Showing posts tagged as "Politics"

Showing posts tagged Politics

22 Sep
Fighting rages in Yemeni capital as deal with Shia Houthi rebels stalls | Peter Salisbury
Fighting has intensified in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in the biggest challenge to the country’s transition to democracy since former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted in 2012.
As violence raged for a fourth day the prime minister Mohammed Salem Bassindwa resigned, accusing president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi of being “autocratic”, senior officials said. State news agency Saba reported Basindawa’s resignation, but without giving the reason.
The UN envoy to the conflict-stricken country struggled to broker a last-minute peace deal between Houthi rebels – a militant Shia movement – and the government. The city has reverberated with the sound of shelling, gunfire and fighter jets. Hundreds of people have been displaced from their homes and dozens killed in the fighting, which has spread through much of the west of the capital.
FULL ARTICLE (The Guardian)
Photo: Al Jazeera English/flickr

Fighting rages in Yemeni capital as deal with Shia Houthi rebels stalls | Peter Salisbury

Fighting has intensified in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in the biggest challenge to the country’s transition to democracy since former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted in 2012.

As violence raged for a fourth day the prime minister Mohammed Salem Bassindwa resigned, accusing president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi of being “autocratic”, senior officials said. State news agency Saba reported Basindawa’s resignation, but without giving the reason.

The UN envoy to the conflict-stricken country struggled to broker a last-minute peace deal between Houthi rebels – a militant Shia movement – and the government. The city has reverberated with the sound of shelling, gunfire and fighter jets. Hundreds of people have been displaced from their homes and dozens killed in the fighting, which has spread through much of the west of the capital.

FULL ARTICLE (The Guardian)

Photo: Al Jazeera English/flickr

Competing Solutions to Keeping Peace in Africa 

In this video, Dr. Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director of the International Crisis Group, joins UNU Policy Advisor Rahul Chandran to discuss the challenges and potential solutions for overcoming conflict and maintaining peace in Africa.

FULL VIDEO (United Nations University) 

Israel & the US: The Delusions of Our Diplomacy | Nathan Thrall
In the early days of the Gaza war that took the lives of some 2,100 Palestinians and seventy-two Israelis, a number of officials in Washington, Ramallah, and Jerusalem began to speak of renewing Israeli–Palestinian negotiations mediated by the United States. As the fighting dragged on, this talk intensified, again showing that the “peace process” gains greatest urgency from the threat of Israeli–Palestinian violence.
There is little reason to believe that renewed talks would succeed. The obstacles that caused the failure of the negotiations led by Secretary of State John Kerry have not disappeared. Many of them have grown larger. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his political program of nonviolence and negotiation have been weakened by Hamas’s strategy in Gaza, which impressed many Palestinians, although the costs were enormous. Hamas sent thousands of rockets into Israel, killing seven civilians, while Israeli air strikes and artillery killed hundreds of children, devastated large parts of Gaza, and left tens of thousands of people homeless. Reconstruction will cost many billions and take years.
Still, Hamas demonstrated that its militancy and its willingness to endure a ferocious Israeli attack could achieve more in weeks than Abbas’s talks have achieved in years. During the Gaza war, Israel did not announce a single new settlement in the West Bank. Although Israel did not agree to some of Hamas’s most important requests—for example, the opening of a seaport and the release of recently arrested prisoners—it showed eagerness to negotiate with the Palestinians and willingness to make significant concessions, including the easing of some border crossings, extending fishing rights, and facilitating the supply of construction materials.
FULL ARTICLE (The New York Review of Books)
Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/flickr

Israel & the US: The Delusions of Our Diplomacy | Nathan Thrall

In the early days of the Gaza war that took the lives of some 2,100 Palestinians and seventy-two Israelis, a number of officials in Washington, Ramallah, and Jerusalem began to speak of renewing Israeli–Palestinian negotiations mediated by the United States. As the fighting dragged on, this talk intensified, again showing that the “peace process” gains greatest urgency from the threat of Israeli–Palestinian violence.

There is little reason to believe that renewed talks would succeed. The obstacles that caused the failure of the negotiations led by Secretary of State John Kerry have not disappeared. Many of them have grown larger. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his political program of nonviolence and negotiation have been weakened by Hamas’s strategy in Gaza, which impressed many Palestinians, although the costs were enormous. Hamas sent thousands of rockets into Israel, killing seven civilians, while Israeli air strikes and artillery killed hundreds of children, devastated large parts of Gaza, and left tens of thousands of people homeless. Reconstruction will cost many billions and take years.

Still, Hamas demonstrated that its militancy and its willingness to endure a ferocious Israeli attack could achieve more in weeks than Abbas’s talks have achieved in years. During the Gaza war, Israel did not announce a single new settlement in the West Bank. Although Israel did not agree to some of Hamas’s most important requests—for example, the opening of a seaport and the release of recently arrested prisoners—it showed eagerness to negotiate with the Palestinians and willingness to make significant concessions, including the easing of some border crossings, extending fishing rights, and facilitating the supply of construction materials.

FULL ARTICLE (The New York Review of Books)

Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/flickr

19 Sep
Syrian Kurds appeal to Turkish brethren for help fighting Isis |  Erika Solomon in Beirut and Piotr Zalewski in Istanbul
Syrian Kurdish militias pleaded for help from Turkish Kurds on Thursday after fighters from the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant, Isis, seized 21 Kurdish villages in northwestern Syria in less than 24 hours, bringing them within sight of the Turkish border.
Activists said Isis is now surrounding the area around Kobani, also known as ‘Ayn al-Arab, inside Syria’s embattled Aleppo province. The region is a Kurdish pocket in rebel and Isis-held territories.
FULL ARTICLE (The Financial Times)
Photo: James Gordon/flickr

Syrian Kurds appeal to Turkish brethren for help fighting Isis |  Erika Solomon in Beirut and Piotr Zalewski in Istanbul

Syrian Kurdish militias pleaded for help from Turkish Kurds on Thursday after fighters from the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant, Isis, seized 21 Kurdish villages in northwestern Syria in less than 24 hours, bringing them within sight of the Turkish border.

Activists said Isis is now surrounding the area around Kobani, also known as ‘Ayn al-Arab, inside Syria’s embattled Aleppo province. The region is a Kurdish pocket in rebel and Isis-held territories.

FULL ARTICLE (The Financial Times)

Photo: James Gordon/flickr

Making the headlines | The Economist
“RATLIKE cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability”—the qualities of a successful journalist, according to Nicholas Tomalin, one of the breed—are not traditionally valued in think-tanks, the semi-academic institutions that come up with ideas for politicians. Their policy papers are meant to be dry; their wonks more like politicised civil servants than hacks. But increasingly think-tanks are doing journalism—not just blogging and tweeting but foreign reporting, too. Deskbound journalists, meanwhile, are embracing data and spreadsheets.
FULL ARTICLE (The Economist)
Photo: European Union 2012/European Parliament/flickr

Making the headlines | The Economist

“RATLIKE cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability”—the qualities of a successful journalist, according to Nicholas Tomalin, one of the breed—are not traditionally valued in think-tanks, the semi-academic institutions that come up with ideas for politicians. Their policy papers are meant to be dry; their wonks more like politicised civil servants than hacks. But increasingly think-tanks are doing journalism—not just blogging and tweeting but foreign reporting, too. Deskbound journalists, meanwhile, are embracing data and spreadsheets.

FULL ARTICLE (The Economist)

Photo: European Union 2012/European Parliament/flickr

18 Sep

Crisis Group’s Central Africa analyst Thibaud Lesueur speaks to Al Jazeera about the UN taking over peacekeeping from African Union in Central African Republic.

FULL Report (Al Jazeera)

17 Sep
Libya’s leaders shelter by the sea as country tilts toward civil war | LAURA KING AND YASMINE RYAN
The seaside hotel that serves as the last redoubt of Libya’s internationally recognized government is named Dar al-Salam, or House of Peace. But beyond the confines of this modest port city nearly a thousand miles from the capital, this country teeters on the brink of civil war.
In the three years since longtime dictator Moammar Kadafi was toppled and slain, the energy-rich North African nation has struggled fitfully to reach some power equilibrium among heavily armed groups, fractured along ideological, regional and tribal lines. But over the last four months, the level of violence has escalated as the various groups fight for influence and riches, and the very notion of Libya as a state is slipping away.
FULL REPORT (Los Angeles Times)
Photo: Nasser Nouri/flickr

Libya’s leaders shelter by the sea as country tilts toward civil war | LAURA KING AND YASMINE RYAN

The seaside hotel that serves as the last redoubt of Libya’s internationally recognized government is named Dar al-Salam, or House of Peace. But beyond the confines of this modest port city nearly a thousand miles from the capital, this country teeters on the brink of civil war.

In the three years since longtime dictator Moammar Kadafi was toppled and slain, the energy-rich North African nation has struggled fitfully to reach some power equilibrium among heavily armed groups, fractured along ideological, regional and tribal lines. But over the last four months, the level of violence has escalated as the various groups fight for influence and riches, and the very notion of Libya as a state is slipping away.

FULL REPORT (Los Angeles Times)

Photo: Nasser Nouri/flickr

Why Liberians Thought Ebola Was a Government Scam to Attract Western Aid | Sara Jerving
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, has killed nearly 2,500 people since it was first identified in the region in December 2013. But when the Ebola virus hit the coastal city of Monrovia, Liberia, it sent crisis responders into a new level of panic. Ebola has never before hit as densely populated an area as Monrovia with such force. While Ebola was only first identified in the city in June, the county where the capital is located now accounts for nearly 40 percent of the deaths in the country.
Of all the countries now dealing with Ebola, Liberia is now in the worst condition. The virus first entered the country in March and three months later hit the capital city, spreading quickly and threatening to infect large numbers of people. Sierra Leone and Guinea have managed to keep cases mostly to the rural areas and Nigeria was able to quickly quarantine the small outbreak in Lagos. But in Monrovia, the virus is still uncontrolled. The city has become the “worry of the world,” says Andrew Hoskins, Medical Teams International country director. One of the reasons that Liberia is facing a more acute crisis than its neighbors is that high levels of corruption have created widespread distrust in the government—undermining its efforts to contain the virus.
FULL REPORT (The Nation)
Photo: EC/ECHO/Jean-Louis Mosser/flickr

Why Liberians Thought Ebola Was a Government Scam to Attract Western Aid | Sara Jerving

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, has killed nearly 2,500 people since it was first identified in the region in December 2013. But when the Ebola virus hit the coastal city of Monrovia, Liberia, it sent crisis responders into a new level of panic. Ebola has never before hit as densely populated an area as Monrovia with such force. While Ebola was only first identified in the city in June, the county where the capital is located now accounts for nearly 40 percent of the deaths in the country.

Of all the countries now dealing with Ebola, Liberia is now in the worst condition. The virus first entered the country in March and three months later hit the capital city, spreading quickly and threatening to infect large numbers of people. Sierra Leone and Guinea have managed to keep cases mostly to the rural areas and Nigeria was able to quickly quarantine the small outbreak in Lagos. But in Monrovia, the virus is still uncontrolled. The city has become the “worry of the world,” says Andrew Hoskins, Medical Teams International country director. One of the reasons that Liberia is facing a more acute crisis than its neighbors is that high levels of corruption have created widespread distrust in the government—undermining its efforts to contain the virus.

FULL REPORT (The Nation)

Photo: EC/ECHO/Jean-Louis Mosser/flickr

With A Deadline Looming, Iran’s Nuclear Talks Reopen In New York | PETER KENYON

Negotiations on limiting Iran’s nuclear program resume this week in New York, but a summer of multiplying crises has world capitals distracted as the talks hit a crucial stage.

The high-profile setting for this round of talks between Iran and six world powers has raised expectations, and the talks come at a time when world leaders are also gathering for the U.N. General Assembly meeting.

The last round of talks, aimed at giving Iran sanctions relief if it accepts strict limits intended to keep it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, ended in Vienna in July with only an agreement to keep trying for a few more months.

Now, as a crisis-heavy summer turns into fall, the Ukraine conflict, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the extremist violence in Iraq and Syria are all threatening to overshadow the Iran issue.

READ FULL TRANSCRIPT (NPR)

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16 Sep
Despite warnings, more Western tourists are traveling to North Korea | STEVEN BOROWIEC
It’s the kind of publicity that would seemingly scare off sightseers: A trio of U.S. citizens detained in North Korea pleading for help last week in brief, rarely granted media interviews.
Yet even as the ordeal for the men, who had gone to the reclusive communist outpost with tour groups, drags on — and as the U.S. strongly warns Americans against visiting — North Korea is making a push for more Western tourists.
And more are visiting.
FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)
Photo: Robert/Flickr

Despite warnings, more Western tourists are traveling to North Korea | STEVEN BOROWIEC

It’s the kind of publicity that would seemingly scare off sightseers: A trio of U.S. citizens detained in North Korea pleading for help last week in brief, rarely granted media interviews.

Yet even as the ordeal for the men, who had gone to the reclusive communist outpost with tour groups, drags on — and as the U.S. strongly warns Americans against visiting — North Korea is making a push for more Western tourists.

And more are visiting.

FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)

Photo: Robert/Flickr