International

Philippines: Strong Man Emerges

THE Philippines, long used to dynastic politics, has for a change elected as president a grassroots politician, Rodrigo Duterte from Mindanao. The two previous occupants of the Malacanang Presidential Palace, Gloria Macapagal and Benigno Aquino, were children of former presidents. The candidate who stood second in the elections, Mar Roxas, is also the son of a former president of the Phillipines. Rodrigo Duterte, the tough talking long serving mayor of Davao City, who will be the new president of the Philippines rose from a much humbler environment.

Another Self Goal: Modi Government and China

THE Modi government it seems revels in scoring self goals while conducting diplomacy with its immediate neighbours. First it was the “red line” it had drawn with Pakistan on the issue of its diplomats holding consultations with representatives of Kashmir's Hurriyat Conference. Then the government decided that it was in the country's national interests that a de facto economic blockade be slapped on Nepal on the Madhesi issue. It has been riling the biggest neighbour China in many different ways.

Brazil: The Coup against the People

THE vote in the lower house of the Brazilian parliament (the Chamber of Deputies) on April 18 to forward the case for the impeachment of the president, Dilma Rousseff, to the upper house (senate), was the first big step taken by the coup plotters in ousting the popularly elected president of the Republic. Dilma, Brazil's first female president, had won reelection only eighteen months ago for a second four year term in office.

India: America's New Junior Partner

THE NDA government has decided in principle to be a full fledged military partner of the United States. After the visit of the US secretary of defense, Ashton Carter to Delhi in the second week of April, it was announced that India would be signing a Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) under a slightly different name. The new agreement would in theory allow the US army to access Indian military bases. Carter and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, jointly announced the decision on signing the important military agreement at a press conference in New Delhi.

Grand May Day Celebrations at Havana

THE May Day celebrations in Havana, Cuba are important not only for the working class of Cuba, but for the entire world. Socialism in Cuba is a driving and inspiring force for the world’s working class. In the early days of the Revolution, the then US president John F Kennedy warned Cuba of dire consequences if they continued with their chosen socialist system and famously reminded them that Cuba was just 100 miles from the USA. Fidel Castro, the founder president of Socialist Cuba gave a befitting reply.

Terrorism Blow Back in Europe

THE coordinated terror attacks in Brussels, the capital of Belgium is yet another sign that committed jihadists holding European citizenship can strike almost at will on the continent. The headquarters of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic treaty Organisation (NATO) are located in Brussels. In the attacks on the busy Zavantem international airport terminal and the Maelbeek Metro station located in the city center on March 22, more than 31 people were killed and 300 wounded.

Myanmar: Civilian Government Takes Over

THE first civilian government in more than fifty years in Burma formally took over the reins of power on April 1. The military which had monopolised power for most of the years since the country gained independence however will continue to have a major say in the running of the government. The constitution it has bestowed on the country without meaningful debate has placed significant roadblocks for the smooth transition to a full fledged civilian rule.

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