Royal Rumble in Thailand?

Last Thursday, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died in a hospital in Bangkok at the age of 88. Bhumpipol, who had reigned since 1946, was revered by many Thais. Although the monarchy does not run the country (administrative duties have been carried about by General Prayuth Chan-ocha since he took power in a military coup in May 2014), the monarchy has been seen as a unifying force in a country that pre-coup had a very divisive political environment. The next-in-line to the throne, Cro...
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Spring Election Preview

All eyes might be on the United States this year for its November general election, but across the world contests are taking place that seriously shake up global politics. Ireland On Friday, February 26, Ireland will head to the polls to select a new Taoiseach (yes, that’s really the name for the Irish head of state). Incumbent leader Enda Kenny of the center-right Finn Gael party called the election to renew his coalition government’s mandate. Kenny’s government was elected in the aft...
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China Marks a Reform Milestone

Buried in the maelstrom surrounding the terrorist attacks in Paris, International Monetary Fund staffers recommended on Friday that the Chinese renminbi join the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies. There are two requirements for a currency to be accepted into this elite echelon: it must be, in the words of IMF director Christine Lagarde, widely used and freely usable. While the currency has been by any metric widely used for a while now, Friday’s announcement was seen as a v...
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Terror in the Sinai?

On Saturday, Kogalymavia Flight 9268 crashed shortly after takeoff over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. The flight departed from Sharm el-Sheikh airport, in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, and its intended destination was St. Petersburg, Russia. Although Egyptian civil aviation authorities initially resisted connecting the crash to terrorists, today U.S. intelligence agencies apparently are now investigating the theory that a bomb was smuggled onto the plane by ISIS...
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Libya’s Dance with Diplomacy

  After over a year of contentious negotiations, UN Special Representative to Libya Bernandino Leon announced this week his plan for a unity government. Speaking at a press conference in Skhirat, Morocco, he said, “After a year of work in this process, after working with more than 150 Libyan personalities from all the regions, finally the moment has come in which we can propose a national unity government.” Given the security climate on the ground, however, it will be difficult to...
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Fall Election Preview

People from all over the globe will be casting ballots this fall that could result in some interesting faces entering (and leaving!) the world stage. GREECE – September 20 Could this be it for Alexis Tsipras? After a turbulent summer of negotiations with creditors, the Greek Prime Minister is seeking a new mandate from his people. However, his path to reelection is far from clear. 43 of SYRIZA’s 149 MPs either opposed or abstained during the vote over the most recent bailout and New De...
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The Worst Place on the Planet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp_2QU1nmY Over the past week, the Islamic State has made a push to overrun the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria. The forces that protect the camp have been hollowed out by a devastating siege instituted by the Assad regime. Food and water are scarce; medical supplies and ammunition are nowhere to be found. Aid workers have repeatedly been denied access to the camp. Without some kind of intervention, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-M...
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The Major Scandal Nobody is Talking About

Critics of the Obama Administration are currently preoccupied with a handful of issues where they claim Obama is ceding international leadership to other entities: the Iran talks, Ukraine, and Syria. However, whatever criticisms might be levied on those issues pale in comparison to a major scandal that has unfurled over the past two weeks, one that has largely avoided the glare of the mainstream media. In question is European membership to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, an alternat...
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Greece Staves Off a Crisis…For Now

After weeks of tense, acrimonious negotiations, the Eurogroup of European finance ministers and the government of Greece hashed out an agreement to extend the troubled southern European’s bailout program by six months. In broad terms, the agreement allows Greece to access an additional $273 billion from its bailout, but only after certain conditions set by the Eurogroup are met. Greece will have to submit a series of reforms to the IMF and EU by Monday and if they aren’t sufficient, another E...
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How Greece’s Debt Crisis Could Collide with the War in Ukraine

The landslide election victory for the far-left SYRIZA in January’s Greek elections has led to fear in many European capitals that Greece could move into Russia’s orbit. The current and most pressing issue for Greece is whether or not its government and the European Union will agree to an extension of the fiscally troubled nation’s $273 billion bailout. The present disagreements between the two sides are stark. After a meeting Wednesday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis did not even cons...
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