Analysis

Russians Back Crimea Action, They’d Better

Elena Smolenskaya doesn’t hesitate a second when asked what she thinks about the Russian military intervention in Crimea. The 23-year-old Moscow student is convinced that President Vladimir Putin had no choice but to order troops into the country.

Crimea Faces a ‘Frozen Conflict’

Crimea could remain under Russian control indefinitely as the current crisis - described by some politicians as Europe’s gravest since the end of the Cold War – threatens to turn into a “frozen conflict”, experts say.

Resolving Nuclear Arms Claims Hinges on Iran’s Demand for Documents

The Barack Obama administration has demanded that Iran resolve “past and present concerns” about the “possible military dimensions” of its nuclear programme as a condition for signing a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Rights Trampled in Venezuelan Protests

Fifteen dead, dozens injured, some 500 arrested and denunciations of torture, illegal repression by security forces and irregular groups and attacks on the press are the fruits of over two weeks of political confrontation in the streets of some 30 Venezuelan cities. 

North Korea Doing Fine Without the South

If the North Korea of the 1990s was seen as a starving nation that produced an exodus of hungry people, then the picture should be even gloomier now – six years after it stopped receiving South Korea’s generous aid. But it’s not. The nation of 24 million people, widely said to be the most secretive in the world and a nuclear threat, appears to have weathered the years well.

Gbagbo’s Party Recovers Political Might Ahead of Ivorian Elections

Armand Konan stood in front of the Palais des Sports, a stadium in Abidjan’s popular neighbourhood, Treichville, selling videos and speeches of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. “People need to remember what our president said...He is our president. And we want him back,” Konan told IPS.

Swiss Vote for New Squeeze on Migrants

Swiss voters have approved an initiative by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) aimed at limiting immigration. The result not only threatens the free movement of people, but all agreements between Switzerland and the European Union.

‘Humanitarian Crisis’ for Ogaden Living Near Ethiopia’s Oil Fields

New allegations of scorched earth evictions of the Ogaden people have raised concerns that a lack of benefit sharing could escalate instability in the region and reinforce separatist tensions as foreign energy companies prepare to extract oil and gas from troubled southeastern Ethiopia.

U.S. Adopts Israeli Demand to Bring Iran’s Missiles into Nuclear Talks

The Barack Obama administration's insistence that Iran discuss its ballistic missile programme in the negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement brings its position into line with that of Israel and senators who introduced legislation drafted by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC aimed at torpedoing the negotiations.

Chinese Shadow-Boxing Hurts Ties With Philippines

Dissatisfied with the Philippines’ response to the 2010 Manila hostage crisis, which led to the death of eight Hong Kong residents and injuries to seven others, authorities took the unprecedented decision late January to impose travel restrictions against Filipino officials. The restrictions took effect Feb. 5.

Recession and Repression Fuel Anger

As Ukraine’s capital experiences the worst violence in its post-Soviet history, some protestors are warning that the festering discontent with the regime which led to the current crisis is unlikely to disappear overnight even if a solution to the current impasse is found.

Political Violence in Venezuela, a Game With No Clear End

Violence on the streets of Venezuela, with anti-government protests in the capital and 12 other cities, is a sign of hardening stances by both the government and its opponents as President Nicolás Maduro takes a trial-and-error approach to the economy in crisis.

Obama’s Arms Sales Policy: Promotion or Restraint?

The United States is the world’s leading arms trafficking nation, with $60 billion in arms transfer agreements last year alone. In 2011, U.S. companies and the U.S. government controlled over three-quarters of the international weapons trade.

Philippines Makes Tentative Truce With Islamists

After two years of intensive negotiations, the Philippine government and the country’s largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), have signed a final peace agreement, which paves the way for a lasting resolution of one of the world’s longest-running intra-state conflicts.

Misread Telexes Led Analysts to See Iran Nuclear Arms Programme

When Western intelligence agencies began in the early 1990s to intercept telexes from an Iranian university to foreign high technology firms, intelligence analysts believed they saw the first signs of military involvement in Iran’s nuclear programme. That suspicion led to U.S. intelligence assessments over the next decade that Iran was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons.

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