Stories written by Aprille Muscara
Aprille Muscara is based in Washington, D.C. and is IPS’s online content and community manager. Prior to this position, she was the deputy bureau chief in Washington, D.C., covering global issues and United States foreign policy. She joined IPS in 2010 as a United Nations correspondent in New York covering the U.N. Security Council, international development and human rights. She is also co-coordinator of IPS’s North America intern programme. Aprille’s work has been published by IPS, Al Jazeera English, Truthout, Reuters AlertNet, Asia Times, and The Electronic Intifida, among other outlets and translated into multiple languages worldwide.

Flagged for Removal: Online Censorship on the Rise

The shutdown was surprisingly swift and almost total. In the midst of a popular revolution – one that was blogged, YouTubed, and Twittered in minute-by-minute cyber blasts – the Egyptian regime tightened its Internet spigot in late January, choking the free flow of information down to a trickle.

Celebrations in Washington after news of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Credit: Aprille Muscara/IPS

Dramatic End to Long Hunt

In the middle of the night, in an affluent suburb a little over 50 kilometres north of Islamabad, Pakistan, Osama bin Laden was gunned down in a compound shielded by barbed wire-topped walls up to five-and-a-half metres high. He resisted, United States officials say, fighting till the death as he had vowed he would.

G24 Says Rich Nations’ Policies Hurting Developing World

Finance ministers of the G24 group of developing and emerging countries met on the sidelines the World Bank and International Monetary Fund spring meetings here on Thursday, warning against continued risks to their economies, despite largely "strong" growth as the world climbs out of the global financial crisis.

About 35 percent of the world

A Table for Nine Billion

As the World Bank and International Monetary Fund convene for their annual Spring Meetings here, soaring food prices are high on the agenda, prompting some analysts to fast-forward to 2050 and the question of how to nourish the mid-century's estimated world population of 8.9 billion people – the majority of whom will live in developing countries.

COLOMBIA: Court Documents Reveal Chiquita Paid for Security

Contrary to claims by Chiquita Brands International that its payments to Colombian paramilitary and guerrilla groups over more than a decade were extorted, internal company documents released here Thursday strongly suggest that the transactions provided specific benefits to the banana giant.

U.S.-Colombia Deal on Labour Rights Met with Scepticism

On the eve of a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos here on Thursday, the White House announced that a deal has been reached on key labour issues upholding the countries' stalled bilateral trade pact.

U.S. Defends Role in Cote d’Ivoire Crisis

As Cote d'Ivoire enters its fourth month of post-election violence with intensified fighting and bloodshed, the White House is defending its efforts thus far to shepherd a solution to the stalemate between incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, the internationally-recognised winner of last fall's elections.

Political turmoil in Arab nations that hold about two-thirds of the world

Sky-High Oil Prices Here to Stay

As the Arab world continues to pitch and heave with flashes of popular uprisings here and sparks of brutal crackdowns there, analysts are painting a grim picture of the regional unrest's economic consequences, predicting the persistence of high oil prices in the coming years.

Latin America’s Gaze Increasingly Turns East

On the heels of U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to Latin America, Washington's traditional role as "regional hegemon" is being reevaluated as its attention focuses on the Arab Spring and an emerging commercial competitor - China - focuses on the U.S.'s backyard.

Obama takes questions on Libya during a visit to El Salvador, Mar. 22, 2011. Credit: White House Photo, Pete Souza

LIBYA: Obama Doctrine of Multilateralism on the Line

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) prepares to assume command and control of military operations in Libya after five days of the United States at the helm, U.S. President Barack Obama's doctrine of multilateralism is on the line.

Obama Leaves Door Open to Regime Change in Libya

The fate of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi remains up in the air after the United States and its allied partners began missile strikes over the weekend to impose a no-fly zone (NFZ) in the North African country.

The lights of El Paso, seen from Ciudad Juárez.  Credit: Daniela Pastrana/IPS

MEXICO-US: Little Spillover of “Narco-Deaths”

In the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas the media sounded the alarm: six murders committed in just two months, more than the 2010 total of five. Just across the Mexican border, in the sprawling border city of Ciudad Juárez, no one doubts that this year's homicide rate will surpass last year's record: 3,111.

LIBYA: Obama Threatens Military Action if Attacks Resume

U.S. President Barack Obama issued an ultimatum to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Friday, less than 24 hours after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to "take all necessary measures" short of deploying an "occupation force".

Military Intervention in Libya May Already Be Irrelevant

As the White House and its partners in the international community inch closer to a decision over military action in Libya, while Muammar Gaddafi's forces advance steadily into rebel-controlled territory, some analysts argue that the intervention debate is nearing irrelevance after raging unabated for almost a month.

BAHRAIN: Saudi Deployment Could Widen Communal Fault Lines

Monday's arrival of 1,200 Saudi and 500 Emirati security forces with a mandate from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to support King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa's regime in Sunni- ruled, Shiite-majority Bahrain only stokes sectarian conflict and fuels the regional power politics between U.S.-Saudi hegemony and an increasingly influential Shiite-led Iran, analysts here argue.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Still Stuck in Stalemate

The past-due leader of this resource-rich African nation remains bent on clinging to power, despite calls by his opposition and the wider international community to leave office immediately.

U.S.: Critics Condemn Islam Hearings as Witch Hunts

On the eve of a controversial hearing by lawmakers on extremist Islam in the United States, civil rights and Muslim- American groups are warning of its potential repercussions, which they say may undermine the very intent of the proceeding.

Thousands restless to leave Libya swarm the Tunisian border. Credit: UN Photo/UNHCR/A. Duclos

LIBYA: Aid Groups Struggle with Rising Tide of Refugees

The international community is ramping up efforts to alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis in Libya, which has affected over 200,000 people since the Muammar Gaddafi regime first began a violent crackdown on opposition forces some three weeks ago.

LIBYA: Thousands of Foreign Labourers Trapped in Turmoil

As violent unrest continues unabated in Libya, with the potential to descend into what U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a "protracted civil war" in statements to lawmakers here this week, international rights groups are raising the alarm over the resulting humanitarian crisis and the particularly desperate plight of stranded immigrant labourers.

LIBYA: West, U.N. Turn Up Heat on Gaddafi

International efforts to strangle Muammar Gaddafi's regime are intensifying, as Western leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, call for the autocrat's immediate departure, while the Pentagon and key allies consider contingency plans for a potential no-fly zone over the North African nation.

U.S. Lays Out Sanctions on Libya as “First Step”

As the bloodshed of protestors in Libya continues unabated for the eighth day in a row, the White House took its strongest stance against Muammar Gaddafi's regime Friday, announcing that the United States will impose unilateral sanctions and has suspended its embassy operations in the oil-producing country.

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