a chemical weapons research centre and the other, a convoy of arms which was allegedly heading to the Iranian backed militant group Hezbollah, in Lebanon. For months Israel has expressed concern that Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist rebels as the regime gradually loses control of its army bases. Another concern for Israel has been Hezbollah getting their hands on Syria's surface-to-air missiles. The convoy that was destroyed was allegedly carrying some of these highly sought-after missiles.
The Syrian regime vowed to retaliate for the attack but it doesn't seem to have the manpower to do that while also dealing with the rebels simultaneously. What is more, the international reaction was largely muted, which can only embolden the Israelis to do whatever the fuck they want. First his mum abandons him and then the bully next door starts picking on him, what is next for poor little Bashar? Loads more depressing humiliation at the hands of the rebels, I'd guess. Fingers crossed.
Check back next week to see if everything's still fucked.
Follow Henry on Twitter: @Henry_Langston