I had the pleasure of participating on France 24’s panel discussion program, The World this Week, on Friday. The other guests were Matthew Saltmarsh of the IHT, Paul Taylor of Reuters, and Régis Le Sommier of Paris Match, and the topics we discussed included the Republican takeover of Congress, the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and the protests in Tunisia and Algeria. Part one can be found here. Part two can be found here.
Almost three years after its declaration of independence, backed by the U.S. and many of its allies, Kosovo is the object of increasing concern for the international community. On Dec. 12, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), led by incumbent Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, won a plurality in Kosovo’s first post-independence general elections. Only days later, Thaci, a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader, was accused of being the head of a mafia organization involved in murder, human-rights abuses, organ harvesting and heroin smuggling, among other offenses, in a report for the Council of Europe leaked to the U.K.’s Guardian […]
As Russia begins its countdown to elections for the Duma at the end of this year as well as the presidential ballot in early 2012, two predictions are making the rounds. The first is that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will reclaim the presidency, which the constitution required him to vacate in 2008. (Article 81.3 prohibits anyone from holding the office for more than two consecutive terms.) The second is that the “tandem” formed by Putin and current President Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s former chief of staff, is not sustainable and that an open break between the two will occur sooner or […]
Late last month, the Federal Reserve announced that it was authorizing the extension of temporary credit lines, or “currency swaps,” with major foreign central banks through August. While five economies are included in the extension, it is the Fed’s credit line to the European Central Bank (ECB) that is the most significant in light of Europe’s continued debt woes. The decision to extend the currency swaps, which were initially scheduled to expire in January, suggests that the Fed isn’t counting on 2011 to be free of international financial distress, and that it remains prepared to throw its resources behind any […]
The Greek government has announced plans to build a fence along part of its border with Turkey to try to stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the country. Authorities are struggling to cope with the more than 100,000 migrants who crossed into Greece illegally last year alone.
This is Part I in a four-part series. Part I examines the follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Part II will examine the REDD+ agreement. Part III will examine financial assistance. And Part IV will examine technology transfers and adaptation. CANCÚN, Mexico — Observers and participants at December’s climate change summit in Cancún, Mexico, routinely identified a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol as one area where progress was essential. The odds of reaching one were not promising. With just one year left on the Kyoto treaty, and Japan firm in its stance that it will not permit an extension […]
One global issue that looks to become more prominent in 2011 is that of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform. Several world leaders — including Presidents Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev, and Nicolas Sarkozy — have recently called for adding new members to the council, while others want to overhaul its structure and procedures. But the reformers must overcome a potential obstacle: The council just may be incorrigible by design. Most U.N. reform debates focus on how to change the Security Council to make it more representative and democratic. With respect to the former issue, the primary concern has been that, […]
To kick off 2011, I thought I’d put together my top-10 international affairs wish list for the year, going from left to right on my wall map. But like Spinal Tap, only better, my list goes to 12: 1) Even more U.S. states pass decriminalization initiatives or medical marijuana laws. Yes, California’s infamous Prop 19 to legalize pot was narrowly defeated, 54 percent to 46 percent, but a majority of U.S. states are either considering such laws or already have them in place. In the four years since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug lords, 30,000 “soldiers” […]