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Africa Moves Center Stage As Next Emerging Market in Pharmaceuticals: New Challenges Global Health Partnerships

Africa Moves Center Stage As Next Emerging Market in Pharmaceuticals: New Challenges Global Health Partnerships

Ten years ago, The Economist ran a cover with the title “Africa: Hopeless Continent.” One year ago, The Economist ran a cover titled “Africa Rising.”  The African Myth that the world’s longest inhabited continent is still one of seemingly infinite despair, has been proven wrong by the resilience of those who continue to populate it. […]

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Iran’s election: What it means for democracy and foreign policy

Iran’s election: What it means for democracy and foreign policy

On Sat. June 15 Iran announced the results of its latest presidential election. In what many saw as a surprise, Hassan Rowhani — a relatively moderate cleric — emerged as the outright winner. Instead of protests in the streets as followed the 2009 reelection of the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this time Iranians took to the streets […]

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Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

What began as a peaceful sit-in to save a downtown park in Istanbul has erupted into a conflict between the forces of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government and liberal reformers. On Monday, June 17, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinic announced Turkey “will resort to calling on the military to contain these protests.” If one […]

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Demonstrations denote divided Turkey

Demonstrations denote divided Turkey

In a country where two continents meet and empires have risen and fallen for millenia, Turkey continues to struggle with its contrasts. A predominantly Muslim country with a secular government, a growing economy increasingly influenced by capitalism but with a recent rise in conservative tendencies. Last weekend protesters took to the streets, accusing the government […]

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No clear path for Maldives

No clear path for Maldives

  Last April I wrote about the tiny island nation of Maldvies, and its embattled former President Mohamed Nasheed. After a brief foray into democracy, it seems that Maldives has slid back to the political bullying of its past. Nasheed claims to have been deposed by force in February 2012; the current government — which […]

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Serbia, Kosovo remain at odds

Serbia, Kosovo remain at odds

  Kosovo has been a hotly contested region of the Balkans for many centuries. Adversity has often devolved into violence, especially since the collapse of Yugoslavia in early 1990s. Kosovo declared itself an independent state in 2008, and is recognized as such by many countries. Yet Serbia, which lays claim to the territory, refuses to […]

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Kenya and Venezuela election updates

Kenya and Venezuela election updates

Brief updates on some of the topics I covered last week: –In Kenya, results of last week’s presidential race point to Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance Coalition party as the winner. With just a hair over 50% of the vote, Kenyatta would gain the presidency without a runoff election. However his opponent Raila Odinga […]

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Democratic struggles around the world

Democratic struggles around the world

      The fragility of democracy has been on full display this week. Distressingly, challenges to freedom and order have occurred literally around the globe. Here is an overview of situations to monitor; all of these stories broke today, Wed. March 6, 2013. Venezuela I would be remiss to not start with the March […]

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Kenya Votes While Calm Reigns

Kenya Votes While Calm Reigns

In the spring of 2008, I met with a group of Kenyan human rights activists to discuss what they saw as the most pressing issues in East Africa. At one point, the conversation turned to the post-election violence their country witnessed just a few months before. “I know,” one of them said, shaking her head. […]

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Aftermath of military actions in Mali

Aftermath of military actions in Mali

Forces representing France and the government of Mali seem to have mostly regained control of the West African nation’s northern region following last month’s offensive, as I covered here. But the fallout from their pushback against rebellious elements continues. I found two developments from a recent BBC update of particular interest. One concerns the status of […]

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Leftist leaders in South America: an update

Leftist leaders in South America: an update

Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Rafael Correa in Ecuador swept into power promising to use the wealth of natural resources in their countries to help address widespread poverty and stabilize the economy. Both improved situations enough to win reelection, but both also seem to have a strong grip on power and willingness to curtail democracy […]

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Review of “The Generals and the Democrat: Burma in Transition”

Review of “The Generals and the Democrat: Burma in Transition”

  Last year I reported on the gradual opening of the political environment in Burma (last update here), including the incorporation of former dissident Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party National League of Democracy into parliament. The “Great Decisions in Foreign Policy” series on PBS — produced by Foreign Policy Association — has taken a […]

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Mali, France go on offensive with U.S. help

Mali, France go on offensive with U.S. help

It’s been just 3 days since I last wrote about the French military supporting the embattled West African nation of Mali, but a lot has happened since. French and Malian military forces–formerly empire and colony, now teamed up–have gone on the offensive, driving militant rebels back from their recent acquisitions with air strikes and armored […]

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A democratic first for Czech Republic

A democratic first for Czech Republic

On Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 the people of the Czech Republic elected Milos Zeman to be their next president. This news will not have much direct impact on the country’s operations, as the Czech president is largely a ceremonial role. But Zeman becoming president is significant because: This is the first time in Czech history […]

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French connection to Mali, past and present

French connection to Mali, past and present

Should the U.S. government ever come under threat, would the U.K.–its colonial overlords from way back when–send over troops to stabilize the situation and keep the country and democracy intact (as presently designed)? Sounds pretty far-fetched, but that is exactly what France is aiming to do now in the West African nation of Mali. In […]

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