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Bibi, Obama, and the Middle East

Bibi, Obama, and the Middle East

There has been much discussion and grandiose speech-making on the Middle East this week. First Obama gave a “big” address on the Arab Spring, and he even touched on the Israel-Palestinian peace process too. Then Bibi Netanyahu arrived in town for meetings with Obama and to give a speech to a joint session of Congress […]

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The Speech

There is, of course, much commentary already on Obama’s Middle East speech.  Here are some assorted thoughts from me. First, Obama stated unequivocal support for democracy, asserting that U.S. policy is to “support a set of universal rights” that includes “the right to choose your own leaders—whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or […]

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Microfinance and Young Indonesia

Microfinance and Young Indonesia

A article that I co-authored for The Diplomat: Microfinance is a hot topic in a number of developing countries. Unfortunately, over the last year, it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. For a start, Muhammad Yunus—the Nobel Prize-winning founder of Grameen Bank—has been pushed out of his job in Bangladesh. In […]

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Remaining French 2012 presidential candidates in dead heat

Remaining French 2012 presidential candidates in dead heat

It was all but certain that Dominique Strauss-Kahn planned to step down from the IMF this summer to declare his candidacy for president in next spring’s elections. It was also all but certain he would emerge as the Socialist frontrunner against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Now that these assumptions have been mooted,  the Socialist party has […]

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Koh At Opinio Juris

It was an exciting day yesterday at Opinio Juris, as State Department Legal Adviser, Harold Koh, in a blog post, laid out the U.S. Government’s official legal justification for killing bin Laden. Was it really that exciting though?  Koh reiterated the rationale he gave in a speech last year to justify targeted killing.  Then he […]

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Compilation of Recent Business News from Bangladesh

Economy heads back to high growth http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=186434 New regulatory framework at the Securities and Exchange Commission http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=186523 Stocks continue to decline http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/stockmarket/50811-stocks-continue-to-decline.html Bangladesh fund floats http://www.independent-bangladesh.com/2011050512260/business/bangladesh-fund-floats.html Apparel export to US rises fast http://biz.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=196274&cid=4 Innovative business ideas and inclusive marketing will cut poverty faster http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=136297&date=2011-05-20

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The Other China: Will the ECFA Be the End of Ma if Taiwanese Don't 'Choose Right…'

The Other China: Will the ECFA Be the End of Ma if Taiwanese Don't 'Choose Right…'

Firstly, an update to my previous post concerning Chinese Cyber-Espionage attacks on the U.S. and other developed nations.  AP national writer, Pauline Arrillaga, did a much broader write-up on the issue, here.  It is definitely worth a look-see. ———————————————————————————————————– On to the Other China, Taiwan – Current Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-Jeou (Mă Yīngjiŭ: 马英九) of […]

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What Obama Should Say Tomorrow

What Obama Should Say Tomorrow

Twilight on the corniche in Beirut in February The chatter in the news and on Twitter today is about President Obama’s big speech on the Middle East at the State Department tomorrow. What will he say? There is no question this is a serious opportunity to get the Arab Spring back on track. It has veered […]

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Let Terrorists Win? Or Make The Whole World A Battlefield?

The legal debates about the killing of Osama bin Laden continue.  My previous posts on the subject (here and here, for example) have focused mostly on the jus ad bellum dimension (the UN Charter’s Article 51 and the inherent right of self-defense).  But recent discussions at Opinio Juris turn my attention to the jus in […]

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Website: Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted French journalist in 2002

Website: Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted French journalist in 2002

As France and the world continues to absorb the developments surrounding IMF Director and shadow 2012 presidential frontrunner Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest for sexual assault, Arret sur images, a French website, brings to light some damning evidence involving a previous instance of sexual violence that was little-reported in certain parts of the French media when it […]

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Make It A Hundred?

Earlier this week Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, pledged to seek a political consensus in Iraq on keeping U.S. troops in the country beyond 2011.  According to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) currently in place, the United States is obligated to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by the end of this year.  Muqtada […]

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Notes from Washington

  Washington is an interesting town. You never know who you may have lunch with on a day which seems quite ordinary. As part of my quest in following Turkish policy makers, today I found myself in a room with Ian O. Lesser from the German Marshall Fund and Semih Idiz who is a senior […]

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The Iranian Wildcard

The Iranian Wildcard

While my (and much of the world’s) attention focused on the Middle East in recent weeks, the rest of the world has not stood around idly. In Pakistan, as everyone knows of course, Osama bin Laden was killed sixty kilometers north of Islamabad, where he lived in a fairly luxurious mansion, protected by thirteen-foot-high concrete […]

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Sovereignty Theatrics?

Juan Cole writes: Those who are unnecessarily worrying that Obama’s raid was lawless or set a precedent can rest easy; the only precedent is not military, but rather for back-room deals among governments who then put on public Kabuki plays. His statement was responding to the Guardian article from earlier this week, which reported that, […]

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Bin Laden Killing Fallout

I’d like to highlight three significant effects of the bin Laden killing.  First, as I noted last week, some people view the operation as precedential.  The first one I caught was from Knesset member, Shaul Mofaz, who took the opportunity to call for similar strikes on Hamas leaders.  Additionally, as David Karl of the FPA […]

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