International Relations

Which Country Has the Best Government?

Which Country Has the Best Government?

Bernhard Zand

Der Spiegel, 10 August 2012

Western democracies consider themselves to be efficient, farsighted and just -- in other words, prime examples of "good governance." But in recent years, the euro and debt crises, along with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have shattered faith in the reliability of western institutions. Disconcerted Europeans are casting a worried eye at newly industrialized nations like China and Brazil. Can the West learn something from countries that for so long sought its advice? In an introduction to a four-part series, SPIEGEL looks at how the world is governed today.

South Korean’s Visit to Disputed Islets Angers Japan

South Korean’s Visit to Disputed Islets Angers Japan

By CHOE SANG-HUN

August 10, 2012

SEOUL, South Korea — President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea flew to a set of islets locked in a territorial dispute with Japan on Friday, dismissing protests from Tokyo and making a trip that was bound to heighten diplomatic tensions between Washington’s two key Asian allies.

Japan called Mr. Lee’s visit “unacceptable” and recalled its ambassador from Seoul in protest, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters in Tokyo.

Adding drama to the simmering historical hostility that Mr. Lee’s surprise trip magnified, the archrivals South Korea and Japan were set to clash in London on Friday for the Olympic bronze medal in soccer, a game to be watched by millions of people in both countries.

Egypt demands extradition of 3 Hamas militants over support for Sinai terrorists

Egypt demands extradition of 3 Hamas militants over support for Sinai terrorists

Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz and Reuters,

9 August 2012

Egyptian intelligence made a request to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, using senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar as an intermediary, to extradite members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ paramilitary wing, according to an al-Quds newspaper report on Thursday.

No letup in anti-German sentiment in Greece

No letup in anti-German sentiment in Greece

Deutsche Welle,

8 August 2012

During the debt crisis Greeks have been badmouthing the Germans - but the Germans have been equally critical of their EU counterparts. Some Greeks want this situation to change.

German tabloids portray Greeks as bankrupt and tell them to sell off their islands to pay their debts - and Greek cartoonists sketch German chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform or as a whip-touting animal tamer at the circus. Negative comments by both Greek and German politicians have also not made rapprochement between the two countries easier.

Europeans pay attention: Romney is different

Europeans pay attention: Romney is different

Deutsche Welle,

9 August 2012

While it may not be easily detected at first glance, the foreign policy of a President Romney would look very different from that of President Obama, argues Henry Nau in a piece for Transatlantic Voices.

Sinai: Egypt sends reinforcements as offensive builds

Sinai: Egypt sends reinforcements as offensive builds

BBC News,

9 August 2012

Egypt has deployed extra troops, tanks and other armoured vehicles to the Sinai peninsula in an escalation of its military offensive in the area.

The reinforcements follow the killing of 16 border guards by suspected Islamist militants on Sunday.

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