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On Biden's Moldova Visit

On Biden's Moldova Visit

Joe Biden made a pit stop in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, during his recent trip to Europe. On paper, the visit was designed to acknowledge the people behind the tiny former Soviet satellite’s minor color revolution (and some say first Twitter revolution) in 2009. But nothing happens in Eastern Europe without a Russian subtext, […]

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ASEAN membership for Timor Leste

ASEAN membership for Timor Leste

Timor Leste officially applied for membership to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) last week in an effort to reap the economic and political advantages that come with membership to the regional organization. Despite the backing of Indonesia, the current chair of the ASEAN, Timor Leste’s path to membership will be arduous with […]

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A Royal Review: Dissecting The Speech of Morocco's Mohammed VI

After three weeks of protests, where enthusiastic demonstrators took to the streets of Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir, Tangier, and Marrakech, demanding a freer and more transparent political process, word came that His Majesty King Mohammed VI would appear on state television to deliver a speech. I was on a bus from Agadir to Rabat when I got the news and I made a mad dash to reach the nearest television, hoping to hear what would be a historic oration.

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Arab Revolt Is Not 1776

It might help the U.S. media better understand the various rebellions breaking out in the Middle East if they could clear their minds of thoughts of 1776 and the strange idea that despots like Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gadhafi are somehow equivalent to King George III. Although a number of commentators are comparing the Arab […]

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The Tribal Warfare Bogeyman

In the PBS Newshour segment to which I linked last week, Richard Haas said: Why are we so confident that we know enough about the tribal structure of Libya, about the various clans that are competing for power, that if we intervene, that the guys we want are going to win, that we’re not, for […]

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Abbas Pulls A 527

Last year I coined a phrase: getting 527-ed.  It comes from the 2004 U.S. presidential election.  Bush was asked whether he would condemn the Swift Boat ads against Kerry, and instead, Bush condemned all ads made by 527 organizations.  Bush 527-ed Kerry. This, apparently, is also what Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, did over the weekend.  […]

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Choose your Headline: A. WTO Rules Against the US. B. WTO Rules in Favor of China C. WTO Makes a Reasonably Sensible Ruling D. Showdown at the WTO: China 1, USA 0

Choose your Headline: A. WTO Rules Against the US. B. WTO Rules in Favor of China C. WTO Makes a Reasonably Sensible Ruling D. Showdown at the WTO: China 1, USA 0

The World Trade Organization announced the Appellate Body’s ruling on Friday, which essentially bars counties from imposing the “double dipping” duties in retaliation for dumping. The Appellate Body also affirmed that when a state had majority ownership of an enterprise this made it necessarily a “pubic body.” Long story short, While the US is not happy, both […]

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Tsunami in the Pacific

Tsunami in the Pacific

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit the the northeastern coast of Japan earlier today and triggered a 10 meter tsunami that has killed hundreds of people with the death toll expected to rise. Tsunami warnings are in place for several countries including Indonesia, the Philippines and the U.S. west coast. More details on southeast Asian countries […]

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If You Can't Beat 'Em, Beat 'Em

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Beat 'Em

With revolutionary fever fermenting across the Arab world, other long-serving dictators are getting a bit jittery these days. The demonstration effect is a powerful phenomenon- when long-suffering citizens see people in similar situations casting off the shackles of repressive regimes, they’re inclined to as “well, why not us, too?” It isn’t a coincidence that all […]

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To Intervene Or Not To Intervene…

The debate about whether the United States should use military force in Libya (and if so in what capacity) is on.  Here’s one version of the debate from the PBS Newshour.  It’s between two former State Department Directors of Policy Planning: Richard Haas (who served under George W. Bush) and Ann-Marie Slaughter (who just left […]

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The Growing Regionalism of Harakat al-Shabaab

It was announced today that between 9 and 11 Kenyan’s who have conducted attacks in Kenya have had training within Somalia, a disquieting thought as Harakat al-Shabaab has announced the possibility of more focussed attacks on Kenyan soil in the near future.  In the meanwhile, Mustapha Ali, advisor to the UN has warned that the spillover […]

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"There is no future here."

"There is no future here."

Image courtesy news.bbc.co.uk In light of this morning’s news of another flotilla of North African migrants approaching Lampedusa in Italy, wanted to quickly post a link (in French) to an excellent post on the generally-excellent BondyBlog, which covers issues related to inner-city France and Europe. It is a first-hand account of what leads one of […]

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Auntie Steve vs. the Malbots

Auntie Steve vs. the Malbots

Android smartphone owners had a bad week with several pieces of malware emerging in the Android App Store – necessitating the frightening step of remote-nuking the evil apps. I have yet to hear of a significant iPhone Trojan horse or virus. It’s not that the platform is bulletproof- the jailbreakers would be out of business […]

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Links from Around the Web

Below are some interesting Global Trade related links: PRI’s The World: An Alternative to the Panama Canal – They’ve been talking about making these “dry canals” for years. Doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, but neither did the Panama Canal. NYTimes: Maersk Line Orders 10 Container Ships With Options to Buy More – […]

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A Cure for Europe's Brain Drain

A Cure for Europe's Brain Drain

Interesting take from a Bulgarian magazine on a now decades-long problem troubling almost all of Europe but which is especially acute in peripheral countries. A group of 20-somethings in Bulgaria has formed a network dedicated to curbing brain drain out of their country. Called “Here and There,” the group averages about one hundred people at […]

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