Stories written by Eli Clifton
Eli Clifton is a national security reporter for Eli holds a bachelor's degree from Bates College and a master's degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics. He previously reported on U.S. foreign policy for IPS, where he served as deputy Washington, D.C. bureau chief. His work has appeared on PBS/Frontline's Tehran Bureau, the South China Morning Post, Right Web, Asia Times,, and Website: Blog: | Web

HEALTH: Addressing Preterm Births Crucial to Anti-Poverty Goals

Reducing the annual 13 million preterm births and 3.2 million stillbirths should be a global public health priority, says a report released Monday which asserts that significant reductions in these numbers could be achieved by improving access to low-cost interventions in both low and high-income countries.

POLITICS: What Will China Do With Its Veto?

With relations between China and the U.S. taking some bitter turns in recent months, how China responds to mounting pressure from the U.S. and its European allies for tougher sanctions on Iran is being viewed as a major test of the current relations and a determinant of the future shape of bilateral ties between Washington and Beijing.

US-CHINA: Dalai Lama Visit Adds to List of Grievances

U.S. President Barack Obama met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Thursday in the White House, raising objections from China and adding to existing U.S.-China tensions over Taiwan arms sales, internet censorship and hacking, tariffs on Chinese tyres and calls for Beijing to readjust its currency.

US-PAKISTAN: Baradar Capture Signals Closer Intelligence Cooperation

The capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar last week in a joint operation conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) represents the most important Taliban leader to be taken into custody since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

MIDEAST: U.S. Non-Profit Targeted Rights Group over Goldstone

A campaign of attacks against the New Israel Fund (NIF), a U.S.-based progressive organisation that supports human rights groups in Israel, has gained attention in both the Israeli and U.S. media, raising questions about the role played by foreign non-profits and non-governmental organisations in influencing Israeli government policy.

US-CHINA: Taiwan Arms Sale Heats up Simmering Row

Trade relations between the U.S. and China appear to be hitting a rough patch, with China publicly threatening to impose sanctions on U.S. companies participating in the arms sales to Taiwan, leading some observers to express concern over the growing war of words between Washington and Beijing.

U.S.: Obama Calls for More Development, Counterinsurgency Aid

U.S. President Barack Obama Monday called on Congress to approve major increases over the coming months in global health, development, and counterinsurgency assistance as part of a record 3.8-trillion-dollar 2011 federal budget.

US-CHINA: Spat Escalates Over Internet Freedom

The stern warning given to China by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemning internet censorship and responding to allegations that Chinese hackers had accessed Google email addresses has received a pointed response from the Chinese government, raising questions over what the next move will be for Google, the United States, and U.S. firms that do business in China.

U.S.: Obama Unveils Broad Banking Industry Reforms

U.S. President Barack Obama has delivered his plans for far-reaching banking and financial industry reforms, which mark a noticeable shift to the left in the administration's domestic policy and an acknowledgement of the public anger at Wall Street for its role in the financial crisis.

U.S.: Clinton Criticises China over Internet Censorship

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech Thursday laying out the Barack Obama administration's position on internet freedom, and publicly called on Chinese authorities to investigate the security breaches which preceded last week's decision by Google to end its cooperation with Chinese internet censorship.

POLITICS-US: By-election Seen as Rebuke to Obama

Tuesday's loss by the Democrats of their 60th Senate seat has raised serious questions about the outlook for the White House's policy agenda and spurred a rash of finger-pointing among Democrats over who bears responsibility for the very public rebuke issued by Massachusetts voters.

Haitians wash in a public fountain after a powerful earthquake left their city, Port-au-Prince, devastated and with few water resources. Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

U.S.: Obama Urged to Grant Haitians “Protected Status”

As U.S. and international relief efforts chugged toward Haiti Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced an immediate investment of 100 million dollars in the relief efforts underway following Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

U.S.: Suicide Rate Surged Among Veterans

Suicides among United States military veterans ballooned by 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to new statistics released by the Veterans Affairs (VA) department.

POLITICS: Okinawa Air Base a Thorn in U.S.-Japan Ties

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is traveling in the South Pacific this week on a trip to strengthen the longtime U.S. alliances with Australia, work to improve relations with New Zealand and to bring some forward momentum to U.S.-Japanese negotiations over the controversial relocation of the U.S. air station in Okinawa.

RELIGION: Few States Enjoy Freedom of Faith, Report Says

About one-third of the countries in the world have high or very high restrictions on religion, and nearly 70 percent of the world's population lives in countries with heavy restrictions on freedom of religion, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.

US-IRAN: House Passes Sanctions Bill, Senate Urged to Wait

In advance of U.S. President Barack Obama's end of the year deadline for Iran to respond to negotiations aimed at bringing a halt to the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme, the House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to sanction companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran.

DISARMAMENT: DPRK and U.S. Recommit to 2005 Joint Statement

United States Envoy to North Korea Stephen Bosworth announced Thursday that his three-day visit to Pyongyang has produced no commitment from the North Koreans to return to multilateral talks aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme. However, both sides recommitted to a 2005 joint statement in which the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) committed to dismantle its nuclear programme in exchange for economic aid and other incentives.

US: One Step Closer to Unilateral Sanctions Against Iran

Congress has given new momentum to a bill imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran - a move seen by many as an ineffective form of sanctions and potentially antagonistic against valuable U.S. allies on the U.N. Security Council. This comes ahead of the end of the year deadline set by U.S. President Barack Obama for Tehran to respond to a proposed agreement to export most of its enriched uranium for processing in Russia and France.

AFGHANISTAN: Troop Surge Spurs Obama’s Popularity

A poll released today finds that support among the United States public for President Barack Obama’s troop "surge" in Afghanistan has risen sharply since he delivered his speech last week. But, a plurality of the U.S. public do not believe Obama will follow through on his commitment to begin a withdrawal of U.S. forces in 18-months.

AFGHANISTAN: Gov’t and Donors Fail to Protect Women’s Rights

Attention over the past week has focused on United States President Barack Obama’s decision to "surge" troop levels in Afghanistan to 30,000 and begin a drawdown in 18-months, but a new report calls attention to the failure of the Afghanistan government and international donors to protect women’s rights.

POLITICS: Neo-Cons Get Warm and Fuzzy Over “War President”

U.S. President Barack Obama's plan for a 30,000-troop surge and a troop withdrawal timeline beginning in 18 months has caught criticism from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers.

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