July 22, 2014
Elected Ukraine’s fifth president in late May, Petro Poroshenko arrived in office amid a crisis that could destroy his country. Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea has triggered a separatist movement, aided by Russia, that could permanently divide Ukraine. The crisis is far from resolved, and Russia could attempt to take other parts of the country by force.
‘Chocolate King’ Guides Ukraine in Greatest Test Since Cold War
Petro Poroshenko gives a press conference in Kiev after results of the presidential election were announced on on May 25, 2014. Poroshenko won the election with 56 percent of the vote, vowing to bring peace to Ukraine after months of turmoil and a pro-Russian insurgency that thwarted voting across much of the separatist east. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)
Hong Kong Rebels as Beijing Struggles to Assert Control
June 27, 2014
Feisty Hong Kong residents are defying Beijing's heavy-handed tactics including a 'white paper' asserting the Communist Party's 'comprehensive jurisdiction' over the semi-autonomous Chinese financial center. More than 700,000 residents of Hong Kong have turned out to vote in an unofficial referendum organized by democracy activists, demanding a greater voice in the election of the next chief executive in 2017.
Iraqi Parliament to Meet as ISIS Increases Threats to Region
June 27, 2014
The first meeting of Iraq’s new parliament next week will attempt to form a new government that can best deal with the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and growing sectarian tensions. Although Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called for a more inclusive government to be formed, he rejected pressure from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and a leading Shiite secular leader to form a unity government that fully represents all segments of the Iraqi people. In a televised speech, al-Maliki blamed his political rivals for the ISIS threat.
‘Energy Shocks’ Haunt Power-Hungry Europe
June 27, 2014
Europe has adopted long-term goals to save the continent from “energy shocks” from an unruly world. But disputes within the European Union could undo the best laid plans of bureaucrats in Brussels.
Pakistan: Low U.S. Expectations for Offensive Against Taliban
June 26, 2014

Pakistan’s long-awaited offensive against the Taliban in Waziristan, a tribal area as lawless as America's old Wild West, is hardly the military campaign the United States advocated for nearly a decade. While Pakistani politicians hail the offensive as a chance to pressure Islamist militants to the bargaining table, it is shaping up to be a very limited operation to punish a few “bad Taliban” while continuing to give the “good Taliban” a pass.

With Iraq in Chaos, Israel Strengthens Ties to the Kurds
June 26, 2014
Israel accepted a first shipment of oil last week from Iraq’s Kurdistan region, throwing the Kurds a lifeline in their conflict with the Iraqi central government over oil resources. But it’s not likely that Kurdistan, given the politics of the Middle East, will ever be a reliable ally of Israel.
US Court Decision Brings Argentina Closer to Default
June 26, 2014
Bound by new restrictions to pay its creditors in full, Argentina is facing an uphill battle economically and politically to reach a negotiated settlement before a tight June deadline. Argentina’s ongoing fight with creditors became front-page news last week as a series of U.S. court rulings edged South America’s second largest economy a step closer to its second default in less than 15 years.
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