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Global Watch

The sixth summit of BRICS states—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—held in Fortaleza, Brazil in July 2014 agreed to create a new development bank, formally known as BRICS Development Bank, with an authorized capital of US $100 billion.


With the establishment of Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, and its secret networks and propaganda campaign in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the international community has now focused on the proliferation and smuggling of chemical and biological weapons in the region. 


With a peaceful presidential vote on Sunday, Tunisia has completed its successful transition to a democracy, a journey that started with the ouster of Ben Ali in the wake of self-immolation of Mohammad Bouazizi four years ago.


With Tunisia successfully concluding its first presidential elections under a new Constitution, the legacy of the Arab Spring – which started in this small North African nation in 2011 – can now boast of another bright star. It was in Tunisia that the wave of pro-democracy protests began when a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself to protest against government harassment and corruption. 


During the Cold War era, a Soviet tank once entered Austria at night by mistake. Nobody took any notice of it until it was discovered by a traffic police next morning since it was parked on the wrong side of the road. Soon a joke went viral in Austria. It said nobody would know if the Soviet Union attacked Austria unless they parked their tanks on the wrong side of the road!


Apopular joke in Varadero, a Cuban resort with the only worthwhile golf course in the country so far, is that on the windswept par three eigth hole, you need to point to Key West to reach the green.


A commonly observed phenomenon is that Germans have two faces. One is apparent outside Germany and the other is visible inside Germany.


Interview with renowned Lebanese academic Gilbert Achcar and author of The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013) on the struggle for democratisation in the Middle East and North Africa.

The phone call between United States President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, followed by the exchange of an American prisoner for three Cuban intelligence agents detained in the US, marked the most important moment in the countries' bilateral relationship in decades. Shortly afterward, the US and Cuba announced that they would begin the process of resuming full diplomatic ties.  
ISRAEL'S relentless settlement-building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has reached a tipping point. Realising that the creeping annexation of the occupied territories will make the two-state solution impossible, European nations are belatedly beginning to recognise Palestinian statehood en masse.  

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spotlight image India’s Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari visited Armenia recently to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The US has slammed Pakistan for failing to crackdown on terror groups operating from "safe havens" inside its territory, and said the Nawaz Sharif government did not take any action against the LeT and JeM, which continue to operate openly.
In dispatching its  PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)  marines to Djibuti in the Horn of Africa on Wednesday (July 12 ) by amphibious ships, from the southern port of Zhanjiang, China has taken a significant step in enhancing its  trans-border military footprint.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that China is experiencing a sort of superiority obsession, imagining it can dominate and conquer the world. Several Chinese acts in the recent past indicate such an attitude. Asian nations, which are now apprehensive about China’s aggressive postures, are unclear how matters will shape up.
Men of letters have outstanding world views, but sometimes their views on the situation in the Valley are coloured by lack of practical appreciation of the ground reality.
For many of us in India — and, indeed, in the rest of the world — the Chinese economic story has been seen for what it is: a country determined by its leadership’s sheer will to lift its people first out of paddy fields
IS retired Gen Raheel Sharif commanding a ghost army? Government representatives have insisted that so long as the terms of reference of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism are not finalised, Pakistan’s participation cannot be determined.
  The U.S. administration’s decision to slap sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and entities on Tuesday, only a day after it certified to Congress that Tehran was compliant with the conditions of the nuclear deal, sums up its strategic resolve in taking on the Islamic Republic and the tactical dilemma it faces while doi
S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore on "India, ASEAN and Changing Geopolitics”

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.


This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...


History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.


Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...


Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

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