• Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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America

America back in Iraq

BARACK Obama has stunned and confused America and the world. Three years after the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, America has sent aircraft to bomb fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in a desperate attempt to stop their advance on the Kurdish capital, Arbil. Ostensibly, the president is anxious to forestall what he imagines could be a “genocide” by protecting the minority Christians and the Yazidis of northern Iraq, a segment that practises a...

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ SERIES

American delusions Down Under

FOR better or worse, economic-policy debates in the United States are often echoed elsewhere, regardless of whether they are relevant. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's recently elected government provides a case in point. As in many other countries, conservative governments are arguing for cutbacks in government spending, on the grounds that fiscal deficits imperil their future. In the case of Australia, however, such assertions ring particularly hollow -- though that has not stopped Abbott's government from trafficking in them. Even if...

American involvement in Iraq: Damned if you do, damned if you don't

American involvement in Iraq: Damned if you do, damned if you don't

LOOKS like America has got itself into a very sticky situation. No matter how hard it tries to stay away from what seems like a brewing civil war in Iraq, it cannot just turn a deaf ear to the formal request made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nourie Al-Maliki for American assistance. On one...

The night US nearly nuked itself

The night US nearly nuked itself

Only dumb luck saved America from a nightmare scenario in January 1961 when an Air Force B-52 carrying two nuclear bombs broke apart in flight dropping the weapons on farmland near the city of Goldsboro in North Carolina. Both bombs had been knocked by the accident into “armed” mode ready to detonate as they...

Taliban releases video of US prisoner handover

Taliban releases video of US prisoner handover

The Taliban have released a video showing the moment they handed Bowe Bergdahl over to American special forces in Afghanistan. About a dozen armed men, their faces covered in scarves, wave white flags as they guard a Toyota 4x4 containing the captured soldier, reports UK-base newspaper The Telegraph. “Don’ come back to Afghanistan,” [sic] reads...

Obama set to unveil new climate change guidelines

Obama set to unveil new climate change guidelines

US President Barack Obama is to unveil new rules for coal-burning power plants aimed at dramatically cutting emissions that contribute to global warming. The proposals reportedly seek to cut carbon pollution from nearly 1,600 power plants by 30% by 2030. China and India are among the nations that have made similar commitments to stem global...

Obama in Afghanistan, hopeful on security pact

Obama in Afghanistan, hopeful on security pact

President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday to visit US forces who are wrapping up a 13-year mission and signaled that he intends to keep a small number of troops in the country for training and counter-terrorism operations. Cheers erupted among the hundreds of US troops gathered in a Bagram...

US is not a democracy

A new scientific study from Princeton university researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn't a democracy any more. And they've found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy. An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well...

BYLINE

Washington smells the saffron

THE news item flickered warily somewhere in the middle of NBC's morning bulletin on Friday, February 28, almost as if the editors were wary of including it. A dead man had come alive. A major channel such as NBC would not have used “dead” without checking, or “alive” without confirmation. Mourners were taking the corpse to its destination when it began to kick within the coffin. The anchors, who looked as astonished as the mourners must have, described it...

AWAKENING INDIA

The return of the Ugly American

The return of the Ugly American

NEARLY a month after American authorities arrested India's deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, outside her children's school and charged her with paying her Indian domestic worker a salary below the minimum wage, bilateral relations remain tense. India's government has reacted with fury to the mistreatment of an official enjoying diplomatic immunity, and public indignation has been widespread and nearly unanimous. So, has an era of steadily improving ties between the two countries come to an end? Judging from Indian leaders' statements, it would certainly seem so. India's mild-mannered Prime Minister Manmohan...

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