Trend Lines

Fighters of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) walk in the damaged streets of Sinjar, Iraq, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).
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Syria Crisis Raising Tensions Among Kurdish Factions

By The Editors
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The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party have exchanged harsh words recently over who has control over the city of Sinjar in northern Iraq. In an interview, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies’ Jordi Tejel discussed intra-Kurdish tensions. more


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Illegal Mining Raises Security, Environmental Concerns in Colombia

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The head of the United Nations refugee agency in Colombia recently said that illegal mining and drug violence will continue to displace citizens, even if a peace deal is signed with FARC rebels. In an interview, Juan F. Vargas of the University of Rosario in Bogota discussed illegal mining in Colombia. more

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Friction Grows Between Hamas’ Gaza- and Foreign-Based Leaders

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The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Iran has transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas’ military wing over recent months in an effort to revive ties. In an interview, Nathan Thrall, a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group, discussed Hamas’ internal divisions. more

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Internal Security Concerns Keep Pakistan Out of Yemen Coalition

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Last week, Pakistan agreed to send ships to help enforce an arms embargo against Houthi rebels in Yemen, but declined to send aircraft or troops to participate in the Saudi-led coalition there. In an interview, Ayesha Siddiqa, an independent security analyst, discussed Pakistan’s military capabilities. more

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India’s Ties With North Korea Cordial but Limited

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Last week, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong was in New Delhi for talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on North Korea’s nuclear program and to request additional humanitarian assistance. In an interview, Ankit Panda of The Diplomat discussed India’s ties with North Korea. more

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Indonesia’s Jokowi Vows Strict Policy, Death Penalty for Drug Crimes

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Indonesia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the final appeals of two prisoners from France and Ghana currently on death row for drug smuggling. In an interview, Gloria Lai, a senior policy officer at the International Drug Policy Consortium, discussed Indonesia’s zero-tolerance approach to drugs. more

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Suspending Money Transfers to Somalia Hurts the Poor, Not Terrorists

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Earlier this month, Kenya suspended the licenses of 13 Somali money transfer agencies operating in Nairobi in a bid to limit funding to al-Shabab. In an interview, Sarah Hearn of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation discussed the role of remittances in Somalia’s economy. more