April 23, 2014
Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power grab of Ukraine’s Crimea region and intend to sign the treaty to establish his ambitious Eurasian Economic Union next month, but the Kremlin’s bad behavior is causing some consternation among its allies. With even Europe’s last dictator, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, breaking ranks with his buddies in the Kremlin over Ukraine, Putin’s Eurasian dream is unlikely to become the united rival to the European Union he desperately wants to create.
Putin’s Ukraine Moves Rattle His Eurasian Union Allies
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, right, arrive at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the Kremlin in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2013. (Alexei Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)
Lebanon Unravels Under Strain of Syrian Refugee Crisis
April 24, 2014
Lebanon, already lurching toward becoming a failed state, is struggling to cope with a tsunami of refugees from the Syrian civil war. More than 1 million Syrians have crossed over the border into Lebanon, the equivalent of 60 million destitute men, women and children pouring into the United States in less than three years.
UK Schools Targeted for Takeover by Muslim ‘Trojan Horse’
April 24, 2014
The discovery of a plot to drive non-Islamic officials and teachers out of schools in Birmingham has led Britain to appoint a former police commissioner with terrorism experience to investigate. Authorities fear England's second-largest city is the target of a “Trojan horse” plan to place Muslim extremists in 25 primary and secondary schools and academies.
Huge Anti-Corruption Campaign Makes Chinese Leaders Nervous
April 24, 2014
Heard in China
by Jeremy Bradshaw


Chinese media report that more than 182,000 officials were punished for corruption last year – a 33 percent increase over 2012. A particular target is the tainted state prosecutor: More than 200 of them were convicted in 2013.
Congress Questions Aid to Once Steady Pakistan
April 23, 2014
As the U.S. presence in Afghanistan winds down, a reliable regional partner in the war on terror becomes paramount. Yet Pakistan, which had enjoyed a strong relationship with Washington under President George W. Bush, is quickly moving to the back burner with the current White House. Islamabad must now convince skeptics that it will use its remaining aid to tamp down the Taliban next door or neutralize them politically.
Sheiks Keep the Peace by Blowing Billions on Gas Subsidies
April 23, 2014
Many oil-rich countries use their natural resource wealth to provide domestic subsidies for gasoline, a boon their citizens have come to view as a right. Yet rising regional demand for oil in the Middle East and North Africa is second only to China, suggesting that governments cannot long afford to provide gasoline more cheaply than water.
Obama to Face Policy Challenges at Every Stop on Asian Tour
April 22, 2014
President Barack Obama’s weeklong trip to Asia comes at a critical time for U.S. foreign policy as all eyes are focused on Russian aggression in Ukraine while Asian politics are in turmoil. The trip was intended to demonstrate the president’s commitment to his 2011 “Asia pivot” policy initiative, but events in Europe as well as declining defense budgets, underscore what many critics depict as another hollow element in a growing list of policy stumbles.
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