April 15, 2014
Three months of nuclear negotiations with Iran have yielded no breakthroughs, and considerable work remains if there is to be a permanent agreement that goes beyond the scope of last November’s interim accord. The final treaty is to be drafted beginning next month, with each side jockeying for advantage over the future course of Iran’s nuclear program.
Pressure Builds as Iran Nuclear Talks Enter Critical Stage
Protesters wave posters with anti-American slogans and portraits of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Feb. 11, 2014. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
As Erdogan Gains Power, Turkey Loses Credibility in the West
April 9, 2014
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party has won what he and many commentators are hailing as a major victory in recent municipal elections. Yet Erdogan’s reputation as a reformer — more democratic than Islamist — and his plan to regain the regional influence of the Ottoman Empire lie in ruins, as do Turkey’s pretensions of joining the European Union.
Ukraine Sees ‘Economic Aggression’ in Russian Gas Hike
April 9, 2014
The interim Ukrainian government’s decision to reject enormous price increases for natural gas shipments from Russia’s state-owned Gazprom (London: OGZD) threatens to drive the dispute to new heights. If the Kremlin follows through on its threat to shut down its pipelines to Ukraine for refusing to pay the outrageous 81 percent increase, the European Union’s ability to respond will likely be limited because the bloc depends on Russian oil and gas.
Give Putin Credit for Rebuilding Russian Military, and Morale
April 9, 2014
The Russian military’s swift and bloodless conquest of Crimea demonstrates the major strides it has made under President Vladimir Putin in the past decade. Improvements extend to both strategic nuclear and conventional forces, a measure of Russia’s long-term commitment to the modernization of its military.
Rapprochement With China Brings Taiwan Dividends, Danger
April 8, 2014
Despite student protests culminating in a deal with the Taiwan legislature to increase oversight of bilateral agreements with China, a trade liberalization deal between Taiwan and China should result in closer economic ties and raise Taiwan’s profile abroad. The danger for Taipei is that warming relations with a large, aggressive neighbor could ultimately cost the island nation its sovereignty, and Beijing could set a high price on the international acceptance Taiwan so desperately wants.
US Offer to Give Up Internet Control Stuns Critics, Pleases Foes
April 8, 2014
TECHNOLOGY

The U.S. government plans by 2015 to give up authority over ICANN, the organization that administers the Internet, sparking accusations that Washington is ceding the Web to America’s enemies. The Commerce Department decision does pave the way for a multinational "stakeholder" group to oversee the Internet, even as repressive foreign regimes push for a more direct say over the network inside their borders.
Lebanon Struggles to Survive Syria’s Civil War
April 8, 2014
Despite a vote of confidence from parliament, the new Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Tammam Salam struggles against myriad threats to stability stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. Spillover has exacerbated sectarian divisions and increased violence across Lebanon, while the financial toll has led to massive trade and budget deficits. Key industries have disappeared and investors have fled the country.
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