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· August, 2012

Stories about International Relations from August, 2012

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Combatting Cocaine Production in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru

  30 August 2012

Drug production and trafficking is a major issue in Latin America that governments are constantly trying to deal with. However, as the continent leaders gathered last April in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas fully agreed, the so far US-led war on drugs has failed in the Region. Peru, Colombia and Bolivia are the three largest illegal cocaine producing countries in the world. What are these Andean Countries doing to combat illegal drugs?

Russia: “The Sissy Conspiracy”

RuNet Echo  30 August 2012

On his Tumblr blog, Michael Idov, editor-in-chief of GQ Russia, writes that “pop conspirology, a favorite Russian pastime, is a projection of discomfort with slackened gender roles.” He explains: “It’s not just about the ‘Jews’ or the ‘world government’ any more. It’s about weird semiotic clusters organized around degrees of...

Chinese Weapons Flooding Africa

  30 August 2012

Deborah Brautigam from China in Africa provided more background information about the importation of Chinese Weapons in African countries and explained the incentive of arms sale is from private sector: As we saw in the notorious Libya case, it appears that Chinese companies with their own balance sheets are “going...

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Pakistan: Long Road to Peace and Security

  29 August 2012

As Pakistan enters its 66th year of Independence, it is a good time to take stock of the security situation within the country - in order to understand what role the nation will continue to play in the overall security and stability of the region.

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Assessing Quality of Life in African Cities

  29 August 2012

One study on the quality of life in cities across the world reports that, of the ten least liveable cities, six are situated in Africa. However, another finds that the populations of certain African cities are happier than those of several European counterparts. So what exactly is the reality of quality of life in Africa's cities?

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Russia: Foreign Ministry Looks to Germany to Justify Pussy Riot Verdict

RuNet Echo  28 August 2012

Russia's Foreign Ministry has made a series of comments that further enraging Pussy Riot's supporters. Spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich defended the recent verdict and lashed out at the West for ignorance about the band members' pasts and highlighted perceived double standards regarding interferences into religious services and criminal penalties, citing laws in Germany and Austria.

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Iran: Tehran's Non-Declared Curfew Amid NAM Summit

The 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement started amid heavy security presence in Tehran, August 26, 2012. The 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a holdover from the Cold War's pull between East and West, is also seen by Iran and others as an alternative forum for current world discussions. Iran says it has planned talks on a peace plan to end Syria's civil war, but no rebel factions will attend because of Tehran's close bonds with Bashar Assad's regime.

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Russia's War Games Make Georgia Nervous

RuNet Echo  27 August 2012

This September, Russia is planning to hold 'Caucasus-2012' with forces from the breakaway Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. With 8,000 troops, as well as heavy machinery, artillery, navy, and air force, this will be Russia’s largest exercise this year. Is this too close for comfort for Georgians?

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France: An Epic Flight from Paris to Beirut – via Damascus

  26 August 2012

An Air France flight from Paris to Beirut on August 15, turned into a 20-hour nightmare for its passengers, including the French Ambassador to Lebanon. After diverting to Damascus, Syria, for fuel and security reasons, the crew then had to ask around for money to pay for the kerosene after their credit card was refused.

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Angolan Tourists Spend Big Bucks in Portugal

  24 August 2012

'Little by little we see Angolan money starting to dominate businesses and the economic sectors in Portugal.' According to a netizen this is in stark contrast to 70% of Angola's population which 'is barefoot, have empty stomachs, (and) live in a slum.'

China: Open Letter to Car-Smashing “Patriots”

  23 August 2012

The territorial conflict between Japan and China has led to a series of protests in major Chinese cities, with angry patriots smashing Japanese vehicles. In response to such action, a Japanese car owner issued an open letter to the patriots. Rachael from Tea Leaf Nation translates the letter and puts...

France: Unexpected Parallel Between Assange and Strauss-Kahn

  23 August 2012

The blog de Casimira highlights some similarities [fr] between the timing of the charges and the ensuing judicial battles facing  J. Assange and D. Strauss-Kahn.  She also clarifies the peculiarities of the charge, “sex by surprise” [fr], for which the founder of WikilLeaks is being sued. This charge, which applies when the person refuses to wear...

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Zimbabwe: Politician Lashes Out at Zuma Snub

  21 August 2012

“Anyone who undermines the Supreme Court by making a deter­mination on a pending issue is vio­lating Zimbabwe’s laws and Consti­tution,” says Zimbabwe's Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara after the SADC-appointed mediator South African President Jacob Zuma refused to meet him during his recent visit to Harare.

Armenia: Reflections on National Psyche

  19 August 2012

Life in the Caucasus, a blog by Peace Corps volunteer John, posts reflections on Armenia as his service comes to an end after two years. The blog summarizes a few key points and opinions on how Armenia's potential is often clouded by the country acting as its own worst enemy,...

China: Anti-Japanese Protests

  19 August 2012

A series of anti-Japanese protests in major Chinese cities has been triggered off by the arrest of Hong Kong activists who landed on the disputed Diaoyu Island by the Japan government. The Nanfang.com reported on the protests in Shenzhen and Guangzhou today on 19 August 2012.

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