Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Global Monitor - no. 11, 7 Dec 2011

Welcome to the 11th edition of DiploSoc's Global Monitor! 
This service tracks foreign policy and other international developments of (sometimes long-term) relevance to global diplomacy.
The Monitor also offers a selection of analysis articles and updates on international affairs-related publications.

Please note that this service is still under development in terms of formatting, material selection and layout--i.e. it will improve significantly over the next few weeks. 
Of course, we would welcome any feedback and suggestions

Thank you for your interest and understanding!
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NEWS 

                                                EUROPE

What's the hurry, Belgium? Somalia has gone without a government for 20 years.
Yesterday, Belgium announced the formation of a coalition government after 541 days of stalemate.

Italian police capture Mafia boss
Italian police say they have captured the chief of a Naples Mafia clan.


                                                AFRICA

Egyptian election blow as judge admits turnout was only 52 per cent
Irregularities and delays continued to dog the Egyptian election, with the judge in charge saying he had made a mistake in the turnout in last week's vote and an entire constituency's results being invalidated by a court.

Dozens killed in southern Somalia clash
Dozens of Islamist militants and 11 Somali government troops were killed in weekend fighting in the town of Hayo, southern Somalia, and Kenyan jets have launched new air strikes on rebel bases, a Kenyan military spokesman said on Tuesday.

                                               
                                                MIDDLE EAST

Hezbollah's Nasrallah: Our weapons are increasing
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah is well-armed, despite increasing pressure on Syria, a key conduit for weapons to the Shiite militant movement next door in Lebanon.

Saudi Prince Turki urges nuclear option after Iran
Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal, voicing alarm about Iran's nuclear programme, has said the leadership should consider acquiring nuclear weapons to counter threats from Tehran, and from Israel.

President Bashar al-Assad held his first interview in Damascus with a U.S. reporter since the start of the Syrian uprisings, telling Barbara Walters that he did not order a government crackdown on protesters.

Clinton Urges Syria To Break Free From 'Dictator'
The US Secretary of State spoke after meeting six members of the Syrian National Council, an exile group seeking to end the 41-year rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his late father.


                                                AMERICAS

U.S. Climate Stance Is ‘Blowing Negotiations Apart,’ Envoy Declares
The U.S. view that no new global climate deal is possible before 2020 is derailing negotiations aimed at slashing the world’s oil and coal emissions, according to an envoy at the talks.

Emergency declared as Peru peasants protest US firm's $4.8 billion gold mine plan
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala has declared a 60-day state of emergency to quell increasingly violent protests over the country's biggest investment -- a $4.8 billion gold mine -- by peasants who fear it will damage their water supply, according to reports Monday.

                                                APAC

Afghan president says attack came from Pakistan
Afghan President Hamid Karzai confronted Pakistan on Wednesday, saying a militant group based there was behind a suicide bombing at a Shiite shrine in Kabul that killed 56 people during commemorations of a holy day.

North Korea making missile able to hit U.S.
Republicans press Pentagon for long-range interceptors

Malaysia: UN experts warn new bill restricts right to peaceful assembly
A group of independent United Nations human rights experts today warned that a new bill in Malaysia restricts the right to peaceful assembly with measures such as a ban on street protests and conditional access for media to public gatherings.

No charges in alleged plot to kill Trinidad leader
Sixteen men detained in an alleged plot to kill the prime minister and other officials in Trinidad and Tobago have been released after officials were unable to find sufficient evidence against them, police said.

                                                read also:
Clinton warns of bioweapon threat from new gene assembly technology
New gene assembly technology that offers great benefits for scientific research could also be used by terrorists to create biological weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Wednesday.

On 70th anniversary of attack, Pearl Harbor survivors group announces it will disband
About 120 survivors of the Pearl Harbor bombing commemorated the Japanese attack and the thousands who lost their lives that day 70 years ago by observing a moment of silence on Wednesday.

PUBLICATIONS

The Twenty-First Century Will Not Be a “Post-American” World
Joseph S. Nye Jr in International Studies Quarterly

Responsibility to Protect in North Korea
Robert Park in Harvard International Review
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) continues to commit acts of genocide and crimes against humanity that are unparalleled in the world today in terms of brutality and loss of life.



Dissuading Iran from the bomb and avoiding war
By James Dobbins
International solidarity in support of ever-tighter sanctions is the only way to get results when it comes to Iran - writes a former US assistant secretary of state

Where are they now?
Toby Carroll and Shahar Hameiri in Le Monde Diplomatique
Remarkably, the people who dedicate their professional lives to understanding how economies work seem incapable of explaining the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, or offering a way out of the mess.


Cultural Dialogue: the Western Encounter with 'the Rest'
Program paper by Christopher Coker at Chatham House
Looking at liberal internationalism, cosmopolitanism and communitarianism, this article asks which of these visions are sustainable, and which is most likely to sustain a cultural dialogue between different societies in the 21st century.

 

ANALYSIS

Routed Elsewhere, al-Qaeda Thrives in Sahara
Terror group's move into Africa mirrors old Afghanistan strategy

 
Conflicting visions at core of euro zone crisis
Since the inception of the euro, France and Germany have pursued divergent visions of European economic and monetary union. In two decades, the French have become a little more German, the Germans a little more French. But the gulf remains.

Cold War' With Iran Heats Up Across Mideast
Worries of Israel striking Iran might or might not be overblown but across the region the largely hidden "cold war" between Tehran and its enemies is escalating fast, bringing with it wider risk of conflict.

 

It's hard to be too downbeat on recent trends in BRIC-world, compared with the latest from Europe and the United States. But whether or not it's reflected in economic reality, the adulatory coverage may be coming to an end.

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/12/06/bad_news_brics_10_years_on_which_country_is_the_most_overhyped

 

Why the euro liars must stop deceiving us - and themselves
The leaders of France and Germany — those big bosses of Europe — announced yesterday that they are committed to redraw the continental treaty, what Chancellor Angela Merkel has called ‘a new phase in European integration’, as they fight to keep the euro as a stable currency.

 

Vladimir Putin: the gremlin in the Kremlin
Russia’s 'squeezed middle’ is disenchanted with Mr Putin, as his election humiliation shows – even his allies are getting nervous about his plans.

 

It’s been a difficult week for Israel. A trifecta of attacks on the foundation of the ties between the United States and the Jewish state in the past few days have exposed the ambivalent feelings of top Obama administration officials.

 

Last week, millions of people turned out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to vote in Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, because of myriad mistakes in the run-up to the polling, the elections themselves were marred by disorganization, fraud, and violence.

 
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