April 30, 2017

A New Maritime Boundary

Course of the new maritime boundary between Chile and Peru. (Image: ICJ)

Smiles in Lima and long faces in Santiago were the first reactions to the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Jan. 27 regarding the new maritime boundary between Peru and Chile. ICJ justices granted Peru 50,284 square kilometers (19,410 square miles) of maritime domain, part of which was previously under Chilean control ... Read More »

On its Deathbed — Media Freedom in Turkey

Turkish journalists protest against curbs on media. (Photo via turkeypressfreedom.org)

Freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained but by a despotic government. Indeed media freedom levels are a good test of the democratic health of a nation.   Turkey is in very poor health, with the government continuing to muzzle free media. The latest effort is related to the Internet. ... Read More »

Quo Vadis Ukraine?

Barricade with the protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 26, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photos by snamess, Creative Commons License)

  The latest crisis in Ukraine broke out in late November with protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal, under pressure from Russia, to sign a trade pact with the European Union and instead turn to Russia for a $15 billion loan and a significant discount on gas prices. It has been growing ever since with a police crackdown of the protestors, further government restrictions on demonstrations, ... Read More »

Ten Trends That Will Shape Asia in 2014

Asia map by kerim

  A fraught 2014 lies ahead for Asia. Political risks will rise, security tensions will increase and skepticism will continue to grow about whether major Asian governments are sufficiently committed to growth-conducive reforms. Ten trends will shape this more volatile Asia over the next 12 months and beyond.   First, the good news: Asia’s relationship to the world economy is ... Read More »

European Jihadists in Syria

(Photo by  by FreedomHouse, Creative Commons License)

(Photo by FreedomHouse, Creative Commons License) Several Balkan mothers burst into tears at the beginning of 2014 after being told their sons were killed fighting in Syria on the side of various Islamist militias. Mirza Ganic (19) from the Serbian province of Sandzak, who used the pseudonym “Abu Shehid,” was among the last that became a real “shehid” (martyr). The ... Read More »

Debate on Large Dam Divides Georgia

The village of Khaishi, Georgia. (Photo by Aleksey Muhranoff via Wikimedia Commons)

The village of Khaishi sits in the picturesque mountains of the historical Georgian province of Svaneti, some 2,000 meters above sea level. But soon it and a few other nearby villages will be under water, forcing more than 2,000 people to leave their homes, if the long-planned Khudoni dam is finally built over the Enguri river.   Locals have sworn ... Read More »

Egypt’s Opposition Persists

An Egyptian protester raises a shoe to the sky as a military helicopter flies overhead. (Photo by Jihad Abaza via WNV)

In what has become routine, every week Egyptian police forces kill and detain protesters opposed to the current military regime, led by Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi. Seventeen people were killed by the police after the weekly Friday marches against military rule on January 3 — a toll that no longer elicits surprised responses from many Egyptians. Among the ever-growing ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Power Struggles

(Courtesy Wikimedia)

By local standards, 2013 proved quite successful for the people and leaders of the five Central Asian republics. There were no major wars, natural disasters, or coups d’etat. The governments continued to muddle through the usual raft of problems, and ordinary citizens remained largely quiescent; there was a distinct lack of an Arab Spring-like atmosphere.   Tajikistan provided a typical ... Read More »

Scientists Oppose Canada’s ‘War on Science’

Dr. Katie Gibbs speaks at a Stand Up for Science rally at Parliament Hill in Ottowa last September. (Photo by Kevin O’Donnell, via Evidence for Democracy)

Seven of Canada’s most prized scientific libraries are being shut down and some of their contents have already been burned, thrown away or carted off by fossil fuel consultancy firms. This development is part of a Harper administration plan to slash more than $160 million in the coming years from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or DFO — an agency charged ... Read More »

French Complicity in the CAR Crisis

A Burundi soldier posts security at the Bangui Airport, Central African Republic (CAR). (Photo by US Army Africa, Creative Commons License)

By the end of 2013, ‘the White man’s burden’ was proving too heavy to bear for France. Feeling militarily and materially outstretched, Paris cried for help from other European powers to help it shoulder ‘its responsibility’ to quell violence, restore peace, order and political legitimacy in its backyards of Mali and Central African Republic, both in turmoil: the Islamists terrorists ... Read More »