August 27, 2014
The meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus on Tuesday presented a very small potential opening to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, but no immediate breakthrough is likely.
No Breakthrough Likely From Ukrainian, Russian Talks
A Ukrainian soldier flexes his muscles as government troops roll back rebels from Donetsk. (Getty Images)
Congo Oil Bonanza Plagued by Tribal, Islamist Conflicts
August 19, 2014
The Democratic Republic of the Congo could become a major global oil producer if the nation can tap the three billion barrels of oil — the size of reserves in South Sudan and the United Kingdom — discovered earlier this month. However, while the deeply impoverished nation abounds in natural resources, decades of neglect and bloodshed have kept the country from achieving its full potential.
Former Virginia Resident May Be on Track to Head Libya
August 18, 2014
Still reeling from the war that ousted Col. Muammar Qaddafi, Libyans seem increasingly likely to accept the leadership of former Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar, a one-time Qaddafi loyalist with ties to Washington gathering military backing that ultimately could lead him to political power. Much like Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before him, Haftar is making the fight about order and eliminating Islamists, then focusing on governing.
Scottish Independence Rests on Currency Linked to England
August 18, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD

Scotland, a relatively prosperous part of Britain distinguished by offshore oil and gas reserves and a large financial services sector, faces a major referendum next month on the future of its 307-year union with England. But the real question is not whether Scotland could be reorganized as an independent nation, but whether it should be.
Hamas Could Keep Arms Under Egyptian Peace Plan
August 18, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

The end of the Gaza-Israel conflict may be in sight,
although Israel and Hamas are still far apart on major issues and Hamas has rejected a new Egyptian peace plan. Successful cease-fires and progress in negotiating some issues have created hope for a negotiated settlement, especially since the Palestinian Authority indicated it can accept most of the Egyptian plan. With or without a truce agreement, Israel appears prepared to end the conflict through its “quiet-for-quiet” cease-fire strategy.
Israel Readies Futuristic Laser Cannon to Zap Enemy Artillery
August 15, 2014
Israeli scientists have developed Iron Beam, a high-tech laser cannon that could, like Iron Dome, knock Palestinian rockets out of the air but also destroy low-tech mortars.
Burma’s Lost Democratic Momentum Imperils Future Progress
August 15, 2014
Reclusive Burma was hailed as a Southeast Asian success story after easing decades of military rule in 2010, but the nation’s progress toward democracy has faltered over the last year. The regime is intimidated by the public adoration of outspoken opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but it will likely try to quietly maintain the status quo in next year’s elections without provoking a backlash from the international community.
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