October 22, 2014

By Peter Warburton and Joanna Davies

A drama is unfolding at the heart of Europe as old stimulus programs expire and new ones meet with skepticism and derision. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, pulled off a timely rescue of the European monetary system in the summer of 2012 without spending a cent of central bank money. That earned him the nickname of “Super Mario” among admirers and critics, alike.

Eurozone on the Brink, as ‘Super Mario’ Races to the Rescue
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images)
Out of Egypt, Progress in Slow Transition to Democracy
November 18, 2013
The lifting of the three-month state of emergency and nightly curfew that have been in place for three months and movement toward drafting a new constitution have raised expectations that Egypt’s interim military government is finally living up to its promises to restore democratic government. Not everyone is convinced, however, of the military’s sincerity in restoring democracy. The military’s principal political opponent – the Muslim Brotherhood – is still outlawed and continues to denounce the interim regime as illegitimate.
Ukrainian Risks Russia’s Wrath in Urging Closer Ties to US
November 18, 2013
During an early November visit to Washington, D.C., Ukrainian civic leader Sergii Bondarchuk urged that his country form stronger ties with the United States despite growing Russian opposition. Ukraine, he says, could become a partner in the fight against terrorism worldwide, and serve as an “eastern pillar” of economic and political freedom in Europe.
Latin America Expert Warns of  ‘Facade of Democracy’
November 18, 2013
Longtime Latin America expert Otto Reich tells LIGNET in an exclusive interview that some leaders in the region are instituting what he calls a “facade of a democracy.” According to Reich, Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela are all using democracy to get into power and then “changing the rules.” Once in office, Reich explained, they undercut democracy to make sure they remain in power.
As Conflicts Rage, Kurdish Calm Presages Possible Statehood
November 18, 2013
Economically independent and resistant to Islamic extremism, Iraq’s Kurdish population is actively expanding support to Kurds in neighboring Syria and Turkey, leading the ethnic group to play a central role in several regional conflicts. While the dream of a unified Kurdish state grows increasingly tangible it remains far from assured: A rapidly shifting political Middle East could easily transform that vision into a mere desert mirage.
Hondurans Hope Vote Ends Political Paralysis, Violence
November 15, 2013
Honduras hopes elections on Nov. 25 will end the political uncertainty that has plagued the country since 2009 and position it to tackle spiraling violence and salvage its struggling economy. However, reports of intimidation, targeting of opposition candidates, and electoral irregularities combined with hardened divisions between parties suggest the political atmosphere will still be venomous even after the vote, hampering the country’s ability to resolve its problems.
Chinese Leaders Signal Coming Clash of Private, Public Sectors
November 15, 2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined a number of broad reforms at the Third Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee this week. China’s future remains uncertain, however, as market-driven economic reforms are incompatible with the Communist Party’s goal of strengthening its control.
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