October 21, 2014

By Alec Weisman

Worried by the recent success of Shiite tribesmen in Yemen, Sunni-ruled Bahrain is desperate to deter its Shiite-majority population from reviving their Arab Spring protests. However, the latest aggressive crackdown in the tiny island kingdom just before parliamentary elections next month may backfire and lead to greater unrest for the strategically important American ally torn between the two main factions of Islam.

Islamic Tensions Rock Strategic US Ally Bahrain
Anti-government protests demand democratic reforms in a September demonstration in Bahrain. (Mohammed al-Shaikh/Getty Images)
China’s Belligerence Threatens Reconciliation With Taiwan
September 17, 2014
China’s growing aggression toward Taiwan is undercutting the efforts of the democratic island nation to improve relations with the communist giant on the mainland. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou remains committed to developing close ties with China, and trade talks last week between the two nations appeared to have been an attempt to soothe tensions.

Kerry’s Denial of US Overture to Iran on ISIS Defies Belief
September 16, 2014
By Fred Fleitz

Secretary of State John Kerry’s awkward denial that the United States has not proposed “coordinating with Iran” against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria suggests the Obama administration did, indeed, propose that and is now engaged in damage control after Iranian officials revealed the U.S. outreach.

Qatar Cuts Funds to Hamas After Saudis Threaten War
September 16, 2014
Saudi Arabia finally lost patience with its tiny neighbor, Qatar, and demanded that the rogue emirate stop promoting and financing radical Islam, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Riyadh also pressed for changes in Qatar-controlled al-Jazeera’s anti-Saudi editorial stance.
ISIS Delivers Brutal Response to Obama’s ‘Strategy’ Speech
September 16, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria answered President Obama’s Sept. 10 primetime address announcing a new U.S. strategy to defeat the terrorist army by beheading British aid worker David Haines.

Washington and London immediately denounced the ISIS and pledged to step up efforts to destroy it, but questions remain about whether either country is prepared to do enough to stop the brutal juggernaut with as many as 30,000 fighters who control an area the size of Britain and rake in about $3 million a day from black-market oil sales.

France, Italy Bet the Bank on Budget Deficits
September 16, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD

At a recent convention of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi threw down a challenge to European politicians to adopt more growth-friendly policies. French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi seized upon his remarks and sought private meetings with him straight afterwards to build an alliance against German-led fiscal restraint.
New India-Japan Partnership Counters China’s Clout
September 12, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day visit with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, punctuated by a joint declaration, sent a strong signal to a region increasingly under China’s shadow. Modi and Abe are clearly eager to boost trade and defense ties to revitalize their poor economies and counter China’s regional belligerence.
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