Stories written by Joe Hitchon

Syrian Rebel Setbacks Spur Renewed Talk of No-Fly Zones

A series of reversals for Syria’s rebels this month has prompted its supporters here to call for much greater U.S. military intervention in the civil war in order to give them a stronger bargaining position in advance of any peace negotiations.

OAS Chief Calls for “Long-Awaited” Debate on Drug Policy

Following the release of a major draft report on drug policy in the Americas, the secretary-general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, called for the beginning of debate aimed at reforming those policies throughout the region.

Nuclear Iran Unlikely to Tilt Regional Power Balance – Report

A nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a fundamental threat to the United States and its regional allies like Israel and the Gulf Arab monarchies, according to a new report released here Friday by the Rand Corporation.

Pressure Mounting on U.S. over Congo Violence

With casualties in the long-running conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now surpassing every conflict since World War II, U.S. policymakers and advocates are stepping up campaigns to raise awareness and push legislation aimed at encouraging new negotiations, assisting in government reforms, and pressuring the neighbouring countries that have propped up the DRC’s government.

Fragile States Show Signs of Progress Toward MDGs

Twenty of the world’s most fragile states, including those currently affected by conflict, have achieved one or more of the development targets outlined under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Bank said this week.

U.S., Others Wrangle over Future Arctic Governance

With climate change rapidly opening up new opportunities for shipping and resource extraction across the once permanently frozen Arctic, the United States and other northern countries are being compelled to re-examine their policies, both national and collective, towards this region of growing geostrategic importance.

U.S. Kiobel Decision Bucks 30 Years of Precedent

The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Company brought by alleged human rights victims.

Hunger Strikes Put Guantanamo Back in the Spotlight

Public debate here over the military prison at Guantanamo Bay heated up again following Monday’s surprise publication of a highly charged article by an inmate at the prison, one of dozens currently engaged in a months-long hunger strike over detainees’ “indefinite detention”.

High Stakes for Engaging Morsi’s Egypt

Women and minorities should be a top priority in U.S. policy toward Egypt and its Muslim Brotherhood government leaders, experts here said on Friday, despite increasingly unfavourable public views towards Egypt.

U.S. Aid to Post-Earthquake Haiti a “Black Box”

Following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, more than a billion dollars of U.S. aid money has gone to that country with little transparency or accountability on how the money is being used, according to new data released by a watchdog group here.

Group Warns of “Natural Resources Giveaway” in Latin America

Researchers have unveiled new data warning that governments in Latin America are infringing on the rights of their indigenous populations in a bid to fuel development through the extraction of natural resources.

Filipino Workers Urge Overhaul of U.S. Guest Worker Policies

A spate of legal battles in the southern state of Louisiana has shed new light on the unfair recruitment and employment practices of Filipino guest workers at several companies in the United States.

Food Policies Failing the World’s Hungry

The world’s food security remains “vulnerable”, new data suggests, with some 870 million people experiencing sustained hunger and two billion suffering from micronutrient deficiencies.

U.S. Claims No Indefinite Detention at Guantánamo

In an unusual public testimony, the U.S. government has publicly stated that no “indefinite detention” is taking place among detainees at the military prison in Guantánamo Bay.

UNRWA Head Warns of Palestinian Crisis in Syria

A top United Nations official is warning that the plight of Palestinian refugees is being neglected amidst the ongoing crisis in Syria.

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