International

Japan: Rewriting the Pacifist Constitution

IN the third week of July, the conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, took another decisive step towards abandoning the post war pacifist Constitution of Japan. Using the brute majority in the lower house of the parliament, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) passed a raft of laws that will allow the deployment of Japanese troops on foreign soil. The government has sought to justify its move on the basis of the “collective security” agreement it has with the United States and a few other countries.

US-Iran Nuclear Deal

IRAN and the United States have finally formalised the historic nuclear deal and signed a 159 page Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the second week of July. It had taken the two sides 20 painstaking months to finally seal the deal. Both the sides had threatened to walk out on several occasions. There was a lot of give and take involved, with the Iranian side making the bulk of the concessions.

Saudi Monarchy: Spewing Petrodollars & Bombs

YEMEN, among the poorest countries in the Arab world has been subjected to unprovoked aggression by its wealthier neighbour, Saudi Arabia since the last week of March. The Saudi Kingdom has assembled an alliance that includes all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states barring the honourable exception of Oman. The other non GCC monarchies in the region like Jordan and Morocco have been participating in cowardly air raids targeting heavily populated Yemeni cities. A Moroccan F-16 fighter jet was shot down over Yemen in the first week of May.

SYRIZA – The Party That Was and Is

SYRIZA, which literally means, 'coalition of the radical Left', broke, with 25 of its members of parliament and a section of the central committee, coming out to form another platform called the 'Popular Unity'. This move in fact, had immediately followed after Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece and leader of the Syriza, resigned and recommended for immediate elections. The deep divisions within Syriza after the government capitulated to the harsh conditions imposed by the troika, even ignoring the 61.3 percent vote against austerity, hastened these developments.

The Rohingya Exodus

IT has been one of the biggest crises to hit the region since the exodus of Vietnamese boat people in the 1970's. The sight of helpless Rohingya refugees packed in rickety boats floating on the high seas with nowhere to go has finally grabbed the attention of the international community. In the first fortnight of May, hundreds of Rohingya refugees were found abandoned in the waters off the coast of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Thousands more remain unaccounted for.

The Rohingya Exodus

IT has been one of the biggest crises to hit the region since the exodus of Vietnamese boat people in the 1970's. The sight of helpless Rohingya refugees packed in rickety boats floating on the high seas with nowhere to go has finally grabbed the attention of the international community. In the first fortnight of May, hundreds of Rohingya refugees were found abandoned in the waters off the coast of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Thousands more remain unaccounted for.

The Fall of Ramadi

THE fall of Ramadi on May 17 has been the biggest military and political setback suffered by the Iraqi government since the fall of Mosul last year. Now the Islamic State (IS) is in full control of two major cities in Iraq. The fall of Ramadi coincided with the capture of the Palmyra in neighbouring Syria by the IS. Approximately half of Syria's territory is now in the hands of the IS. Now with the capture of Ramadi, a large part of Iraq is also now under the sway of the terror outfit which styles itself an Islamic Caliphate.

Centennial Commemoration of Armenian Genocide:

THE centennial commemoration to mark the mass killings of Armenians was observed in many parts of the world on April 24. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, there was a solemn ceremony attended by world leaders, including the Russian and French presidents. Armenians all over the world remember the killings and mass deportations of Armenians from Turkey a hundred years ago as “the great calamity”. The Armenian government as well as the Armenian diaspora  have been working tirelessly to make the international community recognise the terrible fate that had befallen their people.

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