HONG KONG — A group of 10,000 demonstrators has surrounded government headquarters in Hong Kong to protest a controversial new National Education class being introduced in schools this fall. The course, the protesters argue, is just the latest example of Beijing’s attempts to control political discourse in the city. The government in Hong Kong claims it simply wants to boost students’ knowledge of and attachment to China. But the push to ensure that Hong Kongers are sufficiently patriotic comes straight from Beijing. Indeed, Chinese President Hu Jintao suggested introducing just such a course following huge street protests that toppled Hong […]

When Mali announced the formation of its latest transitional civilian government on Aug. 20, the new cabinet pointedly excluded representatives of the Islamist coalition that controls much of the territory in the country’s north. The new government, which retains interim President Dioncounda Traore and interim Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra, has made fighting the Islamist rebels — including the Tuareg-led Ansar al Din movement, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Qaida offshoot the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) — a top priority. However, the government and external actors face barriers to success on the battlefield, […]

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