International

Syrian Communist Party Leader Shot Dead

A CENTRAL secretariat member of the Syrian Communist Party, Muhann (Hani) Jebara, was shot dead by an armed criminal gang near his home in "Tejara zone" of capital Damascus in the morning of March 12. Comrade Muhann was a real symbol of hardworking and dedicated Communist who fought for the interests of the masses, which was clear from his brave activities in the Damascus Governorate Council for many years.

IS on a Killing Spree

THE brutal beheadings of two Japanese citizens and the torching of the Jordanian pilot who were in the captivity of the Islamic State (IS) were the latest instances of the group’s total disregard for basic humanitarian norms. The IS propagandists claim that they are only replicating on a smaller scale what the US and its allies did on a bigger scale with their bombings on civilian areas in Iraq and the torture that was practiced in Abu Ghraib and other CIA run centers.

India and the US Pivot to the East

THE success of President Barack Obama’s decision to rebalance the power equation in East Asia with the “pivot to the East” policy depends a lot on cooperation from major powers in the region, notably India. India under both the NDA and UPA has been portraying itself as the “natural partner” of the USA. The leaderships of the two countries revel in describing themselves as the two largest democracies in the world that also share core values. Since the signing of the defense partnership agreement between the two countries ten years ago, strategic and military relations have indeed deepened.

Charlie Hebdo Attack and its Aftermath

THE terror attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo on January 7 that claimed the lives of 12 journalists, has sent shock waves around the world. On the following day, a hyper market was targeted by a lone terrorist. Four people were killed in that attack. Two policemen were also killed in the three days in January. Paris had become a city virtually under siege.

Baiting North Korea

ANOTHER war of words has erupted between Pyongyang and Washington. This time the statements emanating from both sides are more bellicose than usual. The latest round of verbal hostilities started after the hacking attack on Sony Pictures. North Korea has been vehemently criticising the Japanese owned company which has its headquarters in the United States, for producing the movie “The Interview”. The movie, purportedly a comedy, shows the assassination of the current head of state of North Korea, Kim Jong- un.

Cuba: End of the US Blockade!

THE simultaneous announcements by Barack Obama and Raul Castro on December 17 that relations between the United States and Cuba would be “normalised”, has been one of the positive developments of 2014. Even within the United States, only a minority of right wing politicians have criticised the move by Obama to restore diplomatic relations after a gap of more than 50 years with an immediate neighbour. Within the Cuban-American community in the United States, the move by the American president has been widely welcomed.

Pakistan: Roots of Terror

THE Peshawar massacre of the innocents could be a turning point in Pakistan. At least for the moment all the important stakeholders seem united in their determination to confront the scourge of terrorism which has been mercilessly stalking the country for more than a decade now. At this juncture there is a consensus in the country that the time has come to crush the militant groups which have been running amok since the overthrow of the Taliban government and American occupation of Afghanistan in 2001.

Mexico: Fear and Loathing

THE tragic disappearance of 43 students in late September while they were proceeding to a protest meeting has triggered a national outcry in Mexico threatening the stability of government of President Enrique Pena Nieto. After riding high in the opinion polls and being toasted in the financial capitals of the world, his popularity has now taken a beating. He now is being dubbed as the most unpopular Mexican president in recent history. Pena Nieto had won the elections two years ago with a comfortable margin.

Putin in India

THE Russian President, Vladimir Putin was in Delhi in the second week of December to participate in the annual India-Russia summit that has become an annual event since 2000. President Putin and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had signed the historic Declaration on Strategic Partnership that year. Though the Russian president was in the Indian capital for only a day, the 2014 summit has yielded a raft of substantive agreements.

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