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  • Japanese DPJ Party Faces Internal Rifts

    Just a month and a half into his term, Naoto Kan’s tenure as Japan’s prime minister appears to have an expiration date. Members of his Democratic Party of Japan are blaming Kan for losing control of the Upper House in the July 11 elections, and several DPJ politicians have called for him to step down. The party may well toss Kan out in September, when he faces reelection as its leader.
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    Colombia Becomes a Latin American Star

    In a time of emerging-market juggernauts, Colombia gets little notice. Its $244 billion economy is only the fifth-largest in Latin America, a trifle next to Brazil, the $2 trillion regional powerhouse. Yet against all odds Colombia has become the country to watch in the hemisphere. In the past eight years the nation of 45 million has gone from a crime- and drug-addled candidate for failed state to a prospering dynamo.
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    What Haiti Really Needs Now: More Trees

    Six months after a devastating earthquake, the nation is still struggling to regain its footing. Why the best recovery efforts may hinge on something green.
  • Japan-U.S. Relations Could Get Bumpy

    Washington’s interest in a more active security partnership—in which Japan would spend more on its armed forces, participate more in overseas operations, and perhaps even revise or reinterpret its Constitution to permit self-defense within the alliance—will continue to face serious obstacles because of Tokyo's unsettled domestic politics.
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    The Genocide Behind Your Smart Phone

    Our biggest gadget makers—including HP and Apple—may get their raw ingredients from genocidal militias in Congo. A new movement has begun to trace rare metals to the “conflict mines” they come from, and it won its first major victory this week.
  • Sebastian Piñera on Earthquakes and the Economy

    Thirteen days before Sebastián Piñera began his four-year term as Chilean president in March, the country suffered one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history. The first conservative elected president of Chile since 1958, this Harvard economist and self-made billionaire made earthquake recovery his top priority while taking an increasing role in Latin American affairs.
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    Will Netanyahu Share Jerusalem With Palestinians?

    The declared policy of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his Likud Party is that 'indivisible' Jerusalem will always be their nation's capital. But when Netanyahu visited the United States last week, he seemed to suggest he'd share it with the Palestinians. What gives?
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    The Strange Tale of the Iranian Defector

    On Monday an Iranian nuclear scientist arrived by taxi at a Washington embassy and demanded to be returned to Iran. His tale is the latest in a recent spate of fascinating spy stories.
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    Tony Blair: Beloved Abroad, Disliked at Home

    Tony Blair has joined a long line of politicians—like Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher—whose international reputations stayed bright long after disillusion set in back home. Why is Blair beloved abroad and disliked in Britain?
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    U.S. Officials Deny Iranian 'Defector' Was Kidnapped or Abused

    Four U.S. officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, told Declassified that Shahram Amiri, a purported Iranian nuclear scientist who has turned up at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington seeking to be sent back to Iran, was not held against his will by the U.S. government and was not subjected to any abuse.
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    Who Is Al-Shabab?

    Al-Shabab, a militant Islamist group from Somalia, claimed responsibility for a spate of bombings Sunday across the Ugandan capital, Kampala, that killed scores of people. But who is this group? And does it have influence in the U.S.?
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    Russian Spy Anna Chapman Not Ready to Sell Story—Yet

    Anna Chapman, the flame-haired femme fatale who became the poster girl for the recent U.S.-Russia spy swap, will abide by a plea-bargain provision supposedly barring her from selling her story—for now, at least. But people familiar with the wildly competitive checkbook journalism of London’s Fleet Street tabloids say Chapman could net a substantial fortune from her tale.
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    How the Srebrenica Massacre Led to the Iraq War

    The genocide of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica 15 years ago—which unfolded in front of U.N. peacekeepers—taught liberals that multilateralism and human rights can't always coexist. In that way, the massacre is what got us into Iraq.
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    Bombs in Uganda Signal the Arrival of Jihad

    The Uganda bomb, which killed 74 at World Cup parties, may signal a new theater for Islamist terrorism. African jihadists are planning operations from the confines of the Horn, where their movement is strongest, in those countries they believe to support Somali peacekeeping forces.
  • New Tactics for an Old Regime in Cuba

    With last Wednesday’s announcement of plans to release 52 political prisoners, President Raúl Castro took his first major step away from decades of hardline policy. But by taking the most obvious human-rights issue off the table, Castro has driven a new wedge between U.S. and European policies.
  • Madrassas Not the Primary Source of Militancy Rise

    Pakistani madrassas have been blamed as the primary source of the country’s rising militancy. But a new Brookings study says that, while a small number are a security concern, the violence can be attributed to a different educational problem: the country’s low levels of primary- and secondary-school enrollment.
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    Fire the Foreign Coaches

    Even before the World Cup ended, the recriminations had begun in countries whose soccer federations had paid through the nose for high-flying coaches who failed—like Fabio Capello in England, Carlos Parreira in South Africa, and Sven-Göran Eriksson in Ivory Coast—to deliver their teams to the final.
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    Visiting Egypt's Newest Antiquities

    King Tut is certainly more famous now than in his own time. The boy king died suddenly at the age of 19, before he could make a monument, or even a name, for himself. But just look at him now. He, or at least his stuff—the gilded masks, the lapis lazuli necklaces, the ornate thrones—is on a second blockbuster tour, traveling the world displayed safely behind glass in grand museums. Meanwhile, the pharaoh himself lies mummified in a decidedly unroyal-looking tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.
  • Chinese Investment in Europe Soars

    Europe’s economic distress could be China’s opportunity. In the past, the country has proved a hesitant investor in the continent, but figures show a 30 percent surge in new Chinese projects in Europe last year. And these days Europe looks ever more tempting.
  • Regime Change Everyone Can Love

    It’s not often that Brussels and Moscow see eye to eye on the politics of the former Soviet Union. But both want Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko gone, preferably after elections slated for early 2011. The EU has long criticized Lukashenko for abusing opposition activists and censoring local media.
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    Why Sanctions Won't Hurt the Revolutionary Guards

    Thanks to the dwindling traffic of big container ships from Dubai to the Islamic Republic, business is booming for a whole fleet of smugglers—as well as for the group that dominates Iran’s black market: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.