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)
New Face of Organized Crime: Islamic Terrorists and Mexican Drug Gangs
September 26, 2014

by Norman A. Bailey


Mexican drug gangs and Islamic terrorists have formed a deadly new partnership, according to U.S. and Israeli security and intelligence sources.
Add Khorasan to the New Terror Threats to US, Europe
September 25, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

The Obama administration unexpectedly added the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaeda offshoot, to the list of targets for this week’s airstrikes. The White House suspected the terrorists were plotting imminent attacks against the United States and Europe by placing bombs that are difficult to detect on airliners. The threats posed by the Khorasan Group are similar to those of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria but appear to be more focused on direct attacks on the West.
Eurozone Inflation Likely to Rise After a Three-Year Low
September 25, 2014
Eurozone annual inflation has been on a slippery slope for the best part of three years. From a high of 3 percent at the end of 2011, inflation has dropped to a low of .3 percent in August with lower energy and food prices largely responsible for that decline in the 18 European countries that share the euro as a common currency. But that could soon end as the global economy recovers.
Ukraine Walks a Tightrope Between EU and Russia
September 24, 2014
Ukraine’s moves to strike a trade agreement with the European Union while also granting self-rule and amnesty to pro-Russian rebels represent a careful strategy. Ukraine is trying to protect what is left of its sovereignty without risking further interference from Russia. However, key elements of the EU agreement will not be implemented until late 2015 at the earliest because of Russian pressure. There are also concerns Moscow could eventually kill the deal.
War Against ISIS Collides With Iran Nuclear Talks
September 23, 2014
The multilateral talks on Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program that resumed last week are again mired in controversy. Conflicting statements by Washington and Tehran about a possible Iranian role in combatting the terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has divided experts and raised new concerns from the U.S. Congress. Many in Congress also are worried about new proposed compromises by the Obama administration that would allow Iran to keep all of its centrifuges as long as most of them are “disconnected.”
China Thwarts Hong Kong Democracy While US, Britain Dither
September 23, 2014
The Chinese government is taking a heavy-handed approach to Hong Kong’s efforts to conduct free elections, another indication of Beijing’s intent to tamp down democratic elements in the former British colony and beyond. Despite pledges to respect Hong Kong’s independence in such matters, the Chinese legislature has voted to establish a vetting process that will allow only pro-Chinese government candidates to run for office.
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