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December 14, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Release of the Finance Minister’s Mother: Good News From Nigeria

Kamene Okonjo was released early on Friday, December 14. Eighty-two years of age, she is the mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Few details are available concerning the exact c…

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria 23/03/2012.

March 28, 2019

South Africa
Right-Wing White Party Releases Election Manifesto in South Africa

Looking to the May 8 elections, the party rolled-out its election manifesto in early March. Party leader Pieter Groenewald’s speech was mostly in Afrikaans and sounded themes to be found on the white and coloured right.

South-Africa-Groenewald-Freedome-Front-Plus

June 23, 2011

Fossil Fuels
Thoughts on the SPR Release

The Obama administration announced this morning that it would release thirty million barrels of light sweet crude from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserves. I have mixed feelings about the announcem…

April 9, 2019

Israel
Why Are Israeli Elections Extremely Sensitive to Fake News?

Elections in Israel are historically contentious, but this election cycle the country faces a new challenge - foreign influence operations. 

A man holds a Likud election campaign poster depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem April 8, 2019.

July 11, 2019

West Africa
West African Governments Lack Commitment to Reduce Soaring Inequality

Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have developed the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI). The index ranks 157 countries by their commitment to reducing inequality through increased spending on health and education, taxing the rich more than the poor, and paying a living wage.

A slum with a bridge, electric transmission lines, and a high-rises in the background.

July 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
The United Nations’ Failures in Myanmar: Lessons Learned?

Last month, the United Nations released a scathing report about the organization’s own actions in Myanmar over the past ten years. The report, written by an independent investigator, but commissioned…

Myanmar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York on September 21, 2016.

July 10, 2019

Nigeria
More Trouble Between Nigeria’s Shia Minority and the Police

The principal Shiite movement in Nigeria, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), “stormed” the National Assembly in Abuja on July 7. In the resulting melee, two people may have been killed and eight injured. As is so often the case, there are few details, with claims and counter-claims.

A woman walks by police at a barricade in Abuja, Nigeria.

July 8, 2019

Oceans and Seas
Why the UN Pact on High Seas Biodiversity Is Too Important to Fail

The UN Pact on High Seas Biodiversity represents a long-overdue acknowledgment that the fate of the ocean will help determine our own. But success will require reconciling the divergent interests of …

Coral reef and the ocean

July 3, 2019

Nigeria
The Intelligence Response Team: Nigeria’s Solution to the Expanding Wave of Kidnappings

Nigeria is experiencing a wave of kidnappings that now affect the entire social spectrum.

Police officers outline suspected Boko Haram militants in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on July 18, 2018.

July 3, 2019

United States
The Trump Tax Reform, As Seen in the U.S. Balance of Payments Data

The international side of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a real reform, not just a straight-forward cut in the rate. It ended deferral, and shifted to a (mostly) territorial tax system. Yet, judging f…

The Trump Tax Reform, As Seen in the U.S. Balance of Payments Data