Trend Lines

Bas-relief inscriptions at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Sept. 15, 2014 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

UN Targets Looting as Islamic State Smashes and Sells Antiquities

By Frederick Deknatel
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When it comes to antiquities, whatever the Islamic State isn’t destroying, it’s selling. The group oversees vast looting in Syria and Iraq, using the black market as a prime source of funding, second only to oil. International action is finally being taken to curb looting, but will it be enough? more


Global Insider

Kenya’s Harsh Counterterrorism Tactics Risk Stoking Extremism

By The Editors
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In recent months, Kenya has increased its crackdown on Islamic extremism, including mosque raids and alleged extrajudicial killings. In an interview, Jeremy Prestholdt, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, discussed Kenya’s counterterrorism policies. more

Global Insider

Myanmar Fighting Imperils Broader Peace Efforts With Ethnic Rebels

By The Editors
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Ongoing clashes in Myanmar between ethnic Kokang rebels and government forces near the Chinese border have so far left over 160 dead. In an email interview, Jasmin Lorch, a research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, discussed ethnic rebels in Myanmar. more

Global Insider

Opposition Upset in St. Kitts and Nevis Unlikely to Make Waves

By The Editors
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Last week, the opposition Team Unity coalition ousted the Labour party in St. Kitts and Nevis’ parliamentary election after 20 years in power. In an interview, Wouter Veenendaal, a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, discussed domestic politics in St. Kitts and Nevis. more

In Context

Maduro Gets More Desperate Amid Venezuela’s Disarray

By Maria Savel
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stepped up his crackdown on his political opponents with the arrest last week of the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, on trumped-up charges of plotting a coup. Maduro has only grown more desperate as state coffers empty and an economic crisis deepens. more

Global Insider

Despite Orderly Transition, Questions Remain for East Timor

By The Editors
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Xanana Gusmao stepped down as East Timor’s prime minister earlier this month, leaving the post to opposition leader Rui Araujo. In an interview, Gordon Peake, a research fellow at Australia National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, discussed East Timor’s political transition. more