Periscope – World in Focus

December, 2013

  • 30 December

    Looking Back at 2013

    The year 2013 will go down in history books as a year of wars, natural disasters, political upheavals, economic slowdowns and stagnations, polarization and terrorism. The year’s lows were still better than 2012, especially on world economic front. It still faces huge challenges but early signs of betterment are good news for the downtrodden around the globe.   The US …

  • 29 December

    New Battle Lines in Malaysian Politics

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak enters 2014 with one big worry on his mind: how to win — and win decisively — the next general election (GE) that must be called by 2018.   The last one seven months ago on 5 May saw his ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition in its worst victory since 1969: despite winning the …

  • 27 December

    14 Things to Watch in Africa in 2014

    As election season hits Africa’s four biggest economies, fears mount over further radicalization from the Horn of Africa to the Sahel, African governments stand up to the Chinese and Cape Town is World Design Capital 2014. The new year will also bring debates about the new global development agenda and how to attract more infrastructure investment for the continent. A …

  • 25 December

    Can South Sudan Follow South Africa?

    While people around the world are mourning and reflecting on the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, and the champion of national reconciliation and forgiveness, South Sudan, the newest African state is descending into deadly political violence with devastating human cost. Indiscriminate killing of civilians, destruction of private properties, and disintegration of security, and armed forces …

  • 24 December

    The New Silk Road to Nowhere

    The United States is due to leave Central Asia by the end of 2014. Along with troops, money and equipment, U.S. interests in the region will also be pulled back. As it withdraws, the U.S. State Department is emphasizing a project called “The New Silk Road,” aimed at facilitating Central Asia’s efforts to return to its historic role as the …

  • 24 December

    Elephants Are the Latest Conflict Resource in Africa

    An average of about 45 elephants per day were illegally killed in 2011 in every two of five protected sites holding elephant populations in Africa, thanks to the growing illegal trade in ivory, which continues to threaten the survival of elephants on the continent. A joint report by four international conservation organizations says that 17,000 elephants were killed in 2011 …

  • 19 December

    Nepal Denies Link to Haiti Cholera

    Authorities in Nepal have strongly denied ongoing allegations connecting Nepali UN peacekeeping troops to a 2010 outbreak of cholera in Haiti.   “It is easy to blame the Nepali soldiers as they contribute a lot to UN peacekeeping missions, and they happened to be in Haiti at the right time when the epidemic occurred, but it is dangerous to pinpoint a …

  • 17 December

    Central African Republic: A Genocide Forestalled

    The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the poorest and most inaccessible countries in the world. It’s the size of France, but it only has four and a half million people. It is a serious contender for the title of Worst Governed Country in Africa, and it is now teetering on the brink of a genocide. Something has to …

  • 15 December

    Middle East’s Frenemies

    The recent interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries, led by the United States, has provoked unprecedented criticism of US policy from two of its strongest Middle East allies: Israel and Saudi Arabia.   Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called on his ministers and his supporters in the US to lobby Congress to oppose the agreement. …

  • 11 December

    Karzai Reaches Out to Iran: Is It Right Move At Right Time?

    Afghanistan and Iran have agreed to explore a mutual agreement on economic and security cooperation. During his visit to Tehran, President Hamid Karzai and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani agreed in principle to start negotiations for signing the bilateral cooperation agreement. President Karzai’s trip to Iran has coincided with the increased tensions between Afghanistan and the United States over the …