Periscope – World in Focus

December, 2013

  • 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 …

  • 10 December

    Pakistan’s Judges And Military Clash Over Rule of Law

    Mohabat Shah has stood silently before the bench at Pakistan’s Supreme Court (in Islamabad) nearly every day last week. Shah’s four-year search for his son, Yasin, has come down to a handful of court hearings that are testing the power of Pakistan’s civilian government over its military.   The outcome of the legal tussles could have far-reaching effects for Pakistani …

  • 10 December

    Arab Media, The Internet And Free Speech Under Attack

    Three small but grim pieces were added recently to the great Arab jigsaw puzzle — and none of them should surprise us. Last week, an Egyptian court in Alexandria sentenced 14 women to 11-year prison terms for carrying anti-government banners at a demonstration last July.   In Dubai, an American was charged with violating Internet laws. Al Jazeera reported that he …

  • 7 December

    German Politics Finds its Immigrant Flavor

    Germany left behind a federal election on Sept. 22. Approximately 44 million German citizens out of 62 million voters went to the ballot box, and re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel for the third time. The election was surprising to many as the Christian Democrats gained an unprecedented victory, the Greens and the Left party lost votes, and the Free Democrats failed to win seats in …

  • 7 December

    Attacks on Free Press in Turkey

    It appears that Turkey’s powerful prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has adopted a two-pronged assault on the right to freedom of expression and free press in Turkey against the background of increased criticism of his government amid outrageous revelations that the government has been running a massive profiling program on unsuspecting innocent citizens with no reasonable cause whatsoever.   The …

  • 6 December

    Mandela for the Ages

    Without Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s apartheid nightmare eventually would have come to an end. Its enforcers were beyond the civilized pale, and the world’s patience with them had run out. But, without Mandela’s towering moral and political leadership, the transition would have been long, ugly, and bloody beyond measure.   One Afrikaner leader, F.W. De Klerk, came to understand – …

  • 4 December

    Achieving Constitutional Reform in Myanmar

    The creation this summer of the 109-member Constitutional Review Joint Committee, tasked with submitting recommendations for possible amendments by years end, is the first concrete step to reform the much criticized Constitution of Myanmar. The majority of commentary by the opposition and outside observers is centered on marginalizing the political role of the military, specifically its representation in Parliament and in the executive; the …

  • 3 December

    Armenia’s Security Dilemma Brings it to Eurasian Union

    Developments in the aftermath of bilateral talks between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Sept. 3 are being commented on by the media and Caucasia experts in Turkey. During the meeting, Armenia expressed interest in joining the Customs Union created by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and in the Eurasian Economic Union that will be created in …

  • 1 December

    Africa’s Kings, Adapt or Die!

    Africa’s monarchs are resilient. For centuries they ruled through intricate hierarchies of clan and kinship. Then colonial invaders polarised them, deposing some and courting others. Independent African states are proving just as testing for traditional authorities. Many African states – from Morocco to South Africa – provide a role for traditional rulers. Just two kings run countries but countless others …

November, 2013

  • 29 November

    Changing Geopolitical Configurations in the Middle East

    The geopolitical makeup of the Middle East is changing. In any kind of significant geopolitical change there are bound to be winners and losers, while others just try to hold their own, indeed, even hoping for stalemate. What I attempt to do in this article is suggest which countries and peoples may be winners and which or who may be …