Global Issues

UN: 80 pct of Yemen children in need of immediate aid

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A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations has said said. Sanaa Hurriyet ”Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance,” the executive directors of three U.N. agencies said in a joint statement released at the end of a two-day visit on July 25. ”Nearly two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera. Disease creates more malnutrition. ... Read More »

What lessons can Nicola Sturgeon learn from Catalonian Indyref plans?

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Once again, it looks like voters in Catalonia are headed to the polls to vote on whether to declare independence from Spain. Ross McCafferty The Scotsman Readers in Scotland, especially those weary of talk over another plebiscite, will have a feeling of solidarity with those in the area that includes Barcelona, as this is the second time in three years the Spanish region will have its say on constitutional matters. The poll, tentatively scheduled for October 1, comes just over ... Read More »

Why offshore processing of refugees bound for Europe is such a bad idea

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n the same day that a top UN official bravely called on Australia to end the harmful practice of processing asylum applications offshore in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, one of his colleagues announced his support for another proposed offshoring system – this time to prevent migrants reaching the… Daria Davitti  The Conversation On July 24, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that Australia’s policy to deny access to asylum in Australia for refugees arriving by sea “has caused extensive, ... Read More »

How Long Can China Ignore Its Growing Debt Pile?

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Beijing has been reluctant to tackle reforms to politically sensitive state-owned enterprises, fearing the potential for popular discontent. Anthony Fensom The National Interest Quarter after quarter, China’s gross domestic product numbers keep coming in nearly perfectly on Beijing’s forecasts. The trouble for the world’s second-biggest economy, however, is that its debt keeps on rising while necessary reforms take a back seat to the… According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, GDP expanded by 6.9 percent in the second quarter from ... Read More »

Pakistani court removes PM Nawaz Sharif from office in Panama Papers case

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Disqualification from office over corruption allegations is the most serious political ramification yet of 2016 leak Sune Engel Rasmussen The Guardian Pakistan’s supreme court has removed the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office in a unanimous verdict over corruption allegations that will further upset the country’s unstable political landscape. The verdict by the five-member court caps a year of political controversy over corruption allegations unleashed by the Pakistani court removes… Read More »

Defiant Varadkar tells British: we won’t design Brexit border for you

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Taoiseach says ‘if anyone should be angry, it’s us’ Mary Minihan The Irish Times Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Ireland is “not going to design a border for the Brexiteers”. He struck a defiant note at a media briefing in Government Buildings on Friday when he insisted in the strongest terms yet that Ireland did not want an economic border with the United Kingdom after it leaves the European Union. “What we’re not going to do is to design a ... Read More »

Putin signs Syria base deal, cementing Russia’s presence there for half a century

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President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a deal with the Syrian government allowing Russia to keep its air base in Syria for almost half a century, official documents show. Moscow – Reuters Hurriyet The original deal, signed in Damascus in January, sets out the terms under which Russia can use its Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province which it has used to carry out air strikes against forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad. Putin approved the agreement on July ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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China and Russia’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. Crisis Group To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar ... Read More »

Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General on Peacekeeping in DRC

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While the presence of the UN peace operation MONUSCO in the DRC is crucial, it needs to adapt to the deepening crisisΒ as violence escalates in parts of the country, and recognise President Kabila’s role in the… The UN should use its forthcoming strategic review to adjust the mission to these challenges. Jean-Marie Guehenno * ICG Your Excellency, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing its deepest crisis since the end of the 1998-2003 war. Prospects for a peaceful transfer ... Read More »

Will the Kurds Get Their Independence Referendum?

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The Kurdish region faces a multiplicity of hurdles as it prepares for the “yes to independence” referendum. Seth J. Frantzman The National Interest Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and… New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil ... Read More »

This is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever

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The zeal the United States and USSR had to outperform one another in the Space Race was beneficial to scientific progress. Martand Jha The National Interest The Space Race between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics post World War II was a tipping point in the history of mankind. This superpower race intensified the Cold War rivalry because for the first time mankind was looking to compete in the arena of space. Dominance over space and ... Read More »

Israel to Erdoğan: The days of the Ottoman Empire are over

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In response to statements made by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan that linked the problems in Palestine to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the days of the Ottoman Empire are over. Turkish Minute Erdoğan criticized Israel over the installation of metal detectors at the entrance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem after assailants killed two Israeli police officers on July 14 and said Israel had exceeded its boundaries. Nahshon, who criticized ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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Russia’s and China’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. ICG To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar investments ... Read More »

The South China Sea’s untapped oil and natural gas are back in focus

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The contested South China Sea has large deposits of oil and natural gas. Steve Mollman Quartz Perhaps luckily for the environment, drilling for these resources has been discouraged by political tension among nations in the region. In particular, energy companies worry about China’s ongoing insistence that everything within its infamous nine-dash line—which marks off nearly the entire sea—is its own territory, despite an international tribunal invalidating the sweeping claim last year. The uncertainty has made it hard for energy companies ... Read More »

How the Islamic State Rose, Fell and Could Rise Again in the Maghreb

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Despite its ongoing demise in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State (ISIS) could prove resurgent in the Maghreb if past lessons and lingering threats remain… ICG Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia should go beyond security and military measures to address persistent local grievances and tensions that ISIS has proven adept in… Executive Summary The Islamic State (ISIS) is in sharp decline, but in its rout lie important lessons and lingering… This is true for the four countries of the Maghreb ... Read More »

IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts

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The UK and US economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). BBC It said “weaker-than-expected activity” in the first three months of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7%, compared with an earlier 2% forecast. The IMF also revised down its US growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.1%. However, its overall global economic predictions – of 3.5% growth in 2017 and… IMF downgrades UK… Read More »