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.

Pakistan: No respite from Terror

THE slaughter of more than 70 innocents on Easter Sunday in the “Gulshan-e-Iqbal” children's park in Lahore has once again brought to the fore the serious threat posed by terrorist outfits to the security of the Pakistani State. The attack carried out by a suicide bomber was ostensibly targeted against the minority Christians who were celebrating Easter. But more non-Christians were killed in the attack and a large number were children.

Brazil: Creeping Coup!

SINCE the beginning of the year, Brazil has been lurching from crisis to crisis with the elected government now under the threat of being overthrown by a cabal of right wing politicians, businessmen and judges, acting in an extra-constitutional way. The current political crisis has its roots in the economic downturn the country has been facing since the re-election of President Dilma Rousseff for a successive second five year in office. Her victory coincided with the collapse of the commodity boom.

Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev Observed in Surrey, Canada

THE Indo-Canadian Workers Association of Canada held a public meeting to observe the martyrdom day of Saheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, and to mark the birth centenary of former CPI(M) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet. The meeting, held in Strawberry Public Library in Surrey on March 20, was presided over by Ranjit Singh and moderated by Surinder Dhesi.

Syria: Partial Russian Pullout

THE announcement on March 14 by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin that the bulk of the Russian forces deployed in Syria were being withdrawn caught Washington and its allies on the wrong foot. Their predictions that Russia would be mired in a long drawn out war were deflated. At the beginning of the military campaign in Syria last year, President Putin had made it clear that the mission in Syria was a time bound one with clear cut military goals.

Uganda: Museveni Forever

UGANDA'S long ruling president, Yoweri Museveni, was declared elected for another five year term in the third week of February. The opposition in the country along with most of the international observers have criticised the conduct of the elections. Museveni's main challenger, Kizza Besigye, who was credited with getting more than 35 percent of the vote, has described the election as a sham. Uganda's Election Commission, which is considered to be a government rubber stamp, had announced that Museveni got 60.8 percent of the votes.

South Africa: ANC on the Defensive

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma is coming under increasing political pressure, both from within his party and from the opposition on an array of issues. His handling of the economy has been particularly under the scanner. Plummeting commodity prices have hit the South African economy very hard. The South African economy is heavily dependent on mineral exports. The mining sector, dominated by big conglomerates, accounts for 35 percent of the country's exports. It is the second largest economic sector after the agricultural sector.

Corruption Scandal: Malaysian PM Given “Clean Chit”

MALAYSIA'S attorney general, Mohamed Apandi, a handpicked appointee of the prime minister, Najib Razak, surprised few Malaysians when he announced in the last week of January that he is closing the corruption inquiry into the transfer of hundreds of million dollars into the personal bank accounts of his boss. Apandi solemnly announced in the last week of January that “no laws were broken” by the prime minister and that he had ordered the country's anti-corruption bureau to close the investigations into the sources of the funds that the Malaysian prime minister received.


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