In the decades after its independence in October 1960, Nigeria periodically found itself at a series of crossroads. The 1960s were characterized by a devastating civil war and internal tensions that nearly drove the country apart; the 1970s saw a burgeoning oil and gas industry as well as governance achievements—notably efforts to develop a national identity and the adoption of a new constitutional framework that ushered in a government with an executive president at its center and, ultimately, a handover to civilian rule, albeit a short-lived one, in 1979. Indeed, in a large and complex country with a population consisting [...]
British Prime Minister David Cameron has asked European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to gather evidence on whether the additional checks Spain has imposed on its border with Gibraltar are politically motivated. Cameron’s request is part of an escalating dispute between the United Kingdom and Spain over Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory surrounded by Spanish territory. Spain, which claims sovereignty over Gibraltar, a small peninsula off Spain’s southern coast, cited concerns over smuggling as the reason it was imposing additional checks at the border. In separate email interviews, Pawel Swidlicki, research analyst at Open Europe, and Alejandro Baron, a researcher [...]
In addition to their growing energy and renewed arms trade, another sign of the strengthening Russia-China relationship was their recently concluded bilateral naval exercise. The drills were larger and more sophisticated than those held last year. But they are still far from establishing a Russia-China capacity for joint maritime combat operations, which does not appear a goal of either government in any case. The active phase of the maneuvers took place July 8-10 in the waters off of Vladivostok. Twelve Russian vessels from the Pacific Fleet participated in this year’s drill, compared to seven warships and support craft in 2012. [...]
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