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Guard kills 3 doctors in Kabul
Afghanistan - Apr 24
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Ukrainian army moves to recapture Sloviansk; US, France warn Russia of sanctions
Ukraine/Russia - Apr 24
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Latest Special Reports
2014 Sochi Winter Olympics - Security Report
- Feb 05, 2014
Over 100,000 spectators are expected to descend on the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from February 7th to the 23rd and the associated Paralympic Games from March 7th to the 16th. The Sochi Games will be the most expensive Olympic Games in history with the Russian government spending some US$51 billion on the infrastructure and services necessary to hold 98 events, welcome athletes and spectators alike, and protect the Games. The 2014 Winter Olympics, however, present some serious security challenges. Sochi is located on the periphery of the restive North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, where Islamist and nationalist rebels have fought government forces for over 20 years. Sochi is located some 400km (250 miles) from Dagestan, 320km (200 miles) from Chechnya, and 16km (10 miles) from the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia. The Games come at a time of heightened homophobia in Russia, where the government has made "homosexual propaganda" illegal and attacks on homosexuals are frequently reported. Far-right extremists have also been known to attack ethnic minorities. The games are furthermore occurring amidst greater political unrest in the country with the Russian state responding by cracking down on political opponents and establishing a wide-ranging surveillance mechanism.
Typhoon Haiyan: the Perils of Geography and Corruption
- Dec 04, 2013
On November 8th, 2013, the most powerful typhoon in the recorded history of the Philippines struck the Southeast Asian country, killing at least 5,680 people and devastating entire communities. Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was the strongest storm recorded at landfall and the fourth-strongest typhoon in terms of recorded wind speed; Haiyan clocked in winds at up to 379 km/h (235 mph). The storm highlighted the environmental risks facing the Philippines and was exacerbated by two critical factors: geography and corruption. As an island archipelago of over 7,100 islands, the Philippines face serious problems in developing an integrated infrastructure and responding to natural disasters. Corruption, meanwhile, undermines infrastructural developments and erodes emergency services. Typhoon Haiyan struck at a time when the Philippines benefited from an influx of foreign investment keen to invest in a country with a large English-speaking population, well-educated workforce, and low wages. The storm, however, will likely dampen investment as it highlights the perils facing investors in the Philippines.
The 2013 Turkish Spring
- Jul 31, 2013
In late May 2013, protesters rallied in Gezi Park to denounce plans to replace one of Istanbul's last green spaces with a shopping mall and cultural complex. Harsh police tactics helped transform a small environmentalist protest into a nationwide movement that gained global attention in June 2013 as it denounced the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As of late June 2013, the unrest killed seven people, injured over 7,800 others, and led to nearly 5,000 arrests. The unrest highlighted troubling questions about the state of Turkish democracy, as well as undermined Turkish standing in the European Union (EU).
Boston Marathon Bombings: Lone Wolf and the Future of Jihad
- May 08, 2013
At 2:50 pm, on Monday April 15th, two bombs were detonated in quick succession by suspected homegrown terrorists near the finish line of the annual marathon held in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three and injuring some 200. Occurring four hours after the start of the race, the bombs exploded as the highest volume of participants typically finish the race. Streets and transportation networks were closed across Boston following the attack and security measures were increased citywide. New York and Washington, D.C. implemented similar security measures as a precaution. By the week's end, 26-year-old Tamerlan and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, two ethnic Chechen brothers who had been living in the US for the past decade, were identified as the suspects, based on footage from closed circuit video cameras at the bomb site. In the weeks following the attack, officials gathered a trove of evidence on the background and motivation of the suspected terrorists. While much still remains unknown, the attack indicates the potential for similar homegrown terrorists to carry out operations and signals the potential future pattern of jihadist activity in the West.
The Death of Chavez: What's Next for Venezuela?
- Apr 03, 2013
On March 5, 2013, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez passed away in Caracas after 14 years in power following complications from his battle with cancer. Prior to his death, the president was absent from Venezuelan politics for over two months as he underwent treatment in Havana, Cuba, leaving Vice President Nicolas Maduro at the helm of the country's governance. Venezuela's political arena further divided over this period, as opposition politicians denounced the lack of transparency concerning President Chavez's health and the leadership of the country. New presidential elections are set to be held on April 14th, as mandated by the country's constitution, whereby acting-President Maduro will face the governor of Miranda state and opposition leader Henrique Capriles for leadership of Venezuela. The victor will face myriad challenges that were exacerbated under Chavez's regime, including inflation rates topping 25 percent, a rising public debt burden coupled with a devalued currency, pervasive social inequality, and one of the most violent environments in Latin America. Additionally, production in the petroleum sector, the lifeline of Venezuela's economy, has steadily fallen under Chavez. As the new election approaches, will Venezuelans break away from the "Chavismo" ideology that has polarized the country?
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South Sudan - Apr 24
President Kiir fires army chief over rebel advances
Kenya - Apr 24
Car bomb in Nairobi kills four
United Kingdom - Apr 24
Police asks Muslim women to persuade relatives not to go to Syria
China / Japan - Apr 24
Chinese court releases Japanese cargo ship
China / Japan / United States - Apr 24
US-Japan treaty "covers disputed islands" - Obama; Tokyo, Washington at odds over TPP
Iraq - Apr 24
Violence kills 18 across country
India - Apr 24
Indian-administered Kashmir votes under threat of violence
Nigeria - Apr 24
Court sentences rapist to death by stoning
Democratic Republic of Congo - Apr 24
More than 60 killed in train derailment in Katanga
Ivory Coast - Apr 24
Senior army officer accused of trading in banned diamonds
Canada - Apr 24
Earthquake of 6.7-magnitude strikes BC
Pakistan - Apr 24
Karachi bombing kills four
Afghanistan - Apr 24
Afghanistan - Apr 24
Army raids kill eight Taliban, including two commanders
Pakistan - Apr 24
Air raids kill 16
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