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Ukraine flare-up lays bare fears in Europe’s East

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Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine is quickly turning into a litmus test of Russia’s intentions in backing Ukrainian separatist rebels, and the real willingness of the West, in particular the United States, to support Kyiv. Fears over Washington’s wavering may also cause positions to harden in the protracted conflicts in Europe’s East, most immediately in Georgia.Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine in the first weeks of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has laid bare fears in Europe’s East about Russia’s declared intent to restore its

Features | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 104

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In defence of a two-state solution

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A two-state solution, the idea of Israel and Palestine living side-by-side and at peace, has been the bedrock of US diplomacy for the past two decades, writes Franklin Adesegha However, alarm bells began ringing when US President Donald Trump, during his campaign for the White House, threatened to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the divided holy city of Jerusalem.Nikki Haley, the newly appointed US ambassador to the UN , quickly put out a statement saying the US “absolutely” supports a two-statesolution, but was looking for new ideas to push

Features | Franklin Adesegha | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 109

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Estonia reaches out to its Russians

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It is a sign of the times in Estonia, a Baltic state always suspicious of the Kremlin’s ambitions in the region, that Prime Minister Juri Ratas is learning Russian, write Alistair Scrutton and David Mardiste Worried that divided loyalties in its largely Russian-speaking border areas could lay Estonia open to conflicts like those in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Estonia wants to better integrate its Russian speaking minority.Estonia and the other Baltic nations look at Russia’s actions in Ukraine and fear they could easily be overrun

Features | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 107

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The uncertainty of peace in Colombia

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It is increasingly clear that 2017 will be a turning point in Colombia’s history, for good or for bad. The implementation of the peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will begin, while presidential campaigns for 2018 will also start, writes Kyle Johnson of Crisis Group.While both issues are constantly in the headlines, there has been little effort to understand how implementation will affect political predictions for 2018, and vice versa. While likely upcoming scenarios do not paint well for the peace agreement,

Features | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 102

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International community must not miss chance to act on Lake Chad crisis

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One of the world’s worst humanitarian crises is unfolding in West Africa’s Lake Chad region, where 11 million people are in urgent need of emergency aid, argues Nnamdi Obasi Nigeria, its neighbours, and the world are struggling to find an adequate response.Failure to do so will condemn millions to more suffering, and raise the region’s vulnerability to violent extremism. Donors meeting at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region on Friday must seize the opportunity to act more effectively.Up to 100,000 people may have

Features | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 97

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Can we expect breakthrough in ongoing Syrian peace talks?

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The Syrian conflict will not end on its own simply because it needs the US , Russia, neighbouring countries and the international community to play a more constructive role in solving it. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2336 on 31 December 2016 in support of efforts by Russia and Turkey to end the violence in Syria.The UN has invited the Syrian government and opposition delegations to attend intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva on 23 February 2017. These negotiations will be guided by Security Council resolution 2254 (2015),

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 102

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Refugees and migrants taking ‘enormous risks’ to reach Europe, UN

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An estimated 366 migrants died at sea during their Mediterranean journey to Europe in the first 53 days of 2017, down from 425 of the comparable period of last year, according to the United Nations migration agency. International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that 13,924 migrants entered Europe by sea through 22 February, sharply down from 105,427 a year earlier.Increased border restrictions and lack of accessible legal ways to reach Europe have caused refugees and migrants to take more “diversified and dangerous journeys,” such

Features | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 94

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Libya needs a realistic action plan

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Six years after its 2011 revolution that toppled the dictator Colonel Maamar Gaddafi, Libya is still chaotic and verging on total collapse. No one has emerged as a single unifying politician and everyone has taken side with one party or the other. We have not seen emerge yet an appeasing figure who would ease tension and create a consensus among the warring factions.Without such person, only divisive men will seek to influence the future of Libya without a consensus and that will continue to be a source of contention and irreconcilable differences.

Features | Ali Bahaijoub | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 110

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How money flowed to Gambia’s ex president

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Funds from a dollar bank account in the name of the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, a charity founded by Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh, flowed to Jammeh himself, not to foundation projects, according to bank records and interviews with a former charity official and a former presidential staff member, write Edward McAllister and Emma Farge In 2012 and 2013, over $8 million was paid into the account at Gambia’s Trust Bank. Over half of the money was withdrawn in cash, Reuters has found.Reuters was unable to determine whether donors

Features | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 101

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Barack Obama ranked 12th best US President ever, Survey

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Barack Obama has been propelled to a very good table at the club of former presidents, according to a C-SPAN published survey of 91 presidential historians published. Obama’s 12th-place ranking, only a month after leaving office, is the best for any president since Ronald Reagan who ranks ninth in the new survey.The list updates previous C-SPAN surveys compiled in 2009 and 2000. Historians gave Obama high marks for pursuing equality, managing the economy, public persuasion and “moral authority.” On the other hand, he was judged to have been below-average

Cover Stories | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 98

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US refugee resettlement system reels from Trump ban

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The non-profit network for refugee resettlement in the United States may take years to recover from changes announced by President Donald Trump, charity managers and advocates say. The 120-day pause to the programme, and a reduction from 110,000 to 50,000 arrivals in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, will have far-reaching effects.The resettlement system is “not a pipeline you can turn on and off like a tap”, according to refugee advocate Amy Slaughter, who added that the programme faces an “existential threat”. The suspension affects 67,689 refugees

Cover Stories | NorthSouth | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 100

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Trump softens his rhetoric

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For the first time since his swearing-in in January, President Donald Trump seemed to accept the trappings of formality and tradition that define and dignify the presidency. And while he touched on all of the hard-hit elements of the economic agenda that has propelled him to the presidency, he brandished a blunter rhetorical axe and, for once, delivered on his promise to speak the Reagan Republican dialect of optimism and reconciliation.Why the sudden change of heart? Mr. Trump’s approval rating is the worst for any new president

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 102

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Does Putin hold damaging evidence against Trump?

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Talking about Trump’s relationship with Russia, suddenly officials in Washington are worried that the United States has elected a leader who may be uniquely blind to Russian threats, may be confused about US national interests, or who may, in his own empire of business and personal interests, have conflicting loyalties, Franklin Adesegha writes Soon after FBI Director James Comey announced that the agency would re-open the probe into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails 11 days before the country went to polls, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid

Cover Stories | Franklin Adesegha | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 102

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Trump’s America

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After a decade and a half in the security spotlight, Muslims in the US now find themselves in the firing-line of the Trump movement. Islamophobia arguably provides the common thread and rallying call for the various forces that brought the new president to power and for much of the Republican Party.Muslim leaders in the US continue to debate how best to address the challenges of Islamophobia and new policies such as the ban on Muslim immigration.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 105

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The Impact of Trump

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The Western World is in a period of political chaos that existed prior to Trump becoming President 0f the United States.His election victory added to a chaotic situation; it did not create it. In Britain a weak government struggles to make sense of Brexit and the future relationship between Britain and a generally hostile EU.The Labour Party struggles to survive. The EU strives to ensure that no other member seeks to leave the EU.

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 5 March 2017 | Hits: 106

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What next for Gambia after Jammeh’s election U-turn?

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Having earlier conceded defeat, Gambia leader Yahya Jammeh has called for fresh elections citing “abnormalities” in last month’s presidential elections, writes Franklin Adesegha The president had suffered a shock defeat to property developer Adama Barrow, who won more than 45% of the vote in an election largely described as credible. Jammeh then conceded defeat in a televised address saying it was the “will of Allah” and that he would support Barrow’s transition before retiring to his farm in Kanila, a village in southern Gambia. He had also called the president-elect to congratulate him on his victory.

Features | Franklin Adesegha | 2 January 2017 | Hits: 281

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