May 2016 Homepage

May 2016 Homepage
Cover Story

Ambassadors of Five Nordic Nations
Prepare for White House Summit often associate Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden with a utopian bastion filled with healthy, educated and generally happy people. But the Nordic region is also grappling with a litany of problems from radicalism to refugees to Russian saber-rattling. The envoys of the five Nordic nations talk about these and other issues ahead of a major White House summit this month. Read More

People of World Influence

Expert Surveys Post-9/11
Terrorism Landscape

a1.powi.daniel.benjamin.homeDaniel Benjamin, one of America’s leading counterterrorism experts, says the U.S. shored up its defenses following 9/11, while Europe has yet to absorb the lessons of recent terrorist attacks. Read More

Middle East

Obscure Young Prince Catapults
To Power in Saudi Arabia

a2.saudi.mbs.homeWhen Saudi Arabia’s King Salman named Mohammed bin Salman the country’s deputy crown prince, with an expansive portfolio that transformed him from an obscure 29-year-old royal to arguably the nation’s leading powerbroker overnight, longtime Saudi watchers were stunned. A year later, they’re still trying to figure him out. Read More

No Way Out

Under Intense Pressure, Balkan
Nations Shut Door on Refugees

a3.balkan.migration.homeAmid increasingly chaotic scenes of Syrian refugees fleeing violence at home and Balkan nations hastily throwing up fences to keep out the never-ending influx, the D.C.-based ambassadors of four European countries recently debated what the European Union and U.S. should do about the continent’s worst refugee crisis since World War II. Read More

Sykes-Picot at 100

Secret Deal That Carved Up
Middle East Still Fuels Resentment

a5.sykes.picot.ottoman.soldiers.homeIn May 1916, European powers ratified the Asia Minor Agreement, better known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, to partition the collapsing Ottoman Empire between British, French and Russian spheres of influence. One hundred years later, the borders drawn by this secret agreement continue to influence state and regional affairs. Read More

Art of Gift-Giving

U.S. President, Officials Showered
With Swag They Cannot Keep year, the first couple (and U.S. government officials) receives millions of dollars of swag, all of which they can accept on behalf of the country, but not of themselves. The main reason for this is to avoid the possibility of bribery, a notion so objectionable, that America’s founding fathers even wrote it into the Constitution. Read More

Observing, From Afar

U.K.-Based Outfit Attempts to Fill
Black Hole of Information in Syria

a7.syrian.observatory.screen.homeInformation about the Syrian civil war remains elusive. Even the death count is a mystery. The figure that has been quoted is 250,000, though a Syrian research center announced that the death toll has likely surpassed 470,000. With data so hard to come by, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has proved an invaluable tool for the media and Syria experts. Read More

Global Vantage Point

Lawsuits Force Foreign Governments
To Navigate U.S. Court System

a8.lawsuits.courtroom.homeThe majority of lawsuits in the U.S. are filed against American companies and nationals, but each year a significant number is filed in U.S courts against foreign governments, their ministries and their state-owned companies. Read More