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

FINANCE: IMF Rebuts Critical Report on Lending

The International Monetary Fund is on the defensive over a recent study which charged that a majority of countries with IMF agreements have been subjected to pro-cyclical fiscal or monetary policies during the global economic downturn, exacerbating the effects of the recession and harming some of the world's poorest economies.

MIDEAST: Security Council Urged to Take Up Gaza War

Pressure has been building on the U.N. Security Council to address the impact of the Gaza war on civilians in advance of its meeting Wednesday to discuss the Middle East.

POLITICS-US: Democrats Disgruntled as Obama Fails to Deliver

Since before taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama has been no stranger to being in the crosshairs of Republican pundits who have accused him of everything from bring a "secret communist" to a tax-and-spend liberal who would oversee huge expansions in the federal government.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Firms Divided Over Obama’s Emissions Cuts

Momentum is building in Washington for an overhaul of climate policy, with President Barack Obama signing an executive order Monday directing federal agencies to monitor their greenhouse gas emissions and set targets to reduce their emissions by 2020.

NORTH KOREA: China Seeks to Jumpstart Stalled Nuke Talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's decision to personally greet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Pyongyang airport Sunday is being taken as a positive sign that North Korea may be willing to restart talks on nuclear disarmament.

HONDURAS: Crackdown Prompts International Outcry

Honduras's de facto government under the leadership of Roberto Micheletti is coming under increasing international pressure to restore civil liberties, reopen closed television stations, and negotiate a solution to the coup crisis that was brought to a head by the clandestine return of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who has been taking refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa for the past week.

FINANCE: World Bank Head Acknowledges Shifting Global Order

The world economic crisis has called attention to shifting international power structures as emerging economies gain more influence and the failure of globalisation to assist the poorest countries becomes clear, said World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick in anticipation of the bank's annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey next week.

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the G20 on Friday in Pittsburgh.  Credit: Eli Clifton/IPS

G20: Leaders Agree on Reforms, Poor Still "Out in the Cold"

World leaders at the two-day G20 Summit in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh agreed to work cooperatively to recover from the global economic crisis and create structural reforms with long-term growth as the goal.

G20: Europeans Resist More Clout for South in IMF

An initiative to reform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) voting structure is causing tension at the G20 here as European delegations resist a U.S.-spearheaded effort to give greater clout to emerging economies, primarily because it would decrease European voting power.

POLITICS: Obama's Deal-Making Skills Tested at U.N., G20

U.S. President Barack Obama will make his way Thursday from the U.N. General Assembly in New York to "Steel City" – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - to host the G20 Summit in what has been billed as a week that will put his ability to lead in the international arena to its fullest test.

IRAN: Poll Finds Public Support for Nuke Power over Weapons

A poll released Tuesday shows that Iranians are still strongly in favour of continuing their government's nuclear programme, but are open to compromises which would permit uranium enrichment while allowing international inspectors access to ensure that no bomb-making activities are taking place if sanctions are dropped.

BURMA: Rights Group Tallies Growing Ranks of Political Prisoners

The number of political prisoners held by the ruling military junta in Burma has reached 2,200, according to a report released here by Human Rights Watch Wednesday.

FINANCE: World Bank, NGOs Exhort G20 Not to Forget the Poorest

The World Bank and major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are calling on leaders who will gather for next week's Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Pittsburgh not to forget the needs of the world's poorest countries, which have been severely affected by the last year's financial crisis.

TRADE: "Tyre War" Strains U.S.-China Relations

U.S. President Barack Obama's decision last week to impose tariffs on Chinese tyre imports has sparked a war of words with Beijing, which could lead to retaliatory tariffs and a possible World Trade Organisation (WTO) investigation into U.S. use of emergency tariffs against one of its biggest trading partner.

ECONOMY-US: Obama Presses Reforms Ahead of G20 Meet

U.S. President Barack Obama called Monday for stricter regulation in the financial industries and warned firms that are considering large bonuses for their executives to remember the debt they owe to taxpayers and the federal government for bailing them out last year.

HEALTH: WHO Data Underscores Pneumonia’s Deadly Toll

New data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) sheds light on the leading causes of pneumonia and provides the first country-level information about the effects of pneumonia, the world's leading killer of children under five.

POLITICS-US: Obama Struggles to Regain Early Momentum

The United States Congress returns to work Tuesday after a turbulent summer recess that has raised doubts over President Barack Obama's ability to face down domestic opposition from Republicans and enforce party cohesion on issues ranging from healthcare reform to troop commitments in the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan.

TRADE: Will Obama Steer New Course in Delhi and Pittsburgh?

A "mini-ministerial" meeting has been convened by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Delhi to help member countries draft a roadmap to conclude the troubled Doha round and set the stage for the G20 later this month and the WTO ministerial in Geneva in November.

FINANCE-US: “Vulture Funds” Prey on Poor Debtor Nations

Fifty advocacy organisations are calling on the U.S. Congress to put a stop to investment funds which purchase heavily indebted countries' debt and jeopardise the impact of bilateral and multilateral debt cancellation to over 30 countries.

POLITICS-US: NGOs Call Mubarak to Account for Abuses

Egyptian President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak is visiting Washington this week and will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Jewish American groups.

POLITICS-US: J Street’s Muslim Funding for Peace

News reports and right-wing blogs have been repeating reports which claim that Muslims and Arabs are among the donors to the J Street political action committee (PAC) which lobbies American policymakers to work on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and helps raise campaign funds for candidates who share the views of J Street on promoting American leadership in the peace process.

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