International

Argentina: Bad News for the Left

THE surprise victory of Mauricio Macri, a multimillionaire businessman in the presidential elections in Argentina on November 22, marks a comeback for the Right in the country's politics after a long gap. Macri won narrowly, getting just 51 percent of the votes polled. He will be taking over a highly polarised nation. All the same, the result is being viewed as not only a setback for Argentinians but also for the Left in the entire region. It is for the first time in 15 years that an incumbent Left wing government holding office has been defeated.

India-Africa Summit: Scramble for Africa

THE three day India-Africa summit (IAFS) held in New Delhi from October 27-29, according to Indian officials, was the most important event held in the capital since the 1983 NAM summit. The NDA government had been preparing for more than a year to make the IAFS a grandiose event. Previous India-Africa summit organised when the UPA was in power was in contrast, a modest affair with only a small group of African leaders being invited. The first IAFS was held in 2008 in New Delhi and the second time in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa in 2011.

Myanmar: Partial Comeback for Civilian Rule

IT has been an electoral sweep for the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party led by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi in the general elections held on November 8. It was the first open elections held in the country after a gap of more than twenty five years. In the last free elections held in 1990, the NLD had won a landslide victory. The military junta ruling the country at the time refused to accept the electoral outcome. Harsh political repression followed. Suu Kyi was first arrested in 1989. In all, she spent around 15 years under house arrest.

Israel-Palestine: Another Intifada!

SINCE early October, violence has escalated in Jerusalem and the occupied territories after the Palestinians took to the streets to protest. For more than a month there have been daily reports of civilian casualties. By the end of October, 72 Palestinians died at the hands of Israeli security forces and vigilante groups. A Palestinian child was among those killed near Bethlehem on October 29. Eleven Israeli Jews have also lost their lives at the hands of knife wielding Palestinians.

Afghanistan: Taliban on the Offensive

THE fortnight long capture and occupation of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz by the Taliban has further exposed the frailty of the central government in Kabul. Kunduz is the fifth largest city in Afghanistan with a population of more than 300,000. The Taliban in a surprise attack had caught the Afghan security forces, trained and equipped by the West, apparently by surprise. On September 28, a few hundred Taliban fighters attacked the city from different directions and quickly captured the city. According to reports, they had many supporters who had infiltrated into the city.

Modi Faces Protests during UK Visit

THERE has been growing unease and apprehension among the 1.7 million Indian diaspora in Britain ever since it became known in July that Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi would be visiting the UK. The visit has evoked mixed emotions and polarised opinions. This was the first visit in over a decade by an elected Prime Minister of India, representing 1.2 billion people, to the shores of Britain. Ordinarily, this would have been universally welcomed. But the fact that this individual was the controversial figure from Gujarat, was most unwelcome.

Syria: Decisive Russian Role

WITH the West standing aside and preferring to be a virtual bystander as the carnage in Syria goes on unabated and the refugee crisis intensifying, Moscow has decided to step into the void to find a solution. Russian political support and military aid have been crucial for the government in Damascus as it withstood the military onslaught that was financed by the West and its allies. In the last two years, the situation on the ground has changed with American trained Syrian militias either surrendering or decamping with their weaponry to the Islamic State (IS) or the Jabhat al Nusra.

The Hajj Stampede: Saudi Impertinence

SAUDI Arabia's domestic and foreign policies are both coming under critical international scrutiny. Even domestic voices of dissent are getting louder as the new royal dispensation carries on with its relentless targeting of Yemen and the encouragement of a sectarian agenda in the region. The Saudi imposed war on Yemen has been going on for five months. The infrastructure of the Arab world's poorest county has been destroyed and it is the civilian populace which has borne the brunt.

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