Global affairs | The Daily Star
  • Asking for the moon and beyond

    It came as a disappointment after the mega build-up to the launch of India’s second mission to the moon on July 15. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 was scrapped by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) about an hour before the lift-off of the country’s

  • Are present efforts enough to salvage the Iran nuclear deal?

    History was made on this day in 2015, when Iran agreed to the landmark nuclear deal, better known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

  • A risky gamble

    An official Turkish visit to the troubled northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang to assess reports of a brutal crackdown on the region’s Turkic Muslims could shape Turkey’s challenge to conservative Gulf

  • Modi’s budget for 2019-20: ‘Gaon, garib and kisan’

    Any government in an elected parliamentary democracy invariably seeks to strike a balance in its annual budget between the imperatives of politics and the pressing needs of the economy.

  • After the Hong Kong protests, what next?

    The old order is broken. No less than Russian President Putin has declared the Neoliberal order “obsolete”.

  • Kushner’s $50-billion irony of the century

    Jared Kushner, the US president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, recently unveiled in Manama an economic proposal to settle the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict. He billed it as the “opportunity of the century”.

  • The contagion effect of NRC in Nagaland

    When the exercise to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam began two years ago, it was expected to have a contagion effect in the rest of northeast India where identity politics has always been pronounced. The first sign of that has come in the public domain with the government in Assam’s next-door neighbour, Nagaland, having announced a move to draw up a digital database of all indigenous inhabitants of the state.

  • Power play in the Indian Ocean

    Sri Lanka and Maldives, by their mere locations, are of geostrategic significance in relation to east-west sea trade to and from South Asia. While Sri Lanka lies close to India’s south-east, Maldives is located 400km south-west of India. The latter has 26 atolls and over 1,000 islands covering a huge maritime area stretching 750km from north to south. They are significant for China, India and US, who are all jostling for strategic positions in the Indian Ocean.

  • Trade war dominates G20 Summit

    The 14th summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies was held at the International Exhibition Center,

  • Morsi’s end perhaps lay in his beginning

    On June 17, 2019, Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first and only democratically elected president, died inside a glass cage, in an Egyptian courtroom, during the course of an espionage trial. The 67-year-old former president apparently suffered for a full 20 minutes before

  • India-US tariff tiff goes beyond trade

    It has finally happened. The trade conflict between India and the United States has broken out as New Delhi ended its almost year-long wait for a negotiated settlement and came up with a retaliatory step imposing higher tariffs on import of 28 high-value agricultural items from the US with effect from June 16. It was in June last year that the US set off the conflict by hiking the duties on import of goods from India including steel and aluminium.

  • Sudan’s lone journey towards democracy

    On the morning of June 3, the world woke up to the news of a harrowing, bloody crackdown on peaceful civilian protesters on the streets of Khartoum by the RSF (Rapid Support Forces, a newfangled name of the notorious Janjaweed militia)—under the command of the infamous Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemeti, the mastermind behind the genocide in Darfur. The fault of the protesters? Demand for a civilian transitional governing body, following the fall of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president of 30 years.

  • The world is sadder, angrier and more fearful than ever

    Today, about 7.7 billion people call earth their home but our present home (world) is just not that happy of a place—at least, not according to the people living in it. Last year, US-based analytics firm Gallup conducted a global survey, asking 151,000 people in 143 countries

  • Clerics and entertainment seek to bolster Saudi prince’s grip on power

    A public apology by a prominent Salafi scholar sheds light on Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s version of “moderate Islam”, his effort to shape the Middle East and North Africa in his mould, and the replacement of religion with hyper-nationalism as the source of his legitimacy.

  • BIMSTEC By Choice: The Road Ahead

    When Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and leaders of six other BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries attended Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi,

  • Surfeit of slogans and sub-nationalism in Bengal

    POST-PARLIAMENTARY elections, a battle over sub-nationalism along ideological lines is on in West Bengal between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.

  • Indonesian General Election 2019: The cross-currents of Indonesian politics

    The recent general election in Indonesia had a touch of déjà vu. In both 2014 and 2019, it was Joko Widodo taking on Prabowo Subianto; in both the elections, Widodo, also known as Jokowi, was declared the winner by the Indonesian General Elections Commission (KPU); in both the elections, hardliner former general Subianto rejected the election results and declared himself the winner; and in both the elections, he challenged the results at the Constitutional Court of Indonesia.

  • One step forward, two steps back

    Afghanistan is a dangerous place for women. According to a new global index developed by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Afghanistan is the second worst country for women in the world, after war-ravaged Syria,

  • BJP’s election victory: Of Modi, by Modi and for Modi

    The two most commonly used taglines for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign in the just concluded parliamentary elections were “phir ek baar Modi sarkar” and “Modi hai to mumkin hai.” Both have come tellingly true as borne out the poll outcome that gave a much bigger mandate to Prime Minister Narendra Modi than when he came to power for the first time five years ago. It was the Modi factor which made it possible despite the BJP being hobbled by farm sector crisis, job crisis and the economic reforms like demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax which temporarily hit a cross section of people.

  • US-Iran Standoff: Will good sense prevail?

    US President Donald Trump’s ultra-hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton has been quoted as saying: “To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran.” Chillingly frightening words indeed—and that too from one of the closest advisers of the most powerful office on earth

  • What it takes to organise India’s national election

    Trudging across the world’s largest inhabited island (Majuli) on the Brahmaputra river in Assam for three days carrying EVMs, VVPAT units and other election materials, scaling rugged mountains in eastern Himalayas to reach just one voter in Arunachal Pradesh, walking through the deep snow to the world’s highest battlefield Siachen Glacier, where oxygen is scarce, or risking Maoist ambush in a dense forest—these are just a few vignettes from the Indian parliamentary election, a mind-boggling exercise in the world’s largest democracy, that aim to ensure that no eligible voter is left out.

  • US, China: Frenemies?

    These days, Harvard Professor Graham Allison is hailed as something of a prophet. Officials he met in China recently referred to him as the man who “predicted” a clash between the United States and China, he says. “It was not a prophesy,” he adds. “I simply pointed out the recurring patterns of histor

  • Sonia Gandhi returns to coalition-building to stop BJP

    After staying away from the heat and dust of gruelling summer electioneering and leaving the job of fronting the Congress Party’s campaign to her son Rahul and daughter Priyanka, Sonia Gandhi is back to doing what she does best—coalition-building—even before the last votes in India’s parliamentary polls are cast today and results declared four days later. The purpose: to stop the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from recapturing power in the event of a clear majority eluding the saffron party and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by it.

  • ANC’s unconvincing election victory: Legacy of the apartheid regime

    The first half of May saw the South African general elections making headlines in all of the major international news channels. From political analysts to economists, everyone was having their say about the difficult path the African National Congress (ANC), especially its leader Cyril Ramaphosa, was having to navigate to win people’s vote. The reason?

  • Battlefield Bengal and bruised Vidyasagar

    When polling in India’s parliamentary elections concludes on Sunday (May 19), the entire national focus will be firmly on nine remaining constituencies out of total of 42 in West Bengal even though voting will also take place in some other states, including Uttar Pradesh, electorally the most crucial state.

  • Iran doesn’t seem to be bending to Trump’s threats

    Since Donald Trump took charge of the White House, it did not take long for him to demonstrate that he will implement his many quixotic, disruptive and reckless ideas on a range of foreign policy and global issues.

  • Trump and our times: Is the world on the brink of turmoil?

    A supporter of the current dispensation in the United States with President Donald Trump at its helm, may be forgiven if he or she were to view the contemporary world through the lens of the above doggerel of a 19th century compatriot, William Wendell Holmes. For such a viewer, it would have looked a wonderful world some years ago. Everything was going right for America. There was the perception of it as the sole hyper-power, and one that was largely seen as benign. Thereafter, through the mechanism of America’s complex political system, its people put a new man on horseback to run it.

  • In Gaza, the bombs have stopped, but our suffering continues

    It’s Ramadan in Gaza. This year, it is punctuated by scarcity and fear, rather than feast and celebration. For many families in Gaza, this will be a month of mourning. Twenty-nine Palestinians were killed during last weekend’s fierce Israeli military assault, including two pregnant women and an infant just a few months old. The night before the holy month began, flashes of light penetrated the dark sky as Israel dropped bombs on us yet again.

  • Deteriorating civility in the Indian elections

    Indians can feel proud that they have been able to nurture democracy since the inception of their independence. Today after the nation has practiced democracy practically unbroken for seven decades,

  • The invisible people of Venezuela

    Venezuela is in a limbo. The country has two presidents fighting over legitimacy; two superpowers eying its rich oil fields and gold mines; an economy that is on the verge of collapse with inflation reaching one million percent and external debt shattering the roof at more than 175 percent of GDP; and an unfolding humanitarian crisis that has forced more than three million people to flee to neighbouring countries seeking refuge.