WPR Top 10 Nov. 17-30

The top 10 most popular World Politics Review stories from the past two weeks (Nov. 17-30): 1. U.S. Military Fumbles Requests for Nonlethal Weapons in Iraq, Afghanistan2. One Cold War Was Enough: Russia Needs Our Help, Not Our Condemnation3. Kosovo’s Divided City of Mitrovica Warily Awaits Independence4. Considering Saudi Arabia: When Realpolitik Yields Dubious Rewards5. Turkey and Azerbaijan Strengthen Economic, Security Ties6. With Attack on Gaza Protestors, Hamas Loses Hearts and Minds7. The Annapolis Middle East Peace Conference at a Glance8. U.S. Foreign Policy Commission Touts Need for ‘Smart Power’9. The Italian Government’s Plans for Romanians: The Return of Collective […]

All About Annapolis

We’re back from our brief vacation, and to get the week started, here’s a brief rundown of our offerings on the day’s major international story: the peace conference at Annapolis. Roland Flamini has a brief guide to the key issues and main participants that will shape the conference. Vera Zakem takes a look at the pivotal role Syria could play in Middle East peace. Last week, Frida Ghitis argued that the best thing the Annapolis conference has going for it is low expectations. For more background on the conference from other news and opinion sources, search our Media Roundup archives. […]

Happy Thanksgiving — WPR on Vacation

World Politics Review will not publish Friday, Nov. 23, or Monday, Nov. 26. We’ll be taking a break on the occasion of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday. Until Tuesday, then, here are some ideas to pass the time: 1. Check out our searchable Media Roundup archives to bone up on any issue. Need to do some research on Somalia, or catch up on the news regarding the Annapolis conference? The MR archives search is the best free research tool on the Web. The search box is on the top right of the Media Roundup page. 2. Read the top five […]

Somalia’s Humanitarian Crisis: Worse than Darfur?

WPR contributors David Axe and Daria Solovieva are both en route to Somalia as we speak, where they’ll be filing stories in the coming weeks on the difficult security and humanitarian situation there. Today we published the first dispatch of their trip, written from Nairobi, in which they provide a good overview of the situation in the Horn of Africa country. What particularly caught our eye is this paragraph, about the dire humanitarian crisis in Somalia (bolding added): Somalia now represents the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa, even worse than the one in Darfur, according to U.N. World Food Program […]

Kissinger on World Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy

Opinionjournal.com has an interesting interview by David Rivkin Jr. with Henry Kissinger. We would suggest reading the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt: . . . He pointed out that the world we have known for 300 years now–the “Westphalian” international system that arose after Europe’s wars of religion and is based on the nation-state–is “collapsing.” This may be a much more profound shift than the move from dynastic to national motivations following the 1814-15 Congress of Vienna (about which Mr. Kissinger has written) and a more serious challenge to international stability than that posed by states such as Nazi […]

Clones Are People Too

In this week’s Rights & Wrongs, Juliette Terzieff reports that the United Nations is concerned about a brave new world in which human clones are the victims of discrimination: U.N. REPORT EXAMINES RIGHTS OF FUTURE CLONES — Human beings created from cloning procedures in the future will potentially face abuse, prejudice and discrimination, and the world should act now to address the looming situation, says a report from the United Nations University. The world community should act now to either ban human cloning or legislate mechanisms to protect clones’ human rights, recommends the study, titled “Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: […]

WPR Cited in Spain’s Largest Newspaper

El Pais, Spain’s largest newspaper, in a sidebar to an article on the recent OPEC meeting, quoted a recent piece by Frida Ghitis on the consequences of high oil prices for states that subsidize fuels. Here’s a translation of the sidebar: The Paradox of High [Oil] Prices It is unquestionable that high petroleum prices benefit producers. Yesterday’s statements by the Iranian president and the lack of interest in increasing production shown by OPEC members make that clear. Nevertheless, some experts warn of unpredictable consequences for those countries that, like Iran and Venezuela, subsidize fuels. The more oil prices rise, the […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a weekly column covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. CAMBODIA TRIBUNAL MAKES MORE ARRESTS — Cambodian authorities arrested the former foreign minister of the Khmer Rouge regime and his wife Nov. 11. They will face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at a United Nations-backed tribunal. Ieng Sary, also the regime’s former social affairs minister, and his wife Ieng Thirith stand accused of involvement in the murder of political opponents. Ieng Sary is also to be tried on charges that he directed […]

Editor’s Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur: a trip that was documented in a diary published in English on World Politics Review and that would see him eventually turning back from the border due to inadequate security conditions. In late October, Pelda returned to the region and crossed the border into Darfur, where he accompanied a Darfur rebel group. The diary of his trip was published on the NZZ Online in German, and World Politics […]

West Africans Lobby Congress on Agriculture Subsidies

D.C.’s Politico newspaper, which does a good job of covering lobbying, has an interesting story about three West African clergymen lobbying the U.S. Congress to reduce subsidies to American farmers, which hurt African farmers by depressing prices: In a meeting with Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), they got lucky. Domenici doesn’t speak French, and the African bishops don’t speak English. But Bishop Jean-Noel Diouf of Tambacounda, Senegal, had learned Italian as a student in Rome. He took the opportunity to make the African case to the Italian-American lawmaker in that language. The West African clergymen, who came to Washington under […]

Will the Darfur Peacekeeping Force Succeed?

In a recent commentary piece, WPR Contributing Editor Richard Weitz argued that the hybrid AU-U.N peacekeeping that is in the process of standing up in Darfur is likely to fail in its mission: Although Western governments sought to secure passage of a strong mandate for UNAMID, the Sudanese government succeeded in watering down the text. To take but one example, although the resolution finally approved on July 31, UNSCR 1769, does reference Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, it lacks a provision requiring disarmament of the Janjaweed militia responsible for some of the worst violence. In addition, the text allows […]

All Criminals? Italian Police Raid Romanian Actress’s Hotel Room

Last May, the Romanian actress Laura Vasiliu was in Cannes, France. The star of Cristian Mungiu’s film “4 months, 3 week, 2 days,” Ms. Vasiliu was there for the Cannes Film Festival, where Mungiu’s film would be awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or. Tuesday night, Ms. Vasiliu was in Turin Italy, where at two in the morning the door to her hotel room was broken down by Italian carabinieri. The Italian police had somehow managed to confuse Ms. Vasiliu with a child trafficker. They searched her room and were reportedly preparing to arrest her, when they finally recognized their mistake and […]

Juan Carlos vs. Hugo Chávez

From this week’s Corridors of Power: KING: 1, CHAVEZ: 0 — Predictably, the blogosphere had a field day with Spanish King Juan Carlos’s finger-wagging “Why don’t you shut up?” to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in the middle of the Ibero-American summit in Chile. The incident itself was pure political theater, and the sound bite of Chavez interrupting Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and thus earning the royal rebuke seemed to be everywhere. YouTube had a gladiator video game-like scene in which a computer generated Juan Carlos in a Roman tunic slashed Chávez with his sword and sent him […]

Al-Jazeera’s Islamist Conversion

In a fascinating piece in the Nation, Kristen Gillespie examines the complex nature of the ideological biases that shape the coverage at the Arab world’s most popular news channel. She reports on an Al-Jazeera that is sectarian — favoring a Sunni point of view in its coverage of Iraq, for example — increasingly Islamist, and also, perhaps paradoxically, a force for democracy in the region: Al Jazeera’s programming breaks down into roughly four categories:newscasts, which tend to be fairly balanced; talk shows and relatedprograms, to which viewers call in; documentaries; and reports fromcorrespondents in the field. The last category is […]

Yahoo Settles with Chinese Dissidents

Reuters reports: SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Yahoo Inc has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of several Chinese dissidents for the Internet company’s alleged involvement in providing information the Chinese government used to prosecute the men, according to court papers filed on Tuesday. . . . Yahoo agreed to cover the yet-to-be-agreed upon legal costs incurred by defendants. It’s unclear whether the legal costs are all Yahoo will pay. If so, that seems like quite a good deal for the company. Still, it took a tongue-lashing from Congress to spur the settlement. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom […]

More Coverage of U.S. Policy

World Politics Review has always tried to live up to its name by covering the globe — and doing so even when a certain issue or region is not currently making the headlines. However, we have also from time to time focused specifically on U.S. foreign and national security policy, in recognition of the importance of the subject for our audience and in an effort to take advantage of our home base in Washington, D.C. Lately, we have begun to try to step up our coverage of U.S. policy without sacrificing our global scope, so we thought we’d take a […]

Recent revelations that China-based hackers may have penetrated U.S. computer networks — including those operated by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security as well as by major U.S. defense firms — has heightened concerns about Chinese spying in the United States. Computer experts believe that the extensive scale of the information operations means they probably involved, to some degree, the Chinese military or intelligence services. Although U.S. authorities remain concerned by the espionage operations conducted in the United States by Russia, Iran, and Cuba, they consider Chinese spying the most serious in terms of size. The sheer number of […]

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