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  • china-wall-street-hsmall

    The Battle for China's Wall Street

    New turf battles have erupted in the rivalry between Hong Kong and Shanghai over which metropolis will be the financial heart of China. The conventional wisdom has long been that Hong Kong would prevail. But Shanghai is keen to grab a bigger piece of the action, and it's on a fast learning curve.
  • Another Witness Refutes Naomi Campbell's Blood-Diamonds Story

    Earlier today the actress Mia Farrow disputed Naomi Campbell's claim that she was not sure she had received blood diamonds from former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Now Campbell's former agent has also presented a different version of events than the model's.
  • Iran Stoning Lawyer Flees as New Client Faces Execution

    An Iranian lawyer who helped orchestrate a campaign to stop one of his clients from being stoned to death in Iran has fled, under threat of arrest, to Norway. It has since emerged that another young man he is defending will likely be executed on dubious charges.
  • Ella Pamfilova on Human Rights in Russia

    Between 2004 and the end of July, Ella Pamfilova served as the Russian president’s adviser on human rights. But she left that post to protest a wave of violent attacks against human-rights activists. In the past year three of them have been murdered, and four others have had to flee the country.
  • Why India Is Courting Iran

    Earlier this year, Brazil and Turkey infuriated the Obama administration when they announced just ahead of a critical United Nations vote on sanctions against Iran that they had brokered a deal to reprocess Iran’s low-enriched uranium. Now many are wondering if India will be the next to break ranks on Iran.
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    China Is Not Taking Over the World

    The rise of China is, as we all know by now, the definitive economic and political story of our time. Every week a new book title announces an “irresistible” tilt East, the emergence of “Chimerica” and a not-too-distant future when China “rules” the planet. But will it?
  • Generosity_Teaser

    Why Foreign Aid Is Dwindling

    One big obstacle to aid is the politics of spending money on other nations’ problems. President Bush enjoyed a Nixon-goes-to-China credibility with conservatives, who tend to be more skeptical of foreign aid. But Obama’s low popularity among conservative voters makes it nearly impossible for him to sell an aid program to them. Reaching out in this way might feed into American stereotypes that Republicans are tougher on national security while Democrats prefer soft power.
  • war-music-OV20-wide

    Music Promoters Seek Bands From War-Torn Nations

    Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s face is etched with the desert sun. A former member of Mali’s Tuareg rebel movement, the MPA, he has spent his life in the arid southern Sahara. With his band, Tinariwen, formed 30 years ago in a Kaddafi-sponsored rebel training camp in Libya, he still roams the desert, with a Fender Stratocaster on his shoulder where a Kalashnikov once hung.
  • celebrities-international-affairs-wide

    Do Celebrities Help or Hinder When They Hijack Serious Issues?

    This week former Fugees musician Wyclef Jean declared he would run for the presidency in Haiti, and supermodel Naomi Campbell testified at a war-crimes trial in The Hague. Last month Lindsay Lohan found herself in the middle of a story about the imminent stoning of an Iranian woman. So is it a good thing when celebrities wander into the middle of serious issues?
  • wyclef-haiti-vision-wide

    Wyclef's Uphill Battle

    The former Fugee touts programs put forward by Bill Clinton in the aftermath of the quake. But the Port-au-Prince–born singer, who is running on the Viv Ansanm party ticket, has an uphill battle to prove to Haiti and the world that he can make the transition from musician to national leader.
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    Can China's Economic Engine Jump-Start the West?

    Economists used to ridicule the idea of “decoupling”—that the economies of China and other emerging powers could move independently of developments in the West. The recession refuted them. Now markets are starting to recouple again—except the other way around: China has turned into a locomotive for Western growth.
  • Wooing Jakarta

    President Obama has lifted America’s 12-year ban on military support to Kopassus, Indonesia’s notorious special-forces military unit—a tacit acknowledgement that Indonesia has grown too important to be treated as anything less than a full partner, especially in light of China’s rising influence in Asia.
  • wikileaks-breather-tease

    WikiLeaks Takes a Breather

    Apparently stung by complaints that publishing uncensored U.S. military reports could get people killed, the folks behind WikiLeaks are said to be postponing any further release of such documents.
  • israel-lebanon-border-wide

    Is Lebanon on the Brink of Violence?

    A deadly clash along the border between Lebanon and Israel—set off by Israeli soldiers moving to clear a tree—has left four Lebanese and a senior Israeli officer dead. Both sides blame the other for starting the melee. But was this really a skirmish about border foliage?
  • Jihadists Boast of Yet Another Failed Attack

    In what appears to be the latest effort by Islamic militants to lower the bar for what constitutes a “successful” terrorist attack, extremists have publicly boasted of an attempted chemical attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris. In a message posted earlier this week on a jihadist Web site, the previously unknown Abu Dujanah al-Khorasani Brigade claimed responsibility for sending what it described as “chemical letters” to the embassy.
  • russia-human-rights-tease

    Russia’s Activists Lose Hope in President

    When Dmitry Medvedev was elected president of Russia, he publicly criticized the country’s human-rights record and called for reform. But last week, he was dealt a stunning blow when his chief adviser on human rights resigned over a new wave of attacks on activists.
  • Counting Down to Zero

    It's impossible to walk out of the film 'Countdown to Zero' without having a strong opinion on whether the United States should continue to develop and warehouse nuclear weapons. Produced by the World Security Institute in concert with Lawrence Bender ('An Inconvenient Truth'), the film is engineered to elicit a "no nukes" response.
  • turkey-ov04-wide

    Turkey: Choosing a Scary European Model

    There has been speculation about where Turkey is heading ever since the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002. The early years suggested to most observers that Turkey was heading West, as the AKP lobbied hard for membership in the European Union, and pushed the liberal-democratic and free-market reforms that membership requires. Lately, the consensus view has shifted 180 degrees.
  • afghanistan-banned-tease

    Taliban Seeks Vengeance in Wake of WikiLeaks

    After WikiLeaks published a trove of U.S. intelligence documents—some of which listed the names and villages of Afghans who had been secretly cooperating with the American military—it didn’t take long for the Taliban to react. A spokesman for the group quickly threatened to “punish” any Afghan listed as having “collaborated” with the U.S. and the Kabul authorities against the growing Taliban insurgency. In recent days, the Taliban has demonstrated how seriously those threats should be considered.